Grand Theft Auto games are set in worlds that are large in scope and rich in design. They are packed full of easter eggs to find when you’re not sleeping with prostitutes, stealing cars, or gunning down the citizens of this digital world you’ve chosen to terrorize.
Some of these easter eggs are well-hidden and their meanings hard to unravel. Some exist purely in the collective imagination of gamers the world over. Still, rumors persist, and for over two decades, myth-hunters and conspiracy theorists have trekked and explored the digital worlds of Grand Theft Auto hoping to be the first to find a new mystery or unravel one that is years old. Just like in real life, there are wackos who believe in events which we scoff at, but this is about video games, so we’re all wackos, really.
We’ve traveled the internet, looking for the most well-known conspiracy theories and myths about Grand Theft Auto. Some have long-since been proven, and others are still in doubt. Maybe when you’re done, you’ll start to work your way through the Grand Theft Auto library in search of what you’ve seen here, or maybe you’ll find something new. With so much to see in these games, who knows what you will uncover.
When playing GTA IV, one of the first things you should do is visit Rockstar Games’ version of The Statue of Liberty, or as it is known in-game, The Statue of Happiness.
With a helicopter, you can get right up inside the Statue of Happiness’ guts and have a look at the ‘heart of liberty’ city — if you’re so inclined. To do this, you need to fly a helicopter to the upper-platform of the statue’s pedestal at her feet. The southern door will read ‘no hidden content here,’ and behind that door, you will find a ladder to climb. At the top, you'll find a bloody, gigantic, beating heart. The heart can’t be destroyed, so feel free to shoot that thing with a bazooka, you know, if you fancy.
Also, if you fly your helicopter to the very top of the statue, you will see that her face bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Hilary Clinton. No one quite knows why.
At the peak of Mt. Gordo in GTA V’s San Andreas, you can catch sight of a ghost between the hours of 11:00 pm and midnight. You can’t get too close as she will vanish as you get near, but if you use a rifle scope from a distance, you can make out her appearance.
The ghost isn’t just there for the sake of it. The phantom has a back story if you’re willing to dig about. Or you can just find out now: She is rumored to be the ghost of Jock Cranley, a stunt-double who, incidentally, is confused with Trevor by an eccentric, star-stalking elderly British couple during a strangers and freaks side-quest. The story goes that Jock’s wife didn’t approve of him moving to Los Santos to pursue his career as a stuntman, so he pushed her off the cliff during a hike. Could they have just made it work long-distance?
This rumour has some credence as the word “JOCK” appears written in blood on the rock she appears by.
This one is well-hidden and requires you to blow the door open. In fitting with the dessert setting, GTA V has an abandoned mine that you can explore. It’s dark and full of dead ends, but is also rumored to be haunted. So, visiting at night isn’t advisable.
On the first set of tracks, you’ll come across a body in a suit straight out of the 1940s. Rumour has it that he was an employee of Solomon Richards, who Richards killed after he learned something he shouldn’t have – a secret to this day.
Other players have speculated that it is the body of Cole Phelps, the protagonist of another game by Rockstar Games, LA Noire. Further adding substance to the mine being haunted is that you can hear footsteps when close to the body, even when you are standing still.
This is probably the best known of the GTA myths and conspiracy theories, and —just like the real-life Big Foot— its existence has yet to be proven. However, rumors began after the instruction manual which came with the game, styled as a tourist brochure, referenced an in-game artist called ‘Big Foot.’ Given Rockstar Games’ tendency to include cryptic references, it’s not surprising people took this one and ran with it.
Reports of sightings usually emanate from the woodland sections of San Andreas, though nothing concrete has come to life. Most players claim to have seen Big Foot from afar while exploring the countryside north of Los Santos. Some pictures have floated online, but they are either doctored or proven to be modifications.
The Goatman, just like Big Foot in GTA: San Andreas, is an unproven myth. Reports claim that the Goatman stands on two feet and is covered in hair from head-to-toe, with horns protruding from his head. Players who have claimed to see Goatman say they can never get too close, as he will run off towards the ocean when he sees you.
The creature bears a resemblance to a real-life legend from Maryland, USA, where a mysterious creature is claimed to have attacked passers-by and animals. Several other indicators point towards the existence of Goatman in GTA V. For example, the face of Baphomet appears in the Alamo Sea on the map.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, but Ratman is a supposed half-man, half-rat, who is rumoured to attack the player on sight, before running off into the night. He will also shout, “I am Ratman,” just before the attack, just so there is no confusion.
The rumor of Ratman has not yet been confirmed, but many astute players have found several clues that may indicate his existence. This is mostly by way of strange substances found inside Easton Subway Station and the roof of Colney Hospital, which many believe is Ratman’s blood. Rockstar also dropped hints inside GTA IV’s in-game internet, where a posting on ‘craplist’ is looking for ‘human lab rats.’
Despite the connections that have been made, the existence of Ratman remains inconclusive. Riding the subway in real-life New York may be a stressful experience, but at least the rats are of a manageable size.
UFOs frequently appear in GTA V after completing 100% of the game. They appear above Sandy Shores, Fort Zancudo, the ocean floor north of Paleto Bay, and above Mount Chiliad. More curiously, they have the Federal Investigation Bureau (FIB) logo emboldened on the side, except for the one above Mount Chiliad.
