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Haunted House

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"It was an evil house from the beginning — a house that was born bad."
Dr. John Markway, The Haunting (1963)

A spooky house. A staple of Horror. Where Haunted Castles would appear in European tales, the Haunted House takes its place in American stories. It is commonly associated with bumps in the night, strange lights, and a shady history involving violence and terror.

It might be a ramshackle abandoned shack standing alone. Or a Big Fancy House maintained by a Creepy Housekeeper. Or a typical suburban home built on an Indian Burial Ground. Or has a perturbed poltergeist with Unfinished Business using it as a personal Psychological Torment Zone. It has a distressing tendency of killing its way through a family receiving it as an Unexpected Inheritance, and if it gets a sufficiently sordid reputation it will be chronicled by a Haunted House Historian who tries to warn new would-be victims — who of course read it as a travel guide.

The house itself may seem alive, with a mind of its own, yet it may be surrounded by dead trees and blackened grass. Will usually be always in permanent night time, if not having localised Grave Clouds.

When you enter, the "wind" closes the door behind you — and likely will not reopen until its time for the next set of schmucks to take the bait. Creepy portraits may adorn the walls and the eyes may literally follow your every move. There are probably cobwebs everywhere, draped over the ever-changing portraits. The Ominous Pipe Organ may start playing Johann Sebastian Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor all on its own; any number of ravens or yowling cats may join in on the symphony. Mirrors reflect things that aren't there... when they aren't all broken. There will probably be at least a couple Bookcase Passages and Booby Traps. Oh, and if you dig into records of people who've lived in, or stayed in the house before, or research the house itself you're likely to find some pretty spooky history and at least one Dark Secret.

Many haunted houses as depicted in film and TV (particularly vintage productions), and in videogames, tend to be Bigger on the Inside, with seemingly endless corridors and remote areas and rooms that seem incongruous with exterior views of the building. Sometimes it's simply because Artists Are Not Architects, but frequently there is an implication that the haunted house is a form of Eldritch Location: a Mobile Maze in a Negative Space Wedgie. If you find yourself in one of these, expect Endless Corridors and Scooby-Dooby Doors to be the least of your problems. In particularly bad cases, as the house gathers more life force and fear energy expect increasing levels of Bizarrchitecture and Malevolent Architecture, particularly if you're getting closer to figuring out how to get out or approaching the heart of the house. In the core of these places expect to find blatant Alien Geometry, or possibly even a full-blown Psychological Torment Zone.

This is somewhat a Discredited Trope nowadays, with parodies, Abandoned Hospitals, and amusement park attractions being similarly popular to the straight portrayals. It's also a long-enduring trope, however, with stories of haunted houses going back at least to the ancient Romans, making it Older Than Feudalism.

Compare Haunted Headquarters, which is any haunted primary setting; Old, Dark House, which may or may not have a supernatural element; Hell Hotel, which is its hotel equivalent; Apartment Complex of Horrors, the apartment version; and Ghost Ship, which is this trope placed at sea. Big Boo's Haunt is this trope in video games. Will often end up invoking Never Recycle a Building, for good reason. New House, New Problems is a popular way to introduce this trope.

If it's merely the setting for a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax involving Ten Little Murder Victims, see Old, Dark House.

For the Atari 2600 game of the same name, go here. For the Gottlieb Pinball of the same name, go here.


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  • BoBoiBoy: As suggested by the title of the episode "The Haunted House", BoBoiBoy and Gopal investigate what they think is a haunted house somewhere within Rintis Island, while Adu Du and Probe have their own investigation. According to a legend, the house had been inhabited by a family for the past six months, only for the family to go mysteriously missing on the seventh month. There is said to be a ghost there that sometimes appears to be a human, and sometimes appears to be a tiger. While the house has no ghosts in it, the ghost appearing to be a human and a tiger isn't too far off from Fang's Shadow Manipulation abilities, as he uses that haunted house for practice and creates a tiger using his Shadow Manipulation.
  • Bread Barbershop: In "The Haunted House", a BreadTube video creator records himself entering a house said to be haunted by a ghost couple and doesn't return. Master Bread learns about the treasure that's said to be hidden there and brings Wilk and Choco to find the treasure with him.
  • Lamput: The docs go to a haunted house on their search for Lamput in the appropriately-titled episode "Haunted House". Lamput creeps out the docs by making several ominous distractions to keep with the theme of the location, such as making fake walking sounds to make it sound like someone else is in the house with them.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Animatrix features an interesting variation on this. Several characters find a haunted house that turns out to be A Glitch in the Matrix.
  • Shirasagi Castle from Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales is unoccupied by humans and is decrepit and old in the human perspective.
  • 0012 in Cyborg 009 may be the consciousness of a human woman cybernetically transferred to a mansion and with her brains placed in a Creepy Doll in the middle of said manse, but for all intents and purposes, this mansion is a haunted house: She can project her voice and a holographic image anywhere in the house; make objects levitate and manipulate the walls, floors, and ceilings; and has placed the house in a dark forest when 009 and the others arrive.
  • Daisuki! BuBu ChaCha: Double subverted in episode 3. The titular characters finds out that the rumored ghost inside an Old, Dark House is just an old curtain by a window. Then a floating pillow follows them as they leave.
  • One chapter of Digimon V-Tamer 01 features Taichi, Zero and Gabou going to a haunted house to find one of the V-Tags.
  • The Bloodstained Labyrinth case from Ghost Hunt features a mansion and one of the properties owned by the former Prime Minister. It's utterly filled with spirits and its nonsensical architecture leads Monk to compare it to the real-life Winchester Mansion. The spirits haunting the place aren't evil, though. It's Urado that SPR has to worry about, and he's long since become something far worse than a ghost.
  • Holoearth Chronicles Side:E ~Yamato Phantasia~: The Lost Doll's Manor is a house filled with Stigma and is also rumored to be haunted by a child's ghost. Being scared by a crawling Creepy Doll is only the start of the misadventures.
  • Anime Episodes 5-6 of Lapis Re:LiGHTs centers around this and its occupants, chiefly the Cute Ghost Girl Garnet and the haunted doll Marianne. They had been causing a serious disturbance in a forest, kidnapping travelers out of a misguided attempt to make friends for Garnet, and the rest of the cast had been sent there to investigate.
  • In Sgt. Frog, the Hinata house is haunted by a Cute Ghost Girl who appears sporadically throughout the series. She turns out to be really a very nice person. Also, she kinda sucks at haunting.
  • In one episode of Tamagotchi, the Spacy Brothers find an old mansion with the usual moving furniture and windows that suddenly fly open. Of course, Akaspetchi is terrified, but as it turns out, the house itself was actually mechanical, used for a set in an episode of Gotchiman.

    Card Games 
  • Hoyle's Rules of Dragon Poker:
    86. In a haunted house, Ogres become the lowest ranking face card.
  • Magic: The Gathering: Innistrad is known for having a pretty severe ghost problem, and that leads to more than a few spirits haunting houses and the like. Moorland Haunt, for example, shows a remote manor surrounded by spectral shapes.

    Comic Books 
  • In Adventure Comics #408, Supergirl investigates an old, dilapidated mansion which is haunted by the ghost of a little girl whose parents were murdered and buried in the cellar wall by the current owner— her father's uncle, who coveted their inheritance. After the Girl of Steel finds the bodies and turns the criminal over to the cops, the ghost is finally able to rest in peace.
  • Beetlejuice: According the titular character in "The Neitherworld Beauty (You've Gotta Be Kidding) Pageant," the Deetzes' home was one of these when they moved in - specifically, haunted by him. It's the only time in the cartoon continuity that any explanation is offered for how Lydia and Beetlejuice met.
  • In Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, Courtney's friend is living in one. It's his mother's ghost.
  • Hellboy: In Sullivan's Reward, Sullivan is being rewarded in gold for feeding people to his haunted house. He's been feeding it drunks and vagrants, and getting a few gold coins each. He decides to feed it Hellboy, and when he appears to have succeeded he triumphantly calls out to the house asking what the reward for HIM would be. An entire 8-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot block of gold coins crashes down the stairs, crushing him.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: Sabrina spent at least one story dealing with a hostile haunted house, within which her magical powers were unavailable.
  • In Violine, when she returns to the mansion, it is treated as a haunted house, despite still being inhabited, due to Marushka controlling all the mechanisms and camera's, using them to track and fight off her father. The title of the last book also reflects this ("Het Griezelhuis," The Haunted House).
  • Wonder Woman: The Holliday Girls used to run a haunted house out in an old abandoned house near the college. Wonder Woman made them stop after two girls who got scared by the costumes and such ran out and got kidnapped due to the poor security of the location.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Boldores And Boomsticks: Team RWBY takes shelter in an old mansion they find in the woods. That night the Ghost Pokémon who call it home start pranking them all except Blake, who recognized their illusions and helped make them more accurate, and Ruby's Zubat, who tried to convince them not to.
  • Examples from The Calvinverse:
    • This trope is referenced in Attack of the Teacher Creature:
      Hobbes: Next time we run from home like this, let's hide in a haunted house. I imagine it would be safer.
    • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
      • Socrates' mansion (which has a rather gruesome backstory) is believed to be one in "Pranking the Ghosts".
      • The gang comes upon another one in "Dark Laughter".
  • In Haunted Mansion and the Hatbox Ghost, the source material is Disney's Haunted Mansion ride. Subsequently, what other kind of setting could you expect than a haunted house?
  • A sidestory of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines centered on Gardenia takes place in the Old Chateau. The title Gym Leader and a trainer named Sho have to team up inside to find Cheryl and fight off the ghosts that inhabit it.
  • Total Drama Legacy has a challenge that takes place in one. It's called Mournful Manor, and comes complete with two Creepy Housekeepers.

