Inspired by a recent post by +Humza K , and just in time for Halloween, here's a list of features for "empty" rooms that hopefully help establish or maintain a creepy horror vibe.
1. Rat corpse, dismembered in a way that indicates cannibalism by other rats.
2. A feast has been prepared, a fire is roaring in the chimney/pit, but the floor is caked with dust and the footprints of vermin. The feast has not been touched by decay or animals.
3. A lived-in room, once-nice things worn with use, a radiator along the wall is roiling with building heat and releasing steam in a growing hiss.
4. A stark but clean room, full of life-sized figures seated on their ankles. It is nigh-impossible to tell if they are very still but alive, well-made statues, or automatica. The ambient breeze complicates testing for breath. There is a sense of intruding.
5. Items lay in disarray, covering the floor and every surface; papers, food scraps, clothing, tools; clear signs of use but not any sane organization.
6. A workbench with tools hanging from hooks. Someone has recently crafted a perfect replica of an item owned by one of the PCs, which is still on the workbench. (Then the candles blow out?)
7. Air rushes into the musty room as you open the door. A chair moves, the curtains ruffle as if shaken.
8. A comfortable, well-appointed seating room with a severed finger in a goblet.
9. Prison and torture chamber, empty now, cleaned poorly.
10. Everything in this room is in visible negative, including any who enter it. Color and shade are reversed.
11. Growling and scratching from within the walls. You are compelled to whisper.
12. Scratched stone, burnt wood, scattered plant dyes. A crude replica of something the PCs have recently discussed is on the floor, fashioned by clumsy, large hands.
13. There is a map of this area beautifully engraved and painted into the tabletop or wall. In some of the rooms, there is a red X next to a recently painted name - some the PCs, some not.
14. Many live rats hang from strings attached to the very high ceiling; there is also one cat.
15. All the shadows are the wrong direction from the firelight; any PC entering the room's shadow will detach and flee.
16. Half the room is carpeted green, half red. An old skeleton with a dagger through it's heart and a scrap of parchment that reads, "the bravest move left". Old "armor" that turns out to be made of upholstery.
17. Many insects lie dormant under rugs and furniture in this room, only stirring as creatures enter and make noise.
18. 1-2 raggedly dressed figures with horribly distended features do nothing but scream. Manacles hang from the wall. The creatures will not defend themselves, or stop screaming.
19. A large black horse, grunting and steaming, it's eyes red. It's too big to get out of the room, and will turn toward any intruders to stare intently.
20. Exactly like the room in this spot in the last area, down the the finest detail.
Discuss or keep the table going on G+ here.