Halloween’s proverbial jack-o-lantern reaches its full blaze this weekend. This means haunted attractions around the country hit a fevered pitch of screams and chills. Just for the occasion, we’ve gathered five of the most frightening haunted houses in America.
Spookywoods, 1615 Kersey Valley Rd. Archdale, N.C. 855-485-7766, spookywoods.com.
This massive attraction scares up nine different sections that guests experience back to back. It begins in the Midway Circus Scare Zone and takes visitors on a twisted trek into environments including a pirate hideout and an asylum manned by a sicko shrink.
Netherworld Haunted House, 6624 Dawson Blvd., Norcross. 404-608-2484, fearworld.com.
Arguably one of the most acclaimed Halloween attractions in the country, Netherworld attempts to reinvent itself each year for its throngs of frightened fans. For 2015, it serves up a pair of scares, both armed with new scenes and environments. The Rotting tells the story of evil spirits intent on turning humans into the undead. Visitors explore an arena of ghosts, a tunnel filled with ghouls and more. Vault 13: Unearthed takes guests down into a secret government base where monstrous creations threaten to escape. Stay clear of the toxic foam.
The Haunted Hotel, 424 Market St., San Diego, 619-696-7227, hauntedhotel.com.
Located in San Diego’s Gaslamp Disctrict, Haunted Hotel has been spooking guests longer than any other haunt in town.The Hotel’s caretakers promise a bigger, badder show this year, reportedly doubling in size. Hop aboard the Hellevator for sinister stops along the way. Share a subway ride with a gaggle of creepy clowns, swing by the autopsy morgue and keep your eyes open for the new Doll Island section.
13th Gate Haunted House, 832 St Phillip St. Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 225-389-1313, 13thgate.com.
Sure, just about every haunted attraction has the standard-issue, chainsaw-wielding maniac and some dude in a hockey mask jumping out from around the corner. This place, however, lays claim to a bouillabaisse of unique scares. Real snakes inhabit its swamp, voodoo shows drop nightly and it boasts its own ice cave. Fans rave over the theatricality and the staff’s keen attention to detail. Lines can get long, so consider bypassing the crowd and springing for a VIP ticket.
Erebus Haunted Attraction, 18 South Perry St. Pontiac. 248-332-7884, hauntedpontiac.com.
Make sure and wear some serious walking shoes for this one. Back in 2005, Erebus earned the Guinness World Record for being the longest walk-through haunted attraction. Consider making it an entire night on the town by pairing a trip to Erebus with a performance by the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, which takes place on site. Sword swallowers, fire breathers, contortionists and more up the entertainment ante.