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"Give us a sign..."
Phasmophobia is a cooperative horror game released on September 18th, 2020 by Kinetic Games. Paranormal activity is on the rise and it’s up to you and your team to use a wide variety of ghost hunting equipment (high tech items like cameras and sensors alongside more traditional methods like ghostwriting and salt) at your disposal in order to gather as much evidence as you can, as a "vanguard" team ahead of the exorcism team to identify what exactly they are up against.
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The game is notable for having players use their own microphones to communicate to both to their teammates and to the ghost itself as well as making use of several ghost hunting tools to identify the entity through physical evidence and behavioral patterns. There is no scripting, and no two ghosthunts will go the exact same way. The game takes many inspirations from real life Paranormal Investigation television shows like the USA's Ghost Hunters and the UK's Ghost Hunting with..., although it should be noted that the ghosthunters in this case can very easily become the hunted.

The game is available on Steam as an Early Access title.


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The game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The Asylum location takes place in a long-abandoned mental hospital.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: Ghosts would previously move at a set pace that would not change. This meant players would be able to effectively loop them around or just run without much danger of getting caught as the ghosts would be just slightly slower than the player's walking speed. This was changed in a major update though, and now the ghost's speed will continuously ramp up so long as they have line of sight, making such tactics a death sentence, as they will eventually catch you. Note, however, that several of the ghosts can outpace the investigators quite swiftly under certain circumstances, such as the Revenant when it has a line of sight to a player or a Raiju when near electrical equipment, meaning you had best find a hiding spot quickly.
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  • Ax-Crazy: With the exception of the ghost in the training mission, all the ghosts the players encounter are prone to bursts of random violence and easily made murderously angry, killing anyone that crosses into their line of sight when they’re hunting.
  • The All-Seeing A.I.: Before Willow Street House was added, the ghost was able to see through doors (other than lockers and closets) and furniture. After the update, colliding furniture and doors only serve as a line-of-sight blocker. Doors still don't block ghosts from going through them, thus a ghost could seem to still see through a door. One of the newest ghosts, however — specifically, the Deogen — permanently has line of sight on the player regardless of location, and must be looped, for it is impossible to hide from them. This is balanced out by having one of the worst speeds in the game when they are close to players.
  • And I Must Scream: Implied. If the ghost writingnote  is to be believed, being a ghost is not a pleasant fate.
  • Antepiece: The training mission is a non-violent ghost who remains in one room. This ghost can be poked as much as desired, but won't start any hunts (but may still try to scare the player), and allows the player to see how the equipment works. There's also a TV that describes the process for identifying the ghost, going through each equipment piece or step.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • To balance out the added difficulty Nightmare mode brings to the game, players can still communicate with one another over their walkie-talkies when a Hunt is in progress.
    • As long as other conditions are met (within range of the ghost, lights off, the player is alone if it's a shy ghost) when using the Spirit Box, if the game does not detect any microphone input, the Spirit Box will attempt to obtain a response approximately every 10 seconds, randomly selecting an answer for one of the basic question types. This prevents players from being unable to use the Spirit Box if they don't have a microphone, or if their microphone is broken or stops working.
    • The Apocalypse Update introduces custom games where the lobby host can fiddle with the game's settings. This includes things such as how much sanity you start off with, whether your flashlights will work, how frequently a ghost will be active, and most importantly, whether they will hunt you. The reward money you get is also affected based on what settings you messed with as well; if you make the game harder, you'll get more cash, whereas making the game easier nets you less; some settings, like disabling hunts and loss-of-items-on-death, completely voids all cash earned, meaning you get no money from completing objectives.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Players use their actual voices to speak to the ghosts, and the NPC ghosts react accordingly. The voice recognition is actually fairly sophisticated, and there are over one hundred phrases a player can say in order to trigger the ghost to respond. Using a Spirit Box even allows for direct questioning, wherein the ghost will give consistent answers to inquiries about their age, method of death, gender, and even their emotional state.
    • Ghosts generally react and plan around what type of entity they are. For instance, Mares are more active in the dark, and will actively try and shut off the power in order to plunge the entire map into darkness.
    • Hunting ghosts generally pick a player at the start of the hunt and try to run them down, but if they've yet to lock eyes on said victim (or are a Revenant, who has the unique behavior of freely switching targets, or a Banshee, who will always stick to their chosen target) and hear another one yelling their head off, they'll stop looking for their original target and go for the juicy yelling player that they now know the exact location of. Ghosts will also remember where hunters were if it sees them during a non-aggressive phase and go to check those areas on their next hunt to see if they're still hanging out there.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Sometimes ghosts will get stuck on objects on the site or run in the complete opposite direction of the players during a hunt.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:
    • This is the primary strategy for Demons, one of the most aggressive ghosts. They hunt often and, as a result, kill often. At the same time, their aggressiveness makes them easy to identify, and crucifixes nullify them for some time. Demons also have the unique ability to start a hunt regardless of player sanity. While this power is exceedingly rare, Demons can, and have, initiated hunts within seconds of the premises being entered.
