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13 Best Horror Board Games for a Spooky Halloween

Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love dressing up, decorating my house and having friends round to play horror board games on Halloween games night!

In this post, I round up some of my favourite horror board games for Halloween.

The board games range from easy to complex, short to long, co-op and competitive so that you can decide what looks best for your Halloween board game night! 

  1. Gloom
  2. Arkham Horror
  3. Mysterium
  4. Betrayal at House on the Hill
  5. One Night Ultimate Werewolf
  6. Zombies!!!
  7. Arkham Horror: The Card Game
  8. Villainous 
  9. Zombie Dice
  10. Exit: The Abandoned Cabin 
  11. Small World: Underworld
  12. Zombie Fluxx
  13. Ghost Stories

1. Gloom

Gloom card game
Gloom card game

Make your family the most miserable and kill them off!

Type of game: Competitive storytelling
Players: 2-4 (7 players with expansions)
Age guide: 13+
Time to play: 60 minutes
Scare factor: 1/5
Complexity: 1/5

In most board games you’re striving to be the happiest, the best, most progressive player. Gloom turns that on its head. 

In Gloom, you play the head of a family and it’s your job to make them as miserable as possible and then shuffle them off this mortal coil! You might strike them down with a disease, poison them or strike them with crippling debt.

Each time you play a card on a family member, you describe what has happened to your poor unfortunate character. Tell the story of their lives to your competitors.

While you’re making your family miserable, the other players will be trying to make your family happy! They don’t want your family to be miserable! The more miserable your family members are when they die, the more points you get! 

Gloom is a fun, macabre, card game that’s easy to learn. The cards have a really unique see-through design that helps you to total up your misery points!

The cards small amazing too! Yes, a bit weird I know, but trust me. Gloom has the best smelling cards of any game! 

Why Gloom is a great board game for Halloween

  • You can tell stories about the horrors that befell your family. 
  • The cards are made from plastic so it doesn’t matter if food and drink spill on them! 

Check the price of Gloom at Amazon.

2. Arkham Horror

Stop the Ancient One from invading Arkham and spreading ruin! 

Type of game: Co-operative in an H.P. Lovecraft setting
Players: 1-8
Age guide: 12+
Time to play: 120-360 minutes
Scare factor: 2/5
Complexity: 4/5

It’s the 1920s in Arkham and portals are opening up tearing apart the barrier between this world and the world of the Ancient Ones! Monsters are coming through the portals and terrorizing everyone! 

Players take on the role of investigators trying to seal the gates to the other dimensions before the Ancient One is summoned! If they fail to seal the portals, they must defeat the Ancient One themselves!

Each investigator has unique skills and abilities to bring to the group. As you explore you’ll pick up items and abilities that will make your character stronger and better able to defeat the monsters and close gates or defeat the Ancient One! 

Why Arkham Horror is a great board game for Halloween

  • It’s a tough game to beat and gets really intense!
  • The Arkham setting and the monsters summoned match Halloween!

Check the price of Arkham Horror on Amazon.

3. Mysterium

Mysterium board game
Mysterium board game

Someone has been murdered! The ghost has returned to give clues on whodunnit! 

Type of game: Co-op image-based murder mystery game
Players: 2-7
Age guide: 10+
Time to play: 42 minutes
Scare factor: 1/5
Complexity: 2/5

One person plays as the ghost trying to communicate to the other players who murdered them, where it happened and with which weapon. But they can only communicate through pictures! The ghost can’t talk at all! It’s like Clue but co-operative and with pictures. 

Each turn, the ghost player hands each guesser one or two picture cards to help them guess the right person, place or item. The ghost flips the hourglass timer over and the guessers chat between themselves to help each other to guess the correct option. 

Everyone wants to help each other make the correct guesses because if everyone guesses their suspect, location and weapon before the end of the 7th turn, the group can have a guess at the final culprit! 

The game publishers Libellud even released a soundtrack to go along with the game to make it feel more haunting! 

