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Haunted Headquarters
"If you find that your house is built upon or near a cemetery, was once a church used for black masses, had previous inhabitants who went mad or committed suicide or died in some horrible fashion or who performed necrophilia or satanic practices, move away immediately."
Horror Movie Survival Guide

It's affordable with good access to the city, and has plenty of space. So why is the rent so cheap? And why do they seem willing to give the place away? Something's wrong with it, and no one wants to tell you why. Or maybe it's so obvious no one has to.

The Haunted Headquarters is a primary setting that leaves the characters with no other choice than to cope with the issues or depart.

Whether it's a ghost or bad location or whatever, the cast gets the idea to live or work here. They may have to help or exorcise the ghosts and fix up the place. In a happier situation, maybe they meet up with whatever problem it has, and after fixing it are offered the place to stay.

The most compromising situation is when the cast basically has to live (or literally cohabitate) with whatever issue the place has if they want to stay. They'll usually get over it, though. (Occasionally, an intelligent ghost will become part of the cast.)

The Haunted Headquarters may be a Haunted Castle or Haunted House. Expect the Haunted House Historian to exposit on its history.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime/Manga 
  • Megumi's apartment in Ah! My Goddess was haunted by a spirit.
    • Subverted: The spirit was basically good and honorable, but the location of the apartment was harming it. Once Belldandy helps it, it becomes Megumi's loyal protector.
  • In the first episode of Keroro Gunsou, Fuyuki and Natsumi learn that the reason their mom was able to get their house for such a great price was because the spare room in the basement (which in this episode becomes Sergeant Keroro's quarters) is haunted by a mysterious ghost girl. This fact doesn't bother Keroro, mainly because he doesn't know about her.
  • Anna and Yoh's house in Shaman King.
  • Saitou High in Haunted Junction. Especially the Student Council Room and the Chairman's office.
  • The haunted school in Ghost Stories, natch. They also feature a haunted abandoned condominium in one episode.

    Comics 
  • Inverted in New Avengers, where it turns out that Stark Towers, the Avengers' current headquarters, actually has another superhero's base located on top of it, which no one knew about after said hero made the world forget him completely. Iron Man still states that this is why he got the real estate so cheaply.
    • Stark Tower gets a somewhat more traditional haunting in Marvel Adventures: Avengers, when after a freak blackout accidentally caused by Storm in an effort to keep the entire city from being fried, a mysterious figure begins attacking the Avengers in the dark, trying to drive them out of the tower. This turns out to actually be the Adventures version of Vision, created when one of the training robots was accidentally exposed to various experimental programs that were all being run just before the power flare and blackout.
  • The Doom Patrol had a haunted headquarters at one point, and hired out many of the haunted occupants.
    • The Doom Patrol also once shared the Happy Harbor JLA HQ with the JLA. It eventually became haunted, leaving Flash, the Elongated Man and a fat Blue Beetle (no, really) to deal with the crazy.
  • One of Justice League Europe's many headquarters was a haunted castle. The resident ghost helped fight invading bad things.
  • Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum is a New York brownstone in Greenwich Village built on the site of various ritual sacrifices and prone to supernatural occurrences. To him, that's a plus point.

    Film 
  • Somewhat inverted in Thir13en Ghosts in which an occultist builds an infernal engine in the form of a glass house, then deliberately moves ghosts into it as a power source.
    • Ever notice how it involved -fourteen- ghosts?
  • "Manos" The Hands of Fate: "I tAke caRe oF tHe pLacE wHiLe tHe maSteR iS aWaY".
  • The Amityville Horror and all sequels are based on this trope. (Demons tend to hide in the objects sold from said house.)
  • The Shining (also mentioned in Literature, below).

