For a Western game, Red Dead Redemption 2 can be quite scary. Rockstar is a masterful video game developer, and it’s not rare for them to pepper their games with unsettling Easter eggs. But Red Dead Redemption 2 takes the uneasy factor a step further and oftentimes borders on a horror title.
Some of the scares come from missions, and some of them come from random encounters in the wild. Whatever the case and wherever they come from, they are ridiculously unsettling. The game is essentially a Western-horror hybrid, and it makes for some fantastic gaming.
10 Investigating The Saint Denis Fence
Saint Denis may look like a beautiful city, and it’s arguably one of the best areas of the game, but it has an undeniable dark side. Brother Dorkins sends Arthur to investigate the fence, claiming that it is used in human trafficking. Sure enough, Arthur finds two chained-up slaves in the basement.
It’s a very creepy encounter. The dark staircase portends some unimaginable sight, and the chained people make for a disturbing find. It’s horror based in reality, and that’s often the scariest of all.
9 The Rhodes Gunsmith
There is a similar encounter in the Rhodes gun store, which is officially known as Jas. Feeney & Son. Gunsmith. This place harbors a very disturbing secret. The Rhodes townspeople often voice their reluctance about the shop’s owner, claiming that he has been acting strangely and that he is allegedly seeing the ghost of his deceased son.
But when Arthur investigates, he finds a young boy chained in the basement, as the owner was using him as a surrogate son. It’s very reminiscent of the horror film Don’t Breathe, and it is horrifying to discover.
Disease is at the forefront of Red Dead Redemption 2, and it reminds viewers of just how deadly and unpleasant life in the late 19th century actually was. Of course, there is Arthur’s TB, and watching the main character slowly deteriorate from the disease is disturbing.
There’s also the abandoned town of Pleasance, which has burned buildings, locked doors, and a creepy sign reading “STAY OUT PLAGUE.” Finally, there’s the small town of Armadillo, which is in the midst of an apocalyptic desertion thanks to an outbreak of cholera.
7 The UFO Cabin
The greatest alien invasion movies have seemingly prepared us for a UFO encounter, but Red Dead 2 proves otherwise. In fact, the game proves just how unsettling the event would be. Located in the state of New Hanover is Hani’s Bethel, a long-abandoned cabin. Inside the cabin are the horrifying skeletal remains of a cult, with the bones still residing within the robes.
That sight is creepy enough, but should the player come back at 2 AM, they will face an unsettling UFO encounter that sees Arthur getting bathed in an otherworldly green light.
6 The Serial Killer
There have been some binge-worthy serial killer movies throughout the years, but few killers are as creepy as Edmund Lowry Jr. Coming across Edmund’s work is a haunting experience. It typically begins with finding a severed limb or a pool of blood in the wild and following it to the rest of the desecrated remains.
These are hauntingly brutal sights, and the contrast between the grisly remains and the surrounding natural beauty makes for an effective tonal whiplash.
5 Osman Grove
Osman Grove proves the unrelenting horror of Red Dead Redemption 2. Players can be taking a leisurely horse ride through the beauty of New Hanover when they come across a seemingly harmless cabin.
But venturing inside, they will find the decomposing remains of an entire family – including the corpse of a child. It’s more unnerving and sad than scary, but it can certainly make for a startling sight – especially owing to its unexpected nature.
4 Tall Trees
The prequel brought back Tall Trees from the original, but the location is significantly scarier than it was in the first game. The area is littered with the horrific works of the Skinner Brothers, a faction of ruthless killers who torture and mutilate their victims.
The area is creepy enough, as it’s covered with dense foliage and thick trees that significantly restrict vision. But the images of the Skinner Brothers’ grotesque work are almost too much to bear, and it gives the entire area an undeniably creepy vibe.
3 The Roanoke Whispers
Red Dead Redemption 2 takes a page out of Lost’s handbook and presents a wooded area populated by eerie whispers. If the player walks through the wooded area of Roanoke Valley, they will hear the terrifying sounds of whispering people. It’s a horrifying encounter.
Not only is the source of the whispers a mystery, but they say some incredibly creepy things like, “I need to get back home.” It’s enough to make a player turn the game off and take a five-minute breather.
2 The Night Folk
The scariest zombie movies have nothing on The Night Folk. The swamp is a scary enough location – as most swamps are. The instigating moments are also very creepy, as the player typically encounters an unsettling sight like a crying woman or a body hanging from a tree.
But then The Night Folk run out dressed like zombies, totally silent, and brandishing weapons that can kill Arthur in just one strike. They make traversing the swamps – especially at night – a very harrowing ordeal.
1 The Swamp Ghost
It just wouldn’t be a Rockstar game without a creepy ghost, and Red Dead Redemption 2 has one creepy ghost. The ghost of Agnes Dowd can be found in the swamp area between 9 PM and 3 AM, typically on foggy nights (of course). The sight of the glowing ghost alone in the swamp is terrifying, as are the things she says.
Agnes will typically recount the events that led to her death, and in the last encounter, she will directly address Arthur and lead him to the tree from which she hung herself. It’s enough to give any player goosebumps.