The poet Keats described autumn as the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’. He’s probably right about that, but in our opinion he’s missing some key components—it’s the season of mists, mellow fruitfulness, and spooky board games! With Halloween drawing closer, there’s no better way to spend an autumn evening than playing board games. Here are five spooky board games guaranteed to strike a seasonal chill into your heart.
Just kidding. Although not much is scarier than capitalism.
2-7 players — age 10+ — 45+ minutes
We don’t want to alarm anyone, but there’s a ghost in this game. And it might be you. In Mysterium, one player takes on the role of a restless spirit, while the other players race to interpret the mysterious visions (beautifully illustrated cards) that the ghost bestows on them. Can you figure out the circumstances of the ghost’s death, before the time runs out?
2-4 players — age 13+ — 60 minutes
Fans of doom, misery, and general woebegone-ness will get a kick out of Gloom. This gothic card game challenges you to make your family (of cards; not the people you’re playing with) the most miserable they can be, before granting them the sweet release of death and reaping the rewards. Play your hand to maximise your family’s misery while minimising your opponents’.
3. Betrayal at House on the Hill
3-6 players — age 12+ — 60 minutes
Betrayal at House on the Hill provides all the fun of exploring a horror-filled house, but in board game form, so without any of the deadly peril! With 50 scenarios to choose from and an ever-changing mansion, you never know if you’ll end up working with your teammates or against them, in this creepy game of exploration and monster-slaying.
4. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
3-10 players — age 8+ — 10 minutes
A hidden role game of bluffing and deduction, One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a super-quick, super-fun dose of Werewolf-flavoured fun. (By which we mean it’s a take on the game Werewolf, not that biting into it tastes like fur.) Villagers try to figure out who the werewolves are, while werewolves try to avoid detection.
5. EXIT: The Catacombs of Horror
1-4 — age 16+ — 120-240 minutes
This play-at-home escape room board game is bigger, scarier, and more challenging than any of the other EXIT games. Working together with a group of friends (ideally, very brave friends who are very good at solving puzzles), tackle the fiendish riddles to escape from the terrifying catacombs—before it’s too late.
If spooky board games aren’t your style, check out our other board game recommendations for something less haunting. Or take a break from board games and come immerse yourselves in one of LockHouse’s three escape games this Halloween season! Plus, if you’ve got a tale of terror to tell, submit it to our flash fiction contest for a chance to win a free escape game.