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Video games horror icons

BY CONOR MCBRIEN | OCTOBER 30, 2014 5:00 AM

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Literature, film, and television have been dominated by horrifying abominations of nature and science for generations. As rest is not something granted to the wicked, new incarnations of our fear have also taken hold of new media as well, including video games and the Internet.

These virtual creatures are ushering in an era of interactive horror. In horror games, you're not just watching the victims of a serial killer, monster, or torture chamber — sometimes, you are the victim. In honor of Halloween, here are some of the creepiest characters that keep gamers up at night.

Nemesis (Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, 1999)

Nemesis is a bald humanoid in a long trench coat. It is a Tyrant; a genetically enhanced superhuman that is nearly indestructible and often implacable. Often seen carrying a large rocket launcher, Nemesis is capable of attacking targets from almost any distance. Even just out of arm’s reach, it can use tentacles to pull players in. It also carries a deadly virus that it can use to infect difficult targets.

Pyramid Head (Silent Hill 2, 2001)

Pyramid Head is the manifestation of a person’s guilt, particularly that of James Sunderland, who wandered into Silent Hill racked with remorse over his wife’s death. The town's supernatural power created Pyramid Head as a symbol of penance and anger to torment James throughout his journey. With its distinctive head, it is by far one of Silent Hill's most iconic monsters, and it has inspired many imitators since first appearing.

Slender Man (Something Awful Paranormal Thread and Marble Hornets, 2009)

An extremely tall and featureless man in an immaculate suit, the Slender Man is an enigmatic creature that is known to prey on people, notably in dark forests but also in their homes. Many differing accounts of the Slender Man and his behavior exist, often contradicting each other. What is known is that he is a malevolent entity that has been known to make people disappear or simply drive them insane by threatening to take them away years before he actually acts upon it.

Scissor Man (Clock Tower, 1995)

A serial killer using a pair of oversized garden shears. Scissor Man began as a young boy possessed by a demon but has been shown in different incarnations over the years, as he (or occasionally she) carries the Scissor Man legacy through various copycat killing sprees using giant pairs of scissors.

SCP Foundation (website, 2007)

An honorable mention, the foundation is a creative writing wiki that hosts various horror and science-fiction stories as reports detailing the characteristics of paranormal creatures, objects, and places created by contributing writers. These works are all joined under a unifying narrative starring the foundation and its mission to contain or (failing that) monitor supernatural threats to humanity. The stories are all fantastic and creepy reads reminiscent of “The Outer Limits” or “Tales From the Crypt.” If hard-core horror isn’t palatable for some, the site also offers more lighthearted stories of paranormal activity that has been debunked or proven harmless by the foundation.


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