I’m playing the best horror games on Itch.io when I first came across Siren Head. The Modus Interactive version of this urban legend has you play as a park ranger in search of a lost hiker on a forest trail. I follow a path of bloody clothing and giant scratch marks until I come to a clearing and see the remains of a human body now turned into a messy red pulp.
After examining what was left of the hiker, I turn to walk back to my car when Siren Head appears. He stands still and motionless, a towering forty foot humanoid with mermaids where his head should be. A hideous distorted alarm erupts from his speakers and rushes at me. They throw me to the ground and I run the same fate as the lost hiker before me.
Siren Head has been around on the internet for a couple of years now and has become part of internet folklore. A brainchild of artist Trevor Henderson, Siren Head is a tall, fleshy creature whose head is a pole with two speakers attached. It lurks in wooded areas making annoying noises. Sometimes it’s distorted radio reports or strange distorted pieces of music. Sometimes distraught people cry out for help.
He shares many similarities with Slender Man, although I personally find Siren Head much creepier. The towering monstrosity is popping up everywhere in viral Tik Toks, fan art, and game mods, including one for Fallout 4. Henderson has created other haunting photorealistic monsters like Cartoon Cat and Long Horse.
As creepy as Henderson’s other works are, Siren Head seems to have hit a nerve. The explosion of games on Itch.io is proof of that. Many challenge you to survive in the forest against being elusive, but there have been 2D side scrolling games, dating sims, and games where you actually play as Siren Head.
It’s been fun working my way through these games, but the best of the best is the UndreamedPanic game. It perfectly captures the paranoia of being stalked by the creature, but also about how siren head scp noises can play mind games with its prey.
It’s a first-person horror where you play as a high school student who must escape being bullied by Siren Head. The game’s bold scan lines and visual distortion make it look like an old VHS tape. The forest is the perfect camouflage for Siren Head’s long, slim body.
But what makes this game stand out is its sound design. Siren Head’s noises range from delirious animal screeches to the screeching of machine parts grinding against each other. You always hear the monster before you see it, so when its crackling radio broadcasts and distorted music flow through the forest, it’s hard not to panic and shoot wildly into the trees.
The UndreamedPanic game is a fantastic take on the original Siren Head concept. For the full list of games, check out the Siren Head tag on itch.io. Hopefully we’ll see more creepy mods and games in the future or maybe someone will adapt Henderson’s other nightmare creations.