Games that made everyday seem like Halloween.
I have loved monsters as far back as I can remember.
I drew monsters, I ate monsters cereal, I dreamed about monsters, I read monster books, I watched old monster films with my dad, and I looked forward to Halloween all year long.
These board games have enough hint of spookiness in them to make them favorites for any monster lover. Whether it is a trip to the graveyard, or exploring a haunted house you are in for a spine tingling treat!Shrieks & Creaks
1988 this unique game has you moving through mystery mansion trying to make it to the tower alive. You are followed by a vampire named Sir Simon Shriek. As you travel through the mansion each room has black cat spaces that if landed on mean you place your key and the specific room key into a talking tombstone. The tombstone is hooked up to a cassette player. If you hear nothing you live to see another day and can progress through the house. If you hear Simon he may give you directions or kill you in an amusing way.
Let me introduce you to some of the monsters. Many of you will already be familiar because of the Universal movies and Hammer horror films.Dracula Mystery Game
1963 Bela Lugosi as Dracula himself chases you across the board. "Will the vampire catch you"? Frankenstein Mystery Game
1963 from the artwork that is probably Glenn Strange playing Frankenstein's monster. It is definitely not the Boris Karloff version. "Find The Lurking Monster." The Wolfman Mystery Game
1963 Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolfman. "When will the werewolf strike"? The Mummy Mystery Game
1963 that could be Christopher Lee playing Kharis, the Mummy or possibly Lon Chaney Jr. from the Mummy's Ghost. "Explore The Ancient Crypts Of Egypt."The Creature From the Black Lagoon Mystery Game
1963 Ben Chapman and Ricou Browning as the Gill Man "Enter the depths of the Black Lagoon". The Phantom of the Opera Mystery Game
1963 Lon Chaney Sr. as the Erik the Phantom. "Can You Escape From The Phantom's Dungeon?" Revenge of Dracula
1991 as you move through the spooky forest each roll of the moon on the die brings Dracula one step closer. If he catches you you must go back to the beginning. First to escape the forest wins.Escape from Frankenstein
1983 players frantically race through the laboratory trying to find their key so that they will be able to shut off the power before Frankenstein's monster awakens.Escape from Frankenstein
1991 each mad scientist helps create the creature by adding arms and legs turn by turn. When the monster is complete he awakens. Run for your lives! First to escape the dungeon wins. Voice of the Mummy
this little gem from 1974 had an actual mini-record player hidden beneath the sarcophagus that played the voice of the mummy. Each player was told to how to move or to collect priceless jewels. Players then tried to make it back to one of four temples Anubis, Ra, Sphinx, or Bastet. Monster Madness
1990 in this game you are the monster! Your goal is to reach the "Lab Slab" and be electrified by lightning to become a super monster. The Monster Squad
1977 based on the T.V. series not the movie. This game is about wax museum figures that come to life to fight crime as Dracula, Bruce W. Wolf, Frank N. Stein in their custom Monster Van.Monster Mansion
1981 as you move through the mansion you land on tokens. Flipping the token can reveal hidden treasure, a secret passage or one of several monsters; Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Phantom of the Opera, or the sinister Mr. Hyde. You can then chase your opponents with a monster until they are destroyed. Monster Hunt
I came across this mysterious game and could not find any information about it. Maybe you remember it.Creature Features
1975 is a monster monopoly game where you can purchase movie rights, secure actors for your films, earn awards , and play the Dead or Alive space. All the while testing your knowledge of classic horror movies. The Munsters Masquerade Party
1965 I loved watching the re-runs of this great show. In this game you can party it up with your favorite Munsters family dressed up in masquerade. The Munsters Drag Race
1965 race around with Herman, Grandpa, Lily, and Eddie in the the family's hot rod the Munster Koach. Curiously Grandpa's DRAG-U-LA dragster is not present.The Munsters Card Game
1964 get points for each family member card that turns up. The Addams Family
1964 based on the 60s television show, join the whole family; Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley, Lurch and Grandmama, moving your character to victory. The Addams Family
1974 based on the original Charles Addams comic strips. The family has gone camping join the fun but the object of this game is to finish last! The Addams Family Family Reunion Game
1991 based on the film. The family is planning a reunion party. Get guests to come and provide the food to win. Boris Karloff's Monster Game
