Connect with us


12 Free-to-Play Horror Games for Halloween



QUO - Within the Backrooms

Try These Creative Horror Games for Free

Horror games come in many shapes, many sizes, and a whole range of different terror levels. There are your giants of the genre like Resident Evil, the darlings of the indie side with Amnesia, but in between and outside of the more prevalent series there’s a plethora of incredible little horror experiences. Whether you’re on a budget, or simply just want a quick and easy way to get into a bunch of games, there’s a lot of quality to be found in free downloadable horror games.

Here we’ll go through a few recommendations, separated into a few sections depending on what sort of game you’re after. We’ve got an incredible resource for terrifying storytelling, RPG Maker Horror, then some basic styles, whether you’re after a 3D Horror or a 2D Horror experience. Then finally a few projects still In Development that is well worth a look at the playable versions.

RPG Maker Horror

Dreaming Mary

Dreaming Mary

Download Dreaming Mary here.

Mary loves to dream, she can even spend the whole day dreaming. One night though, she ends up somewhere very different from her regular dreams. Everyone seems to know her, and they invite her to play with them or ask her to help with various tasks. As she helps more of the denizens of the dream, she’s invited deeper and deeper in. Something terrible seems to be hiding at the core of the dream, and you as the player can either investigate it, or turn your back on it.

A quick little horror experience, but one that sticks with you. It looks adorable on the outside, but the gut punch hidden within the symbolism in the story, as well as some of the endings, gives Dreaming Mary a heavy emotional weight in its short playtime. There are a few different avenues to approach things, and exploring the endings and the corners of the small dream world is thrilling, alongside wanting to find the best way to a good ending for Mary.

Yume Nikki

Yume Nikki

Find Yume Nikki on Steam here.

The iconic Yume Nikki, a source of great inspiration for so many RPG Maker projects that came after it. It’s a surreal, mind-bending adventure down into a pitch-dark world, a tour de force that is rightfully one of the most iconic indie games to ever come out of Japan. Yume Nikki is a unique experience, unlike a traditional RPG in that there’s not a specific goal, nor is there really any action. Instead, the player explores a dark dream world and is left to uncover and decipher what they will from the terrifying imagery and the fantastic locations. Despite there being no real dialogue, Yume Nikki sucks you in immediately, it’s an adventure through the unexplainable.

Yume Nikki has spawned a whole host of fan games and spinoffs, with some of these becoming very well-known and fleshed-out projects (such as Yume 2kki and .flow). It was also a large inspiration behind more recent huge titles, from Omori, to Undertale. Due to how unique the gameplay is and the open-ended nature of the game, it holds up remarkably well even today.

Ao Oni

Ao Oni

Download Ao Oni here.

Another iconic RPG Maker horror, one that probably has a lot more prestige in Japan than it does in the West. Much more structured and traditional in gameplay for these sorts of games, Ao Oni follows a boy named Hiroshi and his friends as they get stuck inside a creepy old mansion. The rumours that it’s haunted turn out to be true, and a large blue demon named ‘Ao Oni’ seals off all exits and begins hunting down the friend group.

The gameplay is regular survival horror fare, searching for items and clues and solving puzzles to progress. The demon however can appear anywhere at any time, and the tension keeps rising as you feel hunted through the dark hallways. After the game came out, it exploded in Japan, turning into a franchise with novels, two films, and an anime stemming from it. With such horrifying designs for the monsters, plus a tense and oppressive atmosphere, it’s easy to see why it caught on.

3D Horror



Find Spiritrest on here.

“For the vanquished, there is no victory as their dreams go wandering over the withered fields.” An enigmatic PSX-style platformer, Spiritrest is a horror gem that’s only recently come out. There’s inspiration from metroidvania games, as well as visually from Dark Souls in areas, and the range of environments is quite impressive. The story is largely unstated, instead derived by the player through the environment, though it is quite simple anyway.

The player is tasked with collecting these little spirits spread far and wide, having to utilize creative platforming mechanics that open up further and further as you unlock more. With each five you collect, the next ability upgrade is unlocked and more opens up for you. Despite not being a very long game, it’s incredibly fun to explore these weird locations and delve deep into dungeons. There’s no combat, instead focusing entirely on traversal. Very worthwhile to pick up, and hopefully lead on to promising new things for the developer Warkus.

Cry of Fear

Cry of Fear

Find Cry of Fear on Steam here.

A classic now, psychological horror game Cry of Fear takes the flexibility of the source engine and builds a cinematic experience that is truly impressive for a free game. Set in a deserted town, the player comes across a host of nightmarish delusions alongside what may or may not be very real creatures hellbent on snuffing you out. Not everything is as it seems, and utilizing some incredible imagery and dreamlike segments the madness can be felt creeping in on every area.

Cry of Fear can be played either in single-player or co-op, and features all that good survival horror stuff from lopsided combat to lateral thinking in puzzles and traversal. Add on some great writing and a story that evolves as you go deeper and deeper, as well as a great sense of pacing and environmental storytelling, and Cry of Fear comes together as an incredible experience. I first encountered this way back during the first Two Best Friends Shitstorm of Scariness, and it’s one of those highlights that I still go back to. Highly recommended.

The Static Speaks My Name

The Static Speaks My Name

Find The Static Speaks My Name on Steam here.

This one will only take around 10 minutes to play, but it leaves a distinct impression. It’s weird, very dark, and keeps a bit of humour hovering at the edges. You play as a man on his last night alive while he obsesses over a painting. Things are vague, but the focus in on mental health issues is very emotionally heavy.

