Haunted is one of the many item qualities in Team Fortress 2. Its hexadecimal colour (or web colour if you prefer) is #38F3AB or R:56 G:243 B:171 if RGB colours are more of your thing. If you prefer CMYK, the values are C:77 M:0 Y:29.6 K:4.7. No, I will not go and find you a closest Pantone colour. Anyway, no matter what colour numbers Haunted has, its reason to exist has lost its way.
Originally, the Haunted quality was used on a bunch of cosmetic items, from the 2011 Very Scary Halloween event on Eye-a-duct. Most gifts that spawned appeared on the main level, and things quickly turned into an “everyone be a Scout!” competition since it was first come, first served. Occasionally though, a gift would spawn in the Underworld, a separate part of the map which you could access by either following Monoculous through a portal or flat out killing Demoman’s haunted eyeball and going through his death portal. Either way, these haunted items were very hard to get since everyone had to race to get the gift.
The next year, the Haunted item quality came back, but in a different way. Gifts were given out on a per-person basis and the ‘underworld’ (which is now an island next to Ghost Fort) no longer has gifts spawning on it. Instead, you had a chance of crafting a Haunted cursed voodoo soul. But Haunted items were still available, if you paid for them. That’s right, any items unboxed from the Halloween crates came in Haunted quality. Unless you got an unusual, which would obviously be in an unusual quality.
The same thing happened with Helltower. Items you got from the gifts on the map became untradable and uncraftable, and items from crates were haunted but could be traded as normal. If you opened a Halloween crate, you’d get a Haunted item 99% of the time.
This year, with Scream Fortress 6, Valve took a different turn with the Haunted quality. There are two ways to get a Haunted item.
The first way to get a Haunted item is via the cauldrons. You get two cauldrons, one for free when you join TF2 during the event and one more when you get a certain achievement. The weapon you get for getting 4 achievements is only ever available in Unique quality. In these cauldrons, you get two items in unique quality and one item in haunted quality. All items in the cauldrons are untradable and uncraftable, as seems to be the case with any free items these days.
The second way is via crates, as always. But the 2014 ‘keyless’ crates are a funny bunch. Not only do they cost more than keys, but you’re also NOT IN ANY WAY GUARANTEED A HAUNTED ITEM. Yes, there is a chance that you will only get unique but tradable items. You may also receive a random Halloween-related strangifier, perhaps for the Gibus or the Necro Masher. Point is, items from crates break the old tradition of always being haunted, like previous years.
So Valve kinda made Haunted items rarer and harder to obtain, as if getting the haunted item you wanted from a crate wasn’t hard enough. But they also did something else incredibly weird: They made Scream Fortress 6 Haunted items STRANGE. That is to say, any haunted items this year actually count things. What things? Things from the Doomsday Event map. Problem is, how many people will continue to play Doomsday_Event after the event? Who knows?
Haunted items are now a big mess of things. Instead of being a hard-to-get free item that needed luck and the ability to play Scout to get, this quality became a quality you get from crates. Then it became a free-for-all Strange quality wannabe. It seems that Valve doesn’t know what to do with this quality, since they can’t make up their minds.
Maybe this year was a ploy to make Haunted items more valuable. But it’s also made them a tad silly. We already have both useless and useful qualities, do we need more?