10 Of America’s Scariest Haunted Houses

It’s that time of year; a time where it’s socially acceptable to put yourself literally through hell for the sake of sheer terror (and, sometimes, embarrassing your friends.) These 10 haunts aren’t your average community center haunted houses, the amount of precision, organization, and attention to detail take these houses from screaming to peeing in your pants. Best of luck to you!

1. The Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres:

Haunted Hoochie logo

If you happen to be anywhere near Patalskala, Ohio and have the urge to have nightmares for the rest of your life, hit up the Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres. The sign at the entrance says it all: “ATTENTION: Entering Dead Acres entails known and unanticipated risks that could result in physical or emotional injury. Risks may include, among other things, slipping, falling, and collision with fixed objects and other people.” Honestly, the emotional injury scares me the most.

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2. Freakling Bros: Gates of Hell in Las Vegas, Nevada:

Freakling Bros logo

I guess when you want the most extreme of everything, you go to Las Vegas. This is the only R-Rated theme park in Nevada (which I genuinely find surprising), but before you enter, you have to sign a waver that includes extreme violence, electric shock, and extreme physical contact. There is even a safe word. For those of you that are truly masochistic, you can opt for the “Victim Experience.” Put some serious thought into this before you sign onto it: you must go through alone and all participants experience extreme physical contact, light torture, simulated drowning, and more (and more?!) The company also offers the “Circus of Horrors,” which is a grotesque freak show and the “Castle Vampyre,” which offers more horrors and a lot of illusions.

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3. McKamey Manor in San Diego, California:

McKamey Manor

If you have the urge to be an extra in the Saw movies, here’s where to start. The Manor is strictly 21+ and, with a contact waiver, you get to suffer through extreme violence, enclosed spaces, submersion in water, covered in blood, and “extreme physical contact.” For this 4-7 hour experience, you can experience things that are total no-no’s at other physical attracts. Participants are covered in blood, forced to eat disgusting things (wtf?!), threatened with power tools, and stuffed into large things like clothes dryers.

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4. Blackout Haunted House in New York and Los Angeles: 

Blackout haunted house logo

This is one of the most famous, and most terrifying, Halloween experience offered on the planet. Want to go through with your friends to feel safer? Too bad! This gem features extreme violence, full frontal nudity, sexual situations, edibles, submersion in water, and extreme physical contact. Sounds like a scary sex dungeon? Good. It should. It even comes with a safe word. The experience changes every year, so bragging that you made it through the 20-25 minute challenge last time means nothing. Prepare to encounter fog, strobe lights, complete darkness, crawling, water, and sexually violent situations. Let me know how that goes for you.

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Aren’t scared enough? Check out the video preview from 2013:

5. The 13th Gate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

13th Gate logo

Welcome to the largest haunted house in the South. This deadly distraction features two attractions and totals in 80,000 sq. ft. The company has award-winning set artists, technicians, carpenters, and SFX artists. They have over 100 actors and 12 different special effects and makeup artists. Necropolis 13 fills up half on the space, where you enter an open grave and spend the entire time in an underground cave of horrors. The 13th Gate attraction has the name for a reason: it features 13 separate, terrifying areas and each has its own gate. It’s not uncommon to see stragglers stuck outside different gates because they simply couldn’t handle any more horror. Ain’t no shame in their game.

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6. The Indy Scream Park in Indianapolis, Indiana:

Indy Scream Park logo

During the year, this sprawling land has another purpose: zip lines and paintball. Come October, however, it’s turned into a large carnival area with food and games. Oh, and six different scare attractions.

This year Indy Scream Park, the scream park voted #2 in the nation, boasts the Pandemic, Brickmore Asylum, Backwoods, Zombieland Apocalypse, Rage 3D, and the Monster Midway. Their newest attraction, Pandemic, features mirrors that reflect the beginning of the Netflix cult hit (and epic) series Stranger Things. Not only is Pandemic (as well as Zombie Apocalypse) terrifying, it is fully interactive. If you want to truly enter the Upside Down, you have to be over 18 years of age and where a glowing necklace throughout the attraction. That necklace helps the creatures of the night grab and quarantine you away from the group! I am legit terrified just typing this.

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7. Erebus in Pontiac, Michigan: 

Erebus Logo

This haunt in Michigan has been around for 14 years and has consistently been rated as one of the top haunted houses ever since. It has 4 stories of scares in an old parking garage and covers over 100,000 sq. ft. They even have a dragon built large enough to “eat patrons.” This event makes me less queasy than the others; the actors are not allowed to touch you and there are emergency exits that you can escape through if you’re a giant baby like yours truly. Erebus’ most famous attraction really pushes a persons limits: visitors are shut in a room and covered in over 10,000 balls to simulate a drowning effect. How long can you hold your breath?

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8. The Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta, Georgia: 

Netherworld Logo

This place is so famous, and so scary, that Zombieland filmed many scenes here. A lot of the crew members have also been extras on a little zombie-themed show called The Walking Dead. Each year the company focuses on a different scary subject. To give you an example, one year was “The Season of the Witch.” This deadly delight featured the Hexan Horseman, the Ruins of Cronus, the Chainsaw Bisection, Flesh Eating Mega Fauna, and the Necromancer and his army. I don’t know what half of those are, but I am putting my food down at flesh-eating fauna. On top of all this, the company features a second house that is science fiction-centric, known as “Spliced,” and comes complete with genetic experiments, zombie viruses, clones, and more.

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9. The Pennhurst Asylum in Spring City, Pennsylvania:

Pennhurst logo

I feel like the scariest haunted houses are from places that are said to be truly haunted (or at least have a super spOoOoOoky past.) This lovely place was once upon a time a real asylum. Originally known as the Pennhurst State School Mental Institution in 1908, the place was built for the “Freeble Minded and Epileptic.” Fast forward to this millennia and the building is now the location of one of the top rated haunted houses in the country. Upon entry, you get to enjoy going through the real Administration building, the Dungeon of Lost Souls, and room after room of scary attractions that feature a lot of the original equipment from the institution and purposefully replicates the abuse that originally shut the place down.

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10.  The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio:

Dent Schoolhouse logo

I saved the best for last and, honestly, I wish I had stopped at nine. Remember that one movie Nightmare on Elm Street? Yeah, well turns out that the story has real life roots. The Dent Public School opened in 1894. Some 50 years late, several badly behaved students mysteriously vanished. Two years later, four more students followed suit. In 1952, an additional three went missing. People began to complain about the smell in the building, but the trusty janitor, Charlie, assured them that it was a clogged pipe. Three years later, seven more students vanished. I guess back in the day it was totally normal for kids to just run away to Narnia. Anyways, local rioters eventually put four and three and seven together and realized that these kids didn’t just disappear. They stormed the school basement and found the place covered in decaying remains of the missing students. The bodies were sealed in barrels, wedged behind brick walls, and left in sanitary tubs. Naturally, the school closed shortly after. Oh, and Charlie was never found. That’s comforting.

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