    Films — Animation 
  • In My Neighbor Totoro, Kanta believes this of the house the family moves into, not without reason.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Thir13en Ghosts: Arthur Kriticos inherits a lavish glass mansion from his late uncle Cyrus and moves in with his kids. Only one problem: the entire labyrinthine basement level is haunted by the titular ghosts. In fact, it's not so much a mansion, it is a gigantic device built to access a portal to hell.
  • The Amityville Horror and its early sequels dealt with a house that was turned evil by being built over an Indian Burial Ground, and which had ghosts within it. Later Amityville films also throw demons in the mix.
  • An American Haunting: This seems to be the problem at first in the family house, until it turns out the poltergeist phenomena was actually caused by The Bell Witch, the innocence of the teenage daughter as a response to her father's sexual abuse.
  • Beetlejuice is a haunted house comedy from the perspective of the ghosts.
  • The 'Burbs: The suburban house next door takes on some cliches of a haunted house after the extraordinarily creepy neighbors move in. Though it's not haunted, the neighbors do turn out to be a clan of murderers.
  • The Changeling from 1980 features George C. Scott moving into a house that is haunted by the ghost of a crippled child who was drowned in the bathtub by his father.
  • The Conjuring has a house haunted by a multitude of evil spirits. They latch onto the family so even if they left the house the spirits would go right along with them.
  • Crimson Peak is an old-school gothic melodrama set largely in the crumbling manor of Allerdale Hall, which is haunted by gruesome, blood-red spectres. The ghosts aren't the real danger though, and try to warn the Haunted Heroine of what's actually going on.
  • Darkness (2002), starring Anna Paquin, had a family moving into a haunted house as part of an Evil Plan to complete a demonic ritual.
  • In The Disappointments Room, the family moves into an old house that turns out to be haunted by the evil ghost of a judge and that of his daughter, who are at first trapped in the titular room.
  • The little cabin in The Evil Dead (1981) contains a haunted book, so, for all intents and purposes, is haunted.
  • Invoked in Ghostbusters (1984), in that Dana's apartment building was constructed by a nihilistic occultist to be a supernatural-forces magnet.
  • Gracey Manor in The Haunted Mansion (2003) is a parody. A realtor and his wife and children are summoned to a mansion located in the Louisiana bayou, which they soon discover is haunted.
    • The remake Haunted Mansion (2023) is much less a parody. Those that cross the threshold into the house end up being claimed by the ghosts inside. Even if the person leaves the ghosts will follow and continue to haunt them, with increasingly violent methods, until they return to the house. The film is all about a ragtag group of Paranormal Investigators trying to help the new owner of the Mansion and her son, while trying to do so quickly before they all become trapped in the Mansion for the rest of eternity. Thankfully most of the ghosts are actually quite benevolent, and after defeating the Hat-Box Ghosts, the specter that was behind the Mansion's evil, the owners manage to live peacefully with the ghosts that choose to not cross over to the other side.
  • The Haunting (1963) depicts the experiences of a small group of people invited by a paranormal investigator to investigate a purportedly haunted house.
  • The Haunting in Connecticut: The house was formerly a funeral home.
  • In The Hazing, the pledges have to survive the night at the Hack House, the location of a gruesome murder/suicide by Jeremiah Hackford sixty years earlier. Legend says that the house is haunted by the vengeful ghosts of Jeremiah Hackford and his victims. The final scene of the movie shows that the legend is true.
  • Hell House LLC:
    • The Abaddon Hotel in upstate New York is rumored to be haunted, has strange occult drawings on the basement walls and has been abandoned for years before the start of the film. The Hell House crew convert it into a haunted house attraction with disastrous results.
    • The sequel Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel follows an investigative crew that goes back five years later to find out what happened who also suffer a similar fate.
  • The House by the Cemetery. And being haunted isn't the worst part, there's an Undead Mad Scientist living in the cellar.
  • Whether the House on Haunted Hill (1959) actually is haunted is moot. What's important is that people think it is.
  • The abandoned asylum in House on Haunted Hill (1999) is in fact haunted, but the different ghosts are actually all part of a single entity.
  • Ju-on and The Grudge feature a Tokyo suburban house haunted by the family that was murdered there, and the rage formed from their emotions revive them as scary-as-hell ghosts. You step into the house, you are dead.
  • The Legend Of Hell House (1973, adapted from Richard Matheson's Hell House) is "The Mt. Everest of haunted houses". During two investigations eight people died, several from suicide. The latest investigation includes a physical medium (the only survivor of the last investigation), a mental medium, a skeptical physicist and his somewhat unstable wife. In the end they find the house's incredibly evil owner has willed his spirit to remain in the house, tormenting and killing as he did in life
  • In Lovely Molly, Tim and Molly's troubles start after they move into the house where Molly's parents died, one of them violently. Ghostly whispers, apparitions, and the sounds of horses are just the start of it.
  • In Next of Kin (1982), the heroine inherits the foreboding but seemingly harmless Montclare retirement home from her late mother. When strange deaths start occurring in the house, she consults her mother's diary which details identical events twenty years earlier. It turns out that there is something evil living in the house, and that something wants the heroine dead.
  • In No Kidding, Lionel hoped that Chartham Place would have been one:
    Lionel: Is there a ghost here, Will?
    Will: Not that I know of.
    Lionel: Just my luck. Not even that to look forward to.
  • Played straight and inverted in The Others (2001) starring Nicole Kidman. The house is haunted, but by the main characters, who don't realize that they're dead.
  • Pizza revolves around Kunal making a delivery to what turns out to be an almost stereotypical haunted house, possibly stereotypical because it's all a hoax cooked up by Kunal and his horror writer wife.
  • Poltergeist (1982) features a suburban California home that is normal at first, but is invaded by ghosts including The Beast, another ghost that torment the owners in various ways because the house was built on top of a cemetery.
  • Shrooms: At least, that's what the characters (and the audience) are lead to believe the children's home is at first... However, Word of God says that the issue of the story of the home being real or not was intended to be vague - hence the brief shots of it at the beginning of the film.
  • The Skeptic has a possibly explained example in Beckett's Aunt's house.
  • Invoked 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.
  • Twice-Told Tales: In "The House of Seven Gables", the eponymous house is haunted because it was cursed by Matthew Moll after he was cheated out of the property by the Pyncheons. After he was executed, Matthew's body was interred in the basement of the house.
  • Lewis Allen's The Uninvited. Here, the siblings Rick and Pamela buy Windward house that turns out to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who had been murdered there.
  • The Woman in Black with a house haunted by a woman and some stunningly creepy toys. It's no surprise this movie hits most of the classic haunted house traits since it not only takes place in Victorian England but also was released by Hammer movies.

  • The Roman statesman Pliny the Younger recounts a story he heard of a haunted house in Athens. The story goes that a beautiful villa was haunted by a terrifying specter of an old man wrapped in chains, which either scared homeowners away or prevented them from sleeping, driving them off. Pliny says the most recent homeowner steeled himself and followed the ghost through through the house, which eventually led him to the ghost's bones, wrapped in rusted chains and fetters. Once the remains were recovered and properly laid to rest, the hauntings ceased.


