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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 preturbed 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. 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.

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 appoaching 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 an 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; 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.

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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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • Anna and Yoh's house in Shaman King.
  • Ghost Hunt had one, based on the Winchester Mystery House.
  • One chapter of Digimon V-Tamer 01 features Taichi, Zero and Gabou going to a haunted house to find one of the V-Tags.
  • 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.
  • Shirasagi Castle from Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales is unoccupied by humans and is decrepit and old in the human perspective.

    Asian Animation 
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things, Courtney's friend is living in one. It's his mother's ghost.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • 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 and 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 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.

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

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The little cabin in The Evil Dead (1981) contains a haunted book, so, for all intents and purposes, is haunted.
  • Beetlejuice is a haunted house comedy from the perspective of the ghosts.
  • Darkness (2002), starring Anna Paquin, had a family moving into a haunted house as part of an Evil Plan to complete a demonic ritual.
  • Poltergeist features a suburban California home that is normal at first, but is invaded by ghosts that torment the owners in various ways. Because it was built on top of a cemetery.
  • 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.
  • The Amityville Horror (1979) 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.
  • The Haunting in Connecticut: The house was formerly a funeral home.
  • 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 Haunting (1963).
  • 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.
  • The House by the Cemetery. And being haunted isn't the worst part, there's an Undead Mad Scientist living in the cellar.
  • 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.
  • Played straight and Inverted in The Others starring Nicole Kidman. The house is haunted, but by the main characters, who don't realize that they're dead.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 Skeptic has a possibly explained example in Beckett's Aunt's house.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Invoked in Ghostbusters (1984), in that Dana's apartment building was constructed by a nihilistic occultist to be a supernatural-forces magnet.
  • An American Haunting: This seem to be the problem at first in the family house, until it turns out the poltergeist phenomena was actually caused by the teen age daughter as a response to her father's sexual abuse.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 climax of The Ghost Writer takes place in this kind of home, the home where the protagonist's mother was raised.
  • 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.
  • Shaman of the Undead has two rather benign examples - house where Ida lives and trains is partly alive-ish (it's complex) and haunted by her aunt Tekla, and house she moves to later is inhibited by three ghosts that are rather curious than malevolent and prove helpful in solving the case.
  • 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 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.
  • Matheson's Hell House rivals Shirley Jackson's Hill House.
  • 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!
  • 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 disorderly bunch. 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.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in Tom's Midnight Garden. Tom only thinks 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.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in The Ghosts of Cougar Island, which features an abandoned, seemingly haunted house. In truth, the "haunting" is caused by some runaway orphans.
  • H. P. Lovecraft:
    • 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 Force from the people near him in the night.
    • The titular 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.
  • Arabian Nights: The story Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Edbrook Manor from Haunted (1988) is haunted by ghosts.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Fighting Fantasy Survival Horror interactive adventure Novel House of Hell, deals with the typical "Car breaks down during a storm" and your character is trapped in a giant mansion filled with zombies, demons, other monsters, devil worshipers and many cliches like a hunchback. Interesting is that if you encounter too many jump scares, your character can literally die of fright.
  • 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.
  • 'How to Survive A Horror Movie' has a section on how to identify and escape a haunted house.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 a couple of these in its time, such as in "Fear Itself" and "Where The Wild Things Are".
    • Which turns out the former orphanage-turned-frat-house was "haunted" by the "ghosts" of sexually repressed teens.
    • 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 al of them end with an "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.
  • 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 (2014): 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The X-Files, episode "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 ghost busting with you.
    Mulder: Technically speaking, they're called apparitions.

  • 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 titular "Loa House" in King Diamond's song by the same title, from the Voodoo album.
  • 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.
  • 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 13th Hour" (album) by Midnight Syndicate. The album's premise is the exploration of a haunted Victorian mansion once inhabited by the Haverghast family.
  • Creature Feature's "House of Myth".
  • "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
  • 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.
  • French singer Charles Aznavour released a song called "The Haunted House."
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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


  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe: Doctor Ka's New Orleans mansion is home to hundreds of ghosts. And some of them are angry. Very, very angry.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Hoyles Rules Of Dragon Poker
    86. In a haunted house, Ogres become the lowest ranking face card.

