Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts
A downloadable game for Windows and Linux
Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is a domestic horror interactive fiction.
It is a real house made imaginary.
In summer the ghosts come, and the violet orange of the humid night reaches new depths.
Gothic fiction has a long tradition of haunted houses; grand structures are geographically fixed but temporally shifting. Our memories of a place are fragmented and recursive, histories are personal and public at the same time. The Gothic sequence of descending from public to private to secret places - uncovering greater horrors as we go – gets twisted around a suburban house. Glass reveals, reflects and conceals, doors should stay shut.
Too often solitude is seen as something to overcome. Many myths feed on the image of a lone man against the wilderness – either a literal or metaphorical one. It is to be triumphantly conquered, wrestled down, beaten. There’s a quiet pleasure to immersing yourself in solitude, exploring the loneliness as a landscape. The rich inner worlds of women are rarely seen, as we continue to exist in our houses and in our heads.
Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is about all of this and none of this. If you’ve made peace with the strange knocks you hear at night, so have I.
"True to the genre, every moment feels like one hair trigger away from devolving into the supernatural, like you’re frozen in that near-hysterically held breath before a jump scare." - Alyse Stanley for Unwinnnable
"This is a short but very rich piece, like a dark chocolate lavender ganache." - Dan Fabulich, Choice Of Games
"Victoria Smith’s Twine masterpiece stars a “real house made imaginary,” a setting illustrated only through language and the blindingly white facade of the user’s computer screen...every moment spent lurking the suggested hallways of Smith’s haunted house is seeped in expectant dread" - Andrew Gerdes, Top 15 Games of 2018
Content warnings: Contains mentions of rape, paranoia, and hallucinations
Written by Victoria Smith
Edited by Madeleine Mackenzie
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