%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
%% Image selected via crowner in the Image Suggestion thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/ImagePickin/ImageSuggestions77
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
[[quoteright:350:[[Film/BlackSwan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/193051_1024_fekete_hattyu8.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:What's scarier? Running from a monster or the fear of losing your mind?]]
%% Caption selected per IP thread above. Please do not remove or replace without discussion here: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1404492079030138900

Psychological Horror is a subgenre of {{Horror}}, which aims at creating horrific or unsettling effects through in-depth use of psychology.

This may involve replacing physical threats with psychological ones (e.g. madness), thorough exploration of the mind of the involved protagonists (including the bad guys/MonsterOfTheWeek), replacing [[PeekABooCorpse overt displays of horror]] by more subtle, creepy details, and so on. Often overlaps with SurrealHorror.

Often works hand in hand with NothingIsScarier, MindScrew, and ThroughTheEyesOfMadness. Due to the nature of this form of horror, it is usually NightmareFuel.

This subgenre is particularly common in Japanese horror, or "J-Horror".

See also PsychologicalThriller.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/AlienNine''
* ''Anime/BoogiepopPhantom''
* Manhua/CollapseOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is an manhua example, but still follows with its short stories, ranging from horrible BodyHorror, to dark humor.
* ''Manga/DeathNote''
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'', moreso in the manga than the anime.
* ''Anime/ErgoProxy''
* ''Anime/GhostHound''
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShell 2 : Innocence'' - The whole part in Kims mansion goes quite into this.
* ''Anime/GregoryHorrorShow''
* Whether how much of it is intentional is debatable, but for a series about playing soccer with aliens; the second season Anime/InazumaEleven has this in spades.
* ''Manga/KamisamaNoIutoori''
* ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai''
* ''Manga/{{Kasane}}'' has the main character literally stealing other people's identities, so obviously this has some nasty psychological effects, both for her and her victims.
* ''Anime/KeyTheMetalIdol'', the root influence of a lot of the other anime listed here.
* ''Manga/LaughingSalesman'': Mixed with BlackComedy.
* ''Anime/{{Mononoke}}'' (pushing it to the limit: several complex ghost stories where exploring the minds of the ghosts and of the protagonists is a major plot point)
* ''Manga/{{Monster}}'': [[spoiler: Impressively, the only threat in ''Monster'' comes from the horror/madness as it's established very quickly that Johan specifically wants to keep Tenma from being killed.]]
* ''Manga/MPDPsycho''
* ''Manga/{{Narutaru}}''
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' in some parts, especially in ''End of Evangelion''. In other parts, it's pure CosmicHorror.
* ''Manga/NightmareInspector''
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' is usually considered more of a PsychologicalThriller but could easily fit into this category as well. The entire series focuses on [[CastFullOfCrazy mental illness,]] [[AmnesiacHero amne]][[AmnesiacDissonance sia,]] [[QuestForIdentity identity]] [[LossOfIdentity loss,]] [[AnyoneCanDie death,]] [[CataclysmBackstory trauma,]] [[TheChessmaster manipulation,]] and [[DysfunctionJunction other]] [[MindScrew similar]] [[MoralityKitchenSink things,]] the product being just as [[NightmareFuel disturbing as]] [[TearJerker expected,]] if not [[UpToEleven more so.]]
* ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent''
* ''Anime/PerfectBlue''
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' combines this with plain CosmicHorrorStory.
* ''LightNovel/ReZero''
* ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain''
* ''Anime/ShamanicPrincess''
* ''Anime/{{Texhnolyze}}''
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' borrows heavily from the works of Creator/FranzKafka and UsefulNotes/CarlJung, often dealing with realistic portrayals of madness and trauma. In particular, the series explores the heavy toll events take on Kaneki's sanity and the coping mechanisms that Ghouls adopt to deal with having to kill and eat humans to survive.
* ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}'', practically everything by Creator/JunjiIto

* Quite common in Franchise/{{Batman}} comics, especially since practically every [[RoguesGallery Bat-rogue]] is insane some way or another, and Batman himself is often described as being insane in his own special way.
