One of the standard symptoms of insanity as it is portrayed in television and film media is paranoia accompanied by graphomania, usually expressed by writing on walls, tables, body parts, etc. It can be the same phrase written dozens of times, or an elaborate theory detailing asupposed conspiracy. Confessions, mathematical equations, rants, and screeds are also popular. These can be supplemented with pictures, newspaper articles, official documents, etc. Usually, a character will find some room in their environment upon which to fully express the terms of their obsession. And don't expect these characters to be deterred by the fact that they Couldn't Find a Pen; they'll write with their own blood if they have to.
Characters who display this kind of behavior are not always dangerous or even fully insane, but they are always obsessed.
A detective/doctor/family member can stumble across rooms full of these kinds of paranoid obsessive ramblings and realize that they are Alone with the Psycho. It's not unusual for this moment of discovery to be quickly followed by an attempt on the discoverer's life by the owner of the room. These rooms can be also be susceptible to cases of vanishings as well. (Curse you, Pine Sol!)
It should be noted that a character doesn't have to cover the walls with writing to make this an effective trope. A neatly typed ream of crisp white paper reading "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" will work just as well.
If the Room Full of Crazy is specific enough, for example, only part of a wall is covered with photos of the same subject, it may be a Stalker Shrine. A Shrine to Self may likewise double as a Room Full Of Crazy for Omnicidal Maniacs and the like. If the room is used for plotting a conspiracy theory, its a String Theory. The Black Bug Room is the mental version of this. The Doll Episode may include a room full of dolls for similar effect.
Compare Mess Of Woe. Not to be confused with a Wall of Text, which is about something else entirely. The Big Board is the non-insane version of this.
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In Ibitsu, Kazuki discovers a room in the abandoned mental hospital where the lolita covered large portions of the walls and floor by writing 'big brother' over and over.
Schwartzwald in The Big O has apparently discovered the secret behind Paradigm City's mass amnesia, and what happened to the rest of the world forty years ago. His reaction is to wrap himself up in bandages, murder aristocrats via arson, commandeer a giant robot (and verbally harass its new pilot after his death), and leave typewriters - sometimes dozens of them - wherever he goes, filled with rantings to curse the foolish and blind residents of the city. Depending on interpretation, the bit about the giant robot may not count; it's well-established and even invoked by another character at this point that the mecha of The Big O partially think for themselves and have a brotherhood-like preference for their pilots, so Schwartzwald laughing in Alan Gabriel's face for trying to pilot Big Duo could be the most logical thing he ever says.
One of the rooms in Kotomi's house in CLANNAD is covered with newspaper articles and so forth about her parents and their deaths in an airplane crash.
An odd version of this trope turns up in the anime film adaptation of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis. Tima, after being taken into the custody of the man who had her created in the first place and being denied access to Kenichi, the boy on whom she'd imprinted, proceeds to scrawl his name all over the walls and windows of the luxury bedroom she was given. This was especially powerful, given how innocent Tima's character is, and scares the maid that brings her a change of clothes witless. All the same though, it was more Tima sulking than anything truly horrific or psychological.
Monster: Johan leaves behind a number of messages, some bragging, some asking for help.
A mild form seen in Fruits Basket when Kureno's curse broke and Akito started going...even more crazy.
Not forgetting the crazy room Akito made for Yuki when he was a child, filled with black and darkness to slowly drive him insane.
"Room of the Cat", anyone? Specially when Rin is kept prisoner there.
Her mother, Naoko, is almost exactly the same way. When they have to get inside the Caspar core, its entire inside is covered with post-its, with almost no space left free. At least one reads "Ikari! YOU JERK!"
Rei's original room in Central Dogma might also count: there are various terms related to quantum physics written onto the walls. It also happens to have the exact same layout as her current apartment's living room.
One of the first victims in Uzumaki has a room filled with spiral-related items: mosquito coils, numerous shells, spiral-patterned clothes, etc. When these are thrown out in an effort to stop his psychosis, he is... less then pleased.
The narrators in Hideshi Hino's horror stories invariably have houses or shops full of crazy, filled with disturbing paintings, horrible things in jars, and/or macabre junk.
After Kamina is killed by Thymilph in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, one of the signs that Simon's grasp on sanity is slipping is his tendency to lock himself in his room and use his drill to obsessively carve statues of the deceased over and over until the room is literally filled with them.
In surreal anime film Paprika, Himuro has an entire apartment full of crazy. There are shelves filled with broken toys and dolls (all of them move and make noises), walls coated with photos of himself and his friend Tokita (with Tokitas's face cut out) and little lit-up signs that say "help me." This signifies the fact that the dream world has overwhelmed his mind.
One character in Oniisama e... ( Rei Asaka aka Hana no Saint Juste) has two Rooms Full of Crazy. One (in her apartment) is full of mirrors, the other one (in an abandoned spot of her school) has stuff carved into the walls and hundreds of holes left by throwing knives. Her sister ( Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya) has a room obsessively preserved for six years because that's where she first met the guy she has a crush on.
Lucia's cell in Rave Master which probably wasn't done in blood because several of his messages implied that he had yet to harm anyone, and there's no way he had enough blood to fill that cell.
Old Cho's room in Domu: A Child's Story is completely filled with little trinkets that he has collected from every person he killed.
In Kaori Yuki's manga Boy's Next Door, Adrian has one of these when his backstory is revealed. After stabbing his mother, he doesn't want her staring at him, so he covers her eyes and then scratches the eyes out of every picture in the room. The police find him five days later.
Ghost in the Shell: Arise. As part of a conspiracy to frame her mentor Lt. Colonel Mamuro, Motoko Kusanagi realises she's been infected by a virus that gives her False Memories and filters out anything she sees that doesn't fit in with them. When she's able to temporarily disable it, Motoko shocked to find that her neat apartment has been trashed and she's scrawled The Lt. Col. is innocent all over the walls.
Deb Sokolow's piece Someone Tell Mayor Daley The Pirates Are Coming is an example. The piece is a 12-foot long piece of blue copy paper detailing the increasing paranoid delusions of the narrator, accompanied by sketches and doodles, of his fear that pirates have secretly infiltrated Chicago and are planning to take over.
Batman: The Joker does this occasionally. One story showed the walls of his cell covered with smiley faces, caricatures of Batman and Robin and the full lyrics to the Batman version of Jingle Bells. The speaker on the wall with which the doctors communicated with him was labeled "them". In another story, Batman managed to find a clue in the Joker's scribbles.
In 52, time-traveling superhero Booster Gold breaks into the secret base of veteran chrononaut Rip Hunter looking for advice on temporal anomalies that have been bothering him, but finds Rip missing, his time machine broken, and a chalkboard in his bunker covered in crazy theories and the phrase "TIME IS BROKEN" over and over. Over in a corner, he finds the words "IT'S ALL HIS FAULT" scrawled all over the walls and dozens of photos and magazine covers of Booster himself. It later turns out that Rip was absolutely sane and absolutely right, but the photos weren't of Booster — they were of his (possessed) Robot Buddy Skeets.
In The Sandman, the title character punishes author Richard Madoc (who had kidnapped a Muse and was raping her for inspiration) by giving him an unstoppable barrage of ideas. When this happens while he has no writing materials on hand, Madoc transcribes the ideas on the sidewalk with his fingernails and blood.
Another schizophrenic man (who is recruited to rescue Delirium) has a compulsion to write warnings on any available wall ("DO NOT ERASE THIS MESSAGE!")
Johnny's entire house could also count as an example of this. Stuffed animals are nailed to the walls, rooms are covered with philosophical meanderings, posters are stuck all over the place, as well as macabre little messages (Enjoy your stay-the management). Of course, considering that Johnny is Axe Crazy, this makes a lot of sense.
In V for Vendetta, the patient in room 5 makes patterns out of piles of fertilizer and other substances, prompting a doctor in the facility to document his behavior in her journal. There's just one problem... It isn't symbols, it's homebrew explosive.
Spider-Man: Carnage did this when he was told Spider-Man's identity- he wrote Peter Parker's name on the walls hundreds of times and chanted to himself "I know a secret..." The knowledge was quickly wiped from his mind, but they never showed what happened to the writing on the wall. Did Ravencroft guards/doctors wonder who Peter Parker was and why Carnage cared about him?
Quite possibly they reasoned he hated the guy who took pictures of him, Carnage, getting beaten up.
How did Peter Parker take pictures of Spider-Man beating somebody up?
Peter generally webs his camera to a building, pointed at the area where he plans to fight, then sets the camera to automatically take pictures.
How would they know who took the pictures?
Photographers are generally credited in the publication their pictures are printed in; the Daily Bugle would have his name listed somewhere.
In a recent Batman comic, Two-Face is shown to have news clippings covering one of his walls.
He says jokingly that compared to some of his other obsessions, that one is only about a 2 on the Richter scale.
During Dwayne McDuffie's run on Fantastic Four, the team discovers a secret lab that only Reed Richards has ever entered before, every surface covered wall to ceiling with various equations. This lab, it turns out, is where Reed Richards had started what he called "Plan #101", a plan to solve all the problems in the world. Among them some of the guidelines he was following during the Civil War. Johnny points this out when they first see the room (in a rather recent comic): "Dude, if you'd asked me, I'd buy you a notepad."
