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Nightmare Fuel / Red Dead Redemption II

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"There's a monster in the swamp..."

Moments pages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.

  • It must be noted that the world of Red Dead Redemption II lives on Paranoia Fuel and Nothing Is Scarier. The better hardware allows rendering more foliage than before... which also means that dangerous animals have more places to hide in. In the previous game, shallow water (such as the lake in Tall Trees) was your best way to avoid dangerous animals, as they could not follow you. Well, this game adds alligators to counter that. Besides, you may be attacked by a pack of three up to seven wolves randomly, have a cougar chase after your horse out of nowhere, be bitten by a snake that only shows itself once you're right next to it, be put into a death roll by an alligator while traversing the bayou uncarefully. Not to mention the many, many strange and unusual things that have been put in the game. It seems that most urban legends previously established in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas are coming true...
    • There is a Ghost Train that you can find in Scarlett Meadows. You first believe it's a real train, but notice that the whistle sounds a The reverb and pitch on it is much greater than usual. As you stop by the tracks, you notice there's no train arriving, but then, this light blue mist in the shape of a train drives right past you, making creepy noises all the while that hint a derailing. If you try to follow it, your horse gets spooked and throws you off. It's specially creepy at night when you're least expecting it.
    • There's the ghost of Agnes Dowd (whose grave can be found near Shady Belle) in Bluewater Marsh. You can see her in the distance, glowing as she wanders cries about a lost lover and her cruel/uncaring parents over the course of several nights, and on the final night you encounter her, it's revealed that Agnes knows that you've been watching her and asks you to come over to her tree (where she hung herself) there you'll see her swing from an old noose tied one of the branches. Walk closer and Agnes wails "I Love You!" before vanishing. This has reportedly freaked out some players into turning off their game.
      • Even better? If you camp at night in the marsh near where you see her, the ghost will appear right behind you and whisper "I love you." It then disappears without a trace. Sleep tight. . .
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    • Speaking of ghosts,in a specific area of Roanoke, you can hear the ghostly whispers of a young couple by the names of Eugene Hutton and Ethel Boshared. Their backstory (as revealed in a viewable Magic Lantern film) was that the two got lost in the woods while courting at night when they were confronted by the ghosts of dead British Red Coat soldiers, one of them decaptitates Eugene with his sabre. Ethel ran back to Annesburg (carrying Eugene's head) to warn the village about the ghost army, however they accused her of witchcraft and proceed to burn her at the stake that same night.
    • There is a house in Emerald Ranch in which you can see a girl in the window. Players first believed she was some sort of ghost, but later found out she's part of a much deeper story that's entirely optional for the player to go into and investigate, going into several characters, including abusive guardians and a boyfriend being shot to death in a saloon.
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    • UFOs are back and this time, they don't hold back. One can be seen floating above a shed in which you find out there is a cult idolizing these things. Another has reportedly being seen abducting someone. There is another that eerily floats above you as you watch it over a hill. More sightings are probably coming as time goes on.
    • The skeleton of a giant has been found, with a huge fracture in its skull. What caused that is unknown but, what if it's out there?
    • A strange mutant-creature has been found, built together by some lunatics who ran away in a hurry and left it behind. There are theories of there being another one, somewhere...
    • Strange, inhuman skulls have been found in various places around the game world, sometimes mixed in piles with human skulls. They don't seem to resemble any animal found in-game, and more resemble some kind of ape. Combined with some players reporting strange sounds while travelling at night, there's speculation that an as of yet unseen Sasquatch is lurking somewhere in the game's dark woods and swamps.
    • Creepy, cryptic ghostly whispers have been heard around the map. Now imagine the reaction of a lot of people who heard these first with headphones on, at night.
    • Strange writings and symbols have been encountered in Blackwater, on trees, under a shed and so on. It's all conecting to some sort of Aztec mystery that probably relates to Undead Nightmare.
    • In the hills west of Owanila, you can find something that gets entered into the journal as “Pagan Ritual.” It consists of a symbol written on the ground in chalk, four stakes driven in around the edge of the symbol like a diamond, and the crown jewel, a body impaled upright on another stake in the centre of the symbol, with the legs and head hacked off and what looks like a whitetail buck’s skull stitched on top instead.
  • Everything about Micah Bell. He is Ax-Crazy, sociopathic, and unpleasant whenever you interact with him. He is practically Trevor Philips without redeeming features and not Played for Laughs.
    • To add more horror to his awful personality, a newspaper excerpt from 1877 documents a crime committed by a 17 year old Micah and his father. They committed a double homicide, then hung the bodies from the rafters with their throats slit For the Evulz. There's no doubt he was an Enfant Terrible too.
