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The 10 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

We’re pleased to welcome back Harry Parsons from Arcadia Publishing with a seasonal guest post about the most haunted Halloween-style houses the U.S. has to offer.


Of all the industries in the world, the Halloween industry is without a doubt one of the fastest growing. This has especially been the case over the past decade or so. Modern people love going over the top when it comes to their home decorations and costumes for Halloween. They’re more interested than ever before in experiencing a good scare in real life as well.

That said, it’s not hard to see why haunted houses are all the rage. However, there are haunted houses, and then there are the scariest haunted houses generating the absolute most buzz. Here are some of the options that couldn’t help but make our list.

  1. Haunted Overload – Lee, New Hampshire

Those who prefer open, outdoor haunted houses to the traditional indoor alternatives will definitely want to take a closer look at Haunted Overload. Not only is it consistently listed on top lists as one of the scariest haunted attractions in the country, thanks to its amazing special effects and costumes, but the team works tirelessly every year to make sure the attraction is a bit different each Halloween.

  1. 13th Floor – San Antonio, Texas

At 13th Floor, it’s all about creative, high quality experiences that are as realistic as possible. Also, each of the thirteen scenes within the attraction is completely interactive to really turn the dial up on the scare factor.

This is another attraction where a point is made to keep the experience fresh from year to year, while remaining familiar. Regular visitors will recognize some returning characters from past Halloweens, but will always be guaranteed new faces to be frightened by as well. Making it all the way through from floor one to floor thirteen really feels like an accomplishment!

  1. House of Torment – Chicago, Illinois

If you’ve already heard of the House of Torment, we wouldn’t be at all surprised. This nationally recognized attraction is considered to be one of the biggest, most bone-chilling haunted houses in the country. That’s because it’s not just a haunted house. It’s actually more like a hands-on, hyper-realistic walk through a real, live horror movie.

Sets are incredibly detailed in order to create a highly immersive experience. You’ll most likely even meet an iconic character or two during your visit!

  1. Hex House – Tulsa, Oklahoma

Oklahoma probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of locations known for unbelievable scary haunted attractions. That’s why Hex House is considered a major hidden gem among haunted house enthusiasts. It’s based on one of Tulsa’s most famous local legends – the story of Carol Ann Smith.

That said, this is a very unique haunted house packed with one-of-a-kind scares and a theme you won’t find in use anywhere else. If you can swing a visit to Tulsa any time soon, we promise Hex House will make it worth your while.

  1. Fear Experience – Cleveland, Ohio

For those in search of a haunted house that is actually a whole lot more than just that, look no further than Cleveland’s very own Fear Experience. It’s the biggest, most expansive haunted house attraction in Cleveland by a landslide.

In addition to amazing set design, creative characters, and world class acting, visitors will have the opportunity to play zombie laser tag. Plus new attractions – like last year’s monster lab – are constantly being added.

  1. Blackout – New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California

Blackout is another haunted house you’ve probably heard of – most likely because it’s so intense you have to sign a waiver before you’ll be allowed inside. That waiver is no joke, either. Blackout exposes visitors not just to scares and shocks, but adult sexual content, very extreme horror situations, tight spaces, total darkness, and more. Plus, you are required to experience it alone.

Not sure whether or not Blackout will be too much haunted house for you? You’ll be happy to know you’ll have a safe word you can yell if it all gets to be too much.

  1. Cutting Edge – Fort Worth, Texas

Cutting Edge is all about getting to visitors by playing on their most deeply held phobias and fears. (Think having to walk through room after room positively filled with them.) It also lasts a full hour, making it the longest walk-through haunted house experience in the entire world. That’s quite a long time to spend living your worst nightmares.

  1. Erebus – Pontiac, Michigan

Erebus is in a prime location when it comes to haunted attractions, so you know right off the bat that you’re in for an experience here. The staff works all year round to create an experience that’s like no other, thanks to world-class special effects, upper echelon actors, and more.

Prepare to meet creatures and characters that grab you, bite you, drop down on you from above, and even attempt to bury you alive. It’s an intense four-story, half-mile experience, to say the least!

  1. The Darkness – St. Louis, Missouri

Here’s another attraction that consistently makes a lot of people’s “best” lists, and it’s not hard to see why. The set design here is on par with something you’d expect from Hollywood, as are the special effects. These include their cutting-edge 3D “Terror Visions.”

Plus, there’s an outdoor scream zone to enjoy. Check out animated singing bands, gigantic movie screens showing horror movies, and a truly captivating on-site museum filled with movie memorabilia to marvel at.

  1. The Bates Motel – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This renowned location has been in the business of scaring people for a long time – more than 25 years, in fact. It’s an entire theme park that offers visitors a variety of different haunted attractions to choose from.

They include, but are not limited to, a haunted hayride, a haunted cornfield trail, and much more. You’ll enjoy detailed sets, creative scenarios, very talented actors, and more here. There truly is something for everyone, so be sure to add it to your Halloween bucket list!

You may also want to get yourself in the mood for your next haunted house trip by reading up on real life haunted houses, locations, and sites across the country. Explore the possibilities today!

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2 thoughts on “The 10 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

  1. Hey Rhonda! Yep. For sure the Lemp Mansion is one scary place. This list was just for Halloween-style haunted houses, not the real ones. However, you sparked a story idea for another post so…thanks!

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