During my sophomore year of high school, I occasionally went on camping trips with a few friends to a place called Sunset State Beach in California. We would always play Poker when it got dark to pass the time.
I was with two of my friends (I'll call them B and Z) the night it happened. B had gone to the bathroom while Z and I were getting the everything ready to play Poker when out of the forest comes this guy. He had a huge beard and was wearing a backpack. He looked like he lived outside and smelled even worse.
Z and I stared at him because he walked directly toward us. Occasionally, a camper or two would walk through our site to get down to the beach for a night hike or something and we would think nothing about it. Not this time.
This guy fucking SITS DOWN right next to us and greets us happily. We just sat there, sort-of paralyzed in fear. We were like sixteen years old and had no idea what to do. I assume B saw what was going on from a distance, because he turned his flashlight off as he approached to avoid being detected by this weird guy.
He said his name was Roger, but his friends called him Bryan. I think he said his full name was Roger Bryan King. He said he used to be a computer programmer or a video game developer or something before he decided to take a "vacation."
At this point, B had been standing a few feet away and approached us cautiously. I don't know why he didn't run away right then and there. I know probably would have. Anyway, we all agree that we pretty much decided we were going to die at that point or this guy was at least going to TRY to kill us.
He was acting way too weird and happy-go-lucky for us to be comfortable. We asked "Bryan" what company he worked for and he replied, "A small one," and sort of laughed it off. We asked him about the games he's worked on and things like that, but he kept beating around the bush and avoiding answering the questions.
Finally, he asked to play Poker with us. We were scared as fuck, so we said yes. At the time, I think B was trying to encourage the situation to be be funny, but it got pretty un-funny soon. Before we started to play Poker, this guy told us a story about how he found a body in the wods or something. Weird.
We all put in money and this guy said he had none. We all insisted he didn't need any, but he said he'd feel guilty if he didn't pay up. He sat there and thought for a few seconds before starting to go through his backpack.
At first, I was fucking ready to bolt, but he started to explain to use that he had a "test copy" of a PC game he'd worked on and kept with him because it brought bad luck or something. We all laughed at the story, including him, but he got all serious and said we could never play the game if we won it. We only keep it as a souvenir from meeting him.
He laughed for a REALLY long time and said he was just kidding. I know this story seems stupid and unbelievable because anyone would have run from him, but this guy was really charismatic. He was nice. Even the weird dead body story he told us interested us to some extent.
He laughed a lot and, through all the weird shit he did, I guess we all figured if we ran he'd just kill us faster. So we're playing Poker and it gets down to me and him left with around the same amount of chips. This guy was raping our chips the ENTIRE game and played with such skill and precision that I'd believe he was a pro player...then he starts losing.
He makes stupid moves and bets WAY too much on single pairs, two pairs, and even nothing. He plays it off like he's bluffing but my friends both agree that "Bryan" was throwing the game. Of course, as expected, I eventually won.
He stood up, shook my hand, and said "Thank you." This is when we were fucking scared. Out of NOWHERE, he started crying and walked away back into the dark as shit forest. Needless to say, we packed up our stuff and took the four-hour drive home.
The whole way, when I wasn't driving, I stared at the $30 and the CD in my hand. It was in a little plastic jewel case and covered in dirt - at least I hope it was dirt. On the CD, there was handwriting I couldn't understand on it. I'm pretty sure it said "Coffin Box" or "Coffee Shop" or something. It was C-something and then a short, faded and scribbly word. As soon as we got to B's house, we got drunk and passed out playing some racing game I can't remember the name of.
When I woke up, they were still asleep. I looked at the time and it turns out we had slept through an entire next day and it was night again. I woke them up and, long story short, we decided to go see what that game was at my house. I invited my best friend (I'll call her N) over because she knew WAY more about PC games than me.
She shows up and we pop in the disc. The first thing that showed up was a window with no text and an OK confirmation box. I was worried it was a virus, but I was going to get a new motherboard soon anyway, so I clicked it.
As soon as I clicked it, Windows Media Player opened and started playing this loud, blaring sound. It was so buzzy and filled with bass that you couldn't even hear what was going on. I turned it down and it turned out to be some sort of low, ominous "boom" sound.
It sounded like a heartbeat slowed down ten times and lowered in pitch. After the WMP thing was taken care of, we went to the game window. It was VERY VERY small. You had to squint and get really close to the screen to see anything. All there was was an endless forest with a bunch of what I assume was fog, because it made the whole "map" fade.
It was this third-person point and click adventure, but at the same time there was a crosshair you couldn't move around. The graphics were sort of 3D, but everything looked more like boxes. The scenery was definitely a forest, though.
Eventually, you come up to a cabin. The cabin was very scary to me, since I'm scared of two things, one of them being creepy cabins in the forest.
You approach the cabin and WMB turns itself off. The game starts playing the music on its own. At this point, the cabin is tiny and it's hard to tell where the door is. As you get closer to the cabin, the blary music stops and a weird 8-bit groaning starts. It kind of sounds as if a NES game tried to emulate a realistic groaning sound.
The game felt more like an interactive movie because all you did was walk until you got to a cabin, then approached it, but the door was too small to see. The window was about maybe 1/32 of the entire monitor, and all of us were huddled around my 1240x680 screen trying to see what was going on, when...
BAM! A weird scream played and the window maximized. At this point, we were all laughing at each other for jumping like little bitches, but we got quiet again and tried to find the door.
I pressed left to strafe around the house and the music got really weird when I passed the windows. It was sort of like someone was talking, or at least trying to talk, through them in a weird "singing" groan.
Suddenly, the screen went blank and the music stopped for a second. It loaded up a low-res picture of a cabin interior hallway with a set of stairs to the right. You could see a woman standing at the top of the stairs.
She was wearing a peach-colored dress and had really white skin. Her eyes were completely black and looked kind of sunken, but I couldn't tell. At this point, everyone was silent. The girl fell down the stairs. This wouldn't have been scary if it was an animation, but it was like a strange, realistic stop-motion body falling limp and rolling down a set of stairs. When she reached the bottom, you could see a face in her dress and I realized it was made out of skin.
We all pretty much didn't want to play anymore. I clicked and pressed buttons and got the fuck out of there. Eventually, I found a back door to a lake and got into some kind of boat or canoe. The view shifted to an overhead view and I must have rowed for two minutes out in the lake until I saw a huge shadow come under the canoe.
There was some other really low-pitched sound, then a high pitched squealing sound. Then the screen said "END." That faded away and the option "REPLAY" came up with "Y/N?" I pressed Y and hit enter. The screen cut to say "INSERT DISC 3."
I never played the game again because my other phobia is open water. The game seemed to be forged out of my own fear. It scares me just writing this and I hope I find the disc one day to analyze/share the game. B, Z, and N don't talk about it much, either, except to tell the story at parties and stuff.
I know "Bryan" is out there laughing his fucking head off somewhere in the forest.