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Terrifying game moments that pushed streamers too far

Horror games make for spine-chilling entertainment. Many gamers love to scare themselves by exploring decrepit mansions and listening to binaural audio that helps liberate screams from lungs. Even audiences who are too scared to play horror games can join the fun by watching streamers brave the horrors for them.

Streams let everyone have a good scare and subsequent laugh, whether players explore the dark hallways of Amnesia: The Dark Descent or stave off killer robots in Five Nights at Freddy's. However, sometimes a fright can push a streamer over the edge, which could potentially turn comedy into tragedy or transform a stream into a Three Stooges routine. It's all fun and games until a PC tower falls and breaks someone's toes.

When a streamer overreacts or encounters an especially scary moment, their usual howls can turn into rants or even physical injuries. Some overreactions are hilarious, while others dive deep into the inner workings of their minds. Given the number of streamers out there, it's impossible to list every person who went full ham thanks to a scary moment, but we can certainly try.

Lock your doors, turn on the lights, and get ready for terrifying game moments that pushed streamers too far.

Sodapoppin accidentally predicted his own fate in Subnautica

Subnautica is probably the most novel survival game currently available — instead of using tired tropes like desolate forests or deserts, the game is nothing but ocean. Dangerous, unexplored, extraterrestrial ocean. The Earth's oceans are freaky enough, so imagine swimming in waters home to literal aliens. Actually, you don't have to imagine since streamers like Sodapoppin have prodded these digital depths.

During one of Sodapoppin's Subnautica streams, he was minding his own business and suddenly realized where he was. He had unintentionally wandered into Reaper Leviathan territory. What are Reaper Leviathans, you ask? Highly aggressive, unholy unions of eels and ultralisks that crush and eat everything smaller than them, which is pretty much everything in the game, including players.

As soon as Sodapoppin exclaimed Reaper Leviathans once killed him in this location, a Reaper Leviathan shot out of the inky depths and slammed into his ship. The experience was enough to make Sodapoppin tear off his headphones and retreat to the far side of his room. He was so frightened he forgot to pause the game, which gave the Reaper Leviathan a free pass to massacre Sodapoppin's ship.

You could say the Reaper Leviathan reaped what Sodapoppin sowed.

P.T. was so scary it made iamBrandon cower

P.T. is one of if not the scariest video game experiences of the past decade, and it was nothing more than a playable teaser for the long-canceled Silent Hills. While Konami has tried to erase the game by removing it from the PlayStation 4 store, the internet neither forgives or forgets. Streamers took it upon themselves to preserve the demo's masterful horror, all thanks to clips of them reacting to the game. The bigger the reaction, the better.

One example of P.T.'s effect on gamers is iamBrandon's game stream. The demo had already terrified him to the point of shielding his face with his controller, but the game's resident murder ghost Lisa was about to make things even worse. Lisa loves to snap the protagonist's neck, which was all it took to push iamBrandon over the edge.

As Lisa killed the demo's protagonist, iamBrandon let out one of the shrillest screams you've ever heard, threw his controller away, and fell off his chair. He was still conscious after the event, but he took a long time to recover from the grisly scene.

If those are the kinds of scares elicited by the demo, imagine what Silent Hills proper would have been like.

Laugh it off, Pokimane, laugh it off

Pokimane is known for streaming games like League of Legends and Fortnite, not horror games. Still, she has cautiously dipped her toes into the horror genre and tried her luck with games like Visage. If you've never heard of the title, it's an indie horror game that requires players to explore a dark house. Add in a jawless ghost that likes to terrorize players, and you have a recipe for a scream stream.

Pokimane was playing Visage when she encountered an oddly familiar room. Numerous in-game lightbulbs shattered, which is a sure sign of supernatural activity. Expecting the worst, Pokimane covered her eyes and pleaded with the in-game ghost to leave. This tactic didn't work since the ghost had big plans for Pokimane — of throwing a rave and showing off her noodle-armed dance moves. 

Pokimane quickly realized what was happening and had a good laugh, possibly at her own expense. Visage's ghost might not have a lower jaw, but she's apparently replaced it with a sense of humor.

Giantwaffle panicked when faced with his phobia

Horror games love to prey on irrational fears. Dark hallways in empty houses. Mirrors that don't reflect reality. Bees. If there's an irrational fear, a horror game will weaponize it, which can become problematic for gamers with phobias.

