A play called Ghost Stories ran in London from 2010 to early 2015. It was an 80 minute long piece of live horror theatre, with no intermission. One of those ones where you’re not allowed to say what happens, in case you spoil it for anyone who might want to see it in the future. The worst moments in Ghost Stories weren’t jump scares, but the long moments beforehand. Moments suffused with an ever present, dreadful feeling that something horrible was about to happen.
Ghost Stories was written by Jeremy Dyson, the fourth and usually invisible member of The League of Gentlemen, and Andy Nyman, the magician slash actor who frequently co-creates Derren Brown’s shows. I didn’t realise until I was told afterwards, but those moments of inescapable tension were accompanied — or created — by a constant low bass sound played over the speakers. Get Even, which I was told is also written by people who’ve worked with Derren Brown, does the same thing.
I spent most of the preview build exploring: exploring abandoned buildings; exploring a horrible and re-purposed psychiatric hospital; exploring memories from an obscure past. The audio work on the game is really very good: footsteps echo loudly, doors creak, wires crackle. Empty rooms with broken windows sound cold. And at semi-regular intervals there is that humming bass noise, getting louder and louder. Surely, the noise tells you, it would be stupid to walk through this door, surely something calamitous will occur! And then, more often than not, nothing does. Maybe the lights flicker off, or there’s a guard idly smoking.
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