History Main / GasLighting

25th Feb '17 7:16:23 PM Nohbody
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* Interestingly enough, due to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_blindness change blindness]], it's been proven that you can make huge changes in an environment without the viewer even noticing, so some forms of gaslighting may actually work in real life. Hence, the method of choice is to make a large number of small changes, like which drawer a pen is in or which jacket pocket their wallet is in. Most will be ignored or missed but a few will get noticed and sub-consciously the victim will get uneasy, possibly without knowing why. From there, once the person already has doubts, you escalate to the larger stuff.
** One of Derren Brown's shows used this technique on an unknowing subject. See the Live Action TV section.
* With [[http://www.holosonics.com/?g&gclid=CJGWy5vLiJ0CFSWlagodFgjNaQ Holosonic]] technology, you can use a hidden transmitter to make someone ''[[ParanoiaFuel hear voices directly inside their skull]]''. That no one else can hear. Isn't science grand?



** This can happen with internet ads or autoplay audio/video in general, especially advertisements that aren't obviously ads at first. The ad just needs to be on a part of the page that hasn't been scrolled down to yet (autoplay ads have this effect on TVTropes itself, especially if you have many tabs open or are browsing on a mobile device) or be a popunder ad, which are loathed almost everywhere ''because'' of this reason and the effect they have on users of shutting down ''everything'' just to find the damn ad and turn it off.
*** Thankfully becoming an aversion: newer browsers include a speaker symbol on tabs that are playing audio.



* Sometimes professional burglars use it to mislead the victim: trigger the alarm many times for no apparent reason, until the victim turns it off, move things in the back yard until the victim is confused enough and does no longer remember where they had been, annoy [[AngryGuardDog the guard dogs]] until the victim is too accustomed to their barking and then send someone who is ''friendly'' to the dog, [[CryingWolf so it won't bark]].
* This is, unfortunately, one of the favored techniques of domestic abusers: they'll make the changes to make their victim unsure of themselves in order to get them to depend on the abuser ("They'll look after me, I can't even keep where I keep my keys straight...") and go from there.
** The list of abusive cult tactics below also applies to this too. Herd mentality/damaging someone's self concept, love bombing, felony misdemeanor, cutting off outside contact, taking away agency, time investment, denying goals and issues, energy vampirism and so much more all gaslighted away.
* Gaslighting is a favored tactic of some arguably abusive high-demand coercive religious groups, cults and why many survivors of such groups have complex PTSD or PTSD.



* This can happen non-maliciously (or [[{{Griefing}} perhaps maliciously]]) when editing a collaborative document like in Google Docs or ThisVeryWiki. You could write the outline of a paragraph at the top of the page, work on a different part of the document, and then come back to find the paragraph fleshed out by someone else, or even deleted without a trace.



* [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial Totally not what your housekeeper or cleaner does when they're bored...]]
** Sometimes actually a subversion - if things ''aren't'' moved a bit during cleaning, some clients will think that no cleaning has been done. [[Catch22Dilemma But how much movement is enough?]]
* Using this as a way to make women lose confidence is a tactic used by some members of the Pick-up Community.
25th Feb '17 8:16:33 AM Euodiachloris
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* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Roose Bolton doesn't let not knowing what a gaslight is stop him from using this trope. What he does to Jaime and Brienne over dinner in Harrenhal has ''very'' strong shades of it, for all it was just over one meal. The selection of an ill-fitting, horrible dress for Brienne, who is well aware that she's not considered attractive, the hard-to-cut food, the top-heavy goblet, and the cutlery provided for Jaime [[spoiler:who recently lost his dominant hand]]? Not an accident. And, all tailored to hit both of their egos in some ''very'' tender places, make them uneasy... and [[{{Troll}} just to]] [[ItAmusedMe amuse him]]. The thought of staying with him for a month when he's got no particular reason to be good to you should, [[OhCrap rightly]], [[SoftSpokenSadist make your skin crawl]].

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* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Roose Bolton doesn't let not knowing what a gaslight is stop him from using this trope. What he does to Jaime and Brienne over dinner in Harrenhal has ''very'' strong shades of it, for all it was just over one meal. The selection of an ill-fitting, horrible dress for Brienne, who Brienne (who is well aware that she's not considered attractive, attractive), the hard-to-cut food, the top-heavy goblet, and the cutlery provided for Jaime [[spoiler:who [[spoiler:(who recently lost his dominant hand]]? hand)]]? Not an accident. And, all tailored to hit both of their egos in some ''very'' tender places, make them uneasy... and [[{{Troll}} just to]] [[ItAmusedMe amuse him]]. The thought of staying with him for a month when he's got no particular reason to be good to you should, [[OhCrap rightly]], [[SoftSpokenSadist make your skin crawl]].crawl]].
** Tywin Lannister has spent pretty much all of Tyrion's life trying to convey how much of a useless disappointment he (and society at large) finds his son to be. And, Tyrion has internalized a lot of the less-than-subtle digs (from assigning him to dangerous, demeaning or both positions to [[spoiler: the very horrible "[[PrankDate prank]]" pulled on both Tyrion and his actual ''daughter-in-law'', Tysha]]), being utterly convinced that people will only ever follow him for money.
19th Feb '17 12:46:36 PM elemt
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* ''TabletopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'' has the Mesmerist archetype called the Gaslighter. Its favored trick is making people perceive their own reflection as somehow corrupted, and can cause fear, hallucinations, and [[SanityMeter sanity damage]]. Unlike most effects of this nature, for which the culprit tends to be fairly obvious once the effect has expired (it was that guy who was pointing at me saying magic words right before), due to the nature of their hypnotic stare and psychic magic, they can do this without the victim being aware they're doing any of it. You have to be evil to take it.

