A Brief Interlude

Hey gang,

I’m taking a week or two off to recharge my batteries — The Ghost in My Machine will be back towards the beginning of June with more creepiness. In the meantime, if you’re in the States, I hope you’re all having a fabulous holiday weekend; and if you’re not, then I hope you’re having a fabulous regular Monday. Cheers!

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The Most Dangerous Games: The Raven Man

ravenPreviously: Musical Chairs Alone.

I was unable to find out anything about The Raven Man’s origins; I was, however, able to find two different versions of the game: One you can play alone, and one that requires three people. The three-person version is a liiiiiiiittle sexist — the rules stipulate that one of the players must be a “virgin girl” intended to function as a symbolic sacrifice, while the “incanter” must be male — so if that gives you pause (it did me), then you may want to stick with the one-person version. In either event, though, I’ve provided the instructions for both; each required a good deal of cleaning up, but I believe the instructions I’ve put together here to be the clearest and most precise versions out there. Once the Raven Man has been summoned, you may ask anything of him: Questions for information, tasks for him to complete; and so on. Be careful not to ask too much of him, though; he does not take kindly to being used.

Ravens, of course, have long been believed to be ill omens. Carrion birds are not often looked upon kindly; as such, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many cultures associate ravens with death and lost souls. They’re also, however, sometimes considered very wise, indeed — which, when combined with their less-than-savory reputation, may account for the Raven Man’s dangerous nature.

As always, play at your own risk.

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Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: The Blind Maiden Website

Dead MacPreviously: Bielefeld, Germany.

Type: EV (Electronic Virus)

Period/location of origin: Contemporary (exact year of origin unknown); Spain; the Internet.

Appearance: Subject appears to be an unclaimed Internet domain with the URL www.blindmaiden.com. Other possible variations include www.blindmaidelaine.com, www.blindmadelaine.es, and www.blindmaiden.es.

Modus operandi: If subject is accessed at any time other than midnight on the night of a new moon, target will see only the following error message:

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‘Night Terrors’ Augmented Reality Smartphone Game Has the Potential to Be All Kinds of Amazing

By now, you guys have probably already heard about Night Terrors — but just in case you haven’t, here’s the basic rundown: Currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo, Night Terrors is an augmented reality smartphone game that has the potential to be so cool I almost don’t know what to do with myself. Seriously, you guys — I’m giddy just thinking about it. The premise is simple — save the cheerleader, save the world girl and survive your house — but it’s that last bit that’s the cool part. Mapped via your phone’s camera and viewed through your phone’s screen, the game actually takes place in your own home. If a spook pops out of the wall, you actually have to run away from it — literally. In terms of immersive storytelling, I haven’t seen something this exciting since Sleep No More, and never before in video games.

The best part? Pretty much all of the effects are being accomplished through practicals: Actors, puppets, and all of the magic that goes into a film with excellent special effects. Night Terror’s developer, Bryan Mitchell, was formerly a cinematographer; as such, he’s taking an extremely cinematic approach to building the game’s environment. As cool as CGI can be these days, I still think there’s something to be said for a good practical effect — something real, not just pixels — so that? Is incredibly exciting to me.

Check out the promo video up top, and head on over to Night Terror’s Indiegogo page to kick in a few bucks.

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Haunted Road Trip: Mount Misery Road and Sweet Hollow Road, Long Island, New York

Sweet Hollow Road

Previously: The Whaley House.

In the affluent Long Island suburb of Huntington, New York, there lies an area known as West Hills. The home of poet Walt Whitman, it contains a large nature preserve — and running through that nature preserve, there is a road. It’s called Mount Misery Road, and it definitely lives up to its name — if the tales attached to it, that is, are to be believed. Nearby Sweet Hollow Road does nothing to dispel the spookiness that sits heavily around the area; indeed, despite its idyllic-sounding name, Sweet Hollow Road is just as haunted as Mount Misery. By what are they both haunted? Ghosts, perhaps; stories, certainly. Either way, though, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the road should you find yourself in either of these locations.

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