10 Rumours About the Haunted House

Haunted houses are classic venues for adventures. Such places are ripe with possibilities (and dangers).


Abandoned and decrepit, no city is complete without an abandoned, reportedly haunted house. Truly haunted buildings have an air of grim mystique about them, their supernatural residents setting the natural world on edge. All such places are cloaked with rumours of unspeakable, unknowable and implacable evil. Some of the rumours might even be true.

Use the table below, to determine the rumours associated with the haunted house:

  1. The house has a deep cellar. Whenever anyone explores the cellar, the shadows cluster thickly about them and they always find an area of turned earth—as if something had recently been buried.
  2. One of the family’s children was locked in the attic for some—now forgotten but minor—transgression. The child was headstrong and tried to escape; he fell from the roof and was killed. His spirit still lingers in the attic, yet searching for a means of escape.
  3. Several servants in the house reported the feeling of being watched whenever they went up to the second floor. Some doors refused to open for them, no matter how hard they tried to open them. Most of the servants left the family’s employ shortly after taking up service but more than one completely disappeared never to be seen again.
  4. A secret cellar under the house hides a deep well of ancient artifice in its shadowy recesses. Surrounded by a crumbling wall or curious design, the well plumbs some unknown water source. Those drinking from the well invariably fall ill and are never the same again.
  5. More than one resident of the house has been driven stark raving mad by something lingering under that accursed roof. Two have jumped from the roof and one died under the wheels of his own carriage.
  6. Rats infest the house. Before it was abandoned tales told of a servant slain by a horde of the foul creatures when he was sent to retrieve a bottle from the wine cellar.
  7. Ancient tunnels link the house with a rambling set of natural caverns that emerge far from town. Smugglers, kidnappers and worse used the tunnels, until the house was abandoned.
  8. Faint, flickering lights of unwholesome hue are sometimes seem bobbing about the house after dark. These are the souls of all those bound to that accursed place.
  9. One of the maids working in the house was an adherent of a demon! She lay with her master in the master’s bed and when her child was born the clueless family allowed her to stay in their employ. Soon her child grew big, strong and malevolent. Soon thereafter, a series of tragic accidents claimed the lives of the family’s children.
  10. A malevolent sentience lurks within the house. Some say the very essence of the Abyss imbues the house with a terrible purpose—to carry away all those who linger within to an eternity of torment at the hands of a terrible demon lord!

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This article appears in  20 Things #7: Haunted House, available in October. It will also appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017.

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