|“||All you have to do... is choose who you will save!||”|
— The Psycho
The Psycho (also known as The Maniac, The Killer, The Madman and the Mystery Man in-game) is the secondary antagonist of Until Dawn, acting as the main antagonist of the first half of the game. In the later stages of the game the Psycho's true identity is revealed to be that of Josh, the older brother of Hannah and Beth Washington.
The Psycho wears a metal black jumpsuit and a mask to conceal his identity. He also wears a thick, stuffed suit with blood-splattered overalls and grey gloves with brown cuffs. Underneath the overalls is a jean shirt with its sleeves rolled up, and a long sleeve brown shirt underneath. He has a brown tool belt around his waist, with a few tools inside. Depending on the player's choices, he carries a gas cylinder or a needle while chasing Sam.
His mask resembles a skull-like style, designed with a pair of thin black eyebrows, with 2 circle-shaped jade-black spiked side cracks (for sight) and a nose crack placement (for breathing). As for the mouth design, it shows the whole light bubblegum-pink gums with yellowish-white "rotten" styled teeth. The whole base of the mask is plain dirty white and appears to be either made of silicone, glass, or porcelain.
The Psycho is shown to have severe psychological issues, degrees of paranoia, hallucinations, and feelings of loneliness and isolation. He seems to love torture towards most of the protagonists. He also seems to be a stalker-like being, before he could proceed to his fun-loving torture nature.
The Psycho is the first main antagonist introduced in-game. He follows and taunts the group of friends while setting up Saw-like traps, resembling classic horror film antagonists.
The Psycho stalks the survivors first in an attempt to capture them. The interactions towards the characters are influenced by the player's choices.
He is first introduced when Chris and Ashley think they hear Josh in the kitchen. Ashley opens the door and then is pulled inside, with the door slamming shut. Chris struggles to get the door open and when he finally does, he is punched by the Psycho and gets knocked out. The Psycho then drags Ashley out of the room, leaving an unconscious Chris. He afterwards goes on to light many of the candles in the lodge.
During this chapter, the Psycho has already captured Ashley and makes Chris choose between saving her and Josh. No matter the player's choice, Josh will always be sawed in half. It is later revealed that Josh's body was only a fake.
The Psycho is then shown watching an unsuspecting Sam while she is taking a bath. He then leaves the room and shuts the door, the air blowing out her lit candle as he closes the door. She then removes her earphones and goes down the stairs in a towel. As she goes in the lodge's cinema room, the doors slam shut and she is shown a video of her bathing and Josh being sawed in half. The Psycho will then burst the doors open and chase Sam. He attempts to capture her by knocking her out with either gas or a syringe. The Psycho will catch Sam except if the player chooses to hide at the last opportunity and did not kill the squirrel in chapter 1 as Chris.
At the end of the chapter, another Dr. Hill therapy session will happen. As he looks at the scarecrow card, The Psycho suddenly appears in front of Dr. Hill.
The Psycho messes with Ashley and Chris as they search for Sam. He makes ghosts appear, dolls move, and items fly off the wall. If Ashley chooses to investigate the movement, she can see the Psycho in his workshop. After finding Sam or a dummy in her clothes, the Psycho will appear and knock out Chris. If Ashley grabbed the scissors, she will be given the opportunity to stab him. If she does, it's not a fatal stab and it only makes him angry. He will punch her and she will be knocked out. The Psycho then ties up Ashley and Chris to two chairs. The Psycho makes Chris decide whether to shoot Ashley or kill himself as two sawblades inch toward them from above. At the end of the episode, Dr. Hill patronizes the Psycho for torturing the others.
Throughout the Psycho's pursuit of the game's protagonists, it is revealed that he is the one being interviewed by Dr. Hill.
The Psycho steps out of the shadows and shows himself to Chris, Ashley, Sam, and Mike. Chris tries to shoot him and the Psycho tells him that there are only blanks in the gun. He walks over and takes off his mask in front of all of them. The Psycho is revealed to be Josh, who faked his own death as part of a prank on his friends. He never intended to kill any of them, though he doesn't seem to mind hurting them as he knocks out Ashley and Chris, and is far from gentle in his pursuit of Sam.
The supposed motive for his prank is to get revenge on the people who humiliated Hannah and indirectly caused her and Beth's disappearance. However, Sam and Chris are included in Josh's revenge scheme, despite not being involved in (and even opposed to) the original prank. He is delusional in thinking that his prank would be acceptable to his friends and he filmed most of it, hoping to be an internet sensation. Mike becomes angry and blames Josh for killing Jessica. He then knocks Josh out cold.
The next scene shows Mike and Chris leading Josh outside of the lodge to the shed. They show their disappointment and anger toward Josh after the reveal. Depending on the player's choices, Chris will hit Josh multiple times. At the shed, Chris and Mike tie Josh up as his speech deteriorates into incoherent rambling. He will comment on the player's two decisions with Ashley as well.
After Mike leaves Josh alone in the shed, he will be dragged away by a Wendigo.
Josh falls into the mines unconscious.
Josh experiences vivid hallucinations of his sisters, Dr. Hill, a pig, and a Wendigo. His hallucinations with Hannah and Beth and their strange zombie faces show that Josh truly blames himself for not doing anything to help, even though he was physically unable to.
- When chasing Sam through the lodge, The Psycho holding a gas cylinder (depending on the player's actions) is another reference to the movie "No Country For Old Men" in which the main villain, Anton Chigurh, is wielding his signature weapon "Captive bolt pistol", which is used for stunning animals prior to slaughter, except The Psycho is using gas as a stunning weapon, not a pistol.
- The fact that The Psycho puts his victims through tests with fatal decisions along with his mask's appearance and his "voice" is likely a reference to the Jigsaw Killer from the Saw Series.
- Josh does not actively carry out any revenge on Matt, Jess, Mike or Emily, even though they were the most prominent antagonists in the prologue. Although, it is presumed he had something planned for the remaining pairs but wasn't able to fully orchestrate his plan as some of his friends were honing in on him and due to the wendigo getting involved and causing Emily, Matt, Jess and Mike to move away from where they were supposed to be.
- The killer does clearly look like Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th because of the machete.
- "Hello Samantha. Looking for me? I don't think you'll have much luck by looking Samantha. You're only going to see what I want you to see. And I have quite a lot to show you."
- "She's quite beautiful isn't she? A beautiful bathing bird. Do you think she has any idea what lies ahead? Do you think these were the last happy moments of this creatures life?"
- "I'm going to give you ten seconds. Nine.....Eight.....Seven.....Sam. Sa-m!"
- "So sorry..."
- "The doctor will see you now."
- "Run!! Yes run!!" - If Sam snuck up behind the Psycho but could not use the bat.
- "Don't you know I can smell you, Sam? I can smell your fear."
- "Little birdy unhappy in her cage?" - finding Sam in the dumbwaiter.
- "Here little kitty. Here pussy pussy."
- "No, no, no, no. LIVE AND LEARN!" - after Ashley stabs him with the scissors.