One type of setting that really sets the mood on Halloween is a haunted house. I’m not referring to the places featured on shows like Ghost Hunters. Sure they’re intense, but not as enjoyable to watch in my opinion. The ones I’m talking about are more up front with added suspense. Here are my top ten favorite haunted houses from movies, TV shows, video games, etc.
#10) Ketchum House from The Amityville Horror (1979 version): This classic house has a demonic curse because it was built on ground that was used for Devil worship and sacrifice many years ago. The house terrorizes anyone who lives there with a series of hauntings, which could be anything from doors and windows slamming, to fly infestation, to even bleeding walls and toilets. The demonic presence is both slow and tricky. Over a span of 20 days the terror occurs in pieces at a time. Even though certain others can easily sense the evil, it’s not enough to convince anyone else about it. Don’t you just hate that?
#9) The Haunted House from Haunted House (Atari and Nintendo Wii): This was one of the first spooky titles for the Atari back in the early 80s. It wasn’t much since the inside is real simple as it is dark and filled with bats, spiders, and ghosts, all four floors of it.
Thirty years later, the Nintendo Wii released a new and improved remake of Haunted House with an actual story line behind it. Siblings Jacob and Silvia Silverspring head to Silver Bay in a mansion to search for objects all around. The basic spooks are the same. However, the thrills and chills are more graphical and intensified, but still at a young level. Light sources are more limited than before and the quest is more difficult to figure out because there’s more to it compared to the Atari version. I must admit though, this modern take on the old standard is brilliant.
#8) Possessed house from Night of the Demons (80s version): Ghosts possess most haunted houses, but this house is more unique because it’s haunted by demons. If you think it’s all the same, think again. The house was once a funeral parlor, but every year on Halloween night, anyone who enters becomes a victim to these demons. Luckily, they can’t cross running water, which explains the underground stream that surrounds the property. The tough part is escaping and/or surviving before sunrise because anything can happen.
#7) Nebbercracker’s house from Monster House: Years ago, this house was possessed by the ghost of Constance the giantess. Now it’s a dangerous monster that lures children over and eats them along with anyone else who comes by. The house is also clever not to draw too much attention while doing so. Of course the real excitement is from what goes on inside the place while the children explore. The video games feature it more than the movie does.
#6) Haunted Mansion from Disney’s Haunted Mansion: Who could forget the old mansion that’s haunted by 999 ghosts? It starts with a gallery of portraits that stretch, a creepy hallway, a séance with Madame Leota, and ghosts of many kinds that are both inside and outside in the private graveyard. Isn’t it strange that these ghosts start out scary, but later on they’re more festive?
#5) Castle Hellsubus from Elvira’s Haunted Hills: It may appear cozy at points, but this place is haunted by a family curse. All who share the Hellsubus family bloodline end up doing murderous things. This castle also has plenty of surprises like a torture chamber in the basement and a giant crack that runs all throughout the floor and walls. Each night as the castle settles, it seems like the crack gets longer. Is it the curse, or just poor workmanship?
#4) Haunted House Party from Crashbox: This was one of my most favorite segments on that show. Inside the house is a fancy cocktail party that can only be viewed from the windows outside. It’s a creative way to learn about historical figures by observing their conversations. Usually it’s with a British butler or a classy lady. Sometimes it makes me wonder who they are, even if it is all shadow puppets.
#3) Professor Windlenot’s Museum of the Strange and Unusual from Shivers (CD-ROM): Even though this isn’t a haunted residence per se, it has plenty of haunts lurking all over. As you explore the museum, it’s not only the evil Ixupi you’ll run into, but the ghosts of their victims as well. At least they’re friendly ghosts and they move on once they’re freed from the Ixupi pots.
#2) Hauntquarters from Ghostbusters (1986 version): This creepy castle is the home of Prime Evil and his ghostly minions, which appears to be isolated in an eerie ghost dimension. The source of its power is Prime Evil’s bone troller organ that he uses to send ghosts to the mortal world on evil missions. As far as the haunting there, I would guess that exploring Hauntquarters would be as dangerous as exploring Snake Mountain, the evil lair of Skeletor.
#1) The Haunted house from A Night in a Haunted House/A Night in a Graveyard: Since this is from a CD, you don’t get to actually see the haunted house beyond what’s on the album cover. However, the tracks contain plenty of exciting stories and sound effects to make it feel like you’re actually there. Narrator Jack Dorsey sure makes it sound like poetry, describing the house and everything inside.