Namco took quite a gamble when it released Splatterhouse in arcades in 1988. The company's previous titles had been cartoon-like and appealing to all ages, but this side-scrolling action title took inspiration from Hollywood slasher and horror movies, turning up the gore level and providing an experience which wasn't really suitable for kids. That didn't stop them from playing it of course, and subsequent home versions found a receptive audience.
Slope's Game Room has put together this exhaustive history of the series which is well worth a look if you're keen to get in the Halloween mood. It's a little light on Nintendo content as only one title in the series ever made it to a Nintendo console, and that was the Japanese exclusive Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti, which is actually the second game in the series in terms of release. Unlike the arcade original, Wanpaku Graffiti was more of a parody of horror movies, and is to Splatterhouse what Parodius is to Gradius.
Namco would port the original Splatterhouse to the PC Engine / Turbografx-16, and would later create two sequels exclusively for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. Splatterhouse 2 and Splatterhouse 3 are generally considered to be something of a step down from the brilliance of the 1988 original, and the franchise would be put into hibernation until 2010 when it was revived for the PS3 and Xbox 360 by BottleRocket. This reboot endured a torrid development, with BottleRocket being removed from the project by Bandai Namco a year before release.
The critical and commercial failure of 2010 sequel has almost certainly scuppered any chances of a new Splatterhouse any time soon, but hopefully the excellent video above will soften the blow and encourage you to seek out prior instalments - just be aware that given the nature of the series (and its super-mature 2010 reboot) that the video might not be suitable for all ages.