Bucket List October 12, 2021
The 14 Most Terrifying Haunted Attractions In America That’ll Scare You Silly
Some people wait all year for the holidays to come around. Twinkly lights, Christmas trees, sugar cookies, Hallmark movies, and Santa; the holidays are their love language, and we fully support that. However, for some, it’s what comes
before the holidays that delights: the haunted, spooky, bewitching season of Halloween. Ghost stories and ghost towns, frightful festivities and haunted houses — this is a horse of a different color entirely: the dark horse upon which the headless horseman rides. It’s the season of spooky fun, and whether you’re Team Halloween or Team Holidays, summon your bravery this fall and venture out to these 14 terrifying haunted attractions in America… just be prepared to be scared!
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Cinema of Horrors Haunted House - Kelso, Washington
Cinema of Horrors Haunted House, 1301 Grade St, Kelso, WA 98626, USA
There's a meta quality to Washington's
Cinema of Horrors Haunted House
that's frighteningly delightful; what's a haunted house, if not high drama and theatrics? Cinema of Horrors is a live-action horror movie
come to life
. Watch as the scariest horror blockbusters play on the big screen right before your eyes, complete with terrifying monsters lurking outside your car window. This is a drive-in movie experience that will most certainly haunt your dreams for years to come.
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride - Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
returns for 2021, running select dates through Oct. 31. One of the most elaborately designed haunted destinations in the country, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is set in the sinister (and fictional) town of Midnight Falls. This is a town you do not want to visit; a place of depraved souls, terrifying scares, and pure evil. The titular hayride ventures deep into the heart of darkness, with the wicked "Witch of the Woods" showing up to torture all who dare enter her domain.
The 13th Floor Haunted House - Denver, Colorado
13th Floor Haunted House, 3400 E 52nd Ave, Denver, CO 80216, USA
Everyone knows 13 is the unluckiest number, so of course, there is a haunted house that plays up this notorious numeral. Denver's 13th Floor Haunted House is an immersive experience that carries countless warnings and disclaimers; in fact, guests under 12 are strongly urged
to come. For the brave who dare set foot inside this haunted house, a terrifying trifecta of special effects, committed actors, and Hollywood-level set designs creates a wholly bone-chilling experience. If this sounds like your creepy cup of tea, you can check out the
13th Floor Haunted House
select dates through Nov. 13.
Cutting Edge Haunted House - Fort Worth, Texas
Cutting Edge Haunted House, 1701 E Lancaster Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA
Everything's bigger in Texas, and Cutting Edge Haunted House is no exception (it's the Guinness Book of World Record's "Longest Walk Through Horror House," in fact). Located in a historic area of Fort Worth that's known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” this century-old abandoned meat packing plant takes visitors on a 55-minute
complete with claustrophobic corridors, committed actors, next-level special effects, and an unsettling human maze. Come experience this multi-themed, multi-storied haunted attraction for yourself; it's open now through
Beast Haunted House - Kansas City, Missouri
Beast Haunted House, 1401 W 13 St Suite B, Kansas City, MO 64102, USA
The Beast Haunted House has it all: evil voodoo, a live alligator, hungry werewolves, ghastly phantoms, and unearthly monsters. This immersive nightmare encourages visitors to peruse its four stories of pure terror, a feat that's not for the faint of heart. In addition to all the terrors listed above, a truly terrifying "beast" wanders the grounds, hungry for his next victim. This
next-level haunted house
runs through (when else?) Nov.
The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
13th Gate Haunted House, Louisiana's Ultimate Haunted Attraction, 832 St Philip St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, USA
Louisiana is no stranger to
the morbid and macabre
, and The 13th Gate surely lives up to this reputation. The 13th Gate is a haunted attraction known for its extreme ultra-realism, and arguably one of the most detailed and uncanny haunted houses in existence. It's gruesome and graphic, and only for the most unflappable of ghost hunters. If that's you, head to this
terrifying Louisiana attraction
now through Nov. 13.
Kersey Valley Spookywoods - Archdale, North Carolina
Kersey Valley Spookywoods, 1615 Kersey Valley Rd, Archdale, NC 27263, USA
Started by a dare in 1985, 30 years later, Kersey Valley Spookywoods covers nearly 80 acres on an abandoned farm outside Greensboro, North Carolina. Its unsettling locale and costumed characters set a terrifying scene for all who dare step foot inside its cursed grounds. Superior special effects make for in immersive sensory experience that's been called one of the most terrifying in the country; visit, and you'll undoubtedly agree. Experience this depraved world for yourself
now through Nov. 6
Wisconsin Feargounds - Waukesha, Wisconsin
Wisconsin Fear Grounds, 1000 Northview Rd, Waukesha, WI 53188, USA
Those with coulrophobia need not visit
Wisconsin Fear Grounds
, as the mayor of this demented destination is none other than Sketchy the Clown. As a good town leader, Sketchy doesn’t care for intruders and guarantees that any who show up… will never leave. For those who dare disturb Sketchy's depraved world, the Wisconsin Feargrounds is open through Oct. 30.
