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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.

Serial Killer Trivia Board Game

Serial killer trivia board game

If you’ve ever had the urge to slaughter your friends in a friendly board game, you need the Serial Killer Trivia Game from Culture Heroes, Inc. Players choose from Richard Ramirez, Aileen Wuornos, Ed Gein, Albert Fish and Ted Bundy as their game pieces, and embark on a murderous rampage to be the first to claim five victims.

Enjoy hours of family fun as you break into houses and reveal pick scenario cards to reveal your murder methods!

Buy Here

Ouija: Mystifying History of the Dreaded Talking Board Game

It began as a harmless game. How did the Ouija board get such a fearful reputation?
The strange history of the Ouija Board

The Ouija board is a simple board with letters and numbers, and a planchette to point to them. It was invented by an attorney who marketed it commercially to turn a profit. I’m pretty sure the patent did not include portals to Hell.

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Nevertheless, Ouija Boards have always been a source of scorn for religious fundamentalists, who believe they are tools of Satan. Ouija burnings and pleas to end their production still happen here in the digital age, when science and technology is supposed to have evolved us beyond those archaic belief systems conceived by early civilizations to explain the natural world.

So how did a toy manage to get such a fearful reputation?

A Brief History of the Ouija Board

A vintage William Fuld Ouija Board

The Ouija Board has a long and unusually sordid history for a board game. It was first brought to the commercial market by business man Elijah Bond in 1890 as nothing more than a parlor game. The “wonderful talking board” promised “never-failing amusement and recreation for all the classes.”

It became hopelessly entangled in the occult years later when Spiritualists adopted it as a tool for divining.

William Fuld took over production of the game in 1901 and named it Ouija, claiming the board itself gave him the name. Fuld skyrocketed the Ouija into popularity in the 1920s. He had often consulted the Ouija on matters of business. At one point the Ouija told him to “prepare for big business.” Fuld took the advice, building the large new factory which he would eventually fall from and die in 1927.

Fuld’s family carried on the business until 1966, when they retired and sold it to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers was sold to Hasbro in 1991. Since then, Hasbro has released many different versions of the Ouija, including glow in the dark boards and pink boards for girls.

Though it has often been described as a hoax and a con, the Ouija has no shortage of people terrified to use it. There is always someone with sweaty palms and heart palpitations when the board comes out.

Of course, any harmless children’s game that summons the dead and inadvertently causes demonic possession is bound to get a little flack, right?

Except, historically speaking, there doesn’t seem to be any documented incidents of Ouija Board happenings that should make anyone uneasy. The closest is the story of Pearl Curran.

The Writings of Pearl Curran and Patience Worth

Pearl Curran communicates with Patience Worth through a ouija board
Over the years, strange stories of the Ouija have certainly managed to evoke a general sense of dread. The very first was that of St. Louis housewife and spiritualist Pearl Curran, who claimed that she began channeling a spirit calling itself Patience Worth in 1913. The spirit claimed to be from the 17th century and “across the sea.”

Curran wrote a series of novels, short stories and poems that she said Patience dictated to her through the board. This continued on until 1937, when Patience predicted Curran’s unexpected death by pneumonia on December 3rd of that year.

Hasbro’s Latest Ouija Board

Hasbro's latest edition of the Ouija board talking board game
Hasbro’s latest edition of the talking board (available here) harkens back to the original allure of the mystifying oracle.

Collectors and aspiring occultists ages 8+ will love the faux patina of Hasbro’s latest Ouija Board. The board itself is textured to get that real wood feel, and the planchette has an LED black light that lights up when you touch it, causing the white letters and numbers to glow as it passes over them.

The next time you need to invoke a demonic entity, do it in style.

For more information on the history of the Ouija Board check out Ouija historian Robert Murch’s website www.williamfuld.com

Have you had a strange experience with a Ouija board?
Share it in the comments below.

Mystic Eye 1953 Divination Board Game

This weekend’s adventures into the dark corners and dusty shelves of the unknown unearthed an original Mystic Eye board game!

mystic-eye-1953-gameVintage 1953 Mystic Eye divination board game

Made in 1953 by Mister B Industries, Mystic Eye claims to be a powerful oracle and party game good for psychoanalysis, lie detecting, locating lost items and determining the sex of your unborn child.

Mystic Eye uses a “psycho-activated” pendulum and master chart to tap into the conscious, subconscious and super-conscious mind to divine the unknown. Unlike the Kreskin’s ESP game we came across a few months back, this copy of Mystic Eye is complete, including the instructions and the pendulum.

It was difficult not to unravel the mysteries of life, love and the occult with the one of the self-proclaimed “psychological wonders of the world” at our fingertips, so we made sure it is in working condition. But does it really pierce the veil and peer into the future? You will have to find out for yourself.