Haunted House (Gottlieb, 1982)

Haunted House

Pinside rating

This game received 211 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.524 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #143 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.478

Artwork: 8.244

Sounds/Music: 6.548

Other Aspects: 7.564

Rating comments

There are 106 rating comments for this game.

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 6 of us have rated this game.


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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 106 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 106 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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78 days ago
Very cool classic with ambitious design for its time. Three levels, so many flippers... This thing is cool!

Like others have pointed out, Black Hole is a similar pin in the same time period that plays smoother. That said, the theme and three levels make Haunted House a fun early SS to explore and enjoy.
6 months ago
Played this machine at the Museum of Play in Rochester when I lived up in NY. I absolutely love the triple playfield and the theme is amazing. I may be a tad bias as I love most things horror themed and this machine has probably one of the best backglass in pinball. I wonder if anyone could remake this pin with a Haunted Mansion theme?
10 months ago
This game plays like a pachinko machine with flippers. The ball doesn’t stay on any of the three levels long enough to do anything and there really isn’t much to do anyway. I wasn’t a huge fan of Black Hole either although I would say it’s a better play than HH. I would have called the game abandoned house as there isn’t really much haunting the house...it’s pretty empty in there - a bit of dusting and you’ve got a pretty nice tri level house. I think this game had huge potential, just didn’t make it in my opinion.
1 year ago
I will say some nice things about Haunted House before I trash it. (Can you trash a haunted house? I mean, it's already infested with ghosts, right?)

First off, of course the triple playfield has to be noted. Everybody should place this game a few times just to feel the experimentation. Gottlieb had a hit with two levels with Black Hole, why not try three? Give them credit for trying here.

In addition to Black Hole, the obvious point of comparison is Black Knight, from which Haunted House took no small inspiration for the upper playfield, right down to the impossibly steep and short ramp.

Implicit in a lot of negative reviews, I think, are machines that took the "spooky house" theme and did it much better later -- Elvira, Scared Stiff, Monster Bash, and perhaps the two Dracula machines (one before, one after). So maybe an unfair comparison in some ways, but one I bet a lot of people make unconsciously.

The basic artwork is actually pretty decent and clean - you get the three levels, looking like a downward architectural rendition of sorts, and a nice simple Psycho-like glowing green house in the backglass with match cabinet artwork.

The main problem with the theme was -- it's an empty house. There are no ghouls or freaks to pop out at you, as it were, so it's almost as if they never quite finished the concept.

And, the great pleasure of popping between levels notwithstanding, as one other reviewer put it, there's a lot to shoot at but not a lot of reasons to shoot at anything in particular.

Throw in some problems: the extraneous lower pair of flippers (which are pointless), the off center lower bumper (an odd Gottlieb trademark of the era, but one just adding pain, not fun, to a game on the left side), a really impossible far upper left reach shot, and target banks that don't have a lot of natural bounce patterns.

