Digging Up Weird History in Milwaukee's Oldest Cemeteries

Digging Up Weird History in Milwaukee’s Oldest Cemeteries

The “man they couldn’t hang,” a priest’s lonely crypt, the Midwest’s first crematorium, and other strange bits of history can be found in Milwaukee’s historic cemeteries.
Mausoleum window selfie
Obligatory mausoleum vault window selfie. That’s a thing, right?

To celebrate the first day of fall, I embarked on an expedition to a couple of my favorite cemeteries for the annual Doors Open Milwaukee event. Thankfully, the equinox also brought with it the first hint of crisp autumn air, so I threw on my new Dead Sled hoodie and set off on a journey into Milwaukee’s Great Beyond.

The destination?

The two oldest cemeteries, where the city’s founders, early mayors, industrialists, and other prominent historical figures are interred. During Doors Open Milwaukee, both cemeteries allow visitors a glimpse into areas that are otherwise closed to the public. Among other things, that means an opportunity to peek into the Midwest’s first crematorium, as well as a large underground crypt where only one priest was entombed before it was closed.

My first stop was:

Forest Home Cemetery

Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee
The mausoleum of Milwaukee beer baron Valentin Blatz

Milwaukee’s early burials, one guide explained, took place either on private land in family graveyards or in fields among herds of cattle. When the first forested acres of land were bought for the city’s first actual cemetery in 1850, many of those remains were moved to what would become Forest Home Cemetery.

Before the cemetery, the land was dotted with more than 60 Paleo-Indian burial and effigy mounds which were all catalogued by pioneer scientist Increase A. Lapham. None of those mounds remain today, but Lapham is now one of the cemetery’s notable residents.

Others worth mentioning are the founders of Harley Davidson, Milwaukee Beer Barons Jacob Best, Frederick Pabst, and Valentin Blatz, as well as a cenotaph for Joseph Schlitz, who was lost at sea when the ship he was headed to Germany on sank in 1875 near Cornwall, England.

The Man They Couldn’t Hang

The grave of John
The grave of John “Babbacombe” Lee

The one grave in particular I was hoping to find this visit was that of a man named John Henry George Lee who was born in Abbotskerswell, Devon, England in 1864. He is also known as John “Babbacombe” Lee, or “The Man They Couldn’t Hang.”

Lee was sentenced to death after being convicted of the brutal 1884 murder of an elderly woman named Emma Keyse at her home in England’s Babbacombe Bay. On February 23, 1885, Lee was brought to the gallows to be hanged at Exeter Prison. He stood on the scaffold with the noose securely around his neck, but the trapdoor through which he was supposed to drop failed to open. Lee was brought down and the executioner examined it. He couldn’t find anything wrong. The trapdoor was tested and seemed to work fine. So Lee was brought back up and the rope placed around his neck again. But again, the trapdoor failed. And again. After the third time the medical officer attending the execution refused to take part in the proceedings. The execution was halted, and Lee’s sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Lee was released in 1907, but what happened to him after that was something of a mystery. It seemed as though he died in a workhouse in Tavistock and was buried there. He has a death certificate and a grave there in Plymouth Road cemetery. However, in 2009 two researchers discovered a trail of documents revealing Lee boarded a ship in Southhampton in 1911 bound for New York. He abandoned his pregnant wife with their other child, arriving in the US with a woman named Adeline Gibbs. Adeline, it seems, was fleeing her recent marriage to a man named William Jones, and was listed as Lee’s wife Jessie Lee on the ship’s manifest.

Burial card and plot map showing the grave of John Babbacombe Lee in Milwaukee
Burial card and plot map showing the graves of John Lee and his family

The convicted killer and his mistress came to Milwaukee, where they lived out their secret, anonymous lives. They had a daughter together named Evelyn Lee, who died at the age of 18 or 19. Evelyn was working as a maid for Dr. Arthur Kovak. On October 12, 1933 Kovak came home to find Evelyn dead, asphyxiated by the fumes from the naphtha she was using to clean the drapes in the bathroom.

John Lee died in 1945, followed by Adeline, listed as his window, in 1947. The three are buried together, Evelyn between her mother and father. Lee, the man who couldn’t be hanged, who has two graves on two continents, rests in Milwaukee’s Forest Home Cemetery.

