[[caption-width-right:345:[[PsychoPsychologist Who]] [[ScaryScarecrows ordered]] [[AfraidOfNeedles the]] ''[[PsychoSerum literal]]'' [[MindRape Nightmare]] [[NightmareFuel Fuel?]]]]
->''"Prepare to face your fears... All of them!"''
* As the Dark Knight himself, you must survive a night in the Asylum (which rivals [[VideoGame/BioShock1 Rapture]] in terms of atmosphere), surrounded by a good portion of his RoguesGallery, to stop a plan sprung by none other than ComicBook/TheJoker (voiced by Creator/MarkHamill, no less). The tone is essentially a hard "T" rating. Considering, among other things, you see a man's spine ''[[BodyHorror rip out of his back]], close-up'', it's frankly astounding it did ''not'' wind up with an "M" rating.
* And then you actually have run-ins with Scarecrow and his fear-inducing toxin. With little more warning than a cough from Batman, you get told off by his zombified parents, relive the night of their murder from the perspective of little Bruce Wayne, and get eerily unusual radio messages. To top it all off, each hallucination culminates in a platforming segment through an area that is part black hole and part ''Franchise/SilentHill'', evading the killer gaze of a [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever ten-story tall Scarecrow]]. And then, he starts messing with you, the player, directly...
** And if he sees you, the dread you feel knows ''no bounds''. And some of the things Scarecrow says if you die to him are ''terrifying''.
--->'''Scarecrow:''' Now madness takes you...''forever!''
** The morgue area, where Batman [[spoiler:falls prey to Scarecrow's literal NightmareFuel]] for the first time. Since it's the first time, you know ''something's'' wrong but you don't know what--just like Batman. The times afterwards as things increasingly freak out, you realize what's going on more quickly--again, just like Batman.
*** The UncannyValley renderings of Zombie Thomas and Martha Wayne.
*** In the French language version, the chanting voices are Thomas and Martha Wayne themselves (or, at least, sounds ''exactly like them'')...and now you get Martha screaming something that sounds a lot like "''sang''"...French for "blood," naturally. It's a little disturbing.
*** There's also the chanting when you first "enter" the morgue:
----> "''[[ParanoiaFuel Get outta here... get outta here... get outta here...]]''"
*** ParanoiaFuel sets in real quick if you don't catch the hint to leave the morgue and instead stay, expecting Scarecrow to be somewhere in there. The movement you keep catching, just out of the corner of your eye? Just the hatch to one of the drawers (which are constantly opening and closing)...right?
** And the third and final time Batman [[spoiler:succumbs to the same gas, with the [[FissionMailed faux console freezing]]. There are several hints for the alert player that this is a Scarecrow moment, but it's still masterfully done.]]
** About the only clue to the hallucinations is Batman coughing. For the last one, it follows a creepy voice asking, "Did anyone catch the game last night?" That itself is creepy, but it masks the coughing. Then the game freezes and restarts. Even for those aware of the scene, it can catch you off-guard, first time it's seen until the twisted BatSignal appears, even past where we see Joker driving the Batmobile, it very much looks like the game had crashed. [[FridgeBrilliance Bonus points for the line being something that would cause a crash in a faulty game.]]
** When Batman is [[spoiler:brought into the Asylum on a gurney in the fear gas-induced vision]], he screams that he's not insane. Just the thought of the always calm and stoic Batman ''screaming for mercy'' is chilling.
*** And at the end of the sequence, [[spoiler:the Joker shoots Batman in the face, prompting the game to inform you that [[GameOverMan you failed the mission]], prompting you to "use the middle stick to avoid being shot." [[FissionMailed Choosing 'Retry' will take you to the next part of the game]], but the moment you see that screen is just terrifying. It probably won't be the first time you see the Game Over screen, but in this instance, you're left feeling utterly helpless since ''you have no idea what you did wrong'']].
** For one of the Riddler Challenges, you find Scarecrow's lair in one of the elevator shafts in Intensive Treatment. It's a RoomFullOfCrazy with map layouts of the whole island and photos of Batman in the Asylum. ''He is stalking you the whole time.''
*** Arkham Island's a low-level war zone, filled with insane inmates, gun-toting nut-jobs, and several other Bat-rogues--all of whom seem either fear/respect/get gassed by [[BadassBookworm Crane]] enough to let him pass by without question. The ''whole time''. It's damn creepy at best, and a serious [[TookALevelInBadass upgrade]] for the "good" doctor.
