The House of Hell


By Lafe Travis

I consider The House of Hell to be one of the hardest Fighting Fantasy book to solve, probably because of the numerous twists and turns of the passages. (Creature of Havoc is much harder.) Mapping the house on paper would be a real trick. When I get enough nerve, I may do that.

For over a decade, I was unable to escape from the house. Dozens of gruesome deaths later, I had though it was impossible and the authors had not playtested the book properly. I recently decided to tackle the house again and make detailed notes and flow charts, which explored every choice. It took three nights. In doing this, I discovered how the puzzle was written - and it all became clearer.

First I'll offer some general tips, for those who want the fun and satisfaction of solving it on their own.

There are plenty of dead-end areas and red herrings to be avoided in the house. The whole search for the man in white is unnecessary, and can actually lead you into areas you don't want to be in. True, he may have lots of information, but it's not essential for escaping from the house. Also, the pentacle won't do you much good, except take you to an area of the cellar with no exits. If you find yourself in the kitchen or the sacrificial chamber, you might as well start again. The torture chamber can be escaped, but there is nothing to be gained from there. Many doors in the house can be ignored. Most rooms will just wear down your Stamina and add points to your Fear score.

Also, if you've been knocked out and bound, you should restart, because the first encounter with Shekou in the Eblis room is important. Rooms can be arrived at from different directions, which will sometimes have you in a situation before you've got the required item to deal with it. Steve Jackson, the author, has skillfully connected areas of the house like tangled yarn. It's one big maze. Other tricks he's employed is having duplicate paragraphs, and worst of all -- links which cannot be gotten to by any other links (requiring you to write down reference numbers and make mathematical operations to arrive at the new number).

Areas you should not miss are the two encounters with Shekou, the frosted window message, the dining room, Mordana's room, the cellar with the bats, the drawing room, the magic mirror; but not necessarily in that order. If you don't want to solve it on your own, the entire solution is detailed below, with the correct order of paragraphs you should follow.

The area I kept missing was the second encounter with Shekou, which is needed to get the password to the secret room. I suppose a person could correctly guess the password without Shekou's help, but they're taking a chance.

So now I present -- the step-by-step solution to The House of Hell:


You are encouraged to play along in your book. This is only one solution. I've skipped many unnecessary rooms and areas and tried to make it as streamlined as possible. There are probably other ways through the house, but I haven't found them. I've tried to provide a count of Fear Points and Inventory items.

(1) Front Entrance

(357) Rap the door with the knocker

(8) The Butler informs his master of your arrival

(277) Wait for him to arrive (not much is to be learned from the paintings)

(394) Drink the Brandy and ask to use the telephone [Subtract 1 Fear Point]

(309) Go to the Dining Room

(395) Drink the Red Wine

(196) Eat the Lamb (the duck is good too!)

(28) The Earl of Drumer tells you about himself

(224) Choose Fruit, Coffee and Brandy for dessert

(5) To the Erasmus Room for bed...

(59) Attempt to leave the room

(63) Pretend to go to sleep [Add 1 Fear Point]

(158) You hear a shuffling sound outside

(373) Hide behind the door

(399) Leap on the Hunchback

(220) Reduce his stamina to 4 or less

(234) Force him to answer your questions

(308) Ask about the people in the house

(350) Leave the room

(332) Turn to the right, see a Ghost Woman! [Add 1 Fear Point]

(73) Follow the Ghost Woman to Apollyon Room

(257) Decide to help the Ghost Woman

(358) Azazel Room - a laboratory

(117) Investigate the room further

(341) Examine the glass vials

(161) Drink the yellow liquid - protection!

(385) Someone's coming!

(26) You came from the right, right?

(287) Two doors in the corner of landing

(86) Door with no name

(110) Investigate the window (88 reference)

(193) Back to the landing

(377) Try the unmarked door - Storeroom!

(83) Search the things on the shelves, Garlic, Weapon (3 Skill added)

(233) Return to the landing

(374) Ignore the next door and continue onwards

(272) Follow the landing to the right

(175) Continue following the landing

(335) Try the door of the Abaddon Room

(139) Wake the old woman [Add 2 Fear Points]

(246) Wait to see what will happen next

(170) Ask her information about the house

(19) Defeat the Dogs and search the room

(321) Ask about Secret Rooms in the house

(88) "Mordana In Abaddon"

(295) Learn how to find a Secret Room

(159) Leave the room

(132) Go downstairs

(353) Choose the door on the left

(119) Explore the room further

(192) Examine the Ornaments - Weapon! Flask! Brandy!

