The open world sandbox Minecraft has been steadily rising in popularity since its release in 2009. Having just recently surpassed Fortnite as the most searched video game on both Google and YouTube, players are returning to their blocky roots and revisiting the game. The added visibility given to Minecraft by high-profile channels like PewDiePie have also helped its recent resurgence in popularity. But players who haven’t touched the game in ten years may be surprised by just how creepy the simple building sim actually is.
Though the target audience for Minecraft has predominantly been younger gamers, players of all ages have enjoyed building anything they can imagine. However, having almost no limits on your creativity can be both a blessing and a curse. Because while the brightly colored blocks and interesting landscapes seem cheery, there are horrors lurking all over Notch’s dream world. And as well-versed players know, the happy landscape can turn into a nightmare in a matter of seconds. Here are some of the creepiest things we found in Minecraft.
Creepy skeleton horses
The day/night cycle in Minecraft is essential to a player’s experience in survival mode. You can only stray so far from a safe place during daylight hours, or you’ll risk getting caught out in the open at night. This is especially true when darkness falls and you find yourself lost in a forest full of creepers. But even during the day, scary things can be found.
Veteran players know that sleep can help get them through the monster-filled nights. But the only other time players have the ability to sleep is during thunderstorms. This is because horrors are present during these weather anomalies as well. During a thunderstorm, if lightning strikes a horse, it will create an eerie skeleton horse. And while these horses can be tamed, you just might find the rest of your animals running scared if you bring it back to your homestead. As creepy as the animal is, it definitely makes an impression for any player found riding one into battle.
Discs 11 and 13 feature some creepy music
If you only play Minecraft in survival mode, you may not be very familiar with the jukebox. Because it serves no essential purpose in the progression of your survival game, crafting a jukebox may be more effort than it’s worth. But for those who have and then listened to the available in-game audio discs, there are some strange stand-outs.
Discs 11 and 13 have long been a mystery. While the other discs contain catchy music created by C418, Discs 11 and 13 are eerie and out of place. It’s also worth noting that disc 12 doesn’t exist in the current version of the game, which gives players even more reason to be suspicious of its bookend discs. Disc 13 contains eerie ambient music, while Disc 11 doesn’t have any music at all. Instead, 11 holds the sounds of heavy breathing, running, and blocks breaking. Many have theorized that when played together, 11 and 13 create a fuller picture of this mysterious story. Perhaps Disc 12 would complete it.
Minecraft’s terrifying paintings
Good interior design has become something of a badge of honor for many Minecraft players. Numerous YouTube videos show incredible structures with elaborate designs. To help them decorate, Minecraft offers a number of pre-made paintings. And while some of these seem innocent enough, others are downright creepy.
All of the paintings in Minecraft were painted in real life by creator Notch’s then brother-in-law, Kristoffer Zetterstrand. After he had painted these scenes, the images were pixelated and placed into Minecraft as decorations for players to use in their designs. Some of the available paintings are only portions of what Zetterstrand created, and others are so pixelated that the original picture is all but gone. With paintings of a little girl holding a pig, a skeleton in a boat, and a reference to Grim Fandango, plus one called Skull on Fire, many of them are unsettling at best and nightmare-inducing at worst.
The creepy woodland mansions
As creepy as the enemies in Minecraft may be, they only show up at night, giving you a brief respite. Illagers, on the other hand, are enemies that can show up out of the blue and destroy a player’s city with no warning. And while trying to take on a raid single-handedly can be a task too monumental for many players, there are other ways to handle your Illager problems.
By obtaining a woodland map from a cartographer, players can locate the woodland mansions. These mansions are huge, imposing structures that house all of the nightmare monsters you’ll find during the night, in addition to dozens of Illagers. But the residents of these woodland mansions aren’t the scariest thing you’ll find. The mansions themselves are sprawling mazes with unsettling architecture. With staircases that lead to nowhere and jail cells, the woodland mansions seem more like the Winchester Mystery House than a Minecraft structure. Add to this the giant wool shrines that the Illagers have made in their likeness, and you’ve got more than enough reasons to stay away from these homes.
