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Old 06-22-2016, 04:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Miskatonic University
Posts: 10,257
Is this "ritual" from The Wyoming Incident ARG really "dangerous"?

The Wyoming Incident is an Alternate Reality Game that started almost a decade ago in 2006. It's not really important to the question, but if you want background, there's a 44 minute video on the subject by Night Mind here.

In said video, at the timestamp 22:22 he mentions a "ritual" the game asked the players to do. He says "It involves [...] doing some things we're not going to talk about, because what was suggested as part of this ritual is *legitimately dangerous* on many levels, and I'm not joking about that."

Now, obviously it's not going to summon any spooky spirits, but on the occasion I hear The Wyoming Incident mentioned, someone always brings up how "dangerous" this ritual is. Another example is in this forum post I found talking about it. But in general, even on other forums and chat rooms I've visited, people feel a need to mention this "dangerous" ritual they tried to get people to do.

Eventually I got curious, so I tracked the original post detailing the ritual in question down.

Here is the relevant part (sorry for the >, I originally wrote this in Markdown intending to post it somewhere else before I decided it wasn't a good fit for that site. Markdown uses those for quotes):

> You are to do this alone. Turn off the lights in the room you choose
> to do this in. The only sounds should be outside noises, your own
> breathing, and music that you choose yourself. The music must unnerve
> you in some way or another. Do not play the music anywhere near full
> volume. Playing it faintly works best.
> If you can, I suggest you loop one of the videos on your pc or, if you
> have burned them to a DVD for some reason, over your television. This
> is not necessary, though it is extremely useful.
> There are now two choices you can make: close your eyes/blindfold
> yourself or keep them open. Generally speaking, the closing of eyes is
> the most effective, but results vary.
> If you keep your eyes open, face a doorway or window. The door may
> only stay open if the hallway outside of it is dark and mostly empty.
> If not, it stays closed. Focus on the doorway/window. Imagine
> something horrible opening it or busting it down if it is closed. If
> you have the hallway, imagine a figure slowly walking down it towards
> you. If you face a window, imagine something staring it at you.
> Imagine something trying to claw its way in. Focus and imagine.
> If you keep your eyes closed, face away from any doors. Placing
> yourself so that you face a corner is best. Imagine something sneaking
> up behind you. Imagine some hurting you while you are in this
> vulnerable position. Imagine the wonder and sadness your relatives
> will feel as they find your corpse in a dark room, hunched over in a
> corner. Blood covers the wall.
> Imagine stuff that bothers you. Imagine stuff that makes you nervous.
> Imagine all of the ways you could possibly be hurt while doing this.
> Imagine the freak possibility of some unrelated, deranged killer
> slitting your throat during this ritual. Imagine.
> Force yourself to stay in this position.
> You will eventually feel a great sense of relief. In one shining
> moment, you will know that everything will be okay. You will know that
> you will live. It will be relief in its purest form.
> [...]
> If this feeling of hope does not happen within thirty-minutes, you can quit.
It certainly doesn't sound fun, and if you suffer from some sort of clinical anxiety or paranoia I can certainly see how it may cause an episode, which would be rather unpleasant. But I'm skeptical that this is "dangerous" to anyone who doesn't have something like serious PTSD, in any real way. Is there any reason to suspect that doing this could actually do lasting damage, trigger a suicidal/self harming episode, or anything worthy of calling it "dangerous"?

Even the Happy Cube forum (the forum where this ARG was run) has a followup post later on mentioning not to do it if you have "anxiety issues". I just feel skeptical that this is really harmful. I mean, any more harmful than playing Bloody Mary at least.
Old 06-22-2016, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 32,677
I do not see anything that is dangerous in that. And I'm rather well-versed in anxiety stuff. In fact, imagining a scary scenario is sometimes a part of therapy, and the "relief" they describe sounds like flooding--the idea that your brain gets tired of being anxious if you keep exposing it.

It's basically just a sort of self-hypnosis/visualization. I can't see how it would be dangerous unless you were moving around and might bump into things, or are not in a secure position and fall over.
Old 06-22-2016, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 21,553
Not dangerous at all unless you're seriously mentally ill or extremely suggestible with deep seated superstition issues.
Old 06-22-2016, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 6,568
It's safe as long as you don't say Bloody Mary three times.
Old 06-22-2016, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,559
Maybe it's dangerous if a serial killer reads your FB post announcing your intentions to do it tonight. I mean, easy pickings, right?

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