    • He also is heavily implied to have killed the camp’s dog and even tells little Jack that the dog is not coming back.
    • His own brother is so scared of what he’ll do to his family, that he says he will kill Micah himself if he comes within fifty miles of them.
    • Late in the game, Jack can tell Arthur that Micah offered to take him fishing, and Arthur tells him to stay away from Micah no matter what. The idea of a little boy spending time alone with someone like Micah is just chilling, especially since we find out in the epilogue that he killed a little girl and is more than willing to find Abigail and Jack and "pay them a visit" once he's through with John.
    • He can tell Bill and Arthur that he slept with Jenny at the camp in Blackwater. She’s not around to tell her side of the story but one must wonder how consensual it was.
  • Much like Scarface: The World Is Yours, the gore system is pretty detailed. Not only are there Ludicrous Gibs, but the gibs themselves can be shards of shattered bones with some flesh still stuck to them. And not only can Your Head Asplode, but not all of it will come off most of the time. Oftentimes, a point-blank headshot with a shotgun will leave behind just part of the jawbone and a big flap of skin.
  • Hunting and skinning animals also has gotten much more detailed. In the original game, when an animal was skinned it would show a Gory Discretion Shot before cutting back to the skinned animal. In this game however the player gets to see the skinning firsthand. Especially graphic if the camera is in first-person view.
  • Getting mauled by a bear, cougar, or other wild animal is depicted much more realistically. Special mention goes to the (real) lion from the otherwise lighthearted sidequest "He's British, Of Course!": failing to shoot it in time results in the beast tearing open Arthur's throat with a single swipe of its claws, leaving Arthur to slowly collapse as he chokes on his blood.
    • Bear attacks are particularly horrific, due to the fact that shooting them usually just makes them angrier.
  • You can stumble across three of a serial killer's crime scenes, gory messes that all have a headless torso hanging from a tree, rock, or underpass, and the eyeless head not too far away with a note shoved in its mouth. Collecting all three will let you unlock the cellar to an otherwise burned-down house, where you will find the killer's lair, full of bloody and decaying body parts. Press through it to a somewhat hidden room in the back that is nearly pitch black and you will be prompted to examine a knife holding a mutilated body to the wall. Doing this will bring you face-to-face with the killer himself, and he captures and nearly kills you before you drag him to the sheriff... who he also attacks and nearly kills.
  • Players can find a large house to the west of Van Horn Trading Post that is entirely locked and boarded up except for one second-story window with a light shining out of it. Climbing up onto the porch will let you climb inside, where you will find a room full of chimeric taxidermy, with the centerpiece being a ghastly, multi-limbed "man-made mutant" with a boar's head, bear body, bird wings, and various other animal pieces attached to it suspended from the ceiling. In the center of the room is a table mounted with leather restraints in a roughly human shape and some bloody instruments. When you first enter the house, the fireplace is still burning, meaning whoever lives there hasn't been gone long.
  • The town of Pleasance, an abandoned settlement in Lemoyne, complete with some small houses, a church, and a schoolhouse. Looks normal enough to make you wonder what made it empty, until you notice the barn, because painted on its locked off doors in big letters is "STAY OUT PLAGUE".
    • What the ten gravestones near the church say add some horrifying detail: All ten were murdered in various ways the year the town was founded, all within the same month, possibly on the same day. Makes you wonder just what kind of "plague" they were able to keep the source of locked in the barn.
  • Kieran's death is quite possibly the most disturbing scene in the game. After being absent from the camp for a few days, he rides back to the camp... carrying his own severed head on his lap. With the eyes gouged out. And knowing Colm O'Driscoll, the eyes probably went first. While many of the deaths are shocking, the sheer brutality present in this one is chilling.
    • Heck, Colm O'Driscoll is made of this. Unlike Dutch, who at least has standards, moral codes, cares about his gang and is a charismatic leader, Colm is the exact opposite: he is a terrible leader, has no standards and is a psychopathic man who could willingly commit Rape, Pillage, and Burn.
  • At one point in camp, Dutch will call out to Arthur and tells him Dutch expects Arthur to betray him. Dutch's tone is cold and distant and downright hostile for a moment. If you calm the situation, Arthur asks Dutch gently with a touch of genuine hurt what that was all about. Dutch shakes himself out of it and seems genuinely taken aback, not sure exactly what came over him. This foreshadowing of Dutch's eventual madness comes out of nowhere, especially if you've been doing chores and working hard to support the gang.
