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Nightmare Fuel / Fallout 4

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Feral ghouls are back. And this time, there's no ghoul mask.

Spoilers Off applies to Nightmare Fuel pages, so all spoilers are unmarked.

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  • Only a trailer and Bethesda already hit us with the nightmare fuel, namely, the news report during the 2077 segments. Anyone who has heard actual news reports during large disasters or tragedies knows how jarring and terrifying it is when reporters aren't Stepford Wives levels of upbeat.
  • It becomes even worse when we see the Pre-War world. The game starts on the day the bombs fall, and instead of being what you'd expect, with people cowering in fear and expecting the bombs to come at any moment, it's just... an average day. If it wasn't for the news report, you'd never even know there was the threat of nuclear war. And then it happens, and that world is lost forever.
    • Listen very carefully when you turn the mobile for Baby Shaun in the intro, and you might hear something that sounds like a low, rumbling/whooshing sound coming from outside. It could simply be an Autumn wind breezing by...except the trees outside aren't moving. It's very likely to be something much, much worse: The sounds of the first nuclear weapons detonating on American soil. This means that while for you the day is still normal, at least for the next few seconds while you play with your child and converse with your spouse, for others hundreds of miles away in the larger cities, the end of the world has already come. Justified by the news anchor when he reports confirmation that nukes have detonated in NYC and Philadelphia, meaning the northern part of the Eastern Seaboard just got annihilated, and the missiles are making their way down the coastline for Boston, Concord, Washington D.C., Arlington, and more. Cue the air-raid sirens, hysterical panic, and the Vertibirds making the ominous announcement:
    "Residents of Sanctuary Hills! If you are registered, evacuate to Vault 111 immediately!"
  • The introduction itself is raw, unadulterated nightmare fuel for gamers old enough to remember the Cold War, even in the closing years with the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, considering total nuclear annihilation was a very real, very present threat that existed on a day-by-day basis at some points.
    • It’s kind of scary for the players born after 2000 as well since a good amount will expect to be alive in 2077.
    • To put it into perspective: It's late October, you're talking with your spouse, possibly about going to the park, maybe preparing for Halloween...and then you turn to the TV and see the news on. The anchor looks, frightened. And then he says those words that cause your heart to drop into your stomach: "Nuclear Detonations." For the next few moments you don't hear anything else he says, instead just hoping, praying that music will play and the anchor will admit that it's all just a joke, a cruel prank pulled by the news station. But then outside, the sirens go off. It's really happening...The End of the World as We Know It.
    Vertibird PA: "Residents of Sanctuary Hills. If you are registered, evacuate to Vault 111 immediately."
    • As the anchorman reads off the sudden report, you can hear the hope draining out of him like a deflating balloon - struggling to not only maintain a professional demeanor, but process the fact that everything and everyone he knows is being engulfed in radioactive fire.
  • Seeing the group of civilians at the entrance being refused entry from the vault by a group of power-armor wearing soldiers. Even the Vault-Tec representative who reserved your place in the Vault is refused entry. It takes a soldier revving up his minigun on him to make him stop begging.
    Random female resident: "We're gonna die out here!"
    • The soldiers, having to control entry to the Vault, never have an opportunity to seek shelter themselves, for that matter. When you reach the surface, you can find skeletons in military fatigues still littering the area 200 years later. It's likely the only survivors from the squad were the two men in power armor. A scenario that really isn't that much better if you take a moment to think about it for two reasons. First, they were in the middle of a nuclear holocaust, right as it ravaged the environment and killed everyone in front of them with all the trauma that brings. Second...what do they do now? They're the only people we see in the intro wearing power armor. Their colleagues are dead, they have no transport and they're now in a ravaged hellhole landscape, bathed in radiation.
    • There's a random encounter of a wandering group of Feral Ghouls with the names of your neighbors that weren't admitted to the Vault, meaning that they survived only to succumb to radiation poisoning.
    • And the worst part? If you look through security instructions, it makes clear that those not on the list but that made it into the vault were to be detained, and once everyone is processed, disposed of. The poor souls that weren't on the list were pretty much doomed no matter what they did, and it shows how little Vault-Tec actually cared about such things, even in the face of nuclear annihilation.
  • One that's easily overlooked, but Codsworth's voice when he calls over the player character to see the news reports about the bombs starting to fall. He's a robot programmed to be an upbeat, cheerful butler, but in that moment there's a note of panic and sheer terror in his voice...
  • Think the Keller family tapes from Fallout 3 were creepy? Particularly, Candace's tape in which you hear the exact moment the nukes hit? In Fallout 4, you'll experience the joy of seeing the nuke hit and go off right in front of your eyes while you're powerless to do anything but watch as the shockwave blast rapidly approaches. In the prologue. And as the elevator drops you into the Vault at an agonizingly slow pace, the blast wave sweeps overhead with an orchestral sting whose violins sound like nothing less than the screams of the damned. Sweet dreams!
  • The processing scene in Vault 111 is terrifyingly creepy. The world up above has just been nuked and the Vault staff are all reassuring and cheerful. It's made worse by the fact that any player familiar with the Fallout universe knows that, since this is a Vault, something horrible is about to happen to unsuspecting people. The whole place also uses creepy ominously pale lights that none of the other Vaults in the game use.
    • The way the other Vault dwellers died. Trapped in an airless metal coffin to asphyxiate to death. This is made worse by the fact that while exploring Kellogg's memories, you discover that Kellogg and the Institute scientists with him thawed everyone out and were only ordered to refreeze the Sole Survivor meaning that they were probably conscious up until they ran out of oxygen, pounding desperately at the doors of the cryopods in an attempt to escape.
      • Once you reach the Memory Den and play through Kellogg's memories, you find out... that's exactly how they died. For whatever insane reason, Kellogg had only been ordered to refreeze the "backup", and left everyone else to die.
    • The ordeal of the Sole Survivor is almost mindboggingly terrifying to imagine, especially if you play a female Survivor, as at least the male has his military training to draw on, even if it couldn't possibly have prepared him for this. From their point-of-view, less than an hour ago, they were living the American Dream, only to witness The End of the World as We Know It, seemingly find shelter inside the Vault with their family, only to be forced to watch helplessly as their spouse is murdered and son kidnapped. When they're finally freed from their capsule, they find that not only are all their former neighbors dead in their icy coffins, the entire Vault is abandoned with the staff long dead. Using the still-working terminals, they can discover that not only have the staff killed each other in a mutiny, the Vault was a trap the entire time to provide Vault-Tec with test subjects. When they finally find their way out of the Vault, they're met with a grim, scorched caricature of the world that was, and finally discover that in the blink of an eye, two centuries have passed since that morning.
      • And of course there's Kellogg's lovely line that he says after killing your husband: "At least we still have the backup..." He says it regardless of your gender, but the...implications when addressing a female Survivor are quite a bit darker in hindsight.
  • Got katsaridaphobia? The first enemy you face are giant mutant cockroaches. The sight of a giant roach, moving in the jerky yet straight-line fashion of a regular roach, attacking your face and damaging your character, can be terrifying. Even worse if you accidentally press "transfer" instead of "take" when looking at the dead body of the roach afterward. Thankfully, they're easy to kill.
  • Magnificently, and somewhat odds-defyingly, they've managed to make Deathclaws even worse. Deathclaws were the definition of Lightning Bruiser in Fallout 1 and 2, having huge movement and dealing tremendous damage, in addition to taking absurd amounts of firepower to kill. Fallout 3 and New Vegas lowered this quality a bit, mostly due to the stiffness of their running animations; they were still fairly fast and tough, but they ran like their legs were on a different animation loop than their static bodies. The Deathclaw in the E3 gameplay reveal, however, is not only treated as a proper Boss Fight, with its own intro of bursting out of the ground, allies helping the player fight it, and the general size and power of the thing — but its animation is slick. It dodges at one point, juking sideways like the sucker's on rollerskates. They also have new abilities, such as grabbing and lifting you before slashing your head off. Deathclaws have reclaimed their place as the premier threats of the Wasteland, fast as the death they bring.
  • Two words: Chameleon Deathclaws! As if Deathclaws weren't bad enough on their own, there are Deathclaws that can use stealth.
  • One of the game's additions to the franchise is that any enemy, not just Ferals, can become irradiated enough to become a Glowing One. This means that you can and will come across a Glowing Deathclaw. They start spawning at low levels, have high health, and deal radiation damage to boot. Enjoy!
  • Feral Ghouls provide the page image for a good reason:
    • Like the Super Mutants, Ferals have been given a makeover to be even more horrifying. Instead of the shriveled, zombie-like look they sported in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Feral Ghouls now look like misshapen, hunchbacked, tumorous mutants. If you look closely, you can see that some ghouls have different levels of decomposition. They also have different genders, and somehow, that additional human quality just makes them even more unsettling. Even the way they move is disturbing, a realistic shambling, staggering sprint that incidentally makes them a bitch to hit as they rush you. Oh, and they can crawl through windows and ceilings to come at you, or make a diving charge that a Hunter would appreciate.
    • Your first time encounter with them could seem like a horror movie. Imagine going to a cabin at night where it appears to have a group of survivors. Then as you approach, you hear growling and suddenly one ghoul rushes you and the rest chases you as you try to gain distance and shoot them.
    • Even worse, you'll frequently find them just lying on the ground seemingly dead. Then once you get close enough, they spring up from their false slumber to ambush you with the sheer surprise of it leaving you defenseless. It won't be long before you're putting a bullet into every Ghoul corpse you see just to be on the safe side.
    • The ferals in the Suffolk County Charter School are worse. Unlike most ghouls, who are decomposed or pale, they're bright pink, and most aren't wearing clothes (fortunately, they have Barbie Doll Anatomy). Terminals inside the school say that to receive government funding, the school administration agreed to test out a "Nutrient Alternative Paste" in place of regular food; and in fact would confiscate any regular food students brought in. Teachers said it increased student misbehavior... and their skin took on a weird pink color... Adding to this terror is that all of the Ghouls have some kind of toy in their inventory. The creatures are feral, yet retain enough of their previous selves to hang on to their favorite toy.
      • This could also beg another (possibly even moreso) horrifying question: Just WHY were these children at the school at the time? Given that it was Saturday morning when the bombs dropped, the children wouldn't have been expected to be at the school at that day (Although the mentioned upcoming Halloween event might play a part). It's possible that, in a situation not too dissimilar to Little Lamplight, the children there, whether they were students, other children, or both, were scared and confused upon the bombs dropping. It's possible they gathered at that school for the sole purpose of having something to eat and be safe. Instead, given how bright pink they are, they might have, possibly within days; turned bright pink from eating enough of the paste, and might have lost their minds BEFORE the radiation set in and turned them into ghouls. Jesus Christ!!
    • A random encounter exists in the game, whereupon you come across a brood of named Feral Ghouls. Specifically, the names of your neighbors who didn't make it to the safety of the Vault.
