The Most Dangerous Games: The Candles Game

candlePreviously: The Hosting Game.

There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t play The Candles Game; the least spooky one is “good gravy, fire hazard, much?” The others, though… well, let’s just say that whatever you might hear behind darkened closed doors is best left alone.

Like a couple of the other games we’ve covered here, this one arose from the NoSleep subreddit. Although it wasn’t submitted by FableForge, it hit reddit shortly after The Three Kings did; oddly, though, its creator, shortyrulz21, has been inactive ever since. There’s undoubtedly a logical explanation for his or her silence… but I can’t help but think it should be taken as sign that this game should only be — as always — played at your own risk.


  • 1 principal.
  • 1 partner.


  • 1 candle for every room in your home.
  • 1 candle for every hallway in your home.
    • NOTE: All candles should be capable of standing up on their own. Pillar candles are a good choice; if you must use tapers, make sure each has a candle holder.
  • Matches or a lighter.
  • A timekeeping device with an alarm. A digital wristwatch is ideal.


The Prelude:

  1. Begin during daylight.
  2. Close all the windows, curtains, and/or blinds in your home.
  3. Turn off any and all electronic devices — if it can make noise or light up, it should be off and, ideally, unplugged. Portable electronics such as phones, tablets, MP3 players etc. should be placed in a box after they have been turned off; the box should then be placed out of sight in a closet or cabinet. The only electronic that should remain turned on and outside the box is your timekeeping device.
  4. Place one unlit candle at the end of each hallway in your home.
  5. Have your partner place one unlit candle on the floor of each room in your home except for your own room. Do NOT let your partner tell you where the candles are. Do NOT ask your partner where the candles are. Once your partner has hidden the candles, he or she should leave your home and not return until 6:00am.
  6. Place one unlit candle inside your room directly in front of the door. Do NOT have your partner place this candle; you as the principal must place it yourself.
  7. Close the doors to all of the rooms in your home.
  8. Set the alarm on your timekeeping device for precisely 11:10pm.
  9. At sunset, enter your room, close the door, and go to sleep. Keep your matches or lighter nearby.

The Main Event:

  1. When your alarm wakes you up, confirm that it is precisely 11:10pm.
    • Note: Do NOT proceed if your alarm did not go off at the correct time. If the alarm did not go off at the correct time AND it is still dark out when you wake up, remain in your bed. Remain facing the ceiling. Do NOT look around your room or under your bed. Do NOT fall asleep. Do not move until 6:00am.
  2. If your alarm rings precisely at 11:10pm, you may proceed. Once it goes off, you have one minute and one minute only to light the candle in front of your door using your matches or lighter. Do NOT look around your room after the candle is lit. Do NOT proceed if you do not light your candle in time.
  3. If you manage to light your candle by 11:11pm, you may proceed. Knock on the door to your room three times. There should be a three-second interval between each knock. Do NOT proceed if you hear any noise from beyond the door after the third knock.
  4. If you do not hear any additional noises, you may proceed. Speak out loud the words, “I am ready to play.” Open your door and place the lit candle from your room outside it. Close the door behind you.
  5. Begin moving through your home, matches or lighter in hand and timekeeping device nearby, obeying the following conditions:
    • Whenever you reach a candle in a hallway, light it.
    • Whenever you reach a door to a room, knock on it three times with a three-second interval between each knock. If you hear any noises from inside the room after knocking, do not open the door; skip the room, but do not forget about it. Come back to it later.

    NOTE: All the doors should be closed when you reach them. If any of them are open, do NOT proceed. If you see a light from under any of them and you have not yet found and lit the candle within, do NOT proceed. Leave your home immediately. Do not return until after 6:00am.

  6. If you do not hear any noises from inside the room after knocking, open the door. You have three minutes to find and light the candle your partner previously hid within it. NOTE: If you do not manage to find and light the candle within three minutes, do NOT proceed. Enter the room, close and lock the door, and lie down facing the ceiling. Do not look around the room. Do not fall asleep. Remain there until 6:00am.
  7. If you do find and light the candle within three minutes, set the lit candle back down, leave the room, and close the door. Do NOT reopen any of these doors after you have successfully found and lit the candles.
  8. After you have found and lit all the candles in your home, making sure to return to any rooms you previously skipped, return to your room. Knock on the door three times with a three-second interval between each knock. If you do not hear any noise from behind it, enter the room, close the door behind you, lie down on your bed, and face the ceiling. Do NOT look under your bed or around your room. Do NOT fall asleep.

The Ending:

  1. At 6:00am, the game is complete. Your house should now be safe.

Additional Notes:

  • Avoid looking into any mirrors until the conclusion of the game. If possible, turn all the mirrors in your home around or cover them up during the Prelude.
  • Once sunset arrives, you should be the only person within your home. It’s also best not to have any pets around, as they may disrupt the game.
  • While moving about your home, look only in front of you. Do not turn to look at any movements you may or may not see in you peripheral vision.
  • Should you hear any voices during the game, do not speak to them.
  • The following are all grounds for a losing condition:
    • Disobeying any of the rules.
    • Performing any actions other than those specified by the rules once the game has begun.
    • Running.

Concerning Losing Conditions:

Do not lose.

The Candles Game: FAQ.

[Photo via]

12 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: The Candles Game

  1. I hope an enemy of mine does this and picks me as their partner. Then I hide all the candles in crazy places and places they’re too dumb to look, heck, hide the candle behind a fridge!

  2. Urm, I have some rooms which don’t have doors, just an arch. Is it still possible to perform this, and just assume it is a hallway? Imagine doing this in an apartment or condo though

    1. If you lose, you may or may not have your life flash before your eyes and doubt every thing you’ve ever done, and depending upon how far you got, your kitchen, or your entire house, may or may not go up in a ball of flames before you get to your second chance—the door—with you inside it, and then… You may or may not wake up in a room that looks and feels like your bedroom only to be awoken again to find your partner screaming for help. You may or may not reach them in time to see them smile maliciously before murdering you brutally and with it your trust and faith in anything you ever thought was real until you wake up in hospital to find that it was all a dream. The doctor will assure you that everything is okay and that you’re on the psych ward because some unbelievable things happened, and then when your family come to see you, you’ll be brought back to every argument and fight you ever had with them, and they’ll cry, and you’ll laugh, and then when they ask you how you’re doing, you’ll tell them you want to go home at which point they’ll tell you you are home and you’ll go berserk. When you wake up from the sedation, you’ll probably wake up on your lawn or in the vicinity of the house you played the game in and tentatively make your way back inside, before checking the time and realising that it’s gone backwards and nothing is as it seems. For example, a little detail regarding the decoration of your house is off, and then the lights that you’ve only just realised are on will flicker off, and your personal hell will cook up a new scenario for you to try and claw your way out of. This may or may not continue until 6am at which point you may or may not be monumentally traumatised by the sickening and hellish things you saw and experienced in the psychotic not quite ground hog day cycle of your fate if you lose when playing this game.

      A word of advice: Do not play. This is not a game.

  3. … So I can’t have someone with me for emotional support? Also, why the ceiling? What would happen if I faced the floor or somewhere else with my eyes closed?

  4. Can’t the creatures just lean over you while you’re staring at the ceiling and say boo? Not exactly boo, but if I were a creature of the night that had to follow rules, I’d find myself a loophole.

  5. What if I finish the game and knock on the door to my bedroom but I hear noises? What do I do about rooms within other rooms?

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