The Most Dangerous Games: The Hosting Game

doorwayPreviously: The Mirror Box.

Parties are fun — as long as you don’t have uninvited guests. “The Hosting Game” also goes by the name “Don’t Look Back” for reasons that will become apparent as you read onward.

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As always, play at your own risk.


  • 1 principal.


  • A small, dark, empty room in your home (your “hosting room”). Ideally this room should have no windows; if, however, you do not have such a room available to you, a room with windows may be used provided that said windows may be completely covered up. No outside light should be visible from inside the room.
  • A writing implement and paper.
  • A clock, watch, or other analog timekeeping device. Do NOT use a cell phone, digital watch, or other digital device.
  • 3 matches.


The Invitation:

  1. Begin at night. Keep your timekeeping device and the matches on your person at all times.
  2. Turn off all possible sources of noise in your home. This includes telephones, televisions, computers, alarms, etc. Be thorough. If your hosting room requires it, draw the curtains or otherwise block the windows so that no light can be seen from inside the room.
  3. Enter your hosting room and turn on the light. If the room contains no lamps or overhead lights, use a flashlight, lantern, lit candle, or other portable light source. Candles, although correct in terms of atmosphere, may pose a fire hazard, so proceed with caution.
  4. Place your writing implement and piece of paper in your hosting room.
  5. Leaving the light source on, exit your hosting room. Go to the furthest point in your home from the room and call, “I’ll be ready soon!” Move from room to room of your home, repeating this phrase in every room, moving closer to your hosting room with each call.
  6. When you arrive back at your hosting room, use the writing implement to write the following message on the piece of paper: “You are invited! A gathering, hosted by [Your Name]. Takes place from [the current time] to [an hour from the current time]. Bring your friends!”
  7. Place the piece of paper in the middle of the hosting room.
  8. Stand in the doorway of the hosting room facing into the room and call, “I’m ready! Come on in!”

The Gathering:

  1. Turn off the light and turn around. The open door to the hosting room should be at your back; you should be facing the darkness of your home. Take out your three matches.
  2. After a few moments of silence, begin counting out loud, starting at one and ending at 10. Do not look back.
  3. When you reach the count of 10, strike the first match.If the first match lights on the first strike:
    • Hold it as it burns and greet your guests by saying, “I’m so glad to see you! Thank you for coming!” Hold the match until it burns down as low as you can bear.

    If the match does not light on the first strike:

    • Drop it and immediately proceed to the next step.
  4. Do not look back. Strike the second match.
    • If the second match lights on the first strike:Hold it as it burns and greet more of your guests by saying, “I’m so glad to see you! Thank you for coming!” Hold the match until it burns down as low as you can bear.If the second match does not light on the first strike:Drop it and immediately proceed to the next step.
    • Do not look back. Strike the third match.
  5. Do not look back. Strike the third match.

If the third match lights on the first strike:

  • Say, “Now everyone is here!” and count from one to 10 once more. If you have done this correctly, you will be able to hear and/or feel whispering, rustling, or a quiet “thank you” behind you.
  • Do not look back.
  • When your timekeeping device indicates the gathering’s finishing time, say out loud, “Thank you for coming. Goodbye.”
  • Walk to the nearest light source and turn it on. The gathering is over and your guests have gone.

If the third match does not light on the first strike:

  • You have uninvited guests. Do NOT look back. Do NOT turn around. Do NOT pause to close the door. Run as quickly as you can to the nearest light source and turn it on.

Additional Notes:

This game is best played alone. Your guests may not feel welcome if they feel there is already a crowd present.

Once the gathering has begun, do NOT, at any point, turn around or look behind you.

Concerning Uninvited Guests:

Although turning on the nearest light source will end the gathering, do NOT assume that your guests have gone. It is recommended that you perform a purifying or cleansing ritual — as well as that you avoid dark rooms in your home from then on.

The Hosting Game: FAQ.


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52 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: The Hosting Game

  1. “perform a purifying or cleansing ritual — as well as that you avoid dark rooms in your home from then on” Are you telling me that if I end up with uninvited guests and perform the cleansing ritual, that there’s a chance that I would not be able to get these entities out of my home? And what would I do when night time comes around? Keep all the lights in my house on all night so there wouldn’t be darkness? Nope. Definitely not playing this. EVER.

  2. Should I use my full name, not using my real name for the example (e.g. Evangelina Marjorie Parker Smith) or just your first name or nickname ( e.g. Evangelina, or Eva)

    1. If you look back your party members become unwanted ghosts and you need to end the game asap if you fail to end the game be prepared to face sever outcomes. Trust me I have played it and I will never play it again as long as I live.

    2. if you look back you will see your deepest and darkest fears my friend claimed that he saw the devil himself. I saw someone who I wish I did not see. WHAT EVER YOU DO DO NOT LOOK BEHIND YOU.

    1. Thrill-seekers, I suppose…

      But I advise not to play ANY of these games regardless of its difficulty, whether or not you are a thrill-seeker…

      I just treat these articles as educational for me and no I will never play them… EVER.

  3. This would be so fun. I’m just saying that this doesn’t sound as dangerous as the other rituals, but I’m almost never home alone and my mom would kill me.

  4. Will the presence of spirits in the house/room you are using to host the party at prior to going through The Invitation affect the success of this ritual?

    1. First thing, you have to remove everything in the room where you want to host. Bathrooms would be hard to remove stuff.
      Walk in closets? That’s a very small place for your hosting room. Your closet might be on fire.
      Garages are ok, if you are able to cover up all lights.

    1. After the point you say “Thank you for coming”.

      But if you have UNINVITED guests, do as the article say: perform a cleansing or purifying ritual.

  5. I told my friend to play this tonight and she is nervous beyond belief but she will FaceTime me so I can sort of be there with her and to see if she is doing everything correctly

  6. She thinks that some paranormal entity will stay on her house but she’s used to hauntings so she would just bless the house

  7. Tnis seems pretty harmless. But what do I do after I invited them and they came? Do I talk to them? Are we interacting? Or am I just listening to their whispers?

  8. I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE!!! 😑 nope! I’d be mad if it gets screwed up and I can never turn my lights off??? I pay light bill!

  9. As far as I can understand, matches that don’t light are means for an uninvited guest so, why does it matter if the third one doesn’t light? I’m only asking because it confuses me. I know it isn’t rocket science or anything, but still. If your matches light, you’re okay. If the matches don’t light, you’re pretty much a ghost’s pet, right? Either way, if the first one doesn’t match, it is an uninvited guest. If it lights you’re okay. Same with the 2nd and 3rd match, correct? So why is the third match a big deal?

    1. From what I understand, the first and second matches are for the invited guests (not uninvited). If the first and second matches doesn’t light up, it means your guests doesn’t want to come, it’s not uninvited guest.

      But the third match is for starting the party, not for the guests, hence “now everyone is here!”. If the third match doesn’t light up, it means there’s an uninvited guest.

  10. I feel like you would first practice lighting matches with your hand so nothing bad would occur if you just don’t know how to light a match lol

  11. Why don’t my guests want me to look at them? I mean, I invited them to a gathering, they accepted my invitation, they seem to be having a good time, why can’t I speak with them? Also, while I’m waiting for the gathering to be over, can I go on my phone or read a book until it ends, so long as I remain standing outside the hosting room door?

  12. Yh I tried it and then the place started to feel really cold and one of my China plates got knocked off
    talking about disrespectful

  13. Me ,my Twin, and little sister are all gonna do this tonight!! Though my mom, little brother, and older borther are in the house, so it may not work. Also we have a dog so hopefully no one gets hurt..

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