Phasmophobia is the Good Kind of Scary

Even scaredy-cats will enjoy playing this game friends.


Wenbo Fan

Phasmophobia is the fear of ghosts–and this game will certainly make you scared. Phasmophobia has received high ratings on several gaming platforms for its psychological horror and realism.

The indie game Phasmophobia, released by Kinetic Games in September, has gained popularity and received attention from several streamers online as well as players at home. The general premise of the game centers around ghost hunts, which you can either complete by yourself or with three other friends in a co-op style mission.

The game is also playable on virtual reality headsets (VR), allowing people with VR headsets to experience the ghost hunt in an even more realistic setting.

Due to the general success of this game and a few friends who were nagging, I decided to try this game myself. I’ve always had a weak stomach for horror movies and games, so I tend to stay away from these things, but I was determined to conquer my fear of the unknown, and what better way to do that than by playing with three other people?

The game starts out very straightforward: you go through a tutorial on your own that shows you how to pick up objects, what you’re doing with ghost hunts, information about ghosts, and general controls you should know.

Ghosts are located in a variety of locations that you can explore and you receive money for any evidence you discover and for identifying the ghost’s type. It’s about as realistic as a virtual ghost hunt could be. 

Another part of the game that makes it so realistic is its access to your microphone.

In addition to being able to communicate with your friends if they’re within your vicinity, ghosts can also hear what you’re saying. Specifically, if you say their names, ghosts will sometimes become angered and attempt to hunt you down. If you’re lucky though, they might appear and not attack you despite hearing their names.

With our flashlights and EMF readers, we were dropped off at a random house to locate a ghost named James Walker. The first few minutes went smoothly, we explored the house and attempted to scare one another, which did not help my nerves but was funny nonetheless.

With 12 possible types of ghosts found in Phasmophobia, we had to find enough evidence to figure out what ghost James Walker was and complete enough objectives to make money for new tools.

An ouija board was spotted after wandering around and calling out “James Walker” aimlessly by one of our group members, who wanted to try asking a question. Sadly, there was no response from the ghost. 

After a few more light flickerings and someone claiming to have seen something, we unanimously decided it was time to book it out of there and get back to the truck before someone actually died. At this point, we were fairly certain the ghost we were dealing with was Jinn, known for turning electricity on and off as well as ringing phones randomly. 

I can’t say I’ve overcome my fear of horror games, but I wouldn’t mind playing Phasmophobia again. It’s a well-made game with realistic elements that can get players sucked into the moment and create quality bonding time with your friends.

Heads up, though, I wouldn’t recommend playing this game with friends who will close doors on you if you’re already scared witless.

Trust me, I know.