The Midwest’s First Crematorium

Forest Home crematory

The Forest Home chapel is made of red Lake Superior sandstone from the Apostle Islands. It opened in 1892. Several years later the first crematorium in the Midwest was built below the chapel, and the first cremation took place in on July 7, 1896.

The crematorium is notable for using oil instead of coal, gas or whatever other crematorys used at the time, meaning the bodies were incinerated faster.

Also, the retorts were larger than normal. The reason for this, one of the cemetery volunteers told me, was to accommodate Milwaukee’s barons.

Inside the retort

After a funeral was held in the chapel, the casket would be lowered on coffin-sized elevator lift from the sanctuary down into the crematorium. Families would then push the deceased into the retort, and then spend the next several hours in a marble-covered room waiting for the process to be complete.

The remnants of their loved ones would be swept out of the retort and dumped into a grinder, or cremulator, that breaks up the large chunks of bone into tidy “ashes” so the cremains will fit in an urn.

The Forest Home Cemetery cremulator
The cremulator

The crematorium was in use until 1998 when a more modern facility was built elsewhere on the grounds.

Another interesting feature of the chapel’s basement level is the receiving vault, where bodies were stored during the winter months until the ground thawed and graves could be dug. The guide mentioned that when Frederick Pabst died on January 1, 1904, armed guards stood at the entrance to the vault for months protecting his body until he could be buried.

The guide also noted that before the chapel was built, there was a different receiving vault where a fountain now stands that could store up to 400 coffins.

Forest Home Cemetery receiving vault
The receiving vault where bodies were stored during winter months

Forest Home Cemetery chapel
The Forest Home Cemetery chapel was built in 1892

Coffin elevator
The coffin elevator was used to bring coffins down to the crematory from the chapel sanctuary above

The cenotaph of Milwaukee beer baron Joseph Schlitz
The cenotaph of Milwaukee beer baron Joseph Schlitz

A sign points the way to the crematory during Doors Open Milwaukee
A sign points the way to the crematory during Doors Open Milwaukee

Stolen bronze angel statue
The 6-foot bronze angel that usually stand here was stolen a few weeks ago

It is difficult to leave Forest Home Cemetery, but after wandering aimlessly for a considerable amount of time before I found Lee’s grave (even with the plot map in hand) there was only an hour left before Doors Open Milwaukee concluded for the day.

So I hurried to my second stop:

Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery chapel in Milwaukee
Calvary Cemetery chapel on Jesuit Hill

The oldest Catholic burial ground in Milwaukee, Calvary Cemetery is filled with the Catholic victims of the Newhall House fire that took 76 lives in 1883 (the non-Catholic victims were buried in Forest Home) and numerous victims of the Lady Elgin disaster that claimed some 300 lives when the steamer collided with a schooner and sank into Lake Michigan on September 8th, 1860.

Other notable interments include Patrick Cudahy of the Patrick Cudahy meat packing company and Frederick Miller, founder of the Miller Brewing Company.

Somewhere in Calvary is a memorial to the Lady Elgin victims, as well as at least one stone (that may or may not be the same as the memorial) which says “lost on the Lady Elgin.” I’ve spent numerous hours on multiple occasions searching the cemetery to no avail, so I didn’t even bother this time. I really just wanted to see the crypt beneath the chapel again.

Abandoned Crypt

Abandoned crypt beneath the Calvary Cemetery chapel
Abandoned crypt beneath the Calvary Cemetery chapel

The Calvary chapel was built in 1899 from Cream City brick atop one of Milwaukee’s highest points. Today it overlooks Miller Park. The hill it sits upon is called as Jesuit Hill, and is primarily the burial place of clergy and members of various religious orders. At the base of the hill is the grave of Father Walter Halloran, the Jesuit priest who assisted in the exorcism of Roland Doe in 1949.

That is one of two cases (the other also involved a Wisconsin priest who was known as the foremost exorcist in America during his life) that inspired William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.

The grave of Exorcist priest Father Walter Halloran
The grave of Father Walter Halloran

The chapel was in use for a long time, but with no climate control, the harsh Wisconsin weather eventually took a toll. It was closed in the 1950s.

