Spooky video games to scare your socks off

Abigail, a character in “The Quarry,” looks out over a silent camp. As you manipulate the character’s decisions to change the game’s course, you control the characters’ fates. // Photo courtesy of 2K Games

As Halloween approaches and spooky season ramps up, we reach the time of the year where palpable excitement is in the air. Between so many horror movies coming out, the eternal quest to find a costume, the search for the perfect Halloween candy to buy and the seasonal return of Netherworld, the Halloween spirit is practically inescapable. 

With the days getting darker and chillier again, the urge to stay inside and snuggle up in the heaviest of blankets is stronger than ever. For those days, here is a list of the spookiest video games to curl up with and (trick or) treat yourself.

Ultimate Custom Night

Many of us grew up watching endless playthroughs of the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (FNAF) series, or even playing it ourselves. Since 2018, “Ultimate Custom Night,” which features toggleable settings for all 50 FNAF characters, has been available free-to-play on Steam. Try the game on easy mode by selecting specific animatronics to spook you, or challenge yourself by adding all of them. The possibilities are endless.

The Quarry

“The Quarry,” a relatively newer game, was released in the summer of 2022. However, “The Quarry” sets the mood just right for a night in on Halloween. As an interactive drama, horror and thriller video game, “The Quarry” is also a perfect game to stream on Discord as you can work together with your friends to make decisions that alter and manipulate the entire storyline of the game. With each decision made, the storyline splits, creating a sea of infinite perils and playthroughs.

Cult of the Lamb

While “Cult of the Lamb” is not particularly scary, it has a cute yet grim aesthetic that is perfect for those who love single-player adventure games. The premise of the game revolves around a possessed lamb that must form a cult to thank the deity who saved the life of the player. Load into the game to experience the PvE (player vs environment) tasks and open-world setting.

Alien: Isolation

Meant to be played on high graphics and in pitch black darkness, “Alien: Isolation” is a survival game that grabs you and completely immerses you in its world. Set on a once highly-populated space station that has gone dead silent, the atmosphere of mystery and anxiety permeates through the screen. Though it is a slow burn in terms of horror visuals, the immense amount of worldbuilding and plot development involved in the game easily brings you to the point of fear.


If you have a trusty gang of friends, round them up for a night of “Phasmophobia.” “Phasmophobia” is an investigative horror game where you play as ghost hunters sent to locations to figure out what type of ghost haunts the area. “Phasmophobia” is a game that relies on knowledge-gathering, evidence collection and deductive reasoning as well as nerves of steel for whenever the ghost begins its hauntings.

Little Nightmares

A Technique favorite, “Little Nightmares” has everything a spooky video game can ever offer. The storyline itself is scary enough, as you play as a little girl named Six, iconic for her little yellow raincoat, and solve puzzles in order to escape the monsters chasing her at every turn. At times, “Little Nightmares” reminds you of the same feelings of primal fear you felt as a little kid. Perhaps the monster under your bed was real.