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Random Rooms to Build a Haunted House

Random Rooms to Build a Haunted House

Building a haunted house for a fantasy RPG is about setting the tone. Rooms should feel eerie, spooky, and at times unnerving. You’ll have set up a few big battles with the creatures you love, but this table helps complete the contents of the rooms in a haunted house scenario. Roll 3d8, one for each column, and use it for as many rooms as you need.

Have fun with the results you get for each room. When a result seems incongruous, ask yourself why it could be like that and embrace the strangeness. It can yield an even more eerie space for your players.

Want to get creepier? You Find Yourself in a Haunted House sets the stage for more horrific adventure!

1KitchenGhostMurder Scene
2LibrarySpectral Elemental Sentient Mundane Object
3ParlorTalking CrowLiving Painting
4BedroomUndead of a Previous FoeMirror
5Dining RoomConstruct of Common ItemsSea Shell
6Closet/StorageShadowBrass Lantern
7StudyDisembodied VoiceRug or Tapestry
8WorkshopOther ExplorersLiving Chimney and Fireplace


These common rooms in mansions and estates can contains elements to make players and the PCs uneasy.

A kitchen is filled with sharp objects but also many cabinets, lots of places for an occupant or object. When players explore one cabinet another opens by itself.

The library is filled with arcane information, but each book continues a strange narrative as they read through the tomes. Books float off the shelves.

The parlor is the greeting room for guests, so it should echo dangerous and violent meetings in the past. Strange smells or stains have no clear source.

Bedrooms offer a variety of opportunities—clues about creepy stories of the past and evidence left of future events.

The dining room holds events often tinged with tension. The room holds this tension in sentient artifacts that echo past events.

Closets and other storage rooms are great opportunities to give the heroes weapons and tools that appear valuable but bear terrible curses.

The study is where the house’s owner worked and kept their most personal secrets, guarded by traps and guardians.

A workshop is anything from a metal forge to a sewing room. The tools might still be imbued with the spirits of previous occupants.


A ghost could hate the invading PCs and attacks, or perhaps doesn’t know it’s dead and goes about its usual tasks from life. 

A spectral elemental is a remaining spirit of someone who died in a fire or flood, and is now embedded in an elemental force. Use an elemental stat block but give it the personality of the deceased victim.

The trick to making a crow effective in a haunted house is to have these creatures do unexpected things to throw the players off. The crow could watch the PCs, then speak with a cryptic message. This can be off-putting if they speak in verse.

Including the undead of a previously defeated foe ties into the PC’s adventure history, and it’s especially disturbing if the PCs destroyed the corpse, yet the undead is mysteriously here. Use a stat block of an undead creature of appropriate level for the party.

A construct created from common items is driven by the spirit of a creature who died in the room. The construct could be the animated clothes of the being or broken pieces of furniture acting as a creature. Use the stat block of a golem of appropriate CR for the party. 

A shadow doesn’t refer to a creature stat block but an actual shadow. The PCs enter the room which has a lit candle, casting their shadows on a wall. As they move around, they realize their shadows aren’t moving with them. The shadow could also be a creature’s shadow with no corresponding creature in the room or the shadow of a creature long departed.

A disembodied voice comes from some object in the room or even having no obvious origin. The voice can repeat a phrase or react to what the PCs say in response or what they do in the room.

Other explorers are NPC(s) exploring the house just as the PCs are. To make this more disturbing, the NPC could be from ages past who don’t realize the current year, or they have been exploring the house for centuries and can’t find a way out.

Spooky Objects

The murder scene shows the blood, broken items and claw marks of a death struggle. When combined with ghosts, shadows or voices the occupants are either tied to the murder scene or reliving it. When combined with other explorers, each party assumes the other did the heinous deed.

The sentient object, such as a book, a rug, or a pot, is intelligent and reacts to the characters’ actions. it may talk, move, or fly. 

A living painting is a living creature. The subject of the painting is alive. The subject is constrained to the boundaries of the artwork, but can move within the space and even reach out into the room. 

When first looking at the mirror the PCs see a proper reflection, but as they move, their reflection moves in different directions. Alternately, have the reflection age as the characters watch, slowly fading to a corpse. 

The sea shell is a decoration on a shelf, but it holds a message. When combined with a ghostly occupant, it repeats a message in opposition to the spirit, that the spirit is a deadly killer or hides a ghastly past. If other explorers are about, each party hears a message that the other party are dangerous criminals.

A brass lantern casts an illusion of a ghastly bit of the history of the house. It could instead function once as a useful magic item, giving a bonus to attack rolls or similar. After the first function, it reveals its curse, feeling heavier every few turns, giving disadvantage on various saves or attack rolls. 

The rug or tapestry makes anyone touching it fear another random person in the room unless they make a successful WIS save. If the feared subject interacts with the victim in any way, the subject loses use of a finger to paralysis. Each additional round, the feared subject loses use of another body part until the rug or tapestry is destroyed.

The living fireplace hates the player characters and actively seeks to harm them. The fireplace cannot move, but uses increasingly dangerous magical effects such as thunder, fire, or smoke, each round shouting to reveal something about the target of their attack that they conceal from their party members. 

about Jason Campbell

Jason Campbell is the creator and lead writer at the RPG site shadomain.com which publishes articles, reviews, interviews and news weekly. He is the author of adventures for various RPG systems. He started playing RPGs with Basic Dungeons & Dragons in 1981 and has played and written for many RPGs. 

1 thought on “Random Rooms to Build a Haunted House”

  1. Cassiopeia Nebula

    “Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the oddly pristine bedroom, except for the fiery, moaning soul rattling against the confines of its prison – the small, brass lantern hanging just over the bed.”

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