Spooky season came to Milwaukee early this year as monsters descended upon the city for the Midwest Haunters Convention.
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)
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.”
2. Ghost Castle (1985)
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)
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.
4. Escape from Frankenstein (1983)
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.
5. Green Ghost (1965)
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.
6. Alien (1979)
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.
7. Ghost Train (1974)
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.
8. Mystery Mansion (1984)
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.
9. Voice of the Mummy (1971)
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 curses.
10. Scream Inn (1974)
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.
11. Superstition (1977)
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.
12. It from the Pit (1992)
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.
13. Horror House (1986)
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.
Do you remember playing any of these spooky board games? Let me know in the comments below.