Red Door, Yellow Door – Ritual?, Paranormal?, or Psychological?

After watching a team trial this out last week it has inspired me to look into this game more…

Red door, Yellow door or “Doors to the Mind” is a game that has Captured the Imagination of popular Social Media Platforms Such as TikTok and YouTube.

Commonly described as “The Worlds Scariest Game” and branded Paranormal by those that have undertaken this challenge – Red Door, Yellow Door is an intriguing game for so many reasons, so it is easy to understand why it has captured the imaginations of Young Social Media Users across the globe. 

So….How do you play? 

This game Involves a minimum of two players.  One Player acts as a guide and the other Player is the fortunate Soul that is placed into a trance (for fun we will call them the Conduit).

The Conduit rests their head comfortably on the lap of the guide with their arms stretched out in front. The guide and anyone else in the room repeatedly chant the words… “ Red Door, Yellow Door,  any other colour Door” as the guide rubs the temples of the Conduit. This phrase is to be chanted over and over until the arms of the Conduit lower and rest by their side. This signals that the Conduit has entered a trance like state and the game begins.  

At this point it is important to note that there appears to be a rather specific set of rules that the Conduit and the guide must follow:

  • You must never enter any Door that is dark in colour
  • You must never walk down a staircase,  only up. 
  • You must not talk to anyone you may encounter
  • If you see a man in a suit or an old lady you must end the game immediately. 
  • If you enter a room with clocks you must end the game immediately. 
  • Never play alone!

So why such a specific set of rules? This is precisely the question that I asked myself and made me think that this game slips neatly into the Psychological sphere…. I will briefly tell you why.  

The human brain is a complex computer with a specific and uniquely designed of way of storing sensory information we encounter in our daily lives. 

Freud’s theory of the human Mind is Split into three levels- The conscious mind , The Preconscious Mind and the subconscious Mind. Freud Likened the human Mind to an iceberg, it floats with one Seventh of its bulk above water (the conscious mind). Consciousness is an individual’s state of awareness of their environment, thoughts, feelings, or sensations; in order to experience consciousness, one must be both awake and aware.

The next level is the preconscious Mind, this deals with stored knowledge and memories and below this, at the very deepest level of consciousness is the unconscious. This is where we store fears, unpleasant memories, violent urges, basically anything that we have encountered either in thought, or acted on that we repress and lock away to protect ourselves. This is the largest Part of the mind and inherently the most dangerous – This is precisely where this game is played and why it so dangerous lies in the darkest corners of your mind.

So,  how does the Psychological argument tie into the rules of the game? 

Well,  the rule I have most seen stressed upon is the rule that you should never play alone, you need your guide to wake you up if you encounter anything that may inflict some sort of trauma. Your guide initially takes you into your trance,  or unconscious mind… and it is their job to get you out. They are your anchor to reality. 

The colour of the doors you enter is of great significance.  Behind darker doors may reside the darker parts of ourselves that we have locked away. 


If you meet a man/women in a dark suit you must end the game immediately – This is where popular psychologist Carl Jungs theory of the shadow self comes into play. The shadow self is the part of ourselves that we supress. The part of ourselves that we don’t like or the part that society wouldn’t agree with.  Anger, hate, jealousy- everything we are that we hide makes up our shadow self. Opening the doors to our shadow self may inflict some kind of mental trauma or unleash memories we aren’t quite prepared to deal with at that time.  

This stage of the game makes me wonder if we are using the same part of the brain and same sleep cycle to those who experience sleep paralysis or also known as ‘old hag syndrome’. Sleep paralysis/ Old hag syndrome is a common sleep disruption. It happens when your mind wakes up while your body is still in the temporary paralysis of REM sleep. People who have experienced sleep paralysis either encounter a women or a male who appears and they “ride”  or ”sit” on the chest of the victims, rendering them immobile. A common feeling of those who have experience this is that the women/man as been evil and not of this world.

These few rules I have highlighted and briefly delved into outlines exactly why this game is dangerous. – Not because of some Ritual, ghost or paranormal phenomena… but because you are delving into the deepest parts of your mind that a psychologist trains for years to do successfully.

Opening these doors without being fully prepared for what you may encounter is what I find most disturbing about this game …. because your mind is not always your friend. 

Aimee Sirdifield

4 thoughts on “Red Door, Yellow Door – Ritual?, Paranormal?, or Psychological?

  1. Sounds like hypnosis to me and, like you say, accesses the darkest parts of our memories and minds. Not something to be done without a professional. Not good.

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