My 5 Creepiest Moments In The Secret World

June 6, 2013

A couple weeks ago during one of my guild’s regular The Secret World Monday nights, fellow blogger Syp and I got to discussing what we thought were some of the creepiest moments in the game. Which got to me thinking — well, let’s face it, there are more of these freaky moments in TSW than I can count, but I wanted to share these five gems that immediately came to mind.

Have a look, and feel free to share your own in the comments. Also be sure to check out Syp’s companion piece on his “5 creepiest places” in TSW!

1. The Black House

The Black House

The Black House is a burned out husk of a home in the middle of the woods of Savage Coast. One thing about this house is that you can only enter through the side, not via the front entrance. Every attempt by the hapless player to do so will end with the same result: a forceful rejection (ejection?) and a rude landing ass-first onto the front lawn.

I was lamenting upon this aloud on vent to my guildies once, during the early days of the game, which was what led one of them to say to me, “Have you ever tried visiting the Black House while dead?”

I hadn’t. When you die in TSW, your incorporeal spirit has to run back to your body in a kind of ghostly version of the world, except at certain locations there exists unseen things that only make themselves visible to the eyes of the dead. I did a quick /reset, went to the Black House like I was instructed, and what I saw there sent chills shooting up my spine.

2. The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn quest line

Tyler Freeborn

Okay, this entire quest line is chock-full of great moments, but I thought the final tiers were the best. At a certain point in the mission, you pass out in a heavy fog, only to wake up…somewhere else.

More specifically, you find yourself on some strange floating island no bigger than the size of your bathroom, and everywhere around you beyond this dinky little piece of rock you’re standing on is a straight drop into pitch black nothingness.

You think to yourself, er, what am I supposed to do, drop over the side? Stand around and wait for something to happen? Hmm, is my indecision going to end with my moth-eaten and dried-up brittle old corpse lying in a pile at the base of that ironically big STOP sign?

It’s all part of the game, you see. It’s the quest playing mind games with your head, and as always, it’s those “Aw crap, I don’t know what to do but even if I did I’m not sure it’s a good idea” moments that agonize and eat away at you.

3. Engine Tyrant Prime and Alpha

Alpha Prime

Prime and Alpha are the two handsome fellows you see here that get sicced on you during the third boss fight in the last normal dungeon in TSW, Hell Fallen. The first time I did this instance, I had no idea what to expect. My fellow adventurers and I happen to enjoy going into new dungeon experiences completely blind, the better to be surprised. And also because we’re gluttons for punishment.

You start by killing Prime, whittling his health down until phase 2 in which he becomes immune and his friend Alpha joins the fight. Not knowing this was going to happen, Alpha’s sudden appearance by practically crashing into the middle of our spazzed little group almost made me pee myself. Cheap shot, but effective.

4. Getting plastic surgery

modern prometheus

Some frightening moments in horror are achieved by the addition of gratuitous amounts of blood, gore and violence. Some may also involve grotesque monsters jumping out at you from the shadows trying to eat your face (see number 3 above). Still other moments are scary because the creator of the scene has produced an overall dread-inducing atmosphere, and these, in my opinion, are often the best and most rewarding.

The Modern Prometheus isn’t so much a surgical facility as a grimy slaughterhouse run by a madman with some seriously questionable credentials. And really, who wouldn’t be disturbed by the idea of being able to get a nose job at the same place you can pick up a slab of deliciously maggot-ridden pork loin?

5. Virgula Divina

virgula divina

Sigh, it was only a matter of time. Sure enough, there came a point in my relationship with this game where I just had to stop and ask myself, why the hell am I playing this?! I’m a spineless little chickenshit with no stomach for horror movies and the like! I have absolutely no business running around in game like The Secret World!

That point was Virgula Divina.

And yet, I loved it, loved it, loved it. The quest Virgula Divina is part of your main story line, coming in at the interlude between Egypt and Transylvania. It marked the first instance in which I remember having to pull my hands away from the keyboard in order to question my sanity and the dubious wisdom of actually going forward with completing this quest. It was just that unsettling.

I forged on, of course. And quite honestly, I’m kinda used to TSW making me feel this way by now. It still happens once in a while.

