The 13 Best Horror Board Games (For Spooky Game Nights)

Gather with friends for a haunting session of tabletop fun! Here are the best horror board games to play on a spooky night.
The 13 Best Horror Board Games (For Spooky Game Nights)

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Horror has bled into every media format. It's not just in movies, TV shows, and books—it's also in board games!

For years, Cthulhu was a super hot theme in board gaming with dozens of Cthulhu-themed board games released every year. While that has slowed a bit in recent years, other horror themes remain strong.

There's no chance that any board game is seriously going to scare you like a movie or book might, but horror lends such a strong mood and atmosphere that it's perfect for setting the scene of a game.

Here are the best horror board games for when you're in the mood for a night of spooky fun with friends or family.

13. The Bloody Inn

Designed by Nicolas Robert

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 30 to 60 minutes

7.1 on BGG

The Bloody Inn is a black comedy card game where players are all innkeepers of the titular Bloody Inn who have concocted a heinous plan: to rob (and even murder) the guests who pass through.

Every round, the Bloody Inn fills up with guests for the players to interact with. Players take turns performing actions, such as bribing guests, robbing guests, killing guests, and burying dead guests.

There are also police characters that will conduct investigations if they survive to the end of a round. During investigations, police will look around for unburied bodies.

To evade detection, players will be forced to spend crazy amounts of money to quickly bury them. At the end of the game, the player who has amassed the most money is declared winner.

The Bloody Inn is a somewhat simple game that drips with theme and has surprisingly good replayability.

12. The Night Cage

Designed by Christopher Ryan Chan, Chris McMahon, and Rosswell Saunders

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 45 to 60 minutes

7.2 on BGG

The Night Cage is a cooperative game where players all wake up in the pitch blackness of a labyrinth and must escape together.

Armed with only a candle each, players must explore the labyrinth to figure a way out—but the candlelight only shines so far. As you move from tile to tile, darkness swallows past tiles. If you try to double back the way you came, you'll find completely different paths.

Furthermore, the darkness is home to dangerous Wax Eaters that lurk just beyond sight and wait for opportunities to strike.

To win, every player must find a key from within the labyrinth, then everyone must find a gate to escape together.

The Night Cage is a delightfully thematic game that's even better if you play with the lights off. The darkness adds a layer of spookiness that draws out the shadowy atmosphere even further.

11. Mysterium

Designed by Oleksandr Nevskiy and Oleg Sidorenko

Supports 3 to 7 players

About 45 to 60 minutes

7.2 on BGG

Mysterium has one of the most beautiful board game covers, doesn't it? Plus, it sets the mood so well! In this game, you're all psychic mediums who are in contact with a ghost and trying to solve a murder.

Okay, I lied—one of you is actually the ghost. As the ghost, you can't speak at all; instead, you communicate with the other players using vision cards that are nothing but images. It's up to the other players to interpret those visions to glean clues.

Each player has their own mystery to solve and must use the visions given to them to deduce their mystery's person, weapon, and location. However, this is a cooperative game, so players can help each other out when a particular image is tough to interpret.

In the end, each player will have solved their own mystery, but only one of those mysteries is the actual story of the ghost's murder. The final test is to figure out which one is the murder at hand.

Mysterium is a richly thematic horror board game that paints a fantastic atmosphere with all the wonderful art on the vision cards.

10. The Hunger

Designed by Richard Garfield

Supports 2 to 6 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.1 on BGG

The Hunger is a vampire-themed game where players are racing to hunt humans and complete missions for points, then return to the safety of the castle before the deadly sun rises.

The Hunger is a deckbuilding game. Players have their own personal decks with speed cards that are used to move around the map and chase down humans. As you hunt humans, they're added to your deck and worth points, but they also slow you down.

Whereas most deckbuilding games provide ways to cull and optimize your deck, The Hunger feels more like a push-your-luck game where you need to fatten your deck but not so much that it hamstrings you.

This tension between earning points and staying mobile can result in some punishing moments, especially towards the end. Some players won't make it to the castle in time—and that threat is thrilling.

9. Dead of Winter

Designed by Jonathan Gilmour and Isaac Vega

Supports 2 to 5 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

7.5 on BGG

Dead of Winter transports you to a small colony after an apocalypse. On top of facing the monsters that lurk nearby, you'll also have to endure the vicious winter and the harsh elements.

This is a semi-cooperative game where everyone needs to work together and fight for the common goal of survival.

But be warned! Every player also has a secret goal they need to achieve, and sometimes those goals involve acting in ways that aren't exactly beneficial to the rest of the group.

Can you trust your partner to guard your back? Or will they run off and leave you behind? If you're dying of hunger, can you rely on your friends to share their food with you? Or will they let you starve?

Dead of Winter brings out those very real emotions that you might actually experience in a post-apocalyptic survival situation. Try not to trust your friends too much because some might choose selfishness over friendship. If that isn't the crux of horror, then what is?

8. Betrayal at House on the Hill (3rd Edition)

Designed by Bruce Glassco

Supports 3 to 6 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.4 on BGG

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a cooperative horror game that has a different plot twist halfway through every time you play it.

At the start of the game, players will work together and explore a haunted house one room tile at a time. The tiles are shuffled before the game and new rooms are revealed as you move through the house.

During this exploration phase, you'll need to gather supplies and develop your skills as you map out the haunted house.

However, as players explore, they'll collect omens—and every omen is a chance for players to turn. When a player turns, they become a traitor to the group and trigger one of the 50 random Haunt scenarios.

Every Haunt scenario has a unique win condition for traitors and survivors, meaning every game ends up telling its own story. Whether traitors or survivors win, it'll be a memorable experience.

7. Marvel Zombies: Heroes' Resistance

Designed by Fabio Cury and Michael Shinall

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 60 to 120 minutes

7.9 on BGG

Marvel Zombies: Heroes' Resistance is the latest entry in the Zombicide series of board games, which involve cooperatively facing off against a horde of infectious zombies and fighting for survival.

In Marvel Zombies: Heroes' Resistance, each player will assume one of the included Marvel superheroes: Hulk, Wasp, Vision, Black Panther, Spider-Man, and Winter Soldier.

There are several scenarios in the game, each with its own rules for setup and victory. Maybe you'll need to collect important collectibles from around the map. Or maybe you'll need to rescue someone.

Regardless of the scenario, your main task is to survive and complete specific missions while clearing out hordes of zombies, locating supplies and food, and saving your fellow Marvel superheroes.

6. Horrified

Designed by Prospero Hall

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 60 to 90 minutes

7.7 on BGG

Horrified is a cooperative game where players must work together to defend their town against one of several classic movie monsters: Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, or Creature from the Black Lagoon.

The core of the game involves moving around the town from location to location, acquiring items and using those items elsewhere for various tasks. You'll also be escorting townspeople to safety.

What's great about Horrified is that each monster requires a novel way to defeat it. For Dracula, you need to seal him away in his crypt. For The Wolf Man, you need to create a cure for him.

And what's even better is that you can play with multiple monsters, which not only ramps up the difficulty but also morphs the gameplay in different ways as you're trying to evade, fight, etc. each one.

Horrified is a fantastic entry-level horror board game that's easy enough for non-gamers, plus the classic monster theme is sure to draw in all kinds of movie fans who recognize them!

5. Arkham Horror (3rd Edition)

Designed by Nikki Valens

Supports 1 to 6 players

About 120 to 180 minutes

7.7 on BGG

Arkham Horror (3rd Edition) takes place during the 1920s in the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts. This cooperative game is inspired by the works of H. P. Lovecraft, a true legend of the horror genre.

Ancient Ones (which are basically extraterrestrial deities) stand at the crossroads between dimensions and it's up to you and your friends to figure out how to defeat these world-destroying beings.

Each player will play as one of 12 investigators, who each have unique personalities and traits. As the game progresses, you'll grow and acquire even more skills and abilities to help your team succeed.

Every scenario is different and they all play out in vastly different ways, but they all feel like you're living out a real story.

I highly recommend getting Arkham Horror (3rd Edition), which is a very different game compared to the previous editions—it's more streamlined with refined mechanics that make it more fun.

4. Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition)

Designed by Nikki Valens

Supports 1 to 5 players

About 120 to 180 minutes

8.0 on BGG

Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition) is one of the only two games on this list that's played using a companion mobile app.

This is a cooperative horror game where you're all playing as paranormal investigators who are tasked with exploring the streets of Innsmouth and searching for answers in various haunted mansions.

The app will guide you through the game, not only providing immersive narration that develops a real story with each scenario, but also controlling the puzzles, monsters, items, and secrets you'll encounter.

Mansions of Madness (2nd Edition) feels very much like a horror-themed dungeon crawler as you make your way through tight corridors, never quite knowing what lurks around the corner.

Don't be turned away by the use of a companion app. It really adds a ton of flavor to the experience, which is particularly strong here as it makes full use of its Lovecraftian horror setting.

3. My Father's Work

Designed by T. C. Petty III

Supports 2 to 4 players

About 180 to 240 minutes

7.9 on BGG

Right off the bat, I have to warn you that My Father's Work is a complex board game with lots of pieces, lots of interplay between systems, and lots of narrative text. I only recommend this game for experienced board gamers who have enjoyed heavy games before.

That said, My Father's Work is an incredibly immersive game that'll suck you in with its app-assisted narrative.

Players are mad scientists who have been entrusted with estates where they can perform all kinds of strange experiments. As you develop your science, you'll also aid the town and upgrade your estate, all the while earning points for all the progress you make.

My Father's Work is played over three generations, with most of the knowledge you've gained being lost to time between generations. At the end of three generations, whoever has the most points wins.

Note the average playing time on this game! My Father's Work is what you play when you want to spend an entire day thrown into a dense story with all kinds of twists and turns.

And as far as narrative-driven horror board games go, nothing really holds a candle to the depth of My Father's Work.

2. Final Girl

Designed by Evan Derrick and A. J. Porfirio

Supports 1 player

About 30 to 60 minutes

8.4 on BGG

Important! The Final Girl board game consists of two parts: the Core Box contains the gameplay system, and then there are various Feature Film boxes that each have their own components.

This means you'll need to get the Core Box and at least one Feature Film box—like Frightmare on Maple Lane—in order to actually play.

All of that might sound complicated, but it's actually one of the beauties of Final Girl: each Feature Film box is like its own game with its own protagonist, villain, and setting, but you can also mix-and-match different Feature Films for a unique game experience.

The Final Girl system itself is a solo survival game that leans hard into the "final girl" trope found in horror movies.

You'll be moving from location to location, helping people, evading death, and accomplishing various tasks as you try to outwit, outrun, and outlive the particular villain you're up against.

If you're a fan of horror movies, you'll definitely get a kick out of this game. The best part is that Final Girl isn't just a gimmick full of Easter eggs—this is a really good game that you'll love playing.

1. Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Designed by Nate French and Maxine Juniper Newman

Supports 1 to 4 players

About 60 to 180 minutes

8.8 on BGG

First released in 2016 and then revised in 2021, Arkham Horror: The Card Game remains the quintessential horror board game experience.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a deck construction game where you choose a character to play across a campaign (comprised of several separate scenarios), and the character is represented by a deck of cards.

What's different between the original 2016 version and the revised 2021 version of Arkham Horror: The Card Game?

The game now supports up to four players (instead of two), with two copies of every card (instead of one), better components and organization, and an improved rulebook!

You build that deck according to a set of rules and limitations, and those cards come into play during the scenario. Cards consist of weapons, abilities, supplies, and other useful bits. Your character will level up after scenarios, unlocking more cards you can add to your deck.

The game will have you fighting monsters, investigating mysteries, fetching items to complete quests, and facing paranormal monstrosities that threaten to warp your sanity for good.

The choices you make in one scenario will affect what happens in later scenarios. In some cases, you may even go down a completely different path of scenarios. Those narrative branches are what make Arkham Horror: The Card Game so compelling.

If any game can be crowned as the best horror board game of all time, it has to be Arkham Horror: The Card Game. And depending on who you ask, it's actually best played solo!