* [[ImAHumanitarian Killer]] [[NeverSmileAtACrocodile Croc]]'s lair. You are walking through an abandoned, labyrinthine sewer, supported only by panels of rotting wood, walking as slowly as possible so that Croc doesn't get the drop on you, knowing full well that he can surface at any time, with only a short warning. And then, once you have made your way to the most remote corner of the area, Croc gets hungry. Oh, and if you fail, one of Croc's [[HaveANiceDeath Game Over screens]] ends with a [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou horrific]] case of EatTheCamera.
** Before that, Croc apparently [[spoiler:''eats'' Scarecrow. However, one of the after-game cut-scenes shows that Scarecrow survived.]]
* Enter the holding cells of the Penitentiary and ''don't'' get creeped out by the rabid inmates. They aren't so bad after they're released and scatter, but while they're still imprisoned?
** After they've been released, a couple of them hide in the ceiling, where Detective Mode can't pick up on them. You go near them, they drop down, scream and leap on top of you.
** The noises the psychopaths make is creepy enough, but once you enter the hallway that has Harvey Dent's cell. You can hear a psychopath screaming, but [[NothingIsScarier the place is completely empty]]. At the end, you see a grate in the ceiling. Pulling it down reveals that the psychopath was right on top of it and it immediately [[JumpScare jumps down attacking you]].
*** Even worse, is some areas, like the Green Mile or just entering Clayface's area, you can sometimes hear psychopaths screaming despite you having searched the place.
** Also, the mirror in the Penitentiary's bathroom, if you go back after the psychopaths are freed, one is hiding in the stall right beside it.
* Another one: the Visitor Center. Dear God, the Visitor Center. The fact that it is the only area in the entire game in which you're forced to use first-person view makes it worse, as does the implication at the end of the game that [[spoiler:the Joker was in there every time you entered it]].
** A little game to play. Go into the Visitor Center, say "hello" to the Joker mannequin, then turn around and head back to the door. Before you leave, look back. Something wrong?
** Another tidbit. After the second time you enter the Visitor's Center, the only thing Joker does when you approach the mannequin is laugh...and laugh...and laugh...and laugh...
*** And it's not his regular laugh either; it's sharper, creepier, and is on a three-second loop.
** Here's an InUniverse example: Enter the center after you get into the access for Intensive Treatment. Joker will wax philosophic to Batman about [[spoiler:how their rivalry might end. He feels that one will kill the other, but the winner might not know what he'll do afterwards. If he's being honest, Joker is terrified, not about being killed or winning, but of what the winner will do]].
* And another: [[spoiler:Zsasz has just grabbed Dr. Young and has dragged her round a corner with a knife to her throat. She's pleading with him to let her go, the Joker's watching from the security cameras ''cheering him on'', he's on the verge of [[AxeCrazy snapping completely from the pressure]] and killing her anyway, and you're around the corner with a Batarang aimed. Oh, and if you miss, she's going to die. Good luck!]]
** Some people like to wait out and listen to all of the dialogue of a scene before acting; it's a common thing some gamers do. [[spoiler:You do that here, Zsasz kills Dr. Young. Oops. Joker even taunts you, saying "Who would have thought the psychopath with the knife would kill the poor, innocent doctor?" [[NiceJobBreakingItHero He has a point]]]].
* The Chronicles of Arkham. [[spoiler:The Asylum's founder, now existing as a spirit in the walls of his own institution and ready to lobotomize pre-criminal Harley, has the killer of his family strapped into an electric chair and slowly fried to death, set Poison Ivy on fire, and beat schizophrenics to death to "clean the scum of Gotham City." Granted, none of his victims are exactly angels themselves, but...]]
** The scariest part about all this is that [[spoiler:it's not really the spirit of Amadeus Arkham, but Warden Quincy Sharp believing himself to be the reincarnation of Arkham. All of the references he makes to any Arkham inmates are the super-criminals that Batman has put there, such as Joker, Poison Ivy, and Killer Croc, as well as a sane Harley Quinn (before she joined Joker). The final riddle of the game is to figure out who he is. The last Chronicle you scan is written on the floor of the security station where you rescue the Warden, and it's just a circle with "BATMAN" written over and over again. His last message is that he wants ''you'' to continue on his work. Creepy. Also, throughout the entire asylum, there are posters which hint at this; seeing them when playing the game a second time is truly eerie.]]