* Grant Morrison's run of ComicBook/AnimalMan was like this. So is ''Comicbook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth'' also written by Morrison. He kinda likes this.
* ComicBook/DoomPatrol

* ''Film/{{Psycho}}''.
* ''Film/AmericanNightmare2002'' combines this with the SlasherMovie.
* ''Film/{{Antichrist}}''
* ''Film/TheBadSeed''
* ''Film/BlackSwan''
* ''Film/{{Carrie 1976}}''
* ''Film/TheCell'' (takes place inside the mind of a serial killer. It's a very unpleasant place.)
* ''Film/{{Circle}}''. Fifty strangers must choose who among them deserves to live as a sinister device strikes them down one by one.
* The Soviet war movie ''Film/ComeAndSee''
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' appears to have traces of this, especially ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
* Most of Creator/DavidLynch's movies fall into this category.
* ''Film/Dementia13''
* ''Film/TheEye'', which is a Hong Kong movie, also does feature some elements of J-Horror.
* ''Film/{{Shutter}}'', a Thai movie.
* ''Alone'', by the directors of Shutter.
* The 1961 British movie ''Film/TheInnocents'', based on Literature/TheTurnOfTheScrew
* This is a big part of Japanese horror, or "J-Horror", and why it was so popular a few years ago.
** ''Film/{{Juon}}''/''Film/TheGrudge''
** ''[[Film/TheRing Ring]]''
** The film adaptation of ''Manga/{{Uzumaki}}''
** ''Film/NoroiTheCurse''
** ''Film/{{Kairo}}''
** ''Film/{{Audition}}''
** ''Film/{{Reincarnation}}''
** ''Film/DarkWater''
** Dates back to 1964 and ''Film/WomanInTheDunes'', in which a man is held prisoner at the bottom of a sand pit while his will to resist is gradually broken.
* ''Film/JuliasEyes''
* Alejandro Amenabar's ''Film/TheOthers''.
* ''Film/ThePurge''
* ''Film/RedEye''
* ''Film/RightAtYourDoor''
* Then there's Creator/RomanPolanski:
** ''Film/KnifeInTheWater''
** ''Film/{{Repulsion}}''
** ''Film/RosemarysBaby''
** Arguably ''Film/{{Chinatown}}''.
* ''Film/TheShining''
* ''Film/FourteenOhEight''
* ''Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs'' and that whole series.
* ''Film/ATaleOfTwoSisters'' is Korean, and Korea is no slouch in this department, also putting out movies like:
** ''Acacia (2003)''
** ''Film/{{Oldboy 2003}}''
** ''Film/TheRedShoes2005''
** ''Film/WhisperingCorridors'' (and its many sequels)...
* Take a movie by Creator/AndreiTarkovsky. ''Any'' movie by Tarkovsky. But particularly ''Film/{{Stalker}}''.
* In ''Film/HellraiserInferno'', the gore and Pinhead and the Cenobites' presence is toned down considerably. The horror focuses instead on the psychological descent of a flawed character subjected to nightmarish visions and seeing his reality crumble around him.
* In ''Film/TheFactsInTheCaseOfMisterHollow'' An OccultDetective investigating a MysteryCult has to slowly piece together the larger, sinister context in which a {{Spooky Photograph|s}} was taken, communicated by small details present in the photo itself, building to a conclusion that is either symbolic of the investigator's epiphany, or an explicit paranormal manifestation.
* ''Film/Mother2017''. Well, it ''is'' a DarrenAronofsky film.
* ''Film/{{Spiral}}'' is about Mason, a psychologically maladjusted man with an obsession with painting his coworker, who somehow relates to his dark past.
* ''Film/NeTeRetournePas'' ("Don't Look Back"): Is the world changing and you're the only one to notice, or have you gone mad and you're the only one ''not'' to notice?
* ''Film/FullCircle'', in a somewhat similar vein to fellow Mia Farrow chiller ''Film/RosemarysBaby''
* ''Film/{{Session 9}}'', appropriately enough for a film set in a real abandoned mental hospital.
* ''Film/PatayinMoSaSindakSiBarbara''
* ''Film/{{Hereditary}}''

* Heavily used by Creator/HPLovecraft
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's main subject as well. He was writing about mental disorders that hadn't even been named or studied yet.
