Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mystic Skull board game

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
Ideal's 1964 "Mystic Skull" board game
(Click on images to enlarge)

Warning: not responsible for actual results. Injuries and death may occur. Oh, yes... there will be blood.

Oh, if only I had seen this as a kid, I could have easily gotten my grandma to get it for me. She not only was a pushover when I wanted something (knowing how deprived I was at home) but she was knowledgeable about such things as this. We already occasionally played on the Ouija board when I stayed over for the weekend, and between that and the FATE magazines she had from years of subscribing, my nightmares were scarily sweet.

Since all my knowledge of this cool-looking game are second-hand, all I can offer are pictures and game instructions. If you were like me and never had it, these images will be fun. If you did have it, then share your memories of it in the comments, please!

It's not only an occult religion that involves worshiping snake-gods, performing sex rituals and summoning demons, but now it's a game for kids! Yay!

How to play: "Imagine yourself a 'witch doctor' who can cast a hex. Each witch doctor tries to fill his opponents' voodoo dolls with pins while trying to keep his own from being filled. By stirring the cauldron with the bone, the mysterious moving Mystic Skull will magically stop at the various voodoo segments around the board, directing you to place pins in your opponent's voodoo doll or to exchange one of your tokens in order to remove pins from your own doll. Players should use their tokens wisely and to their best advantage--they may help a player eliminate an opponent or save himself, but when a player uses his tokens up, he is at the mercy of the other players. When a player's doll is filled with pins, he is considered to be under a spell, and is out of the game. The last player whose doll still has empty pin holes in it is the winner."

Caution: If itching or burning persists, discontinue playing and see a doctor. If psychosomatic pain results from the pins sticking in your doll, see a psychiatrist. Therapy may be needed after extended playing. Hearing distant jungle drums in the night, urges to shed clothing and dance around fires are only residual effects and will fade after a few weeks.

(Black chicken for sacrifice to Petro-Loa not included.)

Sticking pins in a voodoo doll to cast spells has never been so much fun!

I loved staying at my grandma's, but it was about as far from your stereotypical grandma's house as you could imagine. She was a night-owl, and so I stayed up til about 1 or 2 o'clock watching movies, reading my comics, monster mags and books... pure heaven for a kid like me.

Why play 'Doctor" with the neighborhood kids behind
the garage, when playing "Witchdoctor" is much more fun!

"Whoops! The Mystic Skull has landed on your color. Kiss a snake and collect a handfull of bones!"

1967's "Ka-bala" was one mystical board game I did get from my Grandma. That glow-in-the-dark spinning eyeball was awesome, and you played the game in the dark! How cool was that? The intructions had the players begin the game by chanting in unison "PAX, SAX, SARAX, HOLA, NOA, NOSTRA." Learning fortune-telling, tarot cards and astrology, all under the watchful eye of "Zohar"... educational and fun!

Disclaimer: Any resemblance between actual futures and the predicted futures are entirely coincidental.

The only drawback was the darned Eye of Zohar which followed you around and liked to hover over your bed at night, glaring balefully, until an exorcism was performed. Other than that it was pretty neat.

Efforts to cheat fate by pushing down on your side to make the ball land where you wanted it, were instantly punished by Zohar's Gaze of Death, which had the effect of making your fingers sweat.

"Yes! You, Uh... NO! Wait, it keeps moving... Nnnn...yes! Dang, my depth perception sucks."


Karswell said...

I remember the ads for both of these games but never owned or played either. I did have The Green Ghost, Monster Mansion, and Which Witch board games though... I still have a great Casper board game with awesome graphics.

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CRwM said...

In the Mystic Skull game, what do you think the gray, unfortunately phallus-shaped thing in the bottom left hand corner of the box is?

Fred said...


I'm not sure, but in looking closely, I think it's an eraser, to go along with the pencil on the other side. The lead marks on one end seem to indicate it was used for that purpose.

But I could be wrong. If anyone else has any clues, comment!

Dave said...

I found your blog while surfing the net.

I have the Mystic Skull game. Got it when I was a little kid. Played with it quite a bit. When you stired the cauldron, it moved a magnet around itside the board and there was either a piece of metal or another magnaet in the skull. When you moved the skull around the board and the two came in line with each other, the skull would move (shake, jiggle, whatever). You had to be careful not to use too long of a rubber band to hold the skull. I'll look at the gamne to see what the "phallus-shaped thing in the bottom left hand corner of the box" is?


Dave said...

I checked my box. The pencil and the object in question must have been put there bu the owner. In my box, the bone to stir the cauldron is stored when the pencil is and the branch holding the skull is stored where the object in question is and the skullis stored whete the white circular piece are. The playing piece and pins are stored in the same area in my box. Sorry I couldn't help.

Mystic Skull said...

This one was a little before my time, but I love the voodoo theme.

Ralph Stout said...

Those are the stack of tokens