** This results in the Asylum having some of the most nightmare-inducing scenery ever seen when you realize the Asylum wasn't created to cure, but to ''punish''. In the maximum security section of the prison, above a bunch of holding cells for the most delusional inmates surrounded by electrified floors, in massive letters on the wall reads the phrase "''Mors certa, Hora incerta''." It's Latin for [[spoiler:"Death Certain, Hour Uncertain"]]. The Green Mile (not to be confused with Literature/TheGreenMile) is down the hall.
*** Same area, "''Liberate Me Ex Inferis''." Can be translated as "Save me from Hell." If you saw ''Film/EventHorizon'', this might add some additional creepiness.
*** Also ''Homo Homini Lupus'' ("Man is a Wolf to Man"). The maximum security cell block is a treasure trove of ominous Latin.
** A single line in the Spirit of Arkham's profile: "Profession: Executioner." After listening to all of his audio diaries, you realize that a cold-blooded KnightTemplar can be even more terrifying than every single CardCarryingVillain who appears in this game, ''combined''. Best of all? [[spoiler:He gets away with it. He claims that Batman has inspired him. You can't find him anywhere else in the game, implying he left the island to do his work.]]
*** It gets so much worse [[spoiler:in [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity the sequel]], ''he's the Mayor'']].
*** And if you find his secret office (as seen here [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxgAn4DkG-k]]), you can see what his real objective is (this is also a foreshadow for the second game).
* In an InUniverse example, you ''are'' the NightmareFuel for the Asylum mooks, swinging down from the rafters...cause you're the Goddamn Batman. From the nervous chatter that the enemies give out, even when outnumbering and outgunning Batman by six to one, it's clear who's the prey. If not, keep dwindling their numbers and watch them look over their shoulders in jittering fear...and shooting at any small noise (whether provoked by you or not). Just watch as a group of enemies comes towards you. Don't attack them right away. They'll ''hesitate'', until one of them gathers the courage to attack.
** Pop over to Detective Mode and watch their moods as you attack them. Prior to Batman's assault, they're calm. Once he starts picking them off one by one, they start becoming nervous, then terrified.
** Conversely, in the DownloadableContent, Joker is the NightmareFuel for the Asylum guards, who are arguably in an even worse situation than the mooks with Batman. For all his scariness, Batman doesn't kill while the Joker [[AxCrazy has no]] [[TheUnfettered such reservations]].
*** "Did anyone hear the one about the escaped mental patient sneaking around and killing the guards one by one? No? Stick around..."
** It's a moment of disturbing but also awesomeness, when you pick off a mook and then hide. You can hear and (with Detective Mode) see the other mooks notice the body, try to wake him up, and outright panic, as your Detective Mode indicates they have turned from calm to terrified!
* Most of the audio tapes, particularly the Riddler's (''Arkham Asylum'' took advantage of the Riddler's canonical craziness and made him a legitimately scary villain) and Zsasz's (leading up to [[spoiler:Dr. Cassidy home alone, Zsasz on the loose, and ''somebody at the door''...)]].
** Thankfully, she survives and makes a few appearances in the Medical Facility. [[spoiler:In the mini-comic that came in the gamebox, it's revealed that Batman had saved her thanks to an anonymous tip... Which is hinted to have come from Joker...]]
* The Medical Facility is easily the creepiest building on the island. The only one that comes close is the Penitentiary ''which is filled with screaming psychopaths in cells'' and still not as creepy as the Medical Facility.
** In the halls in said Medical Facility you have to go down to save the doctors, there are these weird plastic medical curtains that hang down from the ceiling. Occasionally, you will see them move without there being anyone to move them. Batman hasn't reached those curtains yet, and they still move like someone just walked through them even when there's no goons in the hallways left to beat up, so ''who or what is making those curtains move''?
** Go find the head in a jar. It's not even part of a puzzle, or anything. It's just...there.
** One of the Joker's quotes in Medical is especially terrifying, as he drops all pretense of comedy and just goes straight into telling his henchmen they're in for a world of suffering.
---> '''Joker:''' Are you scared? Lonely? Good. I said protect Medical and ''you have failed me''.
** The Mooks themselves complain about how creepy the Medical Facility is, and how hospitals are supposed to be clean. Considering they've only been there about an hour (this is approximately how long it takes at full tilt to get there), they didn't have the time to make it dirty, and Joker is preoccupied elsewhere, so...
** There are the strap-ridden gurneys EVERYWHERE in the Medical Facility. Croc's got one of his cells there: busted-out-of and filled with bones and [[ImAHumanitarian human skulls]]. It's more than a little troubling when you also see all the experiments all over the place.
