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The heartbreaking origin of the paranormal elevator game

Horror movies, true crime podcasts and city legends are ways to experience fear in controlled circumstances. Of particular interest are urban legends that combine ancient myths and folklore with the technology and culture of the present.

I find it fascinating because it really shows how folklore is always adapting to new technologies and media, and is not a relic of the past.

– Anthropologist Jamie Tehrani by the BBC

Urban legends exist all over the world and are usually driven by a desire to understand our reality through fiction or even fear. While some urban legends like Bigfoot may not be too scary, others like Slender Man or Bloody Mary are paranormal stories that are hilariously scary.

The “Elevator Game” (also known as “Elevator to Another World” or “The Ritual of the Elevator”) is another paranormal urban legend. The legend depicts an extremely specific process that enables a person to travel by elevator to another dimension.

| ZWARCIE / YouTube

The elevator game is so specific that “players” are warned that if any step is performed incorrectly, the “ritual” will either not work or will have catastrophic consequences.

The steps to travel to another dimension include finding an elevator in a building with at least ten floors and a small number of people. Almost like adding to the haunted ‘game’ effect, it’s ruined if someone else presses the elevator button.

Once you’ve found the elevator you want, there’s a series of nine concrete steps to finally climb to the tenth floor where, if done correctly, you’ll enter another dimension.

| ZWARCIE / YouTube

Of course, not only do you have to watch out for other people accidentally using the elevator, but legend has it that when you reach the fifth floor, a ghost can come with you to the elevator. You must ignore the spirit at all costs.

The second dimension mentioned in the legend is not necessarily one specific goal. However, the legend says that you can say that you have entered a new dimension because you will be alone, no electronic devices will work and all you will see is a red cross in the distance.

| ZWARCIE / YouTube

Then there is an equally specific method of returning to our world, with the same number of warnings and rules that must be followed to ensure a safe journey.

| ZWARCIE / YouTube

The city legend is even transformed into a supernatural horror movie, A game with an elevatorwhich is rumored to be in production.

A game with an elevator follows the socially awkward teenager Ryan (Gino Anania), who discovers that on the night of his sister’s disappearance, she played “The Elevator Game” – an elevator ritual in which players try to travel to another dimension using a set of rules that can be found on the Internet. Ignoring the warnings, he decides to follow her and find her.

– Summary of the Bloody Abomination A game with an elevator

A game with an elevator poster

But where did this popular, ominous urban legend come from? Many people believe that the elevator game first appeared in South Korea in early 2010. Although Elevator Game does not originate in South Korea, the popularity of the urban legend was fueled around 2014 by many posts on sites such as Daum and Naver.

The earliest record of the game is from Japan, around 2008. Unlike the newer version of the elevator game, the starting city legend stops when the elevator door opens to the tenth floor.

This ending – a short, sharp, sudden stop – is common in Japanese ritual-based urban legends …

[It’s] a choice that leaves the reader guessing; allows the imagination to fill in the blanks; and, especially in the case of games that are supposed to take players to other worlds, supports the reality constructed in legends. The reason why the instructions just stop is because we don’t know what’s happening next; there was no one to tell us. Those for whom the rituals have succeeded have disappeared from our world, and since then no one has heard of them.

– Ghost Machine

| Draw life TikTak / YouTube

Circulation of this urban legend in 2008 actually testifies to where the urban legend came from. Urban legends are usually people’s way of trying to conceptualize the world around them, especially as a means of processing frightening and sometimes seemingly inexplicable events. The elevator game is no exception.

In 2006, a massive investigation was conducted into the production of elevators in Japan following the Minato Ward accident. In June 2006, a 16-year-old student was killed after using an elevator operated by SEC Elevator Co Ltd.

| Draw life TikTak / YouTube

The investigation revealed that both the elevator manufacturer and the maintenance team were responsible for not taking appropriate precautions.

The faulty elevators were replaced after the accident, but there was still concern over the years over the use of elevators in Japan.

Although investigation suggested that faulty cracks, loose bolts, and poor maintenance were the cause of the accident as the elevator moved upward without being called while its door was still open killing a student, The Elevator Game has become an urban legend for the public to try to cope with accident.

| Draw life TikTak / YouTube

Of course, instead of worrying that the elevator you traveled was poorly maintained, it’s easier to believe that if you don’t follow a certain set of instructions, nothing paranormal or out of the ordinary will happen to you.


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