In a world ravaged by the worst global pandemic of our lifetime, thousands are seeking solace in the escapism of Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Although many of us are forced to self-quarantine and stay at home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 and prevent it from spreading, Animal Crossing: New Horizons offers players a way to leave the horrors of the real world behind as they build a life on a deserted island full of friendly faces, relaxing music, and endless customization options. But we’re not going to talk about those players; today we’re focusing on those inventive lunatics who are using Animal Crossing‘s robust customization options to turn their virtual islands into the stuff of nightmares.
As noted by our colleagues at Polygon, Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ wildly inventive playerbase are increasingly turning their idyllic island getaways into abbatoirs of terror. And no, I’m not just talking about the capitalist nightmare in which Tom Nook traps you with increasingly expensive loans. Here’s a peek at some of the haunting tableaus people are creating…
Umm has anyone else gotten this villager in Animal Crossing? He's kinda creeping me out :/ pic.twitter.com/KRWXYTNUhk— Kendra "Kenny" The Kid (@kendrawcandraw) March 23, 2020
??? pic.twitter.com/CcpHHl5490— Nic Freeman - Test Specialist/Art @ Plastic Fern (@NicRNack) March 23, 2020
stop by if you need a save point.#silenthill #AnimalCrossing #ACNH #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/kRroxgs2ai— Dead Carcosa (@DeadCarcosa) March 23, 2020
might fuck around and make some blood sacrafices to the great bird king later #AnimalCrossing #ACNH #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/IuuWpD0hBq— odin ♡ (@akairiii) March 22, 2020
Some chose the path of @DOOM, while some chose to walk through the @animalcrossing... but those of TRUE vision choose to subvert such limitations. pic.twitter.com/J3Chzjvnys— Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) March 23, 2020
Meanwhile, some dedicated cinephiles are using Animal Crossing: New Horizons as their chance to reenact Robert Eggers’ terrifying seaside horror flick The Lighthouse.
“Bad luck to kill a seabird.” (2018)#AnimalCrossingNewHorizons pic.twitter.com/sDS4H2RzFc— Shaysa (@LoveShaysa) March 23, 2020
Others are using the Animal Crossing pattern maker in order to recreate their favorite horror movie posters so they can add some spooky flair to their island homes. (Want to make your own designs? Here’s our handy guide!)
daily pic: put up some horror movie posters!! #AnimalCrossing #ACNH #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/5msu9pItaQ— harrison (@yungchamu) March 24, 2020
saw some peeps did this but with album covers so I did horror movie posters instead #AnimalCrossing #ACNH #NintendoSwitch pic.twitter.com/Pp026RUiZ3— Christopher Almazán (@EwokChris) March 23, 2020
Whether they’re making nightmarish hellscapes or reenacting movie scenes, the Animal Crossing community’s bottomless well of creativity never fails to impress. Here’s hoping that this is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more players continue to show us what New Horizons is truly capable of creating.
This is what I imagine Junji Ito’s island looks like.
What’s your favorite horrifying Animal Crossing creation so far? What are you creating with Animal Crossing‘s pattern maker? Let us know in the comments below.
Dan Casey is the creative director of Nerdist and the author of books about Star Wars and the Avengers. Follow him on Twitter ( @DanCasey).