* Lots of Creator/StephenKing's stories also qualify:
** ''Literature/TheShining''
** ''Thinner'', in which the cursed JerkAss protagonist finds himself starving to death with increasing speed, no matter how voraciously he eats.
** ''The Tommyknockers''
** ''Dolores Claiborne''
** ''The Man in the Black Suit''
* ''Literature/IAmNotASerialKiller'' varies in exactly which brand of horror it is, but the second book, ''Literature/MrMonster'', plunges straight into this with a ''{{Film/Saw}}''-esque plot narrated by a SociopathicHero experiencing [[SlowlySlippingIntoEvil a slow but steady]] SanitySlippage.
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves''. Does the Navidson Record really exist? Did Zampano actually write the manuscript or is it all in Johnny's head? Is the house on Ash Tree Lane a metaphor for the minotaur the darkness within the human mind? [[MindScrew Does anyone have any idea what's going on at all?]]
* ''Literature/TheFiftyYearSword''. Who are the five speakers? Does anyone else have one of the man with lavender eyelashes' sword? What is it that can stitch and hold the wound?
* "Literature/{{Miriam}}" by Truman Capote explores mental decline.
* Many of Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's stories use this trope heavily. For example, "A Song for Lya", "Meathouse Man", or "The Second Kind of Loneliness".
* ''Literature/TheBadSeed''
* Victor Kelleher's insanely creepy ''Del-Del''.
* Alexandre Dumas, ''pere'', and his ''Literature/TheWomanWithTheVelvetNecklace.''
* Caitlín R. Kiernan's ''[[Literature/TheRedTree2009 The Red Tree]]''
* Literature/TheNecromanticMysteriesOfKyleMurchisonBooth
* ''Literature/TheHauntingOfTobyJugg'' by Creator/DennisWheatley
* "Literature/TheYellowWallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a classic example. The fact that it's semi-autobiographical just adds to the scariness.
* ''Literature/AShadowGirlsSummerOfLoveAndMadness'' by Jackson Boughen. It's kind of implied by the title.
* A lot of [[Creator/ChuckPalahniuk Chuck Palahniuk's]] earlier work (Literature/FightClub, Literature/InvisibleMonsters, Literature/{{Haunted2005}}) falls under this.
* KTMartel's ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' Series blends this with ScienceFiction using [[ViewersAreGeniuses Neuroscience]]. [[MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness It's scary because it's real]].
* ''Literature/EdenGreen'' spends the entire ride inside the title character's head as she discovers, researches, and deals with an alien needle symbiote and invasion of monsters.


[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E10Midnight "Midnight"]], by Creator/RussellTDavies, uses a combination of PrimalFear and ParanoiaFuel to turn the act of simply repeating sentences into terrifying conversations. Same goes for "The God Complex", which includes a monster that strips away your faith -- not just religious faith, but faith in anything -- and feeds off of it.
** Steven Moffat's take on the show plays with ideas of madness, and [[ItWasHereISwear things you think you saw from the corner of your eye]]. On the one hand, no, you're not going mad; on the other hand, yes, these things are real, and they ''are'' out to get you.
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse'' uses it along with all the SurrealHorror, particularly in Ben's plotlines.
* ''Series/MastersOfHorror'': "Sounds Like" is probably one of the creepier episodes due to the slow-paced source of the horror. There are no monsters or killers to run away from, it's just the main character slowly growing mad because his sense of hearing keeps getting better and better and everything around him becomes intolerable.
* ''Recap/BlackMirrorPlaytest'' uses a version of this personal to the protagonist. Cooper watched his father succumb to Alzheimer's before the events of the episode, and he went travelling across the world to gather as many happy memories as he could, while he still could. The full-immersion horror game he volunteers to try out for a quick cash injection starts out with tame enough {{Jump Scare}}s but eventually graduates into this, tormenting him with losing his memory and ending up "just like [his] dad". [[spoiler:Then the game throws him a HopeSpot only to present him with the reveal that his mother has contracted Alzheimer's in his absence and she doesn't even recognize him when he returns home. ''Then'' it turns out the game never even started and poor Cooper actually died from the system crashing while it was booting up, and the harrowing events of the mansion were all in his head as his brain shut down. You know what they say about your life flashing before your eyes...]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FatalFrame'' is a cross between Psychological and SurvivalHorror, with the overarching story being the protagonists getting trapped in haunted villages and slowly piecing together what ominous events created the various horrific ghosts that will kill them cruelly and painfully if they catch them.