Why Mysterium is a perfect board game for Halloween

  • The art on the cards is quite creepy…
  • Someone gets to play as a ghost!
  • It has a spooky soundtrack!

Check the price of Mysterium on Amazon.

4. Betrayal at House on the Hill

Betrayal at House on the Hill board game
Betrayal at House on the Hill board game

A ramshackle group star in their own B movie horror to explore a haunted house until one turns traitor! 

Type of game: A co-op tile placement game where one person turns traitor! 
Players: 3-6
Age guide: 12+
Time to play: 60 minutes
Scare factor: 4/5
Complexity: 2/5 

Ever wanted to experience a B movie horror for yourself? Well, in Betrayal at House on the Hill, you can! 

You play as one of 6 characters who are exploring a haunted old house. On each turn you move around the house, flipping over new room tiles as you discover a new room, creating a new house layout every game. 

At the start of the game, all characters are on friendly terms with each other but are very much off doing their own thing. 

As you explore spooky events will happen and you’ll discover items called Omens. Omens usually make your character stronger or give them special abilities. But there is a price to pay… 

Each time an Omen is found, you roll special haunt dice to see if you’ve triggered the haunt. The more Omens you’ve found as a group, the more likely that you’ll trigger the haunt. Suspense builds with every haunt roll. 

When the haunt happens – one of you turns traitor! 

The traitor is given Traitor Tome and sent away to read the rules for the haunt scenario and come up with their evil plan. The remaining players read the same scenario in The Secrets of Survival to see what they need to do to defeat the traitor and win.

There 50 unique scenarios in the game. We’ve had to burn a magic book before the traitor got their hands on it, disarm bombs placed all around the house and even escape before the traitor alien flies the house into another dimension!

Why Betrayal at House on the Hill is a perfect board game for Halloween

  • You explore a haunted house!
  • The events that happen in the house are pretty creepy
  • Players can role play as their characters if they want!

Check the price of Betrayal at House on the Hill at Amazon.

5. One Night Ultimate Werewolf

One Night Ultimate Werewolf role tokens
One Night Ultimate Werewolf role tokens

Uncover and take out a werewolf in your village in one night or everyone will be bitten!

Type of game: A bluffing game of hidden identities. 
Players: 3-10
Age guide: 8+
Time to play: 10 minutes
Scare factor: 2/5
Complexity: 2/5 

If you like bluffing games, you’ll love One Night Ultimate Werewolf! 

At the beginning of the game, everyone is handed out a role card. In the simple game, they are either a werewolf or a villager. Everyone closes their eyes, the werewolves open them to see who the other werewolves are, then everyone closes their eyes again.

In my gaming group, we used to have one person play the mayor of the town to talk through this opening sequence and not take part in the game. But the game publishers, Bezier Games, have released a free One Night app to talk people through it. The app even includes spooky music!

When the game begins, everyone has 10 minutes to find a werewolf amongst the villagers. At the end of the 10 minutes, everyone points to the person they think is a werewolf. The person who got the most votes reveals their card! If they are a werewolf, villagers win! 

Sounds easy for villagers to find a werewolf? It’s not! Accusations will be flying all over the place! 

There are a few other ways to play werewolf. You can play it over several nights instead of just the one. Each night, when everyone has their eyes closed, the werewolves wake up and choose someone to kill. That player is then out of the game. If the villagers don’t find the werewolves quickly, they will eat everyone in the village! 

If you’re playing it over several nights you’ll want to assign someone to be the Mayor to keep the game moving along, make the days 5 minutes each and to support the other roles you can add into the game.

The Seer can silently point to a person at night to find out if they are a werewolf or not and the Mayor nods if they are. Or the Troublemaker can swap two player’s role cards! There are plenty of roles with unique abilities to keep the game interesting, especially in larger groups.

Why One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a perfect board game for Halloween

  • It has a free app with creepy music! 
  • It’s a great party game that can handle up to 10 players. 
  • You can alter the level of complexity for your guests by choosing which roles you include. 

Check the price of One Night Ultimate Werewolf at Amazon.

6. Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! the board game
Zombies!!! the board game

Can you survive the zombie horde invading your city? 

Type of game: Tile placement survival game with co-op and competitive options
Players: 3-6
Age guide: 15+
Time to play: 60-90 minutes
Scare factor: 2/5
Complexity: 3/5 

In Zombies!!! the zombie horde has invaded your city and you need to escape! You must conserve your bullets and life counters as you make your way towards the helipad and escape to safety! 

There are two game modes for Zombies!!! You can play it every person for themselves where one player wins by getting to the helipad first, or by being the first to kill 25 zombies. 

Or you can play the game in co-operative mode where the aim is to get everyone to the helipad!

The rules are a little complex to learn in your first game because there are lots of different components. But, if you stick with it, after 15 minutes you’ll get the hang of it and be rewarded with a fun, intense game! 

Why Zombies!!! is a great board game for Halloween

  • You can play co-operatively or competitively.
  • It gets pretty intense as you try to escape and you’re low on bullets on health!
  • There are 100 zombies in the game box! 

Check the price of Zombies!!! at Amazon.

7. Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Demonic forces are stirring in Arkham, can you stop them?

Type of game: Co-operative Lovecraftian role-playing card game where your decisions affect future games
Players: 1-2
Age guide: 14+
Time to play: 60-120 minutes
Scare factor: 3/5
Complexity: 3/5 

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a fantastic blend of a card game and a role-playing game.

You’ll play as one of five characters, each with their own special skills and card deck. In my current game, I’m playing as Roland Banks, the federal agent while my other half is playing as Wendy, the street urchin thief.

We like to role play as the characters as we play the game, just for fun. I put on a deep, serious New York style accent while my boyfriend makes his voice high-pitched and speaks like an American from Texas. It’s hilarious. 

In the game box, you get four scenarios to play through, each one taking one to two hours each. In the scenarios you’ll investigate different locations in Arkham looking for clues, meeting other characters and fighting the monsters you come across along the way. 

The decisions you make at the end of each scenario and the damage you take during it can have a lasting effect on your character and the story. As you progress you’ll also level up your character and improve your card deck making you more able to deal with the horrors ahead!

After you’ve completed the scenarios in the Core Set you can buy additional scenarios to play through. You can also play the scenarios again as different characters, make different choices and see how it changes the story. 

Why Arkham Horror: The Card Game is perfect for Halloween

  • You can have fun with role-playing your character.
  • The scenarios are intense, creepy and highly memorable!
  • It’s very immersive, you’ll find yourself sucked into the story!

Check the price of Arkham Horror: The Card Game on Amazon.

8. Villainous

Villainous villains
Villanous villain minis

Take on the power of a Disney villain and conquer your realm! 

Type of game: Competitive family game with light role play
Players: 2-6
Age guide: 10+
Time to play: 50 minutes
Scare factor: 1/5
Complexity: 2/5 

In Villainous players become one of six Disney villains – Jafar, Queen of Hearts, Prince John, Ursula, Maleficent or Captain Hook. Each character has their own special board, miniature and cards that are themed around that character and their movie. 

For example, Captain Hook has the Tick Tock card in his deck. It says, “If Captain Hook moves to Tick Tock’s location, Captain Hook must immediately discard his hand.” Just like in the movie!  

On their turn, a player moves their character to a location on their board and takes the actions there. That’s how a basic turn goes. So after you’ve learnt what the different action means, it’s all about playing the right strategy to beat your opponents. 

Each character has their own objective that relates to what they want in the movies. Taking three villains as examples – Ursula wants to have the Trident and the Crown at her lair, Queen of Hearts wants to make the shot in croquet, and Jafar wants to have the Magic Lamp at the Sultan’s Palace and control over Genie. 

While you’re trying to achieve your objective your opponents will be playing Fate cards on you to mess up your evil schemes! And you’ll be doing the same to them. 

It leads to lots of revenge taking and squabbles among the group and if one player gets too far in the lead, everyone is going for them! 

