If Hide and Seek had an opposite, it would be Ghost in the Graveyard. When you play traditional Hide and Seek, everyone except one player who is ‘it’ hides, but in this version, there is only one hider and many seekers. Thanks to its simplicity, you can play Ghost in the Graveyard indoors or anywhere you have at least three players and enough space to run around and hide.
Ghost in the Graveyard is an excellent game to play during the fall ‘spooky’ season and at parties where you have lots of space outdoors or kids playing at night. The darkness adds to the game’s ambiance, but it’s not necessary. You don’t need anything to play with except people. Since you can easily scale up or down to accommodate players, you can use this game for larger groups like school classes. Best of all, anyone can learn to play in just a few minutes, and you’ll get hours of enjoyment. Here is everything you need to know about the Ghost in the Graveyard game.
What is the Ghost In The Graveyard Game?
The Ghosts in the Graveyard Game is a version of hide and seek where you have more seekers than hiders, and the ‘ghost’ who is ‘it’ is the one hiding. Once someone spots the Ghost and calls out, the ‘ghost’ tries to catch (tag) someone in their ‘graveyard.’ You can play this game with as few as three people; all you need is a space to run around with places to hide. See the rules for ghost in the graveyard below.
How to Play Ghost In The Graveyard Game: Step By Step
How do you play ghost in the graveyard?
The purpose of Ghost in the Graveyard is to have fun and run around while most players evade capture. The seekers count together at their ‘base,’ and they go ghost hunting when the count is done. Whoever spots the Ghost calls out a warning. After that, all the players must run or sneak back to base before the Ghost can get them. If the Ghost tags you, then you are it. That means you’ll be the next Ghost. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to play.
- Collect what you need first. In this case, all you need is three players. Set a boundary to how far the Ghost can go to hide, and choose a base for the ghost hunters to start at.
- Once all the hunters are at the base, they should face away from the playing area and count together loudly. Typically players count to 50 or 60, but you can adjust the amount of time based on the size of your playing field and the age of your players.
- The Ghost should run and hide while everyone else is distracted counting. Pick somewhere unexpected where you can see or hear the ghost hunters coming.
- The players should spread out and go ghost-hunting when the count is over. The goal is to be the first to find a ghost in the Graveyard.
- The first player to find a ghost should call out, “Ghost in the Graveyard!” Doing this warns everyone else that the Ghost is free and chasing anyone they can catch.
- Once someone calls out, all the players must run back to base as fast as they can.
- The Ghost has to try to tag someone so they can be the next Ghost. If they succeed, their turn is over.
Ghost In The Graveyard Rules
Ghost in the Graveyard is a fun, simple game with tons of benefits, including developing spatial awareness, patience, and cooperation. Players also get to run around and use up a lot of energy. You don’t need many rules to play, but we’ve listed some basic guidelines below.
- If the Ghost tags you, you are ‘it’ for the next round.
- The Ghost cannot change hiding places (unless you’re playing a specific variation where that is allowed).
- Always count loudly when you are a seeker so the Ghost knows you are still at the base. Being loud also helps cover up the Ghost’s movements so they can hide better.
- Never leave the boundaries of the playing field. Keeping everyone within reasonable borders is just common sense safety.
- Don’t call out until you’re sure you see the Ghost.
- Although it is not technically forbidden, don’t hide near the base very often. Not only will you get found too quickly, but the players won’t have a reasonable opportunity to get back to safety.
Ghost In The Graveyard Game Variations
Although Ghost in the Graveyard is a variation on the better-known Hide and Seek, there are also other versions of this game. The four variations listed below are designed to add difficulty, make things easier, even the playing field, or keep things pleasant for everyone. You can make up your own variation to adjust any part of the game that isn’t working for your players and space. In summer, a ghost might ‘tag’ with a water gun, or you could count for a group of very young children or even have them sing a silly, spooky song instead if they are still learning numbers. Use these variants as a jumping-off point to make your best version of Ghost in the Graveyard.
Multi-Player Ghost in the Graveyard- If you have a larger group of players, you may want to have more than one Ghost. The easiest way to accomplish this is to line people up and have them count off by fives. The first person in every group is a ghost; the rest can be seekers.
Zombie In The Graveyard- In this variation of the classic game, the ‘ghost’ is actually a ‘zombie.’ This means they can hide and still tag you from where they are concealed. There’s an extra fun creep factor in knowing that if you don’t spot the monster when you pass by, it can still ‘get’ you.
Flag-Ghost in the Graveyard- If you’re concerned players might not tag gently try playing the game flag-football style. Instead of tagging each other, players must pull off a velcroed flag from the person they are ‘catching.’
Moving Ghost in the Graveyard- This version of the game allows a ghost to move from one hiding spot to another. A sufficiently varied playing field can make for more exciting and challenging rounds. Seekers must avoid getting jump-scared by the Ghost and tagged before they can call out when you play this way.
Stacking Ghost in the Graveyard- When you play this game’s ‘stacking’ variation, a ghost can only tag one person per round. However, anyone who is tagged becomes a ghost and stays that way, hiding with the other ghosts every round. Gameplay continues until there is only one player left who isn’t a ghost.
Ghost In The Graveyard Game Tips and Tricks
Whether you use a variation with a large group of people or a classic game with a couple of friends, there are always a few things to remember that can help things stay silly while you play. Ghost in the Graveyard is one of the very few outdoor games that are even better at night so long as everyone watches their step and follows the rules. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make playing Ghost in the Graveyard safer and more fun.
- Always play in a well-lit area when playing after dark. Tripping hazards are worse at night. It’s best to avoid playing this game somewhere you have trouble seeing or where there’s a lot of debris and uneven ground. No one wants to fall in the dark.
- Call out where you see the Ghost to help other players.
- Set the base in a corner or on one side of the playing area. Doing this allows all the ghost hunters to face away from where your Ghost is hiding, so they have a fair chance of remaining undetected.
- Don’t hesitate to start running if you see the Ghost. You can call out as you move, but standing there will probably get you tagged.
- Use a smaller field for younger players. They will have more fun if they don’t have to run across a football field to get back to base. It’s also important to know that very young players, kindergarten and first grade age, may not be able to count to 50 or 100 yet.
- Don’t forget that ghost hunters can be sneaky too. Not letting the Ghost know where you are can become a significant advantage, especially if they run over to where the base is before you can get back.
If you’re looking for a Halloween or spooky-themed game for kids (or adults), there’s no better option than Ghost in the Graveyard. This overlooked and underrated game is ideal for outdoor fall festivities, but you don’t need to wait until the leaves change to play unless you want to. Ghost in the Graveyard is fun and active, but best of all, it is simple. All you need is a couple of friends and a place to play with lots of hiding spots. You can easily change things up with a variation of the game to make it easier or more challenging. Better still, Ghost in the Graveyard is easy to scale up since it doesn’t have teams. You can include new players anytime.