  • Inverted in a fun way in the Ahriman Trilogy. The Guest is an entity possessing the Bell house, though it acts much like a traditional haunting, even when it's trying to be nice. It feeds on emotion like a plant with sunlight, so a gloomy house gets a scary haunting, while a happy house gets a more mischievous ghost.
  • Ostensibly subverted in Amber House, when the protagonist Sarah is assured that the dead family members she sees in her family's recently-inherited centuries-old mansion are psychometric "echoes" of the past and not actual ghosts that can see or hurt her.
  • The Amityville Horror novel and the franchise it spawned. Though it claimed to be based on a true story, that claim has pretty much been proven false at this point. It still launched the more modern haunted house tropes, which usually involve a couple/family moving into a house that seems fine at first, but strange things start happening. They do research and find out that evil things have happened there, so they get a priest to bless the house. Things get so bad, they leave.
  • Arabian Nights: The story Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad.
  • Carnival in a Fix: One of the attractions on Funfair Moon is a spooky house that's haunted by real ghosts. However, when Emily gets there, she learns from the alien running it that, apparently, the ghosts aren't in it. When she goes inside, she finds only a single ghost hiding in a dark corner, who explains that all the other ghosts are too scared to come out to work because of "Stalkers", which are little prockly black creatures that Emily's been noticing around the park.
  • In The Dark Tower series, the Dean brothers visit the reputedly-haunted Mansion, but never work up the nerve to go inside. This was a wise decision, as the house itself is the guardian of a portal between worlds. A very aggressive guardian.
  • Experimental Film has a relatively understated example in Whitcomb Manor, the "Vinegar House." The only eerie urban legends reported of the site are stories of a persistent, inexplicable foul smell (from which the nickname came) and the odd tendency of teen trespassers never to leave their own graffiti. Lois nonetheless has what turns out to be an encounter there with the ghost of Iris Whitcomb, although it appears to be only a seizure at the time.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, Donna thinks she's going mad because she can barely sleep, the house feels like it's haunted by stuff out of Edgar Allan Poe. It is.
  • Subverted in The Ghosts Of Cougar Island, which features an abandoned, seemingly haunted house. In truth, the "haunting" is caused by some runaway orphans.
  • Judith Spearing's Ghosts Who Went To School had a house filled with a ghost family. The bank who owned the property couldn't sell it, despite it being well maintained by the resident ghosts.
  • The climax of The Ghost Writer takes place in this kind of home, the home where the protagonist's mother was raised.
  • The Shrieking Shack in the Harry Potter series is said to be one of the most haunted houses of Britain, judged by the loud howling noises coming from it. Even the ghosts haunting Hogwarts avoid it like the plague as the inhabitants of the shack apparently are a rough crowd. At the end of the third book, it is revealed that the Shack was commissioned by Dumbledore for the teenaged Remus Lupin, as a safe place where he could become a werewolf without hurting anybody. The howling sounds he made were interpreted by locals as hauntings; a rumor Dumbledore encouraged to keep people away from the house and thus from werewolf Lupin.
  • Subverted in The Haunting of Grade Three, where the eponymous third-grade class has relocated to an old house, which has mysterious noises and objects that move seemingly of their own accord. In truth, the house is sinking, which accounts for the odd noises and movements.
  • Shirley Jackson's classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House. The first paragraph has been cited by Stephen King as one of the finest openings in English-language literature:
    No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.
  • "The Hound (1924)": The protagonists' home is an ancient manor-house standing isolated on the moors of England. It becomes haunted when the protagonists steal a mystical amulet from the grave of a Dutchman whom death hasn't put to rest. There are curious sounds, an infestation of bats, indeterminate shadows, disconcerting footprints, and more. After St. John is killed, the narrator abandons the manor and as the entity follows him for both the amulet and revenge, the building ceases to be haunted.
  • Anne Rivers Siddons' The House Next Door is a very strange example in that the house is still unbuilt at the start of the book, and there's no obvious reason why it turns out the way it does (it's not built on a cemetery, for example). All the same, it's a very Bad Place indeed. It's the architect that's cursed. All his previous projects were unfinished because someone died or was blinded in a freak construction incident. No reason why it's him, but he was adopted and doesn't know who his real parents were, so that tells us something. After they kill him and are killed by the house, someone finds the plans to that house and it looks like it's going to happen again.
  • House of Leaves is a postmodern horror story about a family that slowly discovers that their house is Bigger on the Inside. Much, much bigger. Also, possibly there's a monster.
  • How to Sell a Haunted House: The plot follows Mark and Louise Joyner's attempts to sell their recently deceased parents' house which is haunted. They end up having to fend off living, possessed dolls and puppets, noises in the attic and other scary shenanigans.
  • "How to Survive a Horror Movie" has a section on how to identify and escape a haunted house.
  • Jane, Unlimited: The section named "In Which Charlotte Claims a Soul" shows that Tu Reviens is as much alive as its living occupants. The house itself eventually absorbs and imprisons Jane.
  • A staple in Lockwood & Co., in an Alternate Universe where hauntings have suddenly become rampant and which ghost-hunting agencies are hired to take care of.
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • The title house in "The Dreams in the Witch House" has a haunted reputation, 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.
    • In "The Shunned House", 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 Energy from the people near him in the night.
  • James Herbert:
    • The Dark: Beechwood, one-time host to murderous occult ritual, sees a phantom repeat thereof.
    • The Secret of Crickley Hall: A grief-stricken family's stay in the titular house entails mysterious knocking; unaccountable puddles, "white shadows," and a discreetly manifest silhouetted figure. They learn of a 1943 flood; several Blitz Evacuees, and the children's viciously austere guardians - one of whom died on the night of the flood.
  • The house in Medusa's Web has become spooky through being the home to several generations of a family versed in a dark form of Geometric Magic that messes with time. After the death of the matriarch, it starts developing spontaneous manifestations like windows that show child-you playing in the garden and doors that open into rooms that were demolished decades ago. Oh, and the explosion that killed the matriarch echoes through the house at least once every day.
  • The Messenger Series: The guest house and annexe that Rose's parents own is reputed to be haunted. Doors stick or open without warning, there are strange musty smells in cupboards for no reason, a stain that won't disappear from the kitchen floor no matter what cleaning agents are used, and feelings of despair and dread that descend upon people without warning. Rose's first mission with Favour is to find out why the house is haunted and rid its curse.
  • "Mr. Widemouth": The ending implies that Mr. Widemouth was bound to the house somehow. After it burned down years after the narrator moved out, it's strongly hinted that Mr. Widemouth perished along with it.
  • In Myth Adventures Skeeve received from the natives (Deveels), notoriously canny businessmen, a big house on Deva as a part of a deal. Why do they give him a cheap house? It has a back door that leads to the Uberwald-like vampire dimension. And the native vampires avoid it as haunted. Some even say they saw humans there — just imagine it!
  • Subverted in Chris Bohjalian's The Night Strangers. There are bones in the basement and multiple ghosts wandering around. However, the bones belong to a child who isn't haunting the house, and the ghosts are attached to the protagonist, ex-pilot Chip Linton, not to the house itself.
  • Nina Tanleven: The Ghost in the Big Brass Bed features Phoebe Watson’s home as the first haunted house in the series (preceded by a haunted theater and a haunted inn), occupied by one ghost upstairs and a second outside. Nine also thinks for a while that there’s a third ghost in the cellar, but it turns out to be a very much alive elderly man.
  • Odd Thomas: The fifth installment, Odd Apocalypse, has Odd Thomas exploring an estate that's haunted by a ghost of a woman on a horse. This is par for the course as Odd Thomas can already see the dead and is seemingly drawn to them.
  • In his memoir Running in the Family, Michael Oondatje mentions that the house where he's staying is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman who committed suicide. She appears in one of the bedrooms, wearing a red dress, and no one ever wants to sleep in that room. Ondaatje doesn't mention seeing the ghost himself, but he does find the room to be quite eerie-looking.
  • The Marsten house from 'Salem's Lot. The house overlooked the town of Jerusalem's Lot and was considered to have an evil presence. The former residence was a murderer named Hubie Marsten (where he killed himself and his wife, Birdie Marsten) the house haunted Ben Mears his entire life.
  • Shaman of the Undead: Two rather benign examples — the house where Ida lives and trains is partly alive-ish (it's complex) and haunted by her aunt Tekla, and the house she moves to later is inhibited by three ghosts that are rather curious than malevolent and prove helpful in solving the case.
  • We can also count the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. During its history, it was the site of many unsavory activities, including suicides and gangland hits. As the Torrances settle in at the Overlook, Danny sees ghosts and frightening visions. Danny soon realizes that his presence in the hotel makes the supernatural activity more powerful, turning echoes of past tragedies into dangerous threats.
  • Subverted in Toms Midnight Garden. Tom only thinks that he is staying in a haunted house; in truth, he is travelling through time, during which he is able to pass through solid objects and people.
  • In Too Bright to See, Bug and his family live in an old house in Vermont, with a cold spot where someone died, doors that randomly open and shut, chairs that rock by themselves, and a general feeling of other people being present. Uncle Roderick believed in ghosts and taught Bug how to recognize them, while Mom is more skeptical. When Bug attracts the attention of a poltergeist-like ghost after Uncle Roderick's death, he's surprised because none of the other ghosts seemed to be aware of living people.
  • Martha lives in one in Trick or Treat. Or at least, she believes it to be haunted — it is really a jealous friend of hers doing all the freaky things.
  • The Clancy House, in Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots, where Mrs. Jeepers moves in. This is what initially signals to the kids that Mrs. Jeepers is a vampire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock. Lampshaded by Liz Lemon.
    Liz: Word of advice: If the will says you have to spend the night in a haunted house you better hope that everybody else there is black guys and sluts.
  • In American Horror Story: Murder House, the house is haunted by numerous previous residents who died there. Anyone who dies on the premises becomes a ghost, and this leads to something of a snowballing effect when the ghosts start killing people.
  • 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.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had one of these in "Where The Wild Things Are", which turns out the former orphanage-turned-frat-house was haunted by the manifestations of the teens' sexually repressed emotions.
    • Cordelia's apartment in Angel, first seen in "RmWAVu", was originally owned by a mother and her son, but when the son tried to get married and move away, his mother instead buried him alive by bricking him up into the wall, only to promptly drop dead of a heart attack. Their spirits continue to haunt the apartment, such that the mother attempted to kill Cordelia or convince her to commit suicide, believing her to be Dennis' fiancée, who she hated in life. Dennis himself was much more benevolent and helped Cordelia and continued to cohabitate after his mother's spirit is exorcised.
  • The Castle episode "Demons" has the Body of the Week be a ghost-hunter killed in a reputedly haunted mansion. Castle, naturally, eagerly buys into the possibility of demonic possession, while Beckett is a lot more skeptical. Although the case of the week is ultimately discovered to have a human hand behind it, it's still up in the air whether the house actually is haunted.
  • Several episodes of El Chapulín Colorado deal with haunted houses and almost all of them end with a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax explanation.
  • La Vecindad was thought to be haunted in one episode of El Chavo del ocho, albeit the strange phenomena were caused by Don Ramon's unknown sleepwalking. Even so Doña Clotilde organizes a spiritualist session and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Cheers: In "House of Horrors with Formal Dining and Used Brick", Carla was in the market for a new house and found one for a suspiciously low price. Norm later discovered that the house was built over the cemetery for a prison where some really nasty criminals were sent, implying the house was haunted by their spirits. Definitely a bad thing for the really superstitious Carla. Subverted. It's actually really cheap because it's at the end of a runway.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Blink" was described by Russell T Davies as the revival's first proper "haunted house" story (except with creepy alien statues instead of ghosts).
    • "Hide" has a haunted house that no-one will go near except the local investigator, who, to Clara's bewilderment, went to the trouble of buying it. The "ghost" turns out to be a stranded time traveller in a Pocket Dimension.
    • "The Haunting of Villa Diodati": The titular house suddenly starts having mysterious apparitions popping up, skeletal hands crawling about, and objects inexplicably moving. And then it starts turning into a Mobile Maze. While most of the weirdness is caused by the Cyberium, a powerful Cyber AI, it's implied by the end that there are some real ghosts in the house: the woman and girl that Graham sees.
  • Get Smart. In "Weekend Vampire", the Villain of the Week plays up this trope to discourage outsiders from poking their nose in his affairs. Max and 99 play the usual stranded newlywed couple to investigate, spoofing all the expected cliches in the process.
  • Button House in Ghosts (UK) and Woodstone Manor in the American Remake. The titular ghosts are a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits accumulated over the centuries who being unable to leave are forced to make the best of the situation, and who rub along reasonably well with the living inhabitants for the most part. Only the owners (Allison in the UK, Samantha in the US) are able to see them, and other ghosts that inhabit the world due to surviving a massive fall, and more or less treat the ghosts like their family.
  • Played for Laughs when The Goodies are hired to housesit a haunted house while its owners are away and look after their niece, whose aunt and uncle are apparently trying to scare her to death for her inheritance. The Goodies end up more terrified than she is. Which is hardly surprising as the niece is doing all this to prank them, which is revealed when she blows up the house for a laugh.
  • The Nickelodeon sitcom The Haunted Hathaways, features the titular family The Hathaways, a single mother and her two daughters, moving into a house in New Orleans, haunted by a male ghost and his two sons. While initially the ghosts try to scare the Hathaways away, in the end they end up making a compromise, and forming essentially a blended family, with both the living mother, and the ghost father, acting as parents to both sets of kids.
  • Aaargh Manor is reputed to be the most haunted house in Bottom World, in The Legend of Dick and Dom. The owner is faking it... but there is actually a ghost there as well.
  • The Librarians: It's mentioned that there are six haunted houses that wander the world, trapping people and killing them to feed. One, the House of Refuge, is actually benevolent, but all the others are extraordinarily dangerous. In the episode "The Librarians and the Heart of Darkness", they find themselves in a house called the Shatterbox, working with the Sole Survivor Katie to try and save her friends who are still trapped in the house. As it turns out, Katie is actually a serial killer from centuries ago, and the house is the House of Refuge. It was built to be a safe haven that would help anyone in need — no-one ever expected a murderous psychopath to find it. Katie used it to make herself immortal and continue hunting people across the world, but the Librarians are able to kill Katie and free the house from her.
  • Nick Arcade: The Creepyville board has a haunted house crawling with ghosts that scare Mikey (the player).
  • Readalong: One character introduced during the show's run was Haunted House, who was able to talk by opening and closing his door in time to his syllables.
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: To help Sixth Ranger Genta overcome a fear that he's gained that has made him unable to morph, each of the team show him them trying to confront their greates phobias. For Takeru, it turns out to be, of all things, a mundane Japanese ghost house. Genta notes the incredulity of his childhood friend and lord being afraid of such a fake thing when their life mission is fighting literal hellspawn of varying levels of Nightmare Fuel, to which Takeru replies that it's the fakeness of the attraction that actually scares him. Sure enough, no sooner than Takeru steps in, we hear his scream from outside, and he faints cross-eyed upon emerging.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Eternity Trap", Sarah Jane, Rani, and Clyde accompany Professor Rivers to investigate Ashen Hill Manor, supposedly one of the most haunted houses in Britain. As Clyde puts it, it's "Hogwarts, Tim Burton-style".
  • The British domestic comedy So Haunt Me deals with a suburban home haunted by its previous resident, a Jewish Mother. While the father is mostly annoyed by her presence, the other family members generally enjoy her company.
  • One episode Supernatural focuses old house haunted by the homicidal ghost of the previous owner. Just one problem: The ghost legend was made up out of whole cloth as a prank by a local kid less than a week before. Turns out that the ghost isn't a ghost at all, but a tulpa, literally the physical personification of the urban legend about the ghost, spontaneously brought into being by a bunch of people reading about it on the internet simultaneously.
    • Sam and Dean had encountered a few, particularly in the earlier seasons, when ghosts were a more common Monster of the Week. A couple of noteworthy examples are "Home", where the Haunted House in question is their own childhood home, which turns out to be haunted by two ghosts, a vicious violent poltergeist and their own mom and "Family Remains" where it's a subversion, the "ghost" in question is actually two living, feral, murderous children.
  • The Tales from the Crypt episode "Television Terror", adapted from the comic book story, features a tabloid news show host taking his camera crew to investigate an allegedly haunted abandoned boarding house which was the site of several murders. He gets more than what he bargained for when the hauntings turn out to be real, and deadlier than he could imagine.
  • The Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories pilot concerns a haunted house that Tim, Eric, and Zach must spend the rest of their lives in for $1000 each that is particularly keen on tormenting Zach. It's not really haunted; it's Tim and Eric played a ridiculously convoluted prank on Zach.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Young Man's Fancy", Henrietta Walker's house is a non-malicious example. Things in the house shift and turn between modern-day and older appliances. A grandfather clock that doesn't work suddenly works again, a non-functioning radio suddenly turns on and plays older music, and eventually, Henrietta Walker's ghost appears.
  • Wellington Paranormal: A suburban house from the "Things That Do The Bump In The Night" episode where the party's been going since the 70's, attracting decades of noise complaints.
  • The X-Files: In "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas", Mulder and Scully visit one on Christmas Eve to find the ghosts of two star-crossed lovers who formed a Suicide Pact.
    Scully: Mulder, tell me you didn't call me out here on Christmas Eve to go ghostbusting with you.
    Mulder: Technically speaking, they're called apparitions.

