If Halloween is one of your favorite holidays, you might want to plan a trip around one of these attractions, said to be among the most terrifying in the nation, and in some cases, the world.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California (Nearby Hotels)
The Queen Mary is known as one of the most haunted sites in the world. Strange happenings have been reported throughout the ship – and to add to the terror, around Halloween you can hop aboard and experience seven frightening mazes. A new maze, opening up in 2017, drew inspiration from the tale of a chef said to have been killed by his kitchen staff during World War II when the Queen Mary was called into military service. Unhappy with the chef’s horrible cooking and bad attitude, the galley crew supposedly shoved him into a walk-in oven and left him there to roast. Expanding on the story, the chef is brought back from the dead and is out for vengeance. After killing the traitorous crew, he decides to prepare a feast in the dining room, serving the ship’s passengers are the entree. Be prepared for lots of blood and gore.
The Dungeon of Horrors at the West Virginia State Penitentiary, Moundsville, West Virginia (Nearby Hotels)
The West Virginia State Penitentiary held inmates from 1866 until its closure in 1995. It was well-known for its poor conditions, overcrowding and abuse of inmates. The Gothic-style prison was also the site of countless executions, by electric chair and hanging as well as multiple murders. For the Halloween season, the facility hosts the Dungeon of Horrors, where visitors are introduced to one of the scariest places behind bars. You’ll experience the fright of being locked in a cell, the fear of being lost in a maze, and the terror of walking through the dungeon of horrors. In addition to the Halloween tours, you can also book a Ghost Adventures Tour, in which you and your group can stay from midnight until 6 a.m., if you’re brave enough that is.
Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park, Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi, Japan (Nearby Hotels)
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this notorious Halloween experience. If you’re up for a trip to Japan, head to one of the world’s most unique horror experiences at Fuji-Q Highland Amusement Park. You won’t be led down a predetermined path, you’ll wander around as you wish. Themed as an abandoned hospital building, its walls hold all sorts of terrifying surprises. The attraction is centered around a story where the doctors decided to harvest and sell organs, but the ghosts of the patients returned and murdered them. It’s so scary that they had to post “help stations” throughout for those who become too overwhelmed and want an immediate escape from the horror.
The Asylum, Denver, Colorado (Nearby Hotels)
The Asylum in Denver, Colorado is not for anyone prone to nightmares. This is a 30-minute tour through “Gordon Cottingham’s Hospital for the Mentally Insane,” where the relentless creatures that haunt it will follow you throughout, meaning you’ll be surrounded by crazies the entire time, some of which will startle you from behind while you hear the endless screams of the tortured souls. The highlight, or the most terrifying room, may be the one that’s completely dark, and filled with angled pillars that you’ll have to navigate as ghosts appear out of black nothingness.
Netherworld Haunted House, Atlanta, Georgia (Nearby Hotels)
This long-time Atlanta attraction has been terrifying visitors for two decades and has been featured on CNN, the Travel Channel and countless other media outlets because of its chilling attention to detail. Owned by television and movie pros, the costumes, makeup and acting are incredibly realistic. It hosts two walk-through haunted houses staffed with 100 actors and is probably unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Just wait until you meet The Collector in a dark room. 2017 is said to feature feasting vampires, the lair of the sea witch, a cavern of werewolves, the Cyclopean Soul Eater and a whole lot more.
The Haunted Trail, San Diego, California (Nearby Hotels)
One of Southern California’s scariest, the Haunted Trail takes over San Diego’s famous Balboa Park with a mile-long nightmarish walk through the woods. You’ll stroll through gnarled oaks and twisted pines in a maze that’s so disturbing you’ll probably wish you’d never entered. The freak-infested terror includes incarcerated lost souls that stalk your every move – and, you’ll be tasked with finding your way out before you end up becoming one of their “experiments.”
13th Floor, Phoenix, Arizona (Nearby Hotels)
In many buildings, there isn’t a 13th floor, it’s completely skipped, with floors going straight from 12 to 14, due to the superstitions surrounding the No. 13. Legend has it that these buildings actually do have a 13th floor, but it can’t be accessed because the souls of the dead live there. That’s the theme of Phoenix’s 13th Floor Haunted House, the largest of its kind in the city. It’s described as a ‘visceral manifestation of humanity’s most crippling fears” where the walls will “bring to your knees in terror as you encounter ghastly humanoids, deranged clowns and maniacal beasts – each determined to torment your mind and soul.”
13th Gate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Nearby Hotels)
This Baton Rouge attraction is also up to movie quality horror. The massive 40,000-square-foot haunted house features underground tunnels, a real snake swamp, and a prehistoric ice cave. It also has its own New Orleans-style cemetery, The Necropolis, that hosts voodoo shows, zombies, and more. Guests must pass through it to reach the attraction’s exit and every year they come up with something new and more frightening, like being forced to wade through a flooded sewer full of Jack the Ripper victims.