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* ''TabletopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has the Mesmerist archetype called the Gaslighter. Its favored trick is making people perceive their own reflection as somehow corrupted, and can cause fear, hallucinations, and [[SanityMeter sanity damage]]. Unlike most effects of this nature, for which the culprit tends to be fairly obvious once the effect has expired (it was that guy who was pointing at me saying magic words right before), due to the nature of their hypnotic stare and psychic magic, they can do this without the victim being aware they're doing any of it. You have to be evil to take it.
19th Feb '17 12:44:44 PM elemt
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* In ''Series/CrazyExGirlfriend'' Rebecca's isn't trying to drive Josh crazy, but she uses every trick she can to convince him they should be together, sometimes straying into this. The most obvious attempt is when at the end of the first season they get together and she confesses she moved to West Covina for him and "our love story can finally begin" - then at the beginning of the second she realizes this creeps him out, feigns confusion, denies she ever said it, claims he's the one who did, and pretends his fixation on her is weird until he apologizes and she graciously forgives him.


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* ''TabletopGames/{{Pathfinder}}'' has the Mesmerist archetype called the Gaslighter. Its favored trick is making people perceive their own reflection as somehow corrupted, and can cause fear, hallucinations, and [[SanityMeter sanity damage]]. Unlike most effects of this nature, for which the culprit tends to be fairly obvious once the effect has expired (it was that guy who was pointing at me saying magic words right before), due to the nature of their hypnotic stare and psychic magic, they can do this without the victim being aware they're doing any of it. You have to be evil to take it.
10th Feb '17 11:26:43 AM GeniusInTheLamp
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* The Series/DepartmentS episode "The Ghost of Mary Burnham" has an unassuming economist being driven insane to prevent him from [[spoiler:being appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund]].

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* The Series/DepartmentS ''Series/DepartmentS'' episode "The Ghost of Mary Burnham" has an unassuming economist being driven insane to prevent him from [[spoiler:being appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund]].
10th Feb '17 11:24:49 AM GeniusInTheLamp
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* The Series/DepartmentS episode "The Ghost of Mary Burnham" has an unassuming economist being driven insane to prevent him from [[spoiler:being appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund]].
31st Jan '17 8:43:57 PM ImpudentInfidel
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* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': "[[Recap/FarscapeS02E15WontGetFooledAgain Won't Be Fooled Again]]", where Crichton recognizes it beforehand. "Somebody is gaslighting me!"

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* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': "[[Recap/FarscapeS02E15WontGetFooledAgain Won't Be Get Fooled Again]]", where Crichton recognizes it beforehand. "Somebody is gaslighting me!"me!" This was actually the second or third time it had been done to him (depending on if you count Maldis who made it completely blatant), although the first where riving him nuts was the actual intent.
28th Jan '17 11:57:03 PM Shaid
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* The guys at ''Creator/RoosterTeeth'' have been prone to do this to each other for kicks. Two known instances were when Burnie, Gavin and Jordan replied to Gus' [=IMs=] with quotation marks around their replies, driving Gus nuts as he was wondering how that was happening, and when Ryan rigged a buzzer inside Gavin's desk (under the computer monitor).

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* The guys at ''Creator/RoosterTeeth'' have been prone to do this to each other for kicks. Two known instances were when Burnie, Gavin and Jordan replied to Gus' [=IMs=] with [[https://youtu.be/pNp_xEw6Zpg quotation marks around their replies, replies]], driving Gus nuts as he was wondering how that was happening, and when [[https://youtu.be/T61HfHO7QLw Ryan rigged a buzzer inside Gavin's desk desk]] (under the computer monitor).
21st Jan '17 4:45:27 PM Luigifan
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** In "Star Crusaders", Jotaro pulls this on Daniel D'Arby during their poker game, using Star Platinum's faster-than-the-eye speed to change things around himself. He's not trying to drive D'Arby insane however; he's just demonstrating his speed, which makes D'Arby fear that Jotaro may have looked at their cards (Jotaro had earlier put his own cards facedown without checking them) and possibly switched them. Losing control of the game this way causes his sanity to crumble and his defeat is inevitable.
** Dio Brando later pulls a similar stunt on Polnareff by standing at the top of a staircase and challenging Polnareff to come up and fight him - only to stop time whenever he gets close to the top, set him back at the bottom of the staircase, and taunt him for his apparent cowardice once time starts moving again.

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** In "Star Crusaders", Jotaro pulls this on Daniel D'Arby during their poker game, using Star Platinum's faster-than-the-eye speed to change things around himself. He's not trying to drive D'Arby insane insane, however; he's just demonstrating his speed, which makes D'Arby fear that Jotaro may have looked at their cards (Jotaro had earlier put his own cards facedown without checking them) and possibly switched them. Losing control of the game this way causes his sanity to crumble crumble, and his defeat is inevitable.
** Dio Brando later pulls a similar stunt on Polnareff by standing at the top of a staircase and challenging Polnareff to come up and fight him - -- only to stop time whenever he gets close to the top, set him back at the bottom of the staircase, and taunt him for his apparent cowardice once time starts moving again.