My sense is they built the triple playfield but then got exhausted and didn't do as much play testing as they should have, in the end. It just plays a lot duller than it really ought to in the end, given the three dimensionality of the machine.
1 year ago
I remember playing this when new, wow three levels! Other raters compare to Black Hole, I can see why but Haunted House is its own game and still around four decades later is on my wish list.
1 year ago
I find it hard to believe this game is ranked so low in the list. I mean you have three playfields on the same game!!! This game probably has my favorite back glass designs, I sometimes leave this one turned on just to see the glass, it really pops with led’s. The problem with this game is the main field doesn’t have a lot to offer but but treating all 3 fields as 1, there is more than enough to keep me interested...I like this game in attract mode more than just about any other pin I’ve owned ... it even has a susan b Anthony dollar slot!!!
1 year ago
Compared to similar games (eg Black Hole)... I like the theme on this, so my preference is skewed. Great music, great theme, good game for sure.
1 year ago
Beautiful game and draws in a crowd every time. Lastability isn't there for me. It has a lot of main playfield dead space and not a lot to shoot for. That being said. Its great for practicing with different types of flippers and angles and has some very tight long skill shots.
1 year ago
One of those pins whose aggregate is more than the sum of individual parts for me. Just a straight up fun pinball. Yes it's slow compared to modern fair, it's easy to get to all levels of the game, and at the end of the day you are really just there to rack up as many points as possible, but if you want a deep goal oriented game then you aren't looking at anything before 1991 anyway. No spinner but there are loop shots with triggered sound that yield the same satisfaction, and the basement while easy to get to is hard to complete. Pinball should be fun and this is just about the epitome of the art when looking at it from that perspective. Another 80's classic from the golden era of pinball. Since shorter ball times are starting to come back in vogue there will be a resurgence in interest of pins from this era, though this one itself has remained a classic through the changing fads.
1 year ago
All that is missing is the multi ball version and this would be one of my favorite machine
1 year ago
Haunted House is a must have for Gottlieb's collectors, nevertheless this pinball has a little taste of non completion. Indeed, voice (SC01) is missing and there is no multiballs.
It is clear that at the time, Gottlieb had already begun to seriously reduce production costs.
1 year ago
I don't understand the hype for this pin. "Black Hole" was a better game because it kept things basic. A couple years later, we got "Haunted House" from Gottlieb and, holy crap, there are THREE playfields. Multiple playfields aren't a bad thing...but with this game, it is. The lower playfield is just a rehash of "Black Hole" and it's not clear what point it has (it's called "The Basement", apparently...but it doesn't feel like it is) and the upper playfield is just a giant "no". The flippers on that particular field take some getting used to but even when you do, there's no real flow. The overall "theme" doesn't even feel like a haunted house. The playfield looks like it belongs in a circus-themed pin and there's no eerieness to be found except for the one organ tune that plays on repeat just like all of Gottlieb's early games. Could have been better.
1 year ago
What a fun game. The artwork is epic, the playfield art go with the theme so we'll and are masterfully drawn. Probably the best I've seen. The back glass is awesome too with the lightning interacting with the attract mode. The back glass art is also a work of art and fit the theme so we'll. The music is AWESOME, sure it gets a bit repetitive but as to be expected from a game made in 1982. The lighting is very good too, super bright in the basement when the ball drops down. A lot to shoot for although I can see why people would say there's wasted space. The ball does make it to the basement maybe more than needed .....but hey that's what makes this game so much fun to play. Overall a awesome game with epic artwork and music that's tons of fun to play. I think with the multiball conversion it would blow black hole into a different multiverse.
1 year ago
This Machine Ranks #3 on my List. Very fun and challenging game. Play it quite often on Pinball Arcade.
2 years ago
Very nice looking and playing machine. Backglass lightning effects are great. Three levels of fun. Its just a fun machine all around. One of the great Gottliebs.
2 years ago
Haunted House is a unique, tri-level flipperfest that doesn't have much mercy for newbies. The layout is a little off, and there are some feature placements that just don't make much sense - a lot of action in the upper PF left, not much on the right. The raised PF is okay - but the lower PF "Basement" is the most challenging. Unfortunately, there wasn't much keeping me at this table, though I wouldn't say it was a bad game.

I'd like to have an HH someday, but it is down the list. Worth a short road trip (3 hrs or less), but not worth actively hunting for.
2 years ago
It's always broken at PHOF when I am there, so have barely played a live one, not a huge fan of it, prefer Black Hole.

The flipper play in the raised area and lower area just feel very clunky to me.
2 years ago
Classic Gottlieb solid state pin. Everything that black hole was, but better.
2 years ago
The #2 tri-playfield behind Elektra. I believe this is a desirable game among beginning collectors. It's defiantly cool that the physically moves between the playfields and that it has the inverted flippers and that it has "secret" passage ways to the lower PF.
The rules are quite simple and its fun for a quite a few plays. It lasted in my collection a bit longer than I expected, probably because I had it sitting next to Black Hole and I spread my time among many other titles.
I could see the novelty wearing off quickly in a small collection.
If you ever buy one. Make sure it's been gone through! System 80 is not for the novice repair tech.
2 years ago
Fun 3 level game (only one!). Artwork is very good. Iconic backglass. Simple rules that are fun. If it had multiball and speech it would have been mind boggling fun. BH wins out for me but this game is no slouch if well maintained.
2 years ago
I have never liked the lower play field, could be just too confusing for me
2 years ago
My oldest machine, I still play it on a regular basis. One of the coolest games of that time. 3 play fields,and beautiful back glass.
3 years ago
One of the best looking and sounding classics ever. Unique playfield too. Love it.
3 years ago
Fun, challenging and perhaps the best art package from an era when hand drawn art was everywhere. A great game for a mid size collection.
3 years ago
One of the stronger Gottlieb System 80 titles from the 1980s.
Definitely the best well known, next to Black Hole, but Black Hole edges this game game out due to depth with its multiball lock system and additional challenges.

Artwork is exceptional, particularly the backglass with the hidden "lightning bolt strikes".

Playfield was revolutionary at the time due the backwards level play or lower level "spider web" playfield.
The baseline music tune of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor will stick in your mind after you get done playing.

Relatively fast game for its size as well, especially with the kickers.
The trapdoor and center rollover targets to the basement were always a nice touch.

When the game was introduced, it was a complete $#@$@ to maintain.
Operators really hated it.
All sorts of electronic problems due to the edge board connections and lack of ground mods on coils.
Up kicker from the basement still can be an "Achilles heel" if not fixed correctly.
Overall, a solid game and nostalgia at its finest, but it is one heavy monster to move around.

Make sure you LOCK that main playfield with STRAPS or a WOODEN LOCK BOX when working on the lower playfield or you will be in for a nasty surprise!
There are 106 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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