    • There's also the Forest Grove Marsh. A seemingly-empty, flooded town with nothing in sight initially, save for a mutated fern you can get for Solomon... then the Ferals start waking up. Soon there will be around 20 of them coming for you. The rooftops aren't safe either — their pathfinding is good enough to get you from almost anywhere over there!
    • One of your likely first encounters with these new ghouls is a Super Duper Mart on the outskirts of Boston. The back half of the store consists of a claustrophobic, dark maze of little corridors and rooms. The place is chock full of ferals, and there are even more of them hidden above the ceilings of most rooms. They love to drop down just as you think a room is clear and have your back turned...
    • What's perhaps most disconcerting is that there doesn't seem to be many sane ghouls around, compared to previous games. Have they turned feral faster? Or have people been exterminating more of them? It's heavily implied by Hancock to be the latter, that most of them were slaughtered during Diamond City's pogrom or died on the streets soon afterwards, multiplying the horror by a factor of genocide.
    • It gets worse the higher level you get. Up to level 15 or so, you'll only run into basic Ghouls and the occasional stronger ones, until you reach the Reaver ghouls, an Elite Mook in body armor. However, unlike Fallout 3, where the Reavers were only added in the expansions, 4 adds the horrific Withered Ghouls who have shed their clothes entirely and look like regular ghouls who have begun to rot. That's not all, they also add the repugnant Bloated Glowing Ones, stronger versions of what was already a Boss in Mook's Clothing, now covered in festering sores and tumors pulsing with radioactive pus.
  • One of the new mutant critters, glimpsed in the E3 demo, is the Bloodbug, a giant mosquito. It's introduced sticking its enormous proboscis into the protagonist's chest. In first person.. the Cazadors of New Vegas fame wish they could reach this level of pants-soiling.
  • Stingwings, this game's Cazador Expies. Basically, it's just as similar to a Cazador right in your face, just replace the giant wasp with a giant scorpionfly.
  • Just to get a sense of how unnerving the mutant insects are in this game, go back to playing Fallout: New Vegas after a while of playing this game. The buzzing of insect wings that signals that one of the above insects is attacking you is part of New Vegas' desert ambiance, and it will have you whirling around looking for bloodbugs and stingwings every few minutes or so. Especially at night.
  • Mole Rats and Radscorpions can now tunnel out of the earth right under your feet. Tread lightly. Speaking of mole rats, they now have Nested Mouths with disturbingly human-looking teeth.
  • The redesign of the Yao Guai. Introduced in Fallout 3 and reappeared in New Vegas Honest Hearts DLC, these were essentially mutated, and possibly ghoulified black bears. Although being absolutely terrifying looking, they didn't really scream 'bear' so much. Fallout 4 is correcting this in the worst way possible by making them very realistic looking bears. That are giant. And mutant. The SPECIAL videos add a new layer of horror. A Yao is shown to lick the player's face, which then burns off like it was spashed with acid. Yes, even a friendly Yao is life-threatening.
  • The Synth enemies. Remember how terrifying Feral Ghouls are? Now imagine they're robots. In combat armor. Yeah. And they look like this.
    • While their appearance is somewhat disturbing, people's attitude towards them is somehow worse, Diamond City in particular. Everybody is terrifyingly paranoid about the damn things. A very early Diamond City encounter involves a man threatening to shoot his brother for possibly being a Synth.
    • The synths' dialogue is also pretty damn intimidating. It's enough to be hunted by killer robots, but then they go ahead and say things like this:
      "Hello. Your attempts at stealth were unsuccessful."
      "Now I understand. You are hiding because you fear death."
      "Hello. Goodbye."
      "Statistically speaking, your survival is... improbable."
      "I will limit the pain I inflict, if possible."
    • It's possible to meet a random encounter where a Synth attempts to murder his predecessor. You can't do anything without the good companions disapproving even if you kill the Synth.
    • Even worse, some are reporting that their settlers and even their Brahmin have been getting replaced with Synths. Any one of your workers could be a Synth, ready to spring an attack on you and your fortress at any time. The one place you're supposed to be your safest. But you're not.
    • If you don't have your guard up, you might not even know a Synth is in the room with you until you're face-to-face with it. Sleep tight.
  • It's only for a brief moment, but after exploring Kellogg's memories, when you go to check up on Valentine (who has Kellogg's neural implant installed into him so you can access it), he speaks in Kellogg's voice and threatens to kill you. Yikes! Thankfully, it's only for a brief moment, and Nick goes back to his good ol' self.
  • Synths aren't the only nightmarish robots here. There's the Assaultron. These robots have a laser eye and will attack you at first sight. They're very agile and fast, and can close large distances fast. Nothing is more terrifying than when the whole sky glows pink as it gets ready to use its laser attack.
    • There is something more terrifying about them. They're sometimes equipped cloaking tech. Now, seeing that pink sky and knowing they're somewhere around is better than not knowing until it's too late.
    • There's one thing worse: If damaged badly enough, their armor breaks off, they burst into flames... and they rush you, intent on melee-ing you to death, if not outright self-destructing. Until you've been charged by that, you don't know what real fear is.
    • If you want a good demonstration of how vicious an Assaultron can be, simply shoot KL-E-O in the combat inhibitor and see the destruction she wreaks in Goodneighbor.
    • Many players have said they find Assaultrons even scarier than Deathclaws. After all, even with all their new skills in this game, at least Deathclaws don't have a ranged attack.
  • Bethesda released some concept art and renders from the Art of Fallout 4, and the Super Mutants look fantastic... in a creepy, uncanny valley way. While they're still slabs of mean, green muscle, instead of simply looking buffed-out, they now look off. Their bodies have what looks like tumors all over, their heads appear to be smaller in relation to body size, and their faces... You'd think that not having the rictus-like grimace from the earlier games would make them LESS disturbing, but instead it really brings home the fact that these used to be human beings.
Super Mutant: You humans made us! NOW SUFFER FOR YOUR ARROGANCE!!
  • The Salem Museum of Witchcraft, which is a surprisingly well-referenced homage to the real-life location. Your first clue that something is wrong comes when you look for the way in, finding a shredded Gunner's corpse near a doorway into the basement. By her body is a holotape of her last moments, which reveals that her squad retreated into the museum to escape from something while out on a delivery job. Inside the basement, you can hear something moving around and snarling on the ground floor. Something big. As you cautiously make your way through the basement, you see a corpse hanging through the ceiling, dripping blood, before something pulls it away. Near the exit, the body is flung through another hole, landing atop a pile of torn, mangled corpses. And then you make your way onto the ground floor and find out what was prowling around up there: a large Savage/Albino Deathclaw. Add in the primitive displays of witch burnings and hangings, which look like they might have been set up by someone after the bombs dropped, and it's just a shuddersome area to stumble into.
    • The holotape found on Sgt. Lee's body is just terrifying. It ends with him saying "Christ, maybe, maybe if we'd just returned the eggs... Oh, hey, mama. You looking for this?" And then the tape fades to angry growling...
    • If you have a jetpack-equipped suit of power armor, you can fly up into the loft through a hole in the roof from the ground floor, where you find the remains of someone — a policeman by the blue rags on the skeleton and the patrolman sunglasses and security baton nearby — impaled to a table by a Revolutionary War-era sword through their chest, and surrounded by candles as if part of a human sacrifice. What was going on in this place even before the bombs fell?
    • In the museum's basement, there's a large, mostly-empty room with a school desk shoved in the corner, facing the walls, with a decapitated skeleton slumped on it. Guess one The Blair Witch Project reference wasn't enough.
    • It's one of the very few instances where the game will play "music stings" even with music disabled, adding to its overall ambience.
    • Try checking out the retirement home just down the street, the one run by a group of Mr. Handy robots. The nightmare fuel part? All the elderly residents are skeletons, there are a bunch of them and the Mr. Handy robots continue to act as if they were still alive.
  • At some point, your travels might take you to the Raider-occupied pre-war mining operation known as Dunwich Borers — and anyone who played Fallout 3 and explored the Dunwich Building, or are familiar with the Cthulhu Mythos, can probably guess where this is going. The dungeon crawl starts relatively simple, as you descend into the vast mine killing bandits. At the very bottom, you kill the chief Raider, and that's it; you've taken care of everything, right? Wait... what about that door over there? Why are there chains over it; like they were trying to keep something out? Go ahead, break the chains and venture into the depths...
    • Bedlam is the raider outfit's leader, who's been tasked by Slag to retrieve metal from the mine for the Forged. Reading her terminal, you can sense her growing exasperation with her workers, who keep getting spooked by something in the mines. In her second-to-last entry she resolves to go down and take care of things herself. In her last entry:
    • Past the chained door? Feral ghouls, lots of them, crawling out at you from the darkness. And then there's the hallucinations, brief flashes of how the mine looked back before the bombs fell, complete with frozen work crews. If you make it to the deepest part of the mine, you find a sort of temple built around a radioactive pool.
    • Little about the dungeon is ever outright explained, but you can piece things together from the site's terminal logs and the flashbacks. Evidently, the company management had something in mind beyond a simple dig, and was trying to conceal the nature of the project from its workers. They also wanted all their employees to come in for a company picnic. The final flashback shows someone in the temple chamber preaching, surrounded by a crowd of kneeling civilians — and they're not kneeling in prayer, their hands are tied behind their backs. The implication is that the company was made up of cultists, praying for a nuclear apocalypse or worshiping the giant underneath Boston.
    • At the very bottom of that watery pit? The metallic, half-obscured face of a metal giant. With absolutely no information about it. Those random earthquakes you feel may be this thing trying to wake up.
    • If we take Point Lookout into account, they were worshiping an ancient evil called "Ug-Qualtoth" and the owners of the company were very pious towards their "god", hence the obelisk in the Dunwich Building.
    • Oh, and lest you think you'll just get used to the horror once you've cleared the ghouls out? The miners skimped on supports for the mine to cut costs, so the mine's constantly rumbling like it's going to collapse on you at any second. One of the terminals from the management says that if they have to bring in a miner's severed eyeball to work just to prove a point about safety, they will.
    • Just when you think you're done with Dunwich, a single gunshot rings out from the pile of cut stone as you walk past. You find a small crevice between the slabs with radioactive barrels and tripwires. Get past those to find Hugo's Hole, a small camp with a dead raider, Hugo, lying on the bed with a 10mm pistol next to his head. On the nightstand next to him is a holotape named "Hugo's Struggle".
      Hugo: The guys don't bother me anymore. That's good. I think it's...what was that? Can't they read the signs? I think it's time I go back inside the quarry. It's been too long. No I can't. The guys would never let me in. I could kill them all. No that wouldn't be what it would want. It's time to lay down. Yes. Of course. It's next to my bed. I will. It's loaded.
      • A common bug in the game results in Hugo's body not appearing. If that happens, you hear the gunshot, follow the trapped crevice, and find only the holotape, the pistol, and Hugo's spattered blood. It manages to be a bit creepier to come to the scene of a suicide where the victim somehow isn't even there.
