Five horror games to play this Halloween night

It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking in your console. Many things, in fact, but here are some of the top scarers, from eldritch Victoriana to teen slasher horror and the video game equivalent of black metal

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow

Folk horror meets point-and-click adventure in this richly atmospheric narrative yomp over the desolate moors of Victorian England. Thomasina Bateman is an archeologist and woman of science, summoned to excavate an ancient mound near a remote rural village – and terrible forces are brought forth. With its engaging protagonist, brooding yokels and atmospheric locations, it’s like taking part in a chilling BBC costume drama starring Suranne Jones and Sean Harris.

The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow. Photograph: Wadjet Eye Games

• PC/Mac

The Quarry

The latest supernatural adventure from the makers of the acclaimed Until Dawn boasts a classic slasher flick set-up: a group of teens arrive for summer camp at the remote Hackett’s Quarry, and of course all hell breaks loose. It’s your job to keep as many of those hapless adolescents alive as possible as they’re attacked by demonic beasts and vicious locals, and every time you play, your choices create a new story. A brilliant horror game to experience with friends – and lots of popcorn.

• PC, PS4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X


Scorn video game, screenshot
Scorn video game. Photograph: Kepler Interactive

Here’s a science fiction horror game for those who like the idea of being let loose inside the mind of HR Giger. The protagonist is an unnamed human lost in a bio-mechanical alien landscape filled with throbbing egg chambers and horrific scuttling creatures. There are puzzles and fights to engage with as you try to make sense of this gloopy hellhole, but really Scorn is all about the aesthetics of visceral disgust. The video game equivalent of a Scandinavian black metal album.

• PC, Xbox Series S/X


Saturnalia. Photograph: Santa Ragione

It’s the late 1980s and you’re a pregnant woman travelling to a small Sardinian village to tell your lover he’s about to become a father. But when you arrive, you slip into a bizarre neon horror world of hidden mysteries and dreamlike visions amid the ancient claustrophobic streets. An Argento-esque giallo experience crammed with portent and folkloric mystery, Saturnalia is the perfect autumnal horror.

• Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X


A love letter to the classic era of survival horror adventures such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill, Signalis is a tense sci-fi chiller, in which a lone android wakes up on a seemingly abandoned spacecraft, knowing little about her whereabouts, but slowly uncovering dark, terrible secrets. There are puzzles, there is strict resource management and there are robotic zombies traipsing the dark corridors. The tense action is enhanced by stylish visuals and a brilliant soundtrack.

• Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X

Also recommended…

If you’re a fan of online games, Dead Before Daylight, Evil Dead and Phasmophobia are all excellent co-op horror titles to play with friends. Scaredy-cat multiplayer gamers could instead opt for the spooky but loveable Luigi’s Mansion 3.


Keith Stuart

The GuardianTramp

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