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Arkham Horror

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Quick Overview

It is the roaring 20‘s, and while there’s electricity in the air, unnatural storms are brewing as well. Strange things are happening in the small Massachusetts town of Arkham; people have gone missing, sightings of indescribable creatures grow more and more frequent. And the very air thickens with a sense of foreboding that roils like an acrid mist through the streets. 

The Ancient Ones are stirring...


Arkham Horror was originally published by Chaosium, Inc. , in  1987. This new, updated edition features stunning new artwork and graphical design (including a new gameboard, counters, cards, and playing pieces) as well as revised and expanded rules from the game's original creator, Richard Launius.

Players can select from 16 unique playable investigator characters, each with unique abilities, and will square off against the diabolical servants of 8 Ancient Ones, including Ithaqua, Hastur, and the terrible Cthulhu! No fan of the Cthulhu Mythos will want to miss the opportunity to acquire this classic Call of Cthulhu board game!

Arkham Horror is a cooperative game for 1-8 players ages 12 and up, and can be played in 2-3 hours.

Arkham Horror

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Product Description

“I recall that the people went about with pale and worried faces, and whispered warnings and prophecies which no one dared consciously repeat or acknowledge to himself that he had heard. A sense of monstrous guilt was upon the land, and out of the abysses between the stars swept chill currents that made men shiver in dark and lonely places.” - H.P. Lovecraft, “Nyarlathotep”

It is the roaring 20‘s, and while there’s electricity in the air, unnatural storms are brewing as well. Strange things are happening in the small Massachusetts town of Arkham; people have gone missing, sightings of indescribable creatures grow more and more frequent. And the very air thickens with a sense of foreboding that roils like an acrid mist through the streets. 

The Ancient Ones are stirring...

“Tell me, Ms. Goldberg,” the interviewer asked, “how do you come up with the fascinating and terrifying stories in your books?”


“I don’t make these things up,” Gloria urged. “They just come to me...in dreams. I don’t write about them for the money or fame. Those just came with it.” She stared into her coffee, frowning, as if her next words were being restrained by some mysterious force. “I write about these things to get them out of my mind.”

Designed for 1-8 players, Arkham Horror is a cooperative adventure game of survival, horror, and investigation. Players take on the role of an investigator, each with his own unique backstory, abilities, and equipment. On their own, it’s likely they won’t make it through the night. But together, these unlikely heroes might stand in the very presence of an Ancient One and live to tell the tale...if they can retain their sanity!

Arkham Horror features a unique way for players to customize their investigators. Each investigator has three groups of two skills which can be adjusted throughout the game. When you change one skill you affect the other skill in that group. So if you prefer to have extra speed, don’t expect to sneak by any enemies that turn. Balance is key. At the start every turn players will have to plan ahead when adjusting their skills so they have the right skill for the right situation.

Joe Diamond stared at the two bodies, wondering what kind of animal would have teeth that big. 


“Just find the statue, Joe,” he told himself, trying to pull his eyes away from the grisly sight. “You’ve come this far, don’t lose it now...” He tightened the grip on his gun and finally turned away, too nervous to notice the shadow that followed him.

Mystery lurks around every corner in Arkham. Unknown threats abound and investigators must discover the truth about what they face if they hope to survive. Clues are scattered throughout Arkham, and by acquiring these clues investigators will have the means to put an end to whatever powers are trying to tear their reality apart.

Monterey Jack didn’t stop pulling the trigger even after firing his last shot. His revolver clicked as the hammer fell against empty chambers. Once the smoke cleared, the robed figure was nowhere to be seen. The old professor stepped out from behind Monterey, cradling a heavy tome. 


“We want him alive!” Harvey Walters shouted, lowering Monterey’s gun. “He has the medallion!”


“He killed my father!” Monterey rounded on the old man. “I know he did!” He began loading his gun. “And I’ll pry your precious medallion from his cold, dead hands.”

Suddenly a screech sounded from the sky, causing them both to fall to the ground. When they looked up they saw black wings carrying a mass of horrendous, dark flesh.

