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Nightmare Fuel / Five Nights at Freddy's

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As this is a Nightmare Fuel page, spoilers will be left unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

As the start of this terrifying franchise, there's quite a few good reasons as to why the original Five Nights at Freddy's is considered one of the scariest games of 2014, if not the decade or even of all time.

  • The trailer shows Bonnie moving around while the cameras are off, not to mention TAKING OFF HIS FACE, showing his endoskeleton.
  • The title screen sets the mood well enough, but if you sit around, Freddy starts twitching, showing his endoskeleton, and making horrifying expressions that makes said endoskeleton look almost like fangs at first glance.
  • Anytime the animatronics scream at your face, especially after you lower the monitor not knowing they've entered the room while you were looking through the camera feeds.
  • Freddy's Tune.note 
    • Ironically, this ends up being Nightmare Retardant on most 4/20 runs. Considering that it is almost impossible to reach 6 AM on 4/20 mode without running out of power, the longer Freddy's tune runs, the more likely you are to hold out and win the game.
  • The moaning from Bonnie and Chica. They sound like they're in horrible pain, as if the children stuffed in them are somehow still alive and trying to cling to life, or are simply zombies.
  • Depending on your view, the Game Over screen can be this. It cuts to the backstage area, with the focus being on a Freddy costume. Doesn't sound too scary, right? Well the first call with Phone Guy reveals that, if the mascots catch you, they plan to shove you into a Freddy costume, and the assorted wires and crossbeams would crush and kill you iron maiden-style. As Phone Guy puts it, "the only parts of you that would likely see the light of day again would be your eyeballs and teeth that would pop out the front of the mask". And, lo and behold, you can see that there is a set of teeth and a pair of eyes inside the bear, both haphazardly hanging out of the "mouth" and "skull" of the Freddy costume. No guesses for who they just came from.
  • The hallucinations… especially Golden Freddy, who, if you don't look right back at the camera to a different room, will jumpscare you, and crash the game.
  • In the West Hall Corner, there is a rare chance of getting a poster of Freddy ripping his head off.
  • Few things will get your heart pounding more than the image of Foxy racing down the hallways and leaving you with only a split second to shut the door.
    • The reason this one is so effective is because before, you had never seen an animatronic move like such — it defied the rules.
  • The Bite of '87. Someone that day lost their frontal lobe to either Freddy, or one of his friends, and survived.
  • The animatronics themselves are deep into the Uncanny Valley; even before they start stalking you. There's just something inherently off about them. Their movements are jerky and unnatural and their teeth are disturbingly humanlike. It makes you wonder how they ever managed to endear themselves to children (although a summary of the game says that adults find them pretty creepy, too).
    • For some reason, the fact that their eyelids and areas around their eyes are either black or very dark is this as well. It's hard to explain, but those dark eyes and the way they're always half-lidded.
  • You can hear footsteps, shuffling sounds and noises from the Animatronics, especially Foxy sprinting up towards your station. What noise does Freddy make? Deep, low, demonic-sounding laughter.note  And sometimes he moves without even making the sound.
  • Watching Freddy and the others through cameras. Sometimes it'll darken or glitch out for a moment, and then they're gone. Other times they'll begin twitching horribly in place for staring at them too long. And sometimes, they'll be up close to the camera, staring directly at you. Especially Freddy and Bonnie.
    • Even worse when you realize that despite having relatively bright eyes, their eyes tend to become pitch-black in the dark with only the occasional shine or light source. And then they start glowing in the center.
    • Chica is by far the worst of the bunch. When she moves, she will almost always be staring at the camera with that gaping maw of hers.
    • Bonnie generally isn't that bad, almost looking rather funny in many of the security images. Except when he appears in the backstage, complete with what look like empty sockets with tiny, white pupils, and is also STARING DIRECTLY AT YOU, INCHES AWAY FROM THE CAMERA. Especially bad since this is just about the only one with eyes like that in a screenshot, and no other animatronics get up that close to the camera, which will probably lead to an unpleasant surprise while flicking through the rooms. In addition, if you check on Bonnie while he is in the backstage and find him in his normal position, there is a high chance that he will plaster his face against the camera with the aforementioned expression after a static flicker. Bonnie knows that you are watching him and he is not happy.
  • Chica's second set of teeth. They're just part of the endoskeleton, but it's still spooky.. It brings to mind the second set of teeth that are visible in x-rays of children's skulls.
  • The "Rules for Safety" poster has a low chance to turn into one of four newspaper articles when viewed through the cameras. They describe how no less than five children were abducted by a man in the restaurant. The bodies were never found, as they were presumably the first to be stuffed inside the 'bots. Now, the whole game makes a lot, LOT more sense.
    Poster: Police were contacted when parents reportedly noticed what appeared to be blood and mucus around the eyes and mouths of the mascots. One parent likened them to "reanimated carcasses".