  • The mission in the swamp plays out like a straight horror game: Dutch and Arthur head to the swamps in order to hitch a ride from Dutch's friend Thomas. Thomas agrees but first ask that they help him finding his friend Jules. You are then forced to to traverse the alligator infested swamp in the middle of the night. You're expecting something to pop up but nothing ever does. Afterwards Dutch and Thomas split with you and you're tasked with finding Jules By. Your. Self. After you find him, he warns you of a giant alligator but the gang thinks he's exaggerating; on the boat ride back the boat gets stuck and when they send Jules to pull it he's pulled under...
    • Thanks to first person you can enjoy a full Resident Evil 7 experience with this one mission.
    • It is possible to kill the thing, but he just takes so many bullets and comes back for more so often that pretty soon you'll be panicking and thinking it just can't fucking die.
  • One of Strauss' loan shark collection runs takes Arthur into the mountains north of Strawberry. The poor fool in question can't actually pay Arthur, but he has a line on a rare, white-furred cougar whose pelt should more than cover the debt. He's tracked the cougar all the way to its lair, a cave high in the mountains. Arthur and the mark head inside to track the cougar, splitting up to explore the darkness lit only by their lanterns. Arthur is left in the dark with only his lantern and his pistol when a bloodcurdling scream breaks the silence. He comes upon the dead body of the mark, and it dawns on you the player that you're alone. In a cave. With a cougar. The literal cat and mouse is pretty terrifying, especially when it rushes Arthur from the shadows.
    • On top of that, you can't equip your weapon and your lantern at the same time so you can either keep sight of the cougar, or you can have your weapon drawn and wait for it to pop out of the dark.
    • Even Arthur is just about to lose his cool when he begins muttering under his breath; you can hear his voice trembling as he struggles to keep a hold of himself.
  • Several of the random events can be extremely chilling, such as rescuing a woman in the middle of being kidnapped, or watching a hunter get torn apart by a bear due to having open bear bait on his person and not knowing about it. Another random event involves a man being brutally bitten by a wolf. In another random event you at least had the possibility of saving the man, but not in this one. The man is so damaged that his death is inevitable.
    • One of the Stranger random events has you find a man with a heavily damaged arm. It’s visibly bleeding and infected, and the poor guy can barely stand. You can offer to take him to the nearby city of St. Denis, and in doing so bring him to the local doctor. If you get him there in time, the doctor manages to stabilize him- but unfortunately his arm has to be amputated due to the infection. The doctor knocks him out, and the player is free to watch him ‘’saw off the poor man’s arm’’ in real time, averting Gory Discretion Shot as hard as the game possibly can. Even with the game’s usual gore in pitched gunfights, the fact that the game allows you to view this is just a reminder of how far we’ve come in terms of medicine and healing.
      • Topping all of it off, returning to Saint Denis at a later date, you may see this man being hanged for murdering a woman, with his final words expressing no remorse whatsoever. Arthur can comment to the police officers overseeing the hanging about his shock at seeing this, with the officers expressing sympathy.
  • Charles is one of the kindest and most stoic members of the gang, but when you go on a bison hunting trip with him and come across several bison that have been slaughtered and left to rot he goes ballistic. When he confronts the men responsible he shoots one down without batting an eye all while screaming in an almost feral tone of voice that’s rarely ever heard outside of this event. When Arthur has to choose what to do with the other person Charles says in an uncharacteristically dark tone “Just kill him, Arthur!” Beware the Nice Ones indeed.
  • Imagine you're riding down a road near Saint Denis when, off to the side, you happen to see a dead body hanging in a tree. That's... Odd. So you get off your horse, trudge through the mud, and go up to see if you can cut him down... When suddenly, three or four red icons appear on the minimap. You turn around and there's a group of men, painted in white, coated in mud, stalking towards you with knives. At first you might think they're zombies, an added supernatural element to the game... But no, they go down like any other man. Well, undeterred, you cut down the hanging man and, as par for the course, loot his body. On his person is a note, describing how if you're reading it, he's already dead, and that the "Nite Folk" have infested his dreams and are coming for him in real life. That's when you realize. Those people were the Night Folk. And there's more of them hiding out in the swamp.
    • Think you're safe from the Nite Folk if you cut down the body during the day? Think again.
    • One particulary disturbing story involves a player running after their scared horse, only to find a Nite Folk holding the reins before their hidden pals ambush the player. They can plan.
    • In another encounter you can hear a woman sobbing a little way off the path in the swamp. Approach her and she'll continue to cry, until youre right next to her; then she shrieks like a demon and stabs Arthur so hard it almost kills him outright and five more of the Nite Folk pop out of nowhere to finish the job.