The mystery lies in the crypt beneath the chapel.

Calvary Cemetery crypt
Rev. Idziego Tarasiewicza is the crypt’s only interment

The underground mausoleum contains 45 niches on two levels. Two sets of spiral stairs on either side of chapel altar wind down into the crypt. To bring in the dead, each level had it’s own entrance. A tunnel through the hill lead into the lower level.

In 1903, Rev. Idziego Tarasiewicza died. He was the founder of St. Casimir’s Parish. A procession of more than 2,000 mourners walked from the church in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood to the Calvary crypt 6 miles away. Tarasiewicza was entombed in the vault directly beneath the altar. He was the first, as well as the last, interment in the crypt.

And no one knows why.

The marble marker of Rev. Idziego Tarasiewicza
Rev. Tarasiewicza lies behind this marble marker

Calvary Cemetery crypt door sealed off
The entrance to the upper level of the crypt

Calvary Cemetery crypt tunnel entrance
Tunnel entrance into the lower level of the crypt

The guide in the crypt said the reason is probably due to poor ventilation, which could become hazardous. He cited another nearby crypt that was closed for that reason. But whether or not that is the case will remain a mystery. At some point, both outside entrances into the crypt were closed. The tunnel may have been covered up, or it may have collapsed. No one knows.

The crypt is open to the public on Memorial Day and during the Doors Open Milwaukee event every September.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children book trailer

Watch the Trailer for the New Peculiar Children Book ‘Map of Days’

The peculiar children come to America and encounter unimaginable new dangers in Map of Days, the new novel in the Miss Peregrine series from Ransom Riggs.

Jacob uncovers new secrets about his grandfather’s double life, leading the peculiar children on a dangerous new adventure in Map of Days, the latest book in the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs.

Map of Days is part of the 2018 Cult of Weird Fall Reading List.

From the description:

Having defeated the monstrous threat that nearly destroyed the peculiar world, Jacob Portman is back where his story began, in Florida. Except now Miss Peregrine, Emma, and their peculiar friends are with him, and doing their best to blend in. But carefree days of beach visits and normalling lessons are soon interrupted by a discovery—a subterranean bunker that belonged to Jacob’s grandfather, Abe.

Clues to Abe’s double-life as a peculiar operative start to emerge, secrets long hidden in plain sight. And Jacob begins to learn about the dangerous legacy he has inherited—truths that were part of him long before he walked into Miss Peregrine’s time loop.

Now, the stakes are higher than ever as Jacob and his friends are thrust into the untamed landscape of American peculiardom—a world with few ymbrynes, or rules—that none of them understand. New wonders, and dangers, await in this brilliant next chapter for Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children. Their story is again illustrated throughout by haunting vintage photographs, but with a striking addition for this all-new, multi-era American adventure—full color.

Map of Days

Map of Days hits shelves on October 2.

Order Map of Days Now

Guillotine earrings from the Reign of Terror in France

These Macabre Guillotine Earrings Were All the Rage During France’s “Reign of Terror”

So many people were executed during the “reign of terror” in France that depictions of the guillotine and beheading became popular and fashionable.
Guillotine earrings from France c.1793 depict the decapitated heads of the king and queen
Guillotine earrings c.1793

These gold and gilded metal guillotine earrings from 1793 depict the Phrygian cap on top, and the crowned, decapitated heads of the king and queen dangling below. With 16,594 executions taking place between June 1793 and July 1794, the guillotine was the emblem of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution.

It was both metaphorical and literal.

“The guillotine superbly exemplified and epitomized the vital need for rupture, which constituted the condition—and promise—for remaking the world,” Laure Murat writes in The Man Who Thought He Was Napoleon. “As a modern machine derived from the laws of geometry and gravity, it promised an egalitarian, democratic death. It put a permanent end to the hierarchy of punishments under the ancient régime, which sentenced witches and arsonists to be burned at the stake, regicides to be tortured, and thieves and criminals to be hanged, reserving decapitation by the sword for the nobility. It was to do away with this inequality—even in death— that on October 9, 1789, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, an elected representative to the Constituent Assembly, suggested a new form of capital punishment that would be identical for all.”