    Literature 
  • Skeeve's home in the Myth Adventures series is in Deva, a place where the natives (Deveels) are notoriously canny businessmen. Why do they give him a cheap house? It has a back door that leads to the Uberwald-like vampire dimension.
  • Hogwarts and Sirius Black's house in the Harry Potter series. The Hogwarts ghosts are mainly there to add color, while the Black family mansion is "haunted" by his mum's deranged talking portrait and several dangerous artifacts.
  • The Overlook Hotel from The Shining
  • Hinzerhaus, in Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only in Death, is enough to drive many of the Ghosts up the wall, including the usually unflappable Mkoll. Although how much of this is due to Agun Soric's psychic warning messages is debatable. It's certainly a very creepy place, regardless.
    • The manse in Straight Silver also gives the Ghosts the creeps, although the "haunting" proves to be an old woman hiding in the house.
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Horus Rising, the Space Marines are told a place is haunted. Having Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions, they invade a church to find their vox channels haunted with voices claiming to be Samus. Jubal discovers something in the church and, chaos-tainted, turns on his fellow Marines.
  • In Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space novels, the Nostalgia For Infinity starts out with a haunted-house atmosphere thanks to out-of-control robots, rats, radiation and the general side effects of being a four-kilometre-long starship with a crew of seven. It gets worse - First, there's the Gunnery Chair, host to an ancient alien AI. Secondly, there's the guns - a cache of forty odd "Hell-class weapons" the crew found on a remote asteroid, each of which is apparently semisentient and utterly sadistic. Finally, there's the Captain, who came down with a nanotech disease that caused him to grow into the ship.
  • In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, the city the Wolves are defending is full of things just seen out of the corner of the eye, and with haunting doubts of adequacy. It doesn't help that the Chaos forces have constructed a phantom world that they can strike freely from owing to riddling the world with warp gates.
  • In "The Shunned House" by H.P. Lovecraft, the hero of the story becomes obsessed with a mysterious house that, since it was first built, wound up either driving its occupants insane or causing them a slow wasting death. It turned out that the house was built over the final resting place of a magician who slowly drained the Life Force from the people near him in the night.
  • The titular house in "The Dreams in the Witch-House", also by H.P. Lovecraft. It has a reputation as a haunted house but is actually periodically visited by a living, immortal witch who used to live in the house, and still uses its sealed attic for her work.
  • Jack Fleming from The Vampire Files only discovered that the old speakeasy he bought and converted to a fancy nightclub was haunted after the construction-work was already finished. Fortunately, Myrna the ghost isn't aggressive and has nothing against either the living or vampires like Jack.
  • The Discworld home base of the Guild of Fools and Clowns was formerly a monastery occupied by a masochistic death cult worshipping a Cthulu-style deity. Prior to that it was a leprosy hospital and a plague pit. The Fools kind of think the ambience is wholly appropriate.

    Live Action Television 
  • This happened to Cordelia on Angel. After exorcising the evil ghost haunting her new apartment, however, another not-so-evil ghost who'd helped defeat it became her roommate. Also, there was the Hyperion Hotel, which was infested with a paranoia demon before they managed to remove it.
  • Ryukendo's SHOT HQ is a mostly ordinary Elaborate Underground Base. Except for the ghost, Komachi, that haunts the police station it's based out of.
  • In Being Human, George and Mitchell are able to rent a city centre house on the cheap because it's haunted by a girl called Annie. George, being a werewolf, and Mitchell, being a vampire, don't have a problem with this.
  • The haunted, gothic Collinwood Mansion is featured in Dark Shadows.
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir - Being a comedy, the ghost wasn't really evil. They had to placate the ghost to stay, regardless.
  • Bedlam Heights, a former asylum being converted to an apartment complex in Bedlam.
  • Hillhurst Mansion, from Big Bad Beetleborgs.

    Music 
  • The Gorillaz home base, Kong Studios, was remarkably haunted. (Before Murdoc burned it down, of course.) Apparently the hill was once a ritual ground for druids, then a mass graveyard during the days of the black plague and finally the sight of many deaths as a fire killed the bikers who'd been crashing there. It's also located next to a massive landfill.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Geist The Sin Eaters has these in the form of Haunts, in addition to the usual buildings that just have ghosts in them. A Haunt represents a place close to the pulse of the Underworld, and is defined by its Fluidity (how easily one can cross over to the Underworld within it), Residue (how much Plasm accumulates within it and can be safely reaped), and Utility (representing how easily one can actually live there and make regular use of it).

    Video Games 
  • Luigi's Mansion is basically the story of Mario's hapless younger brother getting a free house... which he then has to clear of ghosts. Apparently, the whole thing was a ghostly creation, and it disappears when he's done. For some reason, the money in it wasn't, so he buys a new one. Which is presumably not haunted.
  • In City of Heroes, Paragon City has an entire haunted neighborhood called Dark Astoria that is walled off and restricted to all but players above level 20. The fog makes visibility very poor, zombies and dark shamans lurk the streets, and shadows of pedestrians can be seen walking in the fog but vanish when the player gets too close.
    • Dark Astoria is no longer haunted by ghosts. Those were all eaten when the Eldritch Abomination awoke and leveled the cemetery when the zone was revamped to serve as a new level 50 hub. Still fits this trope, however.
    • First Ward toys with this trope. A ruined city in a Mirror Universe that has been ravaged by giant monsters, the souls of the dead are definitely present. First Ward even has a reflection in the land of the dead called Night Ward where the souls of those slain in the Hamidon Wars still linger, unable to pass on. However, the Apparitions that plague you throughout your journey through First Ward aren't actually ghosts at all. They're the psychic cast offs from Praetor Tilman's Seer Program, ripped from the minds of conscripted psychics in order to make it easier to induct them into the Seer Network.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has a quest which involves buying a Haunted House and then discovering you need to clear it of ghosts. A summary of the quest can be found here.
  • The titular flat of Silent Hill 4: The Room starts out being creepy and haunted. Then it extends to the rest of the apartment block in general.
  • The Roivas family manor, Eternal Darkness' very creepy Hub Level. Even disregarding the effects of a low Sanity Meter, there's at least three ghosts, a secret passage, and a sealed-up room on the second floor, but that's nothing compared to what's in the basement...
  • Harbour Cottage, where Nigel stays in The Lost Crown, is haunted by the ghosts of an immigrant couple who died in the 1950s. Granted, practically every other location in or around Saxton is haunted too, but more ghostly encounters happen in Harbour Cottage than any other game locale.

    Webcomics 
  • The Kesandru / Brie Meighsaton House in Sluggy Freelance.
  • Schlock Mercenary has what initially appears to be a haunted Spaceship Headquarters in the Sword of Inevitable Justice/Post-Dated Check Loan. (Since the mercenaries tend to go through ships rather quickly, the PDCL is now just a memory and a debris cloud.) However: it wasn't really haunted. Just air in the pipes, coupled with a case of improbability so extreme that it drove the ship's AI insane trying to calculate it.
  • Stupidity In Magic has this. Twice, actually. Both times, the main cast is only called in to see why the house is haunted - they never get the house itself (they have their own place already, anyways). The first time, the ghosts were stuck in the house because of a curse, and most of them were happy to leave once the problem was fixed. The second time, the ghosts were haunting a house being rented out by a college - the rent was very reasonable, due to the haunting, and the college students only called for help because the ghosts had started possessing the occupants and were getting a bit violent; once things were fixed so that they wouldn't be in danger of getting hurt any more and they realized why the rent was so low, they were quite willing to let the ghosts stay - they preferred slightly-haunted accommodations that were within walking distance of the college to anything else they could afford.
  • The forest surrounding Doctor McNinja's office are haunted. As a result he no longer likes Ghostbusters 2.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Real Ghostbusters, the firehouse is "haunted" by the team's mascot, a "class five free roaming vapor" named Slimer. As portrayed in the movie and a later flashback episode, he originally haunted a ritzy hotel, and appeared at the firehouse after his capture and the original containment unit's destruction in the film left him with nowhere else to go. Despite Peter's protests, Slimer's encouraged to stay by Egon and Ray since he's the only ghost on friendly enough terms with them to let them run tests.
  • The trio of heroes from Filmations Ghostbusters (No relation) set up shop in what resembled a run-down Haunted House—Ghost Command—that featured haunted appliances such as (most memorably) the wisecracking Ansabone. Similarly, the Big Bad Prime Evil had Hauntquarters, a cathedral-like building located in the Fifth Dimension.
  • Many ghost stories.
  • In a The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror segment, the Simpsons move into a Haunted House, which does its best to make them leave... but they refuse, because it's pretty much their dream house. The segment ends with the house destroying itself rather than live with the Simpsons.
    Lisa: You can't help but feel a little rejected.
    Homer (abusing the real estate agent over the phone): "You didn't tell me it was built on an Indian Burial Ground! ... Well, that's not my recollection..."
    Marge: "Well?"
    Homer: "He says he mentioned it two or three times."
    • Marge Simpson also sells one of these to the Flanders family during her stint as a real estate agent. The house is actually fine and they don't mind living there, but since Status Quo Is God, the house is destroyed by episode end.
  • In Yellow Submarine, The Beatles appear to live in a hotel haunted by assorted bizarre cartoon ducks.


Haunted FetterHaunted IndexHaunted Heroine
Exploring the Evil LairHome BaseHaunted Castle
Haunted CastleSettingsHaunted House
Harmful to MinorsNarrative DevicesHeat Wave
Haunted FetterHorror TropesHaunted Heroine
Hated HometownAdded Alliterative AppealHaunted Heroine

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