To plenty of people, the real world can seem scary enough these days. But if you’re one of those folks who needs an extra exhilarating jolt of fear around Halloween, you’re in luck.
Haunted house attractions — which have exploded in popularity across the USA in recent years — provide a multitude of adrenaline-inducing thrills.
There are so many great options, but here are 10 of the best to work into your terrifying travel plans for Halloween 2019:
(Glen Mills, Pennsylvania): You don’t need reservations — only courage — to check into the Bates Motel! If you’re not staying the night, you can also take a haunted hayride on the grounds or face down some revenge-minded scarecrows.
Bates Motel: 1835 Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342; +1 610 459 0647
The Dent Schoolhouse
(Cincinnati, Ohio): This attraction is at an actual former school, but the lessons you learn here make literary stalwart Edgar Allan Poe and his ravens look tame.
The Dent Schoolhouse: 5963 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45248; +1 513 445 9767
(Pontiac, Michigan): Erebus bills itself as a “four-story tower of terror.” It’s a half-mile walk filled with zombies, monsters and a time-travel experiment gone terribly wrong. Erebus is just outside Detroit.
Erebus: 18 S Perry St.., Pontiac, MI 48342; +1 248 332 7884
Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror
(Las Vegas): What scares in Vegas slays in Vegas. Choose from this terrible troika: Castle Vamprye, Coven of 13 and Gates of Hell. Head ups: They’re planning to put a stake in the heart of Castle Vampyre — this is your last year to see it.
Freakling Bros. Trilogy of Terror: 4245 S. Grand Canyon Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89147; +1 702 362 3327
(Lee, New Hampshire): Have you always wanted to see monsters roaming a frightening farm where the harvest is a bumper crop of fear? Then head to one of New England’s top Halloween attractions.
Haunted Overload: 20 Orchard Way, Lee, NH 03861; +1 855 504 2868
The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park
(San Diego): Take a mile-long walk of horror through a “grove of twisted pines and gnarled oaks” that hide a host of gruesome delights. But before you can even get there, you’ll have to make your way through a malevolent maze — the rumor is Michael Myers hangs out there.
Haunted Trail of Balboa Park: Balboa Drive and Juniper Road, San Diego, CA 92101; +1 619 696 7227
Netherworld Haunted House
(Stone Mountain, Georgia): This Deep South classic has been bringing a chill to participants for years. “Enjoy” two themed attractions: Night of the Gorgon and Cold Blooded.
Netherworld Haunted House: 2076 W. Park Place Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30087
Scared by the Sound
(Rye, New York): The usual happy noises of children at the classic Playland Park are replaced by shrieks, screeches and yells every Halloween season. Walk through an enclosed haunted house and outdoor cemetery.
Scared by the Sound (at Playland Park): 1 Playland Parkway, Rye, NY 10580; +1 914 813 7010
(Chaska, Minnesota): Near Minneapolis, Scream Town offers seven attractions, including the “Ludicrous Labyrinth,” “Oak Blood Forest” and “Circus Asylum.”
Scream Town: 7410 US-212, Chaska, MN 55318; +1 888 317 7308
The 13th Gate
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana): They definitely know a thing or deux about putting on a haunted show in Louisiana (you have seen “True Blood,” right?) And what awaits you here? Look out for iron-hot pokers, swamp pools of REAL snakes, mad scientists and a “Carnevil” that isn’t playing around.
The 13th Gate: 832 St Philip St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802; +1 225 389 1313
Can’t make it to any of the places above? Here are some other ghoulish recommendations that might be closer to you:
— Bennett’s Curse: 7875 Eastpoint Mall, Baltimore, MD 21224; +1 410 322 7332
— The Darkness: 1525 South 8th Street, St. Louis, MO 63104
— The Disturbance (created by The Haunted Hotel): 1288 Camino Del Rio N San Diego, CA; + 1 619 696 7227
— Hundred Acres Manor: 1 100 Acres Drive, Bethel Park, PA 15102: +1 412 851 4286
— Nashville Nightmare: 1016 Madison Square, Madison, TN 37115; +1 615 933 5377
— Thrillvania: 2330 County Road 138, Terrell, TX 75161; +1 972 524 2868
— Woods of Terror: 5601 N Church St, Greensboro, NC 27455; +1 336 643 3558