Candle Game™

In Old Japan, people gathered to pass long, dark evenings testing one another's nerve with the game Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai. Taking turns sharing stories of the weird, the ghostly, and the supernatural and snuffing a candle after each tale, they would continue long into the night or until, in the growing darkness, someone reached the end of their nerves and called the game off. Candle Game™ updates this old tradition, providing rules for play as well as classic stories of the weird and ghostly for players to tell. As each candle goes out, the shadows and whatever they hide press nearer…do you dare listen to one more story?


Candle Game™ Volume 1


A Gathering of Weird Tales of Old Japan

by Lafcadio Hearn



To the people of Old Japan, the barrier between our world and the world of the ghostly and supernatural was as thin as the paper of a shoji wall, with ghosts and demons and monsters crossing freely and unexpected to torment and terrify the unwary. Near the end of the nineteenth century, author and journalist Lafcadio Hearn accepted an assignment to Japan and found a lifelong home. Fascinated by the disquieting tales he discovered, he collected and translated the most striking and unnerving of them to present to western readers following Japan’s then-recent opening to the rest of the world. 

Candle Game:™ Kaidankai contains complete rules for play and features tales gathered from across the works of the legendary Lafcadio Hearn, including the eerie classic stories “A Tale of Ingwa,” “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” “The Reconciliation,” and “Hoichi the Earless.” Included as part of the game, these spooky tales can also be read on their own. But for a lone reader setting out to explore the weird and supernatural world of Old Japan, remember when reading late into the night: in Japanese tradition, the barrier between our world and the next is thinnest in the small hours of the morning…


Candle Game™ Volume 2

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

The Ghostly Tales of M.R. James

by M.R. James



The unquiet dead. Restless or malevolent, reaching across the divide between life and whatever waits on the other side, ghosts hold a unique power to chill the spine and instill fear. Near the turn of the twentieth century, scholar and educator M.R. James took the Gothic ghost story and reinvented it for the upcoming millennium with dark, sinister tales of dread and shocking surprise whose quiet subtlety not only influenced horror writers from H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, but even a century after their first publication, still hold the power to transfix, unsettle, and terrify.

Candle Game:™ Ghost Stories of an Antiquary contains complete rules for play and features tales from the legendary M.R. James, including the chilling classics “Casting the Runes,” “The Mezzotint,” and “ ‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad’ .” Included as part of the game, these eerie stories can also be read on their own, but there’s one bit of advice for a lone reader embarking on the ominous paths these disquieting tales lead through: don’t read them before bed.


Candle Game™ Volume 3

Lost Ghosts of Christmas

Forgotten Ghost Stories of the Season

by Blackwood, Stevenson, Lovecraft, et al



Lost today, for centuries winter stories—tales of the fantastic and macabre—were a requisite of the holiday season, and ghost stories by the fireside on Christmas Eve were as much a part of traditional celebrations as festively decorated trees and joyous carols. Yuletide ghost stories have grown to be forgotten, remembered now only dimly through annual retellings of the tribulations of Dickens' Ebenezer Scrooge at the hands of four Christmas ghosts. Yet in the season when dark nights are their longest and coldest and the upcoming new year turns thoughts to reflect on the past, what more natural atmosphere could there be for the ghostly to reach out and make itself known?

Candle Game:™ Lost Ghosts of Christmas contains complete rules for play and features tales of Christmas frights from some of the greatest writers of the weird and macabre, including the chilling classic stories “Smee,” “The Shadow,” “The Old Portrait,” and “Their Dear Little Ghost.” Included as part of the game, these spooky tales can also be read on their own or shared as they were meant to be— in front of a flickering fire on a cold Christmas Eve, to later conjure perhaps visions of something other than sugar plums once all are nestled all snug in their beds …


Candle Game™ Volume 4


Tales of Mystery and Horror

by Edgar AllAn Poe



Madness and death have forever haunted the dark corners of the human experience, those places of death and decay where we all fear most to gaze too long. And it was in those very dark places Edgar Allan Poe peered and beckoned readers to join him. With a poet’s gift for words, a philosopher’s embrace of ambiguity, and a graverobber’s eye for the gruesome, Poe dissected the gothic fiction that had been mushrooming for decades and stitched it back together into something similar but more…disturbing. 

Candle Game:™ Nevermore contains complete rules for play and features tales from the unmatched master  Edgar Allan Poe, including his chilling classics “The Cask of Amontillado,” “Morella,” “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”  Included as part of the game, these dark stories of madness, gruesome murder, and the preternatural can also be read on their own, but when reading, always remember: If you stare too long into the darkness,  it has time to stare back into you...




Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio

Weird Stories of the Ghosts and Spirits of Classical China

BY Pu Songling, et al; Translated by Herbert A. Giles, George Soulié, Frederick H. Martens

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In classical China, ghosts were considered as real as the trees or hills or wind. Decisions concerning everything from construction of homes and buildings to the course of the roads winding through the countryside were made considering the impact that could result from unsettling or angering the spirits. To avoid the risks of drawing the attention of the otherworldly, the people carefully maintained customs and shared stories of the supernatural with one another as reminders...and warnings.

Candle Game:™ Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio contains complete rules for play and features tales such as Pu Songling’s classics “The Painted Skin,” translated by Herbert Giles, and “Deceiving Shadows,” translated by George Soulié, as well as folktales including “The Story of Ming-Y” from Lafcadio Hearn. Included as part of the game, these eerie stories can also be read on their own. But when exploring this strange and unsettling supernatural world, keep one thing in mind: These cautionary tales were recounted in China for centuries—what happenings made ongoing warnings so necessary?




Being a Miscellany of Curious, Ghastly, and Phantasmic Tales from the Era of the Reign of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Victoria

BY Rudyard Kipling, Algernon Blackwood, Charlotte Perkins GIlman, et al


A GOlden Age…of Darkness

More than any other period, the Victorian era is known best by the dark tales of horror, mystery, and the supernatural that were defined—and many would argue perfected—at the time. It was the age of Gothic horror, delivered on yellowing newsprint to readers hungry for the dark foreboding and ghastly details in the stories of fiends, vampires, monsters, and ghosts found in the innumerable “penny dreadfuls” published in the day.

Candle Game™ Phantasmagorical contains complete rules for play and features tales of horror and dread from some of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, including the disquieting classics “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Yellow Wall-Paper” as well as masterworks from Rudyard Kipling, Ambrose Bierce, and Saki. Included as part of the game, these spooky tales can also be read on their own. But for best effect, delve into them as the Victorians did: alone, by flickering lamplight, in a quiet, empty, old house where even the slightest sound may be something unknown awaiting you in the dark…