An old woman begs you to find her fiancee. You ask around and discover where he is. Simple, right? Wrong. Turns out the man is dead and buried, his tombstone reading that he died from a concussion. The old lady is never seen again.
It gets worse. The guy's been dead for twenty years at the start of the game. Either his fiancee has totally lost it, or she's dead too, and this whole time you were talking to a ghost.
Considering her age, it's likely the first. The first tip-off that something was odd should be that she's like ninety in a time where the average marrying age for women was somewhere closer to 13.
All of "I Know You" especially when you figure out who the strange man possibly is and what he meant with his final words. When John attempts to shoot him in a cutscene he is unaffected and disappears through the Great Plains, near John's burial place.
Seth Briars' backstory and what he says during the game; basically, he went from a normal guy with a family to a grave robbing lunatic. One that doesn't bathe, speaks to himself as if he has multiple personalities and is in search of a treasure that may or may not be what he's looking for. Showing what an obsession can do people and how far they might go to fulfill it.
The man talks to corpses. Even John is squicked out by this.
The mission "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit". When you finally shoot off the wood that's keeping the barn door closed, there's a cutscene of a naked body swinging on the barn rafters. Worse... There is a woman in there, so she spent who know how long terrified with the naked corpse of her friend / relative before John and the deputies could reach her. After the ordeal, you see the women, huddled together and they're traumatized, their faces are bloodied and bruised and their shirts are torn.
Look closer. The naked body is of a man. He's been castrated.
And what makes that whole mission even worse? Those three women you save are the LUCKY ones! Everyone else is either dead, tortured and dead, or raped and dead. They are the only ones you were able to save, possibly after they themselves have been tortured / raped, and you almost didn't even manage that! Try not to think about how often something like this may have happened in the Real Life old west...
The unbelievable ease of literally getting away with murder is sort of indicative of the corruption of the area. Shoot an innocent man as he pleads for you not to kill him? You can pay off your bounty with less than half the money it cost you to buy the gun. You can commit some of the worst atrocities imaginable (although game mechanics keep you from doing some of the really messed-up stuff), and so long as you have the cash (possibly looted from the corpse of your victim) you're not going to suffer at all for it. Sort of shows how crappy the legal system is in the Red Dead Redemption world, eh?
Sad as it may seem, the game is pretty much life in the Wild, Wild West in a nutshell.
In multiplayer, there's Bear Claw Camp, where swarms of Grizzly Bears will spawn infinitely. You better hope to God you have either enough ammo to get out of the bears' vicinity or that you'll have a chance to hide in one of the three to four cabins in the area, which the bears can't enter. Though you'll be trapped there for awhile.
There's also a cougar variation of the same situation in a nearby area. Only this time, there's only one cabin in the area and the cougars are faster than you. Fortunately for you, they too can't enter the cabin, however, if you are too close to a wall, they do occasionally have their claws glitch through the wall and insta kill you.
Wolves will also spawn in infinite packs, and have the same level of surprise that cougars do.
As bad as getting Cougar'd is, just imagine that happening to you, but instead of a Fragile Speedster Cougar, you're being jumped by a Lightning BruiserBear! Spending enough time in Tall Trees can lead to this.
Ever taken a good look at the dead horse in "Spare the Love, Spoil the Child?" It's not pretty.◊
Awesomely, modders have actually found that a simple save edit lets you get it to ride.
Did you think the Whetstone wilderness in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was creepy? Tall Trees says hello. As beautiful as the dense forests and snowy mountains are, the place can also be your worst nightmare at night or during a storm. Tall, imposing trees that block out the sunlight apart from some clearings, making the whole place pretty shadowy even during the day. Often creepy atmospheric music. And worst of all, this is Grizzly territory. Not only do they just love charging you from behind, but they're rarely alone and often attack in numbers. And when they're not around, your mind can play tricks on you, leading you to swear that you just heard the sound of a bear's heavy breathing nearby. And it gets worse... There's a legendary bear named "Brumas". And he's one of the hardest creatures to kill. If you stumble upon him, good luck surviving.
The "manimals" glitch is funny until you apply Fridge Horror. A person / animal acting like another animal. Kill it and skin it and it reverts back to its original form. It'll suddenly dawn on you that it's not glitch. The animals are getting smarter and dressing up like people, or each other.
Considering the commonality of the glitch, it's quite possible that Rockstar knew about it, and then remembered where the game is set and realized that there's actually multiple Native Americans tales about such sort of nightmares. The most famous are the Wendigo and the Skinwalker. One is a human transformed into a beast as a punishment for horrible crimes, often cannibalism, and the other is a shapeshifter. There's also the Deer Woman, which is more benign, but is also sometimes a succubus esque figure. Some others are the Kanaima, a Carib evil spirit that would possess people and allow them to shapeshift and go into a murderous rage, and was invoked by people seeking revenge for dead relatives, the Rugaru, which is a werewolf like creature that you either end up being for cannibalism, greed or seeing one, and the Stikini. That one best goes with a quote: "The Stikini are sinister monsters from Seminole folklore. Originally they were evil witches, who transformed themselves into owl-beings. By day they still resemble Seminole people, but by night, they vomit up their souls (along with all their internal organs) and become undead owl-monsters that feed on human hearts. In some Seminole communities speaking their name is thought to put you at risk for turning into one, so Stikini stories are only told by certain medicine people. In other communities, they have been spoken of more casually as bogeymen to frighten children." Oh, and they're not the only ones with that "Speak of the Devil" rule. There's some others, including the Wendigo in some myths. Hope you're not reading this outloud.
Welcome to the Ghost Town of Tumbleweed. Visiting the town at night after taking out a group of bandits invites a serious case of the spooky. From the engraving of "The Devil got into that beast" in a church altar, to the mysterious dog barking from seemingly nowhere. And then there's the mansion. There's something watching John as he explores it. You just never find out what.A glitch reveals that the sounds at least are coming from a group of people behind an un-openable door. Everything else remains to be seen.
Hearing the distinct sound of a rattlesnake and not knowing where it is. Your choices are either to run away before it can strike or try to spot and shoot it. Good luck...
In the loft of the barn at Beecher's Hope, the phrase Oh My Son My Blessed Son is scrawled on a wall.note This is a cheat code to play as Jack. Did John write these words? Are they joyful, or anguished? Depending on how you explain them to yourself, they can definitely have a creepy effect.
The mission "Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane". Title pretty much speaks for itself, but John enters the Marshal's office where Drew is present and terrified as Bonnie has been kidnapped. A gang member then rides by and threatens the Marshal to return one of their imprisoned gang members, or his group will "let out all their anger, and their loneliness" on Bonnie. Shudder. Luckily John and the others will arrive in time before they seriously harm Bonnie, but as you save her from being hanged her clothes are torn and she's covered in bruises, meaning they still gave her a beating. She appears to recover quickly (seeming fine when you meet her again several weeks later), but had it been more realistic Bonnie would probably have needed a lot of time to recover from the mental trauma such an ordeal should have given her.
After meeting Abraham Reyes, the rebel leader, you learn pretty quickly that Captain DeSanta's descriptions of him weren't that far off, as the guy turns out little more but a conceited leader wannabe. Listen to his and John's conversation during the ride in "The Gates of El Presidio", however, and Abraham's comments just takes the cake as he will talk about how he can't possibly have a wife when, as future president of Mexico, it's his duty to "breed" and spread his seeds as much as possible "to create more Reyes". He will also refer to the Chinese as "an inferior race". It really makes you wonder who is the worst choice between him and Allende, worse yet as you actually help this guy get to power. It might all double as darkly humorous as well.