So there are either a bunch of new stations out on cable or there are a bunch of new stations on my cable now. These new stations have some pretty cool shows. One that has caught my family’s attention - Amish Haunting. These are some pretty creepy stories. Witches, haunted dolls, haunted furniture, possessions, and more! Why do you care? Because these stories really translate to fantasy games. You know with the Amish, you never have to worry about the ghosts possessing phones or TVs.
But I want to give you one that I “made my own”. (I think all game masters need to find ideas and then make them their own - not plagiarize.) This isn’t from Amish Haunting, but one of those other ones. The party will need to contain someone who can do something about ghosts, or act as bodyguards for someone who can. Most games rely only on priests, but others may have mediums, channelers, or other spiritualists.
The spiritualist is asked to come to the home of a well-to-do family because there is poltergeist activity. From time to time, the “feeling” in the house gets very tense and eventually items start flying around. When the mother was hit in the head with a large bowl, the father had to act. After meeting with the owners, the father admits that he knows who the ghost is. His great uncle (a rather tense and extreme business man in his time) was killed in the house when burglars broke in and threatened the family. The family has known that since that time, his ghost has haunted the house.
Getting rid of the great uncle will require finding where his ghost hides out during the day. It happens that the uncle was a warrior and his armor is in the attic (not easily found). Once the armor is found, it can be exorcized (or whatever your game calls it). He will not go easily. He will fight and howl and scream, but he will be banishable. The party then goes home with the reward. Yippie!
Not so fast. The next night - right at midnight or whatever witching hour is in your world - every piece of furnishing not held down rises into the air and tornadoes through the first floor. You thought things were bad before; they are beyond horrible now. It may take two nights, but the father is going to demand that the party and the spiritualist get back into the house and fix the problem “they caused”. Their reputation, and probably their freedom since the father is distantly related to the nobles of the land, is now in jeopardy.
So what’s the secret? The house’s builder (generations ago) killed his wife and committed suicide in the home. He’s been the evil presence here ever since. When he was getting ready to cause trouble (the feeling of tension), the spirit of the great uncle would come out and protect the family. While he was frequently overwhelmed by the power of the home builder, he did prevent this enormous outbreak. But now he’s been banished and the evil spirit is fully loose. And he’s not going to be as easy to get rid of as the great uncle was. You need to figure out what they need to do to get rid of this guy, but remember that meanwhile this spirit is going to be throwing every piece of loose furniture it can get its ghostly hands on.
I think the solution is (but I think you should come up with your own): the evil spirit is tied to the cornerstone of the house, since he laid it. You can’t remove the cornerstone without destroying the house, so they need to lay some manner of blessing on the cornerstone. They also need to take the armor to the great uncle’s grave site and put him back into it so he can protect the house.
Not every ghost story lends itself to an adventuring party mission, but with a little help, some of them do. Make them, or this one, your own!