With a unique presentation that keeps things just that little bit out of the norm so as to build a creepy and unsettling vibe, The Static Speaks My Name is a disturbing brainworm that latches on and just won’t let go. But the mental health issues it explores are heavy topics in and of themselves, and pulling no punches (even with the humour on the fringes) makes for the sort of experience you won’t soon forget.

2D Horror

Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion

Spooky's Jumpscare Mansion

Find Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion on Steam here.

Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion is adorable and has a great sense of humour. Walking through the room after room of little mazes, you’ll be jump scared every now and then by cute wooden signs with animals on them. There are 1000 rooms to be explored, with cute terror popping up here and there! Only soon enough the cute start to wear off, and you find yourself frantically running from hideous creatures and powerful entities.

Spooky’s is an incredibly fun game, and whilst the paid version has a lot more content and a new coat of paint (Spooky’s Jump Scare Mansion: HD Renovation), the free original game still has a load of content and gets to this terrifying tense pace as rooms go on, before slowing things down to crank up the unsettling atmosphere. A fantastic game that’s way more than meets the eye, Spooky is adorable and well worth your time.

Flesh Water

Flesh Water

Find Flesh Water on Steam here.

You’re a worker for a pet feeding service, and your newest job is definitely not what you thought it’d be. Tasked with providing a final meal to a strange pet that resides in a swimming pool, keep that pet fed or you may just become the food. Flesh Water is not only a great name but a solid short game that comes with four different endings. With a unique art style and simple gameplay, it’s a great experience to run through.

Despite being a quick game, some sections on replay can be pretty slow, so getting all four endings can feel like a bit of a slog toward the end. Still, an effective spooky atmosphere combined with a fresh story makes for another great free game to pick up and run through when you’ve got that horror itch.



Find Lunaris on here.

A 1-bit space horror platformer, developed in just a week, Lunaris is quick to get into and a cool simple concept. You’ve been sent out to destroy a space station that has become infested with strange alien parasites, and need to find 10 terminals in order to activate the self-destruct sequence. Along the way, you have to manage your oxygen levels, which are drained quickly by the parasites latching on but can be refilled at certain oxygen dispensers.

Quick and easy, able to be played in your browser, and looks great and stylish for a 1-bit game. It’s not about to blow you away, but for a game to just pop open and play through to the end, Lunaris proves to be a bit of fun.

In Development

Another Princess Is In Our Castle

Another Princess Is In Our Castle

Find Another Princess Is In Our Castle on here.

Slender was all the rage for a while in indie horror games; wander an area trying to collect something, spooky thing chases you/appears behind you. It’s a very simple gameplay loop, and for a while, it became very stale. It’s been a minute though since that was so big, and the short and sweet spookfest those sorts of games can provide is still a good time. And here we are at Another Princess Is In Our Castle, mashing together that style of horror with good ol’ Mario.

Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s corrupting something that you originally enjoyed as a child, but Another Princess… is a blast, wandering through Peach’s Castle in first person, listening out for a ghostly Peach searching for her Mario with bloodlust in her eyes. It’s goofy, it’s fun, and there’s a lot of room for interesting stuff as more gets developed. The idea of working in parts of Super Mario 64, revisiting areas around the castle and deeper within, it’s something I hope gets a lot of love in development. It’s a short game, not super scary but still a great time.

Halloween Part II

Halloween Part II

Find Halloween Part II on here.

There’s not much to this game at the moment, but it looks impressive and feels like there’s a lot of potential here. What we have is a teaser basically for a fan game based on the film Halloween Part II, there’s not really much gameplay other than walking from trigger to trigger at the moment, but for what it is it’s pretty good. Michael Myers looks great, the animations are well done along with the visuals, and it’s just a good time diving into a game version of Halloween.

The same developer also did a The Ring game a little while back, again fairly simple but a bit more fleshed out. Sadako Project was a creepy little experience too, but even in its finished state was very short. Stefano Cagnani could be one to watch out for if they keep getting better and better through these film-inspired games.

QUO – Within The Backrooms

QUO - Within the Backrooms

Find QUO – Within The Backrooms on here.

The Backrooms is an overly saturated creepypasta now weighed down by this huge and unnecessary backstory that fans have built behind every little part, adding things nonstop. That being said, the idea behind them is incredible, so naturally, horror games embracing the fantastic liminality alongside the idea of kenopsia can hit things right on the money. For those who don’t know, The Backrooms are based on the idea of ‘clipping out of reality’ and ending up in an endless maze of empty segmented rooms with layouts that just don’t make sense. QUO takes a bit of the extended lore and puts the player in the place of a robot sent in to explore the strange area.

A puzzle game at heart, as most horror games are, QUO builds a creepy atmosphere alongside an enjoyable and appropriate feeling platformer. The weird architecture, and the foreboding feeling of loneliness through the corridors, are perfectly captured. You’re searching for data, both from missing research teams and from the Backrooms themselves. It honestly could have been its own thing, relating to liminal spaces, but it’s perfectly understandable to pull in The Backrooms as the setting. Very excited for seeing how this one fleshes out.

Shane Dover is a Melbourne, Australia based freelance writer contributing to Japanese punk news site Punx Save The Earth, punk publication Dying Scene, Diabolique Magazine and Goomba Stomp. Not just a fan of punk music, he's spent most of his life obsessed with the horror genre across all media, Japanese cinema, as well as pop culture in general. He plays music and writes fiction, check out his Twitter ( for updates on those projects.