The Shriexing Family Tree

Shriexing is the act of exploring highly dangerous, hidden supernatural locations. Much like the “haunts” that obsess Shriexers so intensely, the entire subculture is wreathed in shadow and surrounded by dark rumors.

Despite this, the movement is growing. As many as 100 new Shriexers are estimated to join the movement each year.

Many of these newbies believe that Shriexing is a relatively new thing – the product of modern troubled times. The truth is that Shriexing began in the 1980s (a different troubled time), with deep roots that entangle many other subcultures. Following are a few of the relatives hanging from the skeletal branches of the Shriexing family tree.


Dating back to the 1840s, spiritualism is one of the oldest movements with a direct line to modern Shriexing. Spiritualism is concerned mainly with the concept of ‘survival,’ – that is, of the persistence of the conscious spirit following physical death. While Shriexers don’t need to seek proof regarding the afterlife (the proof usually seeks them), the same can’t be said for the sponsors who form a symbiotic relationship with all Ninja Elite Shriexing teams. Sponsors are very interested in proof of survival and are willing to pay handsomely for any information Shriexers can bring them.

Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Paranormal Investigation / Ghost Hunting

Many outsiders with a passing familiarity with Shriexing wrongly assume that it and paranormal investigation (and its less academic cousin ghost hunting) are one and the same. They are actually two very different activities that only look similar on the surface.

Paranormal investigation/ghost hunting is concerned with collecting proof of the supernatural.  Shriexers have no need to prove anything. The ghosts and other entities they encounter are actively trying to murder them. As such, Shriexers don’t carry the standard array of ghost hunting baggage: thermal imaging cameras, EVP recorders, EMF meters, spirit boxes, and so forth.

Some Shriexers have the unfortunate tendency to look down their noses at paranormal investigators and ghost hunters, considering them juvenile amateurs, thrashing around at the outskirts of the truth. Regardless, ghost hunting funnels a good amount of new blood into the Shriexing movement each year.

Legend Tripping

Legend Tripping involves visiting the sites of local (and usually scary) urban legends. It is the closest direct analog to Shriexing, to the point where some observers consider the latter to simply be an “extreme” version of the former. The closest point of similarity between the two is their focus on thrills, rather than scientific or pseudoscientific study.

Photo by Michael Mouritz on Unsplash

Extreme Sports

At its core, Shriexing is a game of chicken played with dangerous supernatural forces. The lack of any real point to the activity (lucrative sponsorship relationships notwithstanding) has led the newer generation of Shriexers to think of it as a sport.

These “Sporties” believe they are the masters of the most extreme sport in existence, far more challenging and dangerous than even insane activities such as highlining, ice climbing, volcano surfing, and rooftopping. Some Sporties at the Ninja Elite level train to near Olympic levels of fitness, especially if they have several sponsorships on the line. 


The rivals of the Sporties, Hackers see Shreixing as part of a larger philosophy of “go where you aren’t supposed to, for the lulz (laughs)” – a philosophy that includes computer hacking and urban hacking (more commonly known as urban exploration). Hackers are less focused on physicality than the Sporties, and are more interested in strategy, planning, and the flawless execution of “haunt hacks.”

Urban Exploring / Urbexing

Urban exploring, AKA urbexing and urban hacking, is the act of exploring abandoned buildings and other locations. Because many of these locations are off limits, some practitioners consider urban exploring part of the larger hacking subculture that includes Shriexing and computer hacking. Shriexing shares many of the same skill and equipment requirements as urban exploring, as well as a love for decayed and forgotten places. Many Shriexers were once urban explorers, and current Shriexers will sometimes explore non-haunted abandoned ruins when they need a break from the stress of Shriexing.

Photo by Mitchell Wearden on Unsplash

“Extreme” Haunted Houses

A more recent phenomenon than some of the other activities described here, extreme haunted houses like McKamey Manor, Blackout, and The Victim Experience put willing customers through abduction, torture, and murder scenarios until they reach their breaking point. Despite the abusive nature of these haunted attractions, many develop cultish followings of super fans.

Some of these go on to hear rumors of a shadowy subculture, one that explores haunted houses that are truly extreme: abodes of the dead where the dangers aren’t staged, but can and do result in real injury and death. For those who want to take their terror fix to a new level, seeking out the Shriexers is the logical next step.


Yes. Ninjas.

Shriexiers at the highest levels will utilize mental training techniques once employed by ninja assassins to hone their concentration and awareness to a razor edge. Top Shriexers who take on the deadliest of haunts must rely on their senses and reflexes to stay alive. Ninja-derived exercises include concentrating on a flickering candle flame to the exclusion of all else and listening to a friend drop pins on the floor out of sight. The slightly mocking term Ninja Elite originated from this practice.

Can’t remember the name of a character? Confused about a term? Visit The Lexicon.

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