The Top 5 Haunted Attractions of Halloween 2015

Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Halloween 2015 Attractions

America Haunts estimates that there are more than 1,200 independent haunted houses, 300 theme parks with Halloween attractions, and at least 3000 charity attractions operating in the US each October. While the best-known attractions are often under the banner of theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios, some of the real innovation is happening at independently owned and operated attractions. Boundaries are pushed, technology is used and scary experiences elevated to levels that require health warnings, age limits and signed liability waivers. It’s tough to choose and we’re no doubt missing some fantastic attractions, but here are five of the top haunted attractions around the US in 2015.

The Dent Schoolhouse

The Dent Schoolhouse, Cincinnati OH

There’s something universally creepy about schoolhouses. Most people have attended school in some format, and often do so during our most impressionable and highly emotional years. From tormenting peers to angry teachers, many of us have had some real life horror moments in the hallways of academia. The Dent Schoolhouse plays on this notion with a tightly themed attraction that’s routinely rated one of the scariest in America. The setting is perfect: an actual schoolhouse that’s said to be haunted by a murderous janitor. The ambiance is augmented by Hollywood style sets and award-winning makeup.

Necropolis 13 - Sister property to the 13th Gate

The 13th Gate, Baton Rouge Louisiana

The 13th Gate has been described as a multi-layered psychological experience that’s akin to a horror movie. It’s bringing a new level of authentic and immersive horror to a state that’s already known for being pretty spooky. The large-scale attraction features 160 professional actors, 40 crew members and a team of makeup artists to bring the interactive experience to life. The theme centers on 13 different realms that are brought to life with ultra-realism. It’s often been described that the artists behind the show “are experts at blurring the line between horror and reality.” The attraction features a real snake-infested Louisiana Swamp, nightly voodoo shows, claustrophobic cellars, hidden subterranean passages and crawling through a crematory oven. The 13th Gate is also located right next to Necropolis 13, a New Orleans style cemetery with crypts, zombies, and catacombs.

Cutting Edge Haunted House

Cutting Edge Haunted House, Fort Worth Texas

Cutting Edge Haunted House is a Guinness Book world record holder for longest walk through a haunted attraction. The aptly named Cutting Edge is housed in an old meat packing plant, with the tools and original layout providing much of the setting. Routinely named in top haunted attraction lists around the country, this sprawling attraction’s creative team is known for using great makeup, horror on a sheer scale, and leveling up the intensity in a powerful way. One element of theming that’s worth noting: the old processing equipment is used in a “human processing” plant attraction that chops up mannequins.

Erebus

Erebus, Pontiac Michigan

A little known fact about Michigan is that it’s considered one of the haunted attraction capitals of the US. Erebus stands out for numerous reasons, but it’s raising the terror levels by combining expert-made props with a full contact atmosphere. In full contact haunted houses, the immersion is deeper and guests interact with both the environment and actors in a physical way. As the warning liability states, “You will experience audio & visual disturbances, low visibility, strobe lights, fog, damp and/or wet conditions, encounter uneven walking surfaces in a physically demanding environment.” They go on to warn guests, “Some things will grab you, bite you and fall on top of you! Then we’re gonna throw you in a room, slam the door, and bury you alive! How long can you hold your breath?” In other words, Erebus is a model for design in the immersive and hands-on horror space.

Statesville Haunted Prison

Statesville Haunted Prison, Crest Hill Illinois

If landing in jail is high on your list of phobias, this one’s for you. The Statesville Haunted Prison about an hour south of Chicago is part of a rising trend of haunted houses in prisons. The theme is on message, treating guests to a prison riot as they wander through maximum security cells and encounter over 100 ghostly inmates. An interactive map promises attractions such as “the only thing worse than the toilets in prison is what’s waiting for you in the shower.”

What are your favorited haunted attractions? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of the haunted houses described above

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