The Elder Guardian
Monuments (also called Water Temples) are infamous for being incredibly difficult to conquer. The structures are surrounded by spikey, one-eyed fish known as Guardians, who zap the life force from your character at an alarming rate. Because of the level of difficulty involved in raiding one of these structures, many players would leave them alone all together, if it weren’t for the fact that they’re the only place you can find sponges in the game.
Trying to traverse an underwater structure provides many difficulties logistically. Without a water-breathing potion, it’s basically impossible for players to make much progress in these temples. But even if you manage to get one, you’ll have to defeat the Elder Guardian before you can mine the sponges found there. Not only is the Elder Guardian a larger and more terrifying version of the Guardians, but he also sends out a ghostly version of himself to startle you and prevent you from mining. This obviously poses a problem if your sole purpose in entering a water temple was to mine sponges.
Creepy abandoned mine shafts
Some biomes in Minecraft are so rare that many casual players never even know they exist. The Badlands Biome is one of these. With multicolored terracotta layers and mines as far as the eye can see, these biomes are stunning to behold. The only problem with their strange beauty is that the numerous abandoned mine shafts found there are incredibly eerie. The spiderwebs and monster spawners that litter these biomes make an otherwise interesting trek something from a nightmare.
If abandoned mine shafts weren’t creepy enough on their own, two players decided to explore one in an extreme way. Playing on a custom made map, these guys found themselves in what can only be described as a Minecraft horror movie. With unsettling sounds, lights that turned on and off sporadically, and jump scares galore, their video is enough to keep you out of custom maps for life. It’s also enough to give you pause the next time you stumble across an abandoned mine shaft. Maybe the gold ore isn’t worth it after all.
Secret rooms under igloos
Like the Badlands Biomes, Ice Planes Biomes are relatively scarce in the world of Minecraft. Where deserts and forests abound, these frozen landscapes can be a surprising sight for any player. Among much else, they contain igloos, which are not found in any other terrain. But despite how welcoming and cozy as these igloos may seem, they hide a dark secret deep beneath their floors.
Inside of the igloos, players can find a trap door that will lead them deep into the ground. The room at the bottom of the seemingly endless chute contains a strange assortment of sights. A chest that often contains apples can be found in one corner, while a brewing stand sits on a table. But the oddest thing in this room are the two cages on the far side of the enclosure. In one cage, a normal villager is locked up. In the other, a zombie growls at you. With the provided potions and apples, players can either return the zombie to the land of the living or open the his cage and let him eat the villager.
The witches of Minecraft will terrify you
Unlike some of the rarer biomes in Minecraft, swamps are pretty common. Just like forest biomes, these semi-aquatic expanses are a dime a dozen and rarely hold anything too out of the ordinary. But if you do manage to stumble across a seemingly abandoned house in the middle of a swamp, you may want to think twice before entering the structure. If the eerie laugh emanating from within the walls wasn’t enough to keep you away, the possibility of death might do it.
Swamp huts are small squat structures. And while they may not be as imposing as a woodland mansion, they contain equally as deadly threats. These swamp huts are home to witches and their black cats. Even though the idea of taking on a single enemy doesn’t seem very intimidating, the witch’s fighting style may prove to be your undoing. Witches will throw bottles of potions at players that make you too weak to withstand the witch’s attacks. The fact that their swamp huts blend so well into the environment might mean that you only notice the structure once you’re already unwittingly engaged in combat.
An inexplicable gathering of creepy animals
Not all horrors found in MInecraft are zombies and terrifying structures. Sometimes, even the simplest things can spook you. Take, for instance, the scene that Redditor Afnanhafidz caught one day on their map. All of Afnanhafidz’s animals decided to take a sightseeing tour to the same spot in his settlement for no known reason. Gathering at the edge of a cliff, the animals simply stared out over the open expanse.
Afnanhafidz posted his photo to Reddit to share the creepy encounter and see if anyone else had experienced this phenomenon. Because it’s difficult enough to get your Minecraft animals to go where you want them to in the first place, it would be difficult to stage this photo. The second you get one animal into place they immediately start wandering off again. And while players can’t be certain something sinister is going on here, it’s probably safe to say that it’s 100% ghosts who are responsible.