Ultimately subverted during the "Fix Everything" arc by Johnathan Hickman; it's revealed that the surfaces of Reed's secret lab act like output devices, and Reed can erase and rewrite as needed. When he encountered a legion of Reed Richards counterparts from alternate universes who sacrificed their families to solve the world's problems, he chose to put his family above "Plan 101" and ordered his computer to erase his notes. The next frame shows the lab, with all surfaces clean and pristine.
Serenity: Those Left Behind shows Dobson living in a room decorated with pictures of Mal and phrases like "Kill Reynolds" scrawled over every surface. As he explains to the men sent to find him; "I don't want Serenity... I want Reynolds. You could say I'm... preoccupied with the idea."
The main character in the CG Fan FilmSilent Hill: No Escape is a man whose slow descent into his own Self-Inflicted Hell is accompanied by mysterious words and sigils, written in blood on the imaginary landscape that surrounds him. The words "No Escape" are common appearers, of course, and when he gets to the church with the sacrificial altar at the end, he sees, written above it, the titles and numbers of the six victims his Superpowered Evil Side has murdered in order to free itself.
The Kung Fu Panda fanfiction A Different Lesson has a mind-controlled Monkey "decorate" his room this way as part of his downward spiral into insanity following learning that Tai Lung and Tigress share a mutual attraction. Thankfully, He got over it.
In the terrifying Pokémon creepypasta Easter Egg: Snow on Mt. Silver, the protagonist's brother covers the whole house in broken gameboys and cartridges that he has destroyed himself after the easter egg renders him essentially insane.
In Camp Nightmare, the walls of Hugs and Snuggles Day Camp's basement are covered with the cult's logo.
In CP Coulter's Dalton, a wall in Adam's room is covered in pictures of Julian, his obsession, love letters to him, roses, and Adam's own blood. The wall is covered up by wallpaper most of the time, but the room still stinks of roses and blood.
In Address Unknown, Derpy decorates her bedroom with eye charts from her dozens of visits to opticians over the years. Rainbow Dash describes it as, "In daytime, they were thought-provoking, but at night… creepy." It becomes a plot point when she wakes up the morning after being temporarily blinded by Twilight's spell and realises that not only can she see again, she can read the top rows of letters more clearly than ever before.
In Vision, seemingly kindhearted vet White Wash claims to put stuffed animals in the cages to make the animal shelter more friendly-looking when it's not at full capacity. Siren believes her, until she realizes that White Wash has been treating the dolls as if alive.
The Homestuck fanfic The Serendipity Gospels has Terezi do this in her sleep after the Grand Highblood starts chucklevoodooing her. She writes "BR34K SH4CKL3" over and over again, first on one wall and then on all the walls. When she wakes up and licks the words, she goes screaming insane. Gamzee has no idea what the hell is going on, and neither does she.
In the Kim Possible fanfic Alone Together, Kim and Shego are stranded in an Alternate Universe by a mishap with one of Dr. Drakken's inventions. Kim spends a year obsessively trying to figure out how to get the device working again, living in a mess of scattered notes and discarded food and water containers.
Ray Finkle's room in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, covered with scrawls of "Laces Out" and "Die Dan Die," left Ace (and the audience) in no doubt that Finkle lost his mind following the disastrous missed field goal that cost the Dolphins the Super Bowl and that he's got some rather ugly designs on Dan Marino, whom he blames for the whole thing. Ace would later say of the room, "Cozy, if you're Hannibal Lecter."
Second Jim Carrey example, this time with Carrey- in Batman Forever Edward Nygma has at least one picture of Bruce Wayne in his office (which is really a cubicle that he put glass walls around to keep the other workers out) and his home is filled with yet more pictures and newspaper clippings of the same. As The Riddler, he starts sending crazy riddles to Bruce's home and office made out of newspaper clippings. He thinks Bruce Wayne is the only man who can understand his genius- when Bruce brushes him off, he snaps, murders his supervisor (after using his device on him, unintentionally stealing his brainwaves to make himself smarter).
Similarly, in The Amazing Spiderman 2 Max Dillon has his own stalker room of Spiderman, again complete with photos and newspaper clippings, as well as a mirror next to one photo so he can pretend that he is Spidey's secret identity, because of a crippling inferiority complex and nobody noticing him (his own mother forgets when its his birthday). When it so happens that one day Spiderman saves his life and calls him "my eyes and ears" after Dillon calls himself a nobody, he gets overconfident and tries to fix dangerous electrical equipment in Os-Corp labs by himself- leading to the accident that turns him into Electro. When Spidey meets him again and doesn't remember his name, Dillon is furious and goes on a rampage.
Used in American Psycho when a prostitute, while being chased by Axe CrazySerial Killer Patrick Bateman, enters a room in his apartment that has the words "yuppie scum" written all over the walls in an erratic and disturbing manner.
Also used at the end of the movie when Patrick's secretary looks through his planner to see that, instead of having dates written down for important meetings and the like, he's filled the entire book up with macabre drawings of people being killed and other such disturbing things.
The Japanese horror film Kairo, which was remade (badly) as Pulse, has a scene where one of the ghost-touched victims on her way to becoming an Empty Shell scrawls the word tasukete ("Help me") all over her bedroom walls in messy black script.
A Beautiful Mind: The main character keeps a room filled with obsessively underlined and highlighted newspaper clippings, searching for elusive hidden messages.
Detective Eddie Walenski in Dark City, after going mad, covers the walls and floor of his rooms in endless spirals.
In Dr. Strangelove, the doodles General Jack D. Ripper writes out on a sheet of paper (Peace On Earth, Purity Of Essence, POE) are not only a key to understanding his conspiratorial paranoia but also an important clue to figuring out the all-important "Recall Launch" codes that can stop World War III.
This scene was parodied in a skit during the MST 3 K episode, Mitchell. Gypsy, while trying to figure out a way to get Joel off the ship and to safety, sketches the Ripper Doodles onto a chalkboard. They aren't of much help.
Harold Oxley in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull covered his room with bizarre drawings of the crystal skull, as well as the word "return" in multiple languages. This turns out to be a plot point, as he also carved the location of the skull into the floor of the room.
Played with in In the Mouth of Madness where Trent is locked up in the loony bin, drawing crucifixes all over the walls and himself because he's afraid of Lovecraftian monsters destroying the world. The twist is, of course, Trent realises he is perfectly sane once he comes to terms with really being a character in a book and that the monsters really are coming and makes a room full of crazy so as to convince the authorities to keep him in the relative safety of the sanitarium.
Quills: The main character is in prison, but obsessed with finishing his book. He continues to find more and more innovative ways to write it, on his sheets in blood, and culminating in scrawling it all over the walls of his cell in his own filth.
In REC, the closest anyone gets to an explanation is a Room Full of Crazy covered in newspaper clips about a "Ninha Medeiros" who seems to have been infected or possessed, a recorder that plays back some ramblings about a virus, an infected hyper-aggressive little boy and, finally, the Ninha herself that kills the last two survivors.
The Return of the Pink Panther ends with Clouseau's boss, the former Chief Inspector Dreyfus being driven mad by his obsessive hate for his underling. He spends the last scene in a strait jacket holding a crayon between his toes, writing "Kill Clouseau'' over the walls of his padded cell.
In the horror film series Saw, Diabolical Mastermind Jigsaw has nasty headquarters seen in the first movie, and one of detectives tracking him, who has gone more than a little crazy, also has a room covered with thousands of newspaper clippings about the case.
In Knowing, the precognitive little girl who predicts the series of disasters cumulating in the end of the world turns out to have spent her last days in a veritable mobile home full of crazy, containing several walls covered with deeply signficant newspaper clippings and the revelation everyone was going to die carved repeatedly into the underside of the bed.
One of the creepier examples appears in Se7en. As if the black painted windows and red neon cross in his bedroom weren't enough to convince us that John Doe is crazy, the religious icons, drawings and obsessively detailed notebooks he leaves behind leave us in no doubt. (John Doe is also fond of leaving obsessive inscriptions near his murder victims as well.)
The most disturbing part of this is all the books were filled with genuine crazy. A guy was hired specifically for the movie and spent two months scribbling up the texts.
Gumb's house in the film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs. He's got pictures of butterflies all over the place, swastika quilts, and dead people. He also has a collection of newspaper clippings regarding his exploits, plastered on the inside of the door of a large cabinet. Directly in front of it is his in-progress woman suit, which is substantially freakier.
Jack Crawford, Clarice's superior and the man leading the hunt for Gumb, has his office adorned with the same newspaper clippings, along with photos of the bodies that washed up on the riverbank.
Lecter's cell is a more toned-down version, as it's just plastered with crayon and charcoal drawings of Renaissance architecture. Guy has a lot of time on his hands, and likes to draw.
Similarly, in Red Dragon, Dolarhyde keeps a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and doodles from his messed-up childhood.
The eponymous work of The Testament Of Doctor Mabuse, written by a former criminal genius gone mad who is unresponsive except for his hand which keeps writing whether he has pen and paper or not. Seemingly scrawled gibberish, the pages assembled in the right order form a manual to bring about the "Reign of Crime", and meaningless but terrifying crimes around Germany demonstrate someone's read the manual ...
In Unbreakable, Bruce Willis' character finds out the truth about his Broken Pedestal mentor when he has a psychic flash, then looks around at the room they're standing in and sees newspaper stories about, and plans for, countless disasters are plastering the walls around them. Nothing like finding out someone you trust is a Devil in Plain Sight.
