For most of the year, you can only satisfy your appetite for spooks and scares if you happen to catch a horror movie marathon on cable. In October, however, the looming promise of Halloween inspires epic haunted houses all across America. Here are five of the scariest haunted houses to visit.
Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride
This haunted house destination combines the trifecta of Halloween scares: a haunted hayride, a tour through the Bates Motel, and a journey through a haunted corn maze. The entire event takes about 90 minutes and involves pyrotechnics, more than 75 actors, and a host of special effects.
You’ll find this venue just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at Arasapha Farms (1835 Middletown Road in the town of Glen Mills). If you want to experience all three attractions, tickets cost $40 for adults and $35 for kids, though the venue doesn’t recommend the Bates Motel tour for children under the age of 8.
Fright at the Farm
Rochester, Minnesota, earned the top spot on 2016’s list of best places to live. It’s also close to the recently relocated Fright at the Farm, a haunted house tour that includes multiple buildings at Willow’s Keep Farm (47385 US-52 in Zumbrota). The venue opens its creaking doors every Halloween for live action performances and guided tours through the spooky settings.
The venue also boasts a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and gift shop. If you bring two cans of non-perishable food, you can buy your tickets for $2 off at the door ($13 instead of $15 per person). You can also buy tickets in advance online.
Terror on Washington Street
In Clinton, Illinois, the Terror on Washington Street haunted house beckons visitors who prefer old-fashioned scary scenes to high-startle, high-tech frights. The old building houses three floors of spooky sights, from Michael Myers to Hannibal Lector, to It-inspired clowns.
Each room features a different theme, and the basement scares are perhaps the most intense. Tickets cost $10 and each thrill is well-designed and intricate. If you’re a fan of scary films, you’ll find this attraction particularly satisfying.
13th Floor Haunted House
Built around a creative legend about hidden thirteenth floors, the 13th Floor Haunted House (2814 West Bell Road in Phoenix, Arizona) deserves a spot on this list thanks to its impressive set designs, over-the-top costumes, and central theme.
Ticket prices vary depending on the date, but you can skip to the beginning of the line with Fast Passes and Immediate Access Passes.
The Dent Schoolhouse
If you’re looking for a unique haunted house, head to Cincinnati and walk through The Dent Schoolhouse (5963 Harrison Avenue) and the adjacent slaughter yard. You’ll see plenty of creepy imagery and excellent effects. This venue also offers a lights-on tour of the venue for those who don’t like to get too scared. Tickets cost between $20 and $40 per person, depending on the type of experience you want.
Haunted houses offer you a chance to star in your own horror movie instead of just watching one. If you live nearby any of these spectacular venues (or if you’re up for a road trip), grab your tickets and get ready for a few scares.