    • There are some reportsnote  of Nite Folk having some kind of unseen attack animal with an inhuman scream, and has been compared to a fucking RAKE. Worse yet, it may be invisible on the minimap. Fortunately, there's a good chance that the sightings of a humanoid monster are merely just Nite Folk themselves, but if it actually exists...
  • The whole scene of Dutch drowning Angelo Bronte to death. It's a very disturbing scene, because at that precise moment we can finally see some of the insanity that he is going to show in the future.
    • Perhaps the most chilling thing is how Dutch's emotional state changes at that moment, throwing a spontaneous tantrum and drowning Bronte without mercy. It's just a reminder of what Dutch is capable of doing when he is truly angry.
  • The Skinners, a gang of forest-dwelling psychopaths led by Otis Skinner. They have a reputation for being extremely brutal. Their favorite hobby is torturing and mutilating any enemy that crosses their path. They also like roasting them to death over an open fire, For the Evulz. Hillbilly Horrors, indeed.
    • The way they charge towards you with machetes and hatchets is quite unnerving, considering you've had a whole game of people avoiding that kind of stupidity.
    • Some comparison has been made to Edmund Lowry Jr., the Ax-Crazy Serial Killer. Much like him, the Skinners know what they're doing is wrong, that it terrifies the local towns and cities, and that no sane person would be able to comprehend doing it. That is exactly why they're doing it. Just imagine if there were clones of Edmund Lowry Jr. scattered around the forests doing God-knows-what. That's exactly what this gang is.
    • In the Playable Epilogue, John and Charles have to go rescue Uncle, who's been kidnapped and being tortured by the Skinners. When you find him, he's bleeding from two wounds on his chest and his entire back is a horrifying shade of red from burns and similar treatment. In fact, if you look closely at the torture device he's strapped into, you can see a lit fire under him, implying that they were slowly roasting him like some sort of animal. It's hard not to feel bad for the poor guy at all the pained sounds he makes while you're escorting him back to the ranch.
    • And when Charles and John are riding to save Uncle, Charles very grimly and frankly tells John that, depending on how bad of a state he's in, it might be more merciful to just put him out of his misery once they find him, saying that if they've taken his scalp he'll live only for a week. Simple, yet chilling.
    • Not long after your first encounter with the Skinners as you ride towards Blackwater, there's a chance you'll pass by a slowly moving wagon on the road between Blackwater and Beecher's Hope. It's easy to pass right by it without realizing what you're seeing, but attentive players might notice that it's being driven by two slumped-over corpses and is absolutely riddled with arrows.
      • Similarly, you can also see a lone horse carrying a corpse of its rider with his back full of arrows.
    • There's another encounter in the epilogue where John will find the aftermath of a camp the Skinners have attacked. The place is littered with bodies, some riddled with arrows and others horribly burned. However, one man is still alive. Except he's been scalped, disfigured, and is covered in blood. He talks about the awful screams of his fellow campmates and John can choose to give some word of comfort to him as he slowly dies. For an added tearjerker element, his last words are "Is it you? I'm coming..." implying he's talking to a dead loved one.
  • Similar to The Skinner Brothers are the Murfree Brood, a demented, nightmarish family of inbred lunatics who are feared throughout Roanoke Ridge like they were banshees or trolls. We soon find out why. They rob and murder anyone that strays too far from civilization, and they're the lucky ones. The rest are dragged down into their cave hideouts, kept in cages and eventually eaten by the family. The worst part? They seem utterly unfazed by the absolute atrocity of what they're doing. If the Skinner Brothers are clones of Edmund Lowry Jr., these guys are clones of Randall Forrester.
    • It's also heavily implied they're worshiping some sort of Lovecaftian entity that's not referenced anywhere else in the story. How do we know this? Because they've made an idol of it out of human and animal parts all stitched together.
    • Fridge Horror: A mission involves saving a girl from this gang. Perhaps the most disturbing thing is that the girl is severely traumatized, which makes us ask: What will she have seen? Why she's so horrified? Keep in mind, we are talking about a bunch of depraved hillbillies who practice cannibalism.
    • There is a possible encounter at night where Arthur can meet a cart driven by two Murfrees and a woman screaming her lungs out in the back of the cart. If you save her she'll pretty much tell you Don't Ask, Just Run before doing so herself.
  • In Rhodes, you find out that The Gunsmith is keeping a prisoner in the basement: a teenage boy dressed in a child's sailor suit. Investigation leads you to find the gunsmith is a deranged, bereaved father. He chained up the boy in his basement as a replacement for his (much younger) dead son, and is treating him like a six year old. The implications of all of this are chilling.
