October is peak season for more than 2,500 haunted or horror themed attractions worldwide. Everything from haunted hayrides to corn mazes, haunted houses to major theme park offerings, Halloween draws crowds to the spookiest of the sideshows. For the thrill-seekers who love to scream, here are ten haunted attractions that are a must-see this Halloween.
Frightland in Middleton, DE
Frightland has something for every scare addict. Featuring eight different haunted attractions, Frightland appeals to the toughest horror critic. Visitors can tour the haunted barn, haunted manor house, haunted attic, outdoor walk-through cemetery, and house of fear. If zombies are more your style, there’s a zombie prison, and even an Old West zombie ghost town.
EREBUS in Pontiac, MI
Erebus was the Greek god of darkness who dwelt in the underworld and was the son of Chaos; fitting name for this attraction. EREBUS held the Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Haunted House from 2005-2009, and uses the unique plot twist of “masquerading” as a haunted house to supply new victims. The resident mad scientist, Dr. J. Colbert, built the first functional time machine. However, the time machine had a fatal flaw: each time a test subject traveled in time, the time period reacted to the subject as a virus, and attacked. The audience gets to act as the doctor’s new experiment victims, and it’s nothing short of bone-chilling.
Terror Behind the Walls in Philadelphia, PA
This haunted prison is America’s largest haunted attraction, according to the Haunted Attraction Association. Located within Eastern State Penitentiary, which most believed to be haunted to begin with, is one of the most expensive attractions in the nation, and was once home to Al Capone. Now in complete ruins, the prison is a frequent host to paranormal investigators like: “Ghost Adventures”, “Most Haunted Live”, “FEAR”, and “Ghost Hunters”. It was decommissioned in 1971, and is still rated as one of the nation’s top, and scariest, haunted attractions.
Howl-O-Scream in Florida, Virginia, and Texas
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia and Tampa, Florida, along with Sea World in Antonio Texas, all transform into Howl-O-Scream once the sky turns dark. Not meant for little ones, the Howl-O-Scream in Tampa is especially frightening. During the day, Tampa’s Busch Gardens is divided into four countries. After dark, the countries transform into the “Four Terror-tories”: England as “Ripper Row”, Germany as “Vampire Point”, France as “Demon Street”, and Italy as “Ports of Skull”. Tampa’s location also includes “The 13”; thirteen evils that are let loose in the park, which include “The Butcher”, “The Zombie”, and “The Cannibal”. If you’re looking for a scare with plenty of room to run, Howl-O-Scream is for you.
Terror on Washington Street Haunted House in Clinton, IL
Located inside a deserted 53-year old building on Washington Street, this haunted house is composed of a large maze, featuring 18 rooms on multiple levels. Visitors warn of the creepy basement. Still scary as some of the most elaborate attractions, Terror on Washington Street provides visitors with old fashion scares, just like childhood.
The Grove in Sanger, CA
One of the best known outside attractions, The Grove features three different views: a walk through a haunted forest, a haunted hayride, and a maze-like haunted house christened “Bad House”. Like most outdoor attractions, you never know what you’ll run into.
The House of Shock in New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, known for its history of voodoo, ghosts, and vampires, is also known as the host of one of the scariest and most intense haunted houses in the country. With a heavy satanic theme, the House of Shock features more than a dozen sets, including: a butcher shop, a twisted French Quarter, and an outdoor swamp. Also known for its parties, the House of Shock has a free outdoor festival with food, live entertainment on stage, pyrotechnics, and of course, a full bar.
Ghostly Manor in Sandusky, OH
One of the few attractions open year-round, this award-winning spectacle is full of demonic children, living dolls, the possessed, and a six acre attraction know as “Lake Eerie Fearfest”. The Ghostly Manor also has four other seasonal haunts: “Darkmare”, “Caged”, “Quarantine”, and “Eerie Chateau”. Be sure to visit if you’re looking for a spook on the off-season.
Fear Fair in Seymour, IN
Fear Fair is exactly that, an entire fair of several different, highly themed attractions. Visitors can step inside “Hangar 17”, where they can experience an interactive mutagenic gas outbreak. Movie lovers can buy a ticket to “Cinema of Fear”, where audience members come face to face with some of the scariest movie monsters ever, in realistic Hollywood fashion. If the visitor is really brave, they can take a chance at “Myctophobia”. Meaning the fear of darkness, “Myctophobia” sends guests 18 and over single file through the attraction, where they are touched and scared senseless by actors.
The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, PA
Featuring an axe-wielding maniac, The ScareHouse was listed as one of Travel Channel’s “Scariest Halloween Attractions in America”. This scary attraction is located inside a 100-year old former Elk’s Lodge, thought to already be haunted. The ScareHouse is composed of three different haunts: “The Foresaken”, “Creepo’s Christmas in 3-D”, and “Pittsburgh Zombies”. Owners warn that The ScareHouse is not recommended for those under the age of 13, one of the highest noted ratings of a haunted attraction. For those over the age of 18, “The Basement” allows guests in two at a time, allowing actors to touch and terrorize the guests.
Whether visiting a dark and foreboding corn maze, or visiting one of the nation’s largest fear fests, be sure to take advantage of the wide range of live, and in living color, haunted attractions.