Haunted houses, mansions, estates and other places of residence have been part of the horror genre for centuries, so it makes sense that video games capitalize on the grounds as well. From spooky maze games on the Atari to the most chilling survival horror titles of the modern era, the gaming industry has provided more than enough adequate real estate for paranormal and supernatural forces.
Some haunted houses serve only as backdrops to the main events of the game, but some are as vivid and unsettling as the Usher house itself. Needless to say, gamers have more than a fair share of haunted locations to dive headfirst into the horror genre.
The Hidden Mansion (Luigi’s Mansion)
Starting things off on a relatively obvious note, the titular house of Luigi’s mansion is practically a paradise for a number of ghosts, much to Luigi’s dismay. Built by King Boo as the home for a number of goofy ghouls and ghosts, it’s up to Luigi and Professor E. Gadd to unleash their inner Ghostbusters and save Mario from a terrifying trap.
The mansion is full of spooky hallways, strange rooms and chambers, and many ghostly enemies. From the spooky twins to the spirit of a starving artist, the game basically checks all the boxes for a standard haunted house game.
West Mansion (Splatterhouse)
For something a little more gruesome than the standard Nintendo case, gamers are encouraged to turn to the infamous Namco. Splash house. Heavily inspired by the buffet of classic horror films available in the 80s, the creepy side-scroller was a favorite for fans of the genre. And no homage to such gruesome gorefests would be complete without a spooky mansion to explore.
West Mansion is full of zombies, demons, monsters and other unnatural horrors for the hockey-masked Rick to fight his way through, as well as a selection of ominous torture chambers and bonus levels. Movie fans like Resuscitator and the Friday 13 will be absolutely thrilled to take on the diabolical forces in this gory beat-em-up.
Castle Dracula (Castlevania series)
Castlevania is easily one of the most influential games in the action-platformer and horror genres. Taking a heavy influence from classic monster movies like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy of universal renown, Castlevania pits the player against a host of familiar demons and fearsome creatures in Castle Dracula.
As one of many members of Clan Belmont, players repeatedly descend into the bowels and catacombs of Dracula’s Castle. Although practically a centerpiece seen in nearly every main series, the incarnation seen in symphony of the night is perhaps the most loved by hardcore fans.
The Barrows Family Mansion (Clock Tower)
There was a time when point-and-click adventures were a plentiful commodity, and there were quite a few when it came to haunted houses. But one of the most unsettling pieces of weird real estate was the infamous Barrows Mansion Clock tower. Known to most players simply as the Clock Tower or Clocktower Mansion, the estate is full of disturbing images.
Besides being chased by the sinister Scissorman, there are traps and threats around every corner in this atmospheric horror game. For something released before the days of fully rendered graphics, it’s surprisingly intense.
The Curries Mansion (House of the Dead)
Sega’s zombie shooter Curries Mansion might veer into serious cliche territory, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an absolute blast for horror fans. The gameplay is not that complicated, shoot the zombies and save the civilians, but it is displayed in one of the biggest scary mansions in classic horror games.
Teeming with undead horrors and with its own eerie organ music, the grounds of the mansion come alive with a number of classic horror tropes for players to fight their way through. There’s even a chainsaw maniac or two swinging around just to keep things in theme.
Castle of the Dead (Dragon Crown)
dragon crown is one of the most beautiful games released on the Playstation, and it’s practically a fantasy fan’s dream come true. Fueled by a love for fantasy archetypes, the game features many classic scenes, settings, and characters seen across the genre, including a gigantic haunted castle.
The castle of the dead is equipped with all the necessary demons and accessories for something out of the ordinary. Curse of Strahd of Dungeons and Dragons notoriety. With ghosts, skeletons, and a nest of voluptuous vampires preying on village girls, it’s a delightfully wicked interlude of the otherwise whimsical and magical realm for players to explore.
House Spencer (Resident Evil)
We can say that the survival-horror genre practically owes its existence to the resident Evil franchise. A horror game set in a spooky mansion filled with monsters and mayhem might sound cliché by today’s standards, but the original resident Evil title was one that laid the groundwork for other games in the genre to follow.
Spencer Mansion is not just a weird house full of zombies and puzzles, but the setting for some of horror gaming’s most iconic moments. From undead dogs leaping out of windows to unsettling Crimson Heads, the mansion is a veritable breeding ground for all the weird stuff that sets the tone for most series.
Roivas Mansion (Eternal Darkness: Requiem of Reason)
Rovias Mansion is the centerpiece of Nintendo’s cult horror classic, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem. In a massive, branching plot involving evil magic gods, different characters in different time periods, and a murder mystery within the walls of an evil mansion, the game has a lot going for it for something that came out on the Gamecube.
Drawing heavily on the works of HP Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe, the mansion is a horror fan’s dream come true. The game delves into themes of sanity, murder, and cosmic horrors that simply cannot be contained within a single plot. It’s no wonder this game is often considered a monstrous masterpiece.
The house (PT)
“Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are ‘it might have been’.” Known as PT, short for “playable trailer”, the game was supposed to be a grand and glorious collaboration between Hideo Kojima and director Guillermo Del Toro for a new installment of the silent Hill series. But while other games may feature a giant, grand Gothic mansion, this short but spooky experience relies on a single, repetitive hallway.
The further the player progresses, the more the backstory is revealed in its puzzles and haunting visuals. If that wasn’t enough to entice horror fans, the malevolent spirit that pursues them in the game is sure to blow some players out of their skin.
The Baker House (Resident Evil VII)
While many fans of the series might immediately call Castle Dimitrescu one of the scariest haunted houses in video gaming, the Baker House of Resident Evil VII is leagues more terrifying than a castle of horror cliches like vampires and creepy dolls. With elements of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and weird eldritch horrors, it was definitely a great way for the series to get back to its roots.
Or Town might look like a classic horror movie send-off, VII is dirty, gritty, and uncomfortable like 70s exploratory horror films. While the game may lack traditional ghosts and zombies, the bizarre powers of the evil Baker family and unsettling horrors of the Molded fill the roles perfectly. .
NEXT: 10 Indie Horror Games Scarier Than Resident Evil
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