Take, for instance, Giantwaffle. He was playing Resident Evil 7 when he entered Marguerite Baker's hive. Right out of the gate Giantwaffle was disturbed by the giant bee-like insects and had to pause to gather his wits. The giant, arm-sized bugs didn't attack him, but the tiny stinging ones did. Attacks like these might not set off many audience members, but it was too much for Giantwaffle.

The moment the tiny bugs swarmed him, Giantwaffle had to pause the game and take a breather. Turns out he is really scared of bees, and while Resident Evil 7's insects aren't bees, they were close enough to trigger a panic attack.

On the bright side, Giantwaffle was able to collect his wits and press on through the virtual bugs.

Sophie cursed PewDiePie with hand pain

PewDiePie is the king of the jumpscare. He made a career out of playing horror games and spewing Swedish curses at anything that frightened him. He's played so many horror games you might assume he knows every trick in the horror handbook, but some still scare him enough to jump out of his skin, or at the very least bruise it.

During one stream, PewDiePie was playing Sophie's Curse, a Five Nights at Freddy's-like indie horror game where players have to keep a collection of lights charged while avoiding the titular Sophie. Everything was going smoothly until Pewds heard a sound, turned around in-game, and came face-to-face with Sophie's dead stare.

This sudden jumpscare terrified PewDiePie like never before. He screamed, ripped off his headphones, backed up to the far corner of his streaming room, and cowered there for a bit. Moreover, he hurt his hand in his haste and refused to continue playing until he relaxed by looking at puppy pug pictures.

In true PewDiePie fashion, he eventually laughed off the scare and claimed he screamed because he didn't want to be out-shouted by the game's ear-shattering banshee.

When a cursed animatronic makes you babble for your life

Watching horror streamers can be cathartic since fear tends to rob us of the ability to think rationally. There is something positively schadenfreude-esque about seeing a streamer's brain devolve into panic-flavored jello simply because a bunch of pixels chased them down a fictional hallway. And some streamers devolve a bit more than others.

During KSI's playthrough of the Five Nights at Freddy's fan game The Joy of Creation Reborn, he was chased through dark hallways multiple times by murderous animatronics, and each time he lost his ability to think coherently. He either babbled in high-pitched screams or just repeated the same word over and over again. Each time, the animatronics caught up to him without fail, culminating in a final spasmic reaction from KSI.

Granted, once any of the animatronics spot you in The Joy of Creation Reborn, there's little that can be done besides running away, so clever plans won't prevent an inevitable and gruesome demise. Still, at least you finally know what it's like to be "terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought."

Forsen says goodbye to Welcome to the Game 2

The dark web is a terrifying place. Hidden bitcoin markets, drug dens, and personal information auctions pepper the hidden underbelly of the internet. The dark web has garnered the imagination of countless audiences. It was only a matter of time before someone made a dark web themed video game, and it has terrified many gamers, including Twitch streamer Forsen.

Actually, there are (at least) two dark web-inspired games, Welcome to the Game and Welcome to the Game 2. The goal in each is simple: browse a fictional version of the dark web, prevent attempts to hack into your computer, and avoid anyone who wants to kidnap and/or murder you. If you think that doesn't sound like a horror game, you clearly haven't seen Forsen's gameplay sessions.

Because anyone can sneak up on you in Welcome to the Game 2, it's easy to be jumpscared. In one scenario, Forsen was terrified when a SWAT team raided his in-game apartment. Granted, the game was simulating a blackout at the time, so he was already on edge, but the flashbang and subsequent SWAT member pushed Forsen a bit too far. In frustration, he walked out in the middle of the in-game arrest and left the room for a minute.

Sometimes all you can do is just walk away.

Even in VR, instinct takes over

Virtual reality has provided a whole new dimension for horror games. Thanks to VR technology, players can walk in the shoes of game protagonists and experience every jumpscare mere inches from their faces. No more cowering behind a flat screen that can be turned off if the game gets too intense. However, since VR delivers a sense of realism other game platforms can't provide, some players forget they're still playing a video game.

One of the biggest leaps in VR horror tech was Resident Evil 7. It's one thing to fight off mold zombies displayed on a screen, but physically looking around the Baker family mansion is another experience entirely. Irish YouTuber Jacksepticeye jumped at the chance to play the game's demo in VR. At first, he played and reacted as you might expect, but then he was attacked by a zombie that went all Kool-Aid Man through a nearby wall. That's when Jacksepticeye tried to use his arm and shield his eyes from virtual debris.