  • Read the newspapers and you'll soon learn of a series of murders in Saint Denis where bodies were found with what appeared to be bites on them and totally drained of blood. The attacks are similar to another string of killings ten years prior, and rumors abound that the killer might be a vampire. Of course, there's no such thing...right?
    • And on top of that Arthur can find and confront the killer after the latter claimed another victim. Surely he's just a normal guy, if a murderously insane human? Well, hello Count Orlok!
  • Visit the Fence in Saint Denis and look at the shelf directly behind him, specifically the upper left-hand corner. Does that mask look at all...familiar? It should, it's the mask that leads to Undead Nightmare.
    • Want some more high-octane terror? If you look around the Fence's shop you find an identical mask on another shelf. If the first mask unleashed a zombie hell, what does the second mask do? And, most importanly, where is it now?
  • Tuberculosis. For those who don’t know, it’s a disease that basically infects the lung tissues and robs it of the needed oxygen. As the body tries to fight it, scarring in the lungs occur and the victim gets to enjoy a slow death of fatigue, coughing (with blood) before they finally die of asphyxiation. This illness is spread through the air, meaning if you’re coughed on or sneezed at by someone who has have it. And there is no cure. You will die. This was a deadly reality for everyone living in the time this game is set in — that person with a cough? Better hope they don’t cough on you...
  • The game allows you to strangle people to death. In first person view. It's just as disturbing as it sounds.
  • Sean's death. It's a complete Jump Scare, because the poor fellow is talking completely casually one second and then, right at the other, his head is suddenly blown open by a rifle shot, with blood and brains scattering everywhere. It stuns you completely because of how sudden and gruesome it is.
  • In the second half of the epilogue you can go to Armadillo from the first game. Based on what you saw in Blackwater, you expect to see a town under construction. Nope. You find a town half burned to the ground and everyone scrambling to get the hell out. The only explanation as to just what the hell happened here is a town crier shouting at everyone to stay away from town because of cholera.
  • The sheriff from Tumbleweed, Freeman. You first encounter him by watching the man execute a tied up Del Lobo gang member right in front of his deputy and the entire town. He, then, coldly invites you into his office where he offers you a bounty. The bounty must be brought alive to be executed in front of the entire town by the sheriff himself, since he has lost his mind to power and wants to be the ultimate authority. You're essentially bringing a bounty target to a serial killer with a badge.
    • The next day, you'll see him in the middle of town, spouting about how Tumbleweed is a place of rules, at the end of the civilized world and that if someone's not with him, he's against him. He then looks directly at you and asks if he was clear, twice, all while holding that gun over his shoulder.
  • If you dismember someone anywhere but the head, they scream and writhe in pain on the ground until they bleed out. It's usually quick, but the screams are loud and knowing you caused that amount of pain on someone can almost be uncomfortable.
    • Do it on a female. It's ten times more blood-curling.
    • The revamped hit detection system actually gives you plenty of places to inflict pain on your victims. You can shoot someone in the artery, which will cause them to spurt out a HUGE amount of blood from their wound. They'll run away leaving a blood trail, but will eventually collapse and die. You can also shoot people in the throat, which causes them to slowly choke on their blood until they perish.
  • Want some Paranoia Fuel? You can get killed by lightning. Your current equipment doesn't seem to matter, so during any thunderstorm, you may get killed by a completely random lightning strike.
  • This going back to Undead Nightmare, but depending on how wide spend the curse was, that would mean that all the fallen members of the gang Hosea, Lenny, Sean, Grimshaw, Micah, Javier, Bill, Dutch, etc. all came back as the undead for who knows for how long till John put the mask back and ended it. Till Seth took it again. Even Arthur may have rose again as a undead monster without a soul, unlike John who was buried with Holy Water. Same for all the old Van der Linde gang enemies and people they killed coming back.
    • In Arthur's case, it may be somewhat mitigated by his friendship with Rains Fall, who at least once gives Arthur a trinket he believes to be sacred, and thus allow him to rise as an undead with a soul like John. Although, given the sort of nightmarish creatures that come from Native American legends, Arthur as a zombie might not be the worst thing he could become....
  • While certainly not underserved, there's something chilling about the burning of the Braithewaite manor, and how Catherine staggers into the blaze in a moaning daze.
  • Though "The Wisdom Of The Elders" is mostly funny as hell, there's some very horrific moments in it. The first mission has an elderly man, delirious, unable to explain why he's afraid or what attacked him, and when you bring him back you learn nothing except that the town is afraid of "the darkness"... Whatever that is. The next mission? The town's beset by "demons" that attack the livestock that turn out to be rabid, mangy, feral dogs and you have to defend the townsfolk from them. Then the final reveal that the town has been poisoned by arsenic and lead from the nearby mine leaking into the water supply and the realization that that's contributed to their confusion, illness, sickly looks, and why they were so easy to manipulate by the "medicine man" really gives the whole thing a sinister vibe. Not to mention the "medicine man" attempting to BURY YOU ALIVE BY COLLAPSING THE MINE.
