Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Countdown to Halloween - Board Game Night - The Many Faces of Which Witch

Which Witch was a board game released in 1970. The game had you play as children trying to make your way through the Broom Room, Witchin Kitchen, Spell Cell, Bat's Ballroom and up the stairs to the chimney roof. Along the way there are safe spots and trap spots. Traps like a swinging broom in the broom room sweeps you away, the shaky floor in the Witchin Kitchen knocks you off your feet, the whammy ball can fall to crush you in the spell cell. The whammy ball also opens a panel in the Bat's Ballroom when you are in front of it. The whammy ball is what activates the traps, when placed into the chimney it randomly falls out to spring a trap or roll down the stairwell knocking players from out of it's way. If a player is hit by the trap or ball they start again at the beginning of the room they are in. Players select cards with three witches on them. Wanda the Wicked casts a spell to turn children into mice and freezes them in their tracks. Ghoulish Gerty drops the whammy ball down the chimney to get children unlucky enough to be standing on trap spaces. Glenda the Good breaks the spell and changes the mice back into children.

in 1971 the game was repackaged as Haunted House...

The game was then released again as NEW Haunted House with some modifications to the traps to now make them more ghost or haunted house oriented, like falling statues instead of the sweeping broom.

In 1985 the game was redesigned for the European market and released as Ghost Castle The Haunted House of Horrors. Playing as children entering into the Ghost Castle a haunted house of horrors you start on the blue footprint and roll the die to move. The children then spin the spider spinner to see if they roll the die again, get scared stiff, regain their courage to move, or drop the glow-in-the-dark skull with red eyes (this replaced the whammy ball from the original game) into the open coffin lid (replacing the chimney chute) to randomly activate traps along the way. Beware to those standing on the trap spots (red footprints) while the green footprints show the way to a secret passage.

In 1986 the game went through another redesign, this time to capitalize on the popularity of a certain team of ghost hunters...

Play your favorite ghostbuster Winston Zeddemore, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler or Peter Venkman. Players that  land on a slimed spot and are stuck for one round while a thunder cloud alows the player to spin the spinner where they can catch a ghost card, lose a ghost, or be slimed. At the end of each turn the glow-in-the-dark skull with red eyes is dropped down the open ecto ghost trap (replacing the coffin) to randomly activate booby-traps along the way. The first to climb the stairs and close the trap wins.

which brings us to this year and the newly released Ghost Castle

Starting again in the haunted forest this time it's the tree itself that is the trap, instead of the original broom. There is also a falling portcullis trap before entering into the castle. Inside the great hall there is a haunted bear rug replacing the original's tiger trap to sweep you off your feet like the shaky floor. The secret passage has changed rooms as well now behind a bookcase weapons rack and leading into the armory. In the armory is a chute to drop the falling skull on you just inside the door and the suit of armor is in a new locations but still swings his axe. Inside the dungeon there is now a giant bear trap then up the stairs to the coffin. The skull can still knock players off the stairs to their doom.


  1. These are super cool. I've played the 70's Haunted House game before but I had no idea it was based on Which Witch, or that there were other/later versions of it. The new one looks pretty awesome, especially the suit of armor.

  2. Great post! I have the UK version sitting on my shelf. I really want the new one but $35 is a bit pricey for something that's supposed to be a kids game.

  3. Wow, this is fantastic! I used to play this game when I was a kid, but I had completely forgot about it. When I saw these pictures, the memories came flooding back. Thanks!

  4. Cool, I had the Ghostbusters version when I was younger. I always wondered why the ecto ghost trap lid was shaped like a coffin. I didn't know about the earlier versions.


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