In The Wall, Pink Floyd smashes all the contents of his room, then arranges the pieces in strange and artistic patterns.
In the intro of The Amityville Horror remake, the police find a book in Ronald DeFeo, Jr.'s possession that has "KATCH'EM AND KILL'EM" furiously scrawled on every page.
In Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Sam makes his college dorm room into one of these, with everything covered in Cybertronian symbols. Although he's not quite insane, he just has a map to a sun-destroying energon source implanted in his brain by the Allspark.
Similarly, in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Roy Neary finds himself compelled to transform first a plate of mashed potatoes, then his living room, into a model of Devil's Tower, the alien landing site, as a result of his own "close encounter" with a UFO. He later meets others who had similar experiences, though they expressed themselves in different media.
Esther's room in Orphan, with a slight twist: her decor and paintings appear normal until viewed under a blacklight, which reveals disturbing overlays depicting fire, blood and murder (and erotic images reflecting her sexual obsession with her adopted father).
In Conspiracy Theory, Mel Gibson's room is plastered with clippings from every whacko newspaper in the country. It's also wired up to self-destruct, in case "they" come after him. Which they do.
Memento features a much more portable and practical version of this in the form of Leonard's tattoos.
"Don't believe his lies. He is the one - KILL HIM!"
Even worse, but seemingly more innocent: "Remember Sammy Jenkis." This is Leonard's way of using his own condition against himself, to continue perpetuating the lie that is Sammy Jenkis as a existing person. By putting it on his hand, he ensures he'll look at it every so often.
In Trick 'r Treat, Mr. Kreeg walks into his bedroom to find that someone has written "Trick 'R Treat, Trick 'R Treat, give me something good to eat," all over the walls.
In the film 9, 6 covers his little corner of the the sanctuary with scribblings of "The Source". Since his fingers are tips of fountain pens it's quite possible that his purpose is to draw just that, but since 1 refuses to acknowledge him, 6's sketches just keep coming until you can't see the walls anymore...
In the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie, Holmes gets one of these when he's stuck on solving the case. He also comes across Lord Blackwood's police cell which is covered in occult scribblings.
In One Hour Photo Sy makes extra copies of pictures of one particularly family that develops their photos in the shop where he works, and he plasters the pictures all over the walls of his Stalker Shrine.
Tower Of Terror features a variation of this: Abigail has a trunk fill with photos and mangled dolls of her sister, with "I hate Sally" written over everything.
The wife (She) in Lars von Trier's Antichrist has one of these in their summer cabin loft.
In the Spanish thriller Julia's Eyes, Julia's caretaker and stalker has one of these, full to the brim with pretty disturbing photos of Julia and her twin sister.
In Mad Love, Drew Barrymore's bipolar character spends a night cutting out magazine pictures of eyes and taping them all over the walls of a motel room, telling her boyfriend that the eyes will "protect" them.
In Candy, Dan comes home from work to find that Candy, in her mental breakdown, has scrawled an epic poem about their relationship over every wall in the house.
At one point in A Pure Formality, the hero finds himself in a prison cell with walls full of scribblings.
In Secret Window, Secret Garden, by Stephen King, Amy arrives at Mort's house near the end of the story to find the word "Shooter" written over and over on every available surface. Shooter is the name of Mort's imaginary stalker.
In The Film of the Book with Johnny Depp, the scene has many dramatic camera pans as Amy first notices "Shooter" on a desk, then one wall, then the others - And the final pan reveals the word expanded into two, "Shoot Her", with Mort framed in a doorway between them.
The Shadow of the Wind: The Julián children room is covered with crosses and Catholic symbols, although that's his father, not him, who made this.
In Dean Koontz's Strangers, one character types "The moon" hundreds of times on his computer and another covers his entire house with pictures of the moon.
In Chuck Palahniuk's novel Diary, the protagonist's husband used to hide (yes really) rooms in houses he worked in and write insanities on the walls before he attempted suicide.
Subverted: it wasn't a suicide attempt, and he wasn't really insane but trying to warn future inhabitants of the danger they were in.
In the Discworld novel Thief of Time, the idea for the "glass clock" comes to Jeremy Clockson (who is not so much crazy as so sane he wraps back around to crazy) in a dream, and he's forced to write down the plans on the wall of his bedroom before he can forget them.
While in Men at Arms, Detritus the troll is trapped in a freezer house, and his silicon brain becomes super-cooled. He begins to puzzle out the nature of the universe through mathematics, writing his equations in the ice. When rescued, he can't remember what it was about, and his dwarf partner gets just enough time looking at the work before it melts to know it would take a very long time to figure it out. Though it was more tragic than crazy; the writing is described as a thing of beauty, pure understanding of mathematics itself.
And in Moving Pictures, Dibbler wakes up in the middle of the night with the idea for "Blown Away" and, after a moment of discovering that he hasn't got any paper, writes the script on his bedsheets. This is playing the trope entirely straight, since the ideas for the moving pictures come from the Discworld's own set of Eldritch Abominations.
Methodia Rascal, the Mad Artist whose masterpiece was stolen in Thud!, lived in fear of either being attacked by, or transformed into, a chicken. After his death, his landlady found sacks note Sacks of chicken feed, mind full of notes he'd scribbled to himself, most of which read: "You are not a chicken".
The Robert Louis Stevenson book The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has a scene in Dr. Jekyll's trashed laboratory, where Dr. Lanyon finds a book of theology belonging to Jekyll, made harder to read because of Hyde's insane and blasphemous scribblings all over them.
Zampano and Johnny Truant's rooms in House of Leaves. Paper everywhere, notes on The Navidson Record, Tape Measures taped to the floor, and in Zampano's room, a set of unexplained claw marks on the floor.
In a Sweet Valley High mini-series, crazy stalker Margo had one of these dedicated to Elizabeth Wakefield.
In John Dies at the End the protagonist and narrator, Dave, find himself in the trailer where the man who sells the Soy Sauce lives. He enters a room, only to find himself in a beautiful landscape which he later realizes is a painting that covers all of the walls, floor and ceiling to trick the eye. He then realizes the painting is not as nice as it first appears to be
While Suzie Shooter's residence resembles this trope, it's not because she's nuts, but because she doesn't have a desk and honestly couldn't care less whether or not it's appropriate to write on walls. More of a Room Full Of Doesn't Give A Shit, really.
Also from the Nightside series, any room that Madman remains in for long becomes a literalRoom Full of Crazy. Writing on the walls is optional, as it's hard to write on a surface that's bleeding, shaking violently, and/or telling you raunchy knock-knock jokes (possibly all three).
In Peacebreakers by Mindy MacKay, inmates of Fleischer prison scrawl poetry on the cell walls in their own blood, which eventually evolves into a tradition referred to as "Bloodletting".
In Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony the demon Leon Abbot is said to have spent his much of his brief foray out of Limbo alternately ranting about how he was going to Kill All Humans and writing seemingly random equations and incantations on his cell walls. It's later implied that the writing was actually the warlock Abbot had merged with calculating the effects Abbot's interference had had upon the spell to seal their home island into Limbo.
The Laundry Series. When the protagonist visits an asylum set up for Laundry operatives who've gone insane in the line of duty, he notes that many of the inmates aren’t allowed writing implements or even blank paper — when you can summon Eldritch Abominations with the right kind of theorem, crayon on the walls of a padded cell takes on a whole different level of menace.
Deborah Blau does this in a bathroom in I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. She writes the words for "extreme loneliness" and "extreme anger" over and over in her personal language. It's a very important moment to her, to her psychiatrist it's a good sign, but to the orderlies she's just another lunatic. She overhears them making fun of her later.
In the 6th book of The 39 Clues, Amy and Dan are in Bob Troppo's room in an abandoned Australian Mine. The walls had the words "Ring of Fire" carved all over, a Shakespeare quote, and a drawing of a volcano.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In reaction to the various disasters befalling the Circus, Control locks himself in his room with old files stacked everywhere, including the floor. Everyone thinks Control is losing his grip, but it turns out he's tracking down The Mole who's behind it all.
Literature/Heart of Darkness. Kurtz, the Company trader who the narrator, Marlow, has been sent down the Congo to find, has written a treatise for the 'International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs'. It opens with the phrase that Europeans must appear to the Congolese as 'supernatural beings'. It ends quite differently... Exterminate all the Brutes! It is later revealed that this treatise is sought after by a journalist intent of publishing it, and who describes Kurtz as a potential political candidate for 'any party', as 'an extremist'.
Live Action TV
From the Season 3 episode "Helpless" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy runs into a room full of pictures of her mother taken by a really crazy vampire.
In episode 2.2 of Sherlock the last couple of minutes setting up for finale The Reichenbach Fall show Moriarty in a cell with SHERLOCK SHERLOCK SHERLOCK scrawled across the walls.
In Happy Town the newly appointed Sheriff discovers a crazy wall in the basement of a friend who has been trying to track down The Magic Man.
Dr. Rush in Stargate Universe makes one in his dream world as he tries to unlock the Destiny's controls while interfacing with the ship computer.
Later he's shown to have set up a real one in a corridor of the ship.
