Ah, fall. The leaves are turning, the apple cider is brewing and the undead are chasing you through the halls of a haunted house. If your idea of a great Halloween involves being scared out of your wits, we’ve got you covered. Haunted houses around the country start opening their creaky doors in September and there’s something for everyone, whether you want lightly spooky or absolute nightmare terror. This year things are bit different due to COVID-19 safety measures, so it’s best to plan ahead and buy tickets online in advance. You’ll also want to read up on any required safety precautions, such as mask wearing. From family-friendly fun to adults-only haunts, here are 26 of the best haunted attractions around the country to experience this fall. (Warning: Some of the images and videos below are seriously scary… proceed with caution.)

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1. Knott's Scary Farm

When: September 16 to October 31, 2021

Where: Buena, CA

What to expect: Southern California’s biggest Halloween event is full of scares, including numerous haunted mazes and attractions. There are also more than 1,000 terrifying creatures wandering the amusement park, so watch where you walk. The event is recommend for those over 13 years old.

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2. The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

When: September 24 to October 31, 2021

Where: Glen Mills, PA

What to expect: Walk through a haunted forest, filled with terrifying sets and monsters, on a trail known as the “Psycho Path” and then head into the Bates Motel, a haunted house known for its high-level special effects. Don’t miss the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, a haunted corn maze that will send you running back to the car in fear.

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Midnight Terror Haunted House/Facebook

3. Midnight Terror Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 6, 2021

Where: Oak Lawn, IL

What to expect: Taking up over 26,000 square feet, Midnight Terror Haunted House emphasizes using live actors to horrify its guests. There’s a lot to explore, including the “Factory of Malum” and “Black Oak Grove,” which are full of terrifying surprises. There’s an extensive story behind everything you see, making the experience all the more realistic.

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The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

4. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

When: September 24 to October 31, 2021

Where: San Diego, CA

What to expect: Explore two haunts in one location: The Haunted Trail and The eXperiment Maze. Follow a twisting trail through Balboa Park once you escape the mile-long maze, but watch out for dangers lurking behind the trees. Favorite horror icons, like Pennywise and Michael Meyers, can be found throughout the haunted attraction. This one is best for those over the age of 10.

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5. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses

When: September 25 to October 31

Where: Ulster Park, NY

What to expect: One of the most famous haunted attractions in America, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses covers 65 acres and includes a haunted walking trail, corn maze and five haunted houses. There are a few special children’s days where the terror is toned down for younger (or weak of heart) guests. The entire experience lasts about two hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy everything.

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Netherworld Network/flickr

6. Netherworld Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 13, 2021

Where: Stone Mountain, GA

What to expect: Walk through Stone Mountain’s famed Halloween attraction, which is filled with live actors, monsters and intense special effects. It’s regularly named one of the best haunted houses in the U.S., and it features two haunts, Netherworld and Cyber Shock, which take about 45 minutes to explore in total. The minimum age is five, although kids who scare easily should probably skip this one.

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7. Shocktober Fest

When: October 1 to November 6, 2021

Where: Sinking Spring, PA

What to expect: Located on Tulleys Farm, Shocktober Fest features 10 haunts, including “The Island,” “Twisted Clowns” and “The Chop Shop.” It’s notably immersive, with lots of live actors and special effects, although the event isn’t just about the scares. There are also two stages of live music, plus bars and street food options. Bring the whole family—if you dare.

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8. Bayville Scream Park

When: September 24 to November 7, 2021

Where: Bayville, NY

What to expect: Discover seven terrifying attractions at Bayville Scream Park, one of Long Island’s favorite haunted attractions. It’s intended for older kids and adults (although there are a few tamer kid’s days on the calendar) and the park also boasts a selection of food, including two full-service restaurants and two bars. Best of all, one ticket covers the entire Halloween season, so you can return to explore different haunts on multiple days if you can’t see them all at once.

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Best Haunted Houses Haunted Hills Hospital
Haunted Hills Hospital

9. Haunted Hills Hospital

When: October 1 to November 6, 2021

Where: Columbia City, IN

What to expect: Join the deranged mental patients at Haunted Hills Hospital, a haunted attraction that only the truly fearless will survive. For a truly horrifying experience, book a ticket to one of the blackout days, where guests will explore the hospital in total darkness. It also includes access to the new Mayhem Midway, which features axe throwing, a live DJ, an escape room and food vendors.

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The Haunted Mines

10. The Haunted Mines

When: September 25 to November 6, 2021

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

What to expect: The long-standing Haunted Mines experience takes over 28,000 square feet, with 2021 embracing a bigger and even better collection of scares. Many of the sets and actors are based on mysterious real events from Colorado’s mining history, but try not to think about how much of it could be true as you venture through the rooms.

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11. Field of Screams

When: September 10 to November 13, 2021

Where: Mountville, PA

What to expect: Field of Scream is often named one of the best haunted houses in the country, and for good reason. It includes four attractions, including a hayride, two houses and a haunted woods, and it makes for a terrifying night out during the Halloween season. There are also concessions with food and drinks and live bands take the stage on several nights of the yearly event.

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12. The Dent School House

When: September 17 to November 6, 2021

Where: Cincinnati, OH

What to expect: A murderous janitor roams the halls of The Dent School House, a Halloween tradition in Cincinnati. The attraction, set in an actual schoolhouse and based on a true story, gets upgraded each year, with new sets and effects throughout the rooms. All ages are welcome, although those with a low fear threshold might want to avoid these classrooms. The Dent School House has food on sale for guests, as well.

