It’s spooky sleepover time. Just in time for Autumn moonlit night here’s another paranormal game. Can Red Door Yellow Door be played alone? You bet but be wary.
It’s that time of year again. Fall is just around the corner, school is back in session, and everyone is searching for the next creepy mind game to play. Luckily, the geeks over on Reddit have whole subs devoted to the kind of mind trickery horror hounds like us yearn for. If you are curious, ThreeKings is the best. Bloody Mary may still be queen in the bathroom, but now there are lucid dreaming games, hypnotizing strategies, and meditations designed to unlock and expand your mind. Be careful what you are doing though, because some doors should remain closed. For those looking for something more adventurous, there is Red Door Yellow Door.
The Red Door, Yellow Door game, or The Doors Of The Mind game is just one in the long list of semi-supernatural games you can play. The origin of Red Door Yellow Door is murky, but it is mentioned as early as 1996 in anecdotal comments from the early web days. Sometimes called Black Door White Door, this game typically is played with a guide, a subject, and a few witnesses. The witnesses aren’t necessary, but the more, the merrier.
The basic game rules are as follows:
- The guide sits on the floor with the subject’s head resting in their lap.
- The subject lays prone with their arms raised toward the ceiling.
- The guide massages the subject temples and chants “Red Door Yellow Door, any other color door” until the subject is in a trance, and their arms fall to the ground.
- The witnesses must remain silent, and only the guide and the subject speak throughout.
- Once entranced, the guide asks a series of questions about the room or rooms the subject finds themselves in.
All of this is pretty harmless until you read the disclaimers. The list is alarming and fairly lengthy.
- It is generally better to go up rather than down stairs if given a chance.
- You should immediately leave any room with clocks as they will trap you.
- Room or people with dark clothing are probably not good. Any place or clothing in lighter colors is generally good.
- If you find yourself trapped anyplace, force yourself to wake up or risk being stuck forever.
- If you die in this place, you die for real.
- If you find people in rooms, avoid them. Even if they are wearing lighter colors, they may be evil and try to deceive you.
- If you encounter an old woman, leave. She may look like an old crone or a monster. Some have described her as decayed and others similar to MOMO. Don’t wait around to see what form she takes. Just leave.
- Concrete rooms with holes are water rooms, and they will drown you. Get out!
- If the guide can’t wake up the subject, they should do whatever necessary to wake them up ASAP!
- If you encounter a man in a suit, RUN!
The point of the game is to explore your mind. All the parts of ourselves, good and bad, we keep locked away. Basically, you come face to face with your own worst enemy. A word of warning, do not play if you have any mental illness. You won’t like what your mind shows you.
If you choose to play this game yourself, and I don’t recommend it, you will need a few things:
- A timer with an alarm. Anything from a phone, Amazon Alexa, or an old fashioned egg timer will do. It just needs to be able to be set for a specific amount of time, be loud enough to wake you, and not stop going off until you turn it off.
- A pre-recorded amount of chanting to get you into a trance and into the right headspace, followed by a set of questions you want to ask yourself.
- A safe, relaxing place to lie down.
- A predetermined check-in with a trusted friend.
- A small personal totem only, you know. Hold the item in your hand during the game. DO NOT LET GO! It must be something like a set of dice, a spinning top, or a coin. Upon awakening, immediately roll, or flip, or spin the item to ensure it is familiar. If anything feels off, assume you are still in a trance. Call this the Inception protocol.
Make sure you have played with a guide before attempting this on your own. Know what kinds of questions to ask yourself and what to look for. You need to know what it feels like to go into that meditative space as well. Some people can’t go there, so you wouldn’t want to waste your time trying if you are one of them. It’s probably a good idea to let someone know what you are doing. If they haven’t heard from you within a specific timeframe, arrange to have them check on you.
Is Red Door Yellow Door real?
As with anything, some folks swear they had the scariest experience of their life and others who insist it is all bogus. There are reports of players not waking up right away. Some people claim the subjects became depressed and terrified following the experience and have never recovered. Others report their friend doesn’t seem the same after playing the game. Increased anxiety, paranoia, and depression are expected results.
Red Door Yellow Door is a simple meditative practice intended to scare participants. It started as a way to explore the deepest recesses of our minds supposedly, but no mental health professional in the world would suggest this as a learning or healing tool. Play the game but watch out. By priming the subject with the rules, you have already prepared them to find something scary. Tell them to avoid old women and men in suits, and they will find them. Just in case I’m wrong, make sure you fully wake up. No one wants to be locked in a nightmare or, worse yet, have something follow you out.
As the Managing Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre entertainment. I grew up with old-school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. My work can be found here and Travel Weird, where I am the Editor in Chief.