After learning that Sheriff Buck is the Devil Incarnate from none other than his own mother, Dr. Crower of American Gothic becomes so obsessed with Buck that he starts acting like a crazed stalker. When Gail, Ben, and Dr. Peele becomes suspicious of his personality changes and investigate his house, they discover a room straight out of this trope—no rambling writing scrawled on the walls (except Buck's name, over and over), but plenty of photos, newspaper clippings, and an enlarged headshot of the sheriff with a red bullseye marked around it. Despite the predictable cliche quality of the moment, it still managed to be rather chilling.
Angel: Fred spends her first few months back on Earth as an agoraphobic hermit who covers the walls of her room with her mathematical formulae until she is able to finally come out of her shell, symbolized by her painting the walls. This is a hold over from her spending five years hiding out in a cave in a demonic dimension, where the only thing she could write on while trying to figure out how to get home were the cave walls.
Lampshaded later when she momentarily writes formulas on the glass window of her office:
Angel: Oh, this is never good.
Fred: No, er, I just ran out of blackboard...
In a later episode ("Sacrifice", s04e20), it is revealed that before the goddess Jasmine came to Earth, she was being revered in other dimensions and her previous followers are obsessed with bringing her back. In the sewers, Wesley is dragged away by one of the Spider Monsters into its lair and discovers that the demon has been creating an elaborate summoning mandala out of flesh and blood of its victims along one wall, using blood magic because "She is older than words".
Earlier on Angel also encountered a vampire he'd sired who performed the same set of murders over and over again and considered himself an artist. Angel mocked his endeavors and guessed that he even had the cliched wall covered in photos of his victims. He did.
A milder example: when Lindsey first got his Evil Hand , he wrote "kill kill kill" all over sheets of paper during a meeting.
Wesley's office in Season 5 after Illyra takes infects and kills Fred, Gunn has this little convo with Lorne:
Gunn: Strange times. Have you talked to Wes?
Lorne: Well, we've exchanged words. I wouldn't exactly call it talking. He's still reeling since Our Lady of the Blue Bummer arrived.
Gunn: Yeah, I was just in his office, and—
Lorne: Oh, God, don't go in there! That's where he keeps his full-strength crazy.
Ironic Fitting that Booth and Angel, above, who complained about the same thing, were played by the same actor.
There's also the Gorgomon's lair, which manages to be creepy without having a single Madness Mantra.
Castle: Walls of Crazy appear numerous times in the series. Sometimes they are false lead and a Red Herring.
Seen in the first episode. The room is covered in covers from Castle's books, drawings of the death scenes, and pictures of the victims and Castle himself. The owner and maintainer of the Room Of Crazy was crazy but didn't actually commit the crime.
In "Ghosts", the person with a Wall of Crazy is a writer. The wall organizes her background research.
Appears again in "Boom!" The serial killer stalking Beckett has one of these creepy rooms. This guy certainly is guilty.
Discussed in "Inventing the Girl", and for good reason: the "stalker" wasn't really a stalker at all. When Dangerously Genre Savvy Castle notices this, he even says, "Where's the big creepy wall of Jenna?"
Beckett's home murder board, where she obsessively tries to solve her mother's case, isn't precisely a Room Full of Crazy, but the authors used the similar imagery to suggest that Beckett's obsession isn't entirely sane, either — something Beckett herself readily admits.
While not using words, one Serial Killer in Cold Case did this to his room by covering the walls with stylized trees in order to recreate a childhood crime he claimed his mother was raped in the woods, but it was actually he who was raped after his own mother betrayed him to the rapist.
In one episode dealing with a OCD Unsub upon entering her room to find the walls plastered with hand coppied religious matierial Morgan quips "OCD? I'm thinking more OMG"
And then there was the hacker Unsub who had a Hacker Cave full of monitors for the various potential victims he was spying on through their webcams (Yes, we know.). And he still managed to do his day job as tech support.
Then there's the unsub's video editing room in "The Big Wheel", where he watches videos of his murders and a video of his father killing his mother over and over.
The CSI: New York episode "Jamalot" features a killer who writes the last chapter of a novel across a victim's entire body.
Though not crazy, when Mac gets deep into a case,he likes to use his office's glass walls to write notes all over.
And in episode "The Ride In", a man building an ark in his backyard has a the walls of his room covered in quotations from the Bible, the Koran and Nostradamus.
There's a scene in the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor Dances", when Nancy is making up her mind to leave the other children and confront the Creepy Child "villain". Early on, one of the kids is playing with a typewriter despite his illiteracy ("You can't read or write." "Don't need to- I've got a machine!") and is told to go on if he feels like it. The rest of the scene is accompanied with typewriter clicking noises, but at the end, demonstrating that the villain (who can communicate via any medium) is after Nancy, she points out that the kid who was typing has moved and the typewriter kept typing. The camera then cuts to a couple of shots of the paper, which reads "ARE YOU MY MUMMY?" over and over and over.
This is accompanied by an earlier scene where The Doctor, Rose, and Jack find the Child's room in the hospital, which is covered entirely with drawings of domestic scenes - a boy and his mum.
The drawings in Chloe's room in "Fear Her".
Similarly the drawings and dolls in Amelia Pond's bedroom shown in several episodes attest to her obsession with the "Raggedy Doctor".
In "Human Nature", John Smith draws images from his dreams in his journal.
In "The Beast Below", Liz Ten keeps a large number of glasses of water on the floor in her room as a constant reminder that something is wrong with her kingdom.
In the "The Doctor's Wife", Aged-Rory/Delusion really doesn't take Amy leaving him again well.
Earlier on in the season, in "Day of the Moon", Amy and Canton enter an Orphanage of Fear that has variations of "Leave" and "Get Out" scrawled all over the walls. As added Nightmare Fuel, whoever wrote these messages likely addressed them to himself.
Plus, all those tally-marks the characters drew on their own skin.
The 8th Doctor wallpapers a room with increasingly abstract crayon drawings in the novel Seeing I. He also spends almost all of Interference going crazy while being tortured and writing on the floor in his own blood.
Crichton does this at one point late in Farscape with wormhole equations, as his brain is finally starting to dismantle the "firewalls" to the knowledge placed in his head by the Ancients and he requires a lot of space. He also starts writing on his own skin.
And in an earlier episode. He does ask for paper at first, but of course the rest of the crew have no idea what paper is.
Fringe recently did this with a mathematical equation. For a fun twist, they added a kid obsessed with a tune that was the musical counterpart to the mathematical progression of the equation.
Serial Killer Sylar's graffiti in his apartment on Heroes begs for forgiveness. Also, Future!Hiro's string "map" of cause-and-effect in Isaac's apartment.
One of the funniest examples appeared in Im Alan Partridge. Alan is visiting the house of his "biggest fan" Jed Maxwell, and while looking for the bathroom walks into a pitch-black room. He switches on the light to reveal that every wall plastered with pictures of his face, and there's even a dummy of himself sitting in the centre of the room. Things get worse when Jed appears, takes off his shirt to reveal a huge tattoo of Alan's face on his chest, then tries to take him prisoner.
What makes this even funnier is that Alan, accompanied by a couple of writers he's trying to impress, has been trying to pretend that this is his house. And even tries to pretend that the room is his. ("I am such a big head!") It backfires; the writers think he's crazy and, when they make a break for it, leave him there.
In the KateModern episode "The List", Gavin covers the wall of his bedroom with pictures of all the people he hates, many of them with black scribbles over their eyes.
Law & Order, "Atonement." Briscoe and Curtis get a warrant to search the apartment of a suspect in a supermodel's murder... and find it covered with photos of the dead woman.
Another episode featured a woman with very well-controlled Schizophrenia who appeared perfectly normal until you brought up texting while driving ("Satan sends messages about who to kill to his minions to their cell phones while they're in the car, duh!"). Naturally, she had a whole Apartment Full Of Crazy.
The main character in Life, Detective Charlie Crews, has a secret room filled with photos of people who figure in the conspiracy that murdered his partner sent him to prison for 12 years.
An episode of Medium has Alison mildly possessed by a ghost and, rather, than taking notes, she writes "It was ME" over and over on a notepad without realizing what she's doing.
Another incident with a note pad happened when she was drawn into the case of a Zodiac Killer-expy and wrote an entire letter in the killer's code. Things got worse after the code "bled" into the real world.
In the first-season episode "Sub Rosa" of NCIS, including a screensaver.
NUMB3RS: Charlie is prone to Room Full of Crazy break outs of Math equations at the best of times, but in the episode Uncertainty Principle, he goes off the deep end when he into a fit of depression and attempts to solve an apparently unsolvable math problem.
The particular problem, P vs. NP, is not necessarily unsolvable (in the sense that no independence proof has been given showing that neither it nor its negation contradicts arithmetic), but it is actually one of the most famously unsolved problems. In short, it asks if every problem whose solution can be verified in polynomial time (some finite polynomial in 'x' (the size of the set of data) independent of what 'x' happens to be) can also be solved in (a probably much larger) polynomial time.
No mention of his serial-killer theory in the fifth season, where he fills his office with papers hanging from strings to try and track one killer he believes to behind over thirty murders? They even bring in a conspiracy nut to help him! He's right, of course.
Michael's apartment in Prison Break is the sane version of this, but he later built a version of this, making patterns with his blood and parts of clothes when in solitary confinement in order to get sent to the mental ward to recover a missing piece of his plans.
