In much the same way that most of the characters in the 1983 haunted elevator movie “The Lift” were warned – repeatedly - to take the stairs, we warned you that the frankly terrifying Scream Fortress Halloween event was coming. And now it’s here, and you’re scared, and you don’t have anyone to blame but yourself. This year, you’ll experience the tear-squirting terror of being trapped in a living nightmare with a vindictive ghost, just like everyone in M. Night Shyamalan’s epic of elevator haunting, “Devil”.
— TF2 Official Blog
The Fourth Annual Spectral Halloween Special was the 2012 Halloween event, which included the new maps Ghost Town (a haunting of MVM Coal Town) and Ghost Fort (a haunted adaption of Lakeside that introduced Merasmus as a boss), new items, and two new Necromannchievements. The event also introduced Voodoo-Cursed Souls. Players that logged on during the event also received a Halloween Goodie Cauldron.
After three days of on-line teases, the event began with the October 26, 2012 Patch and concluded on November 8, 2012.
On October 23, 2012, the head of the Spy portrait on the TF2 Official Blog was changed to resemble a skull. Clicking on the skull led to a hidden page, with a newspaper page titled "The Teufort Reader" reporting the theft of Voodoo-Cursed Items (later release into the game). The bottom of the newspaper is ripped, showing two cards with odd symbols.
The following day, October 24, a comic titled Doom-Mates was released. The comic details Merasmus' return home from his weekend at WizardCon, and his growing resentment towards the Soldier.
The next day, October 25, a page was posted that announced the event would begin the following day, October 26, and gave a link to the update page with all the info. It announced a new Mann vs. Machine mission called "Wave 666", where instead of fighting robots, the players fight zombies, and a new Halloween King of the Hill match (on koth_lakeside_event) with Merasmus (with the Bombinomicon) as the boss. It added two new achievements and introduced Halloween Spells, which players can cast on other items in their backpack to give their items new effects, from shifting paint colors to flaming footsteps. Additionally, the Gift Drop system was changed; during the last two years, gifts spawned publicly and could be claimed by whoever arrived there first, while that year, players would receive private gift spawns that they can grab at their leisure.
Merasmus is a non-playable character wizard boss, who attacks both RED and BLU teams until he is slain. He has several attacks, including using the Bombinomicon to rain bombs around the Control Point. His health range varies from 50000 to around 100000, depending on the number of players in the server. Merasmus does not appear until ten or more players are present (not including spectators or bots).
||It's A Secret To Everybody
||Stormy 13th Hour
- Several encoded messages appear on the update's pages, and they use a cipher of Agathodaimon symbols, a dingbats-inspired, esoteric font designed by Andrew D. Taylor.
- The first one, found on the Scout's card on the hidden page, translates to "Super Spped".(sic) The encoded message on the Heavy's card on the Spectral Halloween Special update page reads "Small Head".
- On the Spectral Halloween Special update page, the first header says "Explo Capitus", while the second says "Barpo Kabalto"; both captions are in mock-Latin and are meaningless. "Barpo Kabalto", however, would later be used as a spell-casting phrase in Scream Fortress 2013.
Spectral Halloween Special Update page.
The Spy as seen on the blog.
The hidden "Teufort Reader" page.