  • Butcher Creek also contains a partially collapsed cabin that at 0400, a glowing red pentagram appears under the floorboards.
  • It's heavily implied that Dutch suffers a concussion or other head injury when the trolley he, Arthur, and Lenny tried to steal derails. The first time you play through, it isn't that upsetting. Then as you replay the game, you realize Dutch becomes much, much more violent after the crash, and you just witnessed his first few steps into insanity before the botched bank heist cements his fate. This realization makes these lines much, much more ominous.
    Dutch: I don't feel so good.
    Arthur: Aw, you just got a bash on the head. You'll be fine.
  • In Osman Grove, just east of Emerald Ranch, you’ll come upon an abandoned shack with a locked door. Kicking down the door will present you with a gruesomely horrific sight: an entire family dead and considering the state they’re in — they’ve been dead for a long while. Further inspection yields no clue as to just what killed them Worse still, whoever...or whatever did it may still be out there...
  • The UFO-worshiping cult mentioned above is worth an entire entry all by it/themselves. Mainly because, they're all dead. You come across a shack by a pond north of Emerald Station, and decide to see what you can loot. You open the door... and the background music suddenly stops. The place is overgrown, filthy... and packed with bunk beds loaded down with skeletons. In front of them is a makeshift altar with another, hooded corpse seated behind it, and a "sermon" that you can read:
    "At the Second Hour under the Half Moon, By the great love and grace of our savior Kuhkowaba, Voyager of time and galaxies, We cast off our corporal shells So his vessel can take our spirits to the Promised realm. To live in peace and power until the two Thousandth year, When we will return for the new chosen And worship once again at the peak of Mount Shann. In his love, we rejoice always"
    • What makes this even worse? They're based on a real religious cult.
    • And even worse that that? Come back at the right time, and you'll see an actual goddamn flying saucer hovering over the shack. So apparently aliens exist, and require you to kill yourself if you want to come with them. Wonderful.
  • While you don't meet the man himself, you can find a shack in Bayall Edge that apparently belongs to the Strange Man. Full details here:
    • One creepy detail is that one of the writings in the room changes depending on how you handled an earlier side quest. Meaning not only was the Stranger there somewhat recently, but he's been watching you.
    • If you can't watch the video, inside the shack is a painting of a black silhouette, a black top hat, some scribbling on the walls (Such as "The water is black with venom", "His final toll will sound my greatest coming", "I know you" and "From the snow to a cave"note ) and a map of Armadillo with the text "I offered you happiness or two generations. You made your choice." Considering Armadillo is suffering from a cholera outbreak and you can find a picture of the strange man in Herbert Moon's shop, (John actually mentions that the man in the picture reminds him of someone, presumably Josiah) an innocent-looking shack becomes much more sinister. Some of the other paintings also change depending on your honor; with good karma, there are paintings of deer and with low honor there are pictures of wolves; both just happen to be Morgan's spirit animals.
    Carved to a table: "There was a man called Jimmy Brooks, who was always running into crooks till one chased him down and he had to talk his way'round. That Jimmy isn't as dumb as he looks"
    • Most horrifyingly, after a certain number of times visiting his shack, he will eventually appear. Right behind you, in the mirror.
    • And considering that the event flag for his appearance can only trigger in the epilogue, you have to wonder; why is the Strange Man so fascinated by John Marston? While he has connections to Morgan, Herbert Moon and possibly the mad priest, he isn't nearly as involved in their lives as John's.
    • The video also reveals that you can find a letter on Herbert Moon from his daughter, who he disowned for choosing to marry a Jewish man and go into charity work rather than become a shopkeeper like him. This begs the question - which of the two options did he choose, and what were the consequences of that choice?
  • One of the characters you meet at random is a crazed preacher who seems to be talking to God, ranting and raving and soaking himself in various rivers across the map. At one point though, he will ask you if you've spoken to "him", and reveal that "he" hates the preacher. After the revelation of the Strange Man's shack, the thought slowly dawns on you that the madman might not be talking about the almighty.
  • East of Beecher's Hope and across a river is a burnt-out ruin that appears to have been a small patch of reservation land reserved for the natives: there are burned out buildings and teepees and a large graveyard just beyond the remnants of a large fence. Inside the ruins of a schoolhouse you can find a scrap of paper with an English exercise on it, but no indicator as to just what the hell happened here.
