40 Horror Game Ideas That Will Make Kids and Adults Freak Out

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What better time than Halloween to get some chills and goose bumps?  If scary movies are not enough, how about some additional scary games that can trigger the much-coveted adrenaline rush?

Since Halloween is just around the corner, we have put up a list of 40 horror game ideas that will make kids and adults freak out and bite their nails. Ready to turn off the light and let spine-tingling terror take over?

40 Horror Game Ideas

1. Monsters in the Dark

There is nothing more frightening than playing in the dark. For this game, you will need a totally dark room and at least 3 players. One player will sit alone on one side of the room while the remaining players will sit on the opposite side.

The purpose of the game is to scare the lonely player by making spooky noises, using objects (for instance a feather) to touch him/her, grabbing him/her, etc. 

2. Ghost stories

horror game ideas

If you are looking for a fast goosebumps recipe, here goes one: gather around, turn off the light, and start telling ghost stories. If you want to spice up things, each player can designate a title to another one.

For example: Alone in the Graveyard, The Witch that Knew No Mercy, The Revenge of the Ghost, etc. The spookiness of your imagination is the only limit.

3. Seek and Kill!

This game is a variation of the famous Hide and Seek game. What makes this game scary is that it is played in a completely dark room.

The mechanics are simple: one player – designated as ‘the killer’ – has to seek and find all the other hidden players using a flashlight.

When a player is found, he/she has to scream and ‘play dead’ in an area designated as ‘the cemetery’.  The last player left will become the new killer.

4. The Sandman

This game relies on imagination and the power of suggestion. One player lies down (face up, with his/her eyes closed, and completely still) while the remaining players sit around him/her.

One designated player tells a scary story that must include a dead or dying person whose body is filled with sand. While listening to the story, another player uses his/her finger to cut open the arms and legs of the player on the ground, fill them with sand, and sew them back.

The purpose of the game is to make ‘the sandman’ feel too heavy to move or get back on his/her feet. To add to the spookiness of the game, you can turn off the lights and play scary music. 

5. Ouija Board

Are we surrounded by spirits looking for the perfect opportunity to communicate with us? This game might offer just the right answer!

All you need is an Ouija board and two players willing to put their fingers on it and ask questions. If there are talkative nearby spirits, your hands will start moving across the board until you receive an answer to your question!

6. Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board

This is a game about levitation, optical illusions, and suggestion. One player lies on the floor, facing the ceiling, with his/her eyes closed, and tries to remain completely relaxed.

The remaining players sit around and place two fingers under his/her body. Now it’s time for the famous chanting, “Light as a feather and stiff as a board.” Once you repeat the phrase 20 times, it’s time to try and lift the player. Did it work? 

7. Murder in the Dark

To play this game, you will need a dark room, a slip of paper for each player, and – of course – at least 5 players. But … the more, the merrier. Use one of the slips of paper to write Detective and another one to write Killer

Write Victim on all the remaining slips of paper. Use a hat to mix the papers and have each player draw one. 

The Detective must now turn off the light, leave the room, and wait outside. The Victims and the Killer start walking around the dark room.

The mission of the Killer is to find a Victim. When the Killer touches a Victim, the Victim must scream and play dead.

The Killer should try to find as many Victims as possible before the light goes back on. When a player screams, the detective must rush in and turn on the light. When the light is on, all the players must freeze.

Before making a guess, the Detective can ask questions to figure out who the killer is. For example, the Detective can ask players to explain where they were when they heard the scream. If the Detective’s guess is correct, he/she wins. If not, the Killer wins. 

8. Shadow Puppets

horror game ideas

This game is ideal for young children. Creating an amazing scary shadow puppets show only takes a torch, lolly sticks, and the right printable shadow puppets. You can use ghosts, bats, pumpkins, haunted houses, witches, spiders, etc. 

9. Scarefest

Players are divided into various teams (depending on the number of participants, you can form several teams).

The idea behind the game is to make the members of the other teams scream as much as possible by performing scary actions (chanting, pranks, touching, etc.)

The only rule: do not put anyone in physical danger. You can use chips to keep track of the screams. For instance, when the members of one team scream, they must hand over a chip to the team that scared them.

At the end of the game, the team that has gathered the most chips wins. 

10. DIY Murder Mystery Scene

The idea is to set up your own murder mystery scene and have the players find out who the killer is by deciphering clues.

You can use props, design your own puzzles, hide clues, think of a punishment if the players fail to reveal the mystery, etc. Your imagination is the only limit. 

