10 Terrifying Video Game Horrors Nobody Saw Coming

The biggest scares are always just out of sight...

outlast the groom
Red Barrels Studio

For the playful, there are LEGO games. For the adrenaline junkies, Call of Duty. For the story-hungry, Firewatch.

Then there are the masochists among us. Those that need a good jump-scare to get the adrenaline pumping, or a looming, ominous atmosphere to garner their interest.

Horror games have been around almost as long as video games themselves, with 1981 Nostromo inspired by the 1979 movie Alien, taking the name from the movie's transport ship. In this early survival horror, the player was stalked by an invisible alien which only became visible when it was directly in front of you.

The Slenderman of the 1980s, if you will.

We've come along way since 1981, and while there are plenty of horror games that still terrify us, this list will focus primarily on horror characters and moments in games we didn't see coming.

That excludes common horror entries such as the infamous Lisa from P.T. and the terrifying Alien from Alien Isolation. Instead, this list will turn its attention to unexpected antagonists, disturbing events and horrific ideas that caused our hairs to stand on end and our heroes to run away with their tail between their legs.

10. Asphyxia (Silent Hill: Homecoming)

While series favourites Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 and Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2 often take the prize for most horrific antagonists in survival horror games, both were revealed before the release of their respective games, either by appearing on the box art, or revealed in teaser playthroughs.

One grotesque nasty that took many players by surprise was Human Caterpillar-wannabe, Asphyxia from Silent Hill: Homecoming.

Created out of the memories of Margaret Holloway, Asphyxia represents Nora Holloway, whom Margaret suffocated as a human sacrifice. As with most Silent Hill monsters, their physical manifestation is often linked with the manner of a person's death. The many hands clawing at the monster's body and face represent this suffocation in an all-to-literal way, while the caterpillar-like body comes from Nora's obsession with Alice in Wonderland. Even the lack of eyes is symbolic of how she was murdered in darkness, whilst she slept.

The hideous nature of this monstrosity doesn't end there, with protagonist Alex killing it by wrenching the hands from it's mouth, forcing it to breathe - the absence of which killed Nora to begin with.

Lovely nightmare-fuel there, Konami.

In this post: 
Posted On: 

Writer, aspiring author, and I won't stop travelling until I've seen it all. Whilst I might take a break now and then to rant about politics or muse over philosophy, I'm not afraid to roll up my sleeves, buckle down, and spend some solid hours gaming!