A fun childhood game, mostly played at night... mostly. It requires a clever mind, quick reflexes, a boisterous voice, and the ability to fly like the wind. The directions are simple. First, let me say that all these rules are the stardard rules, all other variations of the rules and other errata are discussed later in the, "House Rules" section. Now, find any number of people, preferably between the numbers five and seven. Typically these people are friends of yours between the ages of 10 and 15, but any age will do. Hell they, don't even have to be your friends, a good game of ghost in the graveyard can unite friend and foe alike. Next, find a playing field of suitable size. Typically, a house with a large yard will work, but the bigger the better is usually a good rule of thumb. And lastly, wait for nightfall. Sure, you may not get as much playing time, but it's just so much cooler.

Got all the necessary elements? All right, the object is thus: One person, often determined by a quick round of, "One potato, Two potato, or Bubble gum, Bubble gum, is designated as the ghost, or as "It". Whoever is It, will count a pre-determined amount of time, agreed upon before the game, at the base. The base can be anywhere you want. Examples of bases are a front porch, a large tree, or... well actually all bases must be either a porch, or a tree, accept no substitutes. While the ghost counts, the rest of the group will go find a place to hide. Hiding is a key element of the game, and must be carried out properly. Good hiding places: In the bushes, behind a tree, under the flowerbed. Bad hiding places: In front of the bushes, behind the ghost, in the well. Once the ghost has stopped counting, he will attempt to find and "tag" one of the other members of the game. Tagging occours when the ghost touches in any way, shape, or form, one of the people hiding. The object of the people hiding is to successfully run back to the base without getting tagged. Think hide-and-seek in the dark. Now the catch, and the reason why this game is called ghost in the graveyard, is that once the ghost is spotted, and someone decides to make a run for the base, the person hiding must yell at the top of their lungs, "Ghost in the Graveyard!!!" This gives the ghost a pretty damn good idea of where you are and a chance to intercept you. If, once everyone has returned to base, the ghost has not tagged anyone, then the ghost remains It for another game. If the ghost has tagged someone, however, that person then becomes It for the next game. Play until you have to go home, and then play one more game.

House Rules - These are a few rules that may be played with according to where you live.

Typical Count Length - This is usually 30 seconds but may be longer depending on the size of the playing area. Be careful to specify that the person counting must count every second between 1 and 30 as well as the seconds 1 and 30. Also, counting should be done in a consistent manner. No rushed counts. A 30 second count should take approximately 30 seconds. Those who rush their counts are sometimes called "cheaters".

Daytime Games - Games played during the day. This is done quite often but is nowhere near as much fun. Besides, who the hell yells ghost in the graveyard during the day. Avoid day games at all costs. People will laugh at you.

Human Chains - Ah, the often debated human chain. This states that anyone touching the base, is part of the base. Thus, if one were to stick one's arm out, that arm would technically be part of the base. If that person then, while still touching the base, would grab another person's hand, then that person would then be part of the base as well. This can conceivably extend the boundaries of the base significantly, and is often a strategic part of the game. Some games can see 10 people, stretched arm to arm, trying to bring that last remaining player into the base. You may take or leave this rule.

When Someone Yells Ghosts in the Graveyard, Everyone Must Try to Make it to the Base - This rule is often played with by the older kids of a group. Basically, once someone yells, "Ghost in the Graveyard", everyone must leave their hiding spot, and make a mad dash for the base. Be wary when accepting this rule in the game. Especially if everyone is faster than you.

Quitting Because You Are Tagged - This is not an optional rule. If you tag someone, and they quit, hey guess what, you're still It. This is not only uncool, this is unacceptable. If someone quits because they do not want to be it, give them an Indian Rug Burn. That'll teach them.

Mercy Rule - Let's face it. Some of us aren't very fast, and once you are It, you may find that you are It for the rest of the night. Also called "You're Screwed" This rule basically sets a max amount of consecutive times you can be It. This is usually set at three times, to give everyone a chance. To turn this on, set "MercyRule=1" in the Ghosts.ini file.

These are the most encountered house rules, and any others may be played with, as long as they are agreed upon before hand.

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