    • While Demons are most notorious for always going for the kill, any ghost can be riled up to hunt and kill often once everyone's sanity has been lowered to its lowest points, making even the passive Shade aggressive and eager to attack. For this reason, you and your team will want to find as much evidence as possible before the ghost decides to stop playing nice and try to trap you every opportunity.
    • On Nightmare difficulty, kills extend hunt duration, allowing the ghost to potentially kill everyone in a single hunt.
  • Back from the Dead: The Tarot Cards, when used, have a random chance of reviving a dead player.
  • Berserk Button: Saying certain things when speaking to the ghost via the in-game voice chat can cause it to become aggressive and anger it.
    • Even the most passive types of ghosts will usually respond aggressively to their names being called. It's implied this causes them some form of pain, so they lash out to whoever's causing it.note 
    • Doing anything to telegraph that you're afraid of the ghostnote  will make them noticeably more active.
    • Ghosts really don't like it when they're being called names, particularly of the vulgar variety, as they get more aggressive than normal.
    • Saying "Bloody Mary" also makes the ghost aggressive.
    • Threatening a ghost with violence is another thing that causes the ghosts to get upset. Phrasing it more realistically and saying you're going to exorcise them also works.
  • Big Boo's Haunt: Given the nature of the game, every level qualifies as one, as every location is haunted by a ghost (or two in the event you're after the Twins).
  • Body Horror: Most of the ghosts' physical appearances are not at all pleasant to look at. Some have their face split open with what looks like bloodied tumors strewn across half their face, one's lower jaw has been snapped in two and dangles uselessly from their hinges, and others are starved into nothing but skin and bone. By far the freakiest ones are the ghosts whose face has a giant and hollowed out gap dug into it.
  • Boss Game: A focus on opposing one strong ghost. There are no other enemies to face in this game. It's just you and your team against a single ghost in each level.
  • Brandishment Bluff: While investigating a haunted location, the ghost may become agitated enough by an investigator's mere presence that they'll materialize for a few seconds and charge them while making all manner of unpleasant noises, and sometimes with a weapon raised while flickering in and out of existence. Inexperienced players may mistake this for a hunt and flee in fear, while experienced players can tell the difference between this scary bluff and a genuine hunt that puts lives in danger.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Might as well be the mascot for this trope. 1-4 investigators poke and prod a spirit that can kill them in one hit, all to lay the groundwork for a future exorcism. Some objectives actively encourage this behavior, such as capturing a photo of the ghost and escaping a hunt.
  • Creepy Child: One of the possible forms a ghost can take. They are no less dangerous than ghosts that resemble adults.
  • Creepy Twins: "The Twins" ghost variant is exactly what it says on the tin. A pair of identical twin ghosts that will attempt to use misdirection to lead investigators to the wrong conclusions by simultaneously causing paranormal activity in different areas and reacting to different tools depending on which twin you're investigating.
  • Cursed Item: The December 10th, 2021 update brings four new cursed items, as well as revamping the Ouija Board and Voodoo Doll to be a cursed item. All of these items are photo opportunities and can help the player, but they can easily bring harm.
    • The Summoning Pentagram, drawn in blood on the floor surrounded by candles. Lighting all of the candles forces the ghost to appear in a harmless state within the pentagram, making it easy to get photographs. However, once the 3 seconds ends, it immediately begins hunting.
    • The Music Box, which will attract a ghost and make it sing. However, if it touches the box, it will begin a hunt, even killing the player immediately if they turn it on right near the ghost.
    • The Tarot Cards, which have ten random effects, including setting off an immediate hunting, immediately killing the player, restoring sanity to 100 or reducing it to zero, or even resurrecting a dead team member.
    • The Spirit Mirror, which, if turned on, reveals the ghost's room. However, it drains 8 sanity a second to look at it, and it will shatter if the player's sanity hits zero, immediately starting a hunt.
    • The Voodoo Doll now has pins in it, and using it costs 10% sanity and forces the ghost to do an interaction. However, there is a 10% chance that the heart pin is stuck in, causing an immediate hunt. If the player using it has 10% sanity or lower, the hunt is guaranteed.
    • The Ouija Board now never fails to answer a question, but it drains a lot of sanity for asking it about the ghost's room (Demons, however, still drain less, keeping their identifying marker), less sanity is drained for other questions like the ghost's age. The player must tell the board "goodbye" for it to shut off; leaving a board that is on immediately starts a hunt. A player can also ask the ghost to play hide and seek, which will start a countdown to a hunt (in addition to causing the board to catch fire and burn up, rendering it unusable for the rest of the round).
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • If you find a Cursed Object on the map, you can use its unique properties to aid your investigation. Cursed objects are a great way to capture paranormal evidence, find the ghost or its room, witness ghosts' events, and even set up easy opportunities for photos. However, using cursed objects comes at the cost of a large sanity drain, and when they are used at low sanity levels, can cause a cursed hunt which is much longer in duration than a regular hunt, makes the ghost extremely aggressive, and increases the duration of regular hunts afterward. The preparation phase timer is also no protection against invoking a hunt using one.
