The Haunting: Starring Polterguy is an action/simulation game that was originally released for the Sega Genesis in 1993. In it, players take control of Polterguy, a smart alec, undead teenager who has nothing better to do than to scare people.
The object of the game is to scare the Sardini family by haunting different objects (which the game refers to as "fright 'ems") throughout their home. To haunt something Polterguy simply jumps into the object. Once an item is haunted it will cause an effect that will terrify anyone who is in the room. For example: if players haunt a bear rug, the bear head will start growling; haunt a pile of dishes and they'll go flying across the room. Each time a family member encounters one of these hauntings they will get more and more scared until they can't take it anymore and run out of the house. Once all of the family members are scared out of their home they will move to a new house where players must start the whole process over again.
Being a ghost, Polterguy doesn't have health, he has ecto. Ecto is a substance that Polterguy needs if he wants to stay in the real world and his supply of it is constantly depleting. After scaring a member of the family, they will drop a puddle of ecto that will help to restore the Polterguy's supply. The amount of ecto the player is barked at by the family dog, or if Polterguy is attacked by other, malevolent ghosts who appear in the later houses. These spirits appear to be in cahoots with the dog, who can summon them at will in the final house. If payers run out of ecto, they are sent to the Underworld.
If sent to the Underworld, Polterguy must make his way through a grueling dungeon maze to collect ecto so that he may return to the living world. These dungeons are filled with enemies such as bats and skulls which can harm or even kill Polterguy. If he makes it to the exit, Polterguy returns to the Sardini household to continue The Haunting.
After scaring the Sardinis from their fourth house Polterguy must defeat a final boss, a monstrous creature which is the true form of the family dog, to finish the game.
The Sardini Family
The Sardini Family consists of five separate characters, each with their own distinct personalities.
The Father of the family; an uptight Italian businessman with a skeptical approach to the supernatural. Though this attitude clearly changes once Polterguy haunts him.
The Mother and matriarch of the household; a gruff, aggressive housewife who usually appears more angry at the fact that her house is being haunted than scared.
The Daughter of the family; a spoiled and arrogant girl eager to get one back on whoever is bothering her (including Polterguy).
The Son of the family. All things considered, he is the most normal of all the personalities under the Sardini umbrella. He gets scared quite easily, and is angered a lot less than the other Sardinis.
The Family Dog
Perhaps the most unique of all characters in the house for a few reasons. Firstly, he's the only living creature in the game that can detect Polterguy in the house, and second, his presence is reassuring to the Sardinis. When the dog barks at Polterguy, the ecto meter drops substantially, and the fear levels of any family members in the room go down. The dog is apparently a terrible monster in disguise, and when Polterguy scares the Sardinis out of town for good, it changes to its true form to get rid of Polterguy once and for all.