  • Speaking of Lovecraftian references, Pickman's art gallery. A group of Raiders are hunting down a Mad Artist named Pickman who killed their buddies as part of an art project. Pickman's paintings are downright freakishly disturbing, and it's not hard to guess his preferred medium.
    • Some companions have unique lines for this area, and most of them react with utter horror.
    MacCready: Oh, great. Thanks for the Nightmare Fuel.
    Cait: I don't know, I kind of like these paintin's. Feels good knowin' someone out there is more miserable than me.
    • Since we're talking about Pickman, let's not forget to mention the note he leaves you should you decide to let him live. It contains only two words and a heart drawn in blood. The words? "Thanks, Killer." If this doesn't make you feel like a monster, nothing will.
  • There's an innocuous laundromat in Lexington not far from the Super Duper Mart. There's minimal loot to be found, save for one of the dryers, which has a human skeleton. Whether they died of radiation trying to hide from the bombs or were simply murdered and stashed away is anyone's guess.
    • The answer you get from the Creation Club quest "The Paper Mirror" is that a group of raiders use it to stash bodies. That's a little less creepy, except the quest itself is about people receiving books, aka the Paper Mirror, that shows them what's about to happen in their life. The entire unexplained phenomena adds plenty new creepiness.
  • What's scarier than a brutish super mutant sprinting towards you at top speed? A suicide bomber super mutant sprinting towards you at top speed. Here's hoping you can shoot down the massive threat before it explodes into an appropriately massive explosion. The frantic beeping from the nuke it carries in its arm like a football is sure to send you into a panicked frenzy.
  • Due to the player character being voiced being a new feature, you'll likely be surprised when you use your first shot of Psycho. Suddenly, your character just screams in a monstrous fashion, finally showing the effects the drug has on its users.
    Sole Survivor: "RAAAGH!!! BRING IT!!"
    Sole Survivor: "FUCKING KILLLLL!!"
  • One of the major issues is the Institute. Formerly Boston CIT, a group of scientists took shelter inside the building in the aftermath of the Great War. Now, hundreds of years later, they're releasing all sorts of nightmares to stalk the wasteland... Almost like Big Mountain, and we all know how that place is. Not to mention, the Sole Survivor's own son, Shaun, is leading them as an elderly man known as Father.
    • Even worse, the Institute is more or less precisely what Dr. Mobius warned the Courier would happen, should the Think Tank ever pull their heads out of their collective asslessness and set their sights upon the outside world in New Vegas' Old World Blues DLC.
  • When you enter Back Street Apparel, you can eavesdrop on a pair of Raiders swapping stories. One of them tells of a new recruit they got, an 18-year-old kid, and when she tried to light a fire at night, he panicked and knocked the match from her hand, before explaining he's afraid of fire. She consoled him and told him it was fine. That night they got the kid drunk, and once they were passed out, they got seven old mattresses, tied six of them together with him on the seventh mattress in the middle. They lit up the ring of mattresses and pushed it into the river, and then threw rocks until the kid woke up — on a soggy mattress in the middle of the river surrounded by fire with no idea how he got there. The Raider finishes the story with the dark summation "he didn't know how to swim."
  • Every once in a while, you might find a group of super mutants leaving a building in the middle of nowhere. No big deal, on the surface, but if you investigate, you'll find a group of dead settlers, obviously the victims of the mutant war-band.
  • The vast majority of the Vault experiments were extremely messed up, but Vault 75 stands out in particular. The best way to describe it is a strictly enforced Logan's Run, only with the cut-off age being 17. This is done for the purposes of genome harvesting and selective breeding. On human children. The very clinical way it talks about "Disposal" and "unfavorable specimens" is deeply chilling.
  • The entirety of the Glowing Sea, the game's answer to the Courier's Mile. Located to the south/southwest of Boston, like its name suggests, the place is extremely radioactive (though not actually a "sea") and has a Sickly Green Glow, the sky is blocked out by radiation clouds and lightning storms (making visibility absolutely awful) there's no vegetation, just a barren wasteland, and it's filled with really friendly creatures such as Deathclaws, Feral Ghoul Reavers, Red Widow Bloodbugs, Radscorpions, and others. It is this way because that's where the Boston area was hit by the atom bomb during the Great War. There are buried towns and structures and wreckage, ranging from churches and factories to a Super Duper Mart. Basically, it's an absolutely hellish and terrifying experience. The whole area feels like an alien world. Did we mention that you need to go through a huge stretch of that hellhole for a storyline quest? There's some good news, thoughyou won't find any Super Mutants there. Except for the one friendly guy. For maximum effect, be sure to wear a hazmat suit or Power Armor (they raise your Rad Resistance so high you'll usually only take fractions per second.) Turning the entire trip into a serene walk with little risk of radiation death makes it even worse.
    Nick: It looks like someone extinguished Hell.
  • There's a disturbingly high amount of those Cymbal-Banging Monkey toys (the same infamously creepy real monkey toy as seen in that page's image and featured in Toy Story 3, at that) scattered around the map. Walking in a building and seeing those glowing red eyes out of the corner of your vision is heart stopping. Worse, they tend to be found around feral ghouls, which they wake up. And even worse, they're sometimes found connected to bombs that instantly go off when the monkey starts moving.
    • In an old parking garage just to the west of the Milton General Hospital, you can find a maze that seems ripped from a horror movie. While the maze itself is relatively straightforward, back-ends contain surprises like human bodies strung up on chains, a Christmas tree with a surprise turret underneath, a room full of mannequins that are oriented to look at you as you enter, and another room FULL of the monkey dolls, which are all timed to go off at once. Brrrrrr. Who the hell set all that up?!
    • The Insane Asylum is creepy enough as you descend towards the basement. Some rooms are completely dark. One ward is completely in this darkness and a bunch of monkeys sit on the floor and a bed surrounding a plain suitcase.
  • Speaking of the Parsons State Insane Asylum, when you descend to the lower levels of the asylum proper, there are cells with one skeleton each. One cell has "Help Me" spelled out on the floor with pieces of chalk. The walls have question marks on them, as if the resident was trying to figure out which one was the weakest in a possible breakout attempt. Implying that when the great explosion happened, the asylum residents were left in their cells to slowly starve to death, or die of radiation poisoning. It sounds like the same-old same-old of what happened to the rest of the world... Until you remember that Jack Cabot, the administrator, was still alive. He was still keeping his father in the administrative building, still harvesting his blood for his family's serum. So, Jack was there at the asylum, knew his residents were still in their cells, and let them starve to death. He could have at least let them out to die in freedom.
    • Some of the patient notes are downright terrifying as well. Special mention goes to Bobby Smith a patient who cheerfully admits to having killed several people, and continually laughs during his stay in the asylum's isolation ward, with only Bach's Toccata and Fegue in D Minor silencing him. All before his tenth birthday.
  • Even Vault 111 has some twisted undertones. It says a lot about Vault-Tec (and ultimately, the Enclave) that the Vault itself had only about six months' worth of supplies. That in addition to the cryogenic experiment's parameters, those tasked with overseeing said experiment were told to wait for an All-Clear signal from Vault-Tec before they could leave the Vault for remote observation, under the presumption that the main office would rescue them. As the All-Clear never came and everyone else aside from the Sole Survivor, the spouse, and Shaun died either from cryogenic failure or armed infighting, it just highlights how much the whole Vault was never intended to save anyone, even those meant to ensure that everything went smoothly. They were all expendable, to the point that the research team was only allowed to intervene and save one of the frozen residents if eighty percent of the population had already died in cryogenic suspension, and even then they couldn't thaw them out.
  • Speaking of Vault 111, the segment where you're thawed out, watch your spouse get murdered and your son kidnapped, then get refrozen? Well, catching up with the man that did it reveals something far worse — he'd been ordered to re-freeze only the Sole Survivor. Every other subject in the vault was left to slowly die while still stuck in their pods.
  • The Mirelurks enemies also got some pretty radical changes. They're rarely bipedal anymore, instead looking a lot more realistic and sometimes different kinds of crustaceans as well. Oh and say on your adventures you see some sort of shrine that has a Mirelurk Egg on it, and you say to yourself might as well pick it up, you'll soon find yourself suddenly getting attacked by a Mirelurk King, and while they no longer have the Uncanny Valley face they did in 3 or New Vegas, they do look like a fish man from an H. P. Lovecraft book. They also attack extremely aggressively and scream like a banshee when using their sonic attack. To say nothing of the Mirelurk Queens, which are ridiculously huge. With the right dialogue choices during the quest "Retaking the Castle", you can ask what happened to it. Preston says that a giant monster that came out of the sea. Considering the Dunwich Borers and other Lovecraftian references, you might think it's just a cheap Cthulhu reference and you just have to clear the Castle of Mirelurks. You quickly learn it's not. After a bit of time destroying egg clutches and Mirelurks, you feel a rumble and hear this freakish roar. As it turns out, the Queen isn't too happy with you doing this, as the three-story behemoth rises out of the ocean to confront your party herself. Oh, and if you think you can be smart and lob missiles or nukes at her from a distance? She'll ignore everyone else and make a beeline for you, wherever you're firing from.
    • If you have ostraconophobia (fear of shellfish), for all that is sacred, do NOT go to Nahant. There are hordes of Mirelurks of all kinds and its eastern shore has a massive nest nearly as big as the Castle's.
      • The Mr. Handies in the island's Oceanological Center reveal that the percentage of oceanic life in Earth has increased from 70% to 97% after updating their database. This means that after 210 years of recovery, either the amount of life in the planet's surface is still a tenth of what it used to be, or the mutant oceanic life has increased dramatically.
  • Some enemies in the game are capable of surviving with one or more limbs missing. Enemies that are capable of doing this include Deathclaws. The game counts the head as a limb. One plus one equals this.
  • The Massachusetts State House has been turned into a tangled maze by a combination of time, raiders and Mirelurks. The ground floor is choked with sludge and mud, making it the perfect breeding den for the sinister shellfish. And at least one the problems go back to before the war, as many terminal entries complain about broken plumbing and the maintenance crew's utter incompetence with trying to fix them. Even the state governor is forced to walk next door just to use the restroom.
    • At the very center of the building is a huge, gaping hole in the floor that leads down to an Absurdly-Spacious Sewer. Guess what you get from the large pool of water in the middle after unlocking the exit? A Mirelurk Queen. Your best bet is to simply run.
  • Even though only one bomb hit Boston (as opposed to the absolute carpet-bombing that Washington DC received), it was apparently a pretty hefty bomb, as it left an enormous, jagged crater behind, buried the nearby town under ash and soot and left enough ambient radiation in the area to make traversing the area difficult 210 years after.
  • The entirety of Covenant just makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck with how everyone is acting the moment you walk in with their whole Stepford Suburbia shtick. It's no surprise when, after snooping around for a bit, you eventually discover that it's a testing ground for the SAFE test you were given before you were let inside to weed out Synths. And the poor girl Honest Dan is trying to save was captured after her entire caravan was wiped out because she might be a Synth, and the crazy scientist in charge of the whole thing says the only way to be sure is to autopsy her, i.e. kill the poor girl. And it's never made clear exactly how many people they've done this to to refine the test, but it's implied to be a lot and the scientist states their current success rate is 1 synth for every five or six humans killed.
