What is a Haunted House?
Is it a decaying mansion brimming with spires, turrets, and intricate grillwork? An abode of great age with its rotting façade and long-lost, eldritch secrets hidden inside, beneath decades of cobwebs and dust? Does it require spine-chilling drafts and creaking wood that causes stalwart investigators to calm their breathing in nervous anxiety? Or perhaps it is a house hand-built by skilled and discreet craftsmen who don’t mind an eccentric owner's request for a secret passageway or hidden room?
The ideal haunted house seems to issue from the 18th and 19th centuries. Nothing adds to a supernatural mystery than an old abandoned house, whether standing on some lonely country back road or in the middle of the big city. Where once a stately manor stood on a rural estate may now be rotting amidst a sprawling suburb.
Every small town has such an old abandoned house, inspiring local folklore with its spooky, mysterious past and its supposed horrors still lurking inside. Elderly neighbors whisper hushed rumors about previous owners, and what horrors occurred. Youngsters dare each other to enter; teenagers use them for reckless (or romantic) adventures; unknowing and long-lost relatives inherit them; and sinister persons (or things) use them as headquarters for nefarious plans.
Keepers of Unknown Lore are welcome to tweak the designs presented here, adding more secret doors and passages, and strange landscaping to whatever neighborhood they wish to place their own haunted house. Does your scenario needs an organ loft where mysterious music flows fourth at midnight? A Victorian-era tower turret is perfect. A hidden basement room where once Revolutionaries, Criminals, or Cults secretly met? A decaying Colonial cellar is just the place.
So go on, thumb through this collection and find the house of your nightmares!
MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARY ASSOCIATION monographs are longer works by one or more authors on a subject of import to Call of Cthulhu roleplayers. On these products the author has also fulfilled the functions of editor and layout artist; we at Chaosium have done little in the way of editorial. We found these works compelling and thought that you would enjoy them. Through the publication of monographs we can offer our most loyal fans more information more easily, and evaluate the potential of these works for eventual release to the wholesale market.
THIS IS A DOWNLOADABLE BOOK. By R.J. Christensen. 56 pages. 8.5 x 11" downloadable watermarked PDF book with cover images, created from electronic production files.
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There is some very good stuff here. The PDF gives over 20 maps of some very interesting, flavorful, and imaginative house designs. There is a lot here to inspire Keepers, and give players fun options.
However, the book has some rough edges, too. First of all, some of the floorplans come with a black and white picture that show what the house looks like from the front. However, not all of the floorplans have this feature.
Also, the floorplans presented here all have grid lines. This is a matter of personal preference, but I really do not like grid lines on my maps. My Call of Cthulhu games are not combat-heavy, and the gridlines here really don't do anything more than make the maps harder to read.
Overall, a very helpful product. I just wish that the maps didn't have any gridlines, and that each house had a larger front picture from the outside.
I might buy the sequel to this product at some point, to see if that one is any different.