The star is a cute little ghost who lives alone in a mansion. One night, a bunch of high-class snobs throw a party in his house. The ghost isn't happy that these people are invading the house. So the ghost must scare them all out by possessing various household objects and making them do supernatural things. However, scare someone too much, and they will be so desperate that they will jump out the window to their death. The goal is to scare all 30 people away as fast as possible, and with as few casualties as possible.
A sequel, Terrortown was released in 2014. It involves multiple game modes, including the main one, Terrortown, which involves scaring off a whole town whilst making a "ghost family" in the process, Mansion House, which is a remake of the first game, North Pole, a winter-themed level, and most recently, Ghost Train, which takes place on a carnival train.
Not to be confused with Haunted House.
Both games contain examples of:
- Animate Inanimate Object: Pretty much anything once you possess it.
- Artificial Stupidity: The humans in the places you haunt are not the brightest bulbs in the shed. Human scared out of their wits and right next to the door leading out of the house and to safety? Screw that! They'd much rather run all the way up to the furthest window on the third floor and throw themselves out it! They also have bizarre senses of fear; for example, they'll be terrified to suicide faster by a flickering attic light than by a monster popping out of the bathtub.
- Black Bead Eyes: The ghost has them, as do the ghosts of the people you kill.
- Classy Cravat: Some of the aristocrats wear these, to show their status.
- Driven to Suicide: What happens to people who get too scared. They jump out the window and die offscreen.
- Gone Horribly Right: If a person becomes too scared they'll kill themselves trying to escape and become ghosts themselves, moving into the haunted house permanently.
- Haunted House: Where the game takes place. An unusual example in that you are the one doing the haunting.
- Nameless Narrative: Not one character is given a name. In the Terrortown mode of the sequel, the ghosts are given one-word descriptors ("Ghost," "Captain," "Thief," "Nurse," etc.) but they still don't have definite names.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: This one is presented as a sympathetic character who just wants some privacy.
- Perpetual Frowner: The ghost only gets a brief smile in the ending. The pictures of him alive in Terrortown don't look any happier.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Whenever someone jumps out the window. At the end of Haunt the House, it's revealed that now you have to share the house with that person's ghost! It's unknown what happens to them in Terrortown, though.
- Regal Ruff: The ghost wears one. Although we know very little about him, his fancy ruff and his fancy mansion imply that he is of noble heritage. The "arrogant" aspect of the trope also shines through - it is pretty mean of him to scare all those people away.
- Spiritual Successor: The main gameplay of playing as a ghost to scare people away from houses mark it as one to Haunting Starring Polterguy.
- Terror Hero: The ghosts, who achieve their goal by scaring people.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can play the game with the intention to scare people to suicide, or to just run them out of your house peacefully.
Haunt the House contains examples of:
- Bears Are Bad News: The house contains a life-sized bear statue. When you possess it, you can make it roar at the humans, among other things.
- The Cameo: The Groke and Stinky both make cameos in the game.
- Creepy Doll: One object that can be possessed is a doll. When you possess it, you can make it shriek.
- Killer Teddy Bear: Another item that can be possessed. It stretches itself so hard that it nearly rips itself in half, showing its seams.
- Mirror Monster: The mirror downstairs can show one as one of its potential spooks.
- Supernatural Floating Hair: The doll's last unlocked spook makes it shriek while its hair streams out.
- Villain Protagonist: Downplayed. The ghost is trying to scare people into leaving his house, but he isn't actively trying to harm them.
Haunt the House: Terrortown contains examples of:
- Angry Chef: The Chef character has a permanent, exaggerated scowl, even as a ghost.
- Animal Motifs: The Diver ghost has four ghostly tails resembling tentacles. These, combined with his old-fashioned diving helmet and wide eyes, make him look like an octopus.
- Blatant Burglar: The Thief character wears a domino mask and striped shirt, and is standing on a dinosaur skeleton, where certainly nobody should be allowed, in broad daylight, as if plotting to steal some of the bones. He retains his mask even as a ghost.
- The Cameo: Boggy from Detective Grimoire: Secret of the Swamp appears as an exhibit in the Museum.
- Cats Are Superior: The Pharaoh, the ghost of highest status, is revealed to have been a cat.
- Creepy Circus Music: Fittingly, the Ghost Train level, which is basically a carnival on wheels, has creepy carnival music.
- Ghost Train: There is a level taking place on a big carnival train. You play as a ghost who lives in the train's smokestack, and as in the rest of the game, you possess the (frankly, already somewhat creepy-looking) props around the train to scare everyone off.
- Hub World: The Bell Tower in Terrortown, where the main ghost starts his journey, and where you can choose between other ghosts to play as.
- Human All Along: Inverted. The Pharaoh ghost in Terrortown looks like he was just as human in life as the other ghosts, but because he's trapped in a sarcophagus, we don't see what he looks like until he becomes a ghost... until we see the family photo at the end, which reveals that he was actually a cat.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: Inverted with the Bell Tower in Terrortown. You actually start your journey at the top of it, and since you can fly and phase through walls, climbing or descending it is nothing.
- Monster Clown: One of the ghosts you can play as is a clown. Also, there are a lot of clown-themed props for you to scare people with on the Ghost Train.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. The main ghost in the Mansion House and Terrortown game modes, as well as the train ghost in Ghost Train and the jacket-wearing ghost in North Pole, are all referred to as "Ghost."
- Ship Level: The Cruise Ship in Terrortown. Enjoy haunting a massive cruise ship with luxuries like a fountain, a kitchen, and a casino.
- The Smurfette Principle: Terrortown has only two females, the Nurse and the protagonist of the Christmas DLC, compared to the eleven males counting the protagonist of the Halloween DLC.
- "Test Your Strength" Game: The Ghost Train has one on the Carousel car. It's one of the many items that the ghost can possess.
- Theatre Phantom: The Phantom character lives in an underground lair below the theater, wears a half-mask, and owns a pipe organ.
- Together in Death: Terrortown has the ghost making himself a "family" by offing nine specific people, two of whom, the Nurse and the Captain, are implied to have been his biological parents.
- Video Game Remake: The "Mansion House" mode is a remake of the first game.