15 Of The Best Video-Based ARGs On YouTube – Screen Rant

Avant-garde web content with viral appeal, alternate reality games draw inquisitive minds and horror hounds alike, and these are some of the best.
What exactly is an ARG? An ARG—also known as an alternate reality game—is a form of storytelling that uses interactive media like social media accounts and videos to tell a story. The Internet is full of ARG accounts that use social media apps like Twitter and video-based websites like YouTube to tell their stories.
The ARG is a really unique way of presenting a narrative, as it allows the creator to use the audience’s responses to shape what happens and take feedback or use creative methods like subtitles, descriptions, and tags to give hints. There are a ton of super unique and intriguing ARGs on YouTube, and a lot of them are somewhat eerie or even straight-up horror-themed, making the mysteries that they present to viewers particularly interesting for people that like creepy stories.
Updated on June 8th, 2022 by Tanner Fox: Alternate reality games represent some of the most complex and well-crafted stories on the internet. Typically presented as video series that require audiences to piece together clues from external sources, they can vary from indie short films to long and complicated series released over several years.
Most ARGs take full advantage of an all-digital format, spreading from niche forums to popular social media sites, eventually ballooning into an enduring online phenomenon. Others remain relatively obscure, serving as works of unheralded arthouse horror lying in wait for new, unsuspecting viewers.
Daisy Brown is a sci-fi and horror-themed ARG on YouTube that is set up like a series of video diaries recorded by the title character. This series follows Daisy as she gives viewers a look at her life raising Alan, a monster that was created by her father, a genetic scientist.
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The series follows as Alan goes from a meek and mild monster that the naive title character cares for to a much stronger and more aggressive being, forcing Daisy to face some tough choices about how to handle this thing she’s cared for and essentially raised.
My Dad’s Tapes is a mysterious ARG that follows a man named Chris who received a package from his deceased father, Gerald. In the package is a variety of different things including a bunch of VHS tapes that appear to show someone taking the life of another person.
Chris decides to try to figure out what’s going on in these videos, an amateur investigation that attracts the attention of another YouTube user that proves themselves to be even more dangerous to Chris than the person in the videotapes.
Ash Vlogs and I Know Where She Is, often abbreviated as IKWSI, are two parts to a single ARG about a woman named Ashleigh who lives in Australia. This ARG is a dark one that has people from all over the Internet investigating and trying to decode the clues that the game master has left.
This ARG follows the life of Ashleigh, also known as Ash, who has been documenting the strange occurrences in her life until they result in her abduction. Throughout the course of the ARG, there are clues as to where Ash went, what happened to her, and who took her.
Junko Junsui is a horror ARG that started back in 2009, and it initially had a ton of people fooled into thinking that it was real as a result of its dark plot and immersive storytelling.
The whole thing started with a Facebook account by the same name that began sending mass friend requests to people. Junsui claimed to be looking for friends with whom she could talk about the fact that her sister had been kidnapped. Curious people googled the name and came across the video aspect of the ARG, hours of footage that showed Junsui’s alleged sister being held captive in a cell.
Petscop is the perfect ARG for fans of forgotten video games because it’s completely based around a supposed lost video game found by the person uploading the ARG. The ARG uploaded new episodes from 2017 through to its finale in 2019.
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The series follows a man named Paul who recently acquired a copy of an unfinished PlayStation game named “Petscop.” In the game, the player has to solve puzzles in order to catch strange creatures known as “pets.” But, as Paul plays, he discovers that there’s a dark, hidden side to the game.
No, not the character from the Stephen King novel. Jack Torrance is a found footage ARG that is uploaded to the YouTube channel by the same name. The ARG started in 2011 when the creators began uploading strange videos to the channel, claiming that they were from old VHS tapes that the uploader had purchased.
This ARG is one that is slightly less story-based and is more just an eerie atmospheric one. Rather than showing a full story with characters, this series places an emphasis on ambiance and background narrative, and the strange videos are enough to unnerve any almost YouTube user that watches them.
This House Has People In It is an ARG that was created for and originally aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, but it has since been put on YouTube for a wider audience to enjoy. Adult Swim began airing surreal infomercials, documentaries, and other strange videos in the early hours of the morning, and this ARG is one that became a fast fan favorite.
