An Uncanny Atmosphere is basically when the characters/audience get the feeling that something is wrong in their environment. They don't know exactly what's going on, but they do know that something is definitely wrong.
For example: character walks into an area and gets the feeling that something is wrong there. Maybe everyone is gone? Maybe the inhabitants are all brainwashed zombies? Or, everything seems fine at first. But slowly, the characters/audience start to feel an undeniable sense of wrongness in the atmosphere.
Intentional use of the principles of Uncanny Valley are often applied to setting and background characters to increase drama or hint at conspiracy. The colors are a bit off (The Matrix), the people are too nice (The Stepford Wives), everything is too clean or it's just too quiet. This may be a sign of a Crapsaccharine World.
- The Kingdom Hearts story, "Hi Roxas", presents itself as a poorly-written High School A.U. story that bears little to no resemblance to the canonical story. It's pretty much the kind of story you'd expect from a "my first fic" story... until Roxas enters study hall and meets Demyx. From the way he speaks alone (His first line, written exactly, is, "Oh, man, it's worse than I thought."), Demyx is clearly out of place, and an indicator that there's more to the story than it appears. Roxas himself doesn't see anything odd about Demyx other than the fact that he was not his usual teacher, "Mr. Leon Strife". The following chapter makes it clear that the story is actually Kingdom Hearts II's prologue sequence Gone Horribly Wrong.
- H. P. Lovecraft was very fond of this trope. Whenever his settings weren't an Eldritch Location, there would still be a distinctly 'wrong' aura about them, which the narrators typically emphasized. Innsmouth was a prime example, with its dilapidated structures and fishy odor hinting at something horrible behind the scenes. Other uses include "The Colour Out of Space" and "The Whisperer in Darkness", just for starters.
- Edgar Allan Poe: "The Fall of the House of Usher", spooky, creepy, weird right from the get-go, with a moss-covered decaying castle out on the moors.
- Some of Roald Dahl's stories, particularly "The Landlady" where early on you can tell there's something not right about that woman and her "Bed and Breakfast".
- Okage: Shadow King - The Highland Village. Everyone there talks in a distant, dreamy tone. Turns out the village is a feeding ground for the Vampire Evil King.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: The Glitz Pit. About halfway through you'll be able to smell a conspiracy brewing.
- In Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, your return to peaceful Phenac Town from the first game is deliberately designed to invoke this. New players won't see what's wrong, but people who've played Pokémon Colosseum will take notice that all of the NPCs are acting contrary to their personalities in the previous game, and the roaming Pokemon are also all wrong (for example, the jogger lapping the fountain has a Duskull following him instead of a Castform). It's unsettling, but at the same time one has to wonder if the programmers just plain didn't look into how things were in the first game. And then you find out that every single person in town had been kidnapped and replaced by a disguised Cipher member. Yikes. After you've solved that problem, Phenac returns to exactly how you remember it from Colosseum. Well played, Genius Sonority.
- The Silent Hill series. When a character first enters the town, they notice that no one is around and even before they find their first monster, they know there's something wrong there.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars - The Seaside Town. By talking to the villagers you'll eventually realize that something is wrong here. You eventually find out that Yaridovich has kidnapped all the townspeople and has disguised himself as all of them.
- All of Termina from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
- A more specific example is if you visit Romani Ranch on the third day. Romani's facial expression is bound to bring up some questions.
- In Persona 5: The Royal, if you accept Maruki's deal, you'll be dragged into his Utopia where everyone's desires are filled at the cost of stagnation, and even dating multiple girls has no negative consequences.
- Miraculous Ladybug: In the episode "Party Crasher", Gabriel realizes something is off when he senses overwhelming happiness in his mansion. Usually, Gabriel is a Control Freak Abusive Parent, which is not very conducive to overwhelming happiness (it's coming from Adrien's bedroom, where he is having a Wild Teen Party with his male classmates... and most of the show's male cast).
- Steven Universe: The glitched version of Beach City from "Rose's Room". The city is eerily desolate at first, and the citizens are robotic and repetitive when spoken to.