* The perfectly ordinary announcements that come over the PA system before the Joker takes over (especially the ones in the Medical Facility) just make everything else seem that much more hellish. One of the worst occurs in Intensive Treatment, right at the beginning of the game after Joker gets free and releases all the Blackgate inmates. It starts like a normal security level message, and then devolves into ''[[LaughingMad insane laughter]]''.
--> '''PA System:''' Security at level Orange... al... -pha... -pha... [[ComicBook/TheJoker ha-... ha-... ha-... ha-...]]
* Go back into that sewer/boiler room area in the Greenhouse you have to go through to get to where Poison Ivy is after you find the Titan production facility (but before you enter it to fight the Titan goons). If you climb up to a certain point, which you need to do in order to get to most of the riddles, ''[[JumpScare a dead, mutated goon that was part of the Joker's Titan experiment drops out of a pipe]]''. Right in front of you. Panic ensued.
** If you look at the dead goon with Detective Mode, the X-Ray effect will reveal that this failed version of the Titan formula caused his arm to grow huge...[[BodyHorror but not the bones inside it]].
** Wandering through that particular chamber is creepy enough before you get to that point. You can hear the Joker putting together his Titan formula...and he likes to hum while he works. The creepy sound just ''bounces'' off the walls in that dark, dilapidated pit...
* [[HaveANiceDeath The game over sequences.]] The Scarecrow and Joker's creepy faces taunting you? Bane breaking Batman's back? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XClEPRnynR8 Talk about a reason not to fail.]] One of Croc's game over sequences actually has him ''[[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou eating the camera]]''.
* If you try to go through the door to the sewer area before you have to, [[spoiler:Killer Croc pops out and ''smashes'' against the door out of nowhere]].
** His quote really sets it:
-->[[spoiler: Killer Croc]]: [[spoiler:I will ''find'' you, rip your flesh like '''''paper'''''.]]
* If you die via Poison Ivy's vines, you go limp and get ''dragged into the ground''. Christ.
* Remember in the nooks and crannies and hidden areas around Arkham, how some of them would be filled with debris? Sometimes just looked like places where Joker planned his takeover, but once in a while, you'd stumble upon an obvious living area. It can be implied that patients who couldn't quite escape the island, but escaped their cells to live in the forgotten recesses of the compound, eating mushrooms, licking moisture off walls, sleeping in gathered straw beds. Many living areas also have human bones, and one had a full human skeleton and a single candle. Sad and scary when you consider they preferred that "freedom" to whatever their incarcerated lives were like.
* There is a rat with a human-sized bite taken out of it in the ventilation ducts right outside Dr. Young's office. Think about that for a second.
* After you complete the game, you're free to wander around Arkham Island to finish all of the collectible stuff you didn't during the initial story missions. Even after Arkham was cleared of all its escapees, the sheer atmosphere is unnerving enough. What makes it all the worse is the pure desolate emptiness of the place as you wander through it.
** The fact that all the damage that's been done to the place is still there (no one's even tried to remove [[spoiler:Dr. Young's corpse]]) and the few remaining guards and doctors, like Aaron Cash, are still standing around as if they're still trapped. Go to the medical ward and Dr. Cassidy and company are still hiding out behind stacked hospital beds. Even though they're free, they haven't escaped, they're still afraid of what will happen if they walk out the door.
*** [[ParanoiaFuel Maybe they know something dangerous is still out there...lurking in the shadows.]]
** As it turns out, not ''all'' the patients disappear once you've finished the game; just the ones you've previously taken out. So you've finished the game, but haven't done much backtracking; you're a little unnerved by the idea of walking around a mostly empty Arkham Island, but at least you're pretty sure no one's going to jump out and attack you anymore... Then you walk through the Abandoned Tunnel area looking for collectibles and a lunatic that you missed starts screaming and charging at you.
* Clayface's cameo is cool, but fairly creepy as well. He's locked up in his cell, and you never see him in his clay form. He's disguised as Aaron Cash, Sharp, or Gordon whenever you visit him. He's always changing his disguise, too. If you pan the camera away for just a second, you'll hear him morphing. Look back and, sure enough, he's impersonating someone else. As Cash or Sharp, he will try to trick you into thinking he's the real one, and begs you to let him free (you can't, anyway). However, as Gordon, he will just laugh if you talk to him. Just laugh...and laugh...and in one instance that has never since repeated itself, Clayface ''does'' speak as Gordon. He tells you that the Warden certainly ran off in a hurry. And isn't that strange, since you told him specifically to stay put, so what could he be up to...? [[FridgeHorror What indeed]].