    • The worst part? They were right. If Amelia dies and you loot her body, you'll see that she has a synth component in her inventory.
    • Depending on your view of the Commonwealth, even that isn't the worst part. The caravan she was a part of belonged to a man named Old Man Stockton, a member of the Railroad who's using the caravans as a cover-op to help escaped synths get away from the Institute. Amelia is one of those synths. If you at least agree with the Railroad's "Synths are people, too" view, that'd mean that the Covenant was ultimately going to murder someone who just wanted freedom just to sate their paranoia.
  • If you have the Master Hacking Perk, are working for the Brotherhood of Steel, or are doing Virgil's quest to get the anti-FEV serum for him, you can find yourself having a nightmare fuel moment while investigating the Institute. For the most part, the Institute looks like a Raygun Gothic paradise. It seems like a slice of Heaven in the Wasteland. Then you hack through a laser grid doorway or bobby pin your way in through the back door and go beyond to discover a bunch of pickled Super Mutants in a dirty abandoned lab. The revelation that, for all of the Institute's claims they're misunderstood, it's actually both horrifying and disgusting to discover that they're up to something so vile.
  • If Nick Valentine's with you when the Prydwen makes its appearance, thus signaling the Brotherhood of Steel's full-fledged arrival, he'll quote a line from Edgar Allan Poe. Which goes to show his shock, given how this was the last thing he expected to see.
    Nick: Deep into that darkness peering, Long I stood there, wondering, fearing.
  • Even the Institute's "clean" facilities can be seriously creepy:
    • The robotics facility. Out there, in the center of the room, is the "factory" that produces synths. You get to see what is essentially an assembly-line production of fully formed human beings, starting with the nervous system, then the bones, then the muscle, and only then the flesh, with occasional dips into a vat of biomass that looks like a giant pool of blood. Even if you've taken their side, you might find yourself avoiding that room when possible.
    • The Synth Reclamation Bureau. At the far end is... a chair with giant needles positioned to pierce the spine and brain of whatever synth is being "reclaimed" or "reset".
      • An added bit of fun with the SRB, especially if you're siding with the Railroad, is that you get a list of people they're using as informants. It includes multiple traders, merchants, and probably people who you've talked to, multiple times. It's terrifying to know that despite how Properly Paranoid the Railroad is being, they aren't paranoid enough.
    • Synths that don't try to escape have every reason to fear being "reset". With a few exceptions — Dr. Binet is most representative, though his motives are questionable — the Institute's scientists can occasionally be overheard asking for synths to be "reset" for trivial reasons, and the synths who are sometimes threatened with it do their best, usually unsuccessfully, to hide how terrifying the possibility is to them.
    • Speaking of the institute and their treatment of Synths, Nick Valentine's whole existence is nightmare fuel if you think about it. Upon gaining enough affinity with him you find out he has the mind, personality and memories of a pre-war detective whose brain was scanned in an attempt to treat PTSD. From Nick's point of view, he went into hospital to get mental help after the murder of his fiancé and woke up in a dumpster 200 years later in a body that isn't human and a world that's been ravaged by atomic war.
    • There are two areas, however, that completely break and shatter the clean, pristine facade of the Institute.
      • One is the sealed off FEV Labs, where the Super Mutant Serum was likely created before being unleashed upon post-apocalyptic America. No matter which way you enter, the result is the same: a room full of broken tech, non-triggered traps, an Assaultron, dead Super Mutant subjects with dead cats, and finally a room with Super Mutants in what look like stasis tubes. Are they alive? Are they dead? One thing's for sure: you're gonna wanna grab that cure for Virgil and get the hell out, ASAP.
      • And the other is... just a random sub level of the Institute, found in a storage room. Your first signal that something's wrong is the hallway and elevator bringing you to it; so damned worn black that it's a wonder it's still functional. What does it bring you to? Just another storage room, leading to an expansion project going by the excavation vehicles. What's wrong with that? The suddenly oppressive lack of anything. No people. No synths. Not even background music. You'd think such a place would have some synths working their butts off, or even a monster to justify the emptiness. But instead, you find some spilled oil, abandoned vehicles, and that's it.
  • Continuing the never-ending march of horrors that are the Vaults, Vault 95 is both this and a Tear Jerker. The Vault was intentionally filled with alcoholics and drug addicts. They were allowed to elect their Overseer, and most of their days were filled with therapy, and other forms of treatment. Vault-Tec even installed brand new technology to help people get clean. After five years, the Vault was clean, happy, and stable. That's when Vault-Tec's mole within the vault unlocked and revealed a huge stash of hidden chems, most of it Psycho. All just to see how people would react. Sadly, the vault rioted and even those with the most willpower gave into temptation or violence. The place collapsed within days.
    • To make matters worse, the detox chair where you cure Cait of her addiction looks more like something from a torture scene. The addict sits down underneath a painfully bright lamp, the wrists are secured as a set of machines insert needles into the addict's neck and apparently suck out the toxin. As demonstrated in Cait's personal quest, the procedure is very painful.
  • HalluciGen Inc manages to somehow make Pre-War America even more disturbing. How bad are they? They used dangerous, hallucination-inducing gas on protestors. Said gas could cause "catastrophic adrenal failure." To make it nightmarish, when you arrive you will notice a few Gunners' bodies all around the entrance, then hear shots, wondering if they're fighting monsters, raiders, Super Mutants, etc. Nope. A whole team of Gunners, usually smart and organized, are actually turned into wild Raider-style freaks, busy killing each other while giggling madly, spouting some rather psychotic-sounding lines, or saying sadly that they're hearing voices, and asking for it to stop. Some are locked up in cells, like the guinea pigs that HalluciGen Inc used Pre-War for psychological torture under drugs, while selected guests were watching them getting gassed from the comfort of a viewing booth. Terminals will explain you that it was all official, to make citizens more passive.
  • Near Jamaica Plain, close to the pond, there is a dead tree, guarded by a few raiders. A dozen people are gibbeted on it. Seeing bodies in various states of display and disarray is rather common in Raider-held locations.
  • There's a random encounter where you can find a synth and a person, both named Art, fighting over control of the original's life. The horrifying thing is that you really can't tell who's the original which will earn your companion's disapproval even if you choose to help the right person.
    • If you choose correctly, (and there's no telling which is correct), you can talk to Synth!Art in whispers and tell him you're with the Institute. He'll ask you to kill the real Art so he can continue his mission to replace him...
    • The Awareness perk does give you a crucial hint as to which is the real Art if only you know what to check for, but there's no guarantee you'll be able to unlock said perk before you happen upon this encounter.
  • The Fiddler's Green Trailer Estates is pretty bad by itself with Feral Ghouls everywhere, including a Glowing One. As you explore the place you might find some holotapes, they're a story for children called The New Squirrel and told in a friendly tone by a person called Story Time Simon. It beings with a young squirrel named Ricky, a brown squirrel, who wonders what squirrels live in other trees. The elders tell him "squirrels in other trees were thieves and liars, and they were never to be trusted." but Ricky didn't believe them. He meets one, a red squirrel, who needs help. Everyone turns him away but Ricky saying "How could you turn him away, just because he's from another tree? He needs our help!", which changes their minds. The red squirrel thanks Ricky and tells him he won't regret it. The final holotape ends with all of the squirrels going to sleep but in the night Ricky is woken up by leaves rustling outside. He checks and sees cats surrounding the tree with the red squirrel in another tree who says "I'm sorry," he said, "they were following me and I couldn't bring them to my tree, they would have eaten my family." As the cats ascended the tree and began to devour Ricky's friends and family, Ricky reflected on his decisions. His last words were, "I really wish I would have trusted my elders." The end. Story Time Simon says all of this in a fun friendly tone reminiscent of Mr. Rogers, which you won't expect when you listen to the last holotape. Hearing an aesop from 2077 America for children with its subtle anti-Chinese ('Red' squirrel) and 'obey those above you' message is chilling.
    • For a bonus piece of dark humor, there's squirrel stew and squirrel-on-a-stick stashed in the fridge where you find the last holotape.
  • East of the map you'll find a location named Mining Hut. Seems like a nice little spot to gather some resources. Then you see that there's a door that's locked. Pick it and you'll find yourself in a very dark tunnel called Makeshift Cavern. First thing you see is a teddy bear looking at you. Weird. Then you have to paths to follow, left or right. Go right and you pass through a cloud of dust, revealing a small chamber with another teddy bear– surrounded by human remains. Take the left and you'll find bunker-type area with the words GET OUT scrawled across the wall. Rifle through the absent owner's stash and you'll find a Stealth Boy. Oh, and there's a ladder in the room that leads you to another location: Lone Home. In this destroyed house you'll find three different sized teddy bears positioned so that they are stabbing each other. Is any of this ever explained? No. The most you'll ever find is an unfinished note that only seems to make the experience more frightening.
  • In the Vault-Tec Regional HQ, you'll find some disturbing terminal entries. There's Dr. Reid, who grows increasingly suspicious of his employer's moral code after he gets wind of some suspicious shipments. His bad-tempered boss Mr. Davidson fantasizes about murdering a colleague because she spilled some coffee on him (You'll find her skeleton in the basement...) With these type of sociopaths in charge, nothing about Vault-Tec should be much of a surprise.
  • You can visit a school where you'll find evidence that the teacher arranged to have his students take mentats in the hopes of raising their grades. As terrible as a principal hooking his students on drugs is, the worse part is this: You can find evidence that his drug pusher got wise, thanks to those mentats, and tried to blackmail the principal. The evidence implies that the principal murdered that student and covered it up.
  • Due to how adorable and cute he is, it's surprisingly easy to forget that Dogmeat is a big dog and has a lot of sharp teeth — German Shepherds like him are used around the world as police dogs for a reason. It can be horrifying to see how brutal and vicious Dogmeat can be to anyone he's attacking, especially when he executes a human enemy by violently mauling them or ripping their throats out. You can say that the Raiders he executes may had it coming but if you're attacking a random innocent person, Dogmeat won't hesitate to do the same to them purely out of loyalty to you.
    • Furthermore, should a human companion somehow turns hostile and attack you while Dogmeat is your companion, naturally, he'll defend you. If said companion happens to be non-essential for whatever reason, he could kill them the same way. This video features Piper as the unfortunate victim of Dogmeat's mauling.
    • Hell, any companion is similar to Dogmeat in this regard: All of your allies are a result of the post-apocalyptic wasteland, and to survive in a world where raiders, super mutants, deathclaws, and worse are common, all of them have to be ready and willing to kill anyone who might be a threat at a moment's notice. It can be jarring to be in a friendly conversation with Preston or Piper, and then a second later, they're ruthlessly gunning down your enemies without hesitation. Even Curie, Hancock, Deacon, and especially Nick. Beware the Nice Ones, indeed.
