Novice: lightning
Expert: dark

ARROW: joystick
SPACE: match
ALT+J swap

Game instructions

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Game Instructions (Scroll down)



Many years ago in the small town of Spirit Bay, there lived a mean old man named Zachary Graves. Old man Graves was not a very well liked person. He rarely left the old mansion and spent most of his life brooding about the decaying, four story house. When he died, the house was condemned and locked up.

The townspeople claim that old man Graves knew the whereabouts of a magic urn that was a family heirloom of the first family of Spirit Bay. It seems that the mansion was the family's first home and that the magic urn, which broke into several pieces during the earthquake of 1890, is still in the old house.

To this day, no one has had the courage to go into the mansion to search for the pieces of the urn. It is common knowledge that the ghost of old man Graves still haunts the mansion. Some of the neighbors claim to have seen lights flickering in the windows. Some say that they have heard eerie sounds, doors slamming, and heavy footsteps. Some even claim to have seen shadows running through the mansion.

The mysterious mansion has 24 rooms connected by long corridors and staircases. Some of the rooms have been locked up for over 50 years. There is supposed to be a master key hidden somewhere in the mansion. Without the key, it might be impossible to travel from room to room. There is also an ancient scepter hidden in the mansion. Old man Graves always carried this scepter. He believed it scared off evil spirits.

Now that you know the story, ATARI is unlocking the entrance to the HAUNTED HOUSE and letting you test your bravery. Do you dare enter the frightening old mansion? If you do, remember to carry matches; the HAUNTED HOUSE is very dark.

When you are ready to challenge your courage, insert this Game Program cartridge and turn on your ATARI Video Computer System game to enter the main room on the first floor of the HAUNTED HOUSE.


The object of the game is to find the three pieces of the magic urn and carry them back to the main entrance of the mansion, before losing all 9 of your lives. Your score is based on the number of matches you use during your search, and the number of lives you use.

The pieces of the urn are randomly scattered throughout the 24 rooms in the mansion. There are four floors, and each floor has six rooms. The floors are connected by staircases. The rooms are connected by corridors and doorways. (See GAME PLAY, Section 3 for information about doors and stairways.) Some of the doors are locked, so find the master key which is also hidden in the mansion.

Finding the urn wouldn't be so difficult, except that the mansion is dark. To enable you to see your way around, we have provided an unlimited supply of matches, which you light by pressing the red controller button (see USING THE JOYSTICK CONTROLLER Section 4).

Now that you know that you must use matches, we want to warn you about the creatures you'll encounter as you stumble through the mansion. Be prepared to see a vampire bat, hairy tarantulas and the ghost of old man Graves himself. Every time one of these creatures touches you, you'll be "scared to death", and consequently lose a life.


So far, we've told you some of the things to expect in HAUNTED HOUSE. Here is some information to help you understand the objects and characters on the screen, and the progressive levels of difficulty.


The urn is broken into three pieces. A match must be lighted to see all objects including the urn pieces. To pick up a piece of the urn, you (the eyes) must touch the piece. When you touch it, the piece appears at the bottom, right side of the screen as shown in Figure 2. The urn pieces automatically attach as you find and pick up each piece. They bond together to form the whole urn as one object. If you pick up another object, the pieces of the urn (or any other object) that you are carrying will be replaced by the new object. You will learn quickly that you can only hold one object at a time. When you have successfully put the three pieces of the urn together, you must find your way back to the main entrance of the mansion with the urn. (See FLOORPLAN, Figure 9.)


The scepter is a magic stick used to make you invisible to all creatures in the mansion. To use the scepter you must drop any other object, and pick up (touch) the scepter. As long as you hold the scepter, you cannot be "scared to death". Like all other objects, while you are holding the scepter, it appears at the bottom, right side of the screen as shown in Figure 2.


GAMES 3 through 9 include locked doors which separate some of the rooms. To open these doors you need to find the master key. It is hidden in one of the unlocked rooms. To use the key, you must pick it up (touch it). When you hold the key it appears at the bottom of the screen. Remember, while holding the key, you cannot hold any other object.


As you travel through the mansion, you'll encounter several doorways. Some may be locked and some may not (See GAME VARIATIONS). To see the doorways in Games 2 through 9, use your matches.


Tarantulas look like giant, hairy spiders. They move slowly around the mansion. If a tarantula touches you, you lose a life, unless you are carrying the scepter.


Vampire bats fly quickly around the mansion. If touched by a vampire bat, you lose a life, unless again you're carrying the scepter.


There is one very fast moving ghost in the mansion. It can move through locked doors and walls to chase you anywhere in the house. If the ghost touches you, you will get "scared to death" and lose a life. Carrying the scepter in Games 1 through 7 will protect you from the ghost.

When any creature enters the room, your lighted match is blown out, but the creature's body glows in the dark.


The game sounds in HAUNTED HOUSE provide important clues to game play.