    • If you're really determined to get a picture of the ghost, you can try intentionally causing a hunt, since they'll become visible at regular intervals while in hunting mode. Also works for the dirty water optional objective if the ghost doesn't normally hang out around sinks, since they'll chase players they spot.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: After a fashion. Thanks to some of the occasional bugsnote , even the van can be manipulated by a sufficiently pissed-off ghost.
  • Darkness Equals Death:
    • Besides dealing with a Jinn, ghost attacks will usually be heralded by either a total blackout or the lights flickering uncontrollably. However, with the exception of the aforementioned Jinn, ghost activity is usually higher in the dark, which makes it easier to witness paranormal events.
    • Also inverts the trope as well: standing in light all the time will anger a ghost, making it more likely to initiate a Hunt. In order to get your investigation completed safely, you will need to stand around in the dark.
    • Mares (who are faster in the dark) and Hantu (who are faster in cold environments… and switching off the lights tends to cool a place down, and on Professional, the investigation site starts off with the breaker box off (so no lights) and the rooms at cool temperatures) are also more dangerous when the lights are off than they are when the lights are on.
  • Daylight Horror: Jinns aren't necessarily more dangerous in the light, but they are less dangerous in the dark, because if the circuit breaker is off, a Jinn cannot use its special power at all.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Players can communicate with the ghost using either the Ouija Board or the Spirit Box.
  • Death as Game Mechanic: Dying lets you continue playing as a friendly ghost who can clearly see the enemy ghost and hint living players to its location by moving objects like a poltergeist.
  • Death Is Cheap: Mostly averted: dying means that you lose all the gear you brought with you on the level. If you're playing on Amateur or Intermediate hunts, you do get some money back as insurance (50% and 25% of the lost item values, respectively), but Professional doesn't give you anything. You also can't successfully complete the investigation, even if you figure out the ghost, so you lose any money from objectives. However, while dead, you do get to see the house in much clearer vision, as well as the location of the ghost at all times; you can't talk to your teammates in-game when you're dead, but there's nothing preventing you from talking to them on Discord or something similar.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • Swearing causes the spirits to lash out even harder than just saying their name.
    • When a Hunt begins, the ghost locks all doors out of the building before materializing inside. If you try to have someone stand outside and hold the door open, the ghost will pry the door out of the investigator's hands and slam it in their face, and the door still locks.
  • Dissonant Serenity: As of version 0.30, some ghosts will quietly sing to themselves while stalking the player. They will also sing if the cursed Music Box is used.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Repeatedly calling out a ghost's name or cursing at it is a good way to piss it off and make it hunt you.
  • The Dreaded: Some ghost types are this in the community:
    • Demons are very aggressive ghosts that can hunt early and often, or in extremely rare cases, as soon as the players enter the haunted location.
    • Deogens are a downplayed example in that while, for experienced players, they are relatively simple to deal with on hunts due to its very slow speed when it gets near someone, novice players or players unfamiliar with evasion or "looping" (getting an object between the ghost and player and playing keep away until the hunt is over) get killed often, because unlike every other ghost in the game, it always knows where the players are on the map, making hiding from it completely pointless.
    • Revenants are very slow when nobody is in their line of sight... But once someone enters their line of sight, they can move faster than players can at their fastest. As a result, they have consistently been dreaded by players.
    • Raiju are enraged by having electronics in their presence (leading to them hunting earlier and being faster when hunting)... and almost all evidence gathering requires the use of electronics. As a result, it is very easy to accidentally anger a Raiju by forgetting to turn off electronics that players are not using — and to make matters worse, this also applies to electronics dropped on the floor. And since players who die drop all their equipment on the floor, this can result in a brutal feedback loop where the dropped electronics anger it until it hunts again shortly after. To many players, a Raiju is considered more dangerous than a Demon because of this behavior.
  • Eldritch Location: Get killed by a ghost, and before you're allowed to spectate, you get a nice view of a hollowed-out cave with no exit you've been dragged into, with wrapped-up corpses of who were presumably past victims hanging from the ceiling. The light eventually goes out and everything becomes dark before you're spawned back in the map to watch your colleagues continue without you.
  • Electromagnetic Ghosts:
    • Ghost activity in general can be measured with an Electromagnetic Frequency reader, and ghosts can also turn radios and televisions off and on, and make phones ring, if any are present in the map. When the ghost starts an attack, nearby electronic devices are affected: lights and flashlights will flicker, video feeds become shaky and clogged with static, and the players' radios are jammed with static until the hunt ends. They can also sense active electronics carried by players too.
    • The Raiju is a particularly nasty variant of this, as it actively siphons energy from electrical equipment to boost its movement speed. This comes at the price of constantly disrupting equipment when it is near, meaning it is easier to track and evade.
  • Epileptic Flashing Lights: The game does have a warning about it using flashing lights, so this does count for the trope, though it's hardly as offensive as some in the horror genre like to employ flickering to signal a paranormal event to an audience. There are times flashlights and overhead lights will flicker, but most people will be fine (the warning is more of the Staying Out of Legal Trouble aspect than anything else).
  • Evil Is Petty: One consistent way to get a ghost to haunt you, or even outright come out to try and kill you, is to swear out loud or to directly call it names with swear words. Yes, that means even the powerful and bloodthirsty demon gets offended if you say bad words near it and will try to kill people over it.
