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Video Game / Paranormal

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"Hello, my name is Mattel Clark. I'm an artist, and I've come to believe that my house is haunted. Lately, things have been going bump in the night. A lot. So, I've set up cameras around my studio, and I've got one here, and I've started recording things to try and prove to people that I'm not going crazy."

Paranormal is an indie-produced horror game for PC. It entered Steam's Early Access in 2012, and is still there as of 2019.

The game's style is reminiscent of Found Footage Films, as the player directs a new homeowner's attempts to capture his (very) haunted house's ever-intensifying supernatural manifestations via In-Universe Camera. Every running of Paranormal is unique, as the spooky events and increasingly-dangerous apparitions are generated randomly each time, becoming more extreme as Mattel's investigation stretches out over several nights. Assuming he lasts that long...


  • Apocalyptic Log: Diary pages from the house's previous owner appear in random locations, providing clues to her tragic fate. Mattel's tapes become this if you die.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the full ending, Mattel learns the truth about the haunting and uses the furnace in the basement to destroy the house and the being haunting it, but dies doing so.
  • Blood Bath: One haunting that's actually important to the plot has Mattel get locked in the bathroom while the plumbing pours out blood. It fills the tub and sink as the toilet overflows with red.
  • Bloody Handprint: Several, and bloody footprints too, not always on the floor.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In the full ending, Mattel destroys the house, killing the Humanoid Abomination haunting it, but also dying himself.
  • Camera Abuse: It's raining in Mattel's backyard, and smears of distortion slip across the camera's image when he goes outside, representing raindrops on the lens. In one CCTV scare, a soda can is flung into the camera hard enough to crack the lens.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: Several paintings and murals around the house change their appearance and/or swap places between one night and the next.
  • Creepy Doll: The puppet-like mannequins Mattel uses to visualize space for his work are creepy enough before they start moving around the house.
  • Death of a Child:
    " The baby is gone."
  • Dramatic Slip: Mattel occasionally trips and falls, which can be alarming if he's sprinting back to bed before the camera's battery times out.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts: The haunting messes with the car's lights and the radio, sometimes the television also.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Mattel's dog Cory evidently had a run-in with the haunting before his master did, and subsequently sat staring at the foot of the steps, as if watching for its return. By the time Mattel starts recording things and the game begins, the dog has wasted away and died.
  • Facial Horror / Jawbreaker: A sex slave's body was found in the house many years ago with her jaw torn off. Her ghost still shows this mutilation.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Even when objects are floating in midair, the plumbing is bleeding, and mannequins are creeping around behind him, Mattel's reactions tend to be muted at best.
  • Found Footage Films: Done in the style of such films.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: If Mattel dies, a mannequin appears before the In-Universe Camera in a corpse-like pose in lieu of an actual corpse.
  • Guide Dang It!: The full ending (which actually explains what's going on and lets you stop it) is very difficult to get if you don't know what you're doing.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The last night of Mattel's recording is the night of July 4th (Independence Day in the USA).
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How the body of one of the house's previous owners was found. Also how the kitchen apparition appears, pinned to the wall by a large pipe.
  • In-Universe Camera: Mattel carries a camera with him while exploring his house at night; by day, while he's sleeping, closed-circuit cameras monitor cut-scene hauntings elsewhere in the house.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Mannequins suddenly appear in places Mattel just turned away from, a second ago.
  • Ouija Board: There's one in the bedroom that spells out threats.
  • Red Herring: The previous owner's notes show her becoming convinced that her late husband is the being haunting the place. It's not. It's some kind of Humanoid Abomination summoned by a previous owner.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Red writing appears on the walls and floor, sometimes when Mattel is sleeping and other times when he merely turns his back.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The diary pages tell the previous owners' story, while cassettes and phone messages tell Mattel's.
  • Timed Mission: You have to get Mattel back to his room and into bed when his camera's battery runs low, giving it a chance to recharge while he sleeps (and the game, time to prepare the next night's scares).
  • You Are Already Dead: When the battery reaches it's last bar, that's your signal to get to bed ASAP. Dawdle long enough for the red bar to start blinking, and you're doomed; the house will supernaturally-trap you in whatever room you're currently in, shortly before suffering a room-specific scripted death. This also happens if you go to sleep on the final night instead of taking the necessary steps to get the best ending - you'll promptly be dragged out of bed and torn apart by the entity.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Mattel states at the beginning that he's making these tapes so others will have to believe him, rather than assume he's crazy and/or perpetuating an Internet hoax to get famous.