Players take turns exploring their own haunted house, bottom to top (by playing cards). The first player to escape (by filling every floor) wins.
You can hurry to explore your own house, or you can explore more safely by turning lights on. Other players can slow you down with ghosts, but you can defend with friendly cats.
There are 46 basic cards: 12 first floor, 10 second floor, 10 third floor, 8 ghost, and 6 cat. There are 7 special cards: 1 time space hole, 1 light bulb, 1 cat food, 1 elevator, 1 lightning, 2 room wild card.
Start of Round
Shuffle all cards. Deal 3 cards to each player. In addition, each player has an identical haunted house, consisting of 3 dark floor cards and a roof card.
Starting with the first player, all players takes turns choosing ONE of the following actions:
- Play one or more room cards
- Play a ghost card
- Play a cat card
- Turn on the light
- Play a special card
- Discard one or more cards
In special circumstances, a cat or ghost may be played out of turn, as described below.
Play one or more room cards
Play a room card from your hand on an empty space to the left or right side of the corresponding floor. The illustration does not matter, only the floor of the card.
You must fill all lower floors before placing a room card on the next floor. However, you can play several cards in the same turn -- e.g. 2 first floor cards and then 1 second floor card.
Play a ghost card
Play a ghost card from your hand on an opponent's house. The target must be the highest floor where the opponent has a room card. The target may have a cat, but must not have a ghost.
If a cat is present on the floor, both the ghost and the cat will be discarded. Otherwise, the opponent will be given a chance to play a cat from their hand to defend.
If the ghost does not encounter a cat, the ghost will be placed on the floor and one of two things happens:
* If the light for that floor is off, the ghost and all room cards on that floor are discarded.
* If the light for that floor is on, the ghost stays unless there are 2 ghosts on the floor. If there are 2 ghosts, the room and ghost cards are discarded as described above, and the light is turned off.
NOTE: If another player is escaping, you may play a ghost from your hand to stop them, even if it is not your turn.
Play a cat card
Play a cat card from your hand on your own house. It can be placed on any room you have explored, but must not be placed on another cat.
If the cat is placed on a ghost, or on a floor with a ghost, both the cat and ghost are discarded, but the room cards stay. Otherwise, the cat stays in place to defend the floor.
NOTE: If someone plays a ghost against you, you can even discard a cat from your hand to defend immediately, cancelling the ghost! This works even though it is not your turn.
Turn on the light
Discard 2 or 3 cards with a total of at least 5 lightbulb icons. It is even possible to discard a card with 0 lightbulb icons, if the other two cards have at least 5 lightbulb icons in total.
Then, turn on the light for a floor in your house. All lower floors must be fully explored in order to turn on the light. You can always turn on the first floor light.
NOTE: Turning on the light helps defend against ghosts. It normally takes 1 ghost to discard a floor, but with a light it takes 2 ghosts.
Play a special card
Play a special card from your hand. They have the following effects:
* Time Space Hole: Move a ghost from a haunted house (including your own) to an opponent's house, on the highest floor where they have a room card.
* Light Bulb: Turn on the light in any floor of your house, as long as all lower floors are fully explored.
* Cat Food: Move a cat from any opponent's house to your own.
* Elevator: Move a cat between floors in your own house.
* Lightning: Turn off an opponent's light on the highest floor where they have explored a room.
* Room Wild Card: Can be played as a room on any floor. Can be played with other room cards.
Discard one or more cards
Discard one or more cards from your hand and draw the same number of cards from the deck. The identity of the discarded cards is secret from other players.
End of Turn
If the active player's house is NOT fully explored, the player draws back up to 3 cards. If the deck runs out of cards, it is reshuffled.
If the active player's house is fully explored (even if the lights are off), the player does not refill their hand. Instead, each other player has a chance to play 1 ghost to stop the escape. In a 2-player game, the opponent may play up to 2 ghosts to stop the escape. As usual, the player targeted by ghost(s) may discard cat(s) from their hand to defend.
If the escape is stopped, all players refill their hands starting with the player who tried to escape. Then, the next player after the player who tried to escape resumes the game.
If the escape is NOT stopped, the escaping player wins the game.