(303) Examine the Fireplace

(364) Read through the Letters - Get Password (Pravemi?)

(85) Examine the Face on the Clock - Fire Sprites!

(145) Try another approach to defeat them

(64) Back up toward the window - fizzle

(392) Examine the secret button again

(397) You fall down a trap door! [Add 1 Fear Point]

(6) Spring behind the door to surprise whoever is approaching

(367) Step forward and announce yourself to him

(210) You follow the Hunchback from the room

(230) You've met this Hunchback before!

(198) You jog his memory

(93) Offer Shekou a drink of Brandy - the correct Password is hinted at

(393) You decide to follow his directions to get upstairs

(320) Hide under the stairs and use Mordana's advice (320-10=???)

(310) Of course you want to look for secret doors!

(276) You'll try a password

(237) The name of the house (Drumer) mixed up can only be MURDER!

(174) Enter the secret room

(48) You open the box on the table

(35) You have found the Kris Knife!

(293) Climb the stairs and return to the main floor

(113) Enter the door opposite

(324) Investigate the room

(147) Grab the case and take it with you

(3) Dive through the mirror - Golden Key!

(160) Step through the mirror

(294) Right-Hand door

(10) You've got the Golden Key! Now you've got Iron Key #27!

(204) Leave the chamber

(349) Step back through the mirror

(131) The people have left. You leave too.

(58) Follow the hallway to the right

(323) Try the door on the left. Use Iron Key #27 (323-27=???)

(296) You are back in the Dining Room. This time it is different.

(318) Pull the rope for the Butler and get on with business.

(351) Attack Franklins the Butler first

(336) Continue pursuing the Butler

(181) The Butler makes a startling transformation! [Add 3 Fear Points]

(109) You are armed with the Kris Knife (thankfully) You battle the Hell Demon

(400) You've killed the Hell Demon! You escape the burning House of Hell. 

Creatures You Must Battle:

Shekou the HUNCHBACK Skill 7 Stamina 7

(but the battle will end when his Stamina is 4 or less)

Mordana's Dogs

First GREAT DANE Skill 7 Stamina 6

Second GREAT DANE Skill 6 Stamina 6

The Butler FRANKLINS Skill 8 Stamina 8

(but the battle will end once you've inflicted your first wound on him)

What the Butler becomes...

HELL DEMON Skill 14 Stamina 12


(394) Drink the Brandy and ask to use the telephone [Subtract 1 Fear Point, if you have any]

(63) Pretend to go to sleep [Add 1 Fear Point]

(332) Turn to the right, see a Ghost Woman! [Add 1 Fear Point]

(139) Wake the old woman [Add 2 Fear Points]

(397) You fall down a trap door! [Add 1 Fear Point]

(181) The Butler makes a startling transformation! [Add 3 Fear Points]

Total=8 Fear Points (So if you rolled a Fear Score of 7 or 8, you'll die of fright!)

Closing Comments

Now that I've completed the House of Hell, I can get on with other Fighting Fantasy books. I plan on providing many other Fighting Fantasy solutions. Send me e-mail, if you'd like to see a solution for your favourite Fighting Fantasy adventure book; I hence call myself the FF-Solution Master!

Fans of The House of Hell might enjoy watching the Wes Craven movie "The People Under The Stairs", which has many similarities. If you have a Nintendo Entertainment System, you should try Kemco-Seika's "Uninvited" game, which I'm sure was inspired by The House of Hell. I'd like to make my own House of Hell computer game, using SSI's "Unlimited Adventures" AD&D Dungeon Construction Kit. Believe it or not, my favourite Fighting Fantasy Book is NOT The House of Hell, but Deathtrap Dungeon. House of Hell ranks second.

Questions? Comments? Send me e-mail:

Go to the Lafe Travis Game Solution Page

Go to Mark J. Popp's Fighting Fantasy Page

This document was created on February 1st, 1998 by Lafe Travis