top of page

ARTICLE

Horror in Puzzles



You can often find that puzzles have themes incorporated into them which could be science, romance or comedy but the theme specifically being discussed in this article is horror. Horror can be based on the real world, for example, a murder but also fictional that can involve fictional characters that are well known around the world such as Dracula or Frankenstein. Horror puzzles are perfect for the Halloween season as they are meant to be both entertaining as well as scary that matches the whole atmosphere of this holiday and group horror puzzles are especially good for this which could be done at a Halloween party as a potential way to make the party even more of a social experience. They don't have to be just for Halloween though and can be done any time you are in the mood for one but they do seem to match the mood of autumn when the days are shorter and the trees lose their leaves and thus can look scarier and obviously, it will be likely scarier to do a horror puzzle at night than during the day. The aim of horror puzzles is mainly to entertain but there are puzzles that are specifically designed to scare and this means they will have age limits with some for adults only. How scared someone is by this genre of puzzle will be determined by factors such as the puzzle itself, their age, what they are afraid of and the conditions they do the puzzle in. A lot of puzzles could easily be transformed into horror puzzles without changing the actual challenge itself but rather change the design, for instance, transforming monopoly into a horror version of monopoly where the rules and challenges stay the same but the names of the different parts of the board and props of the puzzle change to match the horror theme. There are many types of puzzles that can have the theme of horror incorporated into them but here are some popular examples.


Boardgames can have horror themes that are commonly aimed at families or groups of friends and that can be of differing levels of difficulty or a game where people of various levels of ability can play and all have a chance to win. This kind of activity is often designed to bring people together, although they can be single-player as well, in a way that can be collaborative in which the participants help each other out to complete the game or compete against each other to determine a winner. Horror board games are designed in a way to create a scary atmosphere with the props it contains, the narrative of the board game and the activities it asks you to do. Some of them even have props like slime which can be a way to scare using the touch sense as the more senses you can scare someone with the more immersive and scarier the experience can be. This genre of a board game can often be either a murder mystery in which you try to solve who committed the murder before your opponent or it can be a horror story in which you have to survive the scenario and stop or kill the monster/bad guy before anybody else. Boardgames have an element of luck as there is usually a dice involved and this adds tension to the game as one unlucky roll of the dice can lead to in the case of a horror board game a grizzly demise. The conditions the board game is played in can have a huge impact on how scary it is, as it is with any puzzle, so doing it at night and maybe in candlelight or dim light and surrounded by silence can heighten dramatically how scary the game is and enhance the scares it contains.


Jigsaws in both the 3D and flat versions can have horror themes and there are millions of flat jigsaws out there so you can find all kinds of horror pictures to scare you or find one that could scare someone you know. Regular jigsaws that are flat are just a picture and therefore a horror jigsaw is just a visual scare so therefore you can't surprise the person doing it like you can with other puzzles where you can make them jump with an unexpected noise that comes from the puzzle or scare them by creating a scary atmosphere through a description like in a horror puzzle story or scare them through props that come with a boardgame or escape room. One way you could make the experience of doing a jigsaw scarier is to do it in the evening when it is dark outside and in as dim a light as possible but so you can still do and see the jigsaw and by doing it alone with possibly some scary music as a soundtrack to the experience otherwise the picture alone is not likely to scare you that much. A 3D horror jigsaw could have more ways to scare than a 2D flat jigsaw can because it can be used as a prop or scary ornament to decorate the room during Halloween time. 3D jigsaws can even have lights and in some cases make sounds when fully constructed and this would be a way of making the jigsaw scarier as you would be able to see it in a darkened room and it could make unexpected or eerie noises.


Books naturally lend themselves to the horror genre and puzzle books are no different that can come in such forms as that of a story with a mystery to solve or as questions illustrated with this genre or using horror characters to explain the challenge. Murder mysteries in book form are very popular and have been around for a long time so there will be a wide selection to choose from with varying levels of gore and horror in each of them with the challenge being to figure out using all the subtle or not so subtle clues available who the murderer is before it is revealed. Horror puzzle stories allow for in-depth storytelling so the author can really set a scary mood with detailed descriptions of the setting or the murder act itself or the characters who are potential suspects as well as being able to ratchet up the tension gradually over many pages as the story moves along until it reaches its denouement. Brain teasers and riddles can use themes and illustrations to make the puzzle more appealing and horror is a great way to do this as and brain teasers and riddles can involve short stories which gives room to tell an unsettling or disturbing horror tale. Horror can even be used for brain teasers and riddles aimed at kids as monsters can be done in a cartoon way that makes them seem humorous or even cuddly or friendly. Like with any other horror puzzle a book can be made scarier in the setting you read or listen to it so if you are alone in a dimly lit room as possible but enough light so that you can still read the pages and in an empty house it will likely be a lot scarier than if the opposite was true you and could even add some unsettling background music to try to enhance the scary atmosphere. Audiobooks can also be horror-themed and what distinguishes them from many other puzzles is that they have a narrator so if it is a horror mystery story the narrator can create an eerie atmosphere with the way he speaks or does the voices of the characters and can make surprising unexpected noises to try to make the listener jump. An audio horror puzzle can be listened to in pitch black which would make the experience a lot scarier and something that cannot be done with most horror puzzle challenges.


Real-life challenges that you can participate in such as an escape room or a murder mystery event can have props, actors in costume and a setting to make the activity as realistic and immersive as possible. This activity can have actors, who will likely be key elements of playing and solving the challenge, that you interact with who can either jump out at you or make unsettling noises or movements and add a sense of a fear of the unexpected. The places these events take place at can often be in remote places out of town like in the countryside and in huge manors or hotels but can be inside the building the event is taking place in a claustrophobic environment that has tight spaces in which you don't know what is just around the corner. It doesn't just have to be indoors as they can take place outdoors or even on a vehicle like a train in order to make the experience as realistic or out of the norm as possible. These sorts of activities will likely be by far the most immersive experience in terms of puzzles that you can find as you will be actually participating in the story and have an impact on how it plays out with the decisions you make during the experience. The quality of acting can be a determining factor as can the story itself as to how scary and immersive the experience is and this will likely vary with each one you do. These events are challenges as well as experiences so there is a mystery to be solved and in order to do that, you will often have to interrogate the actors and look for clues and try to piece these clues and information together that should lead to a logical conclusion. It could be that if you make a wrong decision or move then you could be out of the game like in a board game as these events are often essentially board games come to life.


In conclusion, a horror puzzle can take many forms with how scary they are often depending on what scares you in particular but the key to making it as scary an experience as possible is likely the environment it is done in abut if you are looking for the biggest scare then the real-life events are probably the option to take. You should check with a doctor first to see if you can healthwise take a scare, particularly with any challenge that could involve being made to jump by a surprise action.

Comments


1/11

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Astonquis Shop Space on createjigsawpuzzles.com

bottom of page