Funhouse of Horror 2012: Top 10 free scary games on (part 2)

Now with even cheaper thrills and lesser frills. The second part of our Halloween list and final five includes Which, Devil's Tuning Fork, SCP Containment Breach, Paranomal-Beta, and Slender: The Eight Pages.

As promised, we are here to deliver to you, our beloved readers, the second installment of last week's Funhouse of Horror 2012. If the following games can't get even a tiny whimper out of you, then you are made of sterner stuff than our editors or, most likely, are dead inside.

5. Which

This is a short indie game that pushes pixel-shading limits to create a unique atmosphere and provide an effective fright. Much shorter than most of the games on this list, Which takes place in a locked house from which you have to escape. Saw what we did there? Moving on, you have to explore the small house room by room to find keys hidden in cupboards/shelves and look for a way out.

The simple design of this game, from the minimal visual and sound, only add to its character. Depending on the choice you'll make, the game will end differently. This is not a game that relies on cheesy music or jack-in-the-box popup antics to scare you. It may not even give you a scare, but Which will leave you feeling a bit uneasy after finishing. Beware of the slight gore, but it isn't anything R-rated, we promise.

  • Scare Factor: 5/10
  • Creativity: 9/10

4. Devil's Tuning Fork

What if you can use your ears to see the world? That is the question posed by the students at the DePaul University, creators of Devil's Tuning Fork. Winner of the 2010 Independent Games Festival Showcase, Devil's Tuning Fork was conceived from the creators' goal to make an original game in six months. That they did, and so much more.

A mysterious illness is causing children everywhere to fall into a coma. The player takes on the role of a child who wakes up in an alternate reality, a world engulfed in darkness. By the use of the Devil's tuning fork in your possession, the dark world is slowly revealed with each tone of the fork. You must find all the other children and wake up from the coma.

With its soft melodies, sinister overvoicing, and visuals inspired by dolphin echolocation, DTF does an impressive job creating a spine-chilling atmosphere. Although not a true horror game, Devil's Tuning Fork was an eerie enough play to warrant a spot on this list, if not for its creativity alone.

  • Scare Factor: 6/10
  • Creativity: 10/10

3. SCP Containment Breach

Containment Breach is part of a series of games based on the SCP mythos. In the SCP universe there is a secret society named the SCP Foundation that has numerous facilities to house strange entities deemed unsafe to be left in the wild. These SCPs, something between humans and creatures of paranormal in origin, are ranked from harmless but not fully understood to the dangerous and lethal that must be kept under surveillance at all time.

You are D-9341, an unwilling test subject in one of these containment sites when the unthinkable happens: there is a containment breach. Of course it's not much of a horror game if the cute misunderstood ones got out so you're left running from the insanely murderous ones. SCP-173, a statue-like entity that instantly kills everyone it encounters, SCP-106, a human-shape creature covered in shadow capable of moving through walls, and SCP-079, an Artificial Intelligence bent on taking over the facility. You must find a way to get the heck out of Dodge. Behind every door or the end of every dark hallway could be a terrifying death.

  • Scare Factor: 8/10
  • Creativity: 9/10

2. Paranormal Beta (PC, Mac)

Inspired by pseudo-documentary horror films like Paranormal Activity and Blair Witch Project, Paranormal bills itself as a "fully dynamic, haunting-simulator." The game promises you won't get the same experience twice. You play as an artist who is convinced that his house is haunted. When none of your friends believe you, the next logical thing to do is to spend some quality alone time there while recording your experience. The game starts you off slowly -- moving objects, flickering lights that escalates quickly into disturbing sacrificial images, and violent screaming in the middle of the night. You quickly get a sense that something or someone is watching you, and maybe even catch a glimpse out of the corner of your screen.

Paranormal does a fantastic job of simulating a haunted house as each time you play, it's a bit different from the last. This gives it a high replay value, a quality missing in most games on this list. Grab it now in beta while it's still free.

  • Scare Factor: 9/10
  • Creativity: 9/10

1. Slender: The Eight Pages (PC, Mac)

If you have never heard of the Slender Man, we suggest you do a quick Google search or head here since it really adds to the mood of the game. What started out as a contest to make creepy-looking images has evolved into an Internet cult hit. Many indie games have spawned from the Slender Man myth but none quite as polished and disturbing as Slender: The Eight Pages.

The premise of the game is simple -- equipped with a flashlight, you must collect eight pages scattered about in a forest. You can't interact with the environment in any way except to move about it and turn on and off your flashlight. Battery is limited so conservation becomes an issue. After collecting your first page, Slender Man, a tall dark figure with tentacle arms, will appear. Looking at him for too long or being too close will cause you to lose Sanity. As you gather more and more pages, Slender Man will begin to chase and random teleport around, sometimes near the player. The game ends when your sanity runs out or you've collect all of the pages.

Needless to say, Slender is one of the Web's favorite free games and also one of ours, due to the chilling gameplay and creepy back story.

  • Scare Factor: 9/10
  • Creativity: 10/10

That's it folks! The top 10 horror games brought to you by our team. Hopefully we can at least lessen the boredom of sitting at home handing out candy because you were too lazy to go buy a costume this year. Play them alone, play them with friends, or make your friends play them alone while you watch from underneath the covers, it doesn't matter how you do it there is no wrong way to enjoy a free scare. Keep sounding off in the comments about your favorite horror, paid or unpaid. We need ideas for Christmas gifts!

About Tuong Nguyen

Raised in the Bay Area but educated on the sandy beaches of San Diego, Tuong writes for specializing in Windows Security and Mobile Apps.