1965 the master of horror himself Boris Karloff from such memorable roles in classic horror films as: in Frankenstein as the Monster, the Mummy as the mummy Imhotep, the Raven, the Black Cat, The Tower of London, The Body Snatcher, Black Sabbath, and many more. This game pits you against 31 monsters as you make your perilous journey. Bigfoot
1977 Bigfoot is roaming the forests and mountain tops in this elimination game. As players control his movement he trods over game tokens. If he lands on yours and a footprint is left behind you are eliminated. Slime Monster
1977 an alien slime monster has invaded the town. High School student are the only defense? Race your student from the school to the armory to get mines to blow the creature up. Knock him over to win but don't get slimed first. Check out the great terrified player pawns. I am sure moms just loved this messy game the kids on the box-front sure do. Alien
1979 You control the fate of three astronauts trapped on the space ship Narcissus with deadly aliens. Guide them to the safety of the escape pod. You also control an alien to eliminate the opponents' astronauts before they can make it to the one and only escape pod to win.Mystic Skull The Game of Voodoo
1964 Each witch doctor must cast his spell on the opponent to eliminate them. Stir the cauldron with the bone to move the mystic skull who controls the voodoo magic. Place pins in your opponents voodoo dolls or trade magic tokens to save yourself.Triple Flips
1981 there were several different kinds of these little portable games. Each game had three different boards and games inside. This of course is the monster edition.
Curse of the Pyramid: outrace the mummy.
Vampire Attack: eliminate your opponents with a bite to the neck.
Escape the Evil Castle: Dracula is attempting to prevent your escape from the castle. Can you outwit your opponent to be the first to flee?The Monster
be the first to assemble the monster out of body parts of rotting corpses and reanimate him to win.I've Created A Monster
1987 mad scientists scramble to get all the cards assembled to make their creations live. Little Creepies' Monster Game
another creepy game I stumbled across that I could find no information for. Monstermania
1977 spin the spinner to collect eyes, noses, and mouths to complete your monster.Bats in your Belfry
1964 load the bats on the top of the tower. Drop the ball into the attic and its path is determined by green Skulls to randomly launch the bats at given times. Catch as many bats as you can with your spider-webbed skeletal hand claw catcher. Monster In My Pocket
1991 Discover your opponents strengths and weaknesses as you battle it out with your monsters in the swamp, the ice cave, the volcano pit, and New York City.
Monster In My Pocket Monster Clash
1991 avoid your opponent's glow in the dark rubber balls as you attempt to capture his monsters. Goosebumps Terror in the Graveyard
there are multiple Goosebumps games. Terror in the Graveyard came out in 1995. I played this one with my wife's little sister. I was impressed by the artwork and game play and it was pretty fun. Shifting tombs and spaces, grinning skulls, and a faceless ghost can paralyze you with fear or you can even be turned into a monster yourself and have to search for a cure. I Vant to Bite your Finger the Dracula Game
1979 This unique game has you trying to cross the graveyard without Dracula waking up. Instead of rolling dice for movement a player just states how far he wants to move as in the number of spaces. First one across the graveyard wins. It is a gamble though because with each announcement a player must turn the hour hand of the clock the same number as spaces moved. Randomly throughout the hour hand movement in a 12 hour span Dracula will awaken and open his cape, so big moves are risky. If he opens his cape you put your finger in his mouth and he bites down. If you find two red fang marks (red felt tipped pen) on your finger you get sent back to the start. If there are no marks you stop where you are. If the cape didn't open in the first place you keep moving your stated spaces. Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows
1969 somehow tied to the vampire character of the T.V. series Dark Shadows. Barnabas Collins the game consists of a box the shape of a coffin. Players take turns spinning the spinner and attempting to construct a skeleton on a scaffold hangman style. The first to get a full skeleton wins. They must be vampire skeletons though because if you collect three stakes you have to put bones back in the coffin. It also comes with nifty glow in the dark vampire teeth to scare folks with. Dark Shadows
