Not many make it to hell and live to tell the tale; and by many, we mean none, unless we’re talking about the living nightmares that are scary horror game locations.
From creepy crypts to abandoned asylums, murder mansions and everything in between, horror games continue to find new ways to strike fear into our hearts using spooky assets.
In this list, we’ll take you on a terrifying adventure through video game history by highlighting the top frightening horror game locations that have stuck with players for years.
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River Fields Mortuary
Appears in: The Mortuary Assistant
To the average person, mortuaries are inherently scary, what with all the corpses lying around just waiting for a chance to sneak off their slab and stir up trouble.
Indie horror game The Mortuary Assistant plays off of this fear by giving you the task of examining and preparing the deceased as an inexperienced mortician’s assistant working alone.
To make matters worse, the River Fields Mortuary is occupied by a demonic entity that will often mess with the lights, reanimate corpses, and creepily stare from the corner of your eye.
Appears in: MADiSON
Basements are another type of environment that make for the perfect horror setting, especially if you have an irrational fear of inhaling dust and possibly asbestos.
However, psychological horror game MADiSON takes things to the next level by plopping down an ominous well in its basement for players to climb down into.
Once at the bottom, they’ll find a room flooded with water and have to perform a series of paranormal tests that end up awakening supernatural horrors beyond comprehension.
Appears in: The Complex – Found Footage
The idea of no-clipping from our reality into the never-ending halls of the backrooms has become increasingly popular among internet circles, and for good reason, as it’s a terrifying notion.
In it, players are forced to navigate eerily abandoned offices, museum galleries, shopping malls, and other maze-like environments while stalked by a host of unfathomable entities.
Appears in: Resident Evil Village
House Beneviento is terrifying for several reasons: it’s seemingly abandoned, overrun with dolls, prevents the player from accessing their weapons, and features a basement.
There’s more to it than that but for the sake of spoiling what’s arguably the best set-piece in the entire game, we strongly suggest not going down to the basement.
The Rat King’s Lair
Appears in: The Last of Us – Part II
Typically praised for its characters and story but not necessarily horror elements, The Last of Us – Part II makes a surprise appearance on this list for the brief-yet-unforgettable encounter with The Rat King.
This undead nightmare makes its grand premiere during a seemingly ordinary mission where players explore an ambulance in hopes of finding medical supplies.
However, once that happens, the Rat King rears its ugly head, or rather heads (it’s not all too clear) and a terrifying QTE chase sequence through pitch-black environments ensues.
St. Sybil High School
Appears in: Outlast 2
Like Resident Evil, the Outlast games have no shortage of scary areas that force players to confront their darkest fears head-on.
However, out of all the locations featured in the series, Outlast 2’s St. Sybil High School will likely stick with the player long after they’ve put down the controller.
The disconnect from the game’s main outdoor setting coupled with religious symbols throughout its unoccupied halls and the feeling of knowing you can be chased at any moment all make for a bad time.
Appears in: Resident Evil 7 Biohazard
The second appearance from Resident Evil on this list, Resident Evil 7 features one of the best haunted house video game experiences despite lacking any real ghouls or ghosts.
Instead, players are dragged kicking and screaming into the depraved minds of the Baker family as they try to escape a madhouse where unspeakable crimes have occurred.
From having your hand chopped off to being chased by an axe-wielding Jack and witnessing Marguerite Baker turn into a disgusting bug monster, the Baker Estate is about as cursed as they come.
Appears in: Visage
Heavily influenced by the ill-fated P.T., Visage is an indie survival horror game that tasks players with uncovering the secrets of a historically haunted home.
As you collect items and begin peeling back the many layers of the Visage house, you’ll find yourself exploring new parts of the house while trying to maintain your sanity by consuming pills.
If you don’t accomplish this, you’ll come across one of many mystical creatures that wander inside and hide in the dark, patiently waiting to attack.
Appears in: P.T.
If a haunted house sounds like too much, maybe a scaled-down spooky hallway will be more bearable? Well, if it’s the hallway from the viral playable teaser P.T., we’d wager no.
This looping horror nightmare from the minds of Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro is created to build tension and get players’ hearts racing while solving enigmatic puzzles and trying not to perish.
While the hallway itself is creepy enough, what with the shifting lights and blood-dripping fridge hanging from the ceiling, it’s the hostile presence of the spirit Lisa that sends shivers down our spines.
Appears in: Prey
Talos I’s art deco-inspired architecture is truly a sight to behold and only one of many reasons to play Prey, the criminally underrated first-person action RPG by Arkane Studios.
Unfortunately, there’s one massive obstacle standing in the way of the player’s ability to soak up the station’s retro-futuristic décor, and that’s the looming Typhon threat.
Having spread to every inch of Talos I’s interior and exterior locations, these tendrilled aliens will manipulate and even disguise themselves as ordinary objects to try and catch you off guard.
Appears in: Alien Isolation
Speaking of spooky space stations, one of the scariest we’ve ever encountered would have to be the hulking ghost ship that is Sevastopol in Alien: Isolation.
From the start, players are made to feel at odds with the station’s tight corridors and humming machinery long before their first run-in with the dreaded Xenomorph.
The fact that there are other threats besides just the alien roaming around the station makes it all the more terrifying to try and press forward and find that next keycard or tool to advance.
