HauntWorld.com generates a list every year of the favorite haunted houses. Based on scare-factor, special effects and attention to detail the list comprises of hotels, forests, and even a shipwreck. The editors of Haunt World Magazine, a trade publication for haunted houses, are the ones who compiled the list. Editor in chief of Haunt World, Larry Kirchner, was quoted as saying, “The haunts we’ve included are as expertly produced as any major motion picture today.” Kirchner further stated, “They have behind-the-scenes teams of master Hollywood special effects technicians, make-up artists, set designers, and trained actors. We’re an industry that exists to make people scream and laugh at the same time – and these haunts do just that, and more.”
Haunted houses become more and more frightening or more lame, each year. By doing a little investigating, you can save yourself disappointment and cash for this Halloween season. Questions most people want to know before visiting a haunted house is just how scary is it, and can I take my kids. Each haunted house does their best to improve on the last season. A good indication of a great haunted house is permanent location. The more permanent, the more can be done through-out the year. If it is a seasonal location, find one that started setting up in August. As far as children are concerned, most haunted houses do not recommend children under the age of 10. If you feel your child can handle the fright, the decision is yours.
Haunted house employees do their best to not touch the patrons. With the dark lighting, it is impossible to predict what will happen. Usually, the only one grabbing you will be from your own party. I have been to one though, that asked certain visitors to sign a waiver. Once inside, they disappeared into the frenzy of screams, only to re-appear part way through as part of the fright team.
Here is the list of top 13 haunted houses in order, along with the website for each one.
1. Netherworld Haunted House, Atlanta, GA – www.Fearworld.com
2. 13th Gate, Baton Rouge, LA – www.midnightproduction.com/the13thgate.htm
3. The Bates Motel, Philadelphia, PA – www.thebatesmotel.com
4. Headless Horseman, Ulster Park, NY – www.headlesshorseman.com
5. The Darkness / CreepyWorld, St. Louis, MO – www.scarefest.com
6. Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, Philadelphia, PA – www.easternstate.org/halloween
7. Erebus Four Story Haunted Attraction, Detroit, MI – www.hauntedpontiac.com
8. 7 Floors of Hell, Cleveland, OH – www.7floorsofhell.com
9. SpookyWoods, Greensboro, NC – www.spookywoods.com
10. Universal Studios House of Horrors, Hollywood CA – www.universalstudioshollywood.com
11. Shipwreck Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA – www.queenmaryshipwreck.com
12. Dreamreapers, Chicago, IL – www.dreamreapers.com
13. Haunted Hotel, San Diego, CA – www.hauntedhotel.com
Being from Ohio, I can tell you the 7 Floors of Hell is worth the visit. They are boasting a cost of over $1 million for their production. You can take in all seven houses for $22. There is a $2 coupon on the website, making the cost $20. The attraction includes the Butcher Shop, leave your stomach at the door, the Psycho Circus, complete with 3-D glasses, and the Crypt. The gates open at 7PM. The calendar is on the website, along with pictures and descriptions of each “house”.
I am going again this year. I love the adrenalin rush as I wander mazes and corridors, knowing there just might be a psycho in there that forgot it was just a job!
Haunted House Magazine has a full list of haunted houses registered throughout the country. Feel free to visit the website to locate the one nearest you.