Halloween is creeping up on us, but there’s time to prepare for a harrowing visit to some of America’s top haunted houses. The experts at Hauntworld magazine annually announce their top 13 scary attractions for avid thrill-seekers and daring-doers who want a thrill. This year, however, they were so knocked out by the terror that they have nominated 15 attractions! So get ready to get scared with Hauntworld magazine’s top haunted attractions to spice up your Halloween holiday season!
How do you get to be the Scariest Attraction?
Halloween has become a $15 billion-dollar annual business in the US alone, with Americans spending an estimated $1 billion on attraction tickets.
The top 15 haunted attractions were selected due to the advanced level of special effects, passion for detail and overall ability to produce screams. Notes Larry Kirchner, owner of Hauntworld, “Consumers expect haunted houses to be scarier every year, so the industry has to tap into modern technology, be truly innovative and create the best experiences possible in order to keep people coming back.” He adds, “The haunts on this year’s list are especially impressive and unique. I’ve never seen such ingenious designs and diversity between the top houses in the country.”
Of course, that means that not all of them will be appropriate for your tiny travelers. Please checkout Hauntworld’s reviews, below, and then pour over the websites and suggested age restrictions of each attraction before committing to a ticket purchase. And if you come back alive, please add your comments to this story so we know how to survive, too.
The Top Professional Haunted Attractions of 2015
1) Haunted Overload – Lee, NH: The vibrant, organic design, set in an eerie dark New England forest, creates an assault of the senses for its patrons.
2) Headless Horseman – Ulster Park, NY: An immersive experience with a theme that changes each year, and includes ten separate attractions including The Lunar Motel, Glutton’s Diner & Slaughter House, and Slither’s Pet Shop.
3) The 13th Gate – Baton Rogue, LA: Centered around a real swamp, the 13th Gate features nightly voodoo shows, claustrophobic cellars, hidden subterranean passages and a prehistoric ice cave all seamlessly woven together.
4) The Dent Schoolhouse – Cincinnati, OH: Taking place in an actual haunted schoolhouse, The Dent Schoolhouse features spectacular set design that tells the legend of a murderous janitor who is said to still haunt its halls.
5) Netherworld – Atlanta, GA: A self-guided, dark attraction known for its over-the-top special effects, Netherworld features intense make-up, elaborate costuming, skilled stunt actors, unique monsters, unusual themes and chilling detail.
6) 13th Floor – San Antonio, TX: 13th Floor features all new haunts in 2015, including a ‘Burial Ground’ where a hotel manager’s basement has been tunneled out to make room for the remains of the outcast experiments and victims of those who reside in the upstairs mansion as part of the “secret society.”
7) Bennett’s Curse – Baltimore, MD: Known for its incredible array of giant monsters and skillfully themed shows, this year Bennett’s Curse is featuring the all-new show “Legends of Halloween,” a frightful journey filled with everything you’d expect to see in a classic Halloween setting, but with a horrific Bennett’s Curse twist.
8) Erebus – Pontiac, MI: New to Erebus this year are the Dungeon of Dread, filled with unnerving, tormented souls that are sure to make your blood run cold, and the Undead Dolls Quarter, where toys that once filled the dreams of children are now a living nightmare for adults.
9) Bates Motel – Philadelphia, PA: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Bates Motel is a huge Victorian mansion filled with computer controlled animatronics, digital sound and lighting, amazingly detailed rooms and top quality actors, making this event one you will always remember.
10) The Darkness – St Louis, MO: The Darkness features a combination of amazing special effects, animations and set design, including the famous Terror Visions in 3D where crazed clowns lurk around every corner.
11) Cutting Edge – Dallas, TX: This Guinness World record holding haunted house is thick with music, entertainment and the anticipation of the dark and foreboding journey waiting just beyond the Giant Skull Entrance for an hour-long adventure, referred to as one of the longest adrenaline rushes you can buy.
12) Spookywoods – Greensboro, NC: New for 2015 at Kersey Valley Spookywoods are the Escape Rooms and a new 3 story Haunted Manor, which sends guests into a 50,000 square foot haunted maze featuring monsters, ghouls and zombies, and over 150 costumed characters.
13) House of Torment – Chicago, IL: This multilayered psychological thriller is more like a trip through a modern horror movie than a haunted house complete with detailed sets, iconic characters and chilling environments.
14) Hex House – Tulsa, OK: Hex House features a true tale of mystery, murder, and the occult from Tulsa’s dark past and a real sense of terror permeates every inch of the eerily lit corridors and ghastly rooms in Oklahoma’s premier haunted attraction.
15) Fear Experience – Cleveland, OH: Ohio’s biggest, best and scariest haunted house, every season Fear Experience expands its haunted house, adding new attractions such as this year’s BioTeck Solutions – a trip through a genetic research lab filled with monsters.
As Hauntworld reminds us, the list doesn’t end here. On their site, families will find one really scary thing to every day in the month of October as well as more gently haunted attrations in their region.
Read more and weep at the opportunities at Hauntworld.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.