  • "Meteor House", located on the northeast portion of the map, is named such by Arthur after he finds a piece of a meteor inside it... in a small crater surrounded by human limbs and burnt bodies. So basically, a bunch of people were completely safe in their little home, and then they all die brutally by something they didn't even now existed. The meteor the piece fell from can be found nearby, but it's hard to appreciate it after finding out it killed a group of people in their own home.
  • Out in the snowdrifts of Ambarino, you can find a collapsed house with the only thing you can interact with being a drawer. You open it up, expecting some sort of reward for going off the beaten path to find this house and all you get is the words “You flourish before you die” carved into the bottom of the drawer. It’s very jarring and unexpected.
  • Vetter's Echo, a cabin in West Elizabeth were a pipe that Dutch needs is located. The moment you enter through the front door, you come a cross the unexpected and pants-shittingly horrifying sight of a bear roaring right in your face! Better kill it, quick!
  • Stop and speak to the the blind prophet enough times, and you may unlock one hell of a disturbing prophecy:
    Prophet: Two strangers seek you friend: one is of this world, the other is not. The first means you harm, the second... their motives are unclear.
    • Considering that this prophecy is for John, the two are likely Edgar Ross and the Strange man, and it just adds more creepiness to the Strange man. Even a prophet who knows events 4 years away has no clue what the Strange man wants from John.
  • Once again, the online counterpart is much like Rockstar's earlier game, full of players who are very unpredictable. Some may ignore you, but others definitely don't hold back in shooting you dead shall you cross them, making every encounter tense.
    • You can also be taken down with a lasso and hogtied by other players. Luckily, you can break free, but if you're caught by a posse of griefers, they can put you in a loop of being lasso'd repeatedly until your patience is drained dry.
    • There is a large amount of players in the fandom wanting the existence of "Hardcore lobbies", where player blips are turned off. While the idea certainly sounds very entertaining, the amount of Paranoia Fuel will go straight through the roof. Imagine hunting out in the Bayou at night only to hear the sound of a repeater being cocked right behind you...
    • Posses of six players can be very frightening, specially if they're scattered around the map. Kill one of the members and everyone in the posse is notified of it, meaning that you just pretty much pissed off a bee hive.
  • Seeing a firefight from the opposing side can be quite a Mook Horror Show. Imagine: you're part of a rival gang with your buddies hiding out in some abandoned farm. You see a lone man, seemingly unarmed riding toward you. Easy pickings, so you marshal up toward the entrance and land a few potshots. Then, the horror begins. The man ducks for cover and in a span of seconds, your buddies fall dead with bullet holes in their heads. You panick, reload and keep firing yet more and more of your buddies get killed by this cowboy with freakishly fast reflexes. Just when you think you've nailed him, he drinks from small flasks and is at full, roaring strength again. Eventually, you are huddled in a corner, the sole survivor of the massacre and you hear ominous footsteps creaking closer and closer...
  • Major trigger warning for the following entry! Just southeast under the N in Bayou Nwa is a cabin you can run across, where a stranger who calls himself Sonny asks if you want to be 'friends' and offers to feed you. If you go in the cabin, it's... bad. Knocked out and violated bad. If you accept the man's invitation and follow him inside, Sonny knocks you out with a plank of wood immediately, without any option from the game to fight back. You hear a clanging of metal and what is most likely the sound of clothes hitting the floor, before Arthur wakes back up for a brief moment, now on the bed. Sonny tells you that you fought him hard but he still won (as he calls you his 'pet'), and as your consciousness fades he says, "See? Friendship isn't so tough. And neither is you...", his voice getting more and more distorted before you pass out again. After more metallic sounds you hear the sound of crickets chirping and Arthur getting tossed off a horse onto the ground. Arthur wakes up a good distance away from the cabin with no indication of how much time has passed, completely disoriented with all of his cores drained and some money missing- and when you get back up he is very clearly walking bow-legged for a little while. Rockstar straight up put in a random encounter where it's all but outright stated Arthur gets raped . Fortunately you can go back to the cabin and kill Sonny (in whatever fitting and creative way you can imagine, such as feeding him to the swamp gators), but the latter has even more disgusting lines for you, such as "I don't want you no more!" and, if you hogtie him and throw him on the bed, “You really know how to put a smile on Sonny’s face.” and "Any tighter and I’ll ejaculate!" Plus closer examination of the bed reveals chains and shackles attached to the head and foot of the bed frame- and what appears to be a large blood stain on the sheets. To add further insult to injury, some have reported Bill coming up to them in camp and saying, "I met an interesting feller in the swamp. ... He seemed to know all about you. I mean... all about you..." and Arthur responding with a very angry "Get outta here...!" Needless to say it viciously defies the Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male trope, with several players having felt violated themselves for what happened and reloading their saves. Long story short, don't go in the cabin.