  • 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 
  • 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.
  • Dead Realm is set in the former estate of a wealthy electricity tycoon, which is now haunted by territorial ghosts.
  • 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.
  • Haunted House and its late-released sequel make it Older Than the NES.
  • 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.
    • In 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Might and Magic VII had one.
  • A haunted house appears in the Neighborhood in Backyard Skateboarding.
  • Ambridge Mansion takes place in one of these.
  • The House point-and-click Flash game series focuses on exploring a house whose inhabitants committed suicide. Or did they?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Spookyraven Manor in Kingdom of Loathing, with such bizzare undead as the "Pooltergeist" (made out of Snooker balls) and "Undead Elbow Macaroni".
  • 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.
  • The Haunted Mansion for the Gamecube.
  • 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.
  • The entirety of Sweet Home takes place in one of these, referred to as a "House of Residing Evil."
  • 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 entire setting of the first Nightmare House fan 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.
  • 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.
  • The 7th Guest had the protagonist moving about a haunted house built by an evil toy maker.
  • Tales of Phantasia features Demitel's manor, a dungeon where aside from undead abd monsters in the garden, the only inhabitant is Demitel himself.
  • Derceto in Alone in the Dark (1992), a nightmarish Poesque / Lovecraftian place where everything is trying to kill you.
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies is essentially a parody of this trope.
  • 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.
  • Many Nancy Drew games take place in one. In particular, there's the broken-down Thornton Hall- once home to a slaveowning 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?
  • In Paranormal, you play an artist who's attempting to capture proof on film that his new house is haunted.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ravenhearst Manor, from the Mystery Case Files series, starts as a "simple" haunted house in it's debut appearance, although it becomes more and more twisted and dangerous as the series progress.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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 sprits of Alex's siblings...who did not make it out alive.
  • 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!
  • In Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, the suburbs 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.
  • The timesplitters series features two of these levels in the first and third game. The one from the first doubles as That One Level
  • Mind Your Manors, from the creator of the Sins webcomic, involves a seemingly abandoned mansion that removes the protagonist's spirit from his body.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Where Haunt The House takes place. An unusual example in that you are the one doing the haunting.
  • 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.
  • In Haunting Starring Polterguy you are actively encouraged to to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 then. 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 indecipherable language. No explanation is ever given for these last two, by the way.
  • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest's Haunted Hall is a coaster level that takes place in a haunted library.
  • White Noise 2 has Usher Manor, which was built years ago by Darcy, and is now owned by Vincent.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • The titular house from The House in Fata Morgana caused misfortune to befall those who lived in it.
  • The Letter has the Ermengarde Mansion - 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 victims to the Mansion's curse.
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • 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.

  • In 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.
  • The Kesandru / Brie Meighsaton House in Sluggy Freelance.
  • 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've afforded.
  • Goblin Hollow: well, Goblin Hollow.
  • Lapse takes places almost singularly inside the protagonist's haunted home.
  • This is the backbone of Amber: Journeys Beyond. Rule of Three on the ghosts, one from roughly 1910-1920, one from 1942, and a third from the late fifties.
  • In Roza, they stumble on a haunted village.
  • In Sinfest, Crimney trick-or-treats at one. It's good that Fuschia already has a crush on him.
  • The Haunted Hills Bed & Spookfest house from Cyanide & Happiness.
  • The Dunn Rose Mansion from Jack: The American Ghost.
  • Subverted in Freaking Romance. 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.

    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, renovate 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 travellers 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.

    Web Videos 
  • The titular doom house in Doom House.
  • The 15 Experience: The house the hacker is watching is rife with paranormal activity, from ghostly orbs, to ghostly faces, to moving shadows.

    Western Animation 
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters had an old haunted castle on the outskirts of town. All of the ghosts that the Ghost Busters faced went there.
  • 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.
  • 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 South Park, 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 & 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!"
  • In The Simpsons the 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 challenge 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 have thousands of ghosts as it creator made a spell for every ghost in the large library of horror books to become real.
  • 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!"


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