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The place where the dead come back to annoy you.
This is the area in the game with unconventional, undead enemies
that can only be defeated through certain means. With ghosts, they might not be beatable at all. With zombies and vampires, it might require exposure to reflective sunlight or casting healing spells
or special spells
. May be a depiction of Überwald
, or a Haunted House
. It'll always be nighttime in this level
This area will frequently cross
with another location, like a cemetery
— there's no quicker way to make an area creepier than to make it haunted. Often it also has inconsistent lighting
Let's face it — a good scare is always nice.
Named after the stage from Super Mario 64
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- The Legend of Zelda:
- The Shadow Temple and the Bottom of the Well in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time play this trope full-on, while the Forest Temple plays it more subtly. Also, the overworld at nighttime as a child, and Hyrule Castle Town as Adult Link.
- In the sequel The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the entire eastern region comprises the poisonous lifeless kingdom of Ikana.
- The Wind Waker's Earth Temple. For one thing, it's where the Redeads first show up, and there are also huge hallways filled with mist that renders you unable to use weapons, typically filled with Floormasters.
- The Arbiter's Grounds are The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess's contribution to this trope, which combine it with Shifting Sand Land.
- The Royal Crypt is the best example in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, but there are also plenty of Stalfoes and the hated Floor/Wallmasters in the Fortress of Winds.
- Random encounters in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link can quickly become That One Level in a cemetery.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has the Skull Woods, which combines this with a forest element. The whole of the Dark World could also count, as well as the graveyard and the underground obstacles.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword 's Ancient Cistern is a mix between Down the Drain and this. Its basement floor is not only much darker than the cheery above-ground level, it's also filled with poison water and Cursed Bokoblins.
- Skull Woods in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past has some elements of this, with the prevalence of skulls, Stalfos, Gibdos and Wall Masters, though it's all even more prominent in A Link Between Worlds. The latter also applies this to the Dark Palace with its large number of Poes and Ghinis.
- The Lonesome Manor in Epic Mickey.
- Let's face it, that whole game was a Big Boo's Haunt.
- The first few levels of MediEvil... but here it's a given, as the hero is a reanimated skeleton. After the fifth level, the game branches out into other stage types.
- Ōkami has a level like this on a sunken ship, where the ghosts of those who perished want to harm you. You can only kill them with the priestess on your back, who accompanies you on that mission and uses dispelling slips of paper to attack. Also features a scary bit where the ghost of the spider boss (whose face pretty much looks like a dead girl) dive-bombs the actual TV screen and shrieks at you.
- It doesn't help that the ghosts can move while you use the Celestial Brush, which very few enemies ever do. This makes them even more unsettling, since it's kind of an Interface Screw.
- Shantae visits a Temple of Doom during her trek, in the middle of a swamp in the middle of The Lost Woods. The whole area is filled to the brim with ghosts and zombies. There is a caravan of travelling zombies here, too, but as they explain, there are wild zombies like the ones you fought and tamed zombies like them.
- That doesn't stop them from politely asking to devour your brains, however.
- The entire game of Luigi's Mansion, and the Super Smash Bros. Brawl stage based on it.
- Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, unlike the first game, which took place inside a single mansion, has multiple haunted buildings for Luigi to explore. The first one is a typical haunted house, but the rest of them combine this trope with other Videogame Settings such as Shifting Sand Land and Slippy-Slidey Ice World.
- On top of Luigi's Mansion, Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode has several areas with ghost-esque enemies such as the Shaydas and the Floow.
- The Mausoleum of the Giants in La-Mulana features respawning ghosts which slowly drift across the screen. However, they die in one hit and don't fire projectiles, which doesn't quite put them among the most annoying enemies in the game.
- Halloween Town in the Kingdom Hearts series looks like this, but arguably, Port Royal fits better, as the Cursed Pirates there (and eventual boss), have unique mechanics to kill them, while the residents of Halloween do not.
- An Untitled Story features the Curtain and the UnderTomb, which feature ghosts as enemies (completely different ones from those playing part in the plot). The latter has entire flocks of them.
- The third area of MadWorld is a medieval castle that was shipped over brick-by-brick from Zombiekistan. However, with those bricks came Zombiekistan's chief export: ZOMBIES!
- The mummy-infested Egyptian tomb levels in the Metal Slug games.
- The first area of Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, which is a poisoned city full of zombies.
