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Ghost Houses, also known as Haunted Houses or Boo Houses, are large buildings where Boos and other ghosts live. They first appeared in Super Mario World, and have appeared in later Mario platformer games such as New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Unlike most other Mario franchise levels, Ghost Houses are primarily puzzle-based, requiring the player to find the correct path in order to progress.
Super Mario series
Super Mario World
Ghost Houses first appeared in Super Mario World, where there were six Ghost Houses in Dinosaur Land: two in Donut Plains (one secret), one inside the Vanilla Dome, one in the Forest of Illusion, one on Chocolate Island, and one in the Valley of Bowser. As with Castles, Yoshi will stay outside of the Ghost House when Mario or Luigi enters. The given reason is Yoshi's fear of ghosts, but the technical reason is because the doors inside Ghost Houses (and castles) can't be entered while riding Yoshi, and some enemies located inside do not work properly with Yoshi.
Whenever Mario completes one, the game can be saved, regardless of whether the stage has already been beaten. As Mario can replay the ghost house stages at any time, this is an easy way to save the game whenever the user wishes.
New Super Mario Bros.
Several Ghost Houses appear in New Super Mario Bros.; these introduced more new ghost species such as Phantom Hands, Broozers, and Balloon Boos. The game also introduces the Ghost House quirk of having Boos cover up the bottom screen while Mario or Luigi is inside Ghost Houses. There are four in the game, located in World 3, World 4, World 5 and World 7. All Ghost Houses in the game have secret exits, but no checkpoints.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
The Ghost Houses from the previous game re-appear in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, this time with Boos flying around them on the world map, just like in Super Mario World. They are located only in World 3, World 4, World 5, World 7 and the Coin Battle World. Some Ghost Houses introduce new enemies like Scaredy Rats and Obake Stands and most of them have many fake walls. As in the previous game, all Ghost Houses have secret exits, but no checkpoints.
Super Mario 3D Land
In Super Mario 3D Land, Ghost Houses function in much the same way as in the previous games. They are found in World 4, World 6, World 8, Special 4, Special 5 and Special 6 of the game. There are new enemies, including Tail Boos and Peepas.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
Ghost Houses reappear in New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the Nintendo 3DS containing Boos, Peepas, and the colossal Boohemoth. There are 7 Ghost Houses in the game, one in each world, excluding World 1 and World Star. Once again, there are no checkpoints, and like in New Super Mario Bros., Boos once again cover up the bottom screen when Mario or Luigi is in a Ghost House.
New Super Mario Bros. U
There are four Ghost Houses in New Super Mario Bros. U: one in Sparkling Waters (similar to the Sunken Ghost Ship from Super Mario World), another in Frosted Glacier, yet another in Soda Jungle, and still another in Meringue Clouds. Soda Jungle's haunted section features haunted courses like Painted Swampland. There is also a Ghost House-related Challenge Mode course, The Haunted Propeller. Once again, in all the Ghost Houses, there are secret exits and no checkpoints.
New Super Luigi U
As it is with the rest of New Super Luigi U, different Ghost Houses appear in the same locations as in New Super Mario Bros. U: one in Sparkling Waters, another in Frosted Glacier, yet another in Soda Jungle, and still another in Meringue Clouds. Once again, Soda Jungle features haunted levels.
Super Mario 3D World
Ghost Houses also appear in Super Mario 3D World. These ghost houses are not really puzzling, meaning they are like other courses, excluding the Ghost house in World Flower. A new power-up called a Light Box can be used to defeat ghosts. Ghost houses appear in World 3, World 6, World Bowser, World Star, World Mushroom and World Flower.
Super Mario Maker series
A Ghost House course theme appears in Super Mario Maker, Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS, and Super Mario Maker 2, available for all four game styles. Super Mario Maker marks the first time Ghost Houses appear in the Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 styles.
The mansion of Big Boo's Haunt of Super Mario 64 is a Ghost House. Sirena Beach's Hotel Delfino is similar to a Ghost House in many ways. Ghostly Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy contains a ghost mansion which Luigi is kept in. Boo Mushrooms appear as well. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, two Ghost Houses exist. The first, Haunty Halls Galaxy, features a ghost house that is invisible and intangible unless Yoshi eats a Bulb Berry. The second, Boo Moon Galaxy, features a pop-up book with a ghost house, as well as a graveyard, and a ghost tower where Mario becomes Boo Mario. A Ghost House also appears as a K'Nex building set for Super Mario 3D Land.
Paper Mario series
Boo's Mansion in Paper Mario and Creepy Steeple in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are Ghost House locations. In Super Paper Mario, Merlee's Mansion is like a ghost house for most rooms (e.g. not the bathrooms). The Enigmansion, found in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, acts like a Ghost House until the Boos are removed, of which it becomes a peaceful mansion. However, the Scaredy Rats remain. The haunted manor level in Paper Mario: Color Splash is called Dark Bloo Inn.
In Mario Party 4, Boo Houses appear as a type of shop. There is one Boo House on each board, typically in a fairly difficult-to-access location. They are managed by the board's host in tandem with a single Boo (in Boo's Haunted Bash, the Boo House is managed by two Boos), and enable a player who visits to use the Boo's Crystal Ball, allowing the player to pay 5 Coins to steal Coins from another player, or 50 Coins to steal a Star from another player. The Boo House acts as a replacement for Boo's function as a solitary character in the previous Mario Party games, who would steal Coins and Stars at the same rates.
Additionally, the boards King Boo's Haunted Hideaway from Mario Party 8 and Boo's Horror Castle from Mario Party 9 take place inside Ghost Houses, inhabited by Boos, Scaredy Rats, and other creatures. Minigames that feature or take place in buildings that resemble Ghost Houses are Locked Out, Eye Sore, Candlelight Flight, Light Up My Night, Ghost in the Hall, Boo-ting Gallery, Specter Inspector, Manor of Escape, King Boo's Puzzle Attack, Boo-Bye, Boo Tag, and Peek-a-Boo.
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