    • What's worse? The man has various newspaper pages hung on his wall. One of these pages is from the fucking Vietnam War. In 1899. Either this man is a time-traveling rapist, or he has raped a time traveler in the past.
  • Most of the mission where you free Micah from jail should count. Particularly when he confronts "Skinny", by murdering him, and assumably his wife. It's considered the moment that most players realize Micah's true nature.
  • If you go exploring up in the West Grizzlies (not too far from where the game began), you can encounter a hunter who is desperately looking for his friend Tucker, and asks for your help. If you do so, you will eventually find Tucker's lifeless body, lying face down on a rock. You turn him over, and a good chunk of his head has just been destroyed by God knows what. You then return to his friend, and are given the choice to either lie about Tucker's fate or tell the truth. If you are truthful, he runs off to Tucker's mangled body, and when you follow him, he mourns his friend for a moment... before screaming "Oh Jesus, no!" as a gigantic grizzly bear charges in from out of nowhere and mauls him to death.
  • While it's relatively tame compared to some of these, the Chelonians are scary in their own way. Mary is terrified of what they'll do to her brother, Jamie. You can read in the first New Haven newspaper that the locals don’t like them because they’ve been recruiting the young, fit men in the area. They've been having meetings at the church to try to figure out what to do about it. Jamie tells Arthur that he's given money to them. They preyed on him because he's got money and Daddy Issues and he almost shoots himself rather than go back. He also threatens to shoot Arthur. No telling how many Jamies out there are out there that weren't so lucky. You can find a man giving out pamphlets for them in Saint Denis and when you come back as John in the epilogue, he'll tell you there's an initiation with the new prophet. When you go back to the same location where you found Jamie, they all jump off the cliff.
  • The cabin where you can find Mary Beth’s pen and Jack’s book (east of Emerald Ranch) contains a whole family who’s dead. It’s a couple, a kid, and an older lady who’s presumably the grandma. The vent is broken on the stove so they probably all died horrible deaths from smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Upon finally clearing level 9 of the Master Hunter challenges, you are given your final task to earn level 10 and unlock the special holster: Hunt a legendary panther named Giaguaro. He's as swift, dangerous, and stealthy as a typical cougar or panther, and what's worse, you hunt him in an area just full of thick foliage, all the better for him to hide in. The other legendary animals, you find them. Giaguaro finds you.
  • Late game, post-Chapter 5, the game begins to feel...disjointed. The gang is pretty much completely falling apart out of your control, the desperation to escape the Pinkertons is up the roof, gang members are disappearing left and right as they desert the gang for their own survival and to top it all off, Arthur has tuberculosis. It just feels Uncanny Valley. The whole game up to that point had been a desperate struggle to escape from the law but then, everything begins to fall apart so quickly that you just feel like reality is somewhat distorting around you. It simply violates your safe space.
    • Some fans have reported being scared of progressing past Chapter 4 due to this exact reason. Everything just begins to collapse so violently, like being stuck in a nightmare.
  • Recently, Red Dead Online has been having a strange glitch where wagons and boats having been popping up randomly around the map with the drivers on it slumped over completely dead, with no wounds on them showcasing any sign of being attacked by bandits or even other players. Coming across one of these in the middle of nowhere, at night, is surprisingly eerie.
    • Picture this. You're out hunting at Roanoe Ridge, one of the most cursed locations on the map, at night, listening to nothing but the sound of crickets and the creepy soundtrack, and then, you end up coming across a wagon completely still in its tracks. You see the driver slumped over dead and throw him off the wagon for further analysis. His body is completely clean, but his eyes are wide open and his mouth is hanging agape, as if he's seen something before dying, maybe something he weren't exactly supposed to see. Suddenly, you don't want to hang around that spot for much longer anymore, but as you get on your horse and make your escape, more and more wagons appear on the tracks with all of the drivers lifelessly slumped over on top of them. The feeling of something chasing you gets stronger and, in a fit of panic, you shut off your console. Glitches can be very scary.
  • Make It Count can be a very scary game mode, supplied by the game's heavy atmosphere and brilliant use of soundtrack. 16 players sneak around an area of the map hunting each other with bows or throwing knives. Every death is unexpected and you have to watch out for every single sound. Of course, the fact that you'll be so attentive to the audio surrounding you, the sound of a throwing knive hitting you or an arrow going through your head is loud and works as a very effective Jump Scare.