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Itch.io's free games section is a festival of scares right now

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Head to itch.io's free games (opens in new tab) section filter by 'most popular' and enjoy a pick 'n mix of li'l horror treats. Some, like The Emulator (opens in new tab), are the product of scarily themed game jams. Others, like 11:45 A Vivid Life (opens in new tab), just have a weird, cool premise: "A short weird tale about a girl who discovered her skeleton isn't hers".

There are plenty of low-poly haunted house games in there too, but in a good horror game the atmosphere matters more than the assets. Also check out check out Midnight Scenes (opens in new tab) from Octavi Navarro, the artist on Thimbleweed Park (opens in new tab)

Of course it's possible that none of these intentionally scary free games can match the arse-tightening tension of Hot Hot Panic (opens in new tab), a game about trying to hold a conversation while stuffing your face with meat and potatoes.

For more scares, check out our guide to celebrating Halloween on PC (opens in new tab), and brave our round-up of the best horror games (opens in new tab) ever.

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.