11. Feel Box

You will need several plastic cases that will fill with different objects. For instance, you can fill one with ‘pleasant’ things such as candies, one with gross things (worms make an awesome choice!), and one with scary things (animal organs, peeled grapes and warm water coloured red, etc.)

You can use as many cases as you wish. The idea is to have a blindfolded player put his/her hand in the boxes and try to guess what each one contains. 

12.   House of Horrors: Hidden objects

Choose a playing area and use it to hide clues from famous horror movies. Here are some examples:

  • Business cards (American Psycho)
  • Hockey Mask (Friday the 13th)
  • Ouija board (The Exorcist)
  • Hannibal’s Mask (The Silence of the Lambs)
  • Axe (The Shining)

Make a list of all the hidden clues and hand a copy to each player. Once the player finds a clue, he/she must write down the name of the movie it comes from.

The player who finds all the clues and guesses the corresponding movies first, wins. It is important for players to silently document their findings (for instance, they can use their mobile phones to take a picture).

13. Bloody Mary

The legendary Bloody Mary spirit is said to show up in a mirror if her name is conjured several times. Who dares to summon her? If you want to add extra spice to the game, you can have another player play a prank on the player who is summoning Bloody Mary. 

14. Guess Who

Of course, this famous game can take a scary turn by simply using characters from famous horror movies. A few examples would include Hannibal Lecter, Pinhead, or Freddie Krueger. 

15. Pass-it-on horror story

As the name of the game suggests, the purpose of the game is to have one player begin the story while the remaining players take turns to add scary details to it!

16. Recreate horror movie scenes

Use slips of paper to write down famous horror movies names and place them in a box. Then divide players into two groups.

Each team will extract a slip of paper and will have to recreate a famous scene from the movie. The other team needs to guess the name of the movie. 

17. Horror movie quotes

‘Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?’ (The Witch). Goosebumps anyone? Make a list of quotes from famous horror movies and ask players to identify the movies they came from. Here are a few ideas:

  • ‘What an excellent day for an exorcism.’ (The Exorcist)
  • ‘Do you want to play a game?’ (Saw)
  • ‘They’re here.’ (Poltergeist)

18. Spooky Charades

Add a spooky twist to this popular game by having players act out horror movie names!

19.  Spooky consequences

Another popular game that can be turned into a spooky experience. First thing is to agree upon a spooky theme. Then, all the players will be given a piece of paper and a pen and will be asked to sit in a circle.

Each player will have to write down a phrase related to the established theme, fold the paper so that the phrase can’t be seen, and hand it to the player next to him/her who will have to write a second phrase.

The result will be a collaborative – and often hilarious – spooky story. 

20. 1,2,3, Are you ready to crawl with me?

A variation of the famous ‘Red light, green light’, this game can be horror adapted by having the player who plays IT wear a scary costume.

The players who are supposed to tag IT can be crawling zombies. Obviously, costumes would make the game even scarier.

21. Wink murder

One player secretly plays the role of the Murderer. His mission is to ‘kill’ the other players by making eye contact and then winking at them.

When a player is winked at, he/she must count to five, scream, and die dramatically. When a player thinks he/she knows who the murderer is, he/she must say ‘I accuse’ and say the name of the murderer.

If the player is right, he/she wins the game. If not, the player will be eliminated. The game ends when the Murderer is identified. 

22. Spooky Truth or Dare

Another classical game with a spooky spin! Here are a couple of questions you can ask and some dares you can use: 

  • What is the worst nightmare you have ever had?
  • If you could star in a horror movie, which one would it be and what character would you choose?

Dares: 

  • Walk like a zombie for 2 minutes
  • Summon a spirit
  • Cast a life and death spell on one of the players

23. Is your scream scarier than mine?

Yes, it’s time to get loud with a screaming contest! But not any type of screams… you should be looking for the scariest one! Players can vote to decide the winner.

24. Spooky A to Z

A to Z is a popular vocabulary game that you can turn into a spooky one by choosing the right theme. For instance, death.  Print worksheets that contain the alphabet.

Then set a timer and have players fill in as many theme-related words as possible next to each letter of the alphabet. The player who writes the most words wins. 

25. Horror-Themed Memory Game

horror game ideas

Another classic game that we can easily adapt to our scary purpose. You can create cards using characters from horror movies such as Hanibal Lecter or Frankenstein.  

26. Capture the Ghost

This is a variation of the popular Capture the Flag game. While you can keep the mechanics of the game, you can replace the flags with anything you deem sufficiently terrific: gross objects, scary puppets, etc. 

