Many Minecraft veterans have probably noticed that old Minecraft is a lot more... Earie than newer Minecraft. I am also of this opinion. There's a lot of things in newer Minecraft that make it a lot harder to actually get a good spook. In this post, I'll be giving some feedback and general ideas on what I think can happen to make the game a bit more spooky like it was in its prime.
If there's one thing I really liked about old Minecraft, it was the nighttime experience. In old Minecraft, players scrambled to build a shelter in the 10 minutes they had to prepare. Hiding in a small cave in a mountain while you hear noises from outside or looking out a window and seeing all of the mobs wandering around was legitimately scary. In modern MC, however, beds are extremely easy to find. Part of this is because of just how common villages are. Villages were always quite common, but they didn't originally spawn with beds in them until 1.14. Now, villages, don't just have one bed, but they have a whole lot of them. Mojang also introduced a mob, the Phantom, which quite literally spawns and attacks you if you don't sleep. This means that not only is it extremely easy to skip the night, but the game actually encourages you. I don't know if beds should be removed entirely, but there definitely needs to be some sort of punishment for using the bed, or beds themselves should be harder to obtain or use.
The atmosphere of Minecraft should also have some tweaks in my opinion. First off, fog should have a bit of a comeback. There should be an option in the settings to have render distance have fog like it did in old MC versions. Certain biomes, such as caves and swamps, should also have different levels of fog not necessarily to be scarier, but just for a better atmosphere in general. Maybe the fog can also be different colours as well, like swamps would have a thick layer of green fog while caves would just look like normal mist. Maybe any biome (minus hot biomes) could also have mist appear when you first wake up from a bed. One thing I also find strange is the way darkness works in Minecraft. I've found that caves can become pitch black, but never night time. I think with brightness on the lowest option (which should be the default if it isn't already) night times should be basically pitch black and you can't see a thing without light sources.
Finally, I have ideas for mobs and any structures associated with them. Villages themselves should become rarer, not only would this give a better feeling of isolation but it would also make beds harder to obtain. Traps in jungle temples, which themselves should be revamped, should be completely improved and made actually dangerous. Players should get a great sense of dread when entering the building about whether they might accidentally activate a hidden trap, only to meat their demise. As for mobs themselves, I don't really know of anything specific, but I think there's a great recipe here which could actually scare the s--t out of players.
1. Don't mention the mob in the changelog or show it any update teasers.
2. Make it a very rare spawn.
3. Make it only spawn for a very short amount of time.
I think if we got a few new mobs that followed that formula across the span of updates it would be really great for the community as they would get to discover the content for themselves and have a few scares. Just imagine if Phantoms followed that formula. A flying mob with a creepy skin that rarely spawns, and only there for a bit. You read the new updates changelogs and when it comes out you hop into a game. You hear a shriek and when you look above you something flys around and then goes out of view. You don't remember reading anything about it in the update, and when you go to see where it went, it's gone. Now I think that, would make for some great gameplay!