It seems like in this day and age, scary sleepover games may be a thing of the past. And that just isn’t true. Kids and teenagers are fascinated with scary things. It’s when the love of the supernatural begins. Games like The Midnight Man have sprung up as modern day urban legends. For good reason. Kids and even adults like to push their boundaries. That isn’t a bad thing.

The Midnight Man game started to make the rounds of internet forums such as 4chan around the early 2010s. There was talk of it having some kind of pagan origin, but like many creepypastas, specific origins are hard to determine. It is likely there isn’t anything particular or “official” that people can turn to. Personally the fact that Stephen King featured a similar Midnight Man in his book Gerald’s Game back in 1992 makes me think that at least the spread is likely linked to his book.

And like any urban legend (or it’s modern equivalent, the creepypasta), the story of the Midnight Man and the game spread like crazy. Below you can find the rules and more information if you want to try it yourself.

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midnight man game rules

Midnight Man Game Rules

Preparing for the Midnight Man Game

Get everyone ready so that when you start doing the specific ritual, you complete it at exactly midnight. Exactly 12:00 PM. So plan accordingly. As for what you will need, make sure to get: a candle and some way to light it, paper and pencil, salt, and a closet with a wooden door.

1 – Write

Write down your name on a piece of paper. First, middle, and last name. Then put a drop of your blood on the same paper. Let the blood soak in to the paper.

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2 – Light

Then turn off the lights. All of them. Go to the wooden door and put the piece of paper with your name in front of it. Then light the candle and put it in on top of the piece of paper.

3 – Knock

Then knock on the wood door exactly 22 times. The time has to be exactly midnight, 12PM, when you make the final knock. When you are done, open the door, blow out the candle, and then close the door again. Apparently, that final action just let the Midnight Man enter your house.

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4 – Roam

Now the fun begins. This is when you roam your house, carrying the relit candle. The purpose is to avoid the Midnight Man until 3:33AM. If your candle goes out, you need to light it again within 10 seconds. (Or of course, the Midnight Man may get you.) If you are NOT able to light the candle quickly enough, that is what the salt is for. You’re supposed to surround yourself with a circle of salt. If you aren’t able to do this in time, you can see the consequences below. If you are about to put the ring of salt around you, you now have to stay inside THERE until 3:33AM. To “win” the Midnight Man game is to last until 3:33AM with a lit candle. And to survive is to at least stay in the salt circle and avoid provoking the Midnight Man.

Other indications that you are in the presence of the Midnight Man while playing are a sudden drop in temperature, soft whispering, or if you see a pure black figure standing in the darkness.

What Happens If You Provoke the Midnight Man?

According to the urban legend, if you (1) do the ritual correctly and let the Midnight Man in your house, but (2) are unsuccessful in the above procedures, then you allow the Midnight Man to do what he does. What does he do? He creates a hallucination of your worst fear… oh and then apparently he rips out your organs. You will be able to feel it, the organs being torn out one by one, but you can’t react or get away, since no doubt he is both supernatural and unavoidable.

So. Is the midnight man game real? Ultimately I find this to be a more complex (and one might say more interesting) version of Bloody Mary or Candyman or other similar scary sleepover games. Pretty doubtful the Midnight Man is going to show up (that’s a good thing). But it is pretty spooky just going through the Midnight Man game to frighten your friends.

Photo by Vojtech Okenka from Pexels

Last Updated on July 21, 2022.

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