Seeing all of the marks on the wall made by the thumbtacks Alexander Mahone, the FBI agent put in charge of capturing the escapees, realizes the depth of Michael's plan to get Lincoln out of Fox River. Mahone would later recreate Michael's plans on his basement wall in an attempt to get one step ahead of Michael and catch him. Mahone's was much of a Room Full of Crazy situation as he became obsessed with catching Michael.
Michael would use a wall plan again in the fourth season, this time his plan was to find the person who killed Sara.
In the fourth season of Skins, Effy is suffering from psychotic depression (incidentally, a case of the writers giving Effy a real mental illness instead of a simple case of Sanity Slippage) and covers her wall in morbid collages, including newspaper clippings about deaths.
On Smallville, Lionel Luthor writes all over his cell walls in Kryptonian glyphs during his crazy/possessed period.
Chloe's various Walls of Weird are a somewhat more innocuous variant.
In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Far Beyond the Stars" Sisko hallucinates himself as a science fiction writer in the '50s who dreamed up the events of the show and has a nervous breakdown when, because of his race, he can't get it published. He returns to the real world at the end of the episode, but at a pivotal moment in the later episode, "Shadows and Symbols," Sisko is about to open a box which can change the course of the war with the Dominion, of his life, and of a literal Holy War between Gods (or Sufficiently Advanced Aliens). He then blacks out to a Room Full of Crazy, and all the events of the entire series up to that moment are written all over the walls. The doctor comes in and tells him to stop writing on the walls: this "Deep Space Nine" thing is just a fantasy, and he's never going to get better until he gives up and paints over his writings. He then knocks out the doctor, writes "he opens the box" on the wall, and finds himself back in the real world, doing just that. The fake world of Benny Russell in the '50s pops up a few other times in the series, and the writers were considering having the last scene be Benny on a Hollywood set, holding a script titled "Deep Space Nine".
Cmdr. Tuvok does this to a certain extent in the Voyager episode "Endgame". He has an unnamed neurological illness (a degeneration of the neural peptides) that causes him to write obsessively in addition to being extremely light-sensitive and paranoid.
Torchwood did this in the episode "Adrift", though it was more to show Gwen's obsession than to imply that anyone was insane.
In Supernatural when tracking down a Doppleganger, the Winchester brothers meet a guy who is convinced one previous Doppleganger case was a robot, and was obsessed with catching it.
In Lois Therouxs Weird Weekends, when getting acquinted with infomercials and Home Shopping Network, Lois meets fitness entrepaneur Win Paris who jots down his business ideas and motivational phrases on the walls of his apartment and any other available surface, including a bible.
Battlestar Galactica. While captain of the Demetrius, Kara Thrace paints her visions of the signposts to Earth on the walls of her cabin. This does not help reassure her crew that she knows what the frak she's doing.
The terrorist leader in "Sacrifice" is first seen in her cabin muttering to herself as she types up their manifesto. The walls are covered in newsletters and pictures of Sharon Valeri.
Dollhouse: Obsessed detective Paul Ballard creates one of these for the Dollhouse. In the 13th episode, an insane Topher has a different version, having taken one of the sleeping pods and staked his books and personal items around it. He's also writing on the side of the pod though.
Nicole Kirby's mom spends a lot of time gluing pennies to the wall in one of the rooms of her house. The pennies are all from the year Nicole was born.
When one of the thieves of Leverage had to play a conspiracy theorist they replicated a Room Full Of Crazy with every conspiracy they could think of.
Babylon 5: Thirdspace - Lyta covers her walls with "There is Danger, Remember", over and over again.
In Burn Notice, the episode "Signals and Codes," Spencer Witawski does this in his living room with newspaper articles.
The mass-murder cult in The Following is obsessed with Edgar Allan Poe, so it's no surprise Poe's poems are typical wall decor in at least one room of their hideouts. "The Raven" is a favorite.
Inspector Morse: At least two examples, one (dedicated to the proposition that all women are harlots) created by the Reverend Geoffrey Boyd, and the other (dedicated to an obsession with Morse himself) created by Hugo DeVries.
In Harper's Island, Sheriff Charlie Mills has an attic dedicated to information about Serial Killer John Wakefield, the man who murdered his wife 7 years earlier before being shot and falling over a cliff, mainly because the Sheriff knows that Wakefield is still alive. It's full of boards covered in newspapers clippings and photographs and boxes of police files, and creeps the hell out of protagonist Abby Mills when she finds it.
In the episode "Love Never Dies" of Ghost Whisperer, there are two examples of this. One is the written variant all over the walls (and any ornament attached to the walls) in red in the apartment of the deceased, and the second is the paper-scraps variety full of pictures all over the office of a related party.
In Dexter, we see a tragic version of this with Lumen, who had been gang-raped by 5 men for a month. When Dexter enters her motel room, he sees a wall covered with newspaper clippings about rapes and a map with pinpoints all over it. He also realizes that she is sleeping in her closet, as it is the only place she feels safe.
When Claudia Donovan of Warehouse 13 is first introduced, she had recently checked into a Mental Hospital, and the walls of her room are covered in scraps and the like, trying to locate her presumed-dead brother. Of course, he isn't actually dead.
John Doe keeps a room like this in his apartment. It's full of all the hints to his identity.
Luther. A satanist killer abducts a woman from her home and leaves the corridor leading from the front door covered in words written in blood such as DO NOT FEAR THE ABYSS, I AM THE ABYSS. Likely a deliberate use of the trope to add to his reputation and creep people out.
Mr. Oswald Bates in Shooting The Past leaves one of these at his (failed) suicide attempt, along with a cryptic hint that somewhere in this mess is the vital evidence. He's written a key word over and over on bits of paper and cardboard. It's deliberate; inspired by his native flair for the dramatic rather than any mental illness on his part, although arguably everyone who works for the Fallon Collection is slightly off their rockers.
In "Grotesque", Mulder investigates a particularly difficult case and he sinks deep into its ugliness and madness. At one point, the walls of his apartment are completely covered with gargoyle sketches.
In "Jose Chung's From Outer Space", a crazy Conspiracy Theorist who wants to be abducted has a wall covered with newspaper clippings and there are alien figures and pictures all over the place. It kind of mirrors Mulder's office, which is however more of a Big Board.
Scandal: David has this to see why Olivia is helping Quinn. So far he's figured out Quinn was framed for the bombing, as Olivia uses her powers for good instead of evil.
Holmes: Wall of newspaper clippings ... journal filled with his innermost inanities ... souvenirs from the women he murdered ... Ennis seems resolved to leave no cliche unturned.
In the third season of The Walking Dead, Morgan's home is full notes to himself about booby traps. And the death of his son.
Also in the third season, in keeping with his more subtle villainy, the Governor keeps his room full of crazy hidden. He has his zombie daughter locked in a closet, another closet full of zombie heads in jars, and a notebook. The notebook used to be full of detailed, intelligent, and genuinely caring plans for his followers. After the death of his daughter, it's just page after page of tally marks counting the days since it happened.
In the third-season Hawaii Five-0 episode "He Welo ʻOihana", when McGarrett realizes his mother is not alone in the house, he walks in on two of her older male friends planning the caper that will happen later in the episode—with blueprints, notes and pictures all over the walls.
Rod Serling said that when he was getting The Twilight Zone started, "I got 15,000 manuscripts in the first five days. Of those 15,000, I and members of my staff read about 140. And 137 of those 140 were wasted paper; hand-scrawled, laboriously written, therapeutic unholy grotesqueries from sick, troubled, deeply disturbed people." The rest were well-written but unsuitable for the program.
Music and Music Videos
For the Adam And Joe show, Adam Buxton wrote a cheery song revolving around an extreme example of this trope. He later made a music video for it, which can be found here.
The Kidcrash named their album, I Haven't Had a Date in 4 Years, after a diary they found that had the sentence written all over it.
Radiohead's artwork mostly consists of layers over layers of random phrases, weird drawings and repeating symbols, all meant to match (and supplement) the music's angst and paranoia.
The video for Incubus' Warning features a wallpaper-friendly variation, with "10:24" sticky notes covering the walls.
The video for The Call, a Backstreet Boys song about infidelity, the band members are being stalked and offed one-by-one by a woman who appears to be the incarnation of guilt. During the chase, one of the boys passes through a room that has the words "CHEAT", "LIAR", "TRAITOR", etc. written all over the walls and ceiling.
The eponymous character from the Residents' album and webseries "The Bunny Boy" has one of these. It's described in the song "Secret Room", pictured in the liner notes and recorded on video here (watch at your own risk).
Every single room in the video for The Prodigy's song 'Breathe'. Flickering lights, rats, giant centipedes, hair growing from the walls and even the band themselves.
The video for Tokio Hotel's "Rette Mich" features an entire wall with the words 'rette mich' written all over it in frantic handwriting.
From The Crystalline Effect's song "Poetry": "She writes poetry of places she's been/She paints words all over the wall".
A fairly common sign of Warp-inspired madness in Warhammer 40,000, usually written in the writer's blood.
One of the Ravenor novels had madness-induced frescoes spanning through several apartments, getting more elaborate and detailed as they went with the last one depicting two of Ravenor's companions encountering the painter, the image he was painting as the two of them walked into the final room.
And as with most things Chaos-related in that universe, the crazy is generally also a Brown Note, as seen in the Ciaphas Cain novel, The Traitor's Hand, among other places.
