What makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie?

By: Hoaseng Thao

Image taken in-game

Warning: This article has a section, rp_downtown_v2, talking about suicide.

‘Garry’s Mod’ is a physics sandbox video game created by Garry Newman. The game was originally a mod for the video game ‘Half Life 2’ made by the video game company Valve before becoming its own standalone game.

When people think about the video game ‘Garry’s Mod’, they either have fond memories of playing/watching videos of the late 2000’s ‘Garry’s Mod’, or they think about the obnoxious videos of content creators screaming into their microphones at either a scary png that chases them or at another person in a player populated roleplaying server. However, if you’ve ever played the game alone in the standard single player mode, you will soon realize how eerie it is playing alone in a game that should be played with others, or maybe you are not alone on that map. What if someone was there with you?

That feeling of another person being on the same map as you despite playing in a single player mode, is something that many people online have experienced in their countless hours of playing the game. Most of those people have spread awareness of this eerie phenomenon online, which has garnered a lot of attention from many people, including myself, in which I also experienced this eerie phenomena.

This article will talk about my investigation into why we feel this uneasiness when it comes to playing ‘Garry’s Mod’ alone, and so I have selected multiple maps from the standard base game alongside downloadable maps from the Steam workshop that people have noted to have this feeling of eeriness.


This is the first map people think of when remembering ‘Garry’s Mod’, as gm_construct is one of two base maps that you get when downloading the game. Around the map, you can find three towers alongside two garages, an underground room with a big mirror, and a dark room that has haunted many players who come across it.

While playing this map alone, I start to feel a sort of comfort when loading back into this map due to the countless hours I have played as a kid. As I grew older, and played more games, I returned back to this map again, but this time I also felt a sort of eerie feeling that not only intrigues me but also haunts me at the same time. The place that scares me the most in this map is the infamous dark room that lies underground, with no light to show what lies within the dark corners of that room.

Venturing into this room, you would find nothing as it remains empty of any objects or decoration to make you feel alive, and had you not used a flashlight to venture into this room, you would soon realize how eerie it is to only hear your footsteps slide across the room alone. When I stayed in the dark room for a minute, all alone with no source of light to illuminate my surroundings, I soon had this feeling that I was not alone and was in fact being watched by something hiding in the darkness that surrounded me. As a minute passed, I soon realize I couldn’t stand being in that room any longer and I began to bolt out of there to escape my fears of the unknown.

The fear of the unknown is what fuels the dark room, it makes me, and most likely you, feel uneasy as we both know that there is nothing in there alive except for our imagination, an imagination that fuels that fear of the unknown.


This map is by far one of, if not the most, recognizable maps from the ‘Garry’s Mod’ workshop as many early YouTube videos revolving around ‘Garry’s Mod’ were most likely set in gm_bigcity due to its big size alongside its unique yet unnatural urban atmosphere. Playing this map makes me feel as if every person, dog, cat, car, or bird in this big city, that would’ve made it feel alive, had disappeared in an instant. I know that I’m playing this game all alone by myself but at the same time, I feel like as if I shouldn’t be the only person walking around, and that the map needed to be populated with at least more people, but at this point, nobody except me is in there.

After some time of exploration, just walking around the map and looking at how unnerving it is to feel so lonely in such a simple looking city, makes me feel a bit uneasy, but after looking around I found some areas that have unique interactions if you use the interact key. There are some doors that can be found around the map that can be interacted with; some of the doors reveal rooms that you can’t enter without clipping through the map, while other doors have a unique interaction.

In this image above, it showcases an interactive door which can be found near the edge of the map via a hidden tunnel leading into a creepy yet empty room. Inside of that room, there is some graffiti painted onto the concrete walls alongside a blood stain smudged onto the floor as if a body was dragged into a room behind that door. Interacting with the door, you can hear a man laughing in a distorted voice which can make anybody feel a bit uneasy and feel as if you aren’t alone, and that the only people here in that map lies behind one of those doors.

The thing that makes this map feel so eerie is that uneasy empty atmosphere that is prominent when first loading into the map; a city so big yet only you are it’s only inhabitant.


A memorable map that has been used over and over for any ‘Garry’s Mod’ roleplay server, and stands as one of the most recognizable maps in the game, has a story behind it that has many consider the map to be cursed and haunted by its former creator.

It is said online that the creator of the map named “ThePro” had allegedly committed suicide in 2011, and since then has been haunting the map as a shadowy ghost figure that can be found in the distance. If you try to confront the phantom, it would just disappear before reappearing somewhere else.

Although the claim of the creator’s death varies between people online, it didn’t stop many people from pushing this idea of the map being haunted by its creator, but when I played the map, I didn’t feel as if I was being watched by an unnatural force but rather I had the same feeling I had in gm_bigcity. The map was empty but at the same time it felt like there used to be people here, and although the map was intended to be played in a roleplaying server with a bunch of people, playing it in singleplayer made me feel so isolated.

I think what makes this map feel so eerie is the rumor of the creator’s haunting, and had you not heard of his death, you would’ve played this map without a care in the world, but after hearing that story and the many accounts of his hauntings, you would start to watch every corner to ensure that this rumor is not real.

What makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie?

I think what makes ‘Garry’s Mod’ feel so eerie is the fact that the game should be played with someone else, and playing it alone can put anyone on edge as you start to question yourself if you truly are playing alone in a singleplayer game session. Maybe you aren’t alone, maybe there is something inside those dark rooms, waiting for you to finally let your guard down.

If you want go through this feeling of eeriness, you can buy ‘Garry’s Mod’ on the game platform Steam, where you can download the maps stated in this article:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s