  • In just another horrible example of how the Great War screwed up the earth's ecosystem, you can find the bodies of mutated sea creatures on the shoreline. They look a bit... off. The coasts of New England are home to a surprising number of great whites, so these could be mutant sharks, but there's no gills and the tail fins are horizontal rather than vertical. But if that's supposed to be a dolphin, it looks like a throwback to their ancestors like Basilosaurus or Dorudontinae: creatures with oversized, conical teeth for ripping apart flesh. And then you have to wonder what tore up the corpses like that? Mirelurks, or land-based scavengers? ''What else is swimming around down there?
    • A random conversation you can come across between some caravan workers in Bunker Hill has one of them recall an old story her grandfather told of his encounter with a gigantic, ghoulified blue whale named "Old Peg." According to the story, it did nothing but surface and submerge, but the sight of it was enough to make her fearless grandfather flee for the first time in his life.
  • The quest Mystery Meat. Remember that random encounter where you meet that guy who warns you to stand back, because he ate some bad meat and he felt like he was gonna explode? Well, you can track the meat to its source, where you'll meet the guy who manufactures it. At first, it seems innocent enough, claiming that it's Mole Rat meat, and nobody should be getting sick from eating it. Then, against his warnings, you take an elevator into the basement... at which point, the proprietor shuts the elevator down, and you're trapped in the basement with the source of his meat: Feral ghouls. Lots and lots of feral ghouls. Hope you didn't eat any of that stuff.
  • In the southernmost part of the map, you can find a GINORMOUS swamp that just seems to fulfill every "creepy haunted swamp" trope ever imagined: dark water that can pool suddenly to over your head, clumps of reeds that block vision, stands of dead trees as far as the eye can see, etc. On certain nights, fog can even sweep in and prevent you from seeing more than 20 feet in front of you, something the Mirelurks and Ghouls are sure to enjoy. But it is just a swamp, right? Nothing special? Well, according to players from the area that post on Reddit, that swamp could very well be nothing more than the "Hockomock Swamp", a well-known area in the region for paranormal activity. Seriously, plug the name into your favorite search engine and read up on the history. In Colonial times, the area was known as "The Devil's Swamp", and... "weird" sightings continue to the present day. Enjoy your trip.
    • It's even worse for people who played the Point Lookout DLC for Fallout 3 due to the extremely similar setting. You half expect some insane Tribal or lumbering Swampfolk to jump out and plant an ax in your face or blast a limb off with their double-barrel shotgun. The massive enemy bases like Gunner HQ and Quincy being close by as well as its proximity to the Glowing Sea doesn't help matters.
  • There is an unmarked location near the Combat Zone called Warren Theatre. As you go inside, you're faced with a bunch of mannequins on the stage, and hiding amongst them is a Synth just ready to give you a massive jump scare.
  • One small but plot-relevant location is Listening Post Bravo, a little pre-War underground bunker. The terminal there has log entries from an Army sergeant assigned to the one-man station for a four-week stint, monitoring for suspicious radio signals. One day he picks up a garbled but audible message including the phrases "internal void," "dreams are getting darker" and "blood runs so still" from the enigmatic callsign "D.E.K."note . He sends the recording off to Washington in hopes that someone will be able to figure out what the hell is going on but gets no response. A week later he's woken up by something banging on the access elevator door for an hour straight, even though all the systems report that it's been locked down since he got there — so he can do nothing but activate the automated defenses on the surface, clutch his rifle, and wait for the noise to stop. A few days after that, Washington finally reports back to say that the tape with the "mysterious transmission" he sent them turned out to be blank, and sure enough when he checks his copies he can't hear anything either. Did the sergeant Go Mad from the Isolation like his bosses suggested, or is something stranger at work?
    • Oh, and there's also a Yao Guai living in the bunker by the time you come to visit. Even though they only way down there is an elevator that's locked when you arrive. So where did it get those bones and scraps of meat?
  • Just to the west of Diamond City, there's a lovely place called Fens Sewers. Descend into it, and you'll be treated to skeletons mounted and posed like "art" — the bonier version of Pickman Gallery — and an ominous hissing as though the tunnels are slowly filling with gas. Oh, and you'll find holotapes left behind by the mysterious Fens Phantom, detailing his obsession with a detective, and his encouragement for the detective to come visit him. What makes it worse, in a way, is that the killer never shows up. So your mind is left to speculate... Was the killer one of the feral ghouls you kill down there, possibly even the Glowing One at the end? Was the detective one of the posed skeletons? Or perhaps were the killer and detective those two skeletons on the mattress in the alcove, the ones lying next to the machete?
  • In the Greentech Genetics building, on a random desk is a couple of letter blocks and a billiard ball. They spell 'I (8) U'... with a knife and fork next to them. Hopefully, it's just someone's idea of a joke.
  • Speaking of letter blocks, you'll find that many of them have been positioned to spell out "GARY." It's probably just a Call-Back to Fallout 3 and Vault 108. Probably.
  • In Saugus Ironworks, check Slag's terminal in the main chamber and enjoy reading the disturbingly graphic descriptions of what the Forged did to their victims (i.e. former recruits.) It goes to show how twisted they are when you read the horrible things they did to people for the most trivial and petty of reasons, such as saying "ow" while having a wound treated.
  • Speaking of Raider gangs, there's "Judge" Zeller's outfit at East Boston Preparatory School. The first thing you'll notice is probably a unique piece of loot every Raider in there is carrying, a "Blood Contract" swearing servitude to "the Judge and his Jury." If you check the terminal log entries in the building, you'll learn that Zeller is a firm believer in Being Tortured Makes You Evil — all of his recruits were subjected to hideous abuses, like being beaten until their face was so swollen they couldn't eat, given time to heal, and then beaten again to repeat the cycle, until they broke and signed the Contract. Except for "Killer," who just smiled and laughed no matter what they did to him, until they decided to put him down.
  • The Mook Horror Show in "Hunter/Hunted." The Synth Courser you're tracking, Z2-47, is himself hunting another escaped Gen 3, called "Jenny." You go into Greenetech Genetics, and discover a veritable army of Gunners being cut down by this one synth, with the commander's commands over the loudspeaker becoming more increasingly desperate. When you finally catch up to the Courser, he's preparing to execute the last of the Gunners.
    • Really, any Institute Courser in general is pure Nightmare Fuel. Cold and unemotional, these things were designed to hunt down Synths and take them back to the Institute by any means necessary. And it's not just Gameplay and Story Segregation, either; they have a lot of HP, and when not depleting your health down insanely fast, they're crippling your limbs to make it easier for them to kill you. Oh, you do know that they also use Stealth Boys, right? If you haven't feared the Institute before, Coursers just might make it a little more easier for you.
  • The way synths are constructed can be a little unsettling. As Glory describes, they are "built", bone by bone, muscle by muscle. There is a giant machine that constructs the synth's skeleton like a puzzle before sheathing it in muscle, then jabs the body with electrical prods to stimulate its nervous system before dipping the body in a vat of red liquid. What emerges appears to be a human being, who is then ushered to "Synth Processing".
  • Right around the corner from Bunker Hill is an apartment with a blue door. The apartment is crawling with feral ghouls. Among the loot, the player can find three holotapes marked "Control Subject's Recording", numbers 1, 2, and 3. They tell a tale of a young Institute scientist who was assigned to test an experimental serum that was supposed to prevent a person from becoming a ghoul — on herself. The first step was to expose herself to enough radiation that death was certain even if ghoulification wasn't. The calm way she describes her slow descent into the life of a feral ghoul is horrifying. The last words on the tape are, "Don't bother telling my parents. What will be left of me isn't going to be worth burying."
  • Billy Peabody. A boy who locked himself in a fridge the day the bombs fell. He was ghoulified and remained in the fridge alive and alone in the dark for 210 years. How he is still sane when he's finally let out is anyone's guess.
  • A mere stone's throw from the Castle is a church basement. Nothing is inside but a few ghouls, a live cat and a pile of mongrel dog meat heaped in front of what looks like a shrine to cats with more meat to spare in nearby refrigerators. There is no context, no backstory and no explanation for any of this.
  • There are a number of radio relay towers in the Commonwealth and if you extend them, you'll be able to tune into nearby ham radio signals. Most are pleas for help, and many have been playing on repeat for over 200 years. Should you track down the sources of the transmissions, you may find some loot, but no happy endings.
    • Perhaps the most horrifying one is the Miller family radio signal out of Big John's Salvage. It's a repeating call for help from the husband/father of the family, explaining that the generator powering the ventilation system for their vacuum sealed, underground bunker died, they were running out of oxygen, and they couldn't open the hatch. The message ends with the father trying to keep his daughter calm and giving her breathing instructions. When you finally find and enter the bunker, there are no notes or terminal entries needed, the scene itself makes things crystal clear. Two child-sized mounds of dirt with toys on top of each, and a male and female skeleton curled up, spooning, on the mattress on the floor.
    • Another incredibly chilling one is from a train car south of Oberland Station. You hear this pre-recorded message from a panicking mother and her son Thomas who took shelter in an overturned train car after being chased by something. The mother pleads for help for her son because he's injured, and then the creature manages to open the door and she shrieks in pure terror for her boy to make a run for it. When you open up the train carriage you see a skeleton and a train car full of blood, and no sign of Thomas. The voice actress really nailed the terror of a parent whose child is in danger. Just listen to it here.
    • More Tear Jerker than Nightmare Fuel, but still horrifying, is the radio broadcast of a girl who ended up trapped in a secure vault in a jewelry store at the Fallon's Department Store just as the bombs dropped. She slowly got weaker over three days due to lack of food and water, desperately begging for help over the radio. Of course you only find her bones. Once again, the voice actress did an amazing job.
    • All of these radio messages end in an automated, monotone male voice repeating "This has been a prerecorded message. Message repeats in three seconds." Over and over, for the past 210 years. There's something deeply creepy and unsettling about going from terrified shrieks or dying whimpers to an automated message.
  • Assaultron Dominators. Here we have a humanoid robot that's just as fast as you are, is extremely powerful in melee combat to the point of one-shotting you if it gets too close, can turn invisible and fires a beam that turns the sole survivor to a pile of ash in 1-2 seconds. Cut its legs off? It crawls after you like a frigging Terminator and can still fire its beam. In short, it's a ridiculously powerful Determinator capable of jumpscaring you.
  • QASmoke, the universal item vault previously found in Skyrim. Skyrim's version was a simple enclosed cavern similar to any normal dungeon. In Fallout 4, the cell is a spooky Ghost Town swathed in fog. The skybox is disabled, resulting in blur effects not unlike noclipping out of bounds in Doom. And in one corner of this forsaken town, the floor is missing, allowing you to fall into the void. It all combines into an extremely creepy atmosphere that definitely invokes the feeling this is a place you are not supposed to be in.