A doctor named Antoine Louis submitted a report detailing how the new “machine of the government” would work.

“France did not invent this method of execution, but it altered the scale of operations, bringing death into the era of technical mass production,” writes Murat. “Other beheading devices had proved their worth in the past, such as the Diele in medieval Germany, the mannaia in sixteenth-century Italy, the ‘maiden’ in Scotland, and the ‘Halifax gibbet’ in England. The French guillotine was nevertheless more efficient than its predecessors, thanks to the development of a swivel board on which the condemned person was bound, the design of a lunette (double-sided yoke) that held the head steady, and finally the use of a diagonal rather than a crescent-shaped blade, which meant that the instrument ‘never failed,’ according to a report submitted on March 7, 1792, by Antoine Louis, its true inventor.”

A Prussian piano maker named Tobias Schmidt was hired to build the device, then nicknamed the Petite Louison or Louisette.

Interestingly, Schmidt’s request for a patent on the invention was denied:

“It is humanly distasteful to grant a patent for an invention of this kind; we have not yet reached such a level of barbarity. While Monsieur Schmidt has produced a useful invention of a lethal kind, since it can be used only for carrying out legal sentences he must offer it to the government.”

This new “machine of the government” was first tested on April 17, 1792 on live sheep and three human corpses.

A few days later, on April 25, a highwayman named Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person executed by guillotine.

Of course, it was a success. And just the beginning of the bloodbath.

Illustraion of Louis XVI's severed head
Illustraion of Louis XVI’s severed head

Barbaric or not, people loved the guillotine. When the Reign of Terror began taking heads on an average of 46 per day, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the terrifying instrument of swift death became part of everyday life. It was the subject of art, music, and fashion.

“It was depicted, recounted, and bandied about by popular songs with their series of refrains on ‘the widow,’ ‘the national razor,’ ‘the patriotic haircut,’ ‘the sword of equality,’ and ‘the altar of the nation,'” says Murat. “People no longer referred to ‘being guillotined’ but spoke of ‘sticking your head through the cat-flap,’ ‘poking through the window,’ or ‘sneezing into the basket.'”

“Like tricolor skirts and nosegays, or jewelry set with chunks from the Bastille,” Jane Merrill and Chris Filstrup write in I Love Those Earrings, “the guillotines testified to a person’s daring (unmistakably they were symbols of castration) and being on the winning side.”

When the Reign of Terror finally came to an end, however, rumors of severed heads blushing and gnashing their teeth caused some to believe consciousness still lingered after decapitation and public opinion of the guillotine began to change.

In the aftermath, “victim’s balls” were held in Paris in which the families of those who met their end on the guillotine gathered in mourning dress with red ribbon tied around their necks.

Cult of Weird Fall Reading List

Morbid Must-Reads: 2018 Fall Reading List

Dig into these morbid and fascinating book recommendations for the fall season from Cult of Weird.
Morbid Must-Reads: The 2018 Cult of Weird fall reading list

It’s that time of year again: Falling leaves, the flickering grins of jack-o-lanterns, ghouls lurking around every turn and, of course, the Cult of Weird Fall Reading List of morbid must-reads to satisfy your dark autumn desires.

Curl up with one of these macabre recommendations and drift off through the thinning veil.

The Man from the Train

The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery

Bill James examines a series of seemingly unconnected axe murders across the country between 1898 to 1912 and makes a startling discovery: The murders were all committed by the same person, and he uncovered the identity of one of the deadliest serial killers in America. Thanks to Macabre Monday host Malia Miglino for this fascinating recommendation.

BUY NOW


Dreadful Places

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

Aaron Mahnke, creator of the Lore podcast, takes you on a tour of dark places where bad things have happened in the third installment of the World of Lore series.

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A Map of Days

A Map of Days (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine’s peculiar children return with new wonders, dangers, and creepy vintage photos as Jacob uncovers more of his grandfather’s secrets that leads he and his unusual friends into the strange and untamed American peculiardom.

BUY NOW


The Penguin Book of Hell

The Penguin Book of Hell

Explore 3,000 years of Hell from the shadowy Sheol to Hades, Dante’s nine circles of Hell and more in this complete history of eternal damnation.