There is no shortage of the macabre in Arkham. Investigators are pitted against the followers of the Ancient Ones, be they human or otherwise. Their enemies will not only challenge them physically, but mentally as well. Every investigator has a stamina threshold as well as a sanity threshold, representing the punishment their bodies and minds can take, respectively. 

In order to fight back, investigators have to arm themselves with whatever weapons they can find, ranging from guns to spells to enchanted relics. These items can be found  throughout Arkham, in shoppes, chance meetings, and even in alternate dimensions!

In a mysterious and desolate landscape, Mandy Thompson stared at the withered parchment, trying to make sense of the images she saw. But it was no luck. It was like staring into utter darkness; she could not comprehend what was on the page. Nor could she turn away.


“Mandy,” came a seemingly distant voice. Bob Jenkins grabbed her arm, pulling her away from whatever it was she was staring at. “Mandy! Snap out of it. We need to find a way out of here!” But even as he pulled her away, he could see that her eyes were staring at something distant. 


Bob picked her up, throwing her over his shoulder. “I’m not leaving you here.” He grabbed the map she was staring at, recognizing it from a vision he saw when they first arrived in this bizarre place.


“I’ll get us out of here.”

In order to put an end to the encroaching darkness, investigators will have to close the multiplying portals that link our world to the beyond. As the Ancient One stirs, gates will spawn all over Arkham, spilling monsters out into the streets. With enough of these gates open the Ancient One will be able to overrun Arkham and the investigators will have no hope of saving the town. 

To close these gates investigators will have to gather clues, investigate alternate dimensions, and then return to Arkham to close the gates. If they gather enough clues, they will be able to permanently seal the location so no more gates can be spawned. Enough of these seals will ensure that the Ancient One remains dormant and Arkham is saved...for the time being.

However, if the investigators are unable to close all the gates, monsters will swarm the streets and the Ancient One will grow stronger. If enough dark power gathers in Arkham, the Ancient One’s long slumber will come to a frightening end.


The device thrummed in Kate Winthrop’s hands, making more noise than usual. It sounded like it was running out of power, even though Kate knew that couldn’t be possible.

“What’s wrong with that thing?” Michael McGlen demanded, loading his tommy gun as the unnatural lightning storm overhead grew more violent. He held onto his hat as the wind nearly knocked him over.

“I don’t know!” Kate said, panicking. “It’s never done this before.” She looked up at the anomaly in the sky. “This one must be too strong. We need to get out of here!”

“Don’t have to tell me twice, kid.” Michael threw his cigar and grabbed Kate by the arm, dragging her away from her failing equipment. “Come on!”

But a deafening sound came from above and the force of an explosion knocked them to the ground. Kate looked up to see what appeared to be tentacles tearing through the blackened sky.

As havoc ensues in Arkham, the Ancient One gathers more power. With each catastrophic event, the investigators come one step closer to encountering a being so terrible and indescribable that they will be fortunate if its very presence does not completely destroy them. 

Ancient Ones serve as the main antagonists for each game of Arkham Horror, and each one changes gameplay drastically. Not only does each Ancient One have its own unique and destructive power, but their followers gain additional abilities as well. Every game of Arkham Horror provides a new experience every time, and with a growing line of expansions, players will be able to return to Arkham night after night, never playing the same game twice.

Arkham Horror hosts two types of expansions; big box expansions and small box expansions. Each expansion adds new rules and variants, providing brand new gameplay experiences. Small box expansions focus on introducing new cards and moderate changes to gameplay, giving players new weapons to fight with and new evils to fight against. Big box expansions provide players with a new cast of investigators and a new game board to expand the reach of the Ancient Ones. 

Whether you’re looking to expand your adventures in Arkham or you’re beginning to set your sights on the lurking threats in other nearby locales, Arkham Horror has the expansion for you. With countless threats, unspeakable horrors, and a shrinking chance of survival, now is the time to uncover the mysteries that plague Arkham and stand against the Ancient Ones!

Additional Information

Suggested Ages 12 and up
Number of Players 1 - 8
Year Published 2005

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