The Dent Schoolhouse - Cincinnati, Ohio
The (allegedly true) Dent Schoolhouse story is one that will send shivers down your spine. The eponymous schoolhouse was once an actual public school in Ohio, but it closed in the 1950s after a janitor named Charlie was suspected in the disappearance of several school kids. Today, brave visitors roam the schoolhouse halls, where town lore says the missing children were, in fact, murdered. This year marks the 25th season of this
terrifying haunted attraction
, and true thrill-seekers can experience the Dent Schoolhouse
in complete darkness
on Nov. 5 and 6.
Erebus Haunted Attraction - Pontiac, Michigan
Erebus Haunted Attraction, 18 S Perry St, Pontiac, MI 48342, USA
There's a word for that
you feel when delighting in a dark, frightening experience: frisson. This "thrilling shiver" is something many seek out, and you'll be feeling
all the frisson
at Erebus in Pontiac, Michigan. This fright fest features four entire floors of terrors and scares, complete with Hollywood-level special effects. One of the largest indoor haunted houses in the world, Erebus is a bucket-list must for those seeking superlative thrills and chills. Check it out
select dates through Nov. 6
... if you dare.
Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride - Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Bates Motel, 1835 Middletown Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342, USA
The Bates Motel has a name that precedes it, and this Pennsylvania attraction certainly delivers... and then some. This half-mile haunted hike -- the former hayride route -- is dubbed "Psycho Path," and it will undoubtedly be the longest and most terrifying 20-minute trek of your life. Figures materialize out of thin air, creatures jump out at every turn, and eerie pyrotechnics complete the scary scene. If you're up for more, check into the eponymous Bates Motel, which is somehow more horrific than its namesake. For 25 years, The Bates Motel has repeatedly been selected as one of the best haunted hayride attractions in the world, and after visiting, you'll undoubtedly agree. The Bates Motel will be
scaring guests through Oct. 31
Field of Screams - Mountville, Pennsylvania
Field of Screams, 191 College Ave, Mountville, PA 17554, USA
Pennsylvanians must have an appetite for the macabre; Field of Screams repeatedly ranks as one of the most popular haunted attractions in the state *and* country. Now in its 29th season, Field of Screams is a wicked world unto itself, complete with a haunted hayride, two haunted houses, and a haunted woods experience. To date, this destination has terrified over one million souls;
before Nov. 6 and you can count yourself among this brave and elite group.
Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses - Ulster Park, New York
Ulster Road, Ulster Rd, Putnam Lake, NY 10509, USA
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" has nothing on this haunted attraction; Headless Horseman has been terrifying guests for nearly 30 years. In Ulster Park, New York, this seasonal attraction is located in a historic manor that hails from 1793. A perennial favorite in virtually every "Top 10" list, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses is a depraved destination that's inextricably tied to its unsettling landscape. The attraction is set on 65 acres of foreboding woods, ponds, and orchards, and the man-made effects and natural scenery combine to create something truly terrifying. Headless Horseman is a unique, immersive experience with a theme that changes each Halloween season;
this year's The Haunting of Pumpkin Jack
will scare you silly.
Haunted Overload - Lee, New Hampshire
Haunted Overload, 20 Orchard Way, Lee, NH 03861, USA
New England is a place of immense mystery and intrigue, where the ghosts of American history hang heavily in the air. New Hampshire's Haunted Overload attraction takes full advantage of the region's lore, creating a haunted trail through the New England woods that seems to swallow you whole. In an effort to appeal to
thrill-seekers, Haunted Overload has three "levels of fear" from which to choose: the Day Haunt happens in the light of day and allows guests to simply look at the sets; the Fright Night Lite happens at dark, letting guests enjoy the lighting effects
minus the scares
; and the Haunted Overload, the no-holds-barred, award-winning event that's a total nightmare (in the best possible way, of course). This epic haunted event happens through Halloween, and
really is something all scare-seekers must experience
There’s something wholly delightful about being scared silly — especially when you know it’s all in good fun. The Halloween season goes by in the blink of an eye, and before you know it, it will be all Santas and reindeer, sugar and spice. So embrace the spirit of frightful fun, and enjoy these epic haunts while you can!
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