Every good horror story is based on some kind of truth, or at least I like to tell myself that to make the story seem scarier. In the case of the upcoming horror title, Kholat, it actually is based on a true story—one of the most gruesome in history.
From developer IMGN.PRO and Wohoo Games, Kholat is set to release on the PS4 next month and is loosely based on the story behind the Dyatlov Pass Incident. If you aren’t familiar with the story, you’re one of the lucky ones. But for the purpose of this article, it’s important you understand why Kholat has the potential to be terrifying. For starters, watch the brief trailer below.
Dyatlov Pass was an incident that involved nine Russian hikers who were climbing the northern Ural Mountains on this day, February 2, in 1959. Today marks the 57 year anniversary of the happening. The hikers weren’t just a bunch of eager, inexperienced students looking for a fun time in the mountains. They were experienced ski hikers from the Ural Polytechnical Institute and they had set up camp that night near the mountain, Kholat Syakhl, which translates to “Mountain of the Dead”. And that’s about all anyone really knows for sure, because what happened that night is beyond any explanation. When a search and rescue team was sent out to look for the team, they found their tent, which had been cut open from the inside. The first two bodies were found nearly a mile away from the tent—and they were in their underwear. Their bodies were found under a tree that had broken branches nearly 15 feet off the ground and scratches on their bodies indicating they had tried climbing. Three more bodies were located closer to the mountain, partially-clothed. The strangest thing about these bodies was that they were found perfectly lined up and face-down in the snow. They had wounds that indicated a struggle had occurred, including bruised fists. The last four hikers remained lost for another two months after finding the previous bodies, and were found crouched together in a ravine.
As if all of these details weren’t creepy enough, once the bodies thawed, their severe injuries posed many questions for investigators. Injuries sustained involved crushed ribs, cracked skulls, injured organs and even one of the corpses was missing its eyeballs and a tongue. It’s been reported that there’s no way a human could’ve caused injuries this severe. Many suspect that the hikers were attacked by some form of a Yeti (climbing the tree to get away from something on the ground), while others have estimated it was aliens who had intentionally mutilated the hikers (missing eyeballs, missing tongue). But since the tent was ripped apart from the inside, people say it was neither man nor animal, but something supernatural.
The strangest things about the bodies of the hikers was that many suffered burns and radiation poisoning, and the skin had prematurely aged into an orange color with gray hair. And even though many had crushed ribs and cracked skulls, there was no indication of injury on the skin. This all begs the question: what the heck happened here? Kholat wants to answer that.
Kholat is a survival horror game that will explore the strange and terrifying occurrences of the cold night in February in 1959. The game takes place years after the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the player is given the chance to try to solve what happened. The map will be in open-world style and set in the exact location where the nine hikers brutally lost their lives.
Kholat will be releasing on PS4 on March 8. If you can’t wait that long, it’s already available on the Steam store for $19.99, but is on sale for $8.60 until February 5.