Forget horror movies and TV shows. Why not get a satisfying scare in a completely different way? Horror-themed board games can give you that creepy sensation you’ve been craving.
I’m not talking about a haunted version of Monopoly—these games have been made with horror at their core. The next time you’re in the mood for a spooky night of fun, gather a few friends and indulge in the following horror-themed board games.
Arkham Horror takes place during the 1920s in the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts. This game is inspired by the written works of H.P. Lovecraft, a legend in the world of horror.
Ancient Ones (a.k.a. alien creatures) stand at the crossroads between two different universes. It’s up to you and your friends to figure out how to defeat these dangerous aliens.
You’ll take on the role of one of 12 investigators, who each have unique personalities and traits. As the game progresses, you’ll acquire even more skills and abilities to help your team succeed.
Betrayal at House on the Hill is a unique horror game that plays differently every time you unbox it. Throughout the game, you’ll slowly construct a haunted house using the game’s 44 included room tiles. The tiles get shuffled before playing, with new rooms revealed as you go along.
The Exploration phase occurs at the beginning of the game—this is your chance to gather supplies and skills. As soon as a player starts the Haunt phase, things start to get spooky.
You’ll use the game’s chart to figure out the specific “haunt” or scenario that gets used, and it also reveals the identity of the traitor. From there, you must attempt to attack the traitor along with their team of monsters.
3. Camp Grizzly
Test your survival abilities in Camp Grizzly, a terrifying board game that pits you against a brutal campsite murderer. Sound familiar? Camp Grizzly has some of the same story elements as the horror classic Friday the 13th.
You and your friends take on the role of camp counselors in a very unfortunate situation. Otis, a serial killer donning a spooky bear mask, follows the players around the campsite.
As you explore cabins and camp trails, you’ll be on the lookout for objectives that help you steer the game towards an end. While some players will get caught and killed by Otis, the other players must work even harder to survive—Otis gets stronger and faster with each kill.
Face against a horde of infectious zombies in the thrilling game, Zombicide. You play as a survivor in a zombie-ridden community—the number of survivor characters you take charge of depends on the number of players in the game.
Zombicide itself controls the zombies, meaning it’s one of the few board games that you can play by yourself. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to control all four survivors if you play alone.
As you explore the map, you’ll find weapons that will help you kill more zombies. Your main task is to survive and complete specific missions, but you’ll also have to clear out hordes, locate supplies and food, as well as save your fellow survivors. Cooperation is the key to survival in this game, so try not to fight with your friends!
Dead of Winter transports you to a small colony during the apocalypse. On top of facing the monsters that lurk nearby, you’ll also have to endure the vicious winter. As you team up with two to five other players, you must fight for the common goal of survival.
But be warned: each playable character has a secret goal. While some involve a benign psychological matter, others threaten the survival of the entire colony.
This game involves a bit of social deduction and bluffing, making it even more thrilling. Try not to trust your friends too much, as some might choose sabotage over survival.
In Ghost Stories, you’ll play as a Taoist monk in a haunted village. The lord of Hell, Wu Feng, unleashes his army of ghosts into town, and you must work with your friends to exorcise them.
The ghosts may bring curses upon the monks, or even diminish their powers. As you continually exorcise ghosts, you’ll eventually encounter the reincarnation of Wu Feng. You and your friends will share the victory if you manage to exorcise him.
This game isn’t as easy as you think, with one reviewer calling it the “Dark Souls” of board games. In other words, don’t expect to win very often.
Have a Haunting Game Night
Game nights get even better when there’s an element of spookiness involved. You’ll definitely feel a rush as you fight for survival in any of the above games!
When board games have amazing artwork coupled with riveting gameplay, it makes the experience even more vivid. You might want to think about getting one of these impressive board games with beautiful artwork for your next game night as well.