Ghosts, zombies, and clowns, oh my! If you’re one of those constantly on the hunt for your next big scare, we’ve got you covered! We scoured the country for the 30 must-visit haunted houses. While some, like Blackout, are scary enough to require a safe word, others like the Headless Horseman Haunted House offer frights that tend a bit more toward the traditional. Despite their differences, each of the following haunted attractions takes thrills and chills to a whole new level!
Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas
Next time you’re in Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, or San Antonio, test your bravery by making a trip through The 13th Floor. Each of the four locations is unique, and each updates their frightening themes, sets, and performers annually. Some of The 13th Floor’s past scary themes have included Ancient Evil and Zombieland Biohazard. Though each location of The 13th Floor offers plenty of scares, it’s worth noting that the Denver location actually has 10,000 additional square feet!
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
You may question reality after taking a trip through 13th Gate. This terrifying haunted house in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is well regarded for the way it “blurs the lines between what is real and what is fake.” For example, those who have survived 13th Gate often mention in their positive reviews the fantastically realistic sets, props, and costumes.
Asylum 49 tried to be a legitimate, non-terrifying hospital. After starting out as the Tooele Hospital, it then spent a brief amount of time as a nursing home before converting once and for all to the haunted attraction it was meant to be all along. Indeed, former nurses at both the hospital and nursing home repeatedly reported seeing dark shadows and ghosts they described as “aggressive.” Today, visitors to Asylum 49 can take a guided ghost tour of the former hospital wings. But beware: visitors may be separated from their group and strapped into a hospital bed.
Glen Hills, Pennsylvania
Don’t worry, this Bates Motel has nothing to do with Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller — though it is just as creepy and terrifying! This spooky haunted house includes a 20-minute haunted hay ride through a forest of your worst nightmares, a corn maze where you’re almost guaranteed to get lost, and a hotel interior that will make you think twice before booking that next vacation.
Kansas City, Missouri
You might technically be in Missouri when you visit The Beast, but this frightening and top-rated haunted house takes you straight to a typical Louisiana plantation. Well, typical in almost every way. This creepy and creative venue haunts its brave visitors with things like a pit of live alligators and a bayou brimming with all things terrifying.
Those who appreciate high-tech thrills and chills are sure to love Bennett’s Curse in Jessup, Maryland. Bennett’s Curse is almost always included in rankings of top haunted houses thanks to its unique special effects. A few of Bennett’s past themes include Zombie Kingdom (3D!), Sanctuary of Insanity, and House of Vampyres.
Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York
Don’t commit to making the trip through Blackout unless you really, really mean it. This terrifying top-ranked haunted house — which, by the way, you must be 18 or older to enter — actually makes you sign a waiver stating you understand you’ll experience “extreme horror, adult sexual content, tight spaces, darkness, fog, strobe light effects, exposure to water, physical contact, and crawling.” Survivors have reported such creepy experiences as walking through a hallway of “used” condoms, being fake peed on, being fake waterboarded, and getting groped by scary creatures. This place is reportedly so scary, they even give you a safe word.
From the outside, Creepywoods in Kingville, Maryland looks a lot like a typical family farm. Go inside, however, and you’ll see that this place is anything but. Guests to Creepywoods wander the surrounding woods (alone!), testing their bravery against werewolves, ghosts, and other terrifying creatures.
Fort Worth, Texas
Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, Texas is said to be the longest walk-through haunted house in the entire world, offering visitors a whole hour of terrifying thrills and chills. Besides the typical scares, Cutting Edge exposes its brave guests to room after room of the most terrifying scenarios and phobias. Hope you’re not too claustrophobic!
According to Cincinnati legend, the Dent Schoolhouse was shut down in the 1950s after the crazy school janitor murdered a slew of students there. It’s said Charlie the Janitor still haunts this old school building, which is now one of the Midwest’s top-rated creepy attractions. Brave visitors can wander the former school, as they keep an eye out for scary Charlie.
Erebus Haunted Attraction
There’s an endless supply of terror at Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, Michigan. This attraction is four stories of multiple paths. Brave visitors can come across any number of terrifying monsters and villains, ensuring an experience not likely to be forgotten anytime soon.
Factory of Terror
Plenty of chills and screams are produced at Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio. This terrifying haunted house has been recognized by the Guinness World Records a whopping three times as the “Longest Indoor Haunted Attraction” in the world. Visitors to Factory of Terror must make their way through 150,000 square feet of an abandoned aluminum foundry, braving various frights and villains along the way.
Freakling Bros: Gates of Hell
Las Vegas, Nevada
Leave it to Vegas to create one of the most terrifying haunted houses on the planet. Freakling Bros: Gates of Hell is notorious for its paralyzing “victim experience.” Survivors of this popular attraction report being knocked to the ground and then dragged down the hallway, being bitten by fire-breathing clown, and receiving electrical shocks.
Lionhearted lovers of all things frightening can face some of Hollywood’s most terrifying villains at Fright Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Factory is actually home to three different scary attractions — the Asylum, Horror High, and Village of the Damned — and visitors can brave them all in a single visit.
Hangman’s House of Horrors
Fort Worth, Texas
At The Hangman’s House of Horrors, inspired by the Texas legend of murderer Hezekiah Jones, visitors endure a creepy 3-D funhouse and the scary, haunted house attractions of Hillbillies Revenge and Cirque de Fantomes. Thankfully for some, The Hangman’s House of Horrors also includes some not-so-scary attractions, including karaoke, fun rides, and live music.