* An ''Creator/ECComics'' story subverted this with a story in which a woman believes she is losing her mind after the death of her young son. It's actually a ploy by her husband to get her committed to an asylum, which is successful - [[spoiler:until the reveal that ''he's'' going to the asylum, and she played along with the doctors to lure him there. She had found out what he was doing and that he, not her, is the one who's mentally ill.]]
* The Italian [[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse Mickey Mouse]] story ''Mickey and the visionary syndrome'' (1997) features a particularly elaborate one. The story opens with Mickey, in detective mode, trying to capture a duo of industrial spies. He falls from a considerable height and suffers a concussion. For a while he is delirious. The spies are apprehended by the police and Mickey is to be the key witness in their trial. When Mickey is released from the hospital, he is still in poor health and unable to fully care for himself. Conveniently, a previously unknown CountryMouse cousin drops by for a visit and offers to move with him for a while. The cousin takes over all the housework and even volunteers to do repairs in neglected areas of Mickey's household. A few weeks later, Mickey feels fine enough to go out for a walk with the cousin. The cousin soon seems to vanish into thin air and with him all the improvements he made to Mickey's house. Mickey's family denies the existence of this mysterious cousin and no associate of Mickey remembers meeting him, only hearing Mickey mention him in phone conversations. Everyone concludes that Mickey has not recovered from his concussion and suffers from hallucinations. His allies in the police loose all faith in him, he is discredited as a trial witness, and Mickey genuinely starts doubting his own sanity. Then he notices an overlooked detail in his house and starts figuring out what happened. [[spoiler:The overlooked detail was a rope knot performed by the cousin which failed to vanish with the other improvements. He soon figures "the cousin" was a con-artist connected to the industrial spies. The entire gaslighting operation was intended to have the case against them collapse before the conclusion of their trial. During his stay, the cousin claimed shyness to avoid meeting any of Mickey's associates. He orchestrated his own disappearance, while his accomplishes were working hard to undo or improvements and repairs in Mickey's residence.]]

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* An ''Creator/ECComics'' story subverted this with a story in which a woman believes she is losing her mind after the death of her young son. It's actually a ploy by her husband to get her committed to an asylum, which is successful - -- [[spoiler:until the reveal that ''he's'' going to the asylum, and she played along with the doctors to lure him there. She had found out what he was doing and that he, not her, is the one who's mentally ill.]]
* The Italian [[ComicBook/MickeyMouseComicUniverse Mickey Mouse]] story ''Mickey and the visionary syndrome'' (1997) features a particularly elaborate one. The story opens with Mickey, in detective mode, trying to capture a duo of industrial spies. He falls from a considerable height and suffers a concussion. For a while while, he is delirious. The spies are apprehended by the police and Mickey is to be the key witness in their trial. When Mickey is released from the hospital, he is still in poor health and unable to fully care for himself. Conveniently, a previously unknown CountryMouse cousin drops by for a visit and offers to move in with him for a while. The cousin takes over all the housework and even volunteers to do repairs in neglected areas of Mickey's household. A few weeks later, Mickey feels fine enough to go out for a walk with the cousin. The cousin soon seems to vanish into thin air air, and with him him, all the improvements he made to Mickey's house. Mickey's family denies the existence of this mysterious cousin and no associate of Mickey remembers meeting him, only hearing Mickey mention him in phone conversations. Everyone concludes that Mickey has not recovered from his concussion and suffers from hallucinations. His allies in the police loose lose all faith in him, he is discredited as a trial witness, and Mickey genuinely starts doubting his own sanity. Then he notices an overlooked detail in his house and starts figuring out what happened. [[spoiler:The overlooked detail was a rope knot performed by the cousin which failed to vanish with the other improvements. He soon figures out that "the cousin" was a con-artist connected to the industrial spies. The entire gaslighting operation was intended to have the case against them collapse before the conclusion beginning of their trial. During his stay, the cousin claimed shyness to avoid meeting any of Mickey's associates. He orchestrated his own disappearance, while his accomplishes accomplices were working hard to undo or the improvements and repairs in Mickey's residence.]]



-->'''[[CreepyDoll Mr. Fuck]]''': Yes, well the rabbit provoked us.

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-->'''[[CreepyDoll Mr. Fuck]]''': Yes, well well, the rabbit provoked us.



* In one Creator/CartoonNetwork comic featuring ''WesternAnimation/ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', the Hooded Claw tries this, having decided that if he can't kill Penelope and get her fortune, he'll drive her mad and in her weakened mental state she'll sign over her fortune to his secret identity Sylvester Sneekly. It almost works, but before Penelope can have a breakdown, the Ant Hill Mob show her the Hooded Claw's carelessly discarded costume and she calms down upon realizing that the strange things happening to her were probably the Claw's doing. This in turn drives ''Sneakly'' mad, as the stress of having his plans go up in smoke again after much effort gets to him.

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* In one Creator/CartoonNetwork comic featuring ''WesternAnimation/ThePerilsOfPenelopePitstop'', the Hooded Claw tries this, having decided that if he can't kill Penelope and get her fortune, he'll drive her mad mad, and in her weakened mental state state, she'll sign over her fortune to his secret identity Sylvester Sneekly. It almost works, but before Penelope can have a breakdown, the Ant Hill Mob show her the Hooded Claw's carelessly discarded costume and she calms down upon realizing that the strange things happening to her were probably the Claw's doing. This in turn drives ''Sneakly'' mad, as the stress of having his plans go up in smoke again after much effort gets to him.



