For those of you looking to be extra scared this Halloween season, we've compiled a list of the most extreme haunted houses in the USA. These places are for those who think that the standard haunted house just won't cut it anymore. Most of these places make you sign waivers, some experiences last up to 4 hours or more, and some won't even give you safe words. Visit at your own risk!! If you want to read more about why people enjoy and seek out these experiences, the authors of the Raven & the Black Cat explain on their blog here.
1. McKamey Manor - Nashville, TN
Google this Haunted House and you'll see that it has made quite a reputation for itself. They kidnap you and keep you for 4-8 hours, though most people don't make it past 4. Because the experience is so immersive, it only takes a few visitors at a time, and the waiting list is over 20,000 people long. You must be 21+ years old to enter. Many people question if what they do is even safe. They cover people in blood (not clear if it's real or fake), threaten them with chainsaws, put them in small confined spaces, submerge people in water, and cover them with insects, to name a few things ... that said, it still hasn't deterred people. Here's a look at their terrifying promo in case you're wondering:
2. Blackout Haunted House - New York and LA
According to the New York Times, the Blackout Haunted House is: "not merely a cheap trick. This production has a fairly consistent narrative and the way it evokes dread is more psychologically perceptive than most shows on broadway." It's in a league of it's own. You have to sign a waiver for this experience, and it's for 18+ years and older. The experiences change from year to year - so you never know what to expect - from walking down a hallway of used condoms barefoot, to being gagged and abducted in a van, to fake waterboarding. Here's a preview of what they put on last year:
3. Haunted Hoochie - Pataskala, Ohio
Upon entering the haunt, you'll see a sign that warns, “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, collision with fixed objects or other participants…This may be the best haunted house you’ve ever experienced. Have Fun.” There doesn't seem to be an age requirement, but there is a parental advisory for explicit content. They warn on their site that you will be touched and you could get hurt - just be careful and don't run or hit someone - i.e. ignore your general responses to fear. If you're in Ohio, this extreme haunt might be for you.
4. Scarehouse: The Basement - Pittsburg, PA
Be forewarned upon entering the Basement at the Scarehouse: "You will be touched, restrained, and blindfolded. You will be tormented, challenged, and scared out of your mind. You must be 18 years or older to enter this attraction, and willing to sign a waiver." If this sounds like your kind of scare, you've come to the right place. The Scarehouse also has the added spook factor of being set inside a nearly 100 year old home. That alone would give us the creeps!
5. Terror Behind the Walls - Philadelphia, PA
If walking through a Haunted Prison is more your style, then you should check out this extreme haunted house near Philadelphia. There are 6 interactive options here, and you get to decide "touch" or "no touch" before entering. If you want to go for the full, immersive experience, then get ready to be taken from your group, grabbed by "prisoners" and much more. Even better, according to some, the penitentiary is actually haunted. On the site it says: Many people believe that Eastern State Penitentiary is haunted. As early as the 1940s, officers and inmates reported mysterious visions and eerie experiences in the ancient prison. With the growing interest in paranormal investigations, Eastern State Penitentiary may now be the most carefully studied building in the United States. Nearly 60 paranormal investigation teams explore the site each year, capturing extensive evidence of ghosts within the penitentiary walls.
6. Erebus Haunted Attraction - Pontiac, MI
From 2005 - 2009, this Haunted House held the Guinness Book of World Record's record for the world's longest walk-through haunted attraction. Some claim that if feels like you're literally entering Hell when you walk into this place. People will be picked off from groups, and some might even be buried alive!
7. Fear Overload Scream Park, San Leandro, CA
"If you're easily scared, don't even bother showing up." Those are the words that stood out to me on their website. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, it's been named the "best in the west" of Haunted Houses by Forbes Magazine. Got your interest piqued? This year's events are Amnesia Ward and the Washroom. This is for "mature audiences only."
8. New Orleans Nightmare, New Orleans, LA
Replacing the beloved House of Shock, which had been a 25 year old fixture in the NOLA haunt scene, New Orleans Nightmare is an exciting new attraction! The haunted house stays true to it's roots and ties in elements of New Orleans culture and its historical dark magic roots.
9. The Dent School House, Cincinnati, OH
This Haunted School House is based off a real and twisted tragedy. It is a story that involves the murder of several school children by a janitor. To learn more about its dark history, click here. Some Cincinnati residents are very opposed to the existence of the Haunted House and think it should not be open to the public. Nevertheless, it is- and if you're in the area looking for a scare, this might be the haunted house for you.
10. The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, LA
This one is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In this extreme haunted house, you will be confronted by all of your wildest nightmares and beyond. In this 40,000 sq. foot haunted experience, you could end up crawling through crematorium ovens and get lost in pitch black, underground tunnels. They also have themed Escape Rooms.
11. Freakling Brothers: Gates of Hell, Las Vegas, NV
Rated as among the top 5 best and most extreme haunted houses in the world, the Freakling Brothers haunted experiences are definitely not for the faint of heart. They have 3 different haunted houses, and their Gates of Hell experience is the "only R-rated" haunted house in the state of Nevada. People have been knocked down and dragged down hallways. You might also face a firing squad, or even electric shock!
12. Cutting Edge, Fort Worth, TX
In 2015, Cutting Edge in Fort Worth earned the Guinness Book of World Records for being the World's Largest Haunted Attraction as well as the World's Longest Walk-Through. Set in a 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant, the Cutting Edge uses its creepy location to full effect. As one review states: "plan on being there (and scared) for quite a while."
13. Netherworld, Atlanta, GA
Netherworld is one of my favorite haunts in the country. It's been a major player in the haunt scene for years, sponsoring the horror track for DragonCon and walking in the parade. Their special effects and presentation are top notch and they're a great place for a guaranteed scare!
What do you think? Do you have the guts to go to any of these haunted attractions? Let us know in the comment section below!