‘Ouija’ Isn’t the Only Game in Town: 5 Scary Sleepover Games That Are Ripe for the Movies

By  · Published on July 17th, 2014


Universal Pictures

In my long-ish and varied history of attending childhood sleepovers (from birthday parties to random Saturday nights, hotly attended events to just hanging with my best friend), I somehow managed to avoid playing most of the creepy games that make up the “scary sleepover game” oeuvre. Most of them. I had to play once. It was horrible. It was Bloody Mary. I was ten. And it definitely instilled in me a vague but still life-long aversion to looking in mirrors in dark bathrooms. At the time, I definitely thought, this is a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t participate. Guess what! It was a bad idea.

Horror films that tap into that kind of stuff – that sort of personal connection – are usually the ones that scare us the very most, which is why I’m pretty excited that I never dabbled in Ouija board-playing, because Stiles White’s upcoming Ouija (about a possibly murderous “spirit board”) could then have the power to send me screaming out into the night. As is, it just looks kind of scary to me (but if you played with a board as a kid, the film could effect you quite differently). But there sure are plenty of other scary sleepover games that could translate well enough to the big screen, leaving terrified teens in their wake. How many of these games have you played?

Light As a Feather, Stiff As a Board

Yeah, yeah, The Craft already did this one pretty damn memorably, but you know what that difference was there? Those girls were actual witches. Why not an entire film about idiotic teens trying to lift up their lightest pal thanks to the powers of chanting? But then it really is ghosts who are helping them out? How about a lift gone wrong? This is simple stuff, you guys. We could write this in the comments right now.


Most scary sleepover games are all about trickery – especially body trickery – and Sandbags (also known in some circles as Sandman) is no different. Basically, you lay down on the floor and your friends try to make you feel like your body is filled with sand. Hey, kids are weird. When Sandbags works, it works well – you’ll try to get up and suddenly feel really heavy, as if you were filled with, dun dun dunnn, actual sand. Then, what, you don’t feel like you’re made out of sand again? How long does this take? This is frightfully nebulous, and it’s basically begging for a fresh injection of some mythos.

Bloody Mary

Feel free to do this one without me, guys. Seriously, just head on into that bathroom and say “bloody Mary” three times and then come on out. We’ll eat ice cream then. Easy! Bloody Mary is indeed easy, and it’s all about trickery and the hive mind. Did you see it? Did you see her? AHHHH! It’s the perfect sleepover game – it doesn’t require anything special, it’s best with a large group and it will keep you awake for hours. Why not go totally straightforward with this one? You can picture the movie already, can’t you? It’s a sleepover, and it’s fun, and then someone gets sucked into the mirror. Can you get them out? Who knows?

Baby Blue

A riff on the Bloody Mary game, Baby Blue is horrifying, weird stuff. Is no one monitoring their children here? If you’re not familiar with the game, it involves standing in a dark bathroom (it always involves standing in a dark bathroom) and repeating things at a mirror. Like Sandbags, though, the game also hinges on some body trickery – you have to hold your arms out while repeating “baby blue, blue baby,” and your arms will grow heavy with the growing “baby” that suddenly fills them. If you can’t get rid of the baby fast enough (you flush it, because you are in a bathroom), the baby’s mother will pop out of the mirror and murder you. Fun!


Oh, nevermind.


If you’re still anticipating Ouija, take a look at the film’s trailer below. The film opens this Halloween. Just put the planchette down, okay?