Why did I look??
I'm sure everyone here gets the concept of Easter Eggs, cool little tidbits left in the game for fans to find and geek out over. As silly or bizarre as they often are, they're also beloved. That's why we created a list of the 100 best Easter Eggs of all time to show how great they are. Haha, there's a giant rat in Mirror's Edge! And a Final Fantasy 17 poster in Deus Ex! And a memory of children burning to death in Psychonauts... oh my God!
Now, see, that last Easter Egg was a little bit different. It's just as interesting as the others, but less adorable and more mentally scarring. That's a horror Easter Egg, the most gruesome, uncomfortable, and all around messed up type of Easter Eggs that will suck the joy out of your life and replace it with deep and abiding dread. And I have some of my favorites right here, along with a description of where to find them. Oooh, what fun!
Headcrab zombies beg for help (Half-Life 2)
The Egg: If you're like me, the first time you saw a headcrab zombie you didn't stop and listen to its garbled monster wailing. You shot it directly in the not-face, cried in the corner for a few minutes, then kept right on truckin'. In that case, you probably didn't catch that their undead rambling isn't mindless and they're actually saying something. Which is good, because you would have been crying in the corner way longer. Turns out, beneath their meaty groans, these guys are begging you for help, which can only mean the person under that headcrab is still alive and can feel everything that is happening to them. Oh God, I I need a moment.
Where to find it: While these horrifying zombie pleas are easiest to pick out when played in reverse, some can be heard in the game if you pause your crowbarring and listen carefully. I am 99.93% sure I heard one scream "I'm on fire!" after blowing up a propane tank next to it.
WHO ARE YOU RUNNING FROM (Game Boy Camera)
The Egg: Somehow it's so much worse when Nintendo does something creepy. It's as if happy, Mario-filled child memories amplify one's what the everloving hell?? sense when things go weird. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Game Boy Camera, a tiny digital camera that attaches to the--bear with me--Game Boy and comes with its own silly little game for you to play. However, pick the wrong options during that game and you're greeted by one of several distorted, drawn on faces with WHO ARE YOU RUNNING FROM or DON'T BE SO SILLY! written above them while the most demonic music a Game Boy can manage plays in the background. Yeah, uh, game? I'm running from YOU.
Where to find it: From the main menu, click the shoot option, which will--for some reason--bring you into an RPG-style mini-game with a five-option menu of its own. Pick the run option, and while these pixelated demons might not show up on the first go, they'll appear soon enough. And give you nightmares.
Dead Elizabeths (BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea)
The Egg: If you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back into you. I'm not sure if that quite covers looking into the ocean and finding several copies of your own corpse staring into the distance with their sightless, dead eyes, but sorry, I got too freaked out and can't remember what I was saying. Anyway, in BioShock Infinite's DLC, Burial At Sea part 2, after Elizabeth discovers something deeply shocking and incredibly spoilery, she has a flashback to sitting in a boat with the Luteces. You were probably too distracted by the Luteces' witty banter to notice, but look closely at the water and you'll find several dead Elizabeths floating in the waves as you pass them by. What the hell?? It certainly makes more sense if you know about the spoiler-that-shall-not-be-named, but that doesn't make it any less messed up.
Where to find it: Just wait for the scene mentioned--you'll know it when you see it--and look in the water immediately to the right of the boat. Of course, this Egg's even easier to spot in slow motion.
Ghost in the mirror (Hitman: Contracts)
The Egg: Agent 47 has seen a lot of things in his day, so finding the ghost of a murdered business man staring at him in the mirror probably won't do much to his psyche. I can't speak for the player, though. In Hitman: Contracts, 47 visits the Thermal Bath Hotel to assassinate a terrorist. While there, he can take a break from his vitally important mission to visit a closed wing in the northeast portion of a hotel, where police (or rather, one policeman--I'm guessing budget cuts were involved) are cleaning up what looks to be a brutal murder scene. 47 can then let himself in and enter the bathroom, where he'll find a bathtub full of blood and a lone mirror. But beware, if he takes a moment to ensure his cueball's properly shined, a ghost appears behind him over the bloody bathtub. Peek-a-BOO!
Where to find it: During the Traditions of the Trade mission, after stealing the master key to the closed wing or picking the lock, 47 can actually find the ghost in any room off this hall. The bloodbath room is probably the most dramatic, but check in others and you can see the ghost wandering around in all his ghoulish glory.