    • And more horrifying is the fact that it happened during the week that the second game is set in. Freddy and the Puppet attempted to chase after the murderer, only to be unable to save the children. The Puppet, who in turn, was possibly the first victim of the killer back in the late 70s, did the suit-stuffing. She gave the children new life… but it did NOT work out well at all.
    • The poster (Eating Time! Party Time! Fun Time!) in the East Hall has a similarly low chance of turning into a barely visible cartoon of three screaming faces with Ocular Gushers. Could be a hint to the final, terrifying moments of the children who died, who were probably crying and screaming as they were brutally murdered... brrrr...
    • Sometimes the poster will change into the words "IT'S ME".
  • The messages from the Phone Guy get progressively more frightening as the game progresses. They're fairly unnerving as Phone Guy casually gives you instruction... and then Night 4 comes. On that night, Phone Guy begins to panic as he informs you that he's had a bad night, as we can hear the animatronics banging on his door, which is soon after followed by the sound of Freddy's theme in the same room as him. Not to mention the rattling, rasping moan of either Bonnie or Chica. It's easy to tell that Phone Guy is surrounded by all the animatronics. You hear a quiet, terrified "Oh, no..." from him as he knows what's going to happen… and cue the screech and the end of the message! It's very clear what just happened. And worst of all? That's Golden Freddy's screech.
    • It's actually possible to get jump scared at the end of Phone Guy's Monologue by Foxy as shown here.
    • Cut to Night 5. The phone rings again.
      • When it picks up, you hear what sounds like garbled robot speech, most likely from Freddy or one of his friends, a horrific sound that is just UNNERVING to listen to. It's like the animatronics are deliberately sending a message that they're going to find you, and kill you.
      • On that note, what the hell is it saying? Interpretations abound, ranging from using the mechanisms of the animatronics for agriculture, or a threat to you... note 
  • The cameras don't let you see into the kitchen, only listen to it. Occasionally you'll hear noises, like Chica eating something. But what on earth is back there?
  • Turn up the brightness enough to make out one of Freddy's posters, and you'll see that it's...this... thing.
    • Which makes an odd sort of sense when you realize that Freddy has handprints on his face in the same places his hands are in that poster. But... where'd the fluids that created the prints come from?
  • Sometimes when Foxy leaves Pirate's Cove the sign "Sorry! Out of Order" will change to "IT'S ME"
    • Foxy's gradual emergence from the curtains is also chilling. Foxy's final position, having drawn the curtain and emerged, is particularly terrifying. Foxy's hook is raised and resting on his tilted chin in a manner that looks as if he's contemplating whether or not to charge you down.
  • Here's a question for you: With the exception of Foxy, the other mascots tend not to move in any noticeable way when you watch them, until either you've made it to the fifth night, or have been watching them for too long, at which point they start twitching. You're sitting in an isolated room with only two ways in or out, and you are watching the mascots though security cameras. All that being said, here's a question that will keep you up at night: how do they know when you're watching them? Unless the cameras have a built-in flashlight that turns on when a camera is online, there is no way that they should be aware of your attention. Is the cupcake spying on you? Is it in league with them? After all, the backstory says that there were five children... and there are only four mascot costumes.
    • But there's a fifth animatronic endoskeleton — the one you see in the backstage area. And it knows when you're watching...
    • It is also possible that the cameras only move left and right when the player has them selected.
    • Considering the tablet doesn't appeared to be wired to anything, yet using it drains power, it's entirely possible the cameras aren't even switched on until accessed.
    • As the second game reveals, a fifth child could have been stuffed into Golden Freddy.
  • Whenever the power runs out is enough to make you cry out in fear. The fan turns off and the entire room is dark… until you turn to the left door and see Freddy's face being illuminated by a strobe light, as that horribly ominous jingle of his is playing in the background. And that's before the power switches off entirely as he and his crew go in for the kill. If you were able to make it to at least 5 AM when this happens, you're left praying that you were able to buy enough time for the clock to turn to 6 AM before either the jingle finishes or some window of time after the power leaves everything dark. If not... well... kiss your hearing, and your life, goodbye.
    • It's the tension that makes it worse. First time it happens, you have no clue what the hell's going on (heck, some LPers even thought they won the day). You're down to nothing but moonlighting as, it could be assumed, the small sliver of reserve power goes out. Then things go pitch black once the song finishes (or just cuts off) and you're left just waiting… and then you hear footsteps as Freddy slowly draws near… and if you're not ready, we hope you don't mind a practical heart attack. Of course, if you're near the 6 AM mark, you could still make it. Otherwise, Freddy will give you his definition of bear hug.