1968 also based on the T.V. series. You move across the board by matching card suits (Spiders, Daggers, Bats, and Goblets) or vampire cards Barnabas or just vampire to various spaces on the board. The player tokens are pretty cool. They are an open grave with headstone, a wolf howling at the moon, a candle about to be blown out, and a grandfather clock. This game also includes your very own memorabilia card of Barnabas to include in your wallet or purse. Creature Castle
1975 pretty much the same as Dark Shadows, you move across the board by matching card suits (Spiders, Scorpions, Bats, and Snakes this time) or Monster or Creature cards to various spaces on the board. First out of the castle wins. Superstition
1977 are you superstitious? In this game you are breaking into a the wizard's tomb in the middle of the cemetery. Your quest is for the magic charm and whammy and then to escape from the graveyard. There are several traps along the way. If you walk under a ladder an angry ghost may haunt you. Walk past a black cat you are in for a surprise. The mirror may break giving you seven years bad luck. Watch out for the evil eye and don't let the toad touch you. Are you brave or foolish enough to walk across a grave? Beware the Raven, Friday the 13th, and the Witching Hour. Each trap has two pegs to choose from chose wrong and the rubber band powered trap springs. Moving headstones, breaking glass, attacking cats, and ghosts. The charms are a four leaf clover and a wishbone. Good Luck!Haunted Treasure Hunt
1975 "The old sea captain's house is located on the high cliff overlooking the sea, pounding on the rocks below. Rumors say that the captain buried much of his treasure around the grounds of his ancient home. If you disturb the treasure, you could rouse the ghost, that stories say, haunts that whole area." This electronic game is the spooky version of Operation. As you dig in the grounds if you touch the sides while pulling out the treasure you awaken the old sea captain's ghost and your turn is over. The most successful treasure hunter wins.Casper The Friendly Ghost
1959 Help all four of your ghosts make it to the haunted house. Casper The Friendly Ghost
1974 Casper is back and this time glows in the dark. Place Casper on your opponent's bases if he glows you win a chip. The player with the most chips win. Green Ghost
1965 Help the Green Ghost find his missing children past the gnarled tree, the shipwreck and the haunted house. There are pit crypts along the way. Use each special key to unlock the crypt. Reach in and feel your way around for the ghosts. Watch out though you may find snakes, bones, or black feathers. Herman on BoardGameGeek substituted the original bones (small plastic sticks), snakes (rubber bands) and feathers with plastic bones, cockroaches, and rubber worms which I thought was a pretty good idea. The idea is to reach into the unseen and feel and squirm at feeling something creepy. The player pawns are cool too, a scaredy cat, a spooky bat, a creepy rat and an evil vulture. This was also advertised as the first game to glow in the dark. Mostly Ghostly
1975 another glow-in-the-dark game, this simple game's premise is to spin the spinner and assemble your skeleton first. Midnight Party
1989 you have been invited to a midnight party. As the guests socialize they unwittingly disturb the ghost Hugo who haunts the mansion. As the guest promenade around the mansion, ghostly Hugo emerges from the cellar and starts to climb the stairs. Guests scramble to hide in rooms from the ghost. The player with the least amount of fright points wins. Ghost Train
1974 Step right up and board the ghost train. This spooky ride will take you from the entrance through the waiting room full of skeletons to multiple twists on turn table tracks that bring you face to face with ghosts, ghouls, giant bats, a skeletal signalman and a giant spider that guards the only exit. Ghosts!
originally from 1982 this is the 1985 Milton Bradley version I owned. Move your glow-in-the-dark ghosts through the dungeon. The game play is similar to Stratego and Checkers. Some of your spooks are good blue spirits and some are evil yellow specters. Yellow ghosts attack and kill the blue ones. Bluff and sneak all of your blue spirits across the board to win. Scream Inn
1974 this haunted hotel is full of spooks and ghosts at every turn. They pop out of the floor and furniture. Creep around and try to escape without disturbing the phantoms.Haunted House
1962 make your way through the haunted hallways by spinning the owl spinner with a terrifying hoot! With spooks behind secret doors and panels and then into the depths of the house where a treasure chest contains a priceless jewel. Haunted Mansion
1972 based on the Disneyland ride the haunted mansion takes your player cart through the portrait gallery, endless hallway, haunted ballroom, conservatory, seance room, attic and into the graveyard to the crypt avoid the grim grinning ghosts along the way. Which Witch?