* ''Franchise/SilentHill'': The enemies and environments of each game are pulled from the screwed-up psyche of one or more of its characters, and the series relies far more on NothingIsScarier, surreal imagery and symbolism than jump scares and gore. The games occasionally hint that the protagonist may simply be insane.
* ''VideoGame/SilentHillShatteredMemories'' in particular relies on psychological horror, since it prefers to downplay the "survival" element. [[spoiler: Especially with the reveal that the entire game was literally taking place in one character's mind in response to attempt psychological therapy.]]
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', especially since one of the three traits in the game is Sanity, alongside vitality and Mana. Not only are you dealing with enemies that defy common logic, they are purposefully distorting your perception of reality. If you beat them [[EverythingFades they're gone]] and not only will you be trying to describe something that sounds insane, you probably are insane. Even if the psychological tricks don't scare you, let that sanity bar run out and your vitality will quickly go down the drain.
* ''VideoGame/TheSuffering'' is a cross between psychological and physical horror. While you will be fighting inmates, guards, and wretched abominations, you will also encounter horrific hallucinations and the ghosts of Carnate Island's insane and psychopathic residents.
* ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]'' blends supernatural horror, achieved primarily through unnerving atmosphere rather than any overt monsters, with a scifi-ish tactical shooter set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture.
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' is a series of SurvivalHorror games that makes copious use of ominous atmospheres, NothingIsScarier, {{Primal Fear}}s and subversions of standard horror tropes to portray a protagonist being caught in a world of inescapable madness.
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' and its sequels ''VideoGame/AmnesiaAMachineForPigs'' and ''VideoGame/{{SOMA}}'' all work as a combination of this and Survival horror:
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' makes extensive use of dark, ominous atmospheres, a SanityMeter effect that causes the world around you to visually change and morph for the horrifying as you slip, and the feeling of being constantly stalked by horrific, once-human abominations (which you ''are'') to great effect. Perhaps the kicker is TheReveal which strips away the hinted AmnesiacDissonance: [[spoiler: your player character was a sadistic monster who tortured and murdered innocent people to save himself from an EldritchAbomination chasing him down, only to come to a HeelRealization and drink a memory-wiping potion to expunge the guilt of his crimes.]]
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiaAMachineForPigs'' focuses much more on the psychological than the survival, as many would say to its detriment, with a deep look into madness, social and mental degradation, eerie environments, and a truly horrific reveal of AmnesiacDissonance: [[spoiler: your player character, in a fit of insanity and possibly DemonicPossession, created a ''[[GeniusLoci sentient]]'' NightmarishFactory designed to [[IndustrializedEvil industrialize the process of]] HumanSacrifice, butchering all of humanity to turn them into [[ImAHumanitarian food]] and grotesque PigMen.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{SOMA}}'', whilst on the surface going back to more of a BodyHorror-laced SurvivalHorror game, explores deep questions about the nature of human consciousness, immortality, and the value of life through truly horrifying mediums.
%%* ''VideoGame/RuleOfRose''.
* ''VideoGame/ThePath'' explores the psyches of a family of sisters by sending them one by one to [[Literature/LittleRedRidingHood Grandmother's house]]-- and forces you to disobey and send them into danger by straying from the titular path in order to progress in the game. The eerie ambiance of the forest, the JigsawPuzzlePlot wherein you discover each girl's personality by the scraps of her thoughts you see when she interacts with objects, and especially the abstract (and often AdultFear) "wolf encounters" and the twisted state of Grandmother's house afterwards place it firmly here.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pathologic}}'' has a thick atmosphere of physical and spiritual decay, manifested through disease, that eats away both the game world and the confidence of the player actually runing it.