I wish I could elaborate, but Virgula Divina definitely needs to be experienced firsthand by all who play TSW, and it would not do at all for me to spoil it. I will, however, say that doing this quest by myself in the middle of a dark and stormy night was probably not one of the better gaming decisions I’ve ever made.


  1. Absolutely awesome. I think I still need to do the Black House dead. I wasn’t as scared by Virgula Divina, but it definitely was creepy at the beginning. After just one attempt, Sctrz turned it over to me to finish for her character. Her love/hate relationship with TSW’s creepiness definitely tilts “hate.”

    • Ah, Black House. I think that was the first moment I realized there’s a lot more to this game than I first realized, like the creators of it actually have way more in store for us than meets the eye. They really go all out with creating the atmosphere.

  2. the entire Tyler freeborn chain was rather unsettling, especially with that voiceover. The scariest for me though had to be the amusement park quests culminating in that trip on the roller coaster ride, it was rather creepy but not too bad right up until the end of the ride when the park owner jumps out at you.
    I said a swear and then had to walk away from the computer for a while

    • Yeah, the amusement park ride! That was one of those moments that came to me after writing this post…but oh well, next time! Loved that quest, so glad the devs let us have an opportunity to ride that rollercoaster, LOL.

  3. “I will, however, say that doing this quest by myself in the middle of a dark and stormy night was probably not one of the better gaming decisions I’ve ever made.”

    Or, it was one of the best gaming decisions you’ve ever made! 😉

    • Haha, I suppose it all depends on how you look at it 😉

  4. Being rather squimish with horror themes myself, I can totally see your point with Virgula Divina. Still, it’s THE highlight of TSW for me, despite the fact that I had to walk away from the computer at one point.

  5. Made me download TSW just so I can see what this Black House business is about.

  6. Yeah those are some scary moments and “The Black House” the first one that chilled the hell out of me earlier in the game.

    Over time though reflecting on things I go 5, 1, 2, 3. Never had Plastic Surgery, hell never even had a haircut in TSW. matter of fact never sat in the chair. I guess thats not unusual since add up all the days back in WoW and none of my characters there ever had a haircut. So never felt like going under the knife in TSW.

    The #3 one I remember when we first did that one was an absolute pins and needle fight and much a highlight of a fight as well. It still remain one the best encounter I ever did in TSW for Dungeon because it was tricky and hard as it was fun.

    I think the Chainsaw event in TSW just chilled me hard the event for that and running in the sewers under the city as well in Kingsmounth on one the storyline. As that was nothing but dark and suspense full all the time.

    Also think one the creepiest encounter and suspense full area/mission was one if i remember correct in the farmlands an investigation mission. This was a almost totally dark and creepy mission the entire way, as there was almost no light and you entered a tunnel. You had to fight stuff in the complete dark and you had to activate room switches to go to the right place and even side step around baddies with glowing eyes in the dark to avoid detection. You had to use lots of stealth in the dark lol. But that mission lasted like 2 hours and pins and needles every step of the way till the end. Suspense full and just creepy scary the entire way. I just can’t remember the name of that Investigation mission.

    But TSW is a chiller of a game for suspense full moments and places that can just creep you out yet its damn fun as no other game does that.

  7. I also think the Final mission steps in the Kingsmouth storyline deserves mentions starting when you entered the underground mine and you first had to use the Mining Hardhat with the lights. I never did find the Mining Hardhat the first time and had to do that mission completely in the dark except where it had the lights. That point in the mission if full of weird sounds all around and you got attacked in the dark. Reminds me of one the first point in the game where I was creaped out beyond and back as i got lost a few times going in circles in the underground tunnel with no lights and just looking at things in the shadows.

    Many the moments we can forget in TSW that are suspense full especially if your like me and often mission alone, that makes things way more creepy as you have no one else around thats in there with you in the mission or area especially when something suddenly pops up in the dark and i go flying off my couch.

  8. Oh and who can forget that damn Amusement Park in The Savage Coast, that place still creeps me out and with awesome storytelling. No one should ever play TSW and not visit the Amusement Park.

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