They say Red Dead Redemption is haunted, you know. They’ve said it for years now — ghosts exist in the system, devils and spooks and spectors and maybe even a class-5 full-roaming vapour or two.
I’ve never encountered any ghosts in the game myself, but I’ve heard and read enough accounts that I’m willing to believe something spooky is going on.
I still go back to RDR from time to time. I’ve got a playthrough going where I’ve turned off the mini-map (which, as I’ve said before, makes these types of games really cool). I’ll wander around, see what I see. Maybe if I’m feeling like it, I’ll do a story mission.
The size of the world the Rockstar San Diego created is still fairly mindblowing. There are so many things hidden — a month or so ago I came upon a woman kneeling next to a dead body and a horse. She shot herself in the head as I approached.
Many of the more haunting (and haunted) Red Dead tales centre around the ghost-town of Tumbleweed. There are reports enough of its hauntedness that the Red Dead wiki has a whole page dedicated to rumours about “paranormal” occurrences. Highlights include:
- At a unknown time of day, footprints appear on the stairs to the cellar in the mansion. if the game is paused, they can clearly be seen.
- On the first floor of the saloon, a lantern in the corner is floating but you can still destroy it.
- At 4:03 in the cellar a faint “How do you do?” can be heard. This is proven on many YouTube videos.
- In the middle window of one side of the church in the bottom right frame appears to be a Satanic looking face. It is hard to make out at first, but is definitely there if one gets the view right. Whether this is a common window texture that coincidentally appears like this or not is currently unknown.
And maybe the spooookiest…
- In the white bunker house, at night on multiplayer, a white ghoulish figure can be seen in the top window. some gameplay suggests that it is watching the player. When you enter that room upstairs, there is nothing there except a floating lamp.
Over at Kill Screen, Jason Johnson set out in search of ghosts in Red Dead Redemption. He wrote a fun article in which he ponders what it even means for there to be ghosts in a digital creation — after all, many of these just sound like bugs. What do bugs and ghosts have in common? Are we in The Matrix? Etc.
Right before he’s ready to give up and call off his paranormal investigation into Tumbleweed, something legitimately scary happens. “After a few minutes,” he writes, “I did hear voices. I ran through the halls, looking for ghosts, but the rooms were empty. In the upstairs bedroom, my character started freaking out, pointing his shotgun at thin air and screaming, ‘I’ll kill you.’”
I couldn’t see anything, as I was still facing the door, but I heard a voice right there. So, I decided to try to shoot through the door, and a body fell dead on the floor. I turned around and looted it, just to make sure that it had really happened. At some point, a cluster of bats erupted from a hole in the ceiling. There in the blackness, I saw a pale figure standing, which was barely visible, but clearly staring at me. I killed it too.
I moved forward, into an unknown corridor of the house, where two ghostly men, each dressed in gentlemen’s attire, waited. One of them said something to the extent of “You’re going to die.” And, sure enough, I did. They started firing, and I was too weirded-out to do anything about it. My silhouetted corpse collapsed in a black lump.
Now. I’m not actually spooked out by this story. And I’m not actually going to go back to Red Dead Redemption and see if I can see this stuff for myself.
But OK, yes, I kind of am.
Black Undead Damnation [Kill Screen]
Tumbleweed [Red Dead Wiki]