It's not the biggest or most overblown of reactions, but Jacksepticeye's response still demonstrates the effectiveness of VR. If a video game can make you forget it's a video game, even when it features impossibilities like zombies and magical healing potions, it's doing its job.

Jumpscares prevented Markiplier from breaching containment

The SCP wiki just might be the internet's greatest source of scares. Forget Slender Man and the Rake, nothing will keep you up at night quite like an evil stairway or a sentient and murderous television broadcast. Some SCP entries are benign, but most are so terrifying they make for ideal horror game material. Just ask Markiplier.

Markiplier is one of the biggest names in the horror stream community. If there's a horror game out there, he's probably played it. However, few games have mentally broken him quite like SCP – Containment Breach. The game features a who's who of the SCP Foundation's deadliest monsters, including the spine-snapping sculpture that started it all, SCP-173.

During one game session, Markiplier was trying to make his way down a corridor when the murderous monument cornered him. Literally caught between a rock and a hard place, his only course of action was to freeze and scream like a madman. But that wasn't his only mind-breaking moment, as later in the same session, SCP-173 sneaked up behind Markiplier and snapped his character's neck. This surprise sent Markiplier into a flurry of slow motion arm flailing because, well, who wouldn't be surprised by a statue killing them when they aren't looking?

Surprise deaths in Dead Realm may result in hyperventilation

Dead by Daylight is the obvious reigning champion of the asymmetrical 4v1 survival horror experience, but it once had a short-lived semi-rivalry with Dead Realm (very short-lived since that game's servers are six feet under). However, during Dead Realm's brief time in the land of the living, it delivered some decent scares thanks to sneaky players.

One prime example of a scare that overwhelmed a Dead Realm player was Vikkstar. He was minding his own business, trying to survive a run-in with a pig-masked killer when he got a surprise visit from the player-controlled villain. Vikkstar didn't receive any warning, his screen just suddenly cut from him holding a diligent vigil to the slasher killing him. The experience was quite the shock for audiences and Vikkstar alike. Ok, maybe more for Vikkstar than viewers.

Vikkstar was caught so off guard that he started hyperventilating and had to take a 10-second breather before he could continue. Moreover, he was playing with friends, so he complimented his in-game murderer on a job well done since he was so effectively terrified. Vikkstar's heart refused to calm down even after several minutes and a new round of gameplay, which speaks volumes of the scare's efficacy.

It's better to be scared by friends than an uncaring program.

Sometimes all you can do is hope the game continues to glitch out

The Alien games have a love-hate relationship with artificial intelligence. Aliens: Colonial Marines has legendarily bad AI because of a single mistyped bit of code, while Alien: Isolation has some of the best xenomorph AI on the planet. However, even though the latter is an abject improvement over the former, it isn't immune to occasional glitches that can make for hilariously terrifying moments.

Missmajick was playing Alien: Isolation when the unthinkable happened and the xenomorph's AI took a lunch break. The alien walked towards her hiding spot without actually moving. Missmajick was trapped, and her only course of action was to stare at her screen, continuously widen her eyes, and silently shake her head.

Of course, this bit of glitchy good fortune couldn't last forever. The xenomorph eventually caught up with its own reality and ended missmajick's session in a surprise dash. She laughed the event off, but was she laughing at herself or the glitch? It's not every day someone wishes a horror game doesn't work as intended, but Alien: Isolation is not like most horror games.

Dead Realm put the jump in jumpscare

A scary moment can be subjective. What one gamer finds frightening won't get any reaction out of another, and events that might not terrify audiences could accidentally cause others to hurt themselves.

In its short tenure, Dead Realm attracted several streamers, including Behzinga. During one stream, he was playing with some friends when he was attacked by one of the game's player-controlled monsters. It ran up to him and massaged his character's face, which was enough to kill his character — and startled Behzinga enough to make him fall off his chair.

While many streamers have sunk to the ground in fright, Behzinga did so in a way that actually hurt his back. The event temporarily took Behzinga out of commission, but he recovered quickly and was back in the game after half a minute.

Remember, streamers, don't overexert yourself while expressing your fear. Learn from Behzinga and don't throw out your back just because a murderous little baby killed you in a game.