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Scary Games Your Mother Never Warned You About by Catherine Cavendish


Many of us – especially horror fans – enjoy a good scare.

It’s all healthy fun, isn’t it?

Well, it can be but… as my characters discover in Garden of Bewitchment, some games or toys are best left well alone. We’ve all heard of the infamous Ouija board but here are three games to try out that you may never have heard of, or perhaps they are variations of ones you have played when fuelled by slightly more wine than is good for you. These three can all be played by yourself – in fact you must be alone for the last one.

Ready? Then let’s begin with…Bloody Mary

You’ve probably seen this one in a film or two and it’s one you can play alone – if you dare. Simply go into your bathroom, lights off and door closed, but with one lit candle. Face the mirror and say ‘Bloody Mary’ (inject some Karloff-like atmosphere into it). Repeat twice more. Now stare hard into the mirror. You’ll see her standing behind you…or…she will scratch you…or…she will drag you into the mirror and trap you there forever.

On second thoughts, probably best to have someone with you. They can help pull you out.

Baby Blue


Another one you can play alone. If you’re successful with this one, a baby will manifest right there in your arms. It’s just… well, you remember Rosemary’s Baby, right?

Here’s how it goes: Off you go into the bathroom (strange how many of these games work best in the bathroom isn’t it? Maybe it’s the condensation). Lights off and door closed again. No candle this time though. You should be in pitch darkness. Look into the dark mirror and cradle your arms as if you were nursing a baby. Say ‘Baby blue, baby blue’ a total of 13 times and you will then feel the weight of a baby in your arms. Once that happens, you need to flush the creature down the toilet. Act fast before a woman manifests herself in the mirror and screams at you to give her baby back. Fail to deposit that unholy devil child and its mother will scratch you.

Elevator Game to Otherworld

For this one, you need a fairly tall building (at least 10 floors, or 9 if you are in the UK) and an elevator. You also, if reports are to be believed, need nerves of steel and a strong constitution as the results can be dramatic and long lasting. Essentially, this game is said to open up a portal to the other world. There are a number of stages, so let’s get going.

  1. Get into the elevator on the first floor (or ground floor if you are in the UK. From now on, in the interests of simplicity I shall use the American method of counting floors. My British readers merely need to deduct one floor from each measurement!) You must be by yourself. If anyone else gets in, you’ll have to start again. Press the button for Floor 4.
  2. When the elevator reaches the fourth floor, don’t get out. Press the button for Floor 2.
  3. Don’t get out when the elevator reaches Floor 2. Press the button for Floor 6.
  4. Once again, when the elevator arrives at the sixth floor, stay inside and press the button for Floor 2.
  5. Don’t get out at Floor 2. Press the button for Floor 10. There have been reports that, on arriving at the second floor at this stage, people have heard voices calling them. Whatever you do, don’t reply or make any kind of response.
  6. At the tenth floor, stay inside the elevator and press the button for Floor 5.
  7. There have been reports that a woman may enter the elevator at Floor 5 and she may try to engage you in conversation, even though you know you have never met before. It could be a mere pleasantry. It will seem perfectly innocent. It isn’t. Don’t respond or in any way acknowledge her presence or remarks. Stare at the floor, the ceiling, the lift buttons, anything but her.
  8. Press the button for the first floor. At this point, the elevator will either do what you request – in which case, get out at the first floor, and leave the building. On no account look back. You were not meant to visit Otherworld today. If, however, the elevator ignores your command and takes you up to the 10th floor, you may choose to get out. If you are presently sharing the elevator with a woman who entered on the fifth floor, she will probably ask you where you are going. Again, ignore her. Do not respond by word or gesture, or she will probably accompany you and you will have the devil’s own task of getting rid of her. In fact, it is highly likely that she will take possession of you.
  9. You will know you have arrived at Otherworld if the only person in it is you.
  10. When you decide to return, you must use the same elevator. Once inside, press the button for Floor 4 and then repeat steps 3-7.
  11. Once you arrive once again at Floor 5, press the button for Floor 1. The elevator will begin to ascend to Floor 10. Press a button for any other floor and do it quickly – before the elevator reaches the tenth. Provided you do this, you will cancel the ascent and you can press Floor 1 again and descend safely.
  12. Once you arrive at Floor 1, have a good look around before you get out. If anything seems wrong, repeat steps 10 and 11 and keep on until all is normal on Floor 1. You will then know you have returned to your own world.

You can see this is not a game for the faint-hearted. In fact, it is my belief you would have to be pretty crazy to attempt it. Before you do, read this account of what happened when the instructions weren’t full adhered to. If this doesn’t put you off, nothing will, so good luck and I’ll hope to see you on the other side.


Don’t play the game.


In 1893, Evelyn and Claire leave their home in a Yorkshire town for life in a rural retreat on their beloved moors. But when a strange toy garden mysteriously appears, a chain of increasingly terrifying events is unleashed. Neighbour Matthew Dixon befriends Evelyn, but seems to have more than one secret to hide. Then the horror really begins. The Garden of Bewitchment is all too real and something is threatening the lives and sanity of the women. Evelyn no longer knows who – or what – to believe. And time is running out.



Flame Tree Press

Barnes and Noble

About the Author

Cat first started writing when someone thrust a pencil into her hand. Unfortunately as she could neither read nor write properly at the time, none of her stories actually made much sense. However as she grew up, they gradually began to take form and, at the tender age of nine or ten, she sold her dolls’ house, and various other toys to buy her first typewriter – an Empire Smith Corona. She hasn’t stopped bashing away at the keys ever since, although her keyboard of choice now belongs to her laptop.


The need to earn a living led to a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance but Cat is now the full-time author of a number of supernatural, ghostly, haunted house and Gothic horror novels and novellas, including The Haunting of Henderson Close, the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients, Damned by the Ancients – The Devil’s Serenade, Dark Avenging Angel, The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine and Linden Manor. Her short stories have appeared in the anthologies Haunted Are These Houses and Midnight in the Graveyard.


She lives in Southport with her longsuffering husband and black cat (who remembers that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt and sees no reason why that practice should not continue).


When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys rambling around stately homes, circles of standing stones and travelling to favourite haunts such as Vienna and Orkney.


Catherine Cavendish