Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel

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Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel
Nancy Drew - The Haunted Carousel Cover Art.jpeg
Developer(s) Her Interactive
Publisher(s) DreamCatcher
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) August 22, 2003
Genre(s) Adventure
Mode(s) Single-player

The Haunted Carousel is the 8th installment in the Nancy Drew point-and-click adventure game series by Her Interactive. The game is available for play on Microsoft Windows platforms. It has an ESRB rating of E for moments of mild violence and peril. Players take on the first-person view of fictional amateur sleuth Nancy Drew and must solve the mystery through interrogation of suspects, solving puzzles, and discovering clues. There are two levels of gameplay, Junior and Senior detective modes, each offering a different difficulty level of puzzles and hints, however neither of these changes affect the actual plot of the game. The game is loosely based on a book of the same name The Haunted Carousel (1983). [1] [2]


Paula Santos, the owner of Captain's Cove Amusement Park in New Jersey, has asked Nancy for help because there have been mysterious things happening at the park. First, the lead horse disappeared off the carousel. After that the carousel began mysteriously starting up in the middle of the night. Then the roller coaster suddenly lost power, resulting in a serious accident. The park is shut down until the city knows what caused it. There is a rumor going around that the park is cursed. Are the painted ponies searching for their missing lead horse, or is there another explanation for the midnight rides?



  • Nancy Drew - Nancy is an eighteen-year-old amateur detective from the fictional town of River Heights in the United States. She is the only playable character in the game, which means the player must solve the mystery from her perspective.
  • Elliott Chen - Elliott is the park's art director and is responsible for all the visual components at Captain's Cove. He is a major procrastinator and is currently several weeks behind on his projects. The park's shutdown could seriously help him get caught up. He has no theory on what is happening at the park.
  • Harlan Bishop - Harlan is the park's recently hired security guard, and he oversees the security system of Captain's Cove. He is helpful, efficient, and good at his job, but very evasive about his past. He's eager to prove to his bosses that they should keep him permanently. He thinks the mysterious occurrences are just a coincidence, and doesn't believe in the hauntings.
  • Ingrid Corey - Ingrid is the chief engineer of the park and maintains all the rides at Captain's Cove, even the ones that have malfunctioned. She is extremely smart, but she is overworked while the park is understaffed during the shutdown. She is interested in holistic medicine and believes the park is actually cursed.
  • Joy Trent - Joy Trent is the park's bookkeeper, and she is in charge of all of the park's financial records. Joy's father used to be co-owner of Captain's Cove until Paula Santos bought him out when he went bankrupt. Joy is a nervous, sad, and slightly reclusive person who believes that the owner of the park is behind the haunting as a publicity stunt.

Phone Contacts[edit]

  • Paula Santos - Paula is the owner of Captain's Cove and has asked Nancy to come investigate on all the strange occurrences that have been happening at the park. She can give Nancy additional information about the case and the suspects.
  • Bess Marvin and George Fayne - Bess and George are cousins as well as Nancy's best friends. They offer tips and hints to aid in the investigation.
  • Frank Hardy and Joe Hardy - Nancy's friends who work for a secret organization called ATAC. They are undercover detectives. Like Bess and George, they can be called for hints and tips.
  • Detective K.J. Perris - The detective who investigated a robbery that occurred at the amusement park many years ago. He helps Nancy get additional information on the case.
  • Tink Obermeir - The operator of the carousel who is up in Canada fishing while the park is shut down. He can assist Nancy with carousel operations.
  • Lance Huffington - A man who is suing Captain's Cove for alleged injuries sustained in the roller coaster accident.
  • Luis Guerra - A parole officer who gives Nancy helpful information about the case.
  • Anton Sukov - An expert on Rolfe Kessler's carousels who provides vital information to solving the case.


  • Joy Trent- Laurie Jerger
  • Elliot Chen- Gary Hoffman
  • Harlan Bishop/Anton Sukov/Receptionist/Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine- Jonah von Spreekin
  • Ingrid Corey- Kathleen Howe
  • Detective K.J. Perris/Tink Obermier- Fred Draeger
  • Lance Huffington/Luis Guerra- Max Holechek [3]


Easter Eggs[edit]

  • When Ingrid leaves her office, go to the door and click on the red fire extinguisher sign in the upper left hand corner. The cellphone will ring, and a man will ask you what the capital of Wisconsin is. The correct answer is Madison. You will receive the Egg in your inventory.
  • Click on the box of horse tails in Elliot's studio using the egg. Then go to the midway. Go to the right-hand side, viewing the Prize-o-matic but not totally zoomed in on it. Hold the egg to the upper right corner of the screen until it turns red and click.

Fatal Errors[edit]

In each of the games, there are different points where Nancy can make "fatal errors." These points are usually when she blows her cover as a detective, gets fired, or gets seriously injured. At such points, the game will stop and give the player the option to try again before the fatal error occurred. If the player doesn't wish to retry, then the game is over. The Fatal errors in The Haunted Carousel include:

  • Over-soldering causing a light to burn out while trying to fix the card reader.
  • Not switching the tracks on the roller coaster in time and getting hit by the train.
  • Not turning off the iron in Nancy's hotel room.
  • Trying to grab the brass ring too soon and falling off the carousel.
  • Getting electrocuted while trying to fix the card reader.
  • Getting electrocuted while having the power on while trying to fix the tracks to avoid getting hit by the train.
  • Failing to put on goggles when making the dowel.
  • Getting skewered by a pole under the carousel.
  • Getting hit by a falling puffer fish.
  • Not throwing the jewelry at the culprit.
  • Not escaping in time and being choked to death by the culprit.

Gameplay Awards[edit]

An award is given at the end of the game based on your sleuthing style. These are all of the possible awards:

  • Face to Face Award: For relentlessly interviewing all suspects.
  • Phone to Face Award: For preferring to sleuth by phone.
  • Puzzle Master Award: For solving the puzzles using the fewest attempts.
  • Nine Lives Award: For taking lots of (second) chances.
  • Aracari Award: For finding the Easter eggs.
  • Avid Reader Award: For reading everything you could get your hands on.
  • Magellan Award: For going everywhere and seeing everything.
  • Tenacity Award: For coming back to the case until it's solved - no matter how long it takes.
  • Open to Suggestions Award: For seeing nothing wrong with asking other people what they think you should do with the case.

References to Previous Games[edit]

References to previous games in the series include:


  • This is the first game in the series to feature gameplay awards at the end.

DVD version[edit]

  • The game was scheduled to be released on DVD in 2007, but was later shelved.


Preceded by
Nancy Drew: Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake
Nancy Drew Computer Games Succeeded by
Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island