- Benjamin Plener as Jonathan Hall
- Laura Vandervoort as Nadine Platt
- Kiel Campbell as Noah
- Sarah Osman as Annie
- Dara Perlmutter as Little Girl
- Andrew Alfsen as Sea Captain
- Don MacQuarrie as Fisherman
- Jessica Booker as Old Lady
- Lindsay Murrell as Girl
- Evan Noble as Boy
The episode is almost entirely different from the original short story. Nadine and Jonathan are going to a pep rally when they encounter a little girl crying in front of an old house that is clearly abandoned. She tells them she is crying because her cat ran inside the old house and won't come out. Nadine and Jonathan kindly agree to go inside the old house to find the little girl's cat for her. Inside, the two find the haunted house game and decide to play it, only to get magically sucked into it. Forced to play the game if they wish to escape alive (at least according to the written instructions they are given), Nadine and Jonathan meet Noah and Annie, two other children who tell them they have been sucked into the game as well.
After surviving many terrifying encounters with various ghosts and deadly traps, they find their way to the exit, only to have Noah and Annie turn out to be evil ghosts who inform Nadine and Jonathan they are going be turned into new pieces for their haunted house game, which they have been playing with their visitors all along. When the two ghosts start arguing on which of them actually won, and whether the game was played fairly, Nadine and Jonathan manage to trick them by using their own rules against them, and thus escape from the house. The episode ends with two more children meeting the little girl crying about her cat inside the house and agreeing to go in to find it. As they enter the house, the little girl looks after them, grins, and snickers.
Differences from the story
- The story revolved around the characters playing a board game where the things that happen in the game also happen in reality. The episode has them getting trapped inside a giant board game, the exact opposite of the story's plot.
- In the story, Annie and Noah are Jonathan's younger siblings while in the episode, they are evil ghosts haunting the game.
- Jonathan and Nadine play the board game during a thunderstorm in the story while in the episode, they are lured into an old house under the ruse to help find a little girl's lost cat.
- The episode ends with Jonathan and Nadine escaping the game and the little girl luring two other kids into the old house while the story ends with Jonathan and the other children realizing they are ghosts stuck in a permanent loop, playing the board game again as the rules are different every time.
"The Haunted House Game" was released on DVD on September 6, 2005, as the second episode on Scary House. It was included in a 3-Pack Thriller DVD on August 26, 2014.
|Title||Release date||Media type|
|September 6, 2005||DVD|
|August 26, 2014||DVD|
- Laura Vandervoort, who played Nadine in this episode, went on to play Sheena in next season's episode, "Deep Trouble". Years later, she played Kara-El (Supergirl) on the TV series Smallville.
- Benjamin Plener (Jonathan) played Roger in season one's "Welcome to Camp Nightmare".
- Kiel Campbell (Noah) played Eddie in season two's "You Can't Scare Me!".
- Noah and Annie turning out to be ghosts is possibly a reference to the twist ending of the short story, where it turns out that them, along with the protagonists, have been dead for years.
- One of the action cards uses the line "in for a scare." This is a reference to the Goosebumps tagline "Reader/Viewer beware, you're in for a scare!"