While many of us spend our Halloweens dressing up in silly costumes and consuming as much candy as humanly possible, there are people who want to be scared. Instead of hitting up their local pumpkin patch, apple orchard, or corn maze, they’re scouting out the most terrifying haunted houses, attractions, and hayrides in search of a good dose of fear.
Luckily, all over America, Halloween haunts are being set up for the month of October. Attractions with spooky insane asylums, haunted prisons, murder houses, and zombie invasions crop up during this fall month for thrill-seekers who want to scream their heads off. The Daily Meal has found the scariest Halloween attractions in America by scouring reviews and rankings from nationally respected “Haunt” organizations, and now we’re cluing you in so you can have your scariest Halloween yet.
If you’re ready to scream bloody murder with your friends and family, be chased through an amusement park with chainsaws, or visit a haunted house in an actually haunted prison, you need to check out the Daily Meal’s guide to America’s scariest Halloween attractions.
Prepare to scream your heart out at Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride. Get up close and personal with all the creeps and haunts of the Bates Motel or spook yourself silly with a seat on the Haunted Hayride. The action-packed trip will take you through the dark forest of Arasapha Farm to an insane asylum, a creepy church, and a spooky cave, all meant to make your stomach flip-flop and drop with fear.
Get super freaked out at Bennett’s Curse. The family-owned frightfest in Baltimore, Maryland, features a few different attractions that will have you screaming your brains out. Different venues and storylines like those at Ravenbrook Asylum and Underworld Haunted House will immerse you in a world of interactive fantasy and terror. “First off, let me say Bennett's Curse is one of the best haunted houses in the area, period. Not only is the scenery on point, but the makeup and costumes for every single room and actor is so well done,” wrote a reviewer.
The Dent Schoolhouse is considered Cincinnati’s scariest haunted house. According to multiple websites as well as the group that puts on the haunted house, a janitor named Charlie was hiding the rotting corpses of students he had murdered in the school’s basement and now the property is haunted by their ghosts. Charlie still reportedly stalks the grounds, as well, and whether the story is true or not, The Haunt Rater (a website that rates haunted attractions) rated the Dent School House the No. 1 haunt spot in Ohio for 2018.
Erebus actually holds the Guinness World Record for the largest walk-through haunted attraction, so if you’re trying to make a quick escape — don’t bet on it. The four-story attraction features tiny hallways filled up with plastic balls to mimic the feeling that you’re drowning, a green laser swamp, tons of jump scares, creepy costumes, and dread-inducing décor.
This Delaware Halloween horror show features many different attractions that prey on your fear and anxiety about things like haunted attics and barns, crazy carnivals, spooky cemeteries, and towns full of zombies. Frightland strongly advises you not to attend their attractions if you have any sort of breathing condition such as asthma, are prone to seizures, have a heart condition, are pregnant, or claustrophobic. Too freaked out to even take a haunted hay ride? Frightland is also home to a full-service amusement park with rides and snacks.
Whether you’re going in California or Florida, you are doomed to be frightened at Halloween Horror Nights. These movie studio quality costumes, props, and sets, will have you nearly wetting your pants with fear while you wander through the Universal Studios park. Go day or night (because there is no escaping your nightmares, apparently) and even discover what lurks in the Upside Down world of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” series.
Choose from three terrifying adventures at Hangman’s House of Horrors. Whether you’re running from a zombie outbreak, touring a 100-year-old vacant government facility, or trying out Hangman’s 3D exhibit perfect for first-timers and children, you’re sure to leave Hangman’s House of Horrors screaming. “Had a great girls night tonight at hangman's. The first zombie is legitimately terrifying. Somebody should write him a spot on the walking dead. & The primary attraction definitely got our adrenaline going. So many great actors. I will probably have nightmares about the black and white checker room for years to come,” wrote one reviewer of their experience.
This haunted house is inside a real and haunted Pennsylvania prison. Eastern State Penitentiary has a history of murder, torture, and madness and is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America. Inside Terror Behind the Walls, there are six freaky prison-related experiences guests can try like “Lockdown,” “Breakout,” “Quarantine,” ”Blood Yard” and more. Even spookier, if you give your consent, actors can touch you, grab you, hold you back, and even remove you from your group! However, ghosts who are not paid performers have been known to make appearances too, cackling and calling out to guests as well as whispering and walking behind them when it seems like no one is actually there.
We already knew St. Louis was one of the most haunted cities in America, and that the Lemp Brewery was famous for the ghosts who haunt it. However, for a Halloween treat you can visit House of the Occult at Lemp Brewery. “House of Occult at Lemp Brewery is an all-new Haunted House deep underground at Lemp Brewery. Prepare to go deep underground where NO ONE can hear you SCREAM! Once inside St Louis' only all-new haunted house you will become lost, confused, and hunted by demons,” the Brewery’s website says. Terrifying!
What scares us the most about Ghostly Manor is that it’s a year-round fright. You don’t have to wait until October to have the snot scared out of you. The “mansion” guests visit is full of ghosts, frights, tricks, and absolutely zero treats unless you consider being terrified a sweet delight. There is also an escape room for visitors who want to be afraid, but not have things jump out at them (which we totally understand).
The Horseman’s Hollow takes place where “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was born! Walk a haunted trail to Ichabod Crane’s schoolhouse, where you’ll wind your way through a maze of terrors and frights only to find yourself in the lair of the Headless Horseman! The attraction is not recommended for visitors under the age of 10.
Why is everything terrifying in Pennsylvania? The Scare House is another frightening Halloween attraction favored for just how hair-raising an experience it is. The scariest part of The Scare House is the basement. The website says the fears are intense and R-rated and will challenge your limits. We’re scared just talking about it!
Thrillvania has an entire House of Clowns that want to perform ghastly tricks for you, but if that doesn’t creep you out enough, you can also experience Sam Hain’s Trail of Torment and try to outrun the “delusional and psychotic” doctor who wants to experiment on you. There’s also a werewolf manor on a Voodoo Bayou that is definitely haunted. “The primary houses are haunted houses: They are scary, and intended to scare, and are definitely not appropriate for young kids,” one Yelp reviewer advised. Spook your kids, (but don’t terrify them) with tales of the most haunted place in every state!
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