Zombies and vampires rule in 14 horrific Halloween board games

Contributed by
Dec 15, 2012

If you're too old to trick or treat, but too young to turn in early, what's a person to do on Halloween? Here's an idea—get some of your friends together and play a board game. It may sound old fashioned, but there are a lot of cool horror and sci-fi themed games that deserve your attention.

And for the 9th of our 31 posts for the 31 days of Halloween, we aim to prove it!

So grab some food, drinks and one of the following horror-inspired party starters.

Treehouse of Horror (Monopoly)

The Simpsons have multiple Monopoly games, but the Treehouse of Horror edition is our favorite. Named after the show's annual Halloween special, Tree House of Horror Monopoly contains 6 glow in the dark character tokens: Dracula Burns, The Collector, Donut-Head Homer, Fly-Head Bart, Alien Maggie and Werewolf Ned. There's also a game insert that allows you four more characters including The Twins Joined, Witch Marge, Owl Lisa and Tractor Willie. This version takes the game of Monopoly and infuses it with 22 of The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror haunts. Who's in the mood to buy some possessed Springfield property?

18 Ghosts

Here's a more intimate board game that can be played between you and one other person. The game centers on a group of ghosts that have been trapped in a haunted castle for hundreds of years. They're surrounded by three magic portals, which can lead them to the outside world. It's the player's job to get three of those ghosts (a red, blue and yellow one) out of the castle before their opponent. Whoever rescues their ghosts first wins.


In Zombies!!!, the board represents a town overrun by the walking dead. The goal is to kill 25 zombies or make it to a helipad where a helicopter and freedom awaits. To move things along, players use event cards, which can add weapons or more zombies to the mix. Two to six people can play at a time and it's recommended for kids 12 and up.

Mall of Horror

As you might suspect, this game centers on a group of people trapped in a zombie-infested mall. But unlike the game Zombies!!!, kills don't make you winner, survival does. Each player has control of three characters: a beautiful woman, a gunman, and a tough guy. Mall of Horror forces players to negotiate and vote each other into deadly missions. Everyone doesn't make it back alive. It's pretty hardcore.

Tricky Town

Tricky Town centers on—you guessed it—trick or treating! This game is a family affair because each player is given four pieces that represent a mother, father, son and a daughter. Players use cards to determine how many spaces ahead they can move. Those spaces represent treats, which you can gain or lose. The goal is to get the most candy, and the person with the most cavity inducing treats or the most family members near home wins.

Fury of Dracula

Dracula's up to his old tricks again. The famous bloodsucker plans to use a vampire army to takeover Europe and it's up to a group of hunters to stop him. Two to five people can play, and one of them will control Dracula, while the others control hunters. Dracula uses cards to stealthily travel but he still leaves a trail of clues for the hunters to find. Whoever locates Dracula and stops him from earning the most victory points wins.

A Touch of Evil

Here's a board game that actually benefits from teamwork. In A Touch of Evil, a creature is running loose in a small town and (once again) it's up to a group of hunters to stop it. You have eight players to choose from and four different supernatural beings to hunt. Your objective is to gain strength, investigate, and earn the townspeople's trust before the creature inflicts more damage.

Invasion from Outer Space: The Martian Game

If you want a break from the horror-themed games, here's one with a sci-fi twist. In The Martian Game, players have the opportunity to play carnival heroes or alien invaders. If you go the hero route you can choose from the Fire Breather, Strongman or Jo Jo, the dancing Bear, while the Martians have creatures such as the Zard Beast. This game constantly changes scenarios and it's up to you to use your character's strengths to defeat the opposition.

Betrayal at House on the Hill

This is a classic case of "who done it" but with a horror twist. In Betrayal at House on the Hill, three to six players have to find out who's gone to the dark side and turned on the group. You have to use character cards, tokens and figurines to set the mood and help find the culprit. The game lasts about one hour, so if patience isn't your strong suit—pass.

Zombie Town

Here come those darn zombies again! This board game spans 10 days (in about 90 minutes) and during that time players (three to six) have to find weapons and different utilities that will help them survive. The goal is to make it to the last day, which is when help finally arrives. But in order to live that long, you have to stay on your toes and keep a weapon on hand at all times.

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game

Last Night on Earth is the overarching title to a series of horror board games and it works as a companion to Invasion from Outer Space: The Martian Game. The gameplay is very similar with the main difference being humans versus zombies instead of Martians. So if you're more into horror than sci-fi this might be a better fit.

The Haunting House

This is another game that forces you to escape a creepy house based on strategy alone. The players (two to six) use cards that propel their movement, while each turn is broken up into two actions: planned and random. As you might suspect, the random action derails your progress, which makes it harder to escape. The game comes with 38 tiles that make up the board, 60 cards and six pawns.

Monsters Menace America

In Monsters Menace America you get to play both sides of the game. Each player can control one of six monsters, which go on a rampage through a city. At the same time, they also possess an army, which they can use to weaken the other player's monsters on the board. It's an old school battle where the last creature standing wins. Two to four people can play, with four being your best bet.


Like The Simpson's Treehouse of Horrors, Boooo-opoly is another Halloween-themed edition of the classic real estate game. In this version, players can trade haunted houses (hot commodities this time of year) but they have to avoid some creepy pitfalls like fright fees and bats in your belfry. It's a good game but Treehouse of Horror has better character pieces. Who wouldn't want to play with Dracula Burns?

What's your favorite horror-themed board game?