** In ''Comicbook/KryptonNoMore'', Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} is coaxed into making her cousin believe Krypton never existed for his peace of mind (long story). She pulls this off by going through Clark's home and the Fortress of Solitude, switching the Bottle City of Kandor, the Phantom Zone projector and anything could prove the existence of Krypton with dummies, and then telling her cousin Krypton was a dellusion of his.

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** In ''Comicbook/KryptonNoMore'', Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} is coaxed into making her cousin believe Krypton never existed for his peace of mind (long story). She pulls this off by going through Clark's home and the Fortress of Solitude, switching the Bottle City of Kandor, the Phantom Zone projector projector, and anything that could prove the existence of Krypton with dummies, and then telling her cousin Krypton was a dellusion of his.



* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' fanfic ''FanFic/QueenOfTheSwarm'', Aisha occasionally used her "Forget about me" powers and her trickster disposition during a gang war to do this to enemy gangs' members':

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* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' fanfic ''FanFic/QueenOfTheSwarm'', Aisha occasionally used her "Forget about me" powers and her trickster disposition during a gang war to do this to enemy gangs' members':members:



* ''Film/{{Gaslight}}'' is probably the modern TropeMaker and is certainly the TropeNamer. In that film, a man marries a woman [[spoiler: so he can get into the loft her aunt willed her and get at her treasure. To get her out of the loft,]] he starts a plan to make her think she's gone insane so that he can commit her to an asylum. The name comes from the part where he makes the gaslights in the house flicker and then denies it's happening.
* ''Film/MaxKeeblesBigMove'': The titular character is the king of the gaslighters. Especially with Troy [=McGinty=]

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* ''Film/{{Gaslight}}'' is probably the modern TropeMaker and is certainly the TropeNamer. In that film, a man marries a woman [[spoiler: so [[spoiler:so he can get into the loft her aunt willed her and get at her treasure. To get her out of the loft,]] he starts a plan to make her think she's gone insane so that he can commit her to an asylum. The name comes from the part where he makes the gaslights in the house flicker and then denies it's happening.
* ''Film/MaxKeeblesBigMove'': The titular character is the king of the gaslighters. Especially with Troy [=McGinty=][=McGinty=].



* In ''Film/TheShining'', the hotel sets are deliberately constructed to be geometrically and architecturally impossible. It's too subtle to notice unless you are REALLY paying attention to the sets, but rather cleverly inflicts unease in the audience.

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* In ''Film/TheShining'', the hotel sets are deliberately constructed to be geometrically and architecturally impossible. It's too subtle to notice unless you are REALLY ''really'' paying attention to the sets, but rather cleverly inflicts unease in the audience.



* A favorite plot device of Creator/WilliamCastle, who was influenced by the aforementioned ''Film/LesDiaboliques.'' Visible in ''Macabre''(on a male victim, fairly unusually), ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1959,'' ''Film/TheTingler,'' and ''The Night Walker'' at the very least.
* LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek ''In The Dark'' has this being done to a woman who has recently been blinded in an accident, the culprit being her volunteer aid, who is also her StalkerWithACrush. The purpose is make her feel helpless and thus more dependent on him - thus he'll do things like move an end table just enough that she'll trip over it the next time she enters a room, or take a vase from her house and hide it in plain sight, then buy her flowers and "find" the vase for her, pretending it was there the whole time and she missed it while feeling around the shelf.
* The 1961 film "The Pit and the Pendulum" has a man believe he accidentally buried his late wife alive. It turns out [[spoiler: his wife was never dead and is conspiring with the man's best friend, who was also the doctor who declared her dead, to drive the man insane so they can continue an affair they are having. They succeed, but soon find [[GoneHorriblyRight they have driven him too insane]], and are quickly on the receiving end of LaserGuidedKarma.]]
* Both Film/{{Vabank}} and its sequel base their delightful [[MindScrew mind-screwyness]] on Kwinto's crew gaslighting Kramer (in the first movie, to give him a "perfect" [[{{Frameup}} alibi]], in the second to drive him right into the hands of [[ByTheBookCop Przygoda]]) in very elaborate ways.

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* A favorite plot device of Creator/WilliamCastle, who was influenced by the aforementioned ''Film/LesDiaboliques.'' Visible in ''Macabre''(on ''Macabre'' (on a male victim, fairly unusually), ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1959,'' ''Film/TheTingler,'' and ''The Night Walker'' at the very least.
* LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek ''In The Dark'' has this being done to a woman who has recently been blinded in an accident, the culprit being her volunteer aid, who is also her StalkerWithACrush. The purpose is to make her feel helpless and thus more dependent on him - -- thus he'll do things like move an end table just enough that she'll trip over it the next time she enters a room, or take a vase from her house and hide it in plain sight, then buy her flowers and "find" the vase for her, pretending it was there the whole time and she missed it while feeling around the shelf.
* The 1961 film "The Pit and the Pendulum" has a man believe he accidentally buried his late wife alive. It turns out [[spoiler: his [[spoiler:his wife was never dead and is conspiring with the man's best friend, who was also the doctor who declared her dead, to drive the man insane so they can continue an affair they are having. They succeed, but soon find [[GoneHorriblyRight they have driven him too him]] ''[[InsaneEqualsViolent too]]'' [[AxCrazy insane]], and are quickly on the receiving end of LaserGuidedKarma.]]
* Both Film/{{Vabank}} and its sequel base their delightful [[MindScrew mind-screwyness]] on Kwinto's crew gaslighting Kramer (in the first movie, to give him a "perfect" [[{{Frameup}} alibi]], alibi]]: in the second second, to drive him right into the hands of [[ByTheBookCop Przygoda]]) in very elaborate ways.



