Picking the right monsters for "haunted house"



Hi everyone,

I am GMing a next session this week and party decided to pursue rumors about old "haunted" mansion inside the city. I have managed some story for now, it's mostly focused around single individual who murdered his own family and gained new not so "live" family. This new family of dead and living creatures operated inside the city and needs some not so undead operatives to keep it flowing, so I am searching for some creatures that might work well with undead.

The party is currently level 1, but I might bump them to level 2 for this. "Haunted house" at level 1 seems a bit too challenging but in either case, creatures with CR from 1-4 would suffice. Suggestions and ideas are also welcome.

Thanks for responses,


Use more "haunts" than monsters for low levels. You can grab the Carrion Crown #1 PDF and look at the Harrowstone encounters for good ideas on low level haunts and monsters.

Skeletons, zombies, burning skeletons are all level one encounters.

You don't even need a necromancer. Have the serial killer be level two-three and have the house filled with necromancy runes in the basement that raise dead in the home. Maybe the killer didn't even realize they were there as he lost his mind. But definitely have the killer where the runes are so they don't stumble onto them and ruin your encounter (if that's the way you go).

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Undead barbershop quartet?

I 2nd Haunts, they are very effective to put players on edge (since they can't just solve it with sword to the face, like they usually do).

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Assassin vines (good as lair guardians)
Dark Stalkers (various)
Derro (for abducting food)
Evil clerics (low-level, preferably something with the trickster domain to infiltrate Neutrally aligned gods' temples)
Goblins (great at stealth, darkvision, expendable)
Mindslaver Mold
Mites (and by association, various types of vermin)
Wax Golem/Sentient Wax Golem
Werebat (may think it's a vampire and scare off intruders)
Witches (hex channelers)

Scarab Sages

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Gearghosts are wonderful for this sort of thing. They're higher CR, but in and of themselves, they're very weak (slams for 1d4-2 damage), it's what they do that is basically adjustable to every level. They can reset traps as a move action. I once built a really freaky and effective dungeon that was filled with dozens of traps that had already been sprung. Once the characters got to the center, they realized that the traps were being reset behind them and they were trapped.


I did plan to use several haunts, mostly for the atmosphere and less for their effects. A cadaver as a single enraged brother, a ghost of main villain, a intelligent undead of his mother (haven't decided which one), and several other "pets". This is core of their family. They are similar to a "Adam's Family" series/films, but with evil motives behind them.

I also maybe didn't mention but, entire manor/house is based around medieval japanese style (Tien).

May I suggest an Attic Whisperer?

Wonderfully creepy monster with a child-like vibe.

An attic whisper gives the house a darker history if someone realizes how they come into existence.

A gearghost is CR 5, but a "weak" one(reverse the Advanced template) brings it to CR 4 and explains all those weird traps.

Undead ninja'd!


@Dreaming Psion

Most of those creatures aren't quite what I want, but gremlins and werebat might be good picks for it. I am aiming a bit for specific not so unusual "dungeon" types. It's quite possible for villain to approach the party to switch their allegiance to them.


That's actually brilliant idea. I did plan to put a ghost, but one who is more there to scare the party, not to engage with them.

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A few of the smaller and more malicious, corrupted, or chaotic fey (atomies, gremlins,grigs, leprechauns, quicklings, skin stealers, tooth fairies, or even evil pixies) can mimic (and therefore pass for) a lot of hauntings all by themselves. Plus their stealth, enchantment, and illusion abilities to infiltrate the outside world and spy or bring back supplies.

Also, if you're doing an Addams Family vibe, you have to have crawling hands somewhere. A particularly hairy Korred could pass for Cousin It. And I imagine Uncle Fester could make for a mean bomb-chucking alchemist.

Edit: Oh, I didn't see that. You're looking for dungeon type monsters? I'd say a mimic might work, seems like they would be good lair guardians (remember they can be other things besides chests- coffins, vases, nightstands, hatracks,

Poltergeists (CR 2) could work too.

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There are no undead. The "villain" is an illusionist who is trying to make the house appear haunted to lower the property value at the behest of a rich employer who wants the property, but not at its current price. They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for the meddling party.

Starfinder Superscriber

Chaoseffect, that is an awesome idea! I'm going to use that in something soon.


@dreaming psion

Some great advices. I think I have enough ideas for now. Some minor evil fey fits right in.


Great idea, but unfortunately it would require more creative approach. I will reserve it for later use though :)

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