For a more in-depth review of Villainous – see my Villainous review

Why Villainous is a great board game for Halloween

  • You get to play a Disney villain! 
  • Works well with 3 players as well as 6. 
  • The theming for each character is fantastic. 

Check the price of Villainous at Amazon.

9. Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice
Zombie Dice

Braaains! Braaains! Delicious braaains! 

Type of game: Competitive family game with light role play
Players: 2-99 (but in reality, 2-8 works well!) 
Age guide: 10+
Time to play: 10-20 minutes
Scare factor: 1/5
Complexity: 1/5 

Zombie Dice is exactly as the name sounds. You play as a Zombie rolling dice! You want to roll as many lovely braaains as you can without getting hit with a shotgun. 

On your turn, you roll 3 dice from the tumbler. The dice will land on one of three symbols. 

  • Brain – you’ve eaten the brains of that person and you get a point. 
  • Footsteps – the person ran away so you get to reroll.
  • Shotgun – you’ve been shot! Get shot three times and you lose all your points!

After you’ve rolled your three dice you can choose to push your luck and roll 3 more to get more brains! 

The person with the most brains wins the game! 

Why Zombie Dice is a great game for Halloween

  • A great little filler game while you’re waiting for people to arrive. 
  • Really easy to learn. 
  • Fun push your luck mechanic. 

Check the price of Zombie Dice on Amazon.

10. Exit: The Abandoned Cabin

Exit: The Abandoned Cabin
Exit: The Abandoned Cabin

You’re locked in an abandoned cabin. Can you escape before your time runs out?

Type of game: Competitive escape room 
Players: 1-6
Age guide: 12+
Time to play: 60-120 minutes
Scare factor: 2/5
Complexity: 3/5 

The Exit game series are escape rooms in a box that you can do at home. The Abandoned Cabin was the first one we tried. 

The story for the game is that your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere and you need to find somewhere to rest for the night. Luckily, you find an abandoned cabin next to the road to rest in for the night.

But when you wake up in the morning, the door is locked, there are bars on the windows and you find a strange disc and a book in the room! 

Everyone needs to work together to find clues, solve riddles, collect objects and solve the puzzles to escape! 

We wanted The Abandoned Cabin to feel as much like an escape room as we could. We closed all the curtains, put some spooky music on, changed our LED colour changing bulb to a dim red light and told everyone they weren’t allowed to leave the room until we escaped! 

Fortunately, we managed to escape! And we didn’t use too many of the Clue cards to help us along! 

Why Exit: The Abandoned Cabin is a perfect Halloween game

  • Cheaper than everyone paying to do an Escape Room!
  • Easy to understand how it works so you can focus on the puzzles.
  • You can create a spooky atmosphere with music and lighting! 
  • You can replay it again in the future after you’ve forgotten all the answers! 

Check the price of Exit: The Abandoned Cabin on Amazon.

11. Small World: Underground

Small World: Underground board game
Small World: Underground board game

Command fantasy races fighting for control of the underground! 

Type of game: Compete to conquer land for victory points
Players: 2-5
Age guide: 8+
Time to play: 30-90 minutes
Scare factor: 1/5
Complexity: 2/5 

Small World: Underground is a bit like Risk, but in my opinion, it’s more fun and has a much cooler theme! You fight for control of territories using tactics and the special powers of your race. You get points at the end of every turn for each territory you own! 

It’s got 15 races like Cultists, Spiderines and Vampires that are perfect for Halloween! Along with the races there are special powers that get randomly assigned to the races during each game. So you can have combinations like Vanishing Vampires, Mystic Mummies and Thieving Cultists. 

You change races several times during a game because after you’ve used up all your units your race goes into decline and you play as another one! Changing races means you’ve got new abilities to try out which keeps the game interesting and fun. 

Some locations on the board have special markers for Relics and Popular Places. These give extra special abilities to their owners like conquering a new region with fewer units or bonus points at the end of your turn. 

The game never goes on too long because the board and number of turns are change according to the number of players playing. 

The game ends after all the turns have been played and the player with the most points wins. 

Why Small World: Underground is spooktacular! 

  • The art style and races are perfect for Halloween!
  • The game duration and maps are balanced for the number of players. 
  • It’s fun trying out all the different abilities! 

Check the price of Small World: Underground on Amazon.

12. Zombie Fluxx

Zombie Fluxx
Zombie Fluxx

Keep the zombies off your back and get the goal items! Unless the goal items are zombies!

Type of game: Competitive card game with ever-changing rules!
Players: 2-6
Age guide: 8+
Time to play: 10-40 minutes
Scare factor: 2/5
Complexity: 2/5

Zombie Fluxx is the zombie-themed game from the Fluxx series of games. In Fluxx games, the rules of the game are written on the cards in play. 

Fluxx games always start off the same. You can draw 1 card and play 1 card. Simple enough to start with. But as you go along, the number of cards you can draw, the number of cards you can play, and even how you win changes with the draw of a card! 

In Zombie Fluxx, you pick up Keeper items like the Shotgun, the Shovel and Brains. But you also pick up Zombie Creepers that hang around and can stop you from winning!

Draw the Ungoal card when there are five zombies on the table and the zombies win! 

My favourite card in the game is “New Rule: UUUUNGH… You must groan like a Zombie every time you draw a Zombie Creeper. If you fail to do this, and someone points it out, that player gets to move one of their Creepers over to you.”

You’ll spend most of the game trying to get rid of any zombies you have by taking them down with your weapons or by sending them over to your opponents. Until, the new goal says that you want zombies that is! Then you want to steal them all back! 

Fluxx is one of those games that sounds complicated when you explain it, but it’s really simple and fun to play! 

Why Zombie Fluxx is a great game for Halloween

  • Acting like a Zombie is always fun! 
  • The cards have a brilliant zombie movie theme.
  • The rules are always on the table in front of everyone so everyone knows how to play. 

Check the price of Zombie Fluxx on Amazon.

13. Ghost Stories

Use your Taoist monk skills to defend your village from the spirits of the lord of hell! 

Type of game: Co-operative area defence game
Players: 1-4
Age guide: 12+
Time to play: 60 minutes
Scare factor: 3/5
Complexity: 3/5

Wu-Feng the Lord of Hell wants to take over your village! You and your teammates need to exorcise the ghosts to defend your village and defeat Wu-Feng himself!

Different ghosts have different abilities so you need to take the action that’s best for the enemies you’re facing. 

Each village tile gives you a different bonus. On your turn, should you travel to the Herbalist to get back some Tao tokens? Or should you go to the Sorcerer’s Hut to defeat a ghost and use up one Qi? 

You’ll need to work well as a team to take the best actions on each turn and roll well to exorcise the ghosts. 

Each ghost and incarnation of Wu-Feng is associated with different colour(s). To perform an exorcism, you need to roll three dice with different colours, red, blue, green, white, black and yellow. You want the colours on the dice to match the colours of the ghost to exorcise it. White can be used as any colour and you can use your Tao tokens to improve your roll result. 

You can’t let three of the village tiles become haunted or you’ll lose! If you run out of cards to draw from while the incarnation of Wu-Feng is on the board or if all the priests are dead, you’ll also lose. 

With three ways to lose and only one way to win, Ghost Stories is a tricky, intense and fun game to play!

Why Ghost Stories is a perfect Halloween board game

  • It’s full of ghosts and the Lord of Hell!
  • The dice rolls lead to intense moments!
  • The art on the cards is really in keeping Halloween.

Check the price of Ghost Stories on Amazon.

Conclusion – Horror board games for Halloween

I hope this games list has inspired you to try out some of these horror themed board games this Halloween! 

One key accessory I use to set a spooky mood for Halloween is my colour changing LED light bulb from Amazon. I love being able to change it match the atmosphere for the game.

For other board gaming accessory ideas, check out my board game accessories and upgrades article.

Happy Halloween!

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