- The The Simpsons' graveyard level.
First Person Shooter
- Ravenholm in Half-Life 2, though you could say the headcrab zombies aren't dead per se...
- The TimeSplitters series also has numerous examples of this trope.
- The second game first has the Siberia level, which starts out very espionage-ish but soon introduces zombies that the bad guys are apparently experimenting with in their laboratories. The later cathedral level features more gothic-ish supernatural zombies from the sewers and dried out monk zombies.
- The third game features the zombie-infested stages "Mansion of Madness" and "What Lies Below" (the 5th and 6th levels respectively) which look like something straight out of House of the Dead or Resident Evil, complete with unusually giant tentacle monster of death and a secret underground laboratory. (Ghosts are introduced later on, and they're incidentally completely unrelated to the science-induced zombies.) Both also feature the massive naked mole rat-looking thing referred to as "Princess".
- Turok 2: The River of Souls, with its soulgates and zombie-filled graveyards. Also a Temple of Doom.
- The Old Underground Metro Area in F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, the only location in the series you are attacked exclusively by paranormal beings (the Nightcrawler encounter doesn't count, as it's pulled off in a very modern subway system that marks the "end" of the paranormal attacks). To a lesser extent, the Wade Elementary School and Auburn Memorial Hospital in Project Origin.
- EverQuest has plenty. Befallen, Lower Guk, Kithicor Forest at nighttime, Estate of Unrest, Najena, Castle Mistmoore, The Hole, Kurn's Tower, Kaesora, City of Mist, and that's just the first 2 expansion packs. There are currently 16.
- This is a particularly universal trope in MMORPGS. In fact it seems there's a federal law requiring them in every MMO. City of Heroes has Croatoa and Dark Astoria, World of Warcraft has Duskwood, even Star Wars: Galaxies has Dathomir. No MMORPG is immune from having to have the spooky Halloween zone.
- About a fourth of World of Warcraft is made of this trope. Besides Duskwood, there is Silverpine Forest, Trisifal Glades, The Undercity, Deadwind Pass, Karazhan, Western Plaguelands, Eastern Plaguelands, Stratholme, Scholomance, Naxxramas, Auchindoun, Zul'Drak, and Icecrown.
- Niflheim in the MMORPG Ragnarok Online
- Kingdom of Loathing has a number of these:
- Spookyraven Manor, which starts as the Haunted Pantry in Seaside Town but then extends to an entire haunted house to explore.
- The Misspelled Cematary, which is infested with badly-spelled undead (or possibly undaed) such as zobmies and ghuols.
- The Defiled Cyrpt, which opens up as part of a quest from the Council of Loathing and contains even-stronger undead like gaunt ghuols, slick lihcs, and the dreaded Bonerdagon.
- The Haunted Sorority House was a special clan dungeon available for Halloween 2011, a haunted house set up by orc sorority girls who all wound up Becoming the Costume thanks to the sinister "Nec-bro-mancer".
- Dreadsylvania, a clan dungeon intended for high-level "aftercore" players (the suggested minimum level is somewhere in the high teens, when most players finish the last in-game quest at level thirteen) which features bugbears, werewolves, zombies, ghosts, skeletons, and vampires in all five of the elements found in the kingdom that inflict a variety of debilitating buffs on players.
- Mabinogi has Peaca dungeon. Did I mention that It's Nintendo Hard? They also has Metus. Did I also mention that it's also Nintendo Hard?
- Haunted areas in Champions Online include Burial Butte, Hoarfrost Hills and Lynx's Fold in Canada, the literal Ghost Town of Burnside in the desert, Rastrinfhar's Abyss in Lemuria and pretty much most of Vibora Bay.
- Mad Monster Mansion from Banjo-Kazooie.
- The Spooky chapters from Conkers Bad Fur Day.
- Gloomy Gulch from Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest crossbreeds this area with The Lost Woods. It also has another area the combines this with Minecart Madness.
- Donkey Kong 64 had Creepy Castle and the night-time version of Fungi Forest.
- Ship of Souls from DK: King of Swing and Ghost Island from DK: Jungle Climber.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Hotel Delfino from Super Mario Sunshine.
- Super Mario Galaxy features the Ghostly Galaxy, as well as the smaller Boo's Boneyard Galaxy.
- Super Mario Galaxy 2 has the Haunty Halls Galaxy and the Boo Moon Galaxy.
- The Pumpkin Zone in Super Mario Land 2 had its share of undead creepers as well, many of them with what appeared to be knives still stuck in their heads.
- The Ghost Houses in Super Mario World (pictured) and the New Super Mario Bros. subseries.
- Forever Forest from the first Paper Mario could be considered a subversion, what with how pretty much none of the undead inhabitants are actually hostile. Creepy Steeple from The Thousand Year Door is a more direct example.
- Super Mario Bros. 3 includes ghosts and Dry Bones in its castles.
- Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars has the Sunken Ship, which is a combination of this and Down the Drain - weirdly, though, at the end of the area the ghosts randomly get dropped in favor of pirates.
- The Mario Kart series is full of them:
- Super Mario Kart - Ghost Valley 1, 2, and 3.
- Mario Kart 64 - Banshee Boardwalk.
- Mario Kart: Super Circuit - Boo Lake and Broken Pier.
- Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - Luigi's Mansion (battle course).
- Mario Kart DS - Luigi's Mansion (race track) and Twilight House (battle course).
- Mario Kart Wii - re-uses Super Mario Kart's Ghost Valley 2, and Mario Kart DS' Twilight House.
- Super Mario 64 has the Trope Namer, Big Boo's Haunt. In the Nintendo DS remake, it's possible to access an extra level there, where the objective is to retrieve a key that will free Luigi, who was captured by King Boo.
- Castle Lololo, from the original Kirby's Dream Land, is surprisingly the Kirby series' only BBH.
- Ripple Star palace, from The Crystal Shards contains no ghosts, but could qualify merely on its creepy atmosphere. Ironically, there is a haunted level (or at least level segment) earlier in the game, but it lacks the hallmark ghoulish atmosphere.
- Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition features a couple of stages that take place on the Flying Dutchman's pirate ship.
- Rayman 2: The Great Escape featured The Cave of Bad Dreams and The Tomb of the Ancients.
- Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc features The Land of the Livid Dead, which could be considered a subversion, since the ghosts themselves aren't the problem.
- Many Sonic the Hedgehog games have at least one level with unbeatable ghostly enemies.
- The second act of Sandopolis Zone in Sonic & Knuckles.
- Sonic Adventure does this with the second half of Red Mountain, which has prison cells in the walls with ghostly-looking prisoners inside.
- There are five levels in part based of this in Sonic Adventure 2 - Pumpkin Hill, Aquatic Mine, Egg Quarters, Pyramid Cave, and Death Chamber.
- The Hang Castle/Mystic Mansion level in Sonic Heroes has unbeatable pumpkin-headed ghost enemies that pop up in places where you're moving forward fast.
- Cryptic Castle from Shadow the Hedgehog.
- Haunted Ship from Sonic Rush Adventure... isn't really haunted, but looks like it is. The "ghosts" are beatable, and metal bits come out of them if you do. Marine really shouldn't be scared of these phonies...
- For Sonic Lost World, there's Sky Road Zone 4 for the Wii U version which is haunted by boos who serve as invincible objects.
- Shade Man's level in Mega Man 7. Naturally, being a Capcom game, it contains a Shout-Out to Ghosts N Goblins.
- The Wrecked Ship in Super Metroid.
- The caverns at the beginning of Metroid Prime 2, where dead GF troopers are possessed by the Ing, forcing you to kill the very people Samus came to save.
- Wario Land has Uncanny Mansion in the second game, the entire Sapphire Passage (and all levels within, except for Fiery Cavern) in Wario Land 4, and both Bad Manor and Boogie Mansion in Shake It!.
- Horror Manor from Wario World.
- Blowhole Castle from Wario: Master Of Disguise.
- Medivo in Jazz Jackrabbit 2.
- Given the subject matter, everywhere in the Castlevania series.
- The 'invulnerable ghosts' variant appears in the native ruins in Captain Comic 2.
- Gex 1's Cemetary stage, filled with ghosts and zombies. And the boss is a ghost girl who turns into a zombie creature that attacks by puking at you.
- And later, Gex 2 came out with Scream TV, which parodies several well-known horror films, even with a crazed doll trying to stab you (Oh, and its name is Hucky).
- Parajump has several including one based on the tower of London.
- Tomba!: A haunted Mansion in the first game and the Dongolin Forest in the sequel.
- Food Fright from Rocket: Robot on Wheels. Also an example of Level Ate.
- Temple Graveyard and Bone Mountain in Demon Sword. The latter is also a Death Mountain.
- Bonze Adventure: Round 1, Dilapidated Backyard Cemetry (sic).
- Tiny Toon Adventures games:
- Buster Busts Loose! for the SNES has a haunted house as the third level. The enemies consist of various monsters who appeared in the show, and the boss is Melvin the Monster from the episode, "Hare-Raising Night", brainwashed by Dr. Gene Splicer.
- The pirate ship level from Buster's Hidden Treasure for the Sega Genesis has some haunted elements in it as well, notably the music and some of the enemies, which include ghosts, bats, and knights.
- Babs' Big Break for the Game Boy has a haunted forest as the third level. Fifi is captured by the forest ghost, and after you rescue her, you go inside the castle, where the boss is a knight.
- The Monster Movie level from Montana's Movie Madness, also for the Game Boy, takes place in a haunted mansion. The boss is Montana Max and Roderick Rat stacked on top of each other dressed like Frankenstein.
- Capcom loves to put these levels in their Disney games. A few examples include:
- "Boo! Haunted House" from The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.
- Count Slobula's Castle from Garfield Caught In The Act takes place in a cemetary. The boss is Count Slobula, a vampire that resembles Odie.
- Transylvania from Quackshot plays this trope in spades. Enemies include bats, Pete clones, ghosts, and skeletons. In addition to them, there's a water-filled temple (which thankfully, you can't drown in), a wall that closes in on you, and blocks you must break with exploding bubble gum. The boss is a duck version of Dracula.
- Baldur's Gate II features the Temple Ruins, an area corrupted by a powerful undead called the Shade Lord. Within, one finds numerous types of undead—there are even a couple who aren't evil and want to help you—and those few creatures that aren't undead are linked to them in some way (golems made from bones, a dragon from the Plane of Shadow). Ironically, before it was defiled the temple was one of Amaunator, the forgotten sun god, who loathed undead as most sun gods do in Dungeons & Dragons-related settings.
- While the Temple Ruins are the best example, there is also the Underground City in the first game (populated by zombies, ghouls and the occasional skeleton warrior), and the Forest Ruins and Sealed Tomb in Throne of Bhaal. Other areas occasionally have undead encounters as well, but these feature them almost exclusively.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has the Dunmer tombs, usually populated by skeletons and ghosts, but sometimes with nasty Bonewalkers that can permanently reduce your strength.
- Pokémon Tower in Pokémon Red and Blue.
- And Mt. Pyre later in the third generation. Yes, a whole mountain city of the dead— as if a tower wasn't bad enough.
- The Sinnoh games have the Old Chateau and the Lost Tower, though the former is definitely the creepier of the two.
- Unova follows suit with the Celestial Tower, which adds aliens (in the form of the Psychic-type Elgyem) to the usual melange of Ghost Pokemon.
- The sequels have Strange House,with ghost types and a ghostly girl. She'll vanish after you get the Lunar Wing out of the house and go get Cresselia. The fun part:? leave a room and come back to rearranged furniture.
- The Phantom Train in Final Fantasy VI.
- The Ship Graveyard in Final Fantasy V, which crosses over with Gangplank Galleon.
- The Iifa Tree in Final Fantasy IX. The game hates you on this level, since if you didn't know you needed to pack special items to cure zombie status, your party members are going to be impossible to revive.
- The Zanarkand Ruins in Final Fantasy X.
- Final Fantasy XI has lots of areas like this: the Eldieme Necropolis, Garlaige Citadel, Gusgen Mines, King Ranperre's Tomb, the Sacrarium and Arrapago Reef.
- The Nabreus Deadlands (go figure), and the Necrohol of Nabudis (again, go figure) in Final Fantasy XII. In fact, any place with mist in the game is bound to be a Big Boo's Haunt. Barheim Passage is the first one.
- Titan Quest, features many, many areas like this, though most of them are optional, a few in the Egypt act are not.
- Westwood's Lands of Lore RPG features a castle filled with ghost that have massive damage resistance against all but a few certain magical weapons.
- Mega Man Battle Network 2 had Netopia Castle, which had ghosts that ran around and brought death to you. Or brought you to death, bringing you to a gravesite.
- Dubloon features The Pirates Graveyard, which among its attractions includes ice-breathing ghosts, Zombie Pirates, Grabbies and a Treasure Tower.
- Shadow Hearts has the only way to reduce the difficulty of the monsters you face outside of it (their "hate"): The Graveyard.
- In the Wizardry games, take a wild guess what you'll face at the Isle of the Dead and Isle of Crypts in VI and VII, respectively.
- Demitel's manor from Tales of Phantasia is a standard Haunted House inhabited by ghosts, undead monsters and Demitel himself. And it's complete with a Light and Mirrors Puzzle.
- The abandoned mansion explored in Chapter 20 of The Last Story.
Shoot Em Up
- Gradius Gaiden has an interesting version - a level made entirely of the barely-functional scrap left of the hordes and hordes of alien ships you defeated in past games. Some of them occasionally spring to life and pitifully fire a few weak shots before deactivating again.
- The Forgotten Planet in Sigma Star Saga is a ravaged wasteland that at some point during its destruction developed a "Haunted House" motif. In addition, it's also that one level and it wasn't playtested very well.
- Tankylvania in Heavy Weapon is set in a graveyard. It's also the first level where you'll encounter the Atomic Bombers. The boss of the level is Eyebot, a robot that's appropriately based off a tentacled Eldritch Abomination.
- The Talespin video game for the NES has a haunted mansion as its fourth level.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3, the dead quite literally come back to haunt you. In a downright creepy non-battle with The Sorrow, Naked Snake must wade upstream in an eerie, fog-shrouded river, where he is accosted by the ghosts of all soldiers he's killed in the game. If the player has avoided lethal methods to this point, this encounter will be nearly deserted.
- Not only that, but the manner in which you killed each soldier affects how they appear and what some may scream. Cutting a throat will render that person's head hanging by a thread from their neck when you encounter them on that river. It even gets to the point that, if you kill a soldier up in the mountains, let a vulture pick at his corpse, and then kill and eat that vulture, that soldier will appear there with it, and cry out "You ate me!"
- Easy way to get out of that, no matter how many you've killed or tranq'ed (especially important if you're doing a speedrun in extreme mode for the FOXHOUND uber-rank): Just dive underwater as soon as you enter the stage. You'll be out in about a minute.
- Waving the knockout handkerchief a few times can work too, as its fumes will knock you out immediately.
- Various locations in the Thief games. The Bonehorde and the Haunted Cathedral Levels in 1, and The Cradle in 3.
Turn Based Strategy
- Subverted in the Battalion Wars series — the Iron Legion are meant to be undead, cylopian warriors, but can be easily killed with conventional weapons by the other factions.
Non-Video Game Examples
- The Tower of London is supposedly infested with ghosts of the victims of royal strife over the centuries.
- If there's anywhere on Earth that's haunted, it's Poveglia. Its ground is made of bodies.
- The Haunted Mansion or Phantom Manor, depending on which of the Disney Theme Parks you visit.
- Every building the Ghostbusters visit. Of course, considering what the heroes do for a living, that is pretty much a given.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, a Duelist Kingdom arc episode "Call of the Haunted" pitted Joey against a Zombie duelist who used undead zombies that could be killed by normal means, but a card of the Zombie duelist (the eponymous Call of the Haunted) just caused them to keep coming back.
- Discussed by Jon Tron and Egoraptor in Game Grumps as they played through the Big Boo's Haunt in Goof Troop. Big Boo's Haunt is one of Jon's favorite level tropes, as long as they're creative and not "tropey as fuck".
- Tweetsie Railroad, a theme park in Boone, North Carolina, usually has The Wild West as its main theme, but during October, the event known as "Ghost Train" begins. Tweetsie sets aside the usual cowboy trappings from the main season and embrace this trope in full. Everything becomes scary and haunted, and they even decorate the namesake antique locomotive with skeleton decals. The main attraction, a show during the train ride, is given a horror theme that changes every year (2009 had a zombie theme, 2010 had vampires, and 2012 was themed around The Fair Folk), while the main season's train show is frontier-themed. The music during the train ride even changes. During the main season, they play Country Music and Bluegrass Music on the train's PA system. During Ghost Train, the PA system plays a mix of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock.
Yes. Resident Evil, House of Dead, and any other horror game you can think of. Extra points for reaching the bottom of the page without adding them to the list.