The Haunted Hotel
San Diego, California
San Diego, California is home to not one, but two must-visit haunted houses, the first of which is The Haunted Hotel. Consistently featured as one of the country’s best haunted houses by Haunt World Magazine, this hotel isn’t exactly one you’d want to check into for a relaxing vacation. The terrifying attraction includes the plunging Hellevator, a slew of zombies, and even a creepy Clown Subway.
Lee, New Hampshire
Let’s face it: forests are terrifying. Haunted Overload in Lee, New Hampshire exploits all that is scary about forests ands woods in this must-visit haunted attraction. Brave visitors trek through a particularly haunted patch of New England forest, where they’ll face incredibly impressive and realistic sets and costumes donned by professional actors.
The Haunted Trail
San Diego, California
Usually, Balboa Park is known as one of San Diego’s best relaxing and family friendly locales. But not around Halloween, when the park is transformed into a terrifying mile of haunted woods. The trail is extremely popular — yet not for the faint of heart — and is San Diego’s only exclusively outdoor haunted site.
Headless Horseman Haunted House
Ulster Park, New York
If it’s a classic haunted attraction you’re looking for, then look no further than Headless Horseman Haunted House. Located in Ulster Park, New York, this top-rated attraction consists of a haunted hayride, corn mazes, a whopping seven haunted houses, and some sideshow and illusion magic shows just for fun.
The House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs
Buffalo, New York
The House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs in Buffalo, New York is included on almost all lists of the very scariest haunted attractions in America. This is likely because of the attraction’s impressive repertoire of everything from zombies and demons, to insane killers and vampires, plus dozens of special effects, animations, and sets that look like they’re straight out of your favorite horror film.
House of Torment
Austin, Texas; Chicago, Illinois
Located in both Austin and Chicago, House of Torment is one of the most popular and highly rated haunted houses in the country. Each location features a rotating menu of creepy haunted attractions, which in the past has included Nightmare High Fall Harvest, The Possession, and The Deranged. No matter what attraction happens to be featured, visitors can be sure to expect Hollywood-quality sets and costumes, and of course, a ton of thrills.
Hundred Acres Manor
Hundred Acres Manor may sound like something out of your favorite childhood story, but this place is definitely not so innocent. Visitors to Hundred Acres Manor will find their choice of six terrifying attractions, each one more frightening than the next. One of the most popular of Hundred Acres Manor’s attractions is South Valley Slaughterhouse, which is said to make “Sweeney Todd reel in delight.”
Kersey Valley Spookywoods
Archdale, North Carolina
Not to be confused with the aforementioned Creepywoods, Kersey Valley Spookywoods offers visitors one of the country’s top-rated haunted house experiences. Guests will get up close and personal with some of the best sets, costumes, and creepy characters in the business. And if the main attraction isn’t enough to thoroughly frighten you, there’s also the options of add-on escape games or zipline tours to complete the experience.
San Diego, California
Few people are able to make it through this terrifying, 21-and-over haunted house in San Diego, California. Before entry, waivers are signed and safe words are handed out in preparation for such experiences as having duct tape placed over visitors’ mouths and eyes, getting shoved into a clothes dryer, being doused with water and/or fake blood, and other extreme examples of physical contact. Needless to say, McKamey Manor takes “haunted house” to a whole new level.
If the squeaky voices of Nashville’s wannabe country stars doesn’t scare you enough, head over to Nashville Nightmare. As one of the top-ranked haunted houses in America, Nashville Nightmare is well known for its realistic sets, professional actors-turned-villains, and of course, its endless scares.
Netherworld Haunted House
At Halloween, haunted house aficionados come from all over to experience the terror that is Netherworld. Every year, professional actors, high-tech special effects pros, and film-quality set designers come together to create a different terrifying theme. In fact, Netherworld’s sets and props are so good they’ve been used in various horror films such as Halloween 2 and Zombieland.
Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary
Called things like “Number 1 Haunted House in the U.S.” and “perfect for Halloween,” Terror Behind the Walls is a haunted house built behind the walls of an actual state prison, Eastern State Penitentiary. Located in the crumbling, 180-year old facility, Terror Behind the Walls offers brave visitors the chance to spend an entire night in a place myriad paranormal investigation teams have deemed haunted. Really brave visitors can even go exploring on the Night Watch, though they’ll have nothing more than a flashlight to guide the way.
You can spend all of Halloween season at Thrillvania and still not see it all! This top-ranked, multi-award-winning haunted house covers more than 50 acres and eight haunted attractions. More than 20,000 visitors a year make their way to Terrell, Texas to experience all that Thrillvania has to offer, including the popular Verdun Manor, a two-story haunted house designed by Disney Imagineers and said to hold more scary props per square foot than any other haunted attraction in America.
Witches of New Salem
Witches of New Salem in Dorr, Michigan has just one warning for its fright-happy visitors: Enter the corn at your own risk. Visitors to Witches of New Salem have two options for experiencing all that this frightening place has to offer. A nighttime tour of the corn fields yields creepy characters, dead ends, and lots of unexpected surprises, while a wander through the Witches’ Woods is sure to bring on even more terror.
Woods of Terror
Greensboro, North Carolina
The Woods of Terror isn’t your average hiking trail! A couple decades ago, this Greensboro, North Carolina-located trail was simply known as a creepy patch of forest. Today, it’s one of the top-ranked haunted attractions in the country. Woods of Terror attracts more than 20,000 people per year hoping to scream their heads off while wandering around 20 acres of pure terror.