Christmas Horror anyone? Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is out!

Get it from here The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor by Stefan Vogt

The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is an award-winning interactive horror from Stefan Vogt, the acclaimed author of Hibernated and The Curse of Rabenstein. Hey, that’s me :smiley:

(Screens taken from the Commodore Amiga version)

Take on the role of novelist Thomas King and his wife Cora as they move into a remote Scottish manor house, just days before Christmas 1986. Seeking inspiration for his next book, Thomas begins to explore the history of Blackwood Manor, only to uncover a dark secret that dates back centuries to the days of the Great Scottish Witch Hunts.

The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor is a complex interactive fiction piece written in Infocom’s advanced Z-machine format XZIP. The game has three different endings, a bad, a neutral and a good ending, depending on the player’s choices. It is very likely that the player, on a first playthrough, will not reach the good ending, even though it is possible. Reaching the bad or neutral ending first is part of the experience and helps the player understanding the true intentions of some of the NPCs and the impact of decisions made, so they may be reconsidered.


The game is available for Commodore 64, Spectrum +3, Spectrum Next, Amstrad CPC and PCW, Commodore Amiga, Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Atari ST, MS-DOS, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron, Commodore 128, Mega65, MSX 1 and MSX 2, Commodore Plus/4, SAM Coupé, TRS-80 Model III, TRS-80 Model 4, classic Macintosh and modern PC. For playing the game on a modern machine, a .z5 file is provided, which allows you to run the game in a Z-machine interpreter of choice like Frotz, Lectrote or Fizmo.


The physical release comes in a box that resembles the original Infocom packaging back from the day. You can order it through my publisher PolyPlay.

From the devlog

I worked almost a year on this. For Ghosts of Blackwood Manor it was important to research elements of Scottish and early Britannic history, folklore and religion truthfully and comprehensively and to integrate them into the game accordingly. So what you learn in the game in this context is true, even in the context of time, both in terms of the Great Scottish Witchhunts, the early British saints such as Saint Cuthbert, historical places such as Lindisfarne Abbey and Iona Abbey, as well as mythologies such as those of the Kelpies or the Bean Nighe and Celtic references. A fictional story was then created around these elements.

As for the name Blackwood Manor, it goes back to the Blackwood Lairdship. Blackwood as such is a place in Lanarkshire, Scotland, the home of the Weir family. Rothaldus Weir was the first official Lord of Blackwood. It was therefore important that the name of the game was based on a real place and a real so-called Scottish lairdship. It is also not far from Lanarkshire to Lindisfarne, a place that is not unimportant in the game, as it is mentioned as the last known location of an item that is found later in the game. The demand for realism was therefore very high in the sense of: how can this fictional story work plausibly? And is it still plausible once someone looks behind all the information they learn during the course of the game while investigating Blackwood Manor? It even goes so far that one of the puzzles in the game could be solved with information from Wikipedia. Alternatively, the relevant information can also be found in the game itself.

So there was indeed a historical template, not for the ghost story as such, but for the place where the game is set and the historical context.

Happy adventuring.

Get it from here The Ghosts of Blackwood Manor by Stefan Vogt


This game is neat. Although somehow old-style (many will love the atmosphere — especially the throwbacks to the Eighies) it really is non-frustrating.
As long as you remember to EXAMINE everything.

Betatested this, so I may be too familiar, but I strongly suggest Ghosts as a Holidays trip.

Ofc: play it on a C64!


This looks fantastic!


I’ve been along for the ride while this game was being developed, offering advice on technical matters here and there.

Stefan always pays a lot of attention to detail in his games, but he’s also focused on making sure the player will have a fun and rewarding experience. He uses the strengths of PunyInform to produce impressive games which play fine on old hardware. If you’re looking for that Infocom feeling, but without that Infocom frustration, you should certainly check this game out. Whether you play on old or new hardware, I think you’ll find that the game holds its own.