This ARG follows a family whose home has been rigged with a ton of security cameras ala Paranormal Activity. These cameras catch every mundane part of their lives and often, viewers have to watch multiple rooms to get the full story. The ARG is a lot more surreal than it is scary, but watching as some anomalous virus known as Lynks Disease takes over this family is definitely intriguing.
With the recent rise in VR technology, it should come as no surprise that there are books, movies, and even ARGs based on VR and the ways in which this immersive new technology can go horribly wrong.
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This Room Does Not Exist is an ARG that follows two friends, Abbigail and Ryan, who are approached to test out some futuristic VR technology for the company that is developing it. Like a dark and twisting episode of Black Mirror, this episode follows as the VR technology Abbigail and Ryan were tasked with testing takes a turn neither of them could have expected.
MeatSleep was a YouTube account that began uploading in 2014. Initially a collection of out-there horror short films, MeatSleep’s uploads eventually began to form a very loose narrative concerning victims of abduction. Many believed the series to be the genuine product of a deranged criminal, but the videos remain open for interpretation, and the series was concluded in 2016.
The series never caught on quite like ARGs like Daisy Brown or Petscop, perhaps because they were difficult to digest, and many of the uploads featured nonsensical non-English titles. Easily one of the scariest ARGs on YouTube, MeatSleep is worth a watch, though those looking for definite answers will be disappointed.
Framed as a collection of old VHS tapes uploaded to YouTube, Gemini Home Entertainment tells a wild and ambiguous tale of a planet-swallowing Lovecraftian horror enacting a sinister influence over all life on Earth. Tough to follow and excruciatingly strange, the series is of amateur horror storytelling.
From the seemingly-innocuous first video purported to be about rarely-seen animals to the final venture which details the unbelievable journey of a space probe as it voyages into the mouth of “Iris,” this is one on which ARG fans should not miss out.
POSTcontent is a horror-based ARG that has flown somewhat under the radar of many Internet ARG fans, but it is definitely worth checking out for people who like their ARGs with a hearty dash of horror thrown in.
The series follows a man named Peter who is trapped inside a house that is filled with all kinds of demons, monsters, and other terrifying creatures—or is he? Peter is a very unreliable narrator, and it makes it difficult for the viewer to really know what’s actually going on, albeit in the most intriguing way possible.
The Backrooms is a piece of internet folklore that originated with a surreal 4chan post in 2019. Since then, the lore of the titular extra-dimensional location has been greatly expanded upon, and many YouTubers have uploaded content purported to be evidence of past explorations into The Backrooms.
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The most well-known piece of Backrooms-related content, however, has to be the series created by YouTube user Kane Pixels. A selection of eerie and highly unnerving videos that gained prominence in early 2022, the series is ongoing, and the mythos of this particular interpretation of The Backrooms grows with each new installment.
Local58 is a series of eight YouTube videos meant to mimic broadcast notifications and interruptions from an earlier era in television history. Most of the uploads are relatively short and hint at some kind of anomalous entity invading the Earth, with some entries suggesting that these events are somehow connected to the moon.
Popular theories posit that Local58 tells a roundabout tale of aliens somehow infiltrating human society, though, as is the case with most ARGs, there are very few definite answers. Local58 is also an excellent example of Analog Horror, an amateur filmmaking phenomenon that has become quite popular on YouTube in recent years.
Nettlebrook is an ARG that follows a massive number of different people and social media accounts, most notably that of Echo Rose. The entire ARG is focused on the town of Nettlebrook in which strange things seem to be happening.
Echo Rose is the name of one of the main characters who happens to be a psychic living in Nettlebrook. Through her YouTube channel, she exposes some of the secrets of the town she lives in and reveals more and more about what’s been going on in her hometown.
Beginning in January 2008, the SCP Foundation is a collection of thousands of horror fiction shorts meant to mimic database entries archived by the titular organization. Dry and matter-of-fact, these works describe anomalous entities ranging from the fairly benign to the potentially cataclysmic.
Though the SCP Foundation began as little more than a collection of creepypastas, it has since evolved into a massive project with hundreds of collaborators. On YouTube, content creators have used the SCP Foundation as a springboard for everything from simple discussions to entire short films centered around well-known SCP entries.
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Horror movie lover, number one believer that Stefan should’ve ended up with Elena, and aspiring future Sophia Petrillo. Still hasn’t forgotten about the time Russell Hantz set everyone’s socks on fire.


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