Ghost in the Graveyard Rules

By Tabitha Harwell

Updated September 22, 2017

Ghost in the Graveyard is both enjoyable and good exercise.
i Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

On a nice day, send the kids outside to play Ghost in the Graveyard. While the game is neither played in a graveyard nor does it involve ghosts, it's a fun game -- a cross between tag and hide and seek -- that gets children running around, laughing and interacting with each other. Penn State's The Better Kid Care Program states that imaginative play helps increase kids' perspective-taking skills.

Where to Play?

While you can play the game indoors or outdoors, it's much more pleasant and challenging to play outside. Designate a backyard, in between houses, or another spot in the neighborhhod as the playing area. Choose a space that has lots of places to hide.

Who Can Play?

To play, all you have to know how to do is run, hide and count. There should be at least three people to play the game, however, a larger group of people is more enjoyable than a smaller group. Gather the family to play after dinner or assemble the neighborhood kids to play together.

Starting the Game

Once you have chosen your playing area, set a home base. The home base is the one area where players are “safe.” Choose one person to be the ghost -- or “it." The ghost will stand at the home base, close his or her eyes and count aloud to 12 while everyone else runs and hides within the playing area. The ghost will count down by counting the time – 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock and so on until he or she reaches "midnight." When midnight strikes, the ghost will open his or her eyes and start to hunt for the other players.

Playing the Game

As the ghost searches for hidden players, the other players must make it back to home base without being tagged by the ghost. Ideally, the other players will want to reach home base without being seen. When the ghost spots another player, he or she can chase and try to tag the person, all the way to home base. Whoever is either the first person to be tagged by the ghost or is the last player to make it back to home base, will become the next ghost, and the game will begin again. This is just one of several variations of the game.