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14 Theme Parks with the Spookiest Halloween Celebrations

Halloween is almost here, which means the spookiest season of the year is in full swing at America's favorite amusement parks. Here is a rundown of all of the biggest, best, and BOO-worthy Halloween events ranging from blood-stooping terrifying to family-friendly fun.

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Universal Studios HalloweenUniversal Orlando Resort

Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights has been going strong for over two decades, and it isn’t for the faint of heart. The park literally fills up with things that nightmares are made of. This year on select nights, the park is offering an ’80s themed event featuring ten totally terrifying haunted houses, multiple scare zones, and super frightening live entertainment. Plus, all of your favorite cinematic screams from mainstream Halloween movies to cult classic will be heard throughout the par, including Stranger Things-themed mazes. Keep in mind that the event is so terrifying, it isn’t recommended for children under the age of 13. For more scares, check into one of these haunted Airbnbs.

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busch gardens howl o screamvia

Howl-O-Scream, Busch Gardens Nationwide

Seaworld’s Busch Gardens locations in Williamsburg, Virginia and Tampa Bay, Florida are offering their annual Howl-O-Scream events. While exact themes will vary by park, expect to be freaked with escape rooms, multiple haunted houses such as “The Residence,” “Death Water Bayou,” “Insomnia: Patient’s Revenge,” “Motel Hell: Infestation” and “Simon’s Slaughterhouse.” Scare Zones will include “First Fear,” “Little Nightmares,” “Carpe Noctum,” “Camp DOA,” “Hell on Wheels” and “Meat Market.” Just the names are scary alone! These are the spookiest tourist attractions in every state.

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knott's scary farmJuan Camilo Bernal/Shutterstock

Knott’s Scary Farm, Knott’s Berry Farm

Normally family-friendly Knott’s Scary Farm has been a mainstay at the Southern California park for several decades. The largest haunt fest in the region, the park gets fully transformed for the holiday offering haunted mazes and attractions and more than 1,000 horrifying creatures lurking and hiding everywhere. Again, this event is pretty scary and not recommended for children under the age of 13. You won’t want to miss these ghost stories from the world’s most haunted places.

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kennywood halloweenvia

Phantom Fright Nights, Kennywood

Every Friday and Saturday night, Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh transforms into a super scary haunted park. Expect to get your freak on at their haunted house “Mortem Manor,” brave zombies at “Gory Park” and encounter a murderous doctor who stalks his patient and staff at their newest attraction, the “Shady Grove Memorial Hospital.”

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Fright Fest, Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags parks around the country are hosting their annual scary soiree that has been going strong for 30 years. It features tons of haunted houses, scare zones, and live entertainment that will give you the chills. The parks are also hosting their the “30-Hour Coffin Challenge,” which invites a bunch of brave individuals and couples to compete in seeing who can stay last the longest laying in a claustrophobic coffin.

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WonderFALL Experiences at Walt Disney World ResortCourtesy Disney

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Disney World

Not everyone wants to be super spooked during the Halloween season, so this far-from-freaky celebration is just the ticket for the younger folk who scare easily! Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando is hosting its annual soiree, which will include all of our favorite Disney characters dressed up in costume, fireworks shows, a Halloween parade, and even a Hocus Pocus inspired celebration. Halloween is only one of the 13 reasons fall is the best time to head to Disney World.

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Happy Hauntings, Disneyland

There are so many thrills to be had at Disneyland in Anaheim this Halloween. All around their two parks—Disneyland and Disney California Adventure—you will find costumed characters dressed to thrill. Everyone’s favorite Main Street is decorated with hundreds of hand-carved jack-o-lanterns as part of their pumpkin festival, and you can hit the Haunted Mansion Holiday at New Orleans Square. The annual Oogie Boogie Bash is also going down on select nights until Halloween Eve, featuring everything from a Halloween parade to trick-or-treating with Disney villains.