  • French singer Charles Aznavour released a song called "The Haunted House".
  • Kate Bush's "Get Out of my House" is inspired partly by The Shining and partly by a nasty breakup. It's sung from the point of view of the ghost, who's trying to get the current residents to leave right now please.
  • Creature Feature's "House of Myth".
  • Florence + the Machine uses this trope metaphorically in the song of the same name.
    My heart is like a haunted house
    There's things in there that scratch about
    They make their music in the night
    And in the day they give me such a fright
  • Genesis' 1983 song "Home by the Sea" is the tale of a robber who breaks into a house only to find that it's haunted.
  • The titular "Loa House" in King Diamond's song by the same title, from the Voodoo album.
  • Lordi has House of Ghosts. The song states that the singer treats the ghost more like a roommate than a supernatural threat. He's apparently good with dogs...
  • McKenna Grace uses the haunted house metaphor, for when a breakup happens but she just can't get rid of all the mementos he left behind...
    'Cause a ghost never leaves a haunted house...
  • Subverted by The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing. "This House Is Not Haunted." There's a perfectly scientific explanation for everything from the cold draft in the hallway to the mysterious bumps in the night... so surely there must also be one for the bleeding walls and the midnight shadow standing in the bedroom.
    There's nothing moving in the night
    That wasn't there in the broad daylight
    Repeat to myself, everything's all right -
  • The 13th Hour (album) by Midnight Syndicate. The album's premise is the exploration of a haunted Victorian mansion once inhabited by the Haverghast family.
  • "Spirit in My House" by Joey Ramone from his album Don't Worry About Me.
    I got a spirit in my house and I know it ain't no mouse
  • A Real Life example: Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded their breakout album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, in The Mansion, a recording studio now owned by producer Rick Rubin. The band claimed it was haunted, with ghosts inspiring them to write certain songs. Even though it sounds ridiculous, drummer Chad Smith (who is the tallest, most muscular member of the band) was so spooked that he didn't live in the mansion like the rest of the band members, instead commuting to the recording sessions every day.
  • An early '60s pop song titled "Haunted House" by one Gene Simmons (no, not that one), where he moves into a house haunted by, for some reason, a space alien.
  • "Haunted House Blues" by Bessie Smith where she claims her house is haunted by a dead man though it seems her main concern living there is a man who mistreats her.
  • Diana Thornton's "Lover's Last Chance". The song starts by describing innocent childhood Halloween fun, but then< "All of them hush past the house on the corner/A darkened old mansion than never did sell/Even the grownups just whisper about her/Nobody knows how she died... or won't tell."


