The Rules of Ghost in the Graveyard

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Ghost in the Graveyard is played with three or more friends in any outdoor area. It is especially fun at night in the dark. The object of the game is to find the ghost – a player who is hiding. The player who finds the ghost’s hiding spot, yells “Ghost in the Graveyard” to alert the other players. The player who finds the ghost is safe. All the other players must race back to base. The ghost tries to tag someone before they do and that player is IT for the next game.

To start:

Select a base for all the players to run to when the ghost is found. There should be a designated spot they have to touch to be safe from the ghost.

Determine the neighborhood boundaries for the game and make sure all the players understand that this is where the ghost must hide. The ghost may not hide inside and any player who goes inside during a game is automatically IT.

Who is IT?

One player is selected to be IT or the ghost. That player runs and hides within the boundaries. To determine the first person IT, players put their feet in a circle. One leader uses a rhyme to disqualify players until only player is left. The leader touches one foot in the circle for each word. Here is an example:

“Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish. How many pieces do you wish?”

The player’s foot the leader lands on gets to pick a number. The leader counts out that number and then says “…and you are out.” The player that is landed on for the final word is safe and does not have to be IT. The rhyme continues until only one person is left – that player is the first ghost.

Playing the Game:

To start a new game, all the players must close their eyes and count down from 50. Everyone yells, “ready or not, here we come” and the game begins. The players run and search for the ghost.

Players search the yards for the ghost. The player that finds the ghost’s hiding spot yells out “Ghost in the Graveyard” as loud as possible. The player that finds the ghost is safe. All the other players race back and touch base.

The ghost chases players as they return to base and must tag one player, who becomes the ghost for the next game. If all the players return to base before the ghost tags anyone, the ghost is IT again.

Once everyone is back to base and the ghost has been determined, players start to count, the new ghost runs to hide and the game begins again.

It is important to hide well and draw all the players away from base as they search. If a player yells “Ghost in the Graveyard” to the wrong person, they are automatically IT.

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