Some people prefer the gentler amusements of fall: apple-picking, pumpkin carving, hayrides, and leaf-peeping. Others search for something a little more exciting. Fear junkies thrive in October as Halloween haunts infiltrate the United States.
Whether thrill seekers are looking to be terrorized by clowns, zombies, or maniacal schoolteachers, the spooky choices are seemingly endless. Toss the pumpkin spice lattes and cider donuts aside, because this list highlights the most horrifying destinations designed to freak out even the most hardened terror enthusiasts.
8 The Haunted Trail and Experiment Maze-San Diego, California
Enjoy two spooky attractions in San Diego’s Balboa Park. The mile-long Haunted Trail and 3,500 square foot Experiment Maze take visitors down a twisting, terrifying path through woods filled with frights not meant for the faint of heart. Take a bus ride with some seriously spooky nuns, and try not to run from horror icons like Pennywise and Jason. Talented actors sink into their roles to make this one-of-a-kind attraction a must-see, transporting brave souls into a real-life horror story.
- Address: Balboa Dr &, Juniper Rd, San Diego, CA 92101
7 Six Flags Great America Fright Fest-Gurnee, Illinois
Amplify the adrenaline of rollercoaster rides at Six Flags Great America’s annual Fright Fest. Located less than an hour outside of Chicago, Six Flags Great America has provided quality spooks since 1986. Monsters hop on rides with park-goers, supplying a boost of stomach-dropping terror. Scare zones throughout the park are swamped with demons, witches, and zombies, so even the simple act of getting around will get a visitor's heart pumping. Six haunted houses invite the courageous to walk through well-crafted hallways of horror. The park also features Halloween-themed entertainment on several stages.
- Address: 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031
6 Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum-Weston, West Virginia
Those looking for haunts based in reality will find what they’re looking for at The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. During the 1800s, the hospital housed the severely mentally ill and the professionals trying to treat them. Several patients died within the walls of the asylum over the years, and some believe their souls still lurk within the building today. The spot has been a destination for amateur and professional ghost hunters since its doors were opened to the public. A variety of tours are available for visitors looking to journey through some very dark history.
- Address: 50 S River Ave, Weston, WV 26452
5 Hex House-Tulsa, Oklahoma
This attraction is not meant for children. Hex House has its visitors begging to wake up from their waking nightmares, with an abundance of frights from start to finish. Flickering lights and gory scenes create a truly uncomfortable atmosphere. Contortionists crawl across the floors. Creepy children with unnerving laughs lurk within the shadows looking for playmates, and weapon-wielding monsters jump out from every corner. Hex House delivers in the terror department, so it's no wonder why it has been named one of the best haunted houses in the United States.
- Address: 5610 W Skelly Dr, Tulsa, OK 74107
4 The Dent School House-Cincinnati, Ohio
Visitors are invited to experience the terrifying horror trope of murderous teachers and a bloodthirsty janitor at The Dent School House. Trips through the terrifying hallways take place throughout October, but the field trip doesn’t end after Halloween. The lights go out in November, where ticket holders travel through the schoolhouse with only glow sticks to light the way. The Schoolhouse opens again for the winter holidays with a creepy Christmas cast and reimagined haunts sure to spark that good old yuletide spirit.
- Address: 5963 Harrison Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45248
3 Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus-Waynesfield, Ohio
Enjoy a variety of activities at the Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus. Known as “The Greatest Scare on Earth,” the attraction features a haunted cornfield with torment hiding amongst the stalks. The Homestead offers an indoor storytelling experience highlighting the history of the brothers for which the attraction is named. For an extra unique adventure, visitors are armed with paintball guns and challenged to defend their wagons from an onslaught of flesh-hungry zombies!
- Address: 19407 OH-117, Waynesfield, OH 45896
2 13th Gate-Baton Rouge, Louisiana
An ominous black building dares passersby to stop inside for one of the most remarkable haunts of their lifetime. Noted for its extremely realistic sets and masterful attention to detail, the 13th gate has been serving up scares in Louisiana for over twenty years. Every season, talented actors take on horrifying roles that make guests question reality inside this seamless spooky attraction. Thirteen demonic domains are stretched over 40,000 square feet. The terror doesn't end at the door, though. An authentic graveyard filled with zombies sits outside the main attraction, which is not recommended for those with heart conditions or incontinence issues.
- Address: 832 St Philip St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
1 Thrillvania-Terrell, Texas
The devil is in the details at Thrillvania, where a well-crafted narrative brings thrills to life. Horror lingers within the picket fences of the haunted manor, where demented scientist and werewolf, Baron Michael Verdun, performed twisted experiments on countless human beings. The deformed creatures' souls are forever trapped on the grounds. Visitors are dared to confront the disgusting displays of cruelty performed by a mad wolf at this highly stylized spooky attraction.
- Address: 2330 Co Rd 138, Terrell, TX 75161