    • As added nightmare fuel, check your map when you’re in this location — your eyes are not deceiving you. You are not even in the Commonwealth anymore. You’re in this... room floating out in some ethereal void far removed from the game’s world. You may as well be in an entirely different dimension all together.
  • Ever played Fallout: New Vegas on Hardcore Mode at the highest difficulty (including DLC)? How the game increases the realism factor with aspects such as the addition of a food/water/sleep meter, permanent companions' death, and ammo having weight? We ask this because Fallout 4's Survival Mode makes playing the former look like child's play and arguably better simulates what it would realistically be like surviving the Wasteland and how bleak and terrifying it can be traversing a world where one wrong move can either quickly or gradually kill you if you don't prepare yourself accordingly. Even with some usual armor, there will be points where even a low-level Raider can kill you quickly with just a few bullets if your guard is down. Think you can conserve ammo by meleeing a group of Radroachs and Mole Rats? Maybe if you like the risk of getting sick from diseases that can drastically hurt your stats or even kill you if you don't treat it soon. You're in a situation where you're very hungry or thirsty can the only food you have is uncooked meat or dirty water? And you're miles away from a cooking station? There's no fast traveling in Survival Mode, so you have to gauge the risk of eating and drinking your unprepared supplies or risk getting closer to starvation, dehydration, or getting killed by a random enemy on your way to a cooking station. Oh, and forget about Save Scumming, in Survival Mode you only save by going to bed, so death can set you back greatly if you're too reckless and aren't constantly keeping an eye out for beds you can use. Survival Mode, all in all, is the epitome of Early Game Hell.
  • The story of Kim Wu, whose terminals you find in the Pearwood Residences and Natick Banks, is this mixed with Tearjerker. When China invaded Alaska, xenophobia swept through America like wildfire. Kim, a very young Chinese-American boy, wrote about many of his experiences during that time, but clearly didn't understand what was really going on, bless his heart. When he and his mother were out shopping for Halloween costumes, an angry mob destroyed the Paifang that marked the entrance to their neighborhood. Later on, the police began searching for Chinese-American residents, rounding them up and loading them onto a bus. Kim and his mother managed to hide from them, but his aunt Song was later taken. When asked where she went, his father explained that Song was taken to a camp, but not a fun one for kids. Yeah. And while Kim and his family successfully avoided being taken to such a camp, they were stranded in Natick Banks when the Great War commenced.
    • One such camp, called Little Yangtze, can be visited in the Fallout: New Vegas add-on Old World Blues. It's as filthy, squalid, and run down as you may imagine such a camp being 200 years after the bombs dropped, and the inmates are still alive, having long since ghoulified and gone insane. All of them have also been fitted with explosive collars. The instant they cross the perimeter of the camp's fence, their heads explode. As if that's not bad enough, there are also some very callous terminal entries. They talk about how many of these people, who were deemed communist infiltrators and spies, were beaten simply because they didn't speak English, and even that they were to be subjected to human experimentation. How many other camps like this were scattered across pre-war America? How many of them still have people trapped there?
  • South of Oberland Station is a small unmarked wooden tower next to a railway. There's a trap door leading to the inside labelled "Waystation". Seems harmless. The inside is lit by a single lamp, it's quiet. There's a dead body of a settler surrounded by improvised torture tools like a sledgehammer, a machete and a makeshift battery. A small plastic crate contains bloody skull fragments. There's no explanation for anything. It's just a grisly torture scene.
  • Bloatflies tend to be The Goomba, and even their higher level variants are relatively weak. But that thing they're shooting at you? It's their offspring. Their larva embeds itself in human or animal flesh and later hatches. Thankfully thank to Gameplay and Story Segregation this doesn't happen to you, but if you switch to third person you will see an enormous maggot embedded in your character and wriggling!
    • You can loot the Bloatflies glands and use them to craft "Bloatfly larva syringes" that you can shoot at enemies with the Syringer to inflict this on them. When they die, they explode and release a full-grown adult Bloatfly.
  • The player can be this to raiders if they are skilled enough in stealth. You can kill one of their buddes, dissapear into the shadows, and if you are not detected but have killed a few more in the interm and lose their aggro, they become noticably spooked, especially if none of them got a good look at you.
    Raider: In an out, just like that. Who moves that damn fast...
  • Just north of Sanctuary Hills, on the bank of the river is a mannequin lying on the ground with a stimpak stabbed into its chest. Who put it there and why is a mystery, but it's a chilling image nonetheless.

     Automatron DLC 
  • While the Mechanist is a well-intentioned Anti-Villain, the base they've taken up really emphasizes that the United States may have been worse before the nuclear apocalypse than it is now. It was a production facility for robobrains. Terminals describe, in clinical language, prisoners being experimented on, most of them murdered without a second thought after suffering a nightmarish existence as Brain in a Jar and going quite understandably mad from the trauma. Only the most callous and sociopathic of experimental victims proved able to handle the experience, and they alone went on to be turned into robobrains, resulting in callous killing machines that could be relied upon only to interpret orders in the most evil, sadistic way possible. And the facility is huge — hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women, many of them minor or accidental crooks, mental patients with IQ ratings below 80, some likely innocent outright, were subjected to monstrous experiments and butchered by order of their own government.
    • It gets worse. Going through the facility, you'll find feral ghouls in cells or on gurneys. This leads to one of two conclusions. Either the men and women being experimented on were ghoulified by the bomb, or the Mechanist is abducting ferals to make more Robobrains!
    • If you're curious, or unlucky, you can find a list of the people being subjected to these experiments. It starts off just about how you'd expect it to, with a serial killer — and you discover later evidence that the serial killer is now the robot you're cooperating with to take down the mechanist, Jezebel. The crimes get more and more minor and the people grow more and more unstable. So many of those people needed help, and instead they were tortured and killed.
    • Take a look at the removal division's terminal if you've got a strong stomach. If the cheery way they approach their gruesome work doesn't make you sick then the fact that they fed one of their coworkers a brain as a joke will!
    • Looking at some terminal entries there is evidence that some of the inmates were being treated for anxiety or other disorders and a few were seeming to recover... imagine being put to jail because of your mental health, and once in you come to trust someone who's helping you deal with it, you get better, and you can even begin to think of your new life once you're out (sort of the goal of psy wards in actual prisons)... only to be strapped to a gurney and sent to brain processing, perhaps even by the very people that were supposed to help with your PTSD or anxiety.
    • Another terminal entry details the responses of several of their inmates once their brains were removed and underwent cerebral reconditioning. Most of them were horrified when they realized their arms and legs were gone and frantically asked what was going on, only for them to be shut down and, in some cases, incinerated without a second thought. The final one, however, doesn't seem to care that their body's missing. They only swear to murder everyone in the facility for what they've done. And the researchers consider this a success.
    • There are hundreds of brains still floating in their jars throughout the facility. One has to wonder how many of them were legitimately criminals and others were simply deemed acceptable choices for their robobrain program.
    • The facility had 219 security protocols, only four of which we can still read about.
      • Class-V Counter-Espionage Procedure: If the administrator suspects there's been a breach of security, they can initiate a Class-V lockdown, where all staff must report to their stations in a timely manner or they'll be shot on sight. From there, they'll be brought in and interrogated using a Mesomotron-equipped robobrain, which is noted to be experiment and has a 10-15% chance of causing spontaneous cranial eruptions. Any spies they do find will be turned over for experimentation.
      • Gamma-IX Security Alert: In the event that there's any coordinated escape effort by the prisoners, all local and remote terminal functions will be disabled, all security doors in the cell block areas will be sealed, and all security and defensive systems will activate. Whoever wrote this up not only recommends using this as a field test for experimental combat robots, but that the administrator can order a complete purge of all test subjects- including ones that didn't try to escape- and order more.
      • Epsilon-VI Security Alert: This one is in place in case of a mass uprising of the robot janitorial staff. Like with Gamma-IX, terminals will be shut down and defenses will activate, along with the Control Center entering an automated lockdown state. From there, employees are to hunker down and arm themselves while the Military Robotics Oversight Committee decides how to respond within ten business days. In other words, this involves being stuck in an underground facility with rogue robots for up to two weeks while a group of bureaucrats decide how best to handle the situation. And this is the last protocol that was initiated before the war.
      • The final one is the Omega Protocol: In the event of confirmed nuclear detonations, the Administrator will initiate a lockdown and attempt to reestablish contact the military. If contact isn't made within 24 hours, staff remaining on-site are to delete any sensitive files and records, close down their stations, arm themselves, and collect their personal belongings. If 30 hours have passed with no contact, the facility will enter Lockdown Omega Mode, where staff will be given ten minutes to evacuate before everything is permanently shut down. As for the prisoners? They're to be secured in their cells and left behind.
  • The fact that the facility was taken over and run by the U.S. Army becomes a lot more disturbing when you consider that Nate, the male Sole Survivor, was a soldier. Not only was he alive while this place was fully operational, it's possible he may have known people who were working here.
  • In the cell wing for the test subjects, you can find not just skeletons, but dead feral ghouls still in their cells. This means radiation leaked into the facility and transformed them, keeping a few of the inmates alive, trapped in these tiny cells while the others starved or died of radiation poisoning. Worse, if you pick the locks to some of the cells, you'll find a few of the ghouls are actually still alive. One can only hope they went feral soon after transforming.

     Far Harbor DLC 
  • Far Harbor makes Point Lookout look like a kiddy pool in comparison.
  • The Fog. Just moving through the fog covering the Island will very slowly but surely drive up your rads up to dangerous levels. The Fog is also natural camouflage for the Island's lethal ecosystem, so you might not see the threat lying ahead until it attacks... or rather... if it attacks.
  • As for the local wildlife, we have...
    • Gulpers, mutated salamanders that eat anything. They start as big as a Mirelurk, tougher versions can be as big as Deathclaws, and since they keep growing as they age, no one's sure just how large they can get. They're also perfectly camouflaged if they curl up in mud, so between that and the ever-present Fog it's easy for them to surprise you. But what you might not expect are Gulpers hanging by their tails from trees, and if you think they'd be easy to spot like that, think again.
    • Fog Crawlers, mutated shrimp that make Mirelurks look like non-mutated shrimp. You first "encounter" one while following Old Longfellow and you hear a roar in the distance, with Longfellow commenting that it's a good thing you won't fight it. And for good reason — these giant crustaceans are two stories tall with huge chitinous blades for arms, and the worst part that they're both fast and absurdly tenacious! Even a Gauss Rifle has trouble bringing them down! It doesn't help that, to those who played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, these things look like giant Chaurus.
    • Hermit Crabs. Not the cute li'l guys that find shelter in shells, these fuckers are big, and despite that also fast, durable, and pack a huge punch. If you ever see fresh tire tracks on a road where no cars have been driven for 210 years, and find a dilapidated trailer just sitting out in the open, you've just found a "shell" one of these Hermit Crabs has outgrown. So you can only imagine how big it is now...
    • The Island has proper Wolves instead of the mainland's wild mongrels, and they are most certainly not the annoyances you can find in Skyrim. They're pack hunters, love to ambush you, and at higher levels you'll even encounter Glowing Wolves.
