When one member of the Guild suggested putting on a haunted house to raise money, others were skeptical. Eventually the idea was approved, though, and the first 1964 Halloween made more than twice as much money as that year’s two other fall fundraisers (a fashion show and a dance) combined. Don’t miss these other 15 best haunted houses in America.
After the success of the first haunted house, the Children’s Museum kept the tradition up, using a new theme every year. The 1975 “Skeletons in Our Closets” house (pictured above) moved to a new location, which gave space to store costumes and props for future years. (If you haven’t prepared for Halloween, try these 17 clever last-minute costumes.)
These days, the haunted house has two versions: one with the lights on “for children who scare easily” and another spookier lights-out for those who can handle the chills. (Thrill seekers should also check out these haunted Airbnbs you can stay in overnight.)
This year, the Children’s Museum put on a Wicked Woods haunted house. Those who dare can try to sneak past monsters hiding in trees, and whatever undead might be in the graveyard.
Earlier haunted houses included The Fright Is Right (1984), which also included the Newly Dead Game; Nautical Nightmares (1992), which let visitors bring home their own pet goldfish after working through “Pirates of the Scareabean”; and Sports Spooktacular (1991), featuring “Monday Fright Football” and “Wimbledoom.”
When the haunted house got its start the 1960s, a ticket cost just 50 cents, but today’s $8 entry fee still qualifies it as budget-friendly. Don’t miss these other frugal fall activities for the whole family.