  • The Golden Freddy costume is empty: no animatronic endoskeleton. While the other animatronics all have freaky Uncanny Valley eyes, the Golden Freddy costume having completely black, empty, soulless eyes can be even more frightening…
    • No endoskeleton also means its mouth is left hanging open. Nothing inside but pitch darkness, which only adds to the terror…
    • The entire existence of Golden Freddy is terrifying. While the animatronics all have a reason for being there, NOTHING is given about Golden Freddy. All we know is that he's a golden version of Freddy Fazbear with no eyes and no endoskeleton, possibly a costume for an employee to wear. The animatronics can roam around at night, but Golden Freddy doesn't show up on the drawings or anywhere at all, and can't move. He can only appear if you view a mysterious changing poster that shows his face on it, and he can somehow warp into your office even if the doors are closed. And, considering typing in "1-9-8-7" into the custom night AI settings summons his killscreen, maybe he was a bit more involved in the plot then we thought...
    • While the "ghost" idea is still up in the air, the rest isn't. The prequel confirms that the murderer wore a golden suit — maybe the Golden Freddy suit — to lure in the children.
    • Golden Freddy's scream is not like the usually high pitched one the robots emit when they attack the guard. It's an incredibly loud and deep growl that sounds downright menacing.
  • On the first night, Phone Guy briefly implies the player character (and, by extension, Phone Guy himself, and any other security guards) took the job without knowing about the killer animatronics. The implication's creepy enough for the player character, who at least has Phone Guy's phone calls to alert him, but it's safe to assume (since Phone Guy can't record messages for himself), that at least one guard has had to figure it out for themselves with no prior warning or instruction.
    • There may have been two guards once, and one died, while the other didn't… and the survivor puzzled out what had happened afterwards.
      • And that might just be Phone Guy. Or the day shift guard found the night shift guard, either freaking out with frozen animatronics around him… or dead with frozen animatronics around him.
  • Sometimes when Freddy is left alone on the show stage and you check up on him, you may find him staring back at you.
  • Whenever Bonnie or Chica manage to get near your office and you turn the lights on them, resulting in a Scare Chord. Just the way they're looking at you, getting ready to pounce (Heck, you can't even see Bonnie when you close the door on him. The only clue if he's still there is the shadow against the wall when you turn the lights on). What's more, if you don't hit the door buttons in time, they get disabled, as it's implied that Bonnie and Chica jam the door. The only way to survive is to not look at the tablet. Once you do...
    • In fact, if they get in while you are looking at the tablet, they don't attack right away. Instead, they just... sit there, waiting for you to put the camera down. They start wheezing... leaning forward and giving you a chance to put it down. If you try and hide in the tablet, though... then they just pull it out of your hands anyway.
  • The fact that Freddy is the most unpredictable of the lot and keeps to the shadows most of the time when you try to track him. Plus, barely any early warning when he's close to you during gameplay. Chica and Bonnie at least appear outside the guard station, giving you time to close the door. And when you see the empty curtain in Pirate's Cove, that's an early warning to hit the left side door to keep Foxy from getting in. The only real warning you get if Freddy's close to you is if he's staring at the camera in the East Hallway, as that's his final checkpoint before he can enter your office. He doesn't appear in the blind spots. And when he does get you, it's two kinds of worse. As stated above his attack when the power goes out is bad enough. But he looks far more sinister when he does it when the power is still on.
  • Phone Guy specifically says that the management does not tell new employees about the animatronics'... quirks. Could you imagine being one of the employees stuck in your security job without Phone Guy's warnings about the animatronics (or who muted his phone call, which you have the option of doing)? Watching the cameras and gradually realizing the animatronics are actually moving and headed straight toward you?
    • Expanding upon this, imagine working the night shift and suddenly seeing the animatronics move around. What would be the most logical reaction? Most people wouldn't react with horror or have their survival instincts suddenly kicking in. Most people would likely be struck with confusion and leave the office just to check what the animatronics are doing off the stage after closing hours and if there's any way of talking them into returning to the stage. The Surprisingly Sudden Death would be all but ensured...
  • The fact the animatronics can disable the cameras and light sources at all. Yeah, that's not exactly normal for bots that are simply roaming the building for the heck of it. This also leads to a rather terrifying thought: whenever they catch you, the camera fizzes out. Does that mean the robots completely disable the camera feeds so they can kill you in private?
    • Yet, most of the time, they don't disable the camera, even if they're looking right at it. It seems like they want you to know they're coming...
  • Mike's first check said, "(See you next week)". Now we all know Mike gets fired for messing with the AI in the Custom Night, but just think about if he didn't. How many weeks would he have to endure the terror of Freddy's before some kind of intervention? Who knows, perhaps he would've met the same fate as Phone Guy.
  • A good point was brought up on Tumblr: the reason this game is so scary is that most horror games give you the option to fight the horror or run away, if not both. This game gives you neither. Even the whole "shutting the doors on them" action feels more like delaying the inevitable than an actual fight.