The Endermen are the creepiest creatures of Minecraft
One of the most mysterious and consistently unsettling things found in Minecraft are the Endermen. Though there have been countless theories about what these creatures actually do and what their backstories are, there is yet to be any official confirmation of their purpose. These tall, dark figures resemble the creepypasta chracter Slenderman, one of the scariest creations of modern horror fiction. Endermen are the only other creature besides the player who has the ability to pick up blocks. They can often be found stealing parts of your home while speaking in their jumbled and frightening language.
While Endermen are described as a "neutral" mob who won’t attack players unless provoked, they are easily triggered. You can avoid attacking an Enderman, but if you look at one of these long-limbed creatures for too long, they’ll become threatened and attack you. This process can only be described as terrifying. The Enderman will unhinge its jaw and teleport after you as it tries to kill you. And while other mobs in Minecraft can be easily pacified by running away, an Enderman will chase you until you die or they are distracted by another enemy or threat.
Phantoms haunt you when you forget to sleep in Minecraft
With all of the in-game horrors of Minecraft, some players may be surprised that one of the biggest antagonists for their blocky avatar is a real-world horror: insomnia. If a player in Minecraft hasn’t slept for several virtual days, a creature called a Phantom will spawn at night to hunt them down.
Phantoms are described as being attracted to insomnia and take out their infatuation in a violent manner. More than likely, players will hear a Phantom before they see it. Because this mob spawns at high altitudes, they’re easy to miss as they circle overhead, ready to attack your unsuspecting character. But the creepy sounds they emit are usually the first clue that you’ve got trouble on your hands. While Phantoms can be slain by traditional methods, they’re often difficult to hit because of their ability to fly. The best way to avoid these creepy night-flyers is to make sure you’re consistently getting good sleep. In fact, that’s a good rule of thumb for dealing with most horrors.
Shipwrecks and The Drowned are pretty intense for Minecraft
The underwater content in Minecraft has seen new developments recently. The new mobs and structures in the endless expanses of ocean are both exciting and scary. And while underwater combat is evolving into something better than it was, the existence of these now-prevalent mobs has made scavenging shipwrecks more difficult.
Still, it’s exciting to find a shipwreck in Minecraft. Players know that they’ll find multiple treasure chests on board, and the possibility of finding a treasure map is enough to make most players drop whatever they were doing beforehand. But the image of a large wooden structure underwater can be a bit eerie. The sight alone instills unease, but this is only doubled by the possibility of encountering the underwater mob known as The Drowned. These zombie-like creatures may hunt you on their own or travel in packs, making fighting them much more difficult. The peril is only made worse when the shipwreck is so far under the water that you’ve used up all of your oxygen on a one-way trip.
Online trolls are the ultimate in creepy experiences
Vanilla Minecraft contains enough startling and unsettling content on its own. But throw in multiplayer and custom maps and skins, and the possibility for scares is multiplied infinitely. Combined, they’ve provided endless entertainment for viewers; but one YouTuber took things to another level.
Applying a skin that made him look like Jeff the Killer, YouTuber RageElixir decided to troll some people in his Minecraft server. Making himself invisible and using some cheats to make his innocence even more believable, RageElixir followed his friends around and killed them randomly. He also proceeded to start fires and even change the weather. Every once in a while, RageElixir would remove the invisibility from his character to reveal creepypasta character Jeff the Killer standing among the frightened gamers. And while his antics are entertaining to watch now, we wouldn’t want to be in that server while the whole thing was going down.
The Nether is a pure creepfest
The Nether is one of the scariest places in Minecraft. The fiery abyss is rife with monsters and various threats that can mean instant death to an unprepared player. The location itself gives off an incredibly creepy vibe, but this atmosphere is only intensified by the Nether’s off-putting mobs.
Some of the deadly and creepy mobs in The Nether include the Ghast, blaze, magma cubes, and withered versions of your typical enemies. Even the zombie pigmen, who are technically considered a neutral mob, are still scary down here. Add to this the normal hostile mobs you’d find in the overworld, and you have a handful of reasons to stay out of The Nether at all costs.
Players who do find themselves in need of a way to quickly travel across the map will often built safe tunnels within The Nether to make their trip a bit less deadly. But even if you survive, you may never get rid of the mental scars The Nether inflicts. Just make sure you don’t cross paths with a Ghast.