** Also, in one of her short stories part of the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Labors of Hercules]] cycle, the Cretan Bull, HerculePoirot investigates the apparent mental breakdown of the almost-wedded son of a navy officer. [[spoiler:Turns out that the officer, whose madness runs in the family, was trying to drive the young man insane (helped by an interesting use of a drug- probably thanks to Christie's background as a pharmacist- spiking his shaving lotion with belladonna eyedrops, which soothe the eyes but are poisonous and psychoactive if ingested), in order to get revenge on the family friend who had an affair with his wife and is in fact the guy's real father. He wants to convince him that he's AxeCrazy and murderous, to drive him to suicide. Since he isn't the Admiral's son, he doesn't have his madness, and everything [[HappyEnding ends all right.]] ([[MoodWhiplash Though interestingly]], [[ThereAreNoTherapists the officer himself]] [[DrivenToSuicide doesn't survive all of this]].)]]
* According to the Creator/TomClancy novel ''[[Literature/JackRyan The Cardinal of the Kremlin]]'', this is a technique sometimes used by the KGB to break down prisoners. Particularly messing with their perception of time, by putting them in a windowless cell and moving their mealtimes around so feel like they're suffering from time-dilation or compression, but also sometimes more... unusual methods are taken into use. Like having somebody dress up like the prisoner's long-dead war-buddy and pop up in the middle of an interview, with the interviewer not 'seeing' him...
** And this is their ''soft'' torture. When they capture a Western spy who is young enough for them to properly torture, the place her in a sensory-deprivation tank for hours. She ends up thinking she's died and gone to Hell.
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheTwits'' was all about this - the titular dysfunctional couple do it to each other to begin with (for example, adding a small segment to the bottom of a walking stick every day to make the wife think she's shrinking), and have it spectacularly turned on them at the end ([[spoiler:they're tricked into gluing themselves to the floor, and end up shrinking down into nothing in their efforts to get themselves unstuck]]).

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** Also, in one of her short stories that were part of the [[Myth/ClassicalMythology Labors of Hercules]] cycle, the Cretan Bull, HerculePoirot investigates the apparent mental breakdown of the almost-wedded son of a navy officer. [[spoiler:Turns out that the officer, whose madness runs in the family, was trying to drive the young man insane (helped by an interesting use of a drug- drug -- [[WriteWhatYouKnow probably thanks to Christie's background as a pharmacist- pharmacist]] -- spiking his shaving lotion with belladonna eyedrops, which soothe the eyes but are poisonous and psychoactive if ingested), in order to get revenge on the family friend who had an affair with his wife and is in fact the guy's real father. He wants to convince him that he's AxeCrazy and murderous, to [[DrivenToSuicide drive him to suicide. suicide]]. Since he isn't the Admiral's son, he doesn't have his madness, and everything [[HappyEnding ends all right.]] right]]. ([[MoodWhiplash Though Though]] [[LaserGuidedKarma interestingly]], [[ThereAreNoTherapists the officer himself]] [[DrivenToSuicide doesn't survive all of this]].)]]
* According to the Creator/TomClancy novel ''[[Literature/JackRyan The Cardinal of the Kremlin]]'', this is a technique sometimes used by the KGB to break down prisoners. Particularly messing with their perception of time, by putting them in a windowless cell and moving their mealtimes around so they feel like they're suffering from time-dilation or compression, but also sometimes more... unusual methods are taken into use. Like having somebody dress up like the prisoner's long-dead war-buddy and pop up in the middle of an interview, with the interviewer not 'seeing' him...
** And this is their ''soft'' torture. When they capture a Western spy who is young enough for them to properly torture, the they place her in a sensory-deprivation tank for hours. She ends up thinking she's died and gone to Hell.
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/TheTwits'' was all about this - -- the titular dysfunctional couple [[EscalatingPrankWar do it to each other to begin with with]] (for example, adding a small segment to the bottom of a walking stick every day to make the wife think she's shrinking), and have it spectacularly turned on them at the end ([[spoiler:they're tricked into gluing themselves to the floor, and end up shrinking down into nothing in their efforts to get themselves unstuck]]).



* A ''Radio/TheVinylCafe'' short story recounts how a Chinese restaurant owner using this managed to get a bigoted regular customer to slowly feel more and more subconsciously uncomfortable and to stop coming there on his own. Over the course of a year, he slowly increased the portions that the customer received a spoonful at a time, shortened his chair with a file, and changed a painting that he liked to look at while he ate a brushstroke at a time (it used to be a summer scene, and it was turned to a winter scene by the end).

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* A ''Radio/TheVinylCafe'' short story recounts how a Chinese restaurant owner using this managed to get [[AssholeVictim a bigoted regular customer customer]] to slowly feel more and more subconsciously uncomfortable and to stop coming there on his own. Over the course of a year, he slowly increased the portions that the customer received a spoonful at a time, shortened his chair with a file, and changed a painting that he liked to look at while he ate a brushstroke at a time (it used to be a summer scene, and it was turned to a winter scene by the end).



** ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', Acting Captain Colon becomes convinced the rest of the Watch is doing this to him -- specifically, stealing the sugar lumps -- to try to drive him mad. [[spoiler:They're not. Colon's really bad at counting, and it doesn't help that he starts eating them while he's trying to count them.]]
** In Discworld/GoingPostal, this is the point of Lord Vetinari sending Clerk Brian, something of a HighlyVisibleNinja, to spy on a banker. Rather than get actual information, Vetinari wants to make the banker nervous. He (Brian, not Vetinari) rearranges some of the banker's stuff.

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** In ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', Acting Captain Colon becomes convinced that the rest of the Watch is doing this to him -- specifically, stealing the sugar lumps -- to try to drive him mad. [[spoiler:They're not. Colon's really bad at counting, and it doesn't help that he starts eating them while he's trying to count them.]]
** In Discworld/GoingPostal, ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', this is the point of Lord Vetinari sending Clerk Brian, something of a HighlyVisibleNinja, to spy on a banker. Rather than get actual information, Vetinari wants to make the banker nervous. He (Brian, not Vetinari) rearranges some of the banker's stuff.



* This is part of a sub-plot in ''Literature/TheFearIndex'' where [[spoiler: the computer program VIXAL-4]] has been using his bank accounts to buy things, using his e-mail to contact people, even [[spoiler: hacking into his doctors notes and using little bits of that to get a guy to break into his house and murder him.]]
* In the children's book ''The Night It Rained Pancakes (adapted from a Russian folktale)'', a Russian peasant does this to his impressionable brother ''not'' to make his brother question his sanity, but to make their feudal lord question the brother's sanity so he won't believe the brother's claims that gold was discovered on their land.
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'' Tom insists they do this as part of his infamous and unnecessarily convoluted scheme to rescue Jim the "proper" way. He and Huck hide spoons while Aunt Sally counts them, and then replace them when she tries to re-count, as well as sending mysterious threatening messages.
* A textbook example occurs in a YA novel by Steven Oftinoski that reads in some ways like an homage to ''Film/TheScreamingSkull'', right down to its name--''The Shrieking Skull''. A reclusive widow is being tormented with visions of a skull and recorded screams to make her think she's being haunted by the ghost of her long-dead [[OffWithHisHead decapitated]] lover. This is so that she can be declared insane and put in a mental hospital, thus paving the way for the sale of her old mansion to a greedy developer, a sale that will make the gaslighter rich. [[spoiler:It's her seemingly kindly doctor.]] The plot is only exposed when the KidDetective starts investigating and the gaslighter, afraid they will be discovered, tries to scare him away with the skull, thus proving it isn't all in her head.

to:

* This is part of a sub-plot in ''Literature/TheFearIndex'' where [[spoiler: the [[spoiler:the computer program VIXAL-4]] has been using his bank accounts to buy things, using his e-mail to contact people, even [[spoiler: hacking [[spoiler:hacking into his doctors doctor's notes and using little bits of that to get a guy to break into his house and murder him.]]
* In the children's book ''The Night It Rained Pancakes Pancakes'' (adapted from a Russian folktale)'', folktale), a Russian peasant does this to his impressionable brother ''not'' to make his brother question his sanity, but to make their feudal lord question the brother's sanity so he won't believe the brother's claims that gold was discovered on their land.
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'' ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfHuckleberryFinn'', Tom insists they do this as part of his infamous and [[ComplexityAddiction unnecessarily convoluted convoluted]] scheme to rescue Jim the "proper" way. He and Huck hide spoons while Aunt Sally counts them, and then replace them when she tries to re-count, as well as sending mysterious threatening messages.
* A textbook example occurs in a YA novel by Steven Oftinoski that reads in some ways like an homage to ''Film/TheScreamingSkull'', right down to its name--''The name -- ''The Shrieking Skull''. A reclusive widow is being tormented with visions of a skull and recorded screams to make her think she's being haunted by the ghost of her long-dead [[OffWithHisHead decapitated]] lover. This is so that she can be declared insane and put in a mental hospital, thus paving the way for the sale of her old mansion to a greedy developer, a sale that will make the gaslighter rich. [[spoiler:It's her seemingly kindly doctor.]] The plot is only exposed when the KidDetective starts investigating and the gaslighter, afraid they will be discovered, tries to scare him away with the skull, thus proving it isn't all in her head.



* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Roose Bolton doesn't let not knowing what a gaslight is stop him using this trope. What he does to Jaime and Brienne over dinner in Harrenhal has ''very'' strong shades of it, for all it was just over one meal. The selection of an ill-fitting, horrible dress for Brienne, who is well aware that she's not considered attractive, the hard-to-cut food, the top-heavy goblet and the cutlery provided for Jaime [[spoiler:who recently lost his dominant hand]]? Not an accident. And, all tailored to hit both of their egos in some ''very'' tender places, make them uneasy... and [[{{Troll}} just to]] [[ItAmusedMe amuse him]]. The thought of staying with him for a month when he's got no particular reason to be good to you should, rightly, [[SoftSpokenSadist make your skin crawl]].

to:

* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Roose Bolton doesn't let not knowing what a gaslight is stop him from using this trope. What he does to Jaime and Brienne over dinner in Harrenhal has ''very'' strong shades of it, for all it was just over one meal. The selection of an ill-fitting, horrible dress for Brienne, who is well aware that she's not considered attractive, the hard-to-cut food, the top-heavy goblet goblet, and the cutlery provided for Jaime [[spoiler:who recently lost his dominant hand]]? Not an accident. And, all tailored to hit both of their egos in some ''very'' tender places, make them uneasy... and [[{{Troll}} just to]] [[ItAmusedMe amuse him]]. The thought of staying with him for a month when he's got no particular reason to be good to you should, rightly, [[OhCrap rightly]], [[SoftSpokenSadist make your skin crawl]].



