The Elevator Game


There are some rituals that people are somewhat familiar with, such as repeating “Bloody Mary” into a mirror by candlelight. Others, such as the Midnight Game or the Three kings Ritual, are much more complicated and less well-known. For the most part, rituals such as those tend do not actually work but are repeated once in awhile at sleepovers or shared over the Internet to just provide a scare. There is a ritual though that, while very much the same as many others that have appeared over the Internet, has the distinction of being connected to a real-life murder. That ritual would be the Elevator Game.

The Elevator Game has its origins in either South Korea or Japan (although most accounts agree on South Korea) and, as can be inferred from the title, requires the use of an elevator instead of objects like candles or mirrors. By hitting the right buttons in the right order, the individual involved may supposedly be taken to another realm.

The steps are as follows:

Find a building with an elevator and at least ten floors, then enter the elevator alone. Press the button for the fourth floor, and when the elevator reaches that floor press the button for the second floor. Once that floor is reached, press the button for the sixth floor, and once the sixth floor is reached, press the button for the second floor. Once you have returned to the second floor, press the button for the tenth floor. Once you reach the tenth floor, press the button for the fifth floor.

This is where the ritual gets a little strange. Upon reaching the fifth floor, a young woman may enter the elevator. Individuals are instructed not to look or talk to her, as she is supposedly not the average woman she appears to be. Some say that if you look or speak to the woman, she may “decide to keep you for her own,” although what is meant by that is not clear. Once the woman has entered the elevator, press the button for the first floor. If the elevator actually returns to the first floor, then you should get off without looking back or speaking to the woman.

If the elevator goes to the tenth floor instead of the first, the ritual can continue. When the elevator reaches the tenth floor, you can either remain on the elevator or you can step off, as the elevator has supposedly reached another dimension. If you step off, the woman may try to speak to you again, asking “What’s wrong?” or “Where are you going?” Again, do not speak or acknowledge her, even if she happens to screech at you as you leave the elevator for this new realm.

Some call it Hell, some call it the Otherworld, but generally no one is sure what it is. The most distinguishing feature is that it looks like a darker version of the real world (there are supposedly no lights), but with you as its sole occupant. Electronics may or may not work in this realm, and some claim that you may feel dizzy, which individuals should be extremely aware of because if you happen to pass out while in the Otherworld you may pass out at home. Should this happen, you should be extremely careful as it may not be your real home, nor the Otherworld you intended to reach. There is also a red cross that can be seen distantly through a window, although it may or may not actually be a cross.

Once you have reached the Otherworld, there are many steps involved in returning to the real world again. First off, in case you stepped off the elevator, it is important to return to the same elevator you arrived in. Individuals may be dazed or confused as to which elevator is theirs, and should they step on the wrong elevator they will not be able to return to the real world. It is also possible that when you walk towards the elevator to return home, it may appear to get further away from you as try to come closer.

If you did not leave the elevator to begin with, simply press the button for the first floor. Do not leave the elevator on any other floors other than the first, and should other people besides the woman enter the elevator, do not speak or look at them either.

If you did leave the elevator and have managed to return to it, then repeat the steps where you go to the fourth, second, sixth, second, tenth, then fifth floors. Once you reach the fifth floor, press the button for the first floor. Once you have done that, the elevator will instead ascend to the first floor. It is imperative that you prevent it from returning to the tenth floor by pressing any of the buttons for the lower floors, although some individuals have claimed that they felt compelled to allow the elevator to continue its ascension.

When the elevator ceases to ascend and has finally reached the first floor, you must be extremely careful to make sure it is actually the real world. If you hear, see or smell anything that seems out of place, however minute, repeat the second step until you are certain you have returned to the real world. If at any point during the ritual another person enters the elevator (a “real” person) the ritual will not work, as the individual performing it must be alone.

As can be seen, the Elevator Game is somewhat convoluted with a lot of “if-then’s” and qualities that happen only sometimes. It has become somewhat popular on the Internet since it only requires an elevator, but it’s almost certainly not real and more for fun, although plenty of people have posted supposed stories in which they claim to have actually reached the Otherworld.

Footage of Elisa Lam in the elevator

What is particularly strange about the Elevator Game is its connection to the death of Elisa Lam. Basically, Lam’s body was found in the rooftop water tank of the Cecil Hotel after being murdered or committing suicide. Strangely, Lam managed to crawl inside the water tank (firefighters had to cut a hole to get her body out) and locked the rooftop maintenance door from the inside. While the coroner found that she had no traces of drugs or alcohol in her system yet had been taking her medications, some claim that Lam may have been the subject of demonic possession considering the dark past of the Cecil Hotel.

What is strange about the Elisa Lam case is that there is actually surveillance footage from inside an elevator of her from before she disappeared. In the footage, Lam can be seen pressing buttons in some kind of order, then hiding from someone, then appearing to have a conversation with someone who isn’t visible. This has led to the possibility that Lam was in fact playing the Elevator Game, although nothing in the case has been definitely established yet.

It can be that the Elevator Game is a gateway to strange things, or more likely just another ritual creepypasta that has been shared across the Internet in order to scare people. Of course, the Elisa Lam connection makes for some interesting conjecture although such a connection is strenuous at best and the Elevator Game is merely an urban legend.