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The Spookiest Haunted Hay Rides Around the Country

One of the best ways to get in the Halloween spirit is to hop on an old-fashioned haunted hayride—there's something about climbing aboard a wonky wagon filled with hay as you get carted off through the woods in the dead of night. Here's a look at some of the best the U.S. has to offer. (Note: None are appropriate for children.)


Headless Horesman’s Hayrides, Ulster Park, New York

The Headless Horseman Hayride is the grand daddy of all spooky rides. The ride takes you on a one-mile journey into your future… and that future looks pretty grim. The theatrical ride, located on a 250 year-old farm, will have you letting loose several screams. It’s so legendary, in fact, it’s won numerous awards and honors including: America’s Scariest Haunted House in the Northeast by MTV, #1 on the Planet by New York Daily News, #1 Outdoor Attraction by American Airlines, and #1 by USA Today. (Feeling festive? Take a look at these easy Halloween crafts to fulfill your spooky side.)


Forest of Fear at Spooky Ranch, Cleveland, Ohio

This hayride, called The Forest of Fear, is one of pure terror and suspense and goes all out, using pyrotechnics and larger than life 30-foot-tall animated creatures. Prepare to be amazed (and totally spooked out). Monsters and ghouls lurk around every corner, creeping up on you through the foggy mist. The experience includes high-tech scenes and sets with live actors. You’ll find yourself screaming and laughing at the same time, with a healthy dose of comedy written into the script. Love Halloween? Check out these seven facts you never knew about All Hallow’s Eve.

Bates Motel Hayride, Glen Mills, Pennsylvania

The Bates Motel Hayride at Arasapha Farm has been terrorizing visitors for 27 years. The ride takes it to the next level, including astonishing props, digital FX, and superb professional makeup. Prepare to be both impressed and properly scared by the 75 actors and 25 scenes. And enjoy the drive-thru asylum and petrifying clowns The Bates Motel has to offer. The ride is so popular that it has been featured on the Travel Channel several times, and was even rated as the number one Haunted Attraction in America by Hauntworld MagazineUSA Today, and many other national publications. (Get in the spirit with a costume! Check out these cheap costume options for adults.)


Dead End HayrideWyoming, Minnesota

The Dead End Hayride takes you deep into Pinehaven farm where the deep, dark woods have plenty of screams up its sleeves. Along the Departed Oaks Haunted Trail, your hayride will make a pit stop at the Sunny Vale asylum. Here, you can expect a sensory overload of creepy forgotten patients pleading for you to help them get out. (Get spooked now by checking out these creepy real events that happened on Halloween.)


Witch’s Woods, Westford, Massachusetts

The hayride at Witch’s Woods is set in the forest of Nashoba Valley Ski Area. Creepy to say the least, you’ll find witches in the trees, howling werewolves, zombies, and even spirits of lumberjacks begging to cut down your rickety wagon. Witch’s Woods has other attractions onsite that you won’t want to miss, including the haunted castle and mansion, a 3-D Jack-O-Lantern display, and a Chamber of Chills that features horror movie icons throughout the years. Nearly 200 character actors comprised of local professionals, students, and contractors work together to give you a screaming good time.

hauntedCourtesy Los Angeles Haunted Hay Ride

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, Los Angeles

With its setting in Griffith Park’s Old Zoo, the tractor-pulled Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will give you that authentic haunted woods feel. If psychopathic clowns lurking in the trees is your kind of scare, this ride is for you. The life-sized sets and creative narrative with an intriguing cast of characters make this haunted hayride feel superbly original. In the middle of your ride, you’ll disembark on foot to take on the corn maze, where more terrifying demonic creatures await.

Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine, and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty, and scientific news. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected], and check out her website: