[Top 15] Best Horror Board Games That Are Fun

[Top 15] Best Horror Board Games That Are Fun
Prepare yourself for thrills, chills, and kills!

Play these games if you dare! 

With October around the corner, you know what that means: Spooky Season! And while you plan on getting your scare 'fix' through movies, books, and haunted attractions, we're here to offer you another source through board games! So grab your fun-size candy bars and pumpkin-spiced drinks, because here is our list of the top 15 horror-themed board games that are fun. 

15. Smirk & Dagger: The Night Cage

Learn how to play The Night Cage 

Have you ever woken up in the dead of night and felt that you are in a dark, unknown room, unaware of your surroundings and not knowing how you got there or why? In a moment of panic, do you realize that you were only dreaming and are safe and sound in your bed? Usually, after that, you let out a sigh of relief and fall back to sleep. 

But what would you do if you weren’t dreaming? 

In Smirk & Dagger’s The Night Cage, you and up to four other players take control of characters who have woken up cold, naked, and afraid in a pitch-black labyrinth with only a single candle each to light your path. The candles give off a dim light, so they only help you see your immediate surroundings. Each player must wander through the abysmal labyrinth and collect keys, find the gate, and escape. But they’re not the only ones there; Monsters roam the halls and have no problems with the dark and inhibiting your progress. 

Can you make your way through the disappearing hallways and survive the horrors hiding just outside your candle's light?

As players roam the corridors on the board, they take turns pulling tiles from a deck and placing it by their characters to illuminate new paths. Choose where to go wisely though, as when you leave a square, other tiles are removed and those paths are never seen again. And you won’t know what you’ll find until you take your next step. Will your character fall into a pit? Or will he come across a monster that forces you to wander in darkness until your candle is lit again? 

Use up all of the available tiles before escaping, and your candle is snuffed out for good, and you are lost in the darkness forever. 

This is a game that is worth playing in a dimly lit room with eerie music playing! As the tiles dwindle one by one, you can start to feel a sense of dread as you wonder if you are going to make it out alive. It’s important to work together with your team to survive though. If you have a key, you can’t carry another one, but you can help guide others so that they can find theirs and move together to escape. 

Buy this game if: 

  • You enjoy tile-based board games where you don’t know what your next move will be.
  • You want a suspenseful, dread-filling experience.
  • You need a horror game that is easy to learn and has high replay value. 
  • You value teamwork in your games.


14. Dread

How to play Dread 

Imagine a game where you take some of the world-building parts of Dungeons & Dragons and twist it into a horror theme AND you can play the entire campaign in one sitting. That sounds like a dream come true, right? Now, what if you throw in a game of Jenga? Welcome to Dread. 

Can you survive the entire game? 

In Dread, you have the role of a game master that is controlling almost everything that occurs in the game. The book that comes with the game has instructions to build a world that is unique to each playthrough. 

Players will have the opportunity to answer a questionnaire before each game to help determine the basics of their characters, such as what they can and cannot do. This helps the player get attached to their character and makes surviving all the more nerve-wracking when they are close to potentially dying.

During the playthrough, players will be faced with challenges that will determine if they can survive to the next round. That is where Jenga tower comes in. The tower acts as a tangible representation of the characters’ life. The game master determines when a player needs to pull a block to perform an action that will determine a life-or-death situation. In the beginning, it starts out simple, but as the story progresses the stakes become higher as well as the tower. If the tower falls during a player’s action, then that character has died. 

The "Tower" determines whether your character lives or dies through actions that they make. 

The game is over when all players are dead or they reach the end of the game master’s story alive.

This is an extremely unique experience that fans of both horror and board games should try at least once in their life. It gives players the freedom to choose paths and not be held by the hand as to what choice they should make next. With the addition of a Jenga Tower (which in normal circumstances should not be a terrifying representation of life and death), it adds a new depth to the gameplay.

Buy this game if:

  • You want an immersive horror experience, unlike any other horror-based board games that you have played before.


13. Your Worst Nightmare

How to play Your Worst Nightmare 

Not all fears involve monsters, serial killers, or things that go bump in the night. What if a fear comes from something that you experience every day? An idea? Or something that is considered insignificant by the majority? Have you ever thought about what scares you the most?  Then it’s time to play Your Worst Nightmare. 

Your Worst Nightmare is a card game where you and up to three other players are presented with four cards that are drawn from a pile that lists common (and not so common) fears that people have. Some are legit fears. Some are more comical than others. Your task is to rank what scares you from the most to the least from those cards, then select another player and predict what their rank would be. You’d be surprised what is considered scary to other people!

Do you wanna find out what scares you and your friends the most? 

Guessing correctly earns you points and the first to get 13 points (the phobia for the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia, fun fact) is the winner. 

This is a great game for casual gamers and can be played during any time of the year, but this is definitely one that works well if you want a horror theme during gameplay.

Buy this game if:

  • You want a light horror theme or have anyone among your group that isn’t big into scary games.
  • You want to get to know your group better-it’s interesting what scares people and you can make great conversation out of it. 


12. Zombicide: Black Plague

Learn how to play Zombicide: Black Plague 

A unique twist on the zombie apocalypse, Zombicide: Black Plague takes the familiar trope of fighting relentless zombie hordes and shakes things up by giving it a fantasy setting. You and up to five other players take control of characters to complete quests, gain items, and lop the heads off of as many zombies as you possibly can. 

During the game, your character will find better armor, weapons, and gain strategies for survival. You work together with your team to trade these items and tactics to survive the onslaught as you complete your goals. 

The game itself will control the zombies as well as bosses such as necromancers. The rules will explain how the monsters take their turns, and some moves will be involuntary depending on the player's actions. Some actions that players take may make noise, and as we all know, zombies go towards noise in hopes of their next meal. 

Survive the onslaught of zombies and necromancers and you win!

If a player gets cornered, then any player close by can come to help. They may have long-range weapons or spells which can help big time, but one wrong move with the roll of a die can injure the teammate or worse, so be careful! 

You and your team win the game by completing all of the objectives of the quest and by killing as many zombies as possible. You lose by dying or if too many necromancers escape. 

Zombicide: Black Plague is a great game for veterans and new gamers. The setup is easy and the gameplay is fun. If you want a different type of zombie-fighting experience, then give this game a go.

Buy this game if:

  • You like when it is the game against a team of players
  • You love zombie movie tropes.


11. The Grimwood

How to play The Grimwood 

Why are you here in this forest? Do you hope to find something that you lost? Or maybe find something that you never had? It does not matter, for it is all in vain. No one, no matter the reason for entering, will ever leave the Grimwood. And its inhabitants will make sure of that. 

You never know what creatures you'll encounter in the Grimwood...

In The Grimwood, you collect supernatural characters to create combinations and get points. You and the other players will start with three cards, then draw and play one card (if you wish to do so). You’ll come across many characters such as Dracula, faeries, goblins, the highwayman, and more. Each card has its own special abilities to give you an edge in racking up points, such as drawing extra cards, stealing cards from other players, or taking additional actions during your turn. The player with the most points after there are no more cards left to draw is the winner. 

This is quite possibly the simplest game on this list, with slight strategy involved while playing your cards, but a lot of times it is chaotic but fun. If you want a game to pass the time while enjoying eerily illustrated cards, this is one to play. 

Buy this game if:

  • You want quick gameplay with a lot of replay value. 
  • You love supernatural lore or just monsters in general. 


10. Hako Onna

Inside The Box's entertaining tutorial on how to play Hako Onna 

You take short, quiet breaths as you tiptoe down the hall. Your heart is beating, and you hope that “it” can’t hear you. Just need to find one more thing, and you can get out of there. You take another step, and the floorboard creaks. You pause and wait…but you know that you are too late…Hako Onna is now coming for you. 

In Hako Onna, you will either take the role of the Japanese folklore creature Hako Onna (Girl in the Box) or the poor, helpless people that are trapped inside her house where she perished. 

As Hako Onna, your goal is to eliminate all the other players. Before the game, the player that will be the Girl in the Box will set their tile in a room without telling anyone where, and they will also choose what weapon can potentially kill her. After that, they wait until the players make a noise by either failing on a unique disk-stacking component or through noise cards. Making a sound means Hako Onna takes their turn early and will make her own unique actions.

Make your way through the house and avoid Hako Onna's wrath! 

The survivors’ goal is one of three: find a combination to a safe that will give you a key to the exit, pacify Hako Onna, or kill the creature. They will wander the house and lift tiles to find numbers that will reveal the safe combination, or they can locate the remains of the girl that died and also her doll and unite them to pacify Hako Onna, or they can find weapons to kill the creature. They need to pick tiles carefully though because one of them is the creature and will result in instant death. 

Completing one of these goals will cause the team to win. If they all die, then the player posing as Hako Onna wins.

Buy this game if:

  • You want a game with a creepy feel to it. Little girl ghosts are typically very creepy so the theme is perfect for a horror-based game night.
  • You love PvE gameplay.
  • You want a game where you have multiple options to win.


9. Ghost Stories 

Learn how to play Ghost Stories from Roll for Crit 

9. Ghost Stories 

As Taoist Priests, you stand guard over your little village for intruders. Not physical intruders though, but ghostly. And tonight is the night that you and your team put your training to the test as the spectral villain Wu-Feng, Lord of the Nine Hells, returns to seize control of the world. 

Protect your village from the inhabitants of the Nine Hells!

In Ghost Stories, you play as priests while servants of the villainous warlord attempt to capture your village and its residents. You fight these ghosts with six-sided dice as well as special abilities, items, and booby traps.

Eventually, the Incarnation of Wu-Feng is released onto the board which you must fight. The game is won when this incarnation is defeated. You lose if more than three ghosts haunt the board, or all of the Taoist Priests are dead. 

The theme will surely please those who love Asian folklore and ghost stories. It’s quick to pick up and learn the rules and has good replay value as there are 10 versions of the incarnation of Wu-Feng, and they all have their own level of difficulty. 

Buy this game if:

  • You love Asian folklore, especially ones that are horror-themed.
  • You want a game that can provide a different level of difficulty each time.


8. Campy Creatures

How to play Campy Creatures 

Put on your lab coat and practice your best maniacal laugh, because it is time to play Campy Creatures! Your objective is to capture as many humans as you can for your experiments, but unfortunately, you are not the only one. You will compete against other mad scientists and whoever has the most points after three rounds is the winner. 

How do you capture these mortals though? With your army of gruesome, horrifying monsters of course! During each round, a location is revealed as well as different types of mortals just begging to be captured. All scientists will simultaneously reveal the monster they will send out in an attempt to capture said mortals. Before you pick your creature though, you need to anticipate which one your opponents will play too, because there may be a power struggle. 

After the reveal, several things may happen depending on the creatures in play. Abilities may activate depending on the location of the round, and which creature is played. Mortals will be captured depending on how well your strategy played out. 

Summon your monsters and capture the mortals needed for your experiments! 

This is a wonderful game for lovers of B-rated monster movies! The cards have beautiful illustrations, the mortals' cards provide unique gameplay and strategy, and overall it is just fun to pit monsters against each other. 

Buy this game if:

  • You love the classic Universal Studios monster films. 
  • You want quick and easy gameplay with little effort to understand the rules.


7. Dead Man’s Cabal

The Rules Girls teaches how to play Dead Man's Cabal 

You’re planning the greatest party of all time, so it’s time to raise the roof! And also the dead! 

In Dead Man’s Cabal, you and others play as necromancers that attempt to raise the most dead so that your party is the best that it can be. Players will collect skulls, bones, and runes which help you towards your goal of raising the most dead by the end of the game. Then you complete rituals to raise the said dead from their graves. After seven or more rituals have been completed then the game is over and the player with the most points (aka zombies) is declared the winner. 

Use all of your know-how as a necromancer to bring the dead to life for your party!

Much like necromancy, you may be hesitant to play this game because of all the rules and steps you must follow. And much like necromancy, once you get the hang of it, then you never want to stop. Play this game with all of your macabre friends and raise a little hell! 

Buy this game if:

  • Instead of fighting the zombies, you want to join them. 
  • You want a unique strategy-based game.


6. Stupid Deaths

How to play Stupid Deaths 

For many people, death is a terrifying thought. One can’t help but think of how they would end up leaving this mortal coil. Will they go out in a blaze of glory with no regrets? Or will they go quietly into the night? Or will they go out in a humiliating fashion in which as they were driving past a golf course, a stray golf ball crashed through their windshield and made its way down their throat (a true hole-in-one experience), and they choke as their car crashes into a telephone pole? 

Did I just make that up on the spot, or is that true? It's time to play Stupid Deaths and find out. 

Can you cheat Death by staying one step ahead of him?

In Stupid Deaths, you and other players try to outrun Death as you go around the board, hear about how some people have died, and predict whether or not the death in question actually happened. And some of the deaths will seem pretty ridiculous to be true. Guessing correctly ensures that you stay ahead of Death and are one step closer to victory. Guessing incorrectly means that Death gets to move closer to you. If he catches up to you, he will take your soul. Successfully move around the board first or be the last player standing and feel spectacular about cheating Death! 

This is a really simple game but it is a fun game nonetheless, and nothing is more horrifying than knowing Death may take you up at any moment, Final Destination style. 

Buy this game if: 

  • You want to add more useless knowledge to your repertoire.
  •  You want to get a kick on how some people have unfortunately left this world. 


5. Horrified

Learn how to play Horrified 

If you were asked to find someone that didn’t recognize iconic monster names such as Dracula, Frankenstein, or the Mummy, you may have a hard time. Universal Studios, in their heyday, made some of the most iconic movie monsters in history, many of which are still included or adapted into different movies to this very day. 

In Horrified though, you will be pitting yourself against these icons and attempting to survive their onslaught. Will you make it out alive? 

You play as heroes that go against at least two of these iconic monsters that are terrorizing a village. Your objective is to defeat these monsters. How you defeat these monsters depends on which of them are in play during the game. For example, if Dracula were on the board, you would defeat him by smashing four of his coffins that are hidden in the village and then overpowering him to drive a stake through his heart.

Fight off the monsters and ultimately defeat them to save the village.

The monsters each have their own turns, which are determined from monster cards drawn from a pile. Come across these monsters, and you may have to fight them if you can't flee. Losing fights means that the village’s terror level rises, and if that gets too high, the monsters win. 

All players win when their objectives to defeat the monsters are completed. They lose if the terror in the village reaches its maximum level, or if there are no more cards to play and the objectives have not been completed.

Universal Studios had a huge hand to play when it came to the horror genre, and this game is like a beautiful love story dedicated to them. This is highly recommended for those that love the Universal Studio monster flicks, or love games that have a similar vibe to Eldritch Horrors. 

Buy this game if:

  • You love monster flicks. 
  • Have played Eldritch Horrors and want something like it with a simpler rule set.


4. Mysterium

How to play Mysterium 

Welcome to Mysterium Manor! You may find the location cozy and quaint, but as it turns out, it is haunted by a spirit that seems rather restless. So what do you do when you want to calm a restless spirit?  You call the best psychics you can find. 

The story of Mysterium is that the owner of the mansion has called upon these psychics to speak with the one unfortunate soul who had been murdered there many years ago and is haunting the mansion. The psychics’ goal is to learn how he was murdered and by whom! Up to six players can play as the psychics while one lone player will be the ghost and can’t say anything. 

Use visions as the Ghost to give clues to the psychic players.

The goal of the ghost is to give vision cards to the psychics, and it is up to them to interpret what the vision means and glean whatever information they can to find out the murderer, the location, and the weapon. 

For each turn, as players take turns guessing what the vision means for each category, the ghost must then move the player's tokens up or down the board depending on if they guess correctly or not. In the end, the ghost makes one final vision which will show the other players finally who the culprit was. 

Progress yourself through the game as the Psychic to solve the mystery!

You don’t have all the time in the world though. The psychic link to speak to the dead is only available for a certain amount of time. So everyone must get their visions and guess correctly within that time limit. If one or more players fail that task, then the game is over and everyone loses. Thankfully if you have guessed your visions correctly and someone is struggling with theirs, the game allows you to look at their cards and help them. 

While a little difficult to learn at first, and certainly not as horror-driven as other games on this list, this is a great game to play with friends or family with the lights dimmed and spooky music playing in the background. In fact, this game has its own soundtrack that you can play online to truly immerse yourself into the world! 

Buy this game if:

  • You want a game where teamwork is an absolute must in order to win. 
  • You want to play as the ghost, which is an entirely different experience from the rest of the game.


3. Don’t Get Stabbed!

Learn how to play Don't Get Stabbed! 

Let’s step away from the ghosts and monsters for a minute and give the serial killers a stab on this list. If you love slasher films such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, you’ll get a kick out of Don’t Get Stabbed! 

In the game, there is one killer and the rest are victims. The victims draw cards in hopes of finding letters that spell out the word C-A-R, and they can only draw for those letters by finding and trading in pairs of special cards. Finding all three letters means they win. 

But while finding these cards, they can also run into stab cards. There are action cards that will prevent you from being stabbed if you have them in your hand, or help you remove a stab. If you end up with three stabs though, it means the killer has offed you and you’re out of the game. 

Find the car to escape, but don't get stabbed in the process! 

The killer is trying to prevent the others from winning by drawing from the same deck. If he gets a stab card, he is not harmed (he’s the killer after all) and he can put the card back into the pile in any place he wants. This means he can play a strategic role to kill other players as quickly as possible. 

This is a fun game with cartoony illustrations so this is a good game to play with older children as well as adults. It may not be a true horror game, but the elements of horror are there so that’s why this game is on this list. 

Buy this game if:

  • You love slasher films.
  • You always wanted to act out your favorite horror flick killers and/or victims.


2. Betrayal at House on the Hill

How to play Betrayal at House on the Hill 

Perhaps one of the most familiar horror-based board games of all time, you play an intrepid group that explores a house. As you explore new rooms, you will find a variety of things such as items that may or may not help you later in the game. You will also uncover events that will test your character’s physical and mental prowess. Fail these events and you may start getting scared to death…but that is the least of your worries. 

Among your friends will be a player that will betray the rest of the group, but nobody knows who that will be; the game decides depending on what happened to cause the betrayal to start. Becoming the betrayer means that you turn the tables and try to destroy the other players with new objectives while the players must meet their own objectives in order to win. Whoever is able to meet their objectives first is the winner. 

Will you survive the house, or will you ensure no one else does?

The original game has 50 different scenarios that can be played without the expansion packs. This means that almost every game that you play will be a new experience and the change from being on a team to suddenly be against everyone is a fun feeling to experience. 

Buy this game if:

  • You want a game that will give a different experience every time. 
  • You love board games that change on itself frequently. 


1. Vampire Hunter The Game 

Tabletop Island gives his review on Vampire Hunter The Game 

Released in 2002, this horror-based board game is unlike any other on this list because it’s a game that must be played in complete darkness. 

In Vampire Hunter The Game, the dreaded vampire Drakkus is planning to make his escape on an oncoming ship, and any chance of finding him after will be gone. As a group of vampire hunters, you must make your way to his castle and destroy him before it’s too late!

The goal of the hunters is to move through the board and collect garlic, a stake, and a sword each, reach Drakkus before his ship arrives, and defeat him. 

Drakkus’s tower (located in the center of the board) plays an important part in the game. Every time you draw a card, it will tell you whether the board will take place during the day or during the night. If a change in time is prompted, the player will tap on the top of the tower and the light coming from it will switch from blue to red and vice versa. 

As you do that, the board changes right before your eyes! If the board turns to night, then what was once a gravestone changes to a zombie! A villager becomes a werewolf! Traps suddenly appear that slow down your progress! Shortcuts will appear to hasten you along! 

Work your way through Drakkus's domain and slay him once and for all! 

If and when you do come across monsters on the board, You can fight them with a simple roll of a die. If that die says hit, the monster is defeated and you can move on. If it shows a skull (which appears more often at night) then you need to move back to the entrance of that certain part of the board. 

After you approach Drakkus, you will fight him with the weapons you pick up and must have three consecutive hits to defeat him. After he is defeated, turn his body to the daylight and watch him turn to bones!

If you ever get a chance to play Vampire Hunter The Game, you will not be disappointed. While it’s a simple game with easy mechanics, there aren’t any other games out there quite like it, so gameplay is fun and you’ll enjoy sitting in the dark with only the vampire’s tower as your source of light to fight off monsters.

(You can find complete copies of this game on eBay for really cheap since this game is no longer in production)

Buy this game if:

  • You love vintage board games.
  • You are a game hobbyist and love to collect unique board games. 

You may also be interested in: 

With his Wii nunchucks in one hand and a potato in the other, this Idaho-born gamer still bares the scars on the palms of his hands from his Mario Party 3 incident with pride.
Gamer Since: 1994
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Control
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dishonored, Tales from the Borderlands: A Telltale Game Series, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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