  • Evil Old Folks: A few of the ghosts are this, two notable examples being a shrivelled old man with an ax and a wrinkly old woman wielding a sickle.
  • The Faceless: Some ghosts, for whatever reason, have a hole in the middle of their face, adding to the already high levels of scariness.
  • Fat Bastard: One of the ghost models is an obese and apron-wearing butcher wielding an old cleaver. He's just as fast and dangerous as the other ghosts.
  • Fluorescent Footprints: Ghost fingerprints and footprints under UV light show up in this manner. Also overlaps with Sickly Green Glow since it only applies to tracks of supernatural origin.
  • Flushing-Edge Interactivity: While being able to interact with the sink is useful for getting dirty water, there is no reason for being able to flush the toilets other then being annoying.
  • Ghastly Ghost: Even the less dangerous and more passive ghosts will kill players if provoked, and nearly all ghosts look like mutilated corpses.
  • Ghost Butler: The exit door does slam closed, but only becomes locked during the hunt.
  • Ghostly Chill: All ghosts can be detected with a sudden drop in temperature. Dropping the temperature enough to cause your breath to appear (0C, or about 32F) is considered evidence for some ghost types.
  • Ghostly Goals: The ghosts you investigate tend to be pure, motiveless evil who thirst for bloody death. Dead players can act as a friendly ghost by signaling other players, either by throwing objects around or using non-game means of communication.
  • Ghostly Wail: Some ghosts can be quite noisy while manifesting, including loud groans, sobs, and even ethereal singing. Banshees, in particular, have a unique wail, though it can only be detected using a parabolic microphone.
  • Harder Than Hard: Recent updates have made the game more difficult, especially on Professional Difficulty, but arguably the worst offender is Nightmare Mode, and for good reason, since the ghost won't just stop at one victim per hunt anymore. Basically, either you find out what kind of ghost you're dealing with quickly and pray to god the ghost doesn't find you or face a Total Party Kill. To make matters worse, unlike in other difficulty modes, one of your three pieces of evidence is suppressed, leaving you to figure out what kind of ghost it is based on its behavior, the ghost's room will change, and two of the monitors in the van are smashed, which means you can't keep track of how much sanity you have. Depending on who you ask, the Nightmare Update turns the game into Nintendo Hard.
  • Haunted House: Houses are the most common levels players will find themselves investigating. They are either regular houses in a town or city, or farmhouses — both of which are designed to look normal. The variant buildings (school, prison, and asylum) are abandoned or run-down.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Once a ghost starts a hunt, the player it is currently chasing will hear this. If this happens, the only thing they can do is quickly find a hiding spot, turn off their light, stop talking, and pray that it isn't already too late.
  • Hell Is That Noise: As of the August 29, 2021 patch, when the ghost begins a hunt, you will sometimes hear the ghost start to sing, which lets players know when to hide.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Averted. The game's maps start with most or all the lights off by default, and indoor areas are utterly pitch black if you don't turn the lights on or bring some source of light with you. Without light, you can see maybe a few inches at best, and that's only if there's an object or surface directly in front of you.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: You cannot harm any ghost in any meaningful way, only stop it temporarily.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: A ghost may, at any time after the preparation phase, initiate a Hunt, causing EMF activity to spike, the lights to flicker, and the front door to lock as they stalk a particular target through the location. If the ghost reaches their target, that person dies immediately. The only hope you have is to avoid their attention until the Hunt is over or, in multiplayer, to not be in the house when it starts.
  • I Love the Dead: Ghosts respond to the spirit box question "Are you horny?", with the reply being somewhat randomly picked. In comparison, asking ghosts what they want gives one of the murderous responses.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Female ghosts will sing "Ring around the rosie".
  • Infinite Flashlight: Played with. Flashlights never run out of batteries, but can be flickered by the ghost. Despite this, they're the most reliable source of light, since ghosts can flip a house's power breaker (shutting off every light in the house until the breaker is manually reset) and blow out candles.
  • Jump Scare: All. Over. The place. Lights can turn on or off randomly. Radios and televisions may turn on. You may, and likely will hear the floors groan. Doors might rattle or even open. Objects may move, or come flying at your face. And that's all benign. Once the ghost starts getting active and/or angry, you get voices whispering in your ear, guttural sounds of terror, shadows, shadows that are only in reflections, ghostly images, and dead bodies with weapons slowly stalking towards you. And God help you on a Hunt.
  • Key Under the Doormat: Maple Lodge Campsite places the key next to the doormat, only because the doormat is a static object placement.
  • Kill the Lights: Ghosts can flip a light switch or trip the fuse box. There's also the rare case where they shatter the room's lightbulbs.
  • Lightning Bruiser: One of the Revenant's unique traits is that it will move faster once it's seen a player, and unlike Mares or Jinns who need darkness/light respectively to dash around the map quickly before slowing down once they reach a target, Revenants keep their pace up so as long as it sees a player. Running from them out in the open is useless and is practically suicide unless you can break their line of sight long enough to hide.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The ghost can be sometimes uncooperative on some types of evidence, most likely being the EMF reader which doesn't always show EMF 5. Additional objectives may also require an element of chance, based on when a ghost does an event (instead of randomly doing a hunt).
  • Machine Monotone: Prior to the August 29 patch, the spirit box originally sounded robotic as if it was speech synthesized. Not so much the case now, as the voices sound appropriately more ghastly and demonic.
  • Mission Control: Aside from your in-game superior who finds you jobs to begin with, this is a viable role for a player on your team. The starting point in the truck has multiple instruments that allow a player to watch cameras for ghost orbs, monitor ghost activity levels, motion sensors, sound sensors, and player sanity.
  • Mutually Exclusive Magic: Some types of evidence are mutually exclusive, as in, no ghost will leave both of them, though later updates have lessened this significantly, as more ghosts are added who do produce both types:
    • Poltergeists used to be the only ghost in the entire game who would leave both Ghost Orbs and Fingerprints, meaning that they could be identified without needing to find the third piece of evidence. This was changed with the addition of the Hantu, who also leaves both.
    • The first 16 ghosts in the game in the game could have either Freezing Temperatures or Spirit Box (or neither) as evidence, but not both, meaning that if players could see their breaths (indicating subzero temps), they wouldn't need to bother checking a Spirit Box at all, or vice versa. This is no longer the case as of the Nightmare Update, which added the Onryo and The Twins, both of which do use both, and then the holiday update added The Mimic, which also uses both. Still, this does mean that if you find freezing temps and hear Spirit Box voices, you can narrow it down, and it's quite easy to figure out from there which ghost you're dealing with.
    • None of the first 16 ghosts could produce both Ghost Orbs and EMF readings of 5, again meaning that once players found one of these, they didn't need to bother checking for the other. This, too, changed in the Nightmare Update with the additions of the Raiju and Obake, though finding this evidence pair likewise allows you to narrow it down.
    • The Thaye and the Deogen are the only ghosts that produce both D.O.T.S and Ghost Writing, meaning with only two pieces of evidence, you can effectively pare down the entire list of ghost types to a 50-50 choice.
  • Never Split the Party: Sometimes this is sound advice, as some ghosts do not act around multiple people. Other times this is bad advice, as some ghosts have no problem becoming aggressive in front of a crowd.
  • No Fair Cheating: When a hunt begins, the ghost will slam and lock all doors out the building before preparing to materialize inside. If you thought it'd be wise to have someone stand outside and hold the door open to buy some time for the investigators inside, you may be disappointed to find that the ghost will pry the door out of their hands to lock it in their face anyways.
  • No-Sell: Hunts that start from using a cursed item are not affected by the radius of a crucifix, the preparation timer, or anything that can stop a hunt.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: A big part of the horror of the game is built on this. Most of the time, you will not see or hear the ghost while you're searching for them. But they are still there, waiting and watching before they make a move.
  • Nuclear Candle:
    • Averted: flashlights are still the best option for a light source (other than the actual lights in the location, but that reduces ghost activity). However, candles have the advantage of not being affected by Electromagnetic Ghosts, so they remain as a light source at all times. Unless the ghost blows it out.
    • One very crucial advantage candles have over lights is they drastically slow your Sanity drain while you are holding one that is lit. You can also often find free candles scattered around the map, and though they blow out after a few minutes, you can easily relight them.
  • Numerical Hard: The differences between Amateur, Intermediate, and Professional difficulty are based on how long certain things take. As the game has updated, professional difficulty has drifted away from this, though, with unique changes.
    • Preparation Timenote : five minutes on Amateur, two minutes on Intermediate, 0 seconds on Professionalnote .
    • Sanity Drain: Normal speed on Amateur, fifty percent faster on Intermediate, twice as fast on Professional.
    • Cash Rewards: Normal on Amateur, twice as much on Intermediate, thrice as much on Professional.
    • Experience Rewards: Normal on Amateur, fifty percent more on Intermediate, twice as much on Professional.
    • Insurancenote : 50% of value is lost on Amateur, 75% of value is lost on Intermediate, 100% of value is lost on Professional.
    • Hunt Phasenote : 25 seconds on Amateur, 35 seconds on Intermediate, 50 seconds on Professional.Explanation 
    • Other changes on Professional: The board will no longer tell you if the ghost prefers players grouped up or alone. The AI is significantly smarter and more aggressive, and more likely to patrol where it last saw players to try to catch them doing it again. Ghosts also gain speed as long as the player is in sight to prevent looping. Also, houses start with their breakers turned off and at a low temperature, which means the breaker has to be switched and the lights left running for it to warm up enough to tell temperature dips from the thermometer.
    • Averted in Nightmare difficulty. In addition to the challenges from Professional, the ghost killing a player no longer ends the hunt, meaning it can potentially cause a Total Party Kill. Additionally, one of the three pieces of evidence that identify a ghost will be suppressed on Nightmare, requiring players to figure out what kind of ghost is present based on its behavior. Finally, some of the van's equipment is smashed.
  • Ouija Board: One of the cursed items that can be found. It'll give you a truthful answer to any question, but it comes at a price: using it at all will drain your sanity for every question, and if you don't have enough left to 'pay' for what you're asking...
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts come in different classes and exhibit different behaviors and weaknesses. All ghosts, however, are frightening and hostile to the investigators.
    • Spirits are the most "basic" ghosts with no particular strengths or behaviors. However, this same lack of distinctiveness can make them among the hardest ghosts to identify without hard evidence, as they can adopt a wide range of behaviors characteristic to other types. As usual, the longer it takes to identify a ghost, the more dangerous it gets. However, they do have one weakness that can be used to confirm their ghost type: burning a smudge stick in the vicinity of any other ghost type will prevent them from hunting for 90 seconds (1.5 minutes), while, for a Spirit, this instead works for twice as long, 180 seconds (3 minutes).
    • Wraiths have the ability to teleport to players, described in the Journal as 'being able to see through walls'. They have unique behaviors around salt. They are described as being able to fly, resulting in them not touching salt at all. At the same time, salt will cause them to become more aggressive.
    • Phantoms drain your Sanity if you look at them. Taking a photo of a Phantom will cause it to temporarily disappear, though this will not stop a Hunt that's already in progress, only delay it.
    • Poltergeists are noisy and disruptive, and will manipulate the environment more frequently than any other type of ghost. This can cause players to lose Sanity if they are not directly witnessing the event. They also tend to be quite active outside of their Ghost Room. Prior to the addition of the Hantu and, much later, their evidence pieces being reworked, they were the only type of ghost that could be identified with just two pieces of evidence: finding Ghost Orbs and Fingerprints would guarantee that the ghost was a Poltergeist.
    • Shades are noted for their shyness and will rarely perform any action in the presence of two or more people, forcing players to split up. They're very unlikely to start a Hunt if there's more than one person in the same room, but they have no problem immediately starting a Hunt as soon as everyone else leaves.
    • Demons are probably the worst kind of ghost to encounter. They are extremely aggressive and may attack unprovoked, sometimes as soon as the player steps outside of the van. However, they are more easily repelled through the use of a crucifix. Note that while a Demon's aggression leads to frequent Hunts, other ghosts under appropriate circumstances may attack just as often.
    • Banshees are unique in that they fixate on a single player to the exclusion of all others until the target is dead or has left the building. While Banshees are very dangerous for the targeted player, if the team is able to deduce that they are dealing with a Banshee, they can take advantage of its fixation to gather evidence, secure in the knowledge that it doesn't care about the rest of the team. Banshees, true to their real life mythology, have a distinctive scream that can be picked up by the parabolic microphone.
    • Jinn are empowered from having the power box on: they move much faster, allowing them to quickly "sprint" to a player's location during a hunt, and have the ability to sharply drain the sanity of nearby players. This makes them the only type of ghost where it's better to do most of the investigation in complete darkness, turning off the power box to keep it from switching on any lights.
    • Mares work best in the dark. They will turn off the lights and Fuse Box when they get the chance so that they may move faster and hunt more frequently in the dark. Keeping the lights on (particularly in its Ghost Room) is key to reducing its aggression.
    • Onis are incredibly active ghosts, often performing more frequent interactions and events than any other. They also tend to be fully visible when they manifest. Oni are also incapable of the ghost event where they hiss in your ear, which will let you know to immediately disqualify it regardless of other evidence if the ghost hisses.
    • Revenants are usually quite slow, but move faster than the players while hunting, and unlike every other ghost, they can switch targets if another is closer by. That said, they will move much slower during a Hunt if they cannot maintain line-of-sight to a player, which makes hiding even more effective against them.
    • Yurei behave much like a vanilla Spirit, but they passively drain sanity faster than any other ghost. They are particularly susceptible to smudge sticks, which have the unique effect of preventing the ghost from wandering in addition to their usual effect.
    • Hantu are problematic on difficulties where the fuse box is turned off by default, which means the temperature will always be at colder levels. They are faster in cold environments, and if they hunt while the fuse box is off, odds are one of your teammates will get caught by it due to its increased speed. They are also more dangerous to encounter in snowing or raining weather, as the entire environment will be consistently lower temperature than normal unless there are heat sources nearby to warm it up.
    • Yokai are unique in that they turn aggressive if players talk near them, allowing them to start hunts even at high sanity levels. However, they have the shortest hearing radius of all ghosts.
    • The Goryo is difficult to detect, as it requires a D.O.T.S projector. It will also refuse to show itself on camera if anybody is currently near it, usually meaning a remote viewing setup would be required to record it. The trade-off is that it often doesn't wander far from its room, meaning once you locate its preferred spot, you can safely start to focus your evidence gathering around that area.
    • Myling are all about the noises that they produce. They are often very loud and make paranormal noises when wandering, and a parabolic microphone will allow a hunter to track it quite easily. However, the trade-off is that Myling become silent when hunting. You will not hear its footsteps or growls while hunting until it is close enough to be a threat, which could make it a deadly ambush hunter.
    • Onryo are spirits that are afraid of fire. Lighting a candle and holding it in the presence of an Onryo may immediately cause it to blow out the candle and prevent a hunt, acting as the Onryo's unique version of a crucifix. This behavior can be exploited to prevent an Onryo hunting and control which room they are in, as Onryo do not leave a room with an open flame.
    • Obake are spirits that will only sometimes leave fingerprints when interacting with objects, but also has a chance to leave a unique six-fingered hand-print which will correctly identify it as an Obake, making the blacklight a crucial tool to detect it. Being shapeshifters, they may also change ghost models during a hunt.
    • Raiju are ghosts that are empowered by electromagnetic energy. Whenever they hunt, their speed is boosted greatly if electronic equipment is left on in their vicinity. However, they often interfere with electronic devices so much while wandering that tracking them becomes a much easier task. Often you can tell where a Raiju is by what electronic devices in the area are currently showing paranormal activity.
    • The Twins are a pair of ghosts that rely on misdirection. One twin will stay in the starting ghost room while the other can cause disturbances roaming around the area. They also react to different detection tools depending on if you find the stationary or roaming twin, which could lead investigators to incorrect or conflicting conclusions. However, their strength can be overcome by good teamwork and communication. If ghost hunting team members are experiencing two rooms with paranormal activity and keep each other aware of paranormal occurrences happening simultaneously in different areas, it can be relatively easy to nail down this ghost type.
    • The Mimic can copy the hunting behaviors of other ghosts and changes its hunting behavior randomly for each hunt. It is, however, the first ghost that can have a fourth evidence, as it also generates ghosts orbs in whatever room it is in in addition to the three primary evidences, which can make it easier to identify.
    • Moroi are spirits that rely on sanity drain to grow stronger. It has a unique curse ability that can cause a sharp drop in sanity on a player witnessing a ghost event or when being hunted. Additionally, as the team's average sanity drops, it will become faster during hunts. True to the Moroi's mythology, it also has hyperosmia (an extremely sensitive sense of smell) that will make smudge sticks overwhelm its hunting senses, effectively blinding the spirit during a hunt for double the time of other ghosts. This makes sanity pills and smudge sticks must-have items when encountering Moroi to keep its speed and aggression in check.
    • Deogen is constantly aware of the player's location at all times and is not affected by obstacles like doors, making them the first ever ghost in the game where hiding from it is completely useless. The trade-off is that the Deogen takes a lot of energy to manifest its form and will significantly slow down when nearby a ghost hunter, allowing them to evade it until the hunt ends. Deogen also have a unique Spirit Box response where instead of speaking back, it will breathe heavily and aggressively into the box, immediately identifying it (though they will still answer normally as well, so you may have to fish for a response if you suspect the ghost is one).
    • The Thaye works like a reversed Shade in that it will be very active at first, but then become more reserved and shy as the investigation continues. The Thaye will trigger many ghost events and hunts early on in the investigation that hunters will have to quickly capitalize on, because afterwards these events and opportunities to capture supporting evidence will become fewer and further between. Thaye have an unique identifier of being able to "age" as the investigation goes on; if you ask them their age on an Ouija Board (assuming one is accessible) it might give a different age if you wait a few minutes and ask it again.
  • Old School Building: Brownstone High School, one of the medium-sized hauntings alongside the Asylum.
  • One-Hit Kill: What happens if an attacking ghost catches you. You'll see the ghost reaching to grab you from behind while your teammates will see you holding your neck as if you're being strangled.
  • Paranormal Investigation: What the player(s) are tasked with doing. Notably, you're not trying to exorcise or remove the ghost, but are gathering information about what kind of ghost you're dealing with so another team can deal with it more efficiently.
  • Poltergeist: One of the many types of ghosts, and also the most likely to throw objects.
  • Red Sky, Take Warning:
    • If you throw the ball through the hoop in your base 666 times, you'll be treated to the sound of thunder cracking and the sky turning red. Ultimately downplayed, though, as nothing beyond that happens.
    • The Nightmare Update shows a crimson sky if you peek outside the window in your base. Oh, and guess what? There's a ghost standing right outside your door and there's a blood moon on top of that. And as the update title suggests, you're in for a fun time.
  • Remote Vitals Monitoring: At the start of each round, the players begin in their van. In addition to any gear the team brought with them, there's a readout showing the sanity of all the players (the nearest thing to HP, since it decides if the ghost will initiate a hunt, and getting caught's a One-Hit Kill) and a monitor showing a feed from any cameras on the map, including player mounted headcams. If there's more than one player in the game, they can basically stay safe in the van and serve as a Voice with an Internet Connection, freeing the rest to carry crucifixes and other gear to protect themselves.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Most of the ghost classifications borrow the names of various folklore creatures that have nothing to do with ghosts, like the Germanic Mare or the Japanese Oni.
  • Sanity Meter: Each player has one, displayed as a percentage in the van. Reaching zero sanity is not a death sentence, but it does make the ghost far more aggressive, attacking as often as possible (which can be every minute on Professional difficulty). Sanity also affects things such as the frequency and magnitude of ghost activity: lower sanity means more chances for evidence. Ghosts also tend to prioritize the lowest sanity member of the party as the target of their hunts.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the Halloween update, a new ghost was added into the game using the Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl design popularized by films like The Ring and The Grudge.
    • In the Nightmare Update, among the new locations is an abandoned camp which is chock full of horror franchise Easter Eggs. If you go to the dock near the lakehouse and look over the edge, a familiar jockey mask will float up to the surface. If you go over by the fire pit in one of the map's corners, you will see a twig effigy nearby, similar to the one found in The Blair Witch Project. You can also occasionally peer out into the woods beyond the map borders and be treated to the sight of Slenderman staring back at you. Finally, if the player turns the TV on in the cabin, the nearby phone will ring, once again referencing The Ring.
  • Spooky Photographs: There will sometimes be objectives asking you to capture a photo of the ghost or evidence of their activity. Taking a picture of a Phantom will also cause it to disappear temporarily.
  • Spooky Séance: Necessary since the spirit box only works in the dark. Adding candles for atmosphere is actually a good idea too, since they'll reduce the sanity drain from being in the dark.
  • Stealth-Based Game: Contracts require the player to find ghosts, and probe them for evidence. The ghost may start a hunt while players do so, requiring players to immediately run to a hiding spot and wait until the ghost ends the hunt.
  • String Theory: Used on the photoboard on the van, where strings appear as photographs are taken. The contract selection board also has strings between photos. These strings are simply decorative as opposed to having a known meaning.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Banshees will single out a player and fixate on them to the exclusion of other players, and will hunt aggressively and frequently to try to kill their chosen fixation, only moving on to attack another player once they've gotten their prey. This is a double-edged sword, as it allows the team to work around it for the most part during investigations, but means the chosen party member has to willfully put themselves in danger to make paranormal activity happen.
  • Supernatural Light: The ghost orb evidence, which appear as little dancing lights in night-vision cameras.
  • Supernatural Repellent: You can bring in crucifixes and smudge sticks to prevent the ghost from attacking. Crucifixes are the most powerful, but the hardest to use: ghosts that are within 3 meters (5 meters for Demons) of a crucifix (on the ground or in-hand) will not start a hunt. If the ghost is already on an active hunt, or if it isn't close enough to the crucifix when it started, it does absolutely nothing. Smudge sticks have a larger area of effect and prevent ghosts from beginning a hunt, while also limiting their movement and making them slightly more active. They require a lighter to light, though, meaning two of your three inventory spots are occupied. Salt has a similar but stronger effect on Wraiths.
  • Tarot Troubles: One of the six Cursed Items a player can find is the deck of tarot cards, containing 10 randomly-chosen cards that have ranging effects on the player(s). A few of the cards play the "troubles" very straight, while others completely invert it:
    • The cards that play this straight, giving players negative effects, include The Moon (instantly drains the user's sanity to 0%), Death (immediately triggers a hunt), and The Hanged Man (kills the player on the spot). The Wheel of Fortune has a 50% chance of being this as well; if the card burns red when it disintegrates, it drops the player's sanity by 25%.
    • There are just as many cards, though, that completely invert this by having positive effects: The Sun (instantly restores the user's sanity to 100%), The Hermit (prevents a ghost from hunting or leaving its current room for a brief period), and The High Priestess (brings a dead player back to life, if applicable). The Wheel of Fortune also has a 50% chance of being this; if the card glows green when it burns up (instead of red), it raises the player's sanity by 25% instead of lowering it.
    • There are also a few cards that subvert this by being largely neutral, like The Tower (causes a ghost interaction), The Devil (triggers a Ghost Event), and The Fool (does absolutely nothing at all).
  • Tentative Light: Obligatory with the presence of Electromagnetic Ghosts. Also, they can blow out candles.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The ghosts can hear you speak even if you're not pressing the Push to Talk button.
  • Toilet Horror: Every location has at least one bathroom, and it can be the ghost room.
  • Total Party Kill: The ghost can now accomplish this in Nightmare Mode. Even if a ghost kills someone on your team, the hunt won't immediately end, making finding out what type of ghost it is all the more urgent.
  • Turns Red: Players start with five minutes to gather evidence or prepare themselves for activity before the ghost starts to become aggressive. Once the five minutes are up, the ghost will become much more active and will attempt to kill the players once sufficiently provoked. On Intermediate difficulty, the preparation phase is reduced to two minutes. On Professional, there is no grace period; the ghost is active from the moment you open the front door.
  • Undead Child: One of the ghost models looks like a girl of about eight, plus an old-timey dress and some Body Horror.
  • Vengeful Ghost: Some ghost types are described in the journal as coming back because of this.
  • Voodoo Doll: One of the cursed items. Using it pushes a pin into the doll and will cause a ghost interaction, no question; however, there's a chance (guaranteed if sanity is below 10%) that it will push the pin into the doll's heart, immediately starting a cursed hunt, or the brain, which causes a bigger sanity hit than normally using a cursed item (which can make it easier to get low enough the next pin picks the heart).
  • Whispering Ghosts: Some ghosts whisper a bizarre gabble of threats and warnings while hunting.
  • Who You Gonna Call?: The player party is advanced scouts for a ghost hunting/exorcising group. Their job is to identify the ghost as best as they possibly can so the actual exorcism team knows what they're heading into.

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