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sesame place spooktacularvia

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular, Sesame Place

Get your costumes on and head over to Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pensylvania to party with the gang. This silly and not-so-spooky Halloween celebration runs through November 3 and will include an all-new maze, “Where’s Slimey?,” scavenger hunts, pumpkin decorating, and all the furry friends dressed up in costume. There’s also the “Neighborhood Street Party Halloween Parade” with ten fantastic floats all decked out for the season with music and dancing that will have everyone joining in the fun. Stay until 7:30 p.m. every Saturday or 8:00 p.m. on Fridays in October during Spooktacular to see the special night time version of the parade—the sky will light up with not-too-spooky Halloween-colored lighting!

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sea world halloween spooktacularVIAVAL/Shutterstock

Halloween Spooktacular, Sea World Parks Nationwide

Kids of all ages can trick-or-treat for candy and goodies, join in on Halloween-themed dance parties, watch a Sesame Street Halloween Parade and even have the chance to meet mythical “creatures” at the “Mermaid Grotto.” Events at each Sea World location will vary but all are kid-friendly and will run through October 27.

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cedar point halloweekendsvia

Halloweekends, Cedar Point

At Sandusky, Ohio’s Cedar Point, during the Halloween season you can get even more thrills than usual at HalloWeekends. This year’s theme is “Haunt,” and the park is offering spooky corn mazes, a “Zombie High School,” and a voodoo inspired “Blood on the Bayou.” The park also offers a more family-friendly celebration with its annual Great Pumpkin Fest, taking place during the daylight hours. Cedar Point is home to the scariest roller coaster in the state.

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SCarowinds, Carowinds

This Charlotte, North Carolina amusement park transforms from a theme park to a scream park every weekend leading up to Halloween. At SCarowinds you will find over 500 ghastly monsters waiting to feed off your screams at Carolinas’ largest Halloween event. Walk through the haunted cobblestone streets of London at “Fleet Street,” and then get lost in the terror of spooky scarecrows at the “Dark Harvest” maze. Every attraction will give you goosebumps!

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Hersheypark in the Dark, Hersheypark

Chocolate is such a big part of Halloween so it only makes sense that America’s chocolate-centric amusement park would celebrate the holiday in a big way. For three weekends leading up to Halloween, kids can trick-or-treat around the parks and enjoy the candy the park is inspired by. Also, after the sun sets at Hersheypark in the Dark, a selection of roller coasters have lights-out rides and guests can enjoy the “Creatures of the Night” attraction, which features nocturnal zoo animals. Get in the spirit of things by telling these best ghost stories on your drive there.

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kings island halloween hauntvia

Halloween Haunt, Kings Island

Cedar Point isn’t the only Ohio theme park that gets spooky around Halloween. Kings Island’s Halloween Haunt includes spine-tingling Halloween attractions like haunted mazes, outdoor scare zones, live shows and evil creatures lurking everywhere hoping to make your worst nightmares come true. You can also experience the park’s most thrilling rides and attractions at Haunt including Banshee, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers, and the legendary Beast!

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Hallo-Fun, Knoebels

During weekends in October, Pennsylvania amusement park Knoebels hosts its annual family-friendly Halloween celebration. Party with ghosts and ghouls, experiencing tasty treats, thrilling games, freaktastic attractions and a selection of Knoebels’ hallo-riffic rides! Kids and adults alike will be able to get into the spirit without getting too scared. Top off your Halloween celebrations by watching these 35 scariest movies of all time.

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Leah Groth
Leah is a Philadelphia-based writer, editor, mother and product junkie. Her obsessions include old houses, home design, fashion, beauty, books and anything that makes her life — which includes working full-time and taking care of two "spirited" children and a Vizsla puppy — a little bit easier. Her work has appeared on a variety of publications and websites, including Glamour, Prevention, Business Insider, Livestrong, Mindbodygreen, Fatherly, Scary Mommy, Wonderwall and Cosmopolitan.

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