- Just the concept in general is terrifying. You're stranded in the freezing wilderness, thousands of miles away from home, with nobody to talk to and nobody to help you. If the wolves don't kill you, infection will. If infection doesn't kill you, hunger will. If hunger doesn't kill you, the cold will. With that, you start to notice the harsh reality of the situation: You will die out here, and nothing short of a miracle is going to change that.
- The Carter Hydro Dam in the Mystery Lake area. It's eerie on its own, just being a once-powerful location that's now just another desolate building.
- The game is incredibly tense, even in quiet moments. Just walking from your shelter to go hunt for food becomes nerve-wracking, and the faintest howl of a wolf will be enough to put you on edge.
- The section of the map that connects Mystery Lake and Coastal Highway is called "Ravine", and it starts off with a derailed train that lost some of its cars to a massive canyon. How do you cross the canyon to reach the other side? By walking on an uprooted tree as a bridge. After that, there's an old and rickety railroad bridge that crosses another sheer drop of at least a hundred feet, and you even have to balance yourself on the rails alone at one point. If you're afraid of heights, this area can even be scarier than the wolves, especially when the bridge ominously creaks under your footsteps.
- Black Bears. Whereas you have a chance at fighting off a wolf and he's trying to kill you quickly, the bear will just... take its time. And all your character does is scream in his/her POV while the bear flails you around like a rag doll in its mouth until it gets bored.
- The Hibernia Processing whaling facility in Desolation Point. Not only is the interior littered with blood and whale skeletons, but the exterior is often guarded by wolves and bears, and what's worse, the complex has a number of obstacles so you can hardly ever see more than 10m ahead and always run the risk of turning any corner and finding a deadly predator on the other side.
- The Hunted challenge begins with the player being mauled immediately by The Old Bear, which serves as a jumpscare for new players. The bear also inspires paranoia in the players, as it will continuously stalk the player and surprise the player at regular intervals.
- The persistent frozen corpses. Some of which are sitting up.
- The sickening snap sound made when getting a sprain.
- The scream of fear and panic made when the character falls while climbing up a rope.
- The awful scream rabbits produce when shot or when the player snaps their necks.
- The crackling sound of walking on thin ice. With the alpha version of the game, the character is subject to a splash and a black screen if the character falls throughnote , and it's quite nerve wracking and jarring.
Nightmare Fuel / The Long Dark