Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Nightmare Fuel: Corpse Party
Her dress was originally pale yellow.
With a name like Corpse Party, you already know you're probably in for a nightmarish ride. Throwing in subtitles like Blood Covered and Repeated Fear isn't exactly encouraging, either...
This may be a personal example, but in the first chapter, examining a certain cabinet will display an image of the interior swathed with hair. While unnerving, this wouldn't be a surprise or even a fright to those with a working familiarity with the game. What is frightening, is the random chance of the image suddenly revealing a creepy face in the hair after a few seconds.
Finding your friend Seiko hung but still alive in the toilets. You've got two choices - try to free her or try to find something to help hold her up. She dies no matter what you do. And if you were foolish enough to take a nap in the infirmary before investigating the newspaper in 3-A, you're "treated" to a Wrong End where the ghost children surround you and force you to stick a pair of sewing scissors in your mouth, far enough that the blades tap against your molars. Then they cut out your tongue. And of course, all this happens while you're facing the dangling body of your best friend.
That pile of gore splattered against the wall in the first chapter? The one that's played for (slight) comedic effect when our heroes unwittingly step in it? It's Mayu. Even more disturbing is it's from being rammed into the wall at supernatural speed.
Morishige's reactions to the body count as well. To begin with, he seems to fetishize the body, going so far as to dig through it and apparently masturbate over it while taking pictures. Later, he laughs about how shameful the body looks in death, prompting Mayu to contact him from beyond the grave to tell him not to look. He goes Laughing Mad from the revelation and commits suicide by jumping out of a window.
The sad-looking ghost of a five year-old boy with trickles of blood oozing from his mouth. His cause of death? Repeated stabs to the abdomen, followed by forced tongue amputation. And if he catches you, there's a delightful zoom in on his face as he takes yours! Or buries you alive. Or makes you fall to your death alongside your little sister. He's not that picky.
How about the ghost who lacks an eyeball, leaving a constantly bleeding eye socket? Cause of death? Getting stabbed in the eyes with a pair of scissors. And if she catches you she does the same to you! And for that matter, let's consider the circumstances surrounding her death. Imagine you and three other children have been kidnapped by your insane teacher. He blindfolds you and lines you up on the floor. You can't see the two before you being killed (via disembowelment and the top half of her head being cut off, respectively), but you can hear it. Finally, it's your turn. When your blindfold is taken off, what do you see before your eye is stabbed out? Your teacher is cowering in the corner, while the fourth kidnapped child has you by the hair, a pair of scissors in her hand, covered in blood with an insane expression on her face. Now imagine that the little girl in question, upon getting her tongue back and letting Ayumi and Yoshiki go back, basically forces Ayumi to experience what she went through. To be fair, the girl DOES warn Ayumi that it would be really bad, and Ayumi insists on seeing what happened, but she probably doesn't realize just how BAD it'll be.
While we're talking about creepy children, in the second chapter, there is a display case that can be examined to find a child's crayon drawing - four children and they're stabbing their teacher to death while he's on his knees and screaming in agony. Our protagonist is suitably unnerved.
What about those green heads in the slime that damage you for stepping over them? They have faces, for a start...
Any number of Wrong Ends! Let's go through the list... you can be suffocated by a malicious ghost, forced to cut out your own tongue, buried alive, cut in half, have your ribs broken and your lungs pierced with them, have your eyes torn out, let your best friend drown, accidentally smash her to pieces with the pool drain, get stabbed with scissors, mauled to death, and best of all trapped in a time warp that forces you to relive the nightmare again!
There's also the ending where a combination of Yuka dying and Ayumi succumbing to darkening destroys everyone's chances of escape.
Don't forget the wrong ends after reading all of the Victim's Memoirs! Especially the first one, where Yoshiki eats Ayumi, complete with sound effects!
The piano playing itself in the Music Room. It stops if you approach it... and starts again as soon as you leave the room.
Or the toilet that screams at you when you open the door...
The horror is pretty much completely evaporated by the first extra chapter, where it is revealed that the ghost inside said toilet is basically the nicest dude around.
He's just a friendly tough guy helping cute little Yuka try to find her brother. And as soon as she's in the bathroom, he stabs his friend Kurosaki and kicks him into a pit just for fun.
He's so nice, acting like a big brother to Yuka. In the manga, he catches her, ties her hands to a table, and begins to cut at her throat. The worst part? He does this as he starts to climb on top of her in what looks unnervingly like a rape scene. The fact that he unbuttons his shirt does not help. In-game, there's a bad ending associated with him capturing her and delighting over how many faces she'll show him before she dies.
The Darkening itself: While being trapped in a horror dimension, just being scared erodes your mind, and being alone just speeds it up. Once it gets high enough, whenever you get close to a situation where you can conceivably kill yourself or someone else? You will black out and take it, only to come back to your senses as soon as it's too late to do anything about it, not remembering anything. It's not uncommon for people to find themselves covered in their best friend's blood or dying slowly from hanging while having no idea what happened at all. And even if you manage to somehow survive, it eventually makes your body rot away while you're still alive, though by that point there's barely anything left of your mind so you can't even care anymore.