    • Radstags aren't much of a threat on the mainland, and are more pathetic than anything, but on the Island they're a different story. These are Devolved Radstags, so heavily mutated that they've grown fangs, and the skin on their heads is so emaciated that no one would blame you if you thought they had skinless skulls. Also, unlike their simply self-defensive mainland cousins, these Radstags are always aggressive. The implication is that they've Ascended to Carnivorism.
    • Anglers, which are massive mutated anglerfish that hide out in patches of Lure Weeds ready to Jump Scare anyone who gets too close. Not only do they move fast and hit hard like a Deathclaw, but at higher levels you'll encounter special Venomous Anglers that also inflict poison damage with their attacks. As if that wasn't enough, these elite Anglers also have HP comparable to a Super Mutant Behemoth. Hope you brought a heavily modded Lever-Action Rifle and a backpack full of ammo.
  • Far Harbor may lack Point Lookout's hideously deformed, cannibalistic, and utterly insane Swampfolk, but the local human enemies aren't just more Raiders or Gunners. Trappers are Island residents who have spent too much time in the Fog and gone nearly feral — they're still smart enough to set traps and make good use of their harpoons, lever-action rifles, and other weapons, but now they worship the Fog and attack anyone else they come across. They're strangely quiet compared to the Commonwealth's Raiders (all the better to creep up on you), and most of them only make animalistic grunts or roars when in combat. And yes, they're cannibals.
    Harborman: Don't look a Trapper in the eyes. They're... not there.
  • When you get to Acadia, DiMA asks you a very simple question, that will make you rethink all of your previous actions: What if you, the Sole Survivor, are a synth? He goes on to ask, what do you remember of your old life? How do you know that memory is yours? Can you remember anything before the bombs fell? Its enough to make your hair stand on end and make yourself question all of the actions that have led you to that point.
    • Speaking of DiMA, many Acadia-related quest icons feature a very creepy Vault Boy rendition of him, with his appearance in the icon for "The Way Life Should Be" being especially horrifying.
    • Browsing terminals at the Institute, you may stumble across one detailling advances in Gen-3 fighting abilities stating that the combatant can actually visualize the percentage of effectively hitting targets and improved perception that mimics the effect of slowing, or even stopping, time. Sounds like V.A.T.S. mode - and if you know that you can access V.A.T.S. prior to getting the Pip-Boy ... it sure makes you think.
  • The Visions of the Fog quest, in which you're initiated into the Children of Atom, doesn't quite match the Punga Fruit Samba's levels of "screwed up", but makes up for it in terms of sheer terror and creepiness. You're told to drink out of an extremely irradiated spring that's said to kill even those actually wanting to join ranks with Atom. Upon doing so, and after taking a large hit of rads, you're thrown into a nightmarish sequence where you're following a ghostly figure through the Island in the middle of a rad storm. Other shadowy figures of various Island beasts stand alongside your path, simply watching, and the whole time you can hear a woman sobbing, but from god knows where.
    Sole Survivor: This can't be real...
    Ghostly Woman: <whispering> Follow...
  • Depending on your actions (or inactions), The Way Life Should Be could very well end in the entire town of Far Harbor slaughtering the synths in Acadia to avenge Avery's death at the hands of DiMA. Not only is it horrifying to see the Synths you've come to know there, including Kasumi, be murdered in cold blood, the absolute worst part is that there's nothing you can do to stop the massacre. Allen, the ringleader, not only utterly refuses to listen to your pleas to let the synths live, but is essential to boot. The only options you have are to either participate in the massacre yourself, or stand by and watch. You will have a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach for a long, long time afterwards.
  • One of the quests Chase sends you on seems like a simple rescue at first, locate a lost synth and get them to safety. Unfortunately, after talking to Brooks in Far Harbor, things take an unexpectedly dark turn. You head for the synth, Derrick's last known location... only to find out that he isn't there and has just disappeared without even leaving behind a body. You then notice a trail of blood leading off into the woods... You track it all the way to an isolated Trapper den and confront them about Derrick, only to find out he was ripped apart by the local wildlife long before you arrived. As for his corpse, if you can pass a speech check, the Trapper will gloat that they didn't want him to go to waste and devoured his remains... all except for his head, which is handed over for you to bring back with you to Acadia. Even Chase is horrified at what happened.
  • Ghoul Whale. You only hear about it from some unnamed NPC and see the bones, but just knowing such things exist is terrifying enough as is.
  • The mannequins get some creepy scenes in the base game, like standing around a corpse holding machetes or standing around a corpse holding clipboards, but there is a sunken tugboat southwest of Fringe Cove, with several mannequins floating above it. There are mannequins staring out the portholes and standing around the ship with the following letter in the sunken boat:
    "I can't wait to drop these damn mannequins off! The crew is starting to claim that they are hearing weird noises from the cargo, maybe they are just playing pranks on me? Whatever, we are almost there."
    • There is also a mannequin in a coffin a little ways away from the boat, with 2 gold bars in the coffin.
  • You can overhear a recommendation to go to Eden Meadows Cinemas, which will mark it on your map. Since most of the early quests in Far Harbor take place in the north of the map, it's likely you'll approach it from the north. If you do, what you'll see as you approach is literally dozens of ghouls silhouetted against the flickering drive-in screen. A terrifying image.
  • A location serving as a Trapper hideout, Pine Crest Cavern, is mostly just another enemy dungeon. But then you find the door into Kitteredge Pass, where you find yourself in a moderately-sized labyrinth of narrow tunnels. The starting tunnel even has you dropping down into a shallow pool of water... and that's where you land right in the middle of a few feral ghouls. Then you're having to make your way through said narrow tunnels, wondering if there's going to be a snarling, rad-causing cannibal monster waiting for you around the corner...

     Vault-Tec Workshop DLC 
  • Overseer Valery Barstow. She's a loyal Vault-Tec employee who desperately wants to run increasingly sick experiments on unsuspecting people who just want a better life. Not to mention she looks far less healthy than any other Ghoul in the game...
  • Barstow's screening process for new Vault residents carries some very dark implications, assuming it is representative of Vault-Tec's modus operandi as a whole (which it most likely is). The sociopathic ghoul dismisses every applicant that shows traits like independent thought or a less-than-euphoric opinion of the government, claiming people like these wouldn't work as a feasible baseline for the experiments. The poor slob she eventually chooses as her guinea pig instead is an incredibly dim-witted yes-man who'd jump off a cliff if she asked him to do her the favor. If that's the clientele Vault-Tec was aiming for all along, well... it's probably best not to think too much about the larger picture that was the whole nation-wide Vault experiment.
  • The new human society Barstow and her cronies want(ed) to create raises some serious hackles as well. Imagine a world where physical exercise is deemed self-serving egotism unless you're riding a home trainer bike for days on end in order to generate power for the Vault, incentivized by being given electric shocks or hard drugs that eventually lead to cardiac arrest. Imagine a world where your hydration break drink is spiked with all manners of drugs to make you more compliant to everything, and to reduce your urge to eat to the point where you eventually won't even get out of bed anymore. Imagine a world where a simple ophthalmological checkup results in your thoughts being read or your opinion of your superiors being manipulated. You can still sleep easy? Well, there's also Barstow's inspired ideas for putting slot machines to more... productive use...
    • Even worse, most of the Vault-Tec approved prototypes have a chance of killing the settlers who use them (with the exception of the Mood Enhancer soda dispenser and Barstow's prototypes). Vault-Tec's callous disregard for human life is well documented, but this time, it's on YOU if your settlers, who came to your Settlement in search of a better life, wind up dead as a result.
  • Exploring Vault 88 is terrifying, because you never know what's just around the corner. You can clear out an area of Mole Rats easily enough, but scrap one wrong wall, and you'll have a swarm of Radscorpions, a Mythic Deathclaw, or an Annihilator Sentry Bot after you. Oh, and you'd better be packing some Rad-X, because the location was chosen because of the ready access to a lot of uranium deposits.
    • The ambient sounds as you move through the caves can make your neck crawl. The wind blowing through the abandoned subway tunnels can sound just like distant radio static, or someone whispering just on the verge of hearing... it is the wind, right?

    Nuka World DLC 
  • Just because it's the official theme park of the biggest soft drink company in the Old America, doesn't mean that Nuka-World doesn't demonstrate all the good ol' fashioned absolute sociopathy and disregard for human safety that we've come to expect from the Pre-War world. Military-grade robots with functional weapons installed were used in the Galactic Zone, the Safari Adventure area was populated by cloned creatures produced by an underground genetics facility capable of splicing DNA into all sorts of horrors, and one ride involves going down a literal river of Nuka-Cola Quantum, that glowing blue beverage that is as refreshing as it is horribly radioactive.
  • And then there's the new monsters to encounter there (or rather, the non-human monsters):
    • Gatorclaws, a ghoulified scientist's attempt to cross Jackson's Chameleons with alligator DNA, seasoned with an FEV sample taken from a Super Mutant. In other words, these are alligator-Deathclaw hybrids. And there's nothing quite like sneaking through a hedge maze, hearing one's gurgling breath nearby, wondering what you'll see when you turn the next corner...
    • Brahmiluffs, two-headed mutant cape buffalo. That's right, the animal known by big game hunters as "The Black Death" and kills more people in Africa each year than lions, was also featured in the park. Unsurprisingly, they're always hostile and charge as soon as they see you.
    • Nuka-World has a bit of a bug problem. Besides the normal Bloatflies, Radscorpions, Bloodbugs and Stingwings you remember from the Commonwealth, there are also giant ants the size of small dogs, flying ants that attack in hard-to-hit swarms, and mutant cave crickets nearly as big as you with apparently bulletproof chitin.
    • Sometimes you'll hear Raiders threaten to dump unruly Traders outside the park's walls and leave them for the "Bloodworms." These monsters combine the "burrow underground then lunge at you" aspect of Mole Rats/Radscorpions with the "incubate inside corpses" aspect of Bloodbugs — watch for pulsating bovine corpses! Even when they're engaging you on the surface, they kick up so much dust when they surge after you that they can nigh-impossible to see, and they like to attack in swarms. Yeah, you'll want to bring a flamer.
      • Of course, melee oriented players can stumble across some nice Nightmare Retardant thanks to how the game's engine handles collisions. Take a swing with your trusty baseball bat, or better yet, Atom's Judgement and watch the formerly intimidating creatures go sailing through the air with all the grace of a pool noodle.
    • Some apes have survived the War as "Ghoulrillas," deformed mutant gorillas. Thankfully they're peaceful to you... at least initially.
    • And of course the literal river of Nuka-Cola Quantum has had the expected effect on certain mutant crustaceans. That's right, Nukalurks have returned!
    • Even the "painted ghouls" are pretty creepy. What's even creepier is that Oswald the Outrageous meticulously paints these feral ghoul "friends" of his.