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Alice Isn’t Dead

Alice Isn't Dead

After months of searching for Alice, she was presumed dead and had a funeral. But now she keeps turning up in the background of news reports from every major tragedy and accident across the country. From the mind of Welcome to Night Vale co-creator Joseph Fink, Alice Isn’t Dead is a new novel based on the popular podcast of the same name.

BUY NOW


The Sawbones Book

The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine

How did we go from eating powdered mummies, wearing radioactive underpants, and digging up corpses to modern medicine? The creators of the Sawbones podcast fill you in, complete with macabre illustrations to remind us just how horrific medical history can be.

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We Sold Our Souls

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

In this hard-rocking, spine-tingling supernatural thriller by Grady Hendrix, author of Paperbacks from Hell and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, the washed-up guitarist of a ’90s heavy metal band embarks on an epic road-trip across America and deep into the web of a sinister conspiracy.

BUY NOW


The Victorian Celebration of Death

The Victorian Celebration of Death

An in-depth examination of Victorian mourning, from changing attitudes toward the dead to elaborate state funerals, cemetery architecture, and more.

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Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities

Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities by Nancy Stohlman

Vaudeville stories of the weird, absurd and bizarre cabaret. Step right up to meet a woman so determined to be a star, she’ll try anything in this collection of flash fiction oddities by Nancy Stohlman.

Available soon from Big Table Publishing


Servants of the Supernatural

Servants of the Supernatural: The Night Side of the Victorian Mind

Explore the dark side of the Victorian science: Mediums, psychics, spiritualism, and seances.

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Urban Legends

Urban Legends: Bizarre Tales You Won't Believe

Did you hear about the kids who found a Ferrari buried in their garden? What about the man who sued Satan? Or the woman who woke up in the middle of her funeral? Do you know the legend of the Bunny Man?

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Coffins, Corpses, and Crypts

Corpses, Coffins, and Crypts: A History of Burial by Penny Colman

Did you know that winter in Madagascar was considered corpse-turning season? This book for children explores death and burial across the world with plenty of macabre and fascinating facts from six feet under.

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The Ghost: A Cultural History

The Ghost: A Cultural History

Ghosts are woven into the very fabric of life. In Britain, every town, village, and great house has a spectral resident, and their enduring popularity in literature, art, folklore, and film attests to their continuing power to fascinate, terrify, and inspire.

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Hell’s Princess

Hell's Princess: The Mystery of Belle Gunness, Butcher of Men

Belle Gunness lured men to her “murder farm” in Indiana where they vanished without a trace. Until their butchered remains were later unearthed by authorities. This is the story of America’s most twisted female serial killer as told by the king of true crime, Harold Schechter.

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Spoon River Anthology

Spoon River Anthology

Deceased residents of the fictional town of Spoon River recount their often sad and tragic lives through a collection of free verse poems. “Where are Elmer, Herman, Bert, Tom and Charley, the weak of will, the strong of arm, the clown, the boozer, the fighter?” the first poem asks. “All, all are sleeping on the hill.”

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The Ghastling

The Ghastling

The Ghastling features a collection of ghoulish short horror stories by contemporary authors. Book seven is a special issue dedicated to monsters in celebration of the Bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

BUY NOW

Want more? Here are the fall reading lists from previous years:

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Or you can find them all and more here: Cult of Weird Recommended Reading

Creepy vintage board games

13 Spooky Vintage Board Games to Play on Halloween

Battle monsters, ghosts, voodoo curses, boobytrapped mansions, haunted carnival rides, and more with these vintage spooky board games.

The Ouija board is the only board game known to cause so much fear that people refuse to touch it. But these vintage board games from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s are considerably spookier. We’re talking about games where a mummy’s voice echos from its tomb, an electronic Deathhead determines if you win a battle against demons or perish, a game where you put voodoo curses on the other players, and plenty of haunted mansions with traps, treasures, and monsters lurking around every corner.

With their eerie box art and creepy themes, these board games will add some spooky fun to the Halloween season without putting your mortal soul in danger.

1. Seance (1972)

Seance spooky vintage board game by Milton Bradley

Your dear Uncle Everett has died in this rare board game from Milton Bradley. According to the directions, Everett was a spiritualist. He believed his spirit would return from the grave to guide the distribution of his wealth.