You will hear yourself slamming into walls or locked doors. You will hear and see flashes of lightning. When you hear the wind blow, don't be surprised if it blows out your match. As you pass through doorways, you'll hear the doors open and shut. The mansion is so creaky you can hear your own footsteps as you race about the rooms. When you climb up or down stairways, you will even hear a spooky tune. As you go upstairs, the tune plays low musical notes to high notes. As you go downstairs, the tune plays high notes to low notes.


Use your Joystick Controller with this ATARI Game Program cartridge. Be sure the Joystick Controller cable is firmly plugged into the LEFT CONTROLLER jack at the back of your ATARI Video Computer System game. Hold the Joystick with the red button to your upper left, toward the television screen. See section 3 of your owner's manual for further details.

Move the Joystick up, down, right or left to move yourself (the eyes) around the house. Your eyes will move in the same direction as you move the Joystick. Press the red controller button to light a match. When you light a match, a circular area around you becomes visible. All games have an unlimited supply of matches.

To pick up an object, use the Joystick to guide yourself (the eyes) to touch the object, and it is automatically picked up. To drop an object, use the Joystick to touch another object. The two objects will automatically change places. You can also drop an object by pressing the red controller button if a match is lighted.

Use the Joystick Controller to move up or down stairways. Each stairway travels in one direction only up or down. Stairways leading down start with large steps decreasing in size. Stairways leading up start with small steps increasing in size. (see Figure 9 for FLOORPLAN and stairways.) To change floors, use the Joystick to move yourself to the end of the stairway and then move the Joystick in the opposite direction to enter the room.

Each floor is numbered and color coded. The number is located at the lower left portion of the screen as shown in Figure 2. The number changes as you move from floor to floor. The whole lower portion of the screen changes colors with each of the four floors in the house. (See Figure 9 for further information.)

[Figure 9 is in the file haunted-house.gif.]



Use the GAME SELECT switch to select the game number you wish to play. Hold the switch down until the correct game number appears in the lower left portion of the screen, as shown in Figure 10. See GAME VARIATIONS to select the game you wish to play.


When you have selected the game number, press down the GAME RESET switch to start the game. After pressing GAME RESET, the game number changes to the number of the floor you are on in the house. All games start on floor 1 at the main entrance. When the game is over, the floor number changes back to the game number.


If the LEFT DIFFICULTY switch is in the B position, periodic flashes of lightning will help you to see your way around the mansion as the creatures chase you. If the LEFT DIFFICULTY switch is in the A position, you'll have to feel your way around, listening to sounds and bumping into walls.


HAUNTED HOUSE is for one player only. The RIGHT DIFFICULTY switch is not used.


Set this switch to COLOR if you have a color television set. Set it to B-W if you are playing the game in black and white.


Your score is based on the number of matches you use and the number of lives you have left at the end of the game. The game ends when you return to the main entrance of the mansion carrying the urn, or when all 9 lives are lost.

Matches used are counted at the lower, left corner of the screen. The. first number to appear here is 00. The number then increases by one each time you light a match (see USING THE JOYSTICK CONTROLLER). The lower the number, the better your score.

Each game starts with 9 lives, indicated at the bottom, right corner of the screen. Every time you are "scared to death" (touched by a creature), you lose one life. The higher the number of lives left at the end of the game, the better. As your playing skill improves, you'll be able to find the urn faster, and use fewer matches and fewer lives.



Game 1 is the beginning level. It includes lighted walls to help you see the rooms. There are no doors, so no key is required, but you do need to light matches to see objects. Three creatures; one bat, one tarantula, and one ghost try to scare you to death.


In Game 2, the mansion is all dark, and there are unlocked doors. Three creatures, as in Game 1, attempt to scare you to death.


Game 3 is like Game 2 except that some doors are locked, but you'll find the master key in the first room you enter.


Game 4 is the same as Game 3 except that the master key is in a different location each time the game is played.


In Game 5, everything is the same as Game 4, but there are two additional tarantulas chasing you.


In Game 6, all five creatures can chase you from room to room. Only the ghost can pass through a locked door.


In Game 7, if you are touched by the bat, any object you are holding will be dropped and moved to another room in the mansion.


Game 8 is the same as Game 7, but all of the creatures move faster, and to make things even tougher, the ghost is not affected by the scepter.


This is the ultimate HAUNTED HOUSE challenge. Game 9 has the same game play as Game 8, but this time the floorplan is different and you'll find yourself in a completely different maze of rooms. For an added element of surprise, all 5 creatures can chase you from room to room, even through locked doors.


Try to find the scepter first. Hold it while you search for the urn pieces. It might help to write down the location of each of the urn pieces and then go directly to their locations and pick them up.

It is possible to move through rooms with locked doors without the use of the key. To do this you must become familiar with the floorplan and use different stairways as a way to get around locked doors. Remember, there are several stairways on each floor.

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