Board games and tabletop games have had a huge renaissance in recent years, and there are a ton of amazing games that you can pull out for just about every occasion and especially when you want to embrace a spooky vibe! Whether you like cooperative board games where you're working together as a team or you prefer a competitive edge, a good horror-themed board game can really bring that macabre atmosphere. If you love horror, where ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and other dark and spooky people and creatures are in full force, and you never know what evil you might encounter, there are a ton of spooky board games just for you!
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Lovecraft's universe comes to life in this co-op deck-building game. The base game (linked here) is the best place to start and learn the rules, but Fantasy Flight Games supports these games with huge expansions and several campaigns that are all super well-written and spooky! You'll play as investigators, each with a unique deck to uncover the real mysteries that are happening in the world.
Obscurio is a visually stunning game in which 2-8 players work together to solve several different mysteries while stuck in a mysterious library — the catch; someone in the group is trying to deceive you. Each round, you'll try to escape the library by using clues (that come in the form of heavily detailed illustrations), but if you pick the clue form the traitor, you'll get closer to being trapped in the library forever.
Silly zombie fun
Last Night on Earth: 10th Anniversary Edition
Last Night on Earth is a fantastic zombie game that acts and plays a bit like a cheesy 80s B-movie. It's a semi-cooperative game, with a handful of different scenarios in the box, dozens of fun and unique items, and asymmetrical characters with different abilities. Last Night on Earth offers a ton of replayability and a lot of fun!
One vs all
Betrayal at House On The Hill
Betrayal at House On The Hill has a huge fan following and has been around for years. It has a unique game design that changes the game rules in a big way, half-way through the game. You start as a group of people exploring a spooky house, and eventually, a haunt will trigger, and typically, one of your party members turns into a traitor!
Different every time you play
Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter is another game that can be one vs. all, but you are never truly sure if there is a traitor amongst your party or not. Your group needs to survive the zombie apocalypse. Still, each character has a unique story they can complete, and one of your team members may even have a secret objective that can cause them to be the winner rather than the group surviving.
Super challenging co-op
If you and your friends want a hard challenge, check out Ghost Stories. You'll need to do everything you can think of and more to come away with a win, but the challenging win conditions and dice rolling combat are super satisfying and keep the game feeling tense and exciting the whole way through!
Great for big groups
In Mascarade, each player will get one character, which will have different powers with the goal of being the first to collect 13 coins; however, all the character cards are face down, and other players can swap face-down cards with whomever they want. You can play the whole game without ever knowing which character you really are!
Escape room on the table!
Exit: Dead Man on Orient Express
Exit is a series of escape room games, and in Dead Man on Orient Express on top of having to escape the train, you also need to figure out who committed the murder! Each Exit game is destructible, which means you can only play it once; however, with 10 different exit games (and more coming), there's a lot of game out there if you love the genre!
Can you beat Sherlock Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases
Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective tasks you with investigating murders and other cases in the Victorian era London, and your goal is to solve the case with following as little leads as possible. You're given a newspaper, a map of London with a ton of different locations you can go to and question people, and sometimes, a clue to start you off.
For horror movie lovers
Slash Cards: The Horror Movie Trivia Game
If you love horror movies and trivia, Slash Cards: The Horror Movie Trivia Game is a perfect match for you. With over 1,200 questions in five different categories, you should be able to decide who is the biggest horror movie buff in your friend group!
Classic movie monsters
This game brings the classic Universal Studios monsters like Frankenstein's Monster, The Invisible Man, Dracula, and more to life. You'll need to work together as a team to destroy these monsters once and for all and save the town. Be careful though, each monster has a different set of win and lose conditions, meaning you have to make sure you're playing smart.
Start your colection with something great
Board games offer a great tactile experience that allows you and your friends or family all to spend time together and have fun, and there are a ton of great games that embrace the paranormal!
My personal favorite on this list is Arkham Horror: The Card Game because it just offers such a unique experience every game and it's superbly well-written, so the stories feel real. The decision you make has an impact on the game! The good news about Arkham Horror: The Card Game is the base set is just the beginning if you like the game, there's a ton of new campaigns and scenarios you can buy.
If you're looking for a fun game that easy to pull out with the family, I would suggest Horrified. It's not too complicated to learn, and although it does have monsters, it doesn't really have any mature content, making it great with kids. The box says ages 10 and up, and I would agree with that assessment.
Lastly, if you love solving mysteries Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective is fantastic. Reading newspapers for clues, questioning the right people to get information, and slowly but surely solving the case is a super satisfying feeling.