* ''Literature/JoePickett'': The bad guys in ''Out of Range'' uses drugs and psychological trickery to turn game warden Will Jensen's depression into paranoia, which ultimately drives him to suicide. They attempt to do the same thing to Joe when he takes over the post.

to:

* ''Literature/JoePickett'': The bad guys in ''Out of Range'' uses drugs and psychological trickery to turn game warden Will Jensen's depression into paranoia, which ultimately [[DrivenToSuicide drives him to suicide.suicide]]. They attempt to do the same thing to Joe when he takes over the post.



* ''Series/JessicaJones'' shows gaslighting extensively (and very realistically, despite the setting - real-world victims of the technique have commented on how truthfully gaslighting is depicted by the show). This is not surprising, for a show that uses a villain with mind-controlling powers as an explicit metaphor for domestic abuse. At various times first season villain (and Jessica's former abuser) Kilgrave attempts to confuse and distort Jessica's reality not with his actual mind-control powers, but simply by retelling the story of their relationship from a delusional perspective, that he insists on in the face of Jessica's own memories. Similarly, we see other characters such as Trish deal with this tactic from her mother. Interestingly, Jessica Jones doesn't simply demonstrate realistic gaslighting and its psychological effects alone, but shows its characters combating the technique by re-asserting their own stories. A recurring theme has Jessica reciting the names of streets she knew from the neighbourhood she once lived in, part of a psychological technique sometimes used by victims of abuse to have something concrete to hold onto that is outside of the warped reality insisted on by their Kilgrave.

to:

* ''Series/JessicaJones'' shows gaslighting extensively (and very realistically, despite the setting - -- real-world victims of the technique have commented on how truthfully gaslighting is depicted by the show). This is not surprising, for a show that uses a villain with mind-controlling powers as an explicit metaphor for domestic abuse. At various times times, first season villain (and Jessica's former abuser) Kilgrave attempts to confuse and distort Jessica's reality not with his actual mind-control powers, but simply by retelling the story of their relationship from a delusional perspective, that he insists on in the face of Jessica's own memories. Similarly, we see other characters such as Trish deal with this tactic from her mother. Interestingly, Jessica Jones doesn't simply demonstrate realistic gaslighting and its psychological effects alone, but shows its characters combating the technique by re-asserting their own stories. A recurring theme has Jessica reciting the names of streets she knew from the neighbourhood she once lived in, part of a psychological technique sometimes used by victims of abuse to have something concrete to hold onto that is outside of the warped reality insisted on by their Kilgrave.



* In ''Series/HappyEndings'', the episode "The Kerkovich Way" reveals the eponymous way involves lying to someone, flooding them with specific details until they question their own perception of reality. Alex protests and says its wrong, while Jane (who does it so often to her husband he's one MRI away from a free MRI) uses it very often, to crazy extremes in this episode.

to:

* In ''Series/HappyEndings'', the episode "The Kerkovich Way" reveals the eponymous way involves lying to someone, flooding them with specific details until they question their own perception of reality. Alex protests and says its it's wrong, while Jane (who does it so often to her husband he's one MRI away from a free MRI) uses it very often, to crazy extremes in this episode.



* In the episode of ''Series/TheAvengers'' "The House that Jack Built", Emma is trapped in a house that is an elaborate psychological maze, built by a now-dead businessman who had too much free time, too much money, and one hell of a grudge against her. a recorded message he leaves flat-out states that the intention is to drive her insane, and eventually to suicide.

to:

* In the episode of ''Series/TheAvengers'' "The House that Jack Built", Emma is trapped in a house that is an elaborate psychological maze, built by a now-dead businessman who had too much free time, too much money, and one hell of a grudge against her. a A recorded message he leaves flat-out states that the intention is to drive her insane, and eventually to suicide.