Serial killer clues (Grand Theft Auto 5)
The Egg: If you take a break from running down innocent pedestrians and torturing poor home theater techs for funzies, you might stumble across an interesting message in the Sandy Shores neighborhood of Blaine County: "THERE WILL BE 8" written in creepy, spikey-looking handwriting. While that initially makes no sense, you discover that this message was left by the Infinity Killer Merle Abrahams, who was convicted of murdering eight joggers and recently died in prison. Scouring Blaine County turns up more clues, including a terrifying poem that reveals small details of the murders, including, "Two was fun, Three tried to run, Four called mom." Good freaking God. Following this trail long enough can even lead you to the bodies, and the sad end to this creepy road.
Where to find it: Like I said, these clues are scattered around the GTA world, so it would take some time to explain where they all are. But I may know a guy
The ghost room (Call of Duty: Finest Hour)
The Egg: Call of Duty may have some horrifying stuff in it (did I hear "No Russian"?), but it can hardly be called a horror series. Apparently no one told the team in charge of Call of Duty: Finest Hour, who thought it would be a great idea to insert a creeptastic ghost room in the middle of your struggle against the Germans. Once there, you're treated to a bizarre cavalcade of sights: a running Sherman tank no bigger than a house cat, a human-sized rat in a cage, floating candles and photographs of smiling children hung uncomfortably across the walls. There's also a crib that looks to be empty at first, until the ghost of a young boy appears inside, looks at you, and then marches away. Someone says that this is the creepiest thing they've ever seen, and you're inclined to agree until you realize there's no one there.
Where to find it: Near the beginning of the Underground Passage mission, there's a tunnel with a seemingly impassable door on its right side. Throw two grenades at the door, which will do nothing, then walk up to it and use the action button. Step back and throw another grenade, which will blow up the door, and you'll get to see all the bizarre stuff you want, I guess. Weirdo.
Hanging Luigi (Luigi's Mansion)
The Egg: Remember that thing I said in the youth-scarring Game Boy Camera slide about how creepy stuff seems way worse when Nintendo is involved? It's been a whole six slides and that's still true. Enter the Hanging Luigi Easter Egg, a terrifying image of the other Mario brother hanging by the neck until dead. Basically, at one point Luigi enters a room containing three phones while a storm rages outside. If he hasn't picked up a phone, his shadow will look normal with every lightning strike. However, if he answers the middle phone and lightning lights up the room while he's holding it, his shadow will be hanging several inches off the ground with its arms out to its side like oh. Oh dear. This could just as easily be a glitch, but it seems just intentional enough to get you thinking, which will just freak you out more. Knock that off.
Where to find it: During the blackout that knocks out the mansion's power, head to the telephone room on the third floor. Answer the middle phone when it rings, but don't progress, and just wait for the next lightning strike. Ouch, I think that hit me in the childhood.
Hell hound (Red Dead Redemption)
The Egg: We don't go to Tumbleweed. I think that's how that phrase goes. Or it should anyway, because Tumbleweed in Gaptooth Ridge is both figuratively and literally a ghost town. Abandoned by the living, ghouls roam the town's remaining structures, but none of them are as unsettling and ever-present as the ghost dog. Making itself known through near constant howling, this ghoulish hound can be heard but not seen, since any attempts to find it come up empty. Its barks are the loudest at the town cemetery, where it also can't be found, but at least there's something for your trouble: in a nearby church you'll find the words, "The devil has got into that beast" scrawled on the pulpit in black. Man's best fiend, am I right?
Where to find it: Go to the Tumbleweed church and that's it. Well, that one was easy.
James' dopplegangers (Silent Hill 2)
The Egg: There isn't much in Silent Hill 2 that you wouldn't call horrifying, but I guess I have to hone in a little more than that. How about the fact that a lot of the corpses James finds in his adventure through this terrifying fog-scape look like him? Theeeere we go. Silent Hill has no shortage of creepy dead bodies, and a closer look shows most of them either sporting James' character model, or imitating his fashion sense. Since exactly nothing in SH2 is a coincidence, we have to assume that James' own mind put them there, as a testament to something. I'm not sure what, but I will bet an hour alone in the dark with P.T. that it's really messed up.
Where to find it: Take your pick. That corpse slumped against the fence that you take the apartment building key from? James. The dead guy you find in front of the TV? James. The poor sod collapsed on the lunch table in Toluca Prison from probably the worse meal of all time? I think you get the gist.