Rockstar Games have long toyed with the idea of extra-terrestrial life in GTA games. With the aptly named ‘Area 69’ in GTA: San Andreas and the dead alien, frozen in ice, during the beginning of GTA V in North Yankton.
Disappointingly, while each UFO can be reached either by helicopter or by scuba-diving, they cannot be accessed. Not letting players pilot a UFO is a missed opportunity. That being said, searching for them is a lot of fun.
This building stands inconspicuously within the wealthy district of Mulholland in GTA: San Andreas. A large, wood-panelled building with no windows, it is fodder for conspiracy theories, with many players believing it is the home of Pyramid Head – the Silent Hill character. Sadly, there is no conclusive evidence on the subject.
Still, given the building’s appearance is a stark difference to other properties within the district of Mulholland, and the overall creepy vibe it presents, it is no wonder that gamers are theory-crafting about what could be going on behind its walls.
Some (less interesting) rumors state that it looks like The House of Blues restaurant in Los Angeles, which has been demolished since GTA: San Andreas was released – though that just sucks all the fun out of exploring the place.
Of course, a cemetery lends an era of foreboding to any situation. Though yet to be proven, there are rumors of strange voices and figures disappearing into the night in the Vinewood Cemetery – especially when it rains.
These occurrences only seem to take place at night and during the rain. The question is: are these texture and audio glitches, or something more? Still, it is strange that they are primarily noticed within the cemetery. Maybe an intentional inclusion by Rockstar Games to soil the undergarments of players? Like most things in GTA, unless Rockstar Games confirm for sure, we will never know.
At one point, it was planned to have children roaming the streets of our favourite GTA games, but for obvious reasons, this was scrapped. Still, Rockstar Games have left several nods the kids that would have frequented their worlds.
At 8-Ball’s yard, you can see the hollowed-out husks of school buses littered about, and these can also be found in GTA: Vice City and San Andreas. Throughout GTA IV’s Liberty City, abandoned baby strollers can be found at the cities beaches, suggesting that babies are out there somewhere in the world, we just can’t see them. Ninja babies, perhaps?
Off the eastern coast of the San Andreas state, deep beneath the ocean, lies a mysterious metal hatch. It is inaccessible and out of place on the ocean floor. Many players have speculated how to open it, if at all. Not that you will be able to spend much time around it to figure this one out. The hatch is deep enough that if you spend too long, the underwater pressure will eat at your health.
Despite this, there is a faint tapping that can be heard if you get close enough. Like anything else video game related, modders have been able to figure out how to do just that, and have managed to spend enough time near the hatch to decode the tapping. The tapping translates to, “Hey, you never call, how'd you fancy going bowling?” As we all know, this is a reference to Niko Belic’s cousin Roman, and his pestering you to socialize at the most inopportune times.
Leave the hatch shut, for the love of god, don’t let him out.
In case you hadn’t yet figured it out, Trevor isn’t one to live and let live, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this rumor is true.
If you chose the option to kill Trevor in one of GTA V’s climatic moments, it is claimed that Trevor’s ghost will haunt his trailer in Sandy Shores, and will watch you through his kitchen window, his eyes ablaze with fury.
However unlikely this rumor is, it would be fitting for Trevor to continue terrorizing both Mike and Franklin from beyond the grave. Oh, he’ll probably keep going after Ron and Wade, just to be consistent.
That said, there is no credible evidence to support this rumor, but just think about it when you’re making that choice at the end of GTA V. At least if Michael had a ghost, he’d spend his time watching old movies and smoking Havanas.
In the opening hours of GTA III, you are betrayed by the woman in your life – the feisty Catalina. As you progress through the game, helping the Yakuza and fending off the Columbian Cartel, you catch up with Catalina on the Conchrane Dam, and after gunning down several dozen of her goons, you blow her out of the air as she tries to escape in her helicopter. Job done – roll the credits.
However, after the credits and you’re left to explore Liberty City for eternity, many players have reported hearing Catalina’s voice when walking around the dam, and some have even reported seeing her ghost roaming the place.
This is another unproven myth, although hearing Catalina’s angry spirit call you a pendejo would be a laugh.
When wandering the streets of Vinewood in GTA V, you might spot a wall with blood-red graffiti, which reads ‘1807.’ It points you towards a house which, dependent on your knowledge of American cult leaders, will strikingly resemble the house of Charles Manson.
1807 is significant when it comes to Manson, as he shared his home with 18 women and murdered 07, represents the seven people he murdered.
The house is, unfortunately, inaccessible, but stands silent amongst the busy location of Vinewood. There is a real sense of eerie dread when exploring the property, given the associated violence, even though this is a virtual reference to the Manson murders.
Mount Chiliad in GTA V is an imposing landmark – the largest in the game. Fittingly, it is associated with one of the biggest mysteries in the GTA franchise.
Inside the cable car station is a conspicuous mural, one that depicts various rooms within the mountain. No one has figured out how to access these rooms, but that doesn’t stop players from speculating as to what is inside.
One of the most interesting aspects of the mural is that one of the symbols looks like a jetpack. This wouldn’t be unusual, as players could find a jet pack during the black project mission in GTA: San Andreas.
While modders have added their own variation of the jet pack to the PC version of GTA V, it would be nice for console players to soar through the skies of one of videogaming’s finest virtual worlds, while simultaneously firing an SMG.