** Even creepier with Clayface, if you look at him with your Detective Mode, he has no skeleton at all.
** Speaking of cameo villains, there's Ra's Al Ghul too. When you get to the morgue, you can see he's in one of the drawers (you just know it's him by the tag on his foot; you never get to see his face). You investigate him to get his profile and then leave the morgue. Okay. Later when you come back...''where's the body''? Sure, we know the guy can resurrect, but still, ''damn''.
* Many times you would be in utter silence when the PA system would play its creepy tune before the Joker makes an announcement.
** The regular tune was bad enough, but when the worn-down version plays, it's even more unsettling.
*** [[UpToEleven Even worse when]], instead of playing that PA jingle, ''warped, insane, [[LaughingMad creepy laughter plays]]'' before the announcement.
* The game can make you nervous even before you start playing it. When you first load the CD into the [=PS3=], the game's download screen shows a series of shadowed images of characters, whilst a soundtrack plays. Only catch is that the soundtrack is made up of the echoing sounds of ''insane laughter''.
* If you have Detective Mode, you can see through the doors. At one point, you can see two bodies dangling in the air, kicking, struggling...until finally they go still. Open the door, and two dead guards are hanging from the ceiling execution-style. If you don't have Detective Mode on, you won't realize that you were a mere ''30 seconds'' too late to save them with a well-aimed Batarang.
* The single patient on the upper floor in the room where Clayface is located. He never gets out. You can't get to him. He's just...there. Panting and slobbering and generally being creepy.
** Apparently he's the guy [[ContestWinnerCameo who won a contest that let you get a cameo in the game]], meaning that he's somewhere out there and hopefully acting more sane.
* Some of the chatter from the Blackgate prisoners can be this, such as the one guy talking about how Joker ordered him to kill his sister, which he did. Another guy mentioned that he was told the same thing, except that he has no sister, so he just got in his car and ran some random woman down in the street...Joker enthusiastically approved.
* There's a Riddler trophy next to a spray-painted Joker smile. Not necessarily scary in and of itself, until you remember Riddler implying that he knows what Joker had planned...
* Special mention to Batman's death by Smilex gas. He coughs and chokes for a while, while the escape prompt blinks at you repeatedly. Ignore this, and you're treated to an image of the Dark Knight slowly collapsing, his coughs devolving into him [[LaughingMad laughing insanely as he dies]].
* TheStinger. A crate of Titan floating in the river is grabbed by either Scarecrow, Croc, or Bane. You've seen what it just did to [[spoiler:Joker]], now [[BringMyBrownPants go change]].
* Early in the game, when you break out of the facility, you're in a big courtyard and can meet some guards and talk to them and learn a bit about them along with some medics by an ambulance near the entrance. A trip through the medical center later and they're all dead.
* Zsasz. The very essence of Riddler's riddles later have you encountering in one of the many hidden hard to reach rooms (until Batman obtains an appropriate upgrade to reach it) in Arkham where it looks like a "normal" tea party taking place with the GCPD swat officer/guards sitting there. Zoom in and their necks are slit and severed.
** This turns out to be Zsasz's MO. In another room, you see three guards, all dead, posed around as if they were playing poker. Zsasz, apart from tallying his kills, likes to pose his victims in life-like ways after he's killed them. That's incredibly creepy and that's one of the most ''normal'', downplayed things this game has to offer in terms of scariness.
*** Little wonder why he will ''NEVER'' appear in the syndicated cartoons.
* Keep an eye on Batman during the Scarecrow levels. Every so often, there'll be a flash of light, and he'll briefly turn into Scarecrow.
* While walking through the hallways during the "rescue the Doctors" section before entering the morgue. You'll hear prerecorded announcements about Arkham's many facilities. Which at some point mentions a "Kid's facility" for children and teens requiring psychoanalysis. This brings whole new levels of horror. There were kids there? Though most likely they only came for appointments during the day. Like a regular psychiatry.
* Seeing the levels of sanity that [[spoiler:Warden Sharp]] and [[MadScientist Dr. Young]], [[MadDoctor Hugo Strange]] and multiple orderlies that followed [[spoiler:Sharp's]] orders displayed. Arkham probably wasn't that far off prior to Joker's takeover.