  • A brief one from the trailer, but there's a shot of an elevator descending, when the corpse laying on the platform abruptly snaps upwards. Not because it's a ghoul playing dead, but because it's been hung by its neck from the top of the elevator shaft. We can only guess the story behind it, but presumably the raiders in the park decided they couldn't be bothered to spare the bullets for executions.
  • The Grandchester Mystery Mansion is a mash-up of the Winchester Mansion and the case of Lizzie Borden. The overdramatic tone of the narrator and the cheesiness of the attraction makes it more sudden and frightening when he recounts not only how Lucy Grandchester's parents mistreated her, but the even worse things she did to them.
    • The mansion was owned by a couple whose daughter, Lucy, was a Creepy Child who skinned animals and nailed their hides to the underside of the furniture. Her father Hannibal disciplined her for her misbehavior by beating her, but her mother Morticia thought she was possessed by evil spirits and renovated the home to include doorways that opened onto brick walls, staircases leading to nowhere, and a room with the furniture nailed to the ceiling, all in an effort to confuse the spirits as they looked for Lucy.
    • Some of Lucy's "pranks" include making a doll that looked like her father and hanging it from a noose, putting mice and poison in their food, and hiding a rusty spike in Hannibal's shoe that he impaled his foot on. After the last one, Hannibal went to her room to beat her, and while the cause is unknown, he was found dead with a pair of scissors shoved so far through his eye they cut his brain. Lucy claimed she was holding the scissors in self-defense when he came to beat her, and he tripped and fell onto them. When she was asked why his fingers were cut off, she said it was so he couldn't hold his cane anymore. Her mother was found dead in the master bedroom with a doll stuffed into her mouth, and Lucy said the doll did it because her mother wouldn't kiss it goodnight.
    • Finally, Lucy was committed to an asylum, but she escaped on her eighteenth birthday. Nine days later she was found in her old home hanging from a noose.
    • The narrator assures tourists that ghosts aren't real and even shows off some trick candles that police found in the house, used by Morticia's psychic for seances. But what most assuredly isn't part of the ride is the young girl the player can occasionally notice running through the house as they explore it. It might be easy to just dismiss it as a real kid running around the place, until you come to the last encounter where she runs up to a door, opens it up, and goes through it — when the player opens the door, they find a brick wall and a Scare Chord plays.
    • Bring along a scoped weapon, and just before you enter the house, you can see her watching you through the attic window. Nope, that's not creepy at all. Especially as the attic is completely sealed off.
  • If you thought an amusement park was going to stop Vault-Tec's schemes, think again. Even in their fantastical vision of space travel, people weren't safe. Terminals in "Vault-Tec: Among the Stars" reveal that scientists were experimenting on innocent, wide-eyed park-goers.
    • Experiment 1: use the "radiation scrubbers" in the exhibit to disrupt attendants' brainwaves with elecromagnetic fields. Experiment 2: subliminal suggestion via audio emitters. Experiment 3: release hypnotic pheromones from genetically-modified plants in the exhibit. Experiment 4: hit guests with doses of theta radiation from the on-site reactor. Experiment 5: use these experiments on the scientists performing experiments 1-4.
    • Even without the secret experiments, the attraction will likely give fans who remember their lore a few shivers. Vault-Tec carried out their experiments in collaboration with what was to become the Enclave. Their goal was to use the knowledge gained from the Vault experiments to construct long distance colony ships to settle other worlds. The ride's intent was the make people open to this idea (and experiment on them).
  • The situation John-Caleb Bradberton, founder of Nuka Cola is in when you meet him in game. Decapitated and hooked up to a machine that's keeping him alive forever with no way to move around and no one to interact with for centuries. Even if it is karmic you can't help but feel bad for the poor bastard since his isolation has made him a Death Seeker. Of course if you really don't need the Nuka-Nuke launcher or just don't want to give him the death he seeks, you could always leave him alive with Sierra Petrovita for company.
  • Nuka-World is also full of these moments. Galactic Zone has Assaultrons and Sentry Bots, Dry Rock Gulch encourages kids to have a shootout with one of the Protectrons... with a real gun. And then there's the fact that it's possible for your children to be traumatized for life (if not worse) by being bit by a poisonous reptile in the Safari Zone (and according to one terminal, treatment involves being sent to Nuka-Town USA to file out paperwork before they'll administer any sort of treatment... after you show them your park passes... and that even if you last long enough to jump through those hoops and get treated? The cost of your treatment gets billed directly to you. And if you're too paralyzed to walk to Nuka-Town USA yourself, you need to pay for a stretcher, a sum of four hundred dollars (in FO!2077 money, which would likely come out to about 50 bucks in RW!2016 money). And if you can't prove you paid to get into the park? Employees are simply instructed to call security, without treating the injured party.
  • The Nuka World raider gangs themselves. See, the park used to be a massive trading outpost until Colter and the three gangs came in, shot most of the traders and put the rest in explosive collars (ala New Vegas' Dead Money DLC) to work as slaves in Nuka Town. If going the evil route you have to try your best to keep these scumbags happy and content, lest they make good on the death threats they keep hurling in your direction for slightly favoring one of their rivals. Made worst by the fact that one gang will betray you no matter what options you take which shows how quickly these guys will turn on you if they don't like how you run the place. Of course, each gang has their own special brand of evil that sets them apart from the others:
    • The Pack are a bunch of wild warriors who dress in colorful and silly clothing, but don't let their appearance fool you, these guys are all stone cold killers and savages. They specialize in taming the dangerous wildlife found in the wasteland and unleashing it on unsuspecting victims, an ability that they pass along to you with a special type of grenade. Worse still, if the player explores their central base they'll find food items labeled Mystery Jerky and Mystery Bacon which implies that they either cook their victims into food for themselves or as treats for their pets. Not to mentioned the staged fights between the traders and their mutant creatures or the fact that they apparently regularly feed people to their animals.
    • The Operators seem like a lighter shade of gray compared to the two other gangs at first, what with their professionalism and distaste for the barbaric ways of their two rivals. Under those fancy suits and styled haircuts however, are an entire group of ruthless assassins who only care about one thing: caps. For the right price you could have an entire army of Agent 47s gunning for you and your friends and family... and you'll likely never even see them coming. Oh, and they also apparently dabble in creating mind control chems which they happily test out on traders with all the enthusiasm of any Vault-Tec scientist. Just imagine being hit with a strange gas and then being forced to watch in horror as you are asked to mutilate yourself in increasingly graphic ways all while you are helpless to stop.
    • Last, and most certainly least (and the worst), we have the Disciples, who are all sadistic serial killers... there really isn't any other way to say it. They don't really care much about turning a profit so much as they like to have fun, which in this case means torturing, mutilating, maiming and just plain tearing up any poor fool that dares cross their path. Their entire base looks less like a hideout and more like a slaughterhouse with bloody spikes, body parts and body parts on bloody spikes decorating the place. If you explore the place you can even find helpless prisoners chained to the walls waiting for their turn to be tortured, butchered and ripped apart... maybe not even in that order. While all of the Nuka World gangs are vile scum most fans agree that these guys are the at the very bottom below everyone else.

  • Revolted starts as an innocuous, hilarious, So Bad, It's Good Game Within a Game genre throwback to the likes of Duke Nukem, replete with very hilarious text to speech based So Bad, It's Good dialogue. And then you confront "the Professor" and he turns into Glitch and Jump Scare you. Fortunately it's easy to dispatch. As the game ends in a Blue Screen of Death, you decided to get out and you found out that the Glitch made its way to the real world! Thankfully just like before, it's easy to dispatch, you got all your guns back, and it drops items based on the Revolted game.
    • From the same developer comes Vault Buddy, which is just another companion mod. Except the place it inhabits gives massive jumpscare, and the doll is basically Fallout version of Chucky meets Slenderman.
  • Concussion starts off as a rather basic, simple bounty-based quest mod. Then it became Psychological Horror meets Surreal Horror.
  • Maxwell's World brings back the "Doom" part of Amusement Park of Doom so much that Nuka-World feels like a lighthearted walk in a park.
  • Children of Ug-Qualtoth starts out similar to the Dunwich Borers location in the main game, but quickly evolves into a full on horror game, complete with an Eldritch Abomination (though it's an asset flip of the Mirelurk Queen in the main game) and a scary ass Eldritch Location.
    • Hell, you don't even have to visit the location yet to get some scares. In some way or another, if the new enemies (aside from the aforementioned Mirelurk Queen) Are more or less, Elite Mooks for the existing Feral Ghouls across the Commonwealth. If being Lightning Bruisers wasn't enough... THEY CAN'T BE TARGETED IN VATS (more specifically, you CAN target them, but only to help you see their general direction from you. You can't shoot them in VATS). Especially if you play survival mode, it won't matter if you are equipped with endgame Power Armor and Heavy guns, these fuckers will down you in two hits (that is, if you can tank the first hit... the additional hits will come soon after). It won't be long before you learn to FEAR THEM. In due time, you WILL be scared of their signature custom whispering and ghostly sounds.
      • Even worse, as if the struggle of timing, planning ahead, and/or just plain surviving them and/or defeating them from the skin of your teeth wasn't enough.. THEY CAN RESPAWN.. MULTIPLE TIMES, to repeat the process all over again, and again, and again.
      • Hell, you don't even have to fight them yourselves to learn to fear them. Just ask the Raiders, Gunners, Super Mutants, even DEATHCLAWS, that have survived encounters with these monstrosities. Or don't. The amount of times you can expect to see them survive against these monsters (They literally don't have a name when targeted in VATS) can be counted on less than 1 hand. That's right, these... things, can rip through even people in Power Armor, as if it was wet tissue paper. It will soon not be uncommon to find a base with aforementioned mooks, only to find those places empty, and those monsters and/or their feral ghoul allies waiting for you...
      • Pro tip: it would be WISE to stock up on any legendary item that has the 'Ghoul Slayer" effect; sure these can act as little more than speed bumps against them, but it's better than nothing...
  • The Creation Club Anti-Material Rifle comes with its own quest, The Paper Mirror, and it's easily as spooky as anything in the proper game. You find the titular Paper Mirror, a single paper predicting your own future in the Witchcraft Museum (already a spooky place thanks to the deathclaw playing haunted house there) and eventually, you'll check out the bounty mentioned in it. The bounty leads you on a path of murder, hunting down everyone else who also had a part of this future-predicting diary. One guy kills himself just to deny you the satisfaction. You do have the option of sparing one woman begging for you to go, but if you do, the diary somehow anticipated that too and punished you with three bounty hunters after you with the same instructions you got for the gang. In the end, you never know what the deal is with that Paper Mirror...but at least you get a nice .50 cal Anti-Material rifle out of it.
  • The Whispering Hills mod allows players to go toe to toe with Pyramid Head of Silent Hill Fame While it's not lore-friendly to either Fallout or Silent Hill, and Pyramid Head himself can still be defeated. It still captures the atmosphere of his presence in Silent Hill 2 and his further appearances. It is EXTREMELY easy to die to him if you don't maintain a good distance.