Do you want to be scared this Halloween? There’s no better way to get your adrenaline pumping than to visit a haunted house. According to Americahaunts.com, there are over 1,200 haunted houses in the U.S. So how do you choose which ones to try? Don’t panic yet; we’ve put together a list of some of the best haunts in the U.S.
We chose these attractions based on awards and reviews. Many areas had dozens of great haunts, but we’ve limited ourselves to two standout Haunted Houses in each region of the United States. Take a look and see what’s close to you or plan your next Halloween road trip.
Headless Horseman- Ulster Park, New York
Every year people come from all over the eastern U.S. to experience their worst fears at Headless Horseman. This haunt takes up a 65-acre farm and features eight different haunted attractions, an escape room, and various sideshows, including an illusionist. They even have a Children’s Day every year for families who want to experience Halloween fun without the nightmares.
Headless Horseman has garnered a laundry list of accolades over the years, including being named America’s Scariest Haunted House in the Northeast by MTV and “One of America’s Best Hometown Haunts” by Fangoria Magazine. If you live anywhere in the MidAtlantic area, this place is a must-do.
Haunted Overload – Lee, New Hampshire
Haunted Overload has a reputation for being intense. Their “three levels of fear” model allows visitors who can’t handle the full-blown haunt to still come out and have fun. Haunted Overload is a trail type haunt that takes you on an immersive experience through heavily wooded terrain.
Their Day Haunt and Friday Night Lite are appropriate for skittish adults and young children, but their Haunted Overload is only for true adrenaline junkies. Haunted Overload has won several awards and was even featured in Hauntworld.com’s list of the “Top 20 Most Influential Haunted Attractions of all Time”.
The Dent Schoolhouse- Cincinnati, OH
The Dent Schoolhouse is a haunted attraction located in an actual haunted schoolhouse. The school opened in 1894, and legend has it that the janitor killed students who had harassed him and hid their bodies in his basement. The haunt now features two areas, the indoor schoolhouse, and the outdoor Queen City Slaughter Yard.
The Dent Schoolhouse wins awards every year for its original haunt. This year they were listed as the eighth most extreme haunted house in the country by AltPress. In addition to their regular haunt, Dent Schoolhouse also provides a lights-on haunt for younger visitors. You can also take a real-life ghost tour any Wednesday during October.
Erebus- Pontiac, Michigan
According to their website, Erebus uses state of the art Hollywood special effects to terrify their visitors. Apparently, it’s working because Erebus has been listed as one of the best haunts in the world and featured on several T.V. networks. Erebus is one of the largest haunted attractions in the world. Visitors are chased through four stories of terror. You can’t touch the actors, but they can touch you, and you better watch out for falling walls. This haunt is not for the faint of heart.
13th Gate- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The 13th Gate employs award-winning stage crews and actors who spend all year getting their 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse ready for Halloween thrills. Their website describes the haunt as a “Journey through 13 nightmarish realms where your worst fears come true, and anything can happen.” In addition to their award-winning haunt, the 13th Gate also offers escape rooms and an outdoor festival called Carnevil that features live music, sideshows, and activities such as ax throwing.
The 13th Gate is consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in the U.S. If you appreciate dedication to special effects quality, then this haunt is for you. The Travel Channel praised The 13th Gate as “One of the most detailed haunted houses in America.”
Netherworld- Atlanta, Georgia
Netherworld is another highly awarded haunted attraction with professional-grade special effects. This year they have two themed haunts, Night of the Gorgon and Cold Blooded. Each haunt has a different story behind it and provides a uniquely immersive experience. Netherworld has been scaring visitors since 1997 and is considered one of the top haunts in the nation. In addition to their two haunted houses, they also have a gift shop where you can take home some of the creepy fun.
House of Torment – Austin, TX
This elaborate Haunted house features three different haunts. The themes this year are Clown, Rise of the Dead, and Dimensions of Darkness. Get ready to be chased by evil clowns, zombies, and terrifying spirits. If all that isn’t enough for you, House of Torment also features Mini Escape Games, an escape room experience where your group only has five minutes to get out of the room. After you’ve got your adrenaline pumping, you can wind down and enjoy an adult beverage at Torment Tavern or try your hand at ax throwing.
Fear Farm- Phoenix, Arizona
Fear Farm has long been among the best-haunted attractions in the region. This year they are celebrating 20 years of scaring the crap out of visitors with six different haunts. The large variety is one of the most attractive things about Fear Farm- they offer something for everyone. This year their haunts include Bunker: The Arrival, an alien-themed haunt. Fallout, based on the popular post-apocalyptic video game and The Plague, the story of a doctor who gets revenge on the town that killed him. Fear Farm’s haunts are intense, and they suggest that children under twelve not go through.
Castle of Chaos- Salt Lake City, UT
Voted Utah’s best haunted house by hauntworld.com and One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions by the Travel Channel, Castle of Chaos is a must-do if you live in the West. They offer five levels of fear to cater to every fear threshold, from wimps to extremists. According to their website, Castle of Chaos is also Utah’s only underground haunted house.
This year they are offering Krusebel, the most extreme experience in Utah. It’s so terrifying that you’ll have to sign a waiver to participate. Participants in Krusebel are given a safe word and can choose to use it to slow down their experience instead of stopping it. You can also waive your safe word if you are completely confident in your ability to make it through without peeing your pants.
In addition to their haunts, you can also experience one of their four themed escape rooms. Their Zombie escape room is new for 2019. You have one hour to find the cure for the infection before the undead finds you. If all that sounds like too much, you can take your kids through their level one haunt, and no one will judge you (much).
The Freakling Bros Horror Show -Las Vegas, NV
It’s no surprise that Vegas is a hotspot for Halloween haunts. The Freakling Bros might be the most unique haunt Sin City has to offer. This year their “Trilogy of Horror” includes Coven of 13, Gates of Hell, and Castle Vampyre. All their haunts are scary, but according to their website, their Castle Vampyre attraction is appropriate for all ages.
The same cannot be said about their rated R haunt, Gates of Hell. This is the only rated R haunt in Nevada. Children under 13 are not allowed, and children under 17 have to be with a parent or guardian. You also have to sign a waiver in case the experience of being gruesomely “killed” is too much for your heart to handle. If you aren’t quite up for that, their Coven of 13 provides an immersive experience that’s less extreme.
The Pacific Coast
Haunted Hotel- San Diego, California
Haunted Hotel might just be the scariest haunt in the Golden State. They were even sued once by a visitor who got too scared. This year they are featuring three haunts: The Haunted Hotel, Kill-Billy Chaos, and 3D Freak Fest. The Haunted Hotel features the “hellevater” and a crawl through zombies. The 3D Freak Fest is a mind-bending 3D blacklight experience. In Kill-Billy chaos, you might just become lunch for cannibalistic hillbillies. This year they have relocated to the Mission Valley area outside of downtown San Diego and are offering free parking.
My Morbid Mind- Lacey, WA
What started as a front porch display in the suburb of Lacey, WA, has become one of the best-reviewed haunts in the state. My Morbid Mind has the feel of a small, independent haunt but the scare factor of a big commercial attraction. Visitors are continually impressed by the originality of My Morbid Mind’s themes and characters. If you live in the area and want to try something different, this is one to check out this year.