You may have caught our recent video on horror boss designs that creeped the pants off of us but this list is less about what these enemies look like and more about how they made us feel. Which is pure terror. Obviously.
From common enemies to main antagonists, there were a tonne of horror game foes that made some of us so freaked out that we’d say to ourselves, “You know what, maybe this game isn’t for me, let me delete it off my platform of choice and try to never think about it ever again.”
In this list we’re taking a look at horror game villains that had us quaking in our boots from the last console generation. That means no Alma Wade from FEAR or Pyramid Head, but don’t worry, the last generation of consoles had plenty of big bads to keep us up at night.
10. Kaernk - Amnesia: The Dark Descent
If anyone has a good idea of how to pronounce this one please see me after the list. Luckily not knowing how to say it didn’t stop me from feeling my choice to play the first Amnesia game was a big mistake when I ran one of these things.
I’ve cheated a little here as Amnesia came out in 2011 but the game did arrive on PS5 and Xbox One so I’m gonna allow it.
Remember when I said this list is less about what the villains look like and more about how they made us feel? Nowhere is that more true for the Kaernk, or as he’s more colloquially known, the water monster, or even more colloquially, nope nope nope this sucks, what the hell is this thing, thanks I hate it.
That’s because he’s invisible. And, of course, you’re very much unarmed. Not that that would help you much. Luckily he’s fond of water so you’ll be able to detect him by the plodding deliberate stomps it makes through the water, or the very quick horrifying splashing sounds behind you as you’re running like a bat out of hell trying to avoid this thing and find a platform in the world’s worst version of The Floor Is Made of Lava. Amnesia as a series capitalises on keeping you in the dark, discouraging you from looking at its main Gatherer enemies lest you lost your sanity. This encounter is yet another example of developer Frictional Games’ mastery of showing just how much they can frighten you without showing you anything at all.
A developer commentary revealed that the team referred to the Kaernk as ‘Lurky’ which is just far too adorable of a nickname for a beastie so insidious if you ask me.