1970 make your way through the Broom Room, Witchin Kitchen, Spell Cell, Bat's Ballroom and up the stairs to the chimney roof. Along the way there are safe spots and trap spots. A swinging broom in the broom room sweeps you away, the shaky floor in the Witchin Kitchen knocks you off your feet, there is a secret passage in the spell cell to get ahead but watch out if it opens in the Bat's Ballroom when you are in front of it. The whammy ball is what activates the traps placed into the chimney it randomly falls out to spring a trap or roll down the stairwell clearing players from its path. If a player is hit by the trap or ball they start again at the beginning of the room they are in. Players select cards with three witches on them. Wanda the Wicked casts a spell to turn children into mice and freezes them in their tracks. Ghoulish Gerty drops the whammy ball down the chimney to get children unlucky enough to be standing on trap spaces. Glenda the Good breaks the spell and changes the mice back into children.
in 1971 the game was re-released with a new name but is exactly the same.Ghost Castle
in 1985 Which Witch was redesigned into ghost castle. Children enter into the Ghost Castle a haunted house of horrors. Start on the blue footprint and roll the die to move. The children then spin the spider spinner to see if they roll the die again, get scared stiff, regain their courage to move, or drop the glow-in-the-dark skull with red eyes (replaced the whammy ball) into the open coffin lid (replaced the chimney chute) to randomly activate traps along the way. Beware to those standing on the trap spots (red footprints). Green footprints show the way to a secret passage.
Children who are scared stiff by a ghost place a white fright face mask (replaced the mice) on their player and are frozen until they spin a footprint. The first player to advance up the stairs and close the coffin lid putting the ghost to rest wins.
Children start in "a forest drenched in moonlight. A path leads to the mysterious Ghost Castle, guarded by a sinister axe-man." The suit of armor at the castle gate swings an axe (replaced the broom) down on the heads of the unwary sending them back to the start.
Players enter the "ghostly Great Hall with its treacherous shaky floor." If the skull lands on the floor and knocks them off their feet they must go back to the blue footprint at the start of the room.
Into the "cellar full of strange, dusty bottles and a hidden passage behind the secret mirror. If you are on the green footprints when the skull falls into the trap basket the mirror opens to reveal a passageway beyond.
You find yourself in "the dungeon with frightening shadows and a skeleton that comes to life." The skull can lift the secret passage sending the skeleton flying towards you knocking you over and back to the last blue footprint which is in the previous room.
"The spooky tower. You're never out of danger on the stairs. Only when you close the coffin will the ghost with the bouncing skull stop haunting the house." The skull can come rolling down the stairs at any minute knocking the children back to the last blue footprint at the foot of the staircase. So race up as fast as you can to the landing and close the coffin to win.The Real Ghost Busters
in 1986 the Which Witch? game was redesigned around the Real Ghost Busters Cartoon. Play your favorite ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler or Peter Venkman. Player land on a slimed spot and are stuck for one round or a thunder cloud and spin the spinner where they can catch a ghost card, lose a ghost, or be slimed. At the end of each turn the glow-in-the-dark skull with red eyes is dropped down the open ecto ghost trap (replaced the coffin) o randomly activate booby-traps along the way. The first to climb the stairs and close the trap wins.
Ghostbusters start in the firehouse station and move around until they have caught one ghost trying to avoid the falling axe of the suit of armor in the window of the antique store. Players need one captured ghost to move on.
Players find themselves in the haunted antique store searching for ghosts and avoiding the carpet that can knock them off their feet. Trap spots are designated by bloody pools on the floor. Busters must have two ghosts caught to continue.
Ghostbusters race through the city with Ecto-1 the ectomobile trying to capture three ghosts and maybe get lucky by moving through the secret passage if the skull lands in the basket.
Players search the creepy museum for four ghosts to move up the stairs. Players can be attacked by a ghost on the opposite side of the secret passage if they are in front of it when it is activated by the screaming skull.
Here are some of my favorites of the silly spooky ghost cards that are captured.
Hopefully that brings up some haunting memories of games you played on dark nights split by lightning. You may even be able to dust the cobwebs off of some of the old games and bring them back to life for another spooky game time with your friends.
The majority of the photos in this article come from www.boardgamegeek.com an awesome nearly comprehensive site for board game lovers. If you want to know more about these games, or if a game you remember was not featured, I highly recommend it. You can also upload pictures and descriptions of games if your favorite is not on there.
Articles coming soon to a Retro*Junk near you:
Revolting terror from games of a lost age in...Role Playing Games Rampage.
High adventure, sorcery and swordplay in...Fantasy Board Game Frenzy,
and the sheer raw panic of...Card Game Chaos.