27. Who am I? 

Even the most innocent classic game can turn into a scary adventure! Make a list of terms related to the scary chosen topic and print a card for each one of them.

For instance, you can choose Horror Movies as a theme and print cards containing movie characters, words such as graveyard, ghost, tombstone, etc.

One player will stick a card on the back of each player. It is important for the players not to see their own cards.

Once each player is assigned a card, it is time to start walking around and asking other players questions such as ‘Am I a movie character?’, ‘Am I alive?’, ‘Am I real?’, etc. Each player must guess his/her identity. 

28. Mysterium

Mysterium is a spooky card board game that transports players into a world inhabited by ghosts willing to help players solve the mystery behind their deaths.

One of the players will take on the Ghost role while the other players become crime investigators. The Ghost will communicate with the investigators by means of a set of illustrated cards, leading them toward the murder suspect. 

29. Zombicide: Black Plague

Another spooky card board game, Black Plague will turn players into a group of survivors with a clear mission:  battle against the hordes of undead and hunt the necromancers who are responsible for the havoc. There are various playable characters and missions.

30. Nyctophobia

This board game proposes a terrific cooperative experience that implies blackout glasses and navigating a 3D maze.

One player takes on the role of a hunter who stalks the other players throughout a dark forest.

The game ends when the last player dies or the survivors escape. Escaping implies not only a good understanding of 3D shapes but also efficient communication between the players. 

31. Deceit

We are talking about a fast-paced, co-operative, multiplayer first-person shooter that will put your instincts to a good test. In this video game, 6 players find out that a third of the group has been infected with a deadly virus by the Game Master.

Their task is to take down the players who are not infected. The players who are not infected must collaborate to escape to safety while the infected players try to hunt them down one by one. 

32. Pacify

Another thrilling video game, Pacify challenges up to 5 players to become members of Paranormal Activity Helpers Incorporated and embark on a quest for survival.

Players will enter a haunted house with a clear mission: reveal the mystery behind the house’s spectral inhabitants.

33. Friday the 13th: The Video Game

Does the name Jason Voorhees ring a bell? If you are a fan of the film series, you must already feel terrified! The video game teams up to 4 players and challenges them to work together and escape Jason Voorhees’ clutches.

34. Autopsy

Ideal for young kids, this game is fun – yet gruesome – to play. The game challenges players to touch a ‘dead body’ and guess the body parts.

Draw a body on the ground and use vegetables, fruits, pasta, etc. to simulate the body parts. Cover the body with a sheet and make small holes to allow players to touch the body parts and make their guesses.

You can use cauliflower to simulate the brain, cooked spaghetti for the intestines, carrots for the bones, peeled grapes for the eyes, etc. 

35. Wrap the mummy

horror game ideas

This game is ideal for young children. All you need to play it is two teams, toilet paper, and dexterity.

Divide players into two groups and make sure to provide them with plenty of toilet paper rolls.

Each group will designate one player who will take on the role of the mummy. The purpose of the game is to see which team can wrap up the Mummy in toilet paper faster.

36. Musical graveyard

This is a spooky version of the popular Musical Chairs game. Place various chairs in a circle. Make sure there are fewer chairs than players.

To make the game spooky, you can cover the chairs with black plastic bags and write R.I.P. on them.

The music can add to the spookiness if you chose soundtracks from horror movies. When the music stops, each player must sit down on a chair. The players without a chair are eliminated and turn into ghosts. 

37. Zombies

This board game is a tile-placement survival game that can be played either co-operatively or competitively.

As a zombie horde is invading your city, you need to manage your life counters and resources as you try to reach the helipad and escape!  

38. Zombie Dice

Zombie Dice is a competitive family game that implies light role play. The best part is that it can be played by up to 99 players. Players take on the role of a Zombie (by turns) and roll the dice.

The purpose of the game is to roll as many brains as possible without getting hit.

39. Baby Blue

This game is similar to Bloody Mary. To play this game, you will need a dark room and a mirror. Players take turns to enter the dark room, close the door, turn off the lights, and pretend to be carrying a baby in their arms.

After repeating ‘Blue Baby, Baby Blue’ several times, they should be feeling the weight of a baby in their arms!

40. Gloom 

A macabre card game, this game challenges players to take control over a family and cause as much damage as possible to its members: diseases, debts, packs of rabid mice, etc. The more suffering you cause, the better the reward you receive!