  • The student republics in the new Forum/RPG, Grave Academy, akin to Hogwart's Houses, all have elements of this, the students being monsters probably help.
  • The Murderverse: This serves as the main setting to Monster Smash, naturally.
  • You Have Become Your Avatar: The group investigated a mansion next to their hotel. Unfortunately, it was haunted by the Scissorman, who tried to kill them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The eponymous house in Betrayal at House on the Hill.
  • Dungeons & Dragons featured many such areas as dungeons.
    • The 1977 module Tegel Manor features the 100 (un)dead members of the Rump family, and the sole living heir who is looking for adventurers to rid him of his relatives.
    • The Ravenloft setting, Gothic Horror hellscape that it is, is basically nothing but haunted buildings, and not all of them are castles. The most iconic is probably the House on Gryphon Hill.
  • In The Skinsaw Murders, the second adventure in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path for Pathfinder, the party explores a very haunted manor which got that way when the original owner failed to become a lich and infused the manor with his evil spirit. Three generations of the Foxglove family have met their ends there, and it's entirely possible for the player characters to end up as its latest victims. There are also at least a few scattered around in Ustalav.

  • The Trope Codifier might be The Cat and the Canary from 1922, which features a group of heirs to a fortune staying the night inside a haunted house. It's also been adapted into several movies, including ones in 1927, 1930, 1939, and 1979.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • The 7th Guest had the protagonist moving about a haunted house built by an evil toy maker.
  • Derceto in Alone in the Dark, a nightmarish Poesque / Lovecraftian place where everything is trying to kill you. The mansion of the Morton family in Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare.
  • Anatomy takes place in and is focused upon a haunted house. It also is notable for not being an instance of a house being haunted by anything in particular, instead, the house itself being alive, and hating human inhabitants for abandoning it.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: At Noctis City, the nearby ROM shop has an Augmented Reality to explore a haunted house through a P.O.V. Cam while being followed by a creature.
  • A haunted house appears in the Neighborhood in Backyard Skateboarding.
  • Breath of Fire III requires Rei, Ryu, and Teepo to break into the McNeil mansion during the early part of the game for a robbery, but with the boarded-up doors and windows, frightened servants, and atmospheric music, it comes as little surprise when the ghosts show up.
  • The Castlevania series usually go for the full Haunted Castle, but sometimes haunted mansions and other spooky buildings show up as well.
    • There are five haunted mansions to go through in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has all sorts of haunted places, including a monastery, a prison, a lighthouse and two manors. And if Shanoa found all of the kidnapped villagers, Dracula's castle still awaits after all that.
  • While the main threat in the first two Clock Tower games is Scissorman, the Barrow's mansion and Barrow's Castle are both haunted, and have various other threats within them.
  • As a paranormal P.I. based in New Eidolon, you'll be invited to investigate residences by owners who suspect they may be haunted in Conrad Stevenson's Paranormal P.I..
  • Downplayed in Control. The Oldest House is most obviously an Eldritch Location where the walls and shape of the rooms and architecture are changing regularly, but as Jesse progresses through the Oldest House, it becomes clear that something is going on that suggests that Oldest House itself is "haunted". It's considered a "Place of Power" by the Federal Bureau of Control, within which "Objects of Power" manifest and often cause substantial harm to its human inhabitants.
    • The most blatant example of this would be a tape in the furnace room that has a researcher claiming that she can hear the furnace talking to her, saying it's hungry.
    • What exactly is haunting the Oldest House is unclear. It could be the Hiss, the Board, the Oldest House itself acting as a living entity that does not want to be inhabited, or potentially even the former director, Northmoor, whose still living body is the power source of the FBC, with the main power plant being the NSC: Northmoor Sarcophagus Chamber, and readings near the top of the central room of the NSC say that there's movement inside, displaying a person struggling within.
  • Dead Realm is set in the former estate of a wealthy electricity tycoon, which is now haunted by territorial ghosts.
  • D'LIRIUM gives this an interesting twist. The house it takes place in begins as a normal mansion, but once the protagonist Ada opens a mysterious present from its owner, it becomes a hellish Mordor haunted by numerous demons.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest's Haunted Hall is a coaster level that takes place in a haunted library.
  • In Dragon Age II, due to Bartrand keeping a shard from the Red Lyrium Idol, his mansion ends up becoming an Eldritch Location haunted by demons, ghosts and all manner of "weird shit".
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has a quest which involves buying a haunted house and clearing it of ghosts.
    • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dragonborn is asked by a Vigilant of Stendarr to investigate a house suspected of being used by Daedra worshippers. It turns out the disturbances are because Molag Bal's shrine has been desecrated by a cultist loyal to a rival Daedric Prince and suffice to say, the "King of Rape" is not someone to upset.
  • The Fallout 4 DLC Nuka-World has one in the Grandchester Mystery Mansion, a roadside attraction based on the real-life Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. Both houses (the one in Nuka-World and the one in San Jose) share odd designs, with doors that open to walls and stairways that go nowhere. However, that and the name are about where the similarities end: the San Jose house is (supposedly) haunted by the ghosts that killed by Winchester guns killed (as in, Winchester Rifles) and/or was constructed by Sarah Winchester to escape/fool death; conversely, the Grandchester Mystery Mansion is the sight of Lucy Grandchester's grisly murder of her parents in a Lizzy-Bordon-esque murder, with Lucy escaping from an insane asylum and killing herself in the house years later. In-game, the Grandchester was turned into a roadside attraction a la the aforementioned Winchester Mystery House, and years later after the war, was turned into a murder trap run by an ex-Gunner named Zachariah. As the player investigates the house, they will quickly learn that it is haunted by the ghost of Lucy Grandchester, note  with the player able to catch glimpses of her as they explore the house, read terminal logs from Zachariah about a disembodied female laugh he assumes is coming from one of his robots, and culminating in the player following her into the attic, where she'll giggle and run around a corner - but if the player investigates, they'll find a door with a brick wall behind it.
  • Fatal Frame has Himuro Mansion, which is teeming with the spirits of those who died there due to the Calamity - the most dangerous of these is a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl whose botched sacrifice caused the place to be haunted in the first place.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII has a Haunted House as the hotel at the Gold Saucer amusement park. The receptionist drops down from the gallows whenever you check in. Also, the Shinra Mansion, which has a bloody history in the game, and is filled with scrappy enemies when you reach it.
    • Final Fantasy XIV features Haukke Manor, a dungeon filled with restless spirits, the undead, and the demonic - all because the lady of the house sought to acquire eternal youth by contracting with voidsent.
  • Ghost Watchers is an online game where you (and some internet strangers in co-op mode) can team up and go ghost-hunting in various haunted mansions. You can even get a compendium to collect a list of different ghost types encountered.
  • The "Haunted" course in Golf With Your Friends takes place in a haunted mansion, with levels featuring brewing cauldrons, floating books, body parts in jars, rooms that glow sickly green, ghosts, ghosts pushing trolleys, ghosts swinging axes, and more.
  • The Greenbriar mansion in Gone Home is believed by two characters to be haunted by the ghost of the former owner. The player only ever sees flickering lights and an exploding bulb that probably have a mundane explanation, although some players claim to also hear a voice whispering "hello" at points during the game. Whether or not this is a randomized event is unknown.
  • Haunted House and its late-released sequel make it Older Than the NES.
  • In Haunting Starring Polterguy you are actively encouraged to do this. Poltergeist Polterguy can activate a lot of fright 'ems to scare the hell out of Vito Sardini's family. The family has no defense for this besides flee.
  • Where Haunt the House takes place. An unusual example in that you are the one doing the haunting.
  • The House point-and-click Flash game series focuses on exploring a house whose inhabitants committed suicide. Or did they?
  • The title house from The House in Fata Morgana caused misfortune to befall those who lived in it.
  • Samarta Myers' House from House Flipper's Halloween update is definitely haunted. It exists in perpetual night, is stalked by Michael Myers, and even has a few Jump Scares in it. The curse can be lifted by burying the coffin in the backyard which brings out the sun and removes the flickering lights and supernatural phenomena, but keeps the spooky music.
  • Spookyraven Manor in Kingdom of Loathing, with such bizarre undead as the "Pooltergeist" (made out of Snooker balls) and "Undead Elbow Macaroni".
  • The Last Story has a chapter centered around one of these. The master of the place is an elder vampire with a fondness for sealing his victims inside coffins and toying with them. He's also invulnerable until weakened by special means.
  • The Letter has the Ermengarde Mansion - a gorgeous, centuries-old house which is feared by the locals because of the belief that it's haunted. Indeed it is, and seven main characters all fall victim to the Mansion's curse.
  • Unsurprisingly, used in The Lost Crown: A Ghosthunting Adventure. Also a Haunted Museum, two Haunted Churches, a Haunted Boathouse, etc. If it's got a roof, some ghosts are sheltering under it.
  • Lost Odyssey has the Witch's Manor: a twisted building with moving furniture, phantom-like monsters, mirrors that double as portals, and a creepy ghost-girl. The "witch" who serves as the boss of this place is actually Kaim's wife Sarah. The form she takes, and the mansion's sinister nature are all manifested by her despair.
  • Love & Pies: In the Rival Season Pass, Yuka mentions that the Corps Family Mansion is haunted when Edwina claims that the "true" mayors of Appleton live there.
  • Luigi's Mansion (Series):
    • Luigi's Mansion is 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.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: E. Gadd lives in one, albeit one inhabited by much more friendly ghosts than normal, due to the influence of the Dark Moon. When the Moon breaks, the ghosts are driven to mischief and malice and he is forced out. Luigi must go through 5 haunted houses throughout the game to restore the Dark Moon.
  • Mad Father has a mad scientist mansion home becoming haunted as a result of his evil experiments. Unfortunately, it's also home to his daughter.
  • MadWorld features the Mad Castle level, a Halloween-themed level where most of the Mooks are zombies, The Grim Reaper is skating around trying to find you to kill you in one hit, a giant monstrous hand is waiting for you to chuck mooks into its clutches, and the bosses are a pack of werewolves, a Frankenstein's Monster Expy, and a sexy vampire. It's also a good site to play golf!
  • Manor Macabre in Miitopia is haunted by a ghost, and its vampire owner asks the player and his party to get rid of the spectral intruder.
  • Mind Your Manors, from the creator of the Sins webcomic, involves a seemingly abandoned mansion that removes the protagonist's spirit from his body.
  • Ravenhearst Manor, from the Mystery Case Files series, starts as a "simple" haunted house in its debut appearance, although it becomes more and more twisted and dangerous as the series progress.