Also appears in the same way in Warhammer. One footnote describes a Nurgle-tainted landowner who locked himself in his room and inscribed verses of reverence to the Plague Lord all over his study...in his own blood. "The mewling wreck that was found gibbered and moaned ceaselessly, crippled in mind and mutilated in body. He cradled and caressed many self-inflicted wounds, but none dared to dwell upon the cause of his missing hands."
"Nurgle's Children, our pretties, our pets...How Nurgle loves his little children! How Nurgle loves his little pets..."
The Ad Mech Magos Genator who goes crazy over the course of Xenology, influenced by the Necron living in a sealed cell in the centre of the (spiral-shaped) facility. Halfway through his final report, he abruptly loses it, writing "The metal lives. The metal lives. The Metal Lives. THE METAL LIVES. THE METAL LIVES" over and over again, first in ink and then in his own blood, as he begins cutting spiral shapes into his own flesh...
Games Workshop is actually very good at fulfilling this trope. Read the book Liber Chaotica if you want a really good example of Crazy (the book is written in 1st person perspective, and details all 4 of the Chaos gods. It goes from sane to full-blown Axe Crazy before the end of the book). It's a surprisingly good read, but weighs in at about 500 pages long.
Used in Rise of the Runelords by the Scribbler, who fills the walls of his entire lair with gibberish. Gibberish, except for the poem that the PCs need to decipher.
In Mage: The Awakening, there is an Abyssal intrusion that exists as a meme. When a scientist —usually a physicist or a pure-mathematician— contracts this meme-virus, he begin to write natural laws of the Abyss onto every surface he can find. The result is usually this trope and the scientist's death by ignoring his own need for food. Oh, and you can catch this meme simply by looking at the writings.
In Borderlands, Patricia Tannis has gone insane with her desire to find the legendary Vault. When she is put in a cell for a short period, in a span of maybe an hour, she manages to do up the floor and all the walls with diagrams and alien language pertaining to the Vault.
Sledge's Safehouse in its entirety is one massive house of crazy. "THEY GOT ME" written in blood on the walls, presumably written by the victims in their own blood at the command of their captors, bodies chained up all over an strung up like chandeliers leaking pools of blood, huge blood splatter everywhere,) bodies stuck to the walls and ceilings via steel rods jammed through their eyes, a room with an armless body along with several dismembered appendages and a body stuck up on the ceiling, a small 'colosseum' where victims were presumably forced to fight the cannibalistic 'Psychos' for sport, and on and on. In many cases, fresh blood still drips down from strung up bodies.
Call Of Cthulhu: Dark Corners Of The Earth, in the first mission, you eventually reach the basement of a cult's house, only to find a man completely gutted, strung up in a machine with his arms at his sides and his various organs beating away in dozens of other containers across the room. To top it off, corpses in various states of decay and with various missing organs are scattered around, indicating this victim isn't the first.
Earlier in the same mission you also find a room plastered with newspaper clippings, surveillance photos, and a detailed itinerary - of YOURSELF.
It gets worse later, including a subterranean temple to Cthulhu, where you eventually go insane and possibly kill yourself if you spend too much time near the statue of the Eldritch Abomination, and a room, also used as a sort of preaching room for cultists, where the walls seem to waver as if made from water.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines contains at least 2. First one encounters a serial killer who has various rooms in his home filled with torture equitment, limbs, and textbooks, ultimately ending with you in his main dungeon as he beats you with a severed arm. Second one encounters a flesh-wizard, who's home is a big blood-filled pit with bodies literally everywhere in big fleshy piles. He had tarps to keep the more loose bits from getting away though.
Psychonauts: Paranoid security guard Boyd Cooper is seen writing his conspiracy theories across the gates of an insane asylum. Very fitting.
This is also seen in Boyd's "house" inside his mind, where various newspaper clips and photos are connected by string and covered in mad scrawlings.
Or rather, they were implanted there by Coach Oleander as part of The Plan.
Sometimes the game implies it's actually a twisted form of self-awareness; Boyd's aware something's not quite right in his mind, and the Wall Full Of Crazy is his attempt to sort out exactly what it is. Even in the real world, his ramblings (which are quite hilarious and will go on for hours, if you let them) are about the constructs within his mind.
The cell from which Amy frees Sonic in Sonic Adventure 2 is filled with equations that make a Colony Drop possible. While the identity of its previous owner is never explicitly stated, it was most likely Gerald Robotnik.
We do see Gerald being executed in the exact same room at the end of the game. Also, at this point, Gerald was crazy so it fits this trope well.
Portal: The "Rat Man Rooms." (Actually, they're Doug Ratmann's rooms) Complete with pictures of the Companion Cube taped to pictures of other people, strange poetry, and paranoid writing on the walls. Of course, being crazy doesn't necessarily mean you're wrong... And after the Wham Level, most of the writings read simply "Help!" or "The cake is a lie" written several times in a row.
Hey, at least the crazy guy who was there before you had the good intent of writing you instructions on how to escape the place. (In rather blood-like red ink, but still.)
The audio commentaries that get activated when you've finished the game only make it weirder. Inside many of those same rooms are audio clips by GLaDOS' fantastic voice actress, who delivers her random anecdotes with a certain frantic, hysteric edge to her voice that just makes it freaking creepy. This player assumes it was fully intentional on the part of Valve.
Let's not forget the username and password for the Aperture Science Fully Operational Internet Database Site. (cjohnson, tier3 respectively)
In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, an insane murderer wanting to avenge the Dark Brotherhood for the death of his mother has a pretty nice place in the cellar of a lighthouse. Among other things, the place holds:
A rabid living dog.
The decayed head of said mother.
Multiple rotting dead bodies, possibly serving as lunch to the dog.
Walls splattered with blood.
A really creepy diary, half of it a personal message to his mother, promising revenge. The rest? The word "killhim", written over and over, in blood. (Is there any wonder why this part is mentioned on Nightmare Fuel?)
In another part of Oblivion, you find the diary of a vampire who had gotten trapped in his mansion and eventually gone insane from hunger. The last page reads "blood blood blood food blood blood food blood..."
A paranoid Wood Elf suspects his neighbors are plotting against his life and asks you to investigate them. If you go into his basement, you may find the notes he's been keeping about your investigation - including his belief that you're "one of them," depending on how you respond to his concerns.
One fellow apparently thought it would be swell to swipe a sacred artifact of a nightmare goddess and explore the depths of terror within one's own mind. Tasked to retrieve the artifact, you find a pocket dimension with a room of over-sized furnishings, doors to ledges over endless oceans of lava, and naturally blood and organic bits of things strewn all about. The subject himself is asleep in a bed in a shattered room, with his notes nearby. At first they reflect his scholarly and fanatical delights over discovering such wondrous agonies to experience, but they finally end with him simply writing, "THE HORROR,THE HORROR."
In Morrowind, some of the Sixth House bases contain their share of crazy. The House's insignia, a beetle, is drawn on several of the floors and walls — usually in chalk, but once in blood and once in coins. There's also one room with "the dreamer is awake" scrawled on the floor, and pieces of paper filled with nonsensical pseudo-poetic scribbles lying around.
In Painkiller's "Asylum" level, the interior of the asylum contains writings and claw marks carved into the various walls with blood. Aside from that, it also contains ritual circles complete with candles and Pentagrams, not to mention that the entire place is messed up and filled with toppled furniture, rusted and filled with blood, contains leaping and acid-vomiting handless and footless psycho zombies as well as large, straight-jacketed torture victim zombies with their heads being zapped by detached, electric chair helmets which explode when you come in close contact with them, AND contains large, ghostly, skeletal spirits flying around the place, which hurt you if you get near them. Oh, and did I mention that it's raining hard outside? In the dark night? On a full moon?
The framing areas of Assassin's Creed I, with various mathematical equations and a map to the Pieces of Eden around the world are written in the previous Animus victim's own blood. The effect is a bit creepy once you figure it out.
Made worse by the flashes of the writing in your dreams throughout the first game culminating in The Reveal at the end. The second game makes you feel worse for the guy as you find more information about him through the glyph puzzles.
In Myst III: Exile, the player enters Saavedro's lair at one point, which has, among various experiments and other things, a very large portrait of his wife on the wall with no eyes. Not exactly a room full of crazy, but definitely crazy.
Heck, in Myst 1 you could find a room similar. It wasn't quite crazy per se, but you got just the same feeling when you walked in and found an electrified cage and bottles of poison everywhere.
Oh, there was crazy in Myst. The holoprojector doohickey that had recordings of Achenar's booming "divine" pronouncements to the enslaved inhabitants of the Channelwood Age, the human ribcage lampshade in the Stoneship Age, the holoprojector that morphed a rose into a skull, the severed, dessicated human head sitting in a chest in the hidden room in the Mechanical Age...
You're going to find at least two of these rooms in all four Ages. These belonged to Sirrus and Achenar when they were Agehopping with their dad. Atrus' boys are not known for their sanity, and he must have really respected their privacy to take so long to notice that something was amiss with these two. You can tell 'em apart, too-Sirrus' rooms give the look of sophistication while still betraying a mind touched by darkness, while Achenar's rooms practically giggle.
The player comes across these rooms quite frequently in The Suffering, IE the room full of Rorschach ink blots all over the wall, along with a dead guard on a couch with some strange device on his head that seems to have popped his eye out.