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza
Appears in: Five Nights at Freddy’s
Another horror game location that’s ill-equipped to contain the monstrous terrors that lie within is Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza from Five Nights at Freddy’s.
While the security office your character is nestled inside comes close to feeling safe with its reinforced blast doors and live feed camera system, this is undermined by a severe lack of electrical power.
So, each night you’re forced to watch the power levels drain from all your equipment as animatronic nightmares inch their way towards your location.
Raccoon Police Department
Appears in: Resident Evil 2 Remake
The third Resident Evil location that deserves a spot on this list would have to be Raccoon Police Department as it’s depicted in the Resident Evil 2 Remake.
Maintaining the spirit of the original, it sees the return of the stalking enemy the Tyrant, only this time the hulking behemoth never lets up his chase.
This turns the already stressful scenario of trying to survive a zombie outbreak into an even more harrowing affair as you have to constantly keep an eye out for an ever-looming threat.
The Vocational Block
Appears in: Outlast – Whistleblower
Abandoned asylums are never a good time, especially when they turn out to very much not be abandoned and instead occupied by murderous inmates.
Such is the case in Outlast’s Whistleblower DLC, a prequel expansion that tasks you with traversing the creepy corridors of Mount Massive Asylum to escape the facility.
Although players will have encountered many foes by the time they reach the asylum’s Vocational Block, they all pale in comparison to The Groom, a deranged inmate with plans of making you his bride.
Appears in: Bloodborne
Technically not a horror game, Bloodborne still finds ways to ruffle the player’s feathers with its dark fantasy interpretation of a 19th-century European city.
As you make your way around the plague-stricken streets of Yharnam, it becomes immediately clear the town has seen better days, as signs of death and decay can be found everywhere.
Fearing for their lives, many of its citizens have barricaded themselves indoors, leaving you to deal with the horrible creatures that now occupy its labyrinth-like structures.
Appears in: Eternal Darkness – Sanity’s Requiem
Eternal Darkness has garnered a cult following over the years and is fondly remembered for its unique sanity mechanics in which the player character becomes more disturbed as they progress.
This is accented by the game’s setting in a massive mansion filled with tons of empty rooms and hiding spots for Lovecraftian monsters to jump out at you from behind.
By the time players make it to the end, pretty much no part of the Roivas Mansion is off-limits for the dark beings that stalk you, including areas that were previously deemed safe.
Appears in: Silent Hill 2, Silent Hill 3
The Silent Hill games have a knack for fleshing out their settings as if they were their own characters, resulting in some of the scariest locations in horror game history.
One of the best in the series is Brookhaven Hospital, which first appeared in Silent Hill 2 as the location where players would encounter the Nurse monsters and later Pyramid Head.
This location returns in Silent Hill 3 and is more terrifying than ever as players must now solve a puzzle using blood sacrifices from corpses and avoid Nurses armed with guns.
Appears in: BioShock
Arguably the most visually-striking setting on this list, BioShock’s underwater city Rapture would probably be a nice place to visit if not for all hostile enemies and flooded hallways.
The problems run even deeper than that as the city’s creator Andrew Ryan has a seriously twisted outlook on humanity that has led to Rapture’s downfall.
Still, it’s hard to focus on abstract concepts like morality when you’re too busy fighting mutated splicers, dead-eyed Little Sisters, and drill-donning Big Daddies.
Bart’s Department Store
Appears in: Condemned – Criminal Origins
Much like dolls, mannequins in a video game can be a surefire way to scare the pants off of the player, even if they’re completely innocent and only serve as props.
However, that is very much not the case in Condemned: Criminal Origins as your character explores a seemingly abandoned shopping mall occupied by mannequins.
It’s not long before the player notices some of the mannequins are walking around, prompting further investigation that reveals they are, in fact, crazed drug addicts.
Appears in: Amnesia – The Dark Descent
Just about every section in Amnesia is scarier than the last but for many players, the Prison holds a special place near and dear to their troubled hearts.
It features some of the worst flashback moments in the game as well as weird moans and other sounds emanating from various prison cells.
More pressing is the fact that this area is dark as hell in a game where light is already hard to come by, making it all that much worse when an enemy Grunt spawns right behind you.
Titan Elementary School
Appears in: Dead Space 2
Dead Space is another horror game series that’s teeming with disturbed locations but for our money, nothing comes close to the nightmare that is exploring Titan Elementary School in Dead Space 2.
Instead of dealing with the usual host of adult-sized Necromorphs, players are forced to combat pint-sized Necromorph children that not only move faster but also explode upon death.
The worst part of this section is having to fight these nasty little tikes in otherwise warm and welcoming classroom environments adorned with colorful furniture and cute decorations.
Appears in: Resident Evil Remake
If our love for Resident Evil wasn’t obvious enough, allow us to present our fourth and final (we promise) location from the series: the Spencer Mansion.
In the original Resident Evil, the mansion feels more or less like a run-of-a-mill haunted house whose creepy corridors and blood-hungry zombies provide a good scare or two.
However, in the HD Resident Evil Remake, everything is dialed up to 11 as new rooms, hidden areas, and enemies are introduced to the player, resulting in one of the scariest settings in the series.