Okay Yuka, we finally found you a goddamn working toilet. Now get in there and relieve yourself already. ... What? You can't go because the toilets are 'all full'? Goddammit, you stupid girl, it doesn't matter if the toilets haven't been flushed, just get in a stall and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THEY'RE ALL FULL OF HANGED GIRLS!
The escape sequence after appeasing Sachiko. You have to get outside before the seventh toll of the bell, with the frightening knowledge that if you can't get out before then, then you have lost the only way to escape the horrid place, as the other children can never pass on.
The soundtrack to the game by itself can give you goosebumps as it will remind you of every horrifying moment. Not to mention how the intro song, "Shangri La" starts with a creepy chant and organ.
The true cause of Seiko's death, full stop.
The memoirs left by previous victims; there's a reason you hit a wrong end simply by reading them all the way through.
Incidentally, this is a situation where the game messes with your expectations. In the previous chapter, you receive a warning not to read a newspaper, when you have to in order to advance to the end of the chapter. So when you see a notice warning you not to read the Victim's Memoirs all the way through, you think "Oh ho, you can't fool me, game" and go about finding them all. Then, once you finish the last one, the whole atmosphere seems more tense than normal. Then Yoshiki realizes that he's been eating Ayumi.
The final chase in the game. Yuka has to run away from a deranged Kizami whose voice echoes through the halls saying "Yuukaaaa?", "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you Yuka! Hey!" and "Come out from wherever you are." It doesn't help that it's That One Chase.
Yoshie's diary. Calling it disturbing doesn't even begin to describe it!
How about the fact you're reading it when she's behind you? It's very unsettling that she's just standing there like she could attack at any moment.
Book of Shadows
In the first chapter, Naomi gets the chance to save Seiko from hanging, and succeeds. However, once Seiko gets a good look at her, she screams and runs out of the bathroom. Naomi chases after her, but then Seiko trips and stumbles down the stairs — and gets decapitated by a wire that was at the foot of the stairs. Sachiko arrives and tells Naomi as she cradles her friend's head that it was fate. She could delay her death longer, but the way she would die would get worse. And then Mayu's chapter appears...
Nana's fate in Chapter 2 is just frightening as Mayu finds her lying on the ground with both of her legs severed and still alive and screaming in pain and fear. It gets even worse when Yoshikazu shows up and drags her away as she keeps screaming and trying to get away while crying out to Mayu to help her.
Of course, it then gets even worse in Chapter 4 when Sayaka Ooue watches in horror as poor Nana, still with both of her legs chopped off, is strapped down to a table and dies screaming as Yoshikazu takes a pair of pliers and rips her tongue out of her mouth. The image you're given right after of her face, frozen in fear with both of her bloodshot eyes wide open and a pool of blood in her mouth, is something right out of a nightmare.
Chapter 6, "Mire", is probably the most horrifying in the entire game. It starts with a recreation of an optional/bad ending moment in Chapter 5 of Blood Covered where Kizami is getting ready to cut Yuka open as she's tied up on a table and just gets worse from there. Even after you escape, Yuka falls into the basement and you are only able to wander around and realize there's no way out. The absolute worst happens when Sachiko shows up...pretending to be an innocent girl and wanders with you with the intent of wearing through Yuka's confidence by personally Darkening her spirit. Watching all this unfold and knowing there's no way to escape it is truly the stuff nightmares are made of as it gets more and more disturbing and gory and comes to a brutal conclusion.
"Purgatory" is terrifying. Focusing on Naho's story prior to the events of Blood Covered, it shows that Naho was cursed by Sachiko after investigating the Shinozaki Estate to the point that Sachiko can manifest in the human world, have her voice appear in a recorded interview between Naho and Sayaka, and give a cardiac arrest to the show's Director. And then we are shown that Sayaka too is afflicted with Sachiko's curse since the interview, and that Naho decided to end the Tenjin Elementary investigations, only to find out that Kibiki went over without her. The catch? If "Mire" is any indication, the ensuing Freak Out was so strong that it allowed Sachiko to influence the Darkening within Naho, which led her to post the wrong info about the charm on her blog, much like Ayumi can be corrupted into an Ax-CrazyYandere in a Wrong End near the endgame. And ''then'', as if that wasn't chilling enough, we are treated to a solo play following Sayaka after she got separated from Naho on their cross to Tenjin. But imagine being by yourself in a place you know nothing about, only that it's haunted. Now imagine that at one point, you're in a section of a long, dark corridor where a female child's voice can be constantly heard singing the folkloric game song "Kagome, kagome" endlessly, echoing through the halls and getting progressively louder and slower... as if a child ghost is approaching you, creeping closer and closer to you. Eventually, more child voices are heard as if calling you out to play with them as you progress through the bomb shelter. And then, after seeing how this place was eating at Sayaka's sanity, we get to Nana's death mentioned above.