** In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist", there is an episode-length use of this trope: Randy is undergoing a dental operation at Dr. Bloom's to remove an infected tooth. During the operation, a bald man barges in and furiously demands that Dr. Bloom tell him what he's done with Barry Bonds, who is worth $13 million. A fight breaks out, with Dr. Bloom and his assistant Terri ultimately killing the intruder. When Randy comes around after his operation is over, he looks around and sees no signs that a fight ever happened, [[spoiler: because Dr. Bloom and Terri had dumped the body in the woods and also replaced broken equipment.]] Everyone, Stottlemeyer included, dismisses Randy's claim as an affect of being under anasthetics at the time. When the victim's body does turn up, Randy identifies him as the man Dr. Bloom killed, but is laughed at by the other cops and quits in anger (Stottlemeyer theorizes to Randy that according to him, the intruder confronted Dr. Bloom [[LaughingMad because he thought Dr. Bloom kidnapped Barry Bonds and they were arguing about the ransom money]]). Randy only realizes that he wasn't hallucinating when he notices an article about the armored car robbery that the dead man, [[spoiler:Denny Jardeen]], had been involved in: in that robbery, armed men with pistols and rifles had hijacked an armored car, unloaded it at a warehouse, shot and killed both guards, and made off with $13 million in bearer bonds. [[spoiler: Randy realizes that one of the guards punched Jardeen in the face before he was shot, Jardeen had gone to Dr. Bloom's to get a broken tooth fixed, and divulged the location of the bonds to him and Terri while under anasthesia. The good doctors went to his house, found the money in a toolshed, but instead of turning the money into the police, they kept it. When Jardeen figured out what happened to the bonds, he confronted Bloom about it, forcing Bloom and Terri to kill him. Randy misinterpreted "bearer" as "Barry", explaining the Barry Bonds discrepancy.]]
** Another case happens to Monk in "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night": Suffering from insomnia, Monk is wandering through the streets, and happens to pass by a diner kitchen where he heres an argument going on. He peeks through a window and sees a drug deal going bad, with the dealer and customer debating if a third man at the deal, an Asian, is actually a cop or not. Suddenly, the Asian pulls a badge and gun and declares the other two men under arrest. Monk looks away as the drug dealer attacks the undercover cop, only to hear a gunshot. He looks and sees the drug dealer has shot and killed the cop (and blood has splattered everywhere). The dealer hustles the customer into a waiting car that speeds away. But when the police arrive, however, the kitchen (which was destroyed in the fight) is spotless and immaculate, and there is no evidence that a murder happened, not even a body to prove a thing, and no cops have been reported missing. Monk later finds the supposed "undercover cop" at a train station, but he denies ever having been to the diner. He also locates the customer, a coin dealer, who denies ever having been there. [[spoiler: The apparent murder was an elaborate con by the Asian and "drug dealer" to steal the coin dealer's merchandise, tricking him into thinking he had witnessed a murder and was paying them hush money. The reason why the kitchen was spotless is because a waitress at the restaurant helped the Asian clean up the kitchen before the cops arrived.]]

to:

** In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist", there is an episode-length use of this trope: Randy is undergoing a dental operation at Dr. Bloom's to remove an infected tooth. During the operation, a bald man barges in and furiously demands that Dr. Bloom tell him what he's done with Barry Bonds, who is worth $13 million. A fight breaks out, with Dr. Bloom and his assistant Terri ultimately killing the intruder. When Randy comes around after his operation is over, he looks around and sees no signs that a fight ever happened, [[spoiler: because [[spoiler:because Dr. Bloom and Terri had dumped the body in the woods and also replaced broken equipment.]] Everyone, Stottlemeyer included, dismisses Randy's claim as an affect of being under anasthetics at the time. When the victim's body does turn up, Randy identifies him as the man Dr. Bloom killed, but is laughed at by the other cops and quits in anger (Stottlemeyer theorizes to Randy that according to him, the intruder confronted Dr. Bloom [[LaughingMad because he thought Dr. Bloom kidnapped Barry Bonds and they were arguing about the ransom money]]). Randy only realizes that he wasn't hallucinating when he notices an article about the armored car robbery that the dead man, [[spoiler:Denny Jardeen]], had been involved in: in that robbery, armed men with pistols and rifles had hijacked an armored car, unloaded it at a warehouse, shot and killed both guards, and made off with $13 million in bearer bonds. [[spoiler: Randy [[spoiler:Randy realizes that one of the guards punched Jardeen in the face before he was shot, Jardeen had gone to Dr. Bloom's to get a broken tooth fixed, and divulged the location of the bonds to him and Terri while under anasthesia. The good doctors went to his house, found the money in a toolshed, but instead of turning the money into in to the police, they kept it. When Jardeen figured out what happened to the bonds, he confronted Bloom about it, forcing Bloom and Terri to kill him. Randy misinterpreted "bearer" as "Barry", explaining the Barry Bonds discrepancy.]]
** Another case happens to Monk in "Mr. Monk Is Up All Night": Suffering from insomnia, Monk is wandering through the streets, and happens to pass by a diner kitchen where he heres hears an argument going on. He peeks through a window and sees a drug deal going bad, with the dealer and customer debating if a third man at the deal, an Asian, is actually a cop or not. Suddenly, the Asian pulls a badge and gun and declares the other two men under arrest. Monk looks away as the drug dealer attacks the undercover cop, only to hear a gunshot. He looks and sees the drug dealer has shot and killed the cop (and blood has splattered everywhere). The dealer hustles the customer into a waiting car that speeds away. But when the police arrive, however, the kitchen (which was destroyed in the fight) is spotless and immaculate, and there is no evidence that a murder happened, not even a body to prove a thing, and no cops have been reported missing. Monk later finds the supposed "undercover cop" at a train station, but he denies ever having been to the diner. He also locates the customer, a coin dealer, who denies ever having been there. [[spoiler: The apparent murder was an elaborate con by the Asian and "drug dealer" to steal the coin dealer's merchandise, tricking him into thinking he had witnessed a murder and was paying them hush money. The reason why the kitchen was spotless is because a waitress at the restaurant helped the Asian clean up the kitchen before the cops arrived.]]
19th Jan '17 5:59:08 AM Trogdor
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* Sgt Angel in ''Film/HotFuzz'' starts to think that he's going insane after everyone in the village ignores the increasing amount of signs that there is a murderer on the loose in the village.
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