15 of the Best Haunted Houses in America
With the help of haunted house expert Steve Kopelman, we found the scariest spooky houses and attractions around the country.
Asylum 49 (Tooele, Utah)
Via Asylum 49
There are some secrets hospitals don’t want to tell you, but being haunted usually isn’t one of them. Asylum 49 used to be Tooele Hospital and then a nursing home before converting entirely into a haunted attraction. In the haunted house, visitors may be taken from their groups and strapped to hospital beds. If you have a heart of steel and don’t find that terrifying enough, sign up for a ghost tour of the haunted hospital wings. Former nurses have shared stories about seeing dark shadows and encountering aggressive spirits, so you know it’s the real deal. These are the most haunted places in America according to paranormal experts.
Netherworld Haunted House (Norcross, Georgia)
People come from all over the country to visit this scare fest because it’s about as close to starring in a scary horror movie as you can get without actually being in one. The themes at Netherworld change every year, but their realistic scenery and high-tech special effects—created by film and television professionals—never fail to make you feel like you’re the character who never knows she’s being followed until it’s too late. In fact, horror films like Zombieland and Halloween 2 have even included Netherworld’s props and sets in production because it’s so life-like. If you love horror films, check out the scariest movies of all time.
Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Built as a haunted house inside a real state prison, this lost world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers stands behind the Eastern State Penitentiary’s massive 30-foot high walls. This is home to Terror Behind the Walls, ranked the “Number 1 Haunted House in the U.S.” by AOL City Guide, and labeled “perfect for Halloween” by the New York Times.
Thrillvania (Terrell, Texas)
For a true visual spectacle, travel 20 miles east of Dallas to visit one of the most decorated haunted attractions in the world. Spread out over 50 acres featuring eight attractions, Thrillvania frightens more than 20,000 visitors a year. The cornerstone of this fear farm is Verdun Manor, a two-story haunted house originally designed by Disney Imagineers and said to boast more props per square foot than any other haunted house in the country. Don’t miss these creepy urban legends that turned out to be true.
Hundred Acres Manor (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Not to be confused with the Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh, which is the exact opposite of the six scream-worthy attractions at Hundred Acres Manor. From the slaughterhouse that would make Sweeney Todd reel in delight to the disturbing experiments in “South Valley Slaughterhouse,” each one turns more frightening and mind-bending than the next.
Nashville Nightmare (Nashville, Tennessee)
Via Nashville Nightmare
Nashville may be one of the best cities for solo travelers, but you’re not going to want to venture into this nightmare by yourself. Nashville Nightmare is consistently ranked as one of the best haunted houses in the nation, and for good reason. It has professional-grade actors, convincing sets, and chilling thrills at every turn. To keep the scares going all night, check out the most haunted hotels you can stay at in America.
The House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs (Buffalo, New York)
via House of Horrors
Known for terrorizing scares, the House of Horrors has zombies, demons, vampires, psycho killers, and the living dead creeping around every corner. Celebrating its 18th season, the Haunted Catacombs guarantees fear-in-your-face special effects, amazing animations, and Hollywood-style sets that will make your heart race.
The Haunted Hotel (San Diego, California)
Via Haunted Hotel
The ghosts and ghouls of this haunted establishment don’t follow the living’s hotel safety standards. They take you plunging down the Hellevator, through zombie-infested alleys, and into the creepy Clown Subway. However, if you’re just looking for thrills, book your tour of The Haunted Hotel, consistently voted one of the country’s best by Haunt World Magazine. It’s not for the faint of heart, though—check out how one visitor sued this haunted attraction for getting too scared.
Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, Ohio)
There are some lessons they don’t teach you in school, like what to do if the school janitor is a psychopath. That’s what happened at the Dent Schoolhouse in the 1950s, according to the town’s legend. Students who taunted Charlie the Janitor went missing, and their bodies were discovered in his basement. Charlie’s ghost is said to still haunt the schoolhouse-turned-haunted-house, so keep an eye out for him while you walk through one of the scariest attractions in the Midwest. Here are more real ghost stories.
Woods of Terror (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Via Woods of Terror
While it’s not one of the best hiking trails in America, it’s definitely one of the scariest. What began as a mere haunted trail 19 years ago is now one of the top-ranked haunted attractions in the country. Some 20,000 visitors a year pay to roam 20 acres of pure terror in the Woods of Terror while seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush: fear.
Bennett’s Curse (Jessup, Maryland)
Via Bennett's Curse
Better brush up on your vampire legends before visiting this blood-sucking haunt. Bennett’s Curse is the only medieval vampire knight-themed haunted house in the world. Original scenes, enthusiastic actors, and state of the art special effects combine to create an unforgettable experience. While you’re visiting, don’t miss the scariest urban legends in every U.S. state.
Erebus (Pontiac, Michigan)
This four-story building of horror is one of the largest walk-through haunted attractions in the world. It even held the Guinness World Record in that category from 2005-2009. Expect to be chased by otherworldly monsters and narrowly escape crushing walls. Rumor has it past Erebus visitors have almost gotten swallowed up, so enter at your own risk.
Fright Factory (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Via Fright Factor
After a recent renovation, Fright Factory now has triple the scares. If you dread going to the dentist, steer clear of the Silent Scream Asylum, where you’ll be locked in with clowns and dentists, among other inmates. The other two attractions take you into other abandoned rooms, like the butcher’s room and an unholy chapel. Don’t miss America’s longest-running haunted house.
Nightmare New England (Litchfield, New Hampshire)
Via Nightmare New England
Rooted in a history of witchcraft and spirits, New England truly is one of the most haunted places in America. The legendary Spookyworld joined Nightmare New England to forge one of the largest and most terrifying Halloween Scream Parks in the country. The scale and variety of this mega-park offers something to thrill even the boldest of Halloween fanatics. Nightmare New England and Spookyworld feature seven terrifying haunted attractions and a “Monster Midway” where dozens of freakish characters freely roam the grounds and lurk around every corner.
The Beast (Kansas City, Missouri)
Via The Beast
Werewolves track your every move, lightning cracks around you, and alligators wait for you to get lost in their swamp so they can hunt you down. Needless to say, this isn’t for young kids. Another haunted house that is reportedly haunted, The Beast is the largest haunted house in the country with four levels of screams and a four-story steep slide as an exit. These are the 10 true ghost stories from the world’s most haunted places.