Although he left the bulk of his estate to his parrot, players (his nieces and nephews, of course) gather in his creepy Victorian mansion to hold a seance and bid on his remaining possessions of unknown value. Everett’s ghostly voice emanates from an actual record player hidden inside the seance table. When everything has been bought, Uncle Everett reveals how much each item is worth, or how much each player owes in taxes.

The player with the most money wins.

“When the game is over and the room is plunged into darkness,” the instructions read, “it is said that the image of Uncle Everett may be seen.”

Seance vintage board game

2. Ghost Castle (1985)

Ghost Castle board game by Milton Bradley

Based on Milton Bradley’s earlier Which Witch? and Haunted House (The Real Ghostbusters board game was also a re-themed version of this), players had to collect ghost card and avoid traps as they made their way up the stairs to close the coffin lid and “lay the ghost.”

3. Mystic Skull: The Game of Voodoo (1964)

Mystic Skull voodoo board game

Each player is a witch doctor with a voodoo doll. When you stir the cauldron, the Mystic Skull spins and determines where you will place the next pin in your opponents doll.

Mystic Skull vintage board game

4. Escape from Frankenstein (1983)

Escape from Frankenstein board game

Players move around Frankenstein’s castle looking for the key that matches their color, hoping to reach the laboratory and shut off the power before the monster comes alive.

Escape from Frankenstein vintage game

5. Green Ghost (1965)

Green Ghost board Game

The Green Ghost board is on stilts, players can fall through trap doors, there’s keys, bat feathers, bones, snakes, ghost children, pets, and it was the first board game to glow in the dark. I have no idea what you need all of these things, but the inclusion of everything creepy means it’s obviously amazing.

Green Ghost vintage game

6. Alien (1979)

Alien board game

Aliens have invaded the Nostromo. Each player is an astronaut trying to make their escape on the shuttle while using their own personal xenomorph to eliminate other players. While it may seem tempting, please refrain from laying eggs inside your opponents.

Alien movie vintage game

7. Ghost Train (1974)

Ghost Train board game

Based on the Ghost Train amusement park ride, this game simulates the experience by including sudden and jolting changes of direction, dead stops, getting stuck, and mechanical ghosts. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the expansion pack where you have to buy tickets, wait in line, and exit the ride feeling like you got seriously ripped off.

Ghost Train vintage game

8. Mystery Mansion (1984)

Mystery Mansion board game

Roll the dice and search for clues as you build a Victorian mansion room by room in hopes of finding a treasure chest filled with gold and jewels rather than cobwebs and dust.

Mystery Mansion vintage game

9. Voice of the Mummy (1971)

Voice of the Mummy board game

The precursor to Seance, Voice of the Mummy also has a record player inside. The mummy doles out instructions while players race around the three levels of the sarcophagus collecting gems. All the fun of looting tombs without all those pesky death curses.

Voice of the Mummy vintage game

10. Scream Inn (1974)

Scream Inn board game

With a slogan like “We’re only here for the fear!” this must be the world’s first (only?) dark tourism board game. Players spin the wheel and try to get all of their pieces out of the haunted inn without disturbing a ghost.

Scream Inn spooky vintage game

11. Superstition (1977)

Superstition board game

Players wander around a cemetery trying to reach the Wizard’s Tomb, but the graveyard is full of rubberband-powered traps with superstitions like a black cat and a broken mirror that may fling your piece off the board.

Superstition spooky board game

12. It from the Pit (1992)

It from the Pit board game

Players have to dash for the treasure chest while a giant green mechanical monster tries to pull their tiny plastic explorers into the pit full of bubbling green goo.

It from the Pit spooky board game

13. Horror House (1986)

Horror House board game

Face off against 45 monsters from around the world (including the dreaded Umbrella Monster!) in this electronic board game from Bandai. Players move through the house fighting these monsters while the Deathhead Roulette determines the outcome of each battle. The demons scream if you win. If you lose, a wicked laugh emanates from the Deathhead.

Be careful with this one, though. Bandai recommends you never play alone.

Deathhead Roulette on the Horror House game board

Which of these spooky board games was your favorite to play when you were young? Let me know in the comments below.