  • Many Nancy Drew games take place in one. In particular, there's the broken-down Thornton Hall- once home to a slave-owning family- and Blackmoor Manor, which is rife with secret passages and defense mechanisms. Their status as such is frequently lampshaded in-universe.
    Wade: Look around you. Do you think this is a place for the living, or the dead?
  • The entire setting of the first Nightmare House fan game.
  • It's normally just fine, but the creature in Nintendo Labo's House can be made to sleep after you hit the light switch to make it nighttime. Spooky happenings ensue.
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Travis fights Matt Helms, a ghost kid who haunts his creepy, abandoned house, complete with a graveyard on the front lawn.
  • Pacify is set in a house that used to be a funeral home where the owners would perform rituals to let people speak with dead relatives. Now it's haunted by a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl.
  • In Paranormal, you play an artist who's attempting to capture proof on film that his new house is haunted.
  • Pokémon has a few examples.
    • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has the Strange House. There's a ghost girl in it and the furniture keeps re-arranging when you leave and re-enter the main room and basement. The girl makes a few comments each time you encounter her, alluding to the tragedy that befell her and her family there, and disappears after you get the Lunar Wing from her. Ghost, Psychic, and Dark type Pokemon can be found in it too.
    • Prior to that, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl had the Old Chateau, which was the first location in the series to have human ghosts wandering around— an old man would sometimes appear in the dining room, and a little girl could appear in the upper-level room on the far right if you entered an adjacent room. And, as usual, the place is full of Ghost-types, including a one-per-game Rotom. Also, there is a spooky painting, that has glowing eyes except when you're right in front of it.
  • Draynor Manor in RuneScape. The front doors refuse to open from the inside, the grounds are filled with dead trees (some of which can and will lash out and attack), the eyes in paintings frequently follow the player... As do chairs. The manor happens to be owned by a vampyre...
  • The Secret World features quite a few haunted buildings, most of which appear in the Solomon Island zone.
    • Easily the most famous is the Black House; the charred ruin of a two-story suburban home, demolition crews are too scared to pull it down, and local teenagers regularly dare one another to spend the entire night in the house - and in the last thirty years, nobody's been able to go the distance without chickening out. Anyone attempting to enter by the front door is immediately flung twenty feet in the opposite direction; those who get inside are greeted by ghostly shapes, bleeding walls, tortured wailing, and the house itself trying to kill them. Lore reveals that it was once inhabited by a benevolent hedge-witch by the name of Carrie Killian - up until she turned down a recruitment offer from the Illuminati, and was made the subject of a community-wide smear campaign as a result. As such, when several children turned up dead not too far away, Carrie got the blame, and her house was burned to the ground by an angry mob.
    • Another well-known example on Solomon Island is the Franklin Mansion. Over the years, it's had a long and sordid history of owners dying violently, often as a result of someone getting a good look at the original owner's occult library. However, despite all the ghosts in residence, the mansion is actually the safest place on the entire island, if only because the local monsters refuse to cross the threshold into the property. Eleanor Franklin and her cats are always around and happy to welcome visitors - and explain some of the mysteries about the mansion's history.
    • Innsmouth Academy is infested with the ghosts of former faculty and alumni, most of whom have seized control of the rampaging familiars in the aftermath of the disaster of Solomon Island, and are now using them to sabotage the school's magical defenses from within - including activating the school's war golem.
    • Quite a few random buildings around Solomon Island are infested with ghosts, most of which have only sparse histories attached: for example, the ruins of an abandoned asylum are haunted by the perpetually-burning ghost of the resident Psycho Psychologist; a cabin in the middle of the woods is constantly occupied by menacing spectres, apparently having some connection to the local Abandoned Mine; a shack built on the edge of the cliffs near the lighthouse is constantly echoing with ghostly music played in reverse; and at the suburban Dream Quest Kindergarten, the disembodied voices of children can be heard reciting in an indecipherable language. No explanation is ever given for these last two, by the way.
  • Shining Force III had another mansion with yet another Vandal living in it. He had transformed all the village folk into Kyon-Shi. Dantares, the brave Knight, is teased by the young mage about being scared of ghosts at this point in the game.
  • Shining the Holy Ark has a massive sprawling mansion in the middle of a graveyard where the powerful being Galm lives. The house has seen much better days. Seeing how Galm was only released from imprisonment you do have to wonder who built such a massive house (which is bigger than the King's castle) and why it was abandoned.
  • Silent Hill:
    • The playable teaser for Silent Hills took place in a suburban home haunted by the vengeful spirits of a dead family, which are greatly implied to be yours.
    • Silent Hill 2's "Born From a Wish" scenario involves Maria exploring a massive, gated home and trying to help the owner, Ernest, retrieve a few items he needs but for some oblique reason he's unable to get for himself. Even before the reveal that Ernest has been Dead All Along, Maria briefly steps out to find one item in the Blue Creek apartments, at which point you'll see graffiti reading "KEEP OUT OF HAUNTED MANSION" sprayed on the outer wall of the house.
  • In The Simpsons: Night of the Living Treehouse of Horror, the first level, "Bad Dream House" is based on the "Treehouse of Horror I" episode segment of the same name. In this level, Bart has to rescue Santa's Little Helper, who is being held prisoner in the attic of a haunted house. As he progresses through the level, Bart needs to collect keys and fuses. The keys unlock the rooms in the house, and the fuses light up dark rooms. The boss of the stage is an anthropomorphic broomstick
  • In The Sims, if you have a Sim die on your lot, their ghost will show up and cause trouble, so any home can become this. Some notable examples in default family lots are Olive Specter's home in The Sims 2, Agnes Crumblebottom in The Sims 3, and the Goth homes in pretty much any installment.
    • In The Sims 3: Seasons expansion, a haunted house is used as a carnival attraction in Autumn, though you can use it from storage anytime. If you go in there is a slight chance that you'll temporarily turn into a ghost. As well as getting a terrified moodlet unless your sim is immune to fear.
  • South of Real begins in a rather bog-standard one, complete with creepy changing paintings, rearranging furniture, and vicious ghosts. The twist is that Alex spent their miserable childhood there, so it's got a lot of memories. The other twist is that the ghosts are the spirits of Alex's siblings...who did not make it out alive.
  • In Spirit Hunter: NG, the Screaming Author spirit is found inside the Miroku mansion, an odd blend of Alpine-Japanese architecture where a children's author is said to live - though he hasn't been seen in a long time, and the house instead has become infamous for the strange screaming that permeates it.
  • The West Mansion in Splatterhouse and later Rick's mansion in the third installment.
  • The titular Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion, although it (seemingly) only has two ghosts in it (Specimen 4 and Spooky herself) it definitely looks the part and has the fabled "haunted house that no one returns from" rumor circling around to qualify. Turns out that it's a set up to make an army of ghosts.
  • Monster Manor in StreetPass Mii Plaza takes place in a haunted house whose map you create on the fly using blueprints given to you by other Miis.
  • The entirety of Sweet Home (1989) takes place in one of these, referred to as a "House of Residing Evil."
  • Tales of Phantasia features Demitel's manor, a dungeon where aside from undead and monsters in the garden, the only inhabitant is Demitel himself.
  • The TimeSplitters series features two of these levels in the first and third game. The one from the first doubles as That One Level.
  • In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the suburban area has a haunted house. Which you can skate around, if you skate into the backyard you can see hands reaching up and down from the ground. And looking in one of the windows you can see a teen cowering from floating furniture. The owner of the house stands outside, but you can unlock his wife as a playable character. Which the husband will react to if you play as her.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines' Oceanside Hotel level features a hotel that is haunted by the ghost of a woman who'd been murdered by her husband. Most fans consider it the most terrifying part of the game.
  • According to her theme song, Ashley from the WarioWare games lives in one.
    Who's the girl next door, living in the haunted mansion?
    "You better learn my name, 'cause it's Ashley!"
  • White Noise 2 has Usher Manor, which was built years ago by Darcy, and is now owned by Vincent.
  • The Miis have to escape a particularly ghost-crowded haunted house in Wii Party's minigame "Torchlit Terror". Hopefully, the ghosts in here are very cute.
  • The minigame "Spooky Search" in Wii Play: Motion takes place in a haunted manor, and the Miis are here to capture all the ghosts.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra chan saw it!:
    • Karin and her husband Kuroki live in an apartment which is supposedly haunted by a ghost who committed suicide inside the apartment. However, Azami wants them to move out because of how cheap the apartment is. Karin and Kuroki then started taking several photos about the presence of ghosts inside the apartment in an attempt to make Azami stop harassing them, unfortunately, she doesn't believe any of their "ghost sighting" photos. Eventually, Karin tells Azami that she and her husband will be moving out next year, believing this, she stops harassing them. Next year, Azami and her husband Hiiragi then move into the cheap apartment after Karin and Kuroki moved out, however she starts to regret her decision to move. Later that night, Azami experiences sleep paralysis, and the ghostnote appears with a noose around his neck, causing her to be terrified of the ghost's presence. Because of this, she and her husband eventually move out of that apartment and the ghost decides to follow her as well.
    • Karin moves in an apartment which was cheap because someone committed suicide there. However, she hears several footsteps coming from upstairs and also notices several intruders in front of her door, suspecting them to be the culprit of these footsteps, this causes her to inform her landlord about it. The police were then called to investigate the place because the landlord noticed several footprints on the second floor. The police eventually caught the intruders, though they turn out to be kids hanging out because they have no time to play because they were persuaded by their parents to study. The landlord then tells Karin that the kids never went upstairs, and she also informs her that there is not even a room above her, causing her to move out, with a ghost hiding inside her bag.
  • HTF +: That is where the HTF+Amnesia arc takes place and later becomes a regular location.
  • Manga Character Sprinklers: In this story, the cheap apartment that Yuto rented is haunted by a ghost, many people moved away because of it.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated: In "Ghost", the group's van breaks down in front of a very fancy mansion... haunted by a very dangerous ghost. By the end of the video it turns out to been an even more extreme example of this trope than it seemed: the entire mansion is a manifestation of the ghost's powers, and it ceases to exist when the ghost stops willing it to.
  • Story Time Animated: An old woman told Gwen that the former tenants of her house had disappeared and not to go into the basement. Since then, strange things have happening in the house and Gwen suspected her stepfather is protecting whoever is behind it. Later subverted when it is revealed that her boyfriend Frank and his lookalike were behind the strange things and they were arrested soon after.