In a fan translation of Seiken Densetsu 3, your heroes are in need of a ship to cross the sea, and find one with a captain willing to take them for free. After the first night on the ship, they awaken to find the whole thing decrepit and crawling with undead. A captain's log they find has several mundane entries about usual naval doings, but the final page is just the word "DIE" repeated over and over.
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw's third entry in his Chzo Mythos series, Trilby's Notes, features a parser system like the text games of yore, with the interface representing Trilby's descriptions of the events of the game, as the game itself is a flashback occurring as he produces a record for the paranormal investigations agency he now works for. At some of the freakier points of the game (and sometimes just at random), an attempt to perform an action will just result in his notebook reading "it hurts it hurts it hurts it hurts." This is all happening while he's phasing back and forth between a Welsh hotel and a rotting alternate-universe counterpart, which has a certain number, vague warnings, symbols, and odd notes (such as two doorways being labeled "man" and "not man") written in blood everywhere. The implication is that Trilby's notes are peppered with mad ravings in between the facts...
The Expedition turns out to be this - the narrator has been writing - or rather, carving - his report (all that you have read thus far) onto the walls of his cell and then, when he runs out of room, onto himself.
In the original Resident Evil, one of the files you find is the diary of a man who has been bitten by a zombie. His writing degenerates into incoherence until finally it's nothing but "Itchy. Tasty." When you put the diary down, he attacks from the closet.
Dead Space features these all around the ship, most blood-writings being pleas of help or saying how to fight the Necromorphs. One peculiar area is where you get a sample of The Virus to decontaminate the air, the room features a lot of writing, red cloths and People Jars.
And, in a subversion, or lampshading or.. something, one will occasionally find amidst the deranged wall-scrawl such oddities as, 'Sorry, family emergency. Where were we again?'
This carries over in the animated comics and I think it also appears in the anime movie too.
Dead Space 2 continues the first game's tradition and adds a new one: an audio log contains a remark that the mental patients are using anything and everything to make replicas of the Marker, from toothpicks and toiletries to blood and feces. One of the observation cells is an example of that last one.
Dead Space 3 "Turn it off...Turn it off... Turn it off..." all centered around a picture of a MARKER. sadly, she was indoctrinated. The lack of communication between Isaac and a Room Full Of HELPFUL Crazy causes the downer ending.
Left 4 Dead has frequent messages written on the walls of the safe rooms, but a genuine Room Full of Crazy is found in the safe room between the third and fourth stages of Death Toll. The previous occupant who refuses to let you in, triggers a zombie rush, and then turns into one himself at the end of the third stage scrawled the phrase he repeats to himself, "Better safe than sorry", 180 times on the walls of the safe room.
One of the lines appears to be scratched out, though. Spelling error perhaps?
The Medical Pavilion section of Bioshock features Dr. Steinman's demented messages to himself ("Above all do no harm". "ADAM denies us any excuse for not being beautiful") jostling for space with messages from his victims ("STAY AWAY", "STEINMAN KILLS"). All of these seem to be written in blood.
When you finally reach Andrew Ryan - there's a wall with pictures of Jack, Fontaine, Tennenbaum, Suchong, Ryan, and Jasmine Jolene, two recordings from Suchong about Jack's real childhood, and the words WOULD YOU KINDLY?
And in BioShock 2 every freaking room in the entire game is covered with scribblings about Doctor Lamb and Andrew Ryan.
WE WILL BE REBORN IN THE COLD WOMB OF THE OCEAN
In Silent Hill's "Nowhere" part (which seems to be a Journey to the Center of the Mind of Alessa/Cheryl, who's pretty much screwed) there's a little room with a girl crying in the corner (she disappears as you enter) and black unreadable scribbling all over the walls and floor.
Looking closer, you can see that dozens of eyes are drawn all over the room; this makes it even creepier.
Silent Hill 2 gives us this infamous line: "There was a hole here. It's gone now."
Silent Hill 4: The Forest World is full of crazy writing on stones. Only Eileen, after she's been possessed by Walter can read it.
Tatsuya Sudou's cell at the asylum in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment. The only readable part is a prophecy that was central to Persona 2: Innocent Sin — if you're familiar with that game, it's an early sign of just how bad things really are, and if you're not, it's still ominous.
In Persona 4, during your first trip into the other world, you find a room created by the murdered announcer's repressed emotions, plastered with photos of Namatame's wife with her face cut out, and a noose hanging smack in the middle of the room. Also, Yosuke almost peed there.
In Mitadake High you can write on notes, with pen or with blood. You can also use cans of spraypaint to make pretty pictures. Combined you can be as creepy as you want, providing you don't run out of paint or paper.
The Strogg processing plant levels in Quake II are full of horrific mutilation, but if that's not enough, it's full of surviving but mentally broken Marines who repeat in moans and whispers, "Kill me now..."
The flash game Alice Is Dead features one of these. The fact that the writing on the wall is invisible to the naked eye somehow makes it worse.
In Batman: Arkham Asylum, several of the cells in Arkham Asylum are decked out like this to indicate where the various members of Batman's Rogues Gallery are held; naturally, each Room Full of Crazy is a room full of a particular theme of crazy to coincide with the dominant theme of that room's particular occupant (such as question marks scrawled over the walls for the Riddler, one half kept in pristine condition and the other half utterly filthy for Two-Face, a room covered in calendar pages for the Calendar Man, etc).
It also contains a couple of nods to Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth. You can find Amadeus Arkham's cell in the game, and as in the comic it's covered in "magic circles". Late in the game, Batman leaves warden Quincy Sharpe locked in a room for his own safety. If you return later, Sharpe is gone and the room is now covered with writing (mostly "Batman" over and over) as well as the final Spirit of Arkham message that reveals Sharpe is the Spirit.
In Indigo Prophecy, a mental patient you visit (while playing as Carla Valenti) has covered his room with creepy spiral drawings of a Mayan snake god.
Similarly, Nathaniel in Heavy Rain has a whole apartment full of crazy. One room is covered in crosses, while another has Biblical passages scrawled all over the walls. While he is deeply religious, the fact that he hears voices may suggest that he is insane as well as obsessed.
Taken to extremes in Dark Fall: Lost Souls, in which the entire Station Hotel is a variant of this trope. Rooms with writing on the walls (hundreds of eyes; a Creepy Child's drawing of the hotel in black crayon; neat rows of writing in an ancient mystical language) are just the beginning: try rooms with hundreds of scissors or syringes stuck into the walls, or a buffet where a homeless man has laid out roadkill dinners for mannequins, complete with menus that list dogs, pigeons, squirrels and rats by their Latin names.
There is a closet in Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly where if you go in, the door just locks itself and going into first person view, you realize that the walls have "help me!" written all over in either blood or scratched in with fingers. Looking at the door, you also realize that whoever was trapped in there has tried to claw their way out and open the door with the bloody clawmarks left behind.
Alan Wake has this, written by Cynthia Weaver in her characteristic light-sensitive paint. It has the word "Tom" written over and over again, and includes other phrases like "I miss you Tom," "I curse you, Thomas Zane". The first one you can come across is a heart that says "CW+TZ".
Also, Weaver is obsessed with light. In one chapter, she reveals that she has a room (appropriately dubbed the Well-Lit Room) inside the dam that she completely covered with lights. This is understandable given that she knows about the Taken and their weakness to light, but she obsessively maintains the room and knows - by their assigned number - which specific bulbs need replacing. It's not until the player gets to this room that they understand just how obsessed she is.
Almost every room in the cult mission of SWAT 4 is one of these to some extent, but the cap on the whole thing is the basement, in which the cult members have buried all of their children, which were sacrificed to their gods, and crazy messages are written all over the walls.
In Penumbra: Overture, you find the room that Red had been trapped in for decades, full of slug dissections and creepy diagrams. Once you flip the switch in the next room, numerous scribblings that read "the blood is deep" and "the darkness eats parasite" become visible on the walls, having been written in invisible ink.
Toward the end of the survival horror/human drama game Fragile Dreams, the player enters a room that, when viewed with the special flashlight, has "I don't want to die!" scrawled on nearly every surface. Said flashlight also illuminates a good number of other creepy phrases throughout the game, including the word "help" written in what appears to be blood and with the kanji smeared near the locked door of the abandoned hotel.
Going through the amusement park with the flashlight reveals that Crow does this, too. Including one instance of referring to himself by a serial number.
As Alister Azimuth talks to Ratchet about his father in Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time, Ratchet slowly scans the interior of his home to discover countless obsessive notes and drawings about the Great Clock. It's the first hint that Alister's preoccupation with bringing back the Lombaxes will lead to a Face-Heel Turn.
Continuing the theme from the movie (see above), in the game of The Amazing Spider-Man the walls of Curt Connors' cell inside Beloit Psychiatric Hospital are filled with mathematical equations.
The pyromaniac villain in Phantasmat 2: Crucible Peak covered a wall in the church basement with photos of fires and explosions along with roughly-associated ramblings.
The walls of Professor Buildson's office in Sable Maze 2: Norwich Caves were covered with crude drawings and scrawls such as "I heard his voice" and "He will be released!"
