- Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Both games involve a large cast of characters, all of which are nasty egotistical stereotypes. The main goal is to spy on all of them to learn their little secrets, such as who is blackmailing who and who has had an affair and such. And then they all die like mayflies, slaughtered one by one by a serial killer, which you cannot prevent. The characters being unlikable prevents the player from feeling too sad about their deaths, and thus finding the game depressing, but also makes it hard to care at all.
- Jerkass Woobie: Lillian; yes she did murder almost her whole extended family, including her mom but her father died and her mom's an alcoholic, plus it's implied she has some kind of mental problems, so it's not hard to see why she goes crazy. Even Laura seemed saddened by her death.
- Les Yay: The speakeasies Ladies Lounge in the second game gives off this vibe.
- Nightmare Fuel: The murderer strangling Laura in the attic.
- The alligators in the swamp.
- Lillian becoming more and more unhinged as the night goes on.
- The ghost in the graveyard, who does nothing but point at you before disappearing.
- Even worse, if you tell Laura to look at the ghost, she'll dismiss it by claiming "It's just a wisp of mist from the bayou", which makes you wonder if you, the player, are the one seeing things.
- The shadowy figure that wanders the estate.
- Play the Game, Skip the Story: A rare in-game example... it's possible to completely skip the story. However, if you do this, you get punished with a low rating.
- Values Dissonance / Deliberate Values Dissonance: Being set in The Roaring '20s, there is some casual sexism thrown around. This was all done on purpose to help establish the setting.
- Through examining the museum exhibits, one mentions an African tribe called the "Hottentots". Even in the nineties (When the second game was made), people would probably NOT want to describe them as such, but the game is set in the 20s, so it's possibly deliberate.
YMMV / Laura Bow