  • Annyseed: Uncle Tarkwin's mansion is known to be haunted. Perry Elliot, the ghost, frequently visits the library, and, (though he would like you to believe otherwise) Anny's bedroom.
  • Freaking Romance: Subverted. Zylith is led to believe her apartment is haunted, but it really isn't. The young man she sees is actually from a different dimension.
  • Lapse takes place almost singularly inside the protagonist's haunted home.
  • Parodied in Oglaf, "Open House," where the house agent takes the prospective buyers to the house at night in the name of honesty so that they can see the ghosts too before buying. Also, the house isn't for sale and she's just another ghost, whereas "The Angry Owner" isn't.
  • Scoob and Shag: The first major setting is an abounded house in the woods, filled with twisting rooms and bizarre spooks. It's later established as actually being the Holodeck of a crashed starship.
  • Sluggy Freelance: The Kesandru/Brie Meighsaton House. At first, the main characters move in and find it's haunted by some ghost(s) whose tragic story they discover. This ends up with their having a ghost housemate who can't move on for some reason. Later they find out the house is a big ghost trap built by the magician Kesandru; even the souls of bugs that died there stay behind as ghosts, although most get stuck in the ghost well under the house and don't do any actual haunting.
  • Stupidity In Magic visits one twice. 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 anymore 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've afforded.
  • TwoKinds has the Legacy Estate, which is haunted by a ghost necromantically bound to the house, both controlling the house and being the house.