Cursery: The Crooked Man and the Crooked Cat has clippings and notes scattered throughout the game. One such note concerning the villain's late love interest mentioned selling his soul to a witch, followed by:
I will get you back, I will get you back, I will get you back, I will get you back, I will get you back, I will get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back, get you back
The Polar Academy in Knights of the Old Republic II mght be a building full of crazy. Atris converted an old irrigation station to look like a replica of the Jedi Temple (Council chamber included) and swanks around it calling herself the "last of the Jedi" to a bunch of Echani "handmaidens" she's gathered to kill any Force user who she interprets as falling to the dark side. Her private meditation chamber is full of Sith holocrons that whisper to her constantly and speed her along the path to the Dark Side; you eventually fight a duel with her here.
In one Nukees storyline, the protagonists are trying to find a kidnapped Danny and eventually track him down to a house whose walls are completely covered with equations. They know he's still in there because the equations keep changing as they return to previous rooms. It turns out that a completely different crazy person is being kept there, though. Later referenced when King Luca finds that every surface in Danny's office is made of whiteboard, including the desk, so that he has a place to write.
Mana in Haru Sari gets a little upset when she gets taken away from Cortinon.
This is actually a fairly important plot point in Homestuck. The surpressed parts of John's, Rose's, and Dave's subconscious are expressed by writing on their walls while sleepwalking. This alone wouldn't necessarily qualify for crazy, until you realize that none of them could actually SEE their own graffiti. Jade doesn't have this problem because she's already aware of her Dream self in Prospit.
The same thing happened in the trolls' session with Tavros, Aradia, Vriska, Terezi, and Gamzee. Massive bonus Nightmare Fuel points to the last one for filling an entire book with "honk HONK" written in all the other trolls' blood.
Kagerou: . Kano's interior life IS a Room Full of Crazy.
Sonic The Comic Online: In the first chapter of Sunrise (#245), Tekno has covered the wall of the cave she and Shorty are living in trying to locate a way back to Mobius. Lampshaded when the largest of what she's written is "I'M NOT CRAZY."
The trope is used in this strip of Wapsi Square as a visual aid when Monica was talking about her days "just this side of a rubber room."
In the Nuzlocke Comics Fire Red arc, the Wham Episode shows Mewtwo in a cave with the scratched-out names of various other trainers on the wall. Biggest, center, and intact is "Ruby". This confirms that Mewtwo created the illusion of Nuzleaf's ghost to manipulate Ruby.
In Entry #60, Jay returns to the burned-out hospital and enters the room where he saw the hooded man leaving in a previous entry. On the walls are scrawled "HE IS A Liar" and "Follow ME", presumably referring to Tim, whose medical documents are later found in the tunnel with a piece of paper containing the Operator symbol and the word "Liar" covering them.
The Question from Justice League Unlimited. His grand-unification conspiracy theory diagram covers the walls of his room on the Watchtower. Several members of the League think he's got mental issues, but it's subverted in that he's often right about parts of the conspiracy. It could also be he's pulling off a bit of Obfuscating Insanity. At least, we hope so.
Subverted twice in an episode of The Simpsons parodying The Shining. In the original, Jack at one point had typed an entire pack of sheets with "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" arranged like it was actual text. In The Simpsons, seeking to understand Homer's newfound madness, Marge walks up to a typewriter he's been using and pulls out his paper, which has a single phrase typed on it; "Feelin' fine." After breathing a sigh of relief, a lightning strike illuminates the room, which is covered with scrawls of "No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy." Marge is less encouraged:
Homer: So what do you think, Marge? All I need is a title. I was thinking along the lines of "No TV and No Beer Make Homer something something." Marge: ..."Go Crazy"? Homer: Don't mind if I do!
Another time, the words "Bart Simpson will die" are written all over Sideshow Bob's prison cell. This is actually a subversion, because it was meant as a warning from the guy who had Bob's face at the time. It's lampshaded by Marge when she points out that his choice of words left a lot up to interpretation.
The failed detective in The Animatrix: Detective Story is found in a room with "Who is the Red Queen?" scrawled on the walls and a chessboard grid on the floor of his apartment.
in Teen Titans, Robin had his walls completely covered with news clippings of Slade in "Masks", his definite low-point in his vendetta against the man.
Abbot Cellach's room at the top of the tower in The Secret of Kells. It's covered from floor to ceiling in drawings and plans of the Abbot's beloved wall which encircled the city, with eerie lack of perspective.
Used in South Park when Butters discovers the true identity of Asian Store-Owner Tuong Lu Kim. He is actually one of Caucasian Dr. Janus' split personalities, the strongest one. Butters finds in Dr. Janus' house a room covered with pictures of the sushi chef (Tuong Lu Kim's "enemy") with the word "Kill" scrawled in red paint over them.
SpongeBob SquarePants creates one in the Krusty Krab after trying and failing to suppress a really catchy song.
In the Batman: The Animated Series episode The Clock King this trope is exploited: Batman tracks Temple Fugate, alias the Clock King, to an Abandoned Warehouse, the Time All Watch Company. There, Batman finds a room full of clocks, all of them displaying a different hour, data about the Gotham Watch Tower, the subway, and a poster of Mayor Hill’s Malevolent Mugshot with Mustache Vandalism with the legend “Time for a change”. All of those are relevant to the plot, but it turns out Fugate isn't crazy, they're all clues to lure Batman into a Death Trap by making him think Fugate isn't as mentally sharp as he really turns out to be.
The inscriptions written in blood ("Pig", "Rise" and "Helter Skelter") left by the Manson family during the Tate/La Bianca murders. (While the murderers were primarily interested in leaving a message to society, their actions certainly were a window into their demented mindset. )
"Le plancher de Jeannot" (The floor of Jeannot) is a 15 square meters wooden floor carved with a rather disturbing rant about the Church creating machine to control the brain. It was created in 1971 by Jeannot le Béarnais, a war veteran whose father has committed suicide and whose mother had just died. He confined himself in his house and died of starvation the year after(In french)
British/Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. once confronted one of these in the warehouse of a crazed fan. She started laughing because it was "so clichéed Serial Killer movie-looking." The full story is here, if you've ever wanted to see a beautiful woman tell you something insanely creepy while smiling and laughing the whole way through.
Pay to the order of Sirhan Sirhan...Kennedy must die...must die...must die...
It was actually almost exclusively "R.F.K. must be assassinated" and "5 June 68"
See also a novel in Chinese written on the walls of an abandoned apartment by an anonymous author.
William Heirens, aka the Lipstick Killer, wrote the following message on a victim's mirror: "For heavens sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself."
Unless the cops wrote that. There's still a lot of controversy about that case.
American musician Michael Jackson spent his last days in a cluttered room, kept very hot, with a life-size porcelain doll of a small child in a dress, and with the walls covered with hand-written notes saying things like 'Children are sweet'. You have to remember, this is a man who had no childhood. He was attracted towards the innocence of children because he was living out his lost childhood through them.
Though it is uncomfortably close to the condition of a Lovecraft character who lived past death so its also creepy as hell.
This◊ is either an example or a close cousin. You can't see very much of what it says, but none of it really sounds crazy; it's just the sloppy, shaky handwriting that makes it look that way.
And the fact that the caption explicitly states it's by a schizophrenia patient.
There are several examples of storytelling lace (more here) and embroidery by people in mental homes. The most famous example (and a Tear Jerker) is probably Myrellen's Coat. Myrellen was from Knoxville, Tennessee. Her husband had her committed in the 1940s. She may or may not have had anything wrong with her mind. Because she was not allowed writing materials, she unraveled threads from bedsheets and clothing to embroider her entire life story, with the names and addresses of her family and friends, onto a long denim coat. The hospital records describe her as "sewing at random and without meaning or purpose". It was regarded as a symptom, and she was given heavier drugs and electroshock until she could not remember doing the work. Today, only her coat (pulled out of a dumpster) and a scarf remain. You can see Myrellen's Coat and many others at the American Visionary Art Museum.
This blog entry discusses Myrellen's coat in the context of "notebooks full of crazy" and "art by crazy people." The writer herself describes her own bout of hypergraphia in the form of cartoons.
She also points out that the American Visionary Art Museum itself now features art not by actual self-taught or mentally ill people, but by trained artists trying to get the same effects. "Now most of [the real] stuff is off exhibit in favor of framed postcard secrets ... and "outsider art" by people who went to art school and have agents, and most of their space is taken up with curated exhibitions with art by people you've heard of."
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, probably best known today for the novel that became the movie Gigi, as a young girl married Henri Gauthier and moved from her country home to a tiny dark apartment in Paris. The walls of each room were completely covered with tiny bits of paper carefully cut into diamond shapes. "The thought of living in these rooms, in the presence of walls that had witnessed so secret a madness, so evil a joy, appalled me... No light, no air, the dark enchantment that sometimes lingers in places that have crushed and stifled many souls."
The little known and aptly named forum "Words of a Madman" might be considered a Fridge Horror version of this for the internet: Aside from the occassional real person that dropped by, it's mostly one guy and his (all female) imaginary friends talking amongst themselves...since 2006. Nearly 4,000 posts, the vast majority of them by one person talking to himself. And as of 2011, it still lives on, having become little more than a miserable katamari of shattered dreams and seething hatred for humanity.
The weirdest part is that he wrote an entry for himself on TV Tropes.
In art, there is a term called Horror vacui (fear of empty spaces). This recent example shows how it can manifest in a person's environment in conjunction with mental illness.