%%* ''VideoGame/YumeNikki''
%%* ''VideoGame/AlanWake''
* ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' is more of an Action SurvivalHorror mixture, but the copious use of insanity, both in the player character and in the world around them, vivid and terrifying hallucinations, and recordings of the slow descent of the world into madness [[LateToTheTragedy before you arrived]]. All punctuated with the need to brutally rip apart corpses before they turn into horrific monsters and do the same thing to you.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}}''
* ''VideoGame/CondemnedCriminalOrigins'' explores themes of violent insanity and whether or not the player can trust they aren't going crazy, even as they fight off waves of delusional, psychotic killers.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}''
* ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' is a famous example of this, in which the monsters Alice fights are physical representations of her own psychological issues, mostly regarding her survivor's guilt after the death of her family.
* ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'', carries on the tradition, adding [[spoiler: overhearing but not knowing to stop the rape of her sister]] to her list of guilts. Unlike the first game, parts of the plot take place in the real world, which then hammer in the horror as the two realms start to bleed together.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth'', naturally, makes heavy use of this trope due to being a first person perspective retelling of the famous "Shadow over Innsmouth" story.
%%* ''VideoGame/{{Calling}}''
* One or two of the missions of ''VideoGame/{{SWAT 4}}'' tackle extremely disturbing crime cases in very creepy locales.
* One of the reasons why the original ''VideoGame/OperationFlashpoint'' and its current successor ''VideoGame/{{ARMA}}'' are praised for their realism is how they not only accurately portray the tech and tactics employed on a modern battlefield, but also [[WarIsHell the tension, paranoia and uncompromising unpredictability of military operations]]. Compared to most other military games, which are usualy action-pumped thrill rides with lots of loud set pieces, these titles have the player experiencing almost unbearable tension while moving through enemy territory. The enemies can be well hidden, may already know of your position, may be already surrounding you stealthily and killing you before you even manage to register them and realize your grave mistake. And don't even get us started on situations like being TrappedBehindEnemyLines, completely out of ammo and hiding in the bushes, because heavily armed brigades of soldiers and vehicles are combing the whole area. All of this goes hand in hand with the horror occuring [[DaylightHorror commonly during missions set in broad daylight]].
* ''VideoGame/IronStorm'' is a shooter that has zero supernatural elements, but is set in a nigh-nightmarish DieselPunk world scarred by an increasingly insane and [[{{Dystopia}} dystopic]] ForeverWar.
* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' is a curious example of the trope. It opens much like any other modern military shooter, but about halfway through the game (after the protagonists [[spoiler:unwittingly burn forty-seven innocent civilians to death with white phosphorous rounds]]) it starts to take on more and more elements of psychological horror, including surreal, horrific imagery, hallucinations etc.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metro 2033}}'' is a first person shooter, but while it has gunfights against bandits, mutants, and Neo-Nazis and/or Communists, those are brief levels of heart-pounding adrenaline between long stretches of isolation, unexplained but explicitly supernatural horrors such as ghosts and 'anomalies', and a growing sense of gloomy, claustrophobic despair in the tunnels that manages to evolve into agoraphobic paranoia when Artyom is in the open on the surface. Worst of all are some of the completely unexplained instances of blatant and lethal MindScrew that defy explanation--the less said about the Dark Ones, the better. It's saying something when it's ''comforting'' to have a level with Nazis to shoot at, versus the game's alternatives.
* The trippy horror in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4'' was intended to disturb on this level, such as unmanned biomechanical robots that moo like cows and can rotate their legs on 360 degree joints to climb buildings, and a very sexy woman in a skintight suit wearing Snake's face while murdering people with huge robotic tentacles and laughing, and the 'white room' segments after defeating the bosses in which you hear a distorted soundtrack of women moaning in orgasm and crying/screaming/snarling/laughing, and so on.
* ''VideoGame/CryOfFear'' fits this neatly. The game is focused on exploring the madness of the main character Simon through the environment (which twists and changes whenever Simon has a psychotic fit), enemies (each of which is based on one of Simon's fears and [[spoiler:the anger he has about his unusable legs]]) and flashbacks with his doctor.