    Web Original 
  • Any building in Ravensblight County is liable to be haunted, and if not currently occupied, practically guaranteed. Look in the toyshop for specific examples:
    • Ravensblight Manor itself, built for a 19th-century mortician and owned by a string of suspect characters after that, including mad scientists and an Expy of Count Dracula, all of which disappeared mysteriously or met sticky ends, and ended up doing things to the house, like removing the entire first floor and blowing the back of the house out. The exact location of the house is difficult to pinpoint, and some say it can travel.
    • Starc Mansion was built by a Victorian doctor as a sanatorium and left empty after his disgrace and death, until a stranger bought it, renovated it, and decided to open an art exhibition. No-one knows what the art was, but everyone fled upon seeing it; when an angry mob returned, the house looked like it had never happened, with no trace of anyone having bought it and renovated at all.
    • Darc Manor was built by a man who had made his fortune making artillery shot during the War of 1812. His special formula for cannonballs has never been replicated, and only comes out of his own mines, which were said to be terribly dangerous. Some said they went to strange places Man shouldn't go... A string of relatives added to the structure over time, the last being one who spent the last of the family's money building the last tower just to run up as soon as it was complete and throw himself off. The place still stands, though with no interior due to a fire.
    • Ghost House was built by a sea captain who, it was said, went places Man shouldn't go, once returning with a new bride who, after his disappearance, died after having a lamppost installed in the front yard and lighting it. The house was owned by murderous witches, an old woman people thought was kind and offered travelers rest until it was found she was killing them, and a student who found layer upon layer of cemetery, Indian Burial Ground, Viking cemetery, etc. by digging in the cellar. The lamp has remained lit since the 1830s.
    • Bleak Estate was built on top of a small cemetery that the owner had to restore as part of the deal. After doing so, he demolished it and built the house. He and his wife lived in the dark, with only an attic window lit by a weak light; some say the couple had a child they hid from the world up there, and it was looking for a friend. One night some kid threw a rock through a window, and they all blew out. Concerned citizens rushed inside to find no-one inside, ran up to the attic and... the rest is lost, but anyway, they left what was up there up there. Some say that on the right kind of night, a light still shines from that window.
  • SCP Foundation has an example in SCP-2740, which is a house whose attic no-one is able to enter. Inhabitants are filled with dread as they approach it, but trying to get into the attic, as well as trying to permanently leave the house, or destroy it entirely, are all met with the same result: failure, and the thing not happening at all, leaving those who attempted it dazed, confused, and further filled with dread. As Mrs. Feldman says, "There's only so much that hate can build up in a place before it starts hating you back... I don't know what's in the attic, or if there's anything up there at all, and I don't think I want to."
  • Unwell Podcast has Fenwood House, which is a more friendly haunted house. Yes, there are ghosts, and yes, strange doors occasionally appear from nowhere, but mostly the house's spirits simply make the pipes gurgle and enjoy listening to music, and seem to be protecting its inhabitants.

    Web Videos 
  • The 15 Experience: The house the hacker is watching is rife with paranormal activity, from ghostly orbs to ghostly faces, to moving shadows.
  • The titular doom house in Doom House. Meaning that... uh... well, at least there's a creepy doll, and it turns out to be built on top of a terrorist grave camp. Also, baggies.
  • Oxventure's Dungeons & Dragons party encounters one of these in "Mind Your Manors", in which they are challenged to spend the night there. It's situated in scenic Necropolis-on-Sea, looked after by an undead realtor turned butler named Henry Charles Fauntleroy Stripworth Culchahun III At Your Service and a barely alive hag named Bismuth, and the challenge to spend time there has contributed significantly to Necropolis-on-Sea being ass deep in gravestones. It turns out that it's also Corazón's ancestral home; while he appreciates the knowledge about his family history, he loathes the place itself (although Prudence thinks it's just the best thing ever). In a second adventure, "Unreal Estate," it appears to be independently sentient and is not happy about Corazón's attempts to sell it, leading to significant, if hilarious, bloodshed.
    Corazón: So we spend a night in the horrible tumbledown, ghost-filled skeleton mansion, we get to keep..the horrible, tumbledown, ghost-filled skeleton mansion.
  • Unwanted Houseguest: Aberfoyle Manor.
  • In Who Killed Markiplier?, this might be the case with Markiplier Manor, although it's also possible that the manor is a form of sentient Malevolent Architecture.

    Western Animation 
  • The 7D features an episode in which the dwarves are tasked with retrieving Queen Delightful's buckets from an old castle. They enter and collect every bucket they can find, all the while falling victim to the pranks played by the ghost of a small girl. Eventually, they complete their task and return to Queen Delightful's castle with every bucket they found. The queen remarks that they're all lovely buckets but that none of them are her buckets. Puzzled, the dwarves start to wonder what it is she means, only for the Ghost Girl to arise from one of the buckets and declare that she is the person queen delightful was looking for. With the mystery solved, the Dwarves wonder whether they should tell the queen that her best friend is really a ghost. only for other ghosts from the castle to scream "NO!"
  • The 1963 TV incarnation of Casper the Friendly Ghost takes place at the home of Casper and his uncles the Ghostly Trio. It's a ramshackle haunted house where the intro for the show has a party going on.
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll, from the 1977 show CB Bears, are three ghosts who run a hotel for spooks, ghouls and monsters. Sidney Merciless is the hapless ghostbuster.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Honor Thy Ed", the Eds find themselves inside an old abandoned house as part of a dare Eddy made with Kevin, then soon find the house is actually haunted by the Kanker Sisters.
  • The trio of heroes from Filmation's Ghostbusters 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.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Honking", Bender the robot inherits a castle and finds it's haunted by robot ghosts. The haunting is stopped when they find that it was caused by improperly shielded cables from the robot cemetery. Still, it led to this great exchange:
    Uncle: Come to us, Bender. You'll like being dead!
    Bender: That's what they said about being alive.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • "Claws for Alarm:" The Hotel Dry Gulch at which Porky and Sylvester are staying. Sylvester figures it out almost immediately, while Porky remains oblivious.
    • Porky deals with a mischievous ghost in a haunted house in 1939's "Jeepers Creepers."
    • Bugs Bunny stays in a haunted mansion in "Transylvania 6-5000" where he contends with (and dispatches of) the vampire Count Bloodcount.
    • Cool Cat and Col. Rimfire take their chase to a haunted house where they encounter Spooky, a friendly ghost (think Elmer Fudd meets Casper the Friendly Ghost) in "Big Game Haunt."
  • Professor Weirdo's lab on Horror Hill is where he created Milton the Monster, much to his chagrin.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet's First Halloween," Carrot and Celery turn the garage into a haunted house, but it isn't scary because they used Valentine's Day decorations. However, the ominous glowing light and behavior of Carrot and Celery do manage to scare Mitchell.
  • The Real Ghostbusters naturally would deal a lot with haunted houses, but the two main episodes in feature one were:
    • "The Thing in Mrs. Faversham's Attic"; a nice old lady hires them as the haunting in her house ( which had been going on for 70 years) suddenly became more and more aggressive. It turns out that Mrs. Faversham’s father invoked an Eldritch Abomination in the attic and left it trapped there.
    • "Masquerade": a bullied kid is challenged to go into a famous haunt house known as the Halliwell Mansion using ghostbusters' experimental equipment and discovering that the house indeed has an army of ghosts in it.
    • "The Haunting of Heck House": a house said to be the world's most haunted house is visited by the ghostbusters as part of a challenge; if they spend the night there without their equipment and survive, they get a million dollars each. The house indeed has thousands of ghosts as its creator made a spell for every ghost in the large library of horror books to become real.
  • Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies: Horrible Hall is where the Groovie Goolies live. It's more a funhouse than it is a haunted house.
  • Many a Scooby-Doo episode. Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers is one time the hauntings were real. In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the gang investigates hauntings on a Louisiana bayou island, including inside a house. They end up being real there too.
  • In The Simpsons very first 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 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.
    • Subverted in "Bart the Fink", where the family have to spend the night in a haunted house. Homer, foolishly, says it's perfectly safe since there's no such thing as ghosts. The spooky music rises and the door slams behind them, complete with a flash of lightning... Next morning, the sun is shining and it's beautiful out, and they've had a pleasant night's sleep and absolutely nothing's happened.
    Lisa: Their water tasted better than at our house.
  • In South Park episode "A Nightmare on FaceTime", Randy buys a Blockbuster Video store which has no customers because everyone now watches movies online. It is haunted like the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. After Randy sees a ghost dressed in a 1980s aerobics outfit ask for Turner and Hooch and disappear:
    Randy: "Oh I get it! Video stores are so old they have ghosts in them! Okay I get it!" (pointing upwards) "But you're wrong!"
  • Touché Turtle and Dum Dum:
    • A madcap ghost is on the loose at Murkey Manor in the episode "Roll-A-Ghoster," and the two plume-hatted heroes are tasked to get rid of him.
    • Subverted in "Haunting License," where a ghost that is supposedly haunting a castle turns out to be a realtor setting up a ruse to get the inheriting party to sell the property. Touché and Dum Dum help expose the miscreant.
  • Who Killed Who? is about a detective trying to find a killer in a spooky house; he encounters ghosts, skeletons, and Santa Claus along the way.


Video Example(s):


The Haunted Mansion

A defining example, though Mystic Manor is a noticeable aversion.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / HauntedHouse

Media sources: