The autumn leaves have begun to fall. The days turn to night earlier and earlier. The smell of freshly made S’mores and back yard fire pits fill the air. For many, this is their favorite time of the year… “Jeans and sweatshirt” weather, and for many kids, and just as many adults, it’s time for HALLOWEEN! Be it the challenge of how many pounds of candy one can acquire, how much pumpkin spice one can consume, or how many screams of fear you will screech or cause.
The chance to dress up and spook and be spooked has evolved from urban legends, old folk lore stories, some true stores, and many from just the wildest imaginations. This has also turned the art of spooking into a big business of entertainment. You can find some terrifying haunted attractions in every state. Some have achieved legendary status and draw in crowds from all over the country. The Travel Experts here at LuggageFactory.com are big fanatics of this time of year and have put together some of their favorite haunted attractions that are a must visit if you get the chance.
*In no particular order – 5 of The Travel Experts here at LuggageFactory.com’s favorite attractions.
#1 – Hundred Acres Manor – Bethel Park, PA (Pittsburgh Area)
Always ranked as one of America’s best haunted houses, and even makes the best haunted houses of the world list, Hundred Acres Manor features six different attractions spanning over a mile with names like Dead Lift, The Host, Torture Tank, Vodou, The Breach & Hallows’ Eve. Throughout these attractions you can lower down into the deepest parts of the Manor’s basement by way of the Dead Lift elevators, see what it’s like to be The Host of the plague meeting serial killers, doctors werewolves and other creatures. Still not scared? Visit the Torture Tank. Choose your scenarios, costuming, set designs and you are even provided with an innocent human where you get to live out your sickest fantasies. Add some southern bayou flavor when you visit Vodou. Be on the lookout for The Stitchers who want your bodies, The Priestess who wants your souls and the bodies of the damned look upon you. The Breach will find you running for your life from creatures who have escaped from a space-bound research facility. If you’re one for nostalgia, Hallows’ Eve is filled with the classic Halloween monsters, creatures and superstitions. Hundred Acres Manor has consistently been one of America’s best haunted attractions over the years. Find more on Hundred Acres Manor at hundredacresmanor.com
#2 – Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride – Glen Mills, PA (Philadelphia Area)
Bates Motel has been spooking patrons for the past 27 years, located on Arasapha Farm outside of Philadelphia, PA, it has become one of the best in the business offering three of the scariest attractions in the country. The haunted hayride is filled with amazing props, digital FX, great actors and extraordinary professional makeup that will have you screaming in fear as it is known as the scariest hayride in the country. Been on a haunted hayride before? Don’t expect the ordinary scenes and spooks as you find at the other places, The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride goes all out. Experience a 40 foot tall drive thru insane asylum, a full scale mockup of a New England church, a 200 foot cave and all filled with live actors and elaborate scenes. Once you get over the fears of the hayride, enter into the Bates Motel where you will be transported to another time and world. Everything in this haunt is interactive. If the floor boards that come alive, pictures that you swear are following you, or the custom animated props don’t scare you, it’s filled with actors that interact with you on a personal level and the screams echo throughout the building. Want a little fresh air while being spooked? Dare to enter the Revenge of The Scarecrows Haunted Trail. Here you will find yourself making your way through a terrifying corn field filled with walk thru buildings and sets. The animatronic monsters and live action actors will have you jumping in fear at every corner. The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride has become a tradition for many over the years always delivering top notch spooks and screams. Find more on The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride at thebatesmotel.com
#3 – Headless Horseman – Ulster Park, NY
Just a short drive north of New York City, Headless Horseman has been scaring the NYC Tri-State area for the past 25 years. Part of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley, hosted on a 250 year old farm, it incorporates over 65 acres. With attractions like a one-mile hayride, a cornfield maze, side show and six haunted houses. Each haunted house has its own terrifying theme all filled with hundreds of live actors in custom costumes, and makeup. The animatronics, special effects and frightening attention to details are an all year practice as Deadless Horseman’s sister company is American Made Monster Studios bringing some of the best production experience in the country. The Lunar Motel, Glutton’s Diner and Slaughterhouse, Horseman’s Tomb, Night Shade Nursery and Greenhouse, The Feeding, and Two Raven’s Manor are the houses of fear. The Two Raven’s Manor features skilled stunt actors and a magic illusion side show starring Illusionist Ryan Dutcher. Be warned as you may lose your voice from all the screams they will pull out of you. Switch things up a bit and enter Dr. Dark’s Spookarama and Black Spider Circus Sideshow. This is a walk-thru side show like no other. Picture the scariest, creepiest, most grotesque things you can imagine… then picture it 100 times scarier. When your legs get tired from tensing up in fear so much, relax on a nice hayride… but this is not ordinary hay ride and the only thing that might be relaxing are your legs as this The Resurrection. A mile long haunted hayride themed after the legend of the Headless Horseman. After 25 years, The Headless Horseman rides again. Find more on Headless Horseman at headlesshorseman.com
#4 – House of Torment Haunted Houses – Austin, TX
With over 40,000 square feet of torment, consisting of 3 haunted attractions, the House of Torment Haunted Houses is considered one of the best in the country. The way over the top production is par to none and is absolutely guaranteed to scare and terrify even the most seasoned of haunt enthusiasts. Located at the Graveside Manor, you will find The Possession. Here you will get your daily dose of some of the most demented creatures on earth and highlighting the most feared Ghoul Nun. Next up is Blackthorne: The Deranged. An abandoned penitentiary is the setting and gruesome, inhumane creatures birthed from experiments gone wrong are the cast. You don’t know fear until you’ve escaped from The Deranged. Hey, have you seen the remake of IT? Think Pennywise is scary? You’d think he’s ready for children’s birthday parties after you experience The Frenzy: Dark Carnival. This may very well be many people’s worst nightmare. Filled with deranged creatures from a demented carnival sideshow, you think you have a fear of clowns now? You don’t know what fear is and you’ll never look at a clown the same again. Find more on houseoftorment.com
#5 – Terror Behind The Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, PA
What can be more terrifying than a REAL abandoned prison? This is not a well done location setting to mimic a prison like setting… the location of Terror Behind The Walls is throughout the closed down, abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. This place is so creepy and scary, it’s open all year round and tours are available during the non-Halloween season for you to investigate the paranormal activity. The Eastern State Penitentiary has been featured on just about every ghost finding show and is said to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. During the Halloween season is when it calls upon all its gloom and channels the spirits that are said to roam the cell blocks. There are six attractions inside the cellblocks. Lock Down features zombie inmates during a riot who have taken control and there is nothing the zombie guards can do about it. If you escape without becoming a zombie yourself, The Machine Shop will evoke industrial evil. Between the sounds, atmosphere and horrifying actors, you will be sure to think you can’t get any more scared. You would be thinking wrong. The Infirmary gives you a whole new way to fear hospitals. Prison medical treatment at its finest from shock therapy, hydrotherapy and many other torturous experiments gone wrong. We’ve all see the movies and heard the prison yard is where things get settled… will you be next in the Blood Yard? Elevating the production, new in recent years is Quarantine, a 4D experience. This area is a total mind trip. You will find yourself hallucinating from the mind-altering special effects throughout. Just when you think it’s over, and you can go home back to normality, you enter Break Out. Here you will be surrounded by inmates who just want to go home. They will try to escape with you in every way imaginable and may even use you to aid in their attempt to gain freedom. Eastern State Penitentiary is always one of the best haunts each year and during Halloween is only part of it. This is one of the rare locations that is open 7 days a week all year long that you don’t have to wait for Halloween season to be scared. Find more on Terror Behind The Walls at easternstate.org/Halloween & easternstate.org
It may be a little late for this year unless you’re local to some of these locations, but it’s never too early to start planning for next year to be included in your traveling.