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Haunted House

Pinside rating

This game received 221 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 7.594 /10


Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #140 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.

Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.559

Artwork: 8.262

Sounds/Music: 6.636

Other Aspects: 7.656

Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) staff & moderators rate this game. 7 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 111 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 111 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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17 days ago
Spooky fun that endures and keeps you wanting to play more
7 months ago
I've always have had very conflicting feelings about Haunted House. The 3-level layout, especially when I discovered this machine as a kid, blew my socks off. The music and sound effects, are in my opinion some of the best themed and beautifully addictive of any pin out there, albeit a bit repetitive at times. The uniqueness of the layout always makes me feel like I'm playing a very special machine. However, the game play itself can be kind of slow and boring, spending a lot of time watching the ball rolling around. The music at the end of the game was so good at seducing me to put one more quarter in the machine, but the slow game play afterward made me wonder why I hadn't saved my quarter and moved on to another machine.
9 months ago
First I'll get out of the way that I'm not a real big fan of upper playfield games, but I actually do like lower playfield games(or at least the idea of them). I know this might not make a lot of sense, but its because I feel a lot of the upper playfield games really lack any sense of flow or amazing shots. Black Knight is one of the few that has rewarding shots... But, this is my review for haunted house. SO with that disclaimer out of the way lets get on with the review.
I like to generally talk about art first. This has a great overall art package that really enhances the theming of the table. The backglass is really nice, the cab art is unique and good(especially for the era that it was made in), and while the playfield art is simplistic it works. It really sets the tone that you're in the haunted house.
And as such there are three areas the attic(upper playfield), the main lobby(main playfield), and the basement(lower playfield). Its a unique and different design, and so that is always good. But, I just don't feel personally there are many satisfying shots. I'm not saying this game isn't fun to shoot. I'm just saying there is not a single shot that wows me after I make it.
The rules... I won't lie. I really don't understand them all that much. I just aim for stuff and shoot the flashing lights. And I generally pride myself in learning games codes... But, this one still eludes me.
Speaking about the code. No multi ball. This game would be cool with MB... I know some people do an add on for it. But, stock factory is what I am reviewing. I really think this game would be awesome with MB.
The music also plays into the theme and has some nice creepy classical music. The only downside is once you hit a switch and trigger a sound effect, the music starts over, and over, and over again. That's fine... For the most part, because it has a building/looping quality to it. I like the sound effects and they fit.
So while no really cool toys, the main gimmick is the three level layout. And as I said, its a unique layout... But, for me lacks excitement. Still it is fun for me for short bursts. Galloping ghost has one and I don't always play a game on it when I am there. And if I do play on it, I generally only play for couple of games and move on. I don't hate the game, I do enjoy it. Just it doesn't get my pulse racing like some of the other games. But, I do respect what it did for pinball, as I do consider it a classic. Would I ever want to own one... I don't know. These games are a bit heavy and if I have room for 50 games... Perhaps. But, more than likely its a game I'd be content with just playing whenever I come across it in the wild.
But, its a looker, and its a unique shooting experience. So I can understand why some people might love this game.
1 year ago
Three levels, Eight flippers, they don't make em like this anymore. Haunted House is a truly unique game. One of my absolute favorites.
1 year ago
The best of the System 80(s) in my opinion. 8 flippers and 3 levels. This game is tough and I like tough. Speech is over rate. This title is fine with plain old music and sound effects.
1 year ago
Creepy atmosphere, perfect to play on Halloween, the music sounds like an atari 2600 game (and I love that). The backglass is one of the best ones I have seen so far, it's a hard table, mostly because the ball can drain to the left outer lane or to the right spot at the left side of the lower right flipper. I managed to make 2.5 million points, I am glad I can enjoy this table and being good at the same time.
1 year ago
For an older game, this one sure has a lot of stuff going on and a lot of shots. I love having an upper and lower playfield. I love the double lower flippers. I think the only thing I didn't like was the flipper controls because it was a little misleading at first which flippers in the upper and lower playfields were controlled by which buttons. The game is a fairly decent speed game given its age. Overall it was really fun to experience playing this.
1 year 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.
2 years 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?
2 years ago
game is ok had it for 2 months before i traded it for Johnny mnemonic bc it just had no flow .
2 years 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’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.
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
2 years 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!!!
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
2 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years 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.
3 years ago
This Machine Ranks #3 on my List. Very fun and challenging game. Play it quite often on Pinball Arcade.
3 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.
3 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.
4 years ago
Classic Gottlieb solid state pin. Everything that black hole was, but better.
4 years ago
The #2 tri-playfield behind Elektra. I believe this is a desirable game among beginning collectors. It's defiantly cool that the ball 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.
There are 111 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 5.

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