The final chapter of Book of Shadows sees Ayumi and Naomi attempting to fight fate by attempting another ritual, with this one involving resurrecting Mayu. The results aren't pretty: It works, but Mayu comes back wrong, shambling and moaning with her face blotched out... and when her paper doll ignites, those moans rise into strangled screams as sigils appear on her joints, then explode. While Ayumi and Naomi are still freaking out over that, the sigils appear on Ayumi's arms — her doll caught fire, and Naomi's attempts to put it out spread it to hers...
The voice acting can get a little hard to listen to. The characters often sound so terrified that even if you can read the text, it's hard to hear what the character is saying. Furthermore, in this game, the voice actors used a dummy head mic. This means that if you're wearing headphones, the sounds and voice acting end up making it seem like you're really there.
In the "Soulful Testimonials" from the voice actors, many admit to being frightened by the content of the game. One (Taira Kikumoto, who plays Fukuroi) even admits that while just reading the script in a coffee house people started giving him odd looks due to his reactions.
In the original PC-98 game, there's a point where Naomi waits outside while Satoshi takes Yuka in to use the restroom. She shuts herself in one of the stalls, with Satoshi asking after her after a while... only to get silence in return. Lots of silence. Then blood abruptly pools under the stall, and she starts SCREAMING...
The background of the evil spirit is pretty nightmarish: turns out they used to be an ordinary student before one of her teachers decided to take advantage of her loner nature to try and rape her. While trying to escape him, she slipped and fell several stories to her death. The teacher then got caught by the principal trying to hide her body... and he decided the school's reputation was more important and helped him bury it.
The B-2 Bad Ending, seen if Yoshiki sacrifices himself to save Ayumi from the anatomical model. The day after escaping, a griefstricken Ayumi is trying to wash her face when she notices a hand-shaped bruise around her neck. It grows darker and darker, and her attempts to get rid of it just lead to her skin peeling away, until her towel's soaked through with blood and she passes out.
If Yuka and Yoshiki both die, you get to see the D-2 ending, where Ayumi approaches Satoshi while acting very strangely, and speaks of using black magic to revive their lost loved ones. Though Satoshi's creeped out, he does start to think she's got a point...
The English launch trailer. Gory, frightening images from the game flashing by in a second, the swelling, harrowing music, and all of it is broken up by black text being typed on a grey background, describing the states of the four missing children when they were finally found by police.
At one point, the screen flickers and part of the text from the report changes into "You will surely die here."
Thought the murder of the ghost children was bad already? The trailer for the OVA makes the scene worse.Yeah, the detail on the frightened children's faces doesn't make it better,
The Tortured Souls OVA doesn't hold back at all. Remember the kid who had half her head cut off? The OVA shows that half of the head as it's discarded. Not to mention the horrible deaths of Yoshiki, Yuka, and Satoshi, in all their gory detail. Well, maybe not that last one. Including:
Seeing the ghost children move is horrifying. In the game, the children were frightening, but they were still images and had a relatively peaceful face on. In the OVA, their expressions are more fit for serial killers than children. Hell, the boy ghost has the most deranged look on his face, when he attacks Ayumi for his tongue.
Morishige takes multiple levels in crazy after finding out the corpse the likes the most is Mayu. In the game he commits suicide, while in the OVA he goes Axe Crazy by killing anyone he finds and taking a picture of their corpse in a sad way of giving Mayu company, as he believes Mayu is in his phone. His death is upped as well; in the game, he dies off screen. In the OVA, Kizami kills him by stabbing him in the neck.
Kizami is even more messed up; he goes from friend to maniac in less than 5 minutes. We also get proof that Kizami is the anatomical model in chapter 5 when he kidnaps Yuka; he is half transformed into the model.
Yoshiki's death is depressing. He holds by a door to stop Yoshikazu from killing everyone. Yoshikazu just breaks through the door and pierces Yoshiki's stomach and then through his mouth. You even see his head get deformed by Yoshikazu's hand.
Even Satoshi gets hit by this. He blocked a scissor attack from Sachiko, which pierces his hand. He attempts to fight off Sachiko, but she slowly overpowers him and slowly stabs him with the scissor. At the end, Satoshi sacrificed himself by using Kizami's scrap and all that's left of Satoshi is his arms.
Yui's death was just cruel. In the game, she performed an epic heroic sacrifice. In the OVA she was beheaded by a random board that fell.
Kibiki's death was already terrifying on its own, and it was only heard, not shown.Then the manga goes up a notch and actually shows what actually happened. First, the main 5 find him killed by what seems to be a black spirit with nothing but its eyes visible from its pitch-black humanoid form. Then we are treated to a flashback of Kibiki's death. He's found by a Sachiko-possessed Naho that is speeding up the Darkening within Naho until she becomes covered in it, turning into the pitch-black being that was seen earlier, crushing Kibiki's throat. And as if that wasn't enough, that allowed Sachiko to get Naho's powers, which was how she got stronger and how Heavenly Host, by extension, got stronger as well.