The Most Dangerous Games: The Closet Game


Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. III.

The Closet Game is creepypasta in its purest form; its origin is unknown, and it’s pretty much always encountered in the same form, having been copied and pasted time and time again from various locations on the Internet. It appeared on the Creepypasta Wikia for some time, although the page was deleted in September of 2015. Regardless as to whether you know the creepypasta, though, the basic setup will likely sound familiar to anyone who grew up fearing that there was a monster in their closet.

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The trope of the monster in the closet appears in a huge number of cultures across the globe. Part of the general “bogeyman” myth, the closet-dweller is El Cucuy in Latin American countries, Butzemeann in Germany, Boeman in the Netherlands, and Jumbi in Guyana. When he’s not hiding in the closet, he’s lurking under the bed, and his primary function is punishing naughty children by kidnapping them. The fact that he’s so prevalent in so many different areas of the world suggests a rather primal fear of the dark… and what might be lurking there, just outside of our field of vision.

Like a number of the rituals and games we’ve looked at here, there doesn’t actually seem to be a point to this one; there’s no prize for winning, although the price you’ll pay for losing is rather steep indeed. In these cases, the thing I keep coming back to is the idea of tempting fate — and why we like to do it, even when there’s nothing concrete to gain from it. Maybe it’s kind of a supernatural pissing contest, or maybe it speaks to our ingrained, psychological need for danger… but either way, it’s always worth figuring out for yourself exactly what you want out of any particular game before you play it, especially if it’s one like this one.

A note on safety: One of the more mundane reasons it’s not advisable to perform this ritual is the fact that it involves lighting a match inside a closed closet. If you must perform it, make sure the closet is big enough or empty enough that there’s no danger of accidentally lighting anything — clothing, other flammable items, etc. — on fire. Although it’s not specified in the requirements, I’d recommend having a fire extinguisher readily accessible, just in case. The bogeyman isn’t the only thing to fear here.

As always, play at your own risk.


  • One principal.


  • A closet.
  • A match.


  1. Begin at night.
  2. Darken the room: Turn out the lights of the room in which the closet is located and draw the curtains. If the closet also has a light, make sure it, too, is turned off.
  3. Make sure you have the match somewhere on your person.
  4. Open the closet, step inside, and close the door. There should be no light visible, either inside the closet or outside of it.
  5. Stand in the darkness for at least two minutes. Do not move. Do not speak.
  6. After the two minutes are up, hold the match out in front of you. Speak the words, “Show me the light or leave me in darkness.”
  7. Listen closely.
    • If you hear whispers in the darkness: 
      • Light the match immediately. Wait.
    • If you hear nothing:
      • Do not turn around. Wait.
  8. If you have made it this far unscathed, open the closet door, exit the closet, and close the door again. Do NOT look inside the closet.
  9. In fact, don’t look inside the closet ever again if you can help it — and especially not without all the lights on and burning brightly.

Additional Notes:

Some who have successfully completed the ritual say that strange things happen at night if you leave the closet door open. Again, it is NOT recommended that you look in the closet with the lights off… but if you do, you might see two points of light gleaming out of the darkness, glowing red like the tips of a pair of lit matches.

They might be eyes.

But they might not.

But they might.

If You Fail To Light The Match In Time:

Don’t fail. You don’t want to know what happens if you do.

The Closet Game: FAQ.


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[Photo via John Lee Maverick/Flickr]


27 thoughts on “The Most Dangerous Games: The Closet Game

      1. Hello, JKAY.
        Two years ago, my friends Aaliyah, Traveler, Kristen and I tried the Closet Game in separate closets AT THE SAME TIME. After saying, “Show me light or leave me in darkness.” I was the only one who heard whispers. But I wasn’t the only one who lit the match. Aaliyah did also- when she wasn’t supposed to. After the game was over we shared results and explained everything we did. Aaliyah looked back in the closet before she DIDN’T shut it. She started to complain of burning on her back. It hurt her so badly, she started crying. So, I checked her back and it was marked with the word, “die” over and over. Later that night when we were asleep I woke up to Aaliyah walking to her closet at 11:59 and she sat inside for the longest time. Then I heard noises so I went over to the noise and she was in the kitchen with a knife pointed at her stomach with her wrists slit (not piercing a vein). And she told me, “I need to die. I need to die. I want to die.” … After that night they never ever played a game like that. Even so, I continued. I somewhat find it very amusing. BESIDES entities trying to murder our faces off.

    1. Why would anyone do this… or any demonic game that puts you in danger…. also you have one less closet that you can use safely.

    1. It is said you’ll be dragged downwards on an eternal loop into the darkness. Most likely that’s a metaphor for you becoming insane.

  1. I am a bit confused. You usually don’t say what will happen if we screw up these rituals, because our imagination will probably think of something scarier (which I take to mean death or eternal torture), but if we look in the closet with all the lights turned off, I’m assuming we die, but if you die, then how can people say if they saw these eyes or not? Or is what you see just incredibly horrifying?

  2. The rules state that in both cases you’re supposed to wait after you’ve spoken in the dark. But how long? If I don’t hear anything, and I can’t turn around (and I’m just gonna assume that’s because I’m stuck in a closet with a -probably malevolent- supernatural entity), how am I supposed to know that it is “safe” for me to get out?

    And if I do hear whispers and manage to light the match (knowing how those things work, they can and WILL try and stop you from bringing in any sort of light to protect yourself with) do I have to wait for them to lessen or will that not happen? Do I just wait for the light to go out before getting out of the closet? Or is it unwise to be stuck in the dark with a strange closet-dweller after having exposed said closet to the light of the match before you complete the ritual and “bind” the entity to it by closing the door on it? Although I seriously doubt the entity is actually stuck in your closet. I would advise to avoid tigh, cramped and enclosed dark spaces from that point on.

    1. According to article….”IF you HAVE a light in your closet…then you should turn it off

      Thanks for asking

  3. What happens when I play the game, then there is a power outage and I need to get clothing items from my closet, with no candles, lights or, matches???

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