    "If I suspect that jumpscares are lying in wait as I prowl around the corridors of Dead Space or Amnesia, I want to know that I can respond by opening fire, or legging it in the opposite direction going, “MNEHHENEEEHHEHER!!” You know, something proactive!
  • The rare Bonnie death screen. It simply has to be seen to be believed.
    • For those who value sleep, occasionally when you are returned to the main menu, either by booting the game up, getting a game over or by clearing the 5th/6th/Custom Night, you will be greeted with a picture of the Bonnie hallucination from the IT'S ME flashes... with no eyes. And then white pinpricks of light suddenly pop in out of nowhere in the empty sockets.
  • Occasionally, when viewing the backstage area, the supposedly inactive spare heads and endoskeleton will be staring at the camera. It is so subtle the player might not notice it at first, if at all.
    • The fact that when Bonnie completely ignores the endoskeleton is eerie, as it contradicts what Phone Guy said.
  • Bonnie in the West Hall Corner. The way he just stares at you with a blank expression on his face, his tattered fur and disturbingly cartoonish bowtie, the fact that he's just steps away from getting to your office not helping matters. It also looks like he's MISSING an eye. Did he pull it out for a second? A great reminder of how the game is so subtly scary.
  • The sheer amount of hints that the Puppet is alive and well in the Pizzeria is just frightening. The circus music? It's probably playing all the time to keep her at bay. The drawings in the office show a present box. And finally, on Reddit a ceiling door was found… during Bonnie's jumpscare, no less.
  • Speaking of Bonnie, Scott admitted that the only animatronic that truly scared him was the big purple bunny himself, as he described having nightmares of the scary bastard. It later inspired him when making the fourth game, since his nightmare was of fighting to keep a door closed on Bonnie to keep him out. It gives more reverence to Bonnie if the creator himself is afraid, and sure enough, Bonnie's character ended up having some of the most greatest influence on the series (see: Springtrap).
    • It makes for quite a bit of Paranoia Fuel since you'll develop a fear for Bonnie if the creator himself fears him. The way he just leers at you, smiling when he's made it to you, preparing to pounce really makes you question if he's genuinely thinking, "Hi there, I'm gonna kill you!" in a singsong voice or something. His jumpscare is probably the most iconic of the franchise since a quick Google turns up a lot of image results of him. In fact, Markiplier's very first FNAF video features that very jumpscare as the thumbnail!
  • The very existence of the animatronics from their point of view. Remember all the times you went to Showbiz or Chuck E Cheese? Imagine being lured somewhere by one of the mascots only to be brutally and painfully murdered. Then waking up to realize that now you're Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, or Foxy (or maybe even Golden Freddy). And you can't move. Assuming the souls are aware the whole time but can only move whenever the animatronics hit the late hours... imagine being forced to sit still and play the same songs that you heard that day an impostor took your life away. Imagine being unable to move and react as your parents cry for you, begging the pizza owners for any news on your whereabouts while you're unable to scream, 'MOMMY, I'M HERE!!!'. Not to mention being stuck in the pizzeria for life. Sure, it's implied the Fazbear crew love making the kids happy... but they get to see the kids go home with their parents while they're unable to do the same. Then imagine the frustration of being so close to killing the one you think is responsible only for it to strike 6AM and suddenly be unable to move until management drags your lifeless self back to the stage. And finally, after the place shut down, being left behind on stage to rot for YEARS until Purple Guy would return to kill them AGAIN. The damn company doesn't even have the decency to put the robots away, they just left them on stage. Surely their existence is a horrible and terrifying one to live.
  • Freddy Fazbear's laughter can be interpreted as crying, goofy, or even comical laughter; not so much for Golden Freddy's giggling. It can only be interpreted as creepy.
  • Any single sound, even if it's not one of the robots, can make you jump or at least feel yourself uneasy. Basically, the more you spend time in playing the game, the more your anxiety and paranoia grow stronger. The ambience, for example...
  • Chica, unlike the other mascots, who return to the stage almost immediately after you shut her out, keeps waiting outside the office much longer and keeps staring at you with her nightmarish, wide-eyed expression, and her gaping beak anytime you turn the door lights on. The worst part, however, is that the more the doors stay closed, the more the power diminishes. And if the power is already low, well... you know.
  • Night 6 is an extremely stressful experience regardless of strategy. Each animatronic is very active, power is very difficult to manage, and Freddy will brutalize you if you don’t either close the right door each time you check Pirate’s Cove (wasting a ton of power), or check the Show Stage rapidly to keep him from leaving (making it harder to keep tabs on Foxy and leaving you wide open to Bonnie and Chica). Taking a third option and checking both the Show Stage and Pirates Cove gives Bonnie and Chica more time to kill you or jam the doors). The entire night drips with Paranoia Fuel and you’ll likely be left a shaking mess by the end.

Now if you're really scared by now, go here.