* ''VideoGame/FranBow'' in which the titular character, a young girl, tries to cope with the trauma from witnessing the gruesome murder of her parents, a event so awful that the thought of it regularly causes her perception of reality to break down.
* ''VideoGame/Prey2017'' has you dealing with breaks from reality, such as your reflection talking to you or hallucinating being consumed by shadowy tendrils.
* ''VideoGame/{{Imscared}}'' toys with the player in a very interesting way of immersion; the game torments you with the prospect that the game's villain is a real entity, and is actively playing around with your computer by downloading text files pretending it's a computer virus. That's right, a real life version of TheMostDangerousVideoGame.
* ''VideoGame/{{Anatomy}}'' has a very slow NothingIsScarier grind in comparing the house you're in to a human mind and body, going on about how important and how deceitful a home can be. The house accommodates itself accordingly.
* ''VideoGame/HellbladeSenuasSacrifice'' is very much this, since it deals with Senua, a ShellShockedVeteran who suffers from psychosis after losing her lover (and many other misfortunes). Disturbing images are everywhere, Senua is constantly fighting her own demons and voices in her head constantly bicker with each other, making it even ''harder'' to determine what is real and what is not.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' series is made of this (often mixed with some gore), as the protagonists often succumb to madness and hallucinations or are mentally tortured/have their hopes crushed in various ways.
%%** ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry''
%%** ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry''
%% This entry needs to be independent of the others.
%%* ''VisualNovel/HiganbanaNoSakuYoruNi'', by Ryukishi07, keeps a similar tone, minus the gore (with a few exceptions like the 5th story).
* ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub'' is a seemingly cheery, innocent DatingSim that is nevertheless prefixed with a ContentWarning about disturbing content. [[spoiler: The game turns out to be just as much about real-life issues such as SelfHarm, AbusiveParents and depression as it is an existential horror about a DatingSim character gaining MediumAwareness and struggling to cope to being a fictional character before rewriting and corrupting the game around her so that she can be with the player.]]

%%* ''WebComic/SilentHillPromise''
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'':
** The comic dips into this any time Zimmy shows up. Her perception of the world is very abnormal--and she has RealityWarper PowerIncontinence. So when the focus switches to Zimmy, bizarre, dreamlike events are quick to follow. It's never entirely clear how much of this is real and how much is hallucination... or how much is a hallucination that's ''becoming'' real.
** A non-Zimmy example happens in the chapter "A Ghost Story". Annie has to counsel a ghost--and since the ghost doesn't realize he's dead, he unintentionally creates a shared hallucination that symbolizes an event from his old life.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' delves into this around the middle of Act 5 when [[spoiler:Gamzee goes sober and starts killing off the characters, which had already started dying by Eridan and Vriska earlier.]] Probably the creepiest part is a flash in which, after seeing a few scenes of [[ThoseTwoGuys Nepeta and Equius]] talking adorably to one another, the reader is forced to play as the both of them and lead them through a dark, deserted lab as ominous music [[spoiler:riddled with honks]] slowly grows louder. The worst part is that, unlike in a video game, the 'player' [[ButThouMust has no choice]] - they know the story depends on the two characters moving towards the threat, so unless they just stop reading altogether (which doesn't solve the problem as of course the story continues on regardless) they can't continue any other way than by leading these beloved, oblivious characters to what is likely their doom. [[spoiler:And indeed it is.]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
%%* Several ''Podcast/EarbudTheater'' episodes.
* A good chunk of vlogs and stories pertaining to Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos ''love'' this trope. As for ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'', one of the more prominent examples, [[MeaningfulBackgroundEvent it's pretty much]] [[EnemyRisingBehind made of this trope]]. Well, that and ParanoiaFuel. Lots and lots of that, too.
* This trope, SurrealHorror, and ParanoiaFuel are the backbone of most [[CreepyPasta creepypastas.]]
%%* ''Literature/TheSickLand'' is a CosmicHorrorStory that leans heavily on this trope.
%%* ''LetsPlay/TheTerribleSecretOfAnimalCrossing''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' uses this fairly frequently. Most notably, anything having to do with [[spoiler: the Ice King's past]] is either going to be this or a TearJerker.