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Haunted Overload

13. Haunted Overload

When: October 8 to 31, 2021

Where: Lee, NH

What to expect: Located on the DeMeritt Hill Farm, Haunted Overload’s mission in all in the name. The attraction is different from year to year, but it always hosts a nighttime haunt for adults and daytime hours for kids looking for something slightly less scary. Follow along a scary trail, where you never know what might jump out at you.

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14. The 13th Floor

When: September 11 to November 6, 2021

Where: Denver, CO

What to expect: Explore a secret “13th floor,” which is filled with sinister creatures and scares at Denver’s favorite haunted attraction. There are two separate haunted houses for 2021, “Frost-Bite” and “The Dollmaker,” both of which welcome older kids—think PG-13 and up—for a jolt of terror. Buy a skip the line ticket to avoid waiting outside ahead of entry.

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Cutting Edge Haunted House/Facebook

15. Cutting Edge Haunted House

When: October 1 to October 31, 2021

Where: Fort Worth, TX

What to expect: Cutting Edge Haunted House is set in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant, which sets the stage for the screams to come. It takes about an hour to explore the multi-themed rooms, filled with sets, actors and monsters, and visitors should prepare themselves for a fully immersive experience.

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16. Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure

When: September 10 to October 31, 2021

Where: Jackson, NJ

What to expect: Come during daylight hours for family-friendly scares or arrive after dark to experience the full terror of Six Flags’ annual Fright Fest. It includes live shows, a trick-or-trail trail, haunted mazes and rides, including the new Jersey Devil Coaster, which roars through eerie nighttime fog.

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17. The 13th Gate

When: October 1 to November 13, 2021

Where: Baton Rouge, LA

What to expect: Intended to blur the line between reality and horror, The 13th Gate is a 40,000-square-foot haunted house that is not for the easily scared (or for children). It takes visitors through a pirate ship, the dangerous streets of Whitechapel with Jack the Ripper, hidden subterranean passages filled with live snakes and a zombie-infested graveyard, all of which are terrifyingly realistic.

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18. Pennhurst Asylum

When: September 25 to November 6, 2021

Where: Spring City, PA

What to expect: Navigate the maximum security wing of Pennhurst Asylum, before exploring the mental hospital’s morgue and 1,200-foot tunnels, which once housed a government research facility. It’s an immersive attraction with great storytelling behind it, and visitors should be prepared for special effects that involve fire and smoke. This one is for older guests, so find a babysitter for the kids.

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Universal Studios

19. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

When: September 3 to October 31, 2021

Where: Los Angeles, CA and Orlando, FL

What to expect: Universal Studios’ annual Halloween celebration features numerous themed attractions, including a haunted house based on Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. There are also frightening experiences based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Beetlejuice, and it’s scary enough that kids under 13 should stay home. Visitors can also expect live shows and five special “scare zones.”

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20. Cedar Point HalloWeekends

When: September 17 to October 31, 2021

Where: Sandusky, OH

What to expect: For something more family-friendly, head to Cedar Point on select weekends throughout the fall. There is trick-or-treating for young kids, and haunted attractions and mazes for those a little older. Don’t miss America’s Spooky Roller Coast, which is terrifying when the sun goes down.

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Blood Manor

21. Blood Manor

When: October 1 to November 6, 2021

Where: New York, NY

What to expect: New York City’s Broadway hosts Blood Manor, an annual haunted house that features 10,000 square feet of themed rooms and a labyrinth of passageways and corridors. It’s designed to be the most intense attraction of its kind in New York, and it’s not recommended for anyone under 14 (or for those who scare easily). The house is wheelchair accessible, so this is a good pick for anyone with limited mobility.

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21. Reaper’s Revenge

When: September 24 to October 31, 2021

Where: Scranton, PA

What to expect: There’s a lot of terror to explore at Reaper’s Revenge, an annual attraction that hosts a hayride, a horrifying carnival and several other themed haunts. A ticket includes access to all over the site’s offerings, and it can take nearly two hours to experience them all. Food is available for purchase, should you not be too nervous to eat. Keep kids under 10 at home.

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22. A Petrified Forest

When: October 1 to 30, 2021

Where: Altamonte Springs, FL

What to expect: Plan a night out to A Petrified Forest, which boasts three haunted trails, live music, food trucks and activities. The haunted attractions are considered PG-13 level, but kids of all ages are welcome to attend.

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23. Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

When: September 18 to November 6, 2021

Where: Akron, OH

What to expect: Comprised of two separate haunted houses, Akron’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory brings double the scares for one ticket. It’s notably scary (kids are 12 should stay home) and guests can book into the even more terrifying blackout nights to creep through the attraction in the dark.

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24. Frightmare Manor

When: September 24 to November 6, 2021

Where: Talbott, TN

What to expect: Located on the site of real-life serial killer Jeremiah Lexer’s former plantation, Frightmare Manor covers 20 acres, with numerous walk-through attractions. It’s so absolutely terrifying that if you make it through the entire experience and beat the so-called “Nightmare Challenge,” you get your money back.

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Scary Acres RI/Facebook

25. Scary Acres

When: September 17 to October 31, 2021

Where: Hope, RI

What to expect: Head to Scary Acres to immerse yourself in three terrifying attractions, including the “Haunted Woods” and the “Master’s Castle.” There are also bonfires, food and live entertainment, making it feel like a Halloween theme park come to life. There’s no age restriction and plan for at least 90 minutes (if not longer) to go through all three haunts.

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