The 13 Scariest Haunted Houses in America

One of the more popular activities on Halloween, aside from trick-or-treating and drinking, is visiting haunted houses to get your adrenaline pumping and making sure that you’ll stay awake and eat all your candy to calm your nerves.  Nearly every county has a haunted house, and even some schools have haunted houses setup in their gyms as a form of entertainment during Halloween week.  However, most haunted houses aren’t quite as scary as one would think, but there are some haunted houses that go above and beyond to scare you.

We’ve got the low down on the 10 scariest haunted houses, as presented in a poll done by Larry Kirchner, a haunted house builder and aficionado.

So, if you are looking for a scare, check these out.  Even Scooby and the Gang wouldn’t enter one of these houses.

Nightmare on the Bayou, Texas
Currently, Texas has the 3rd most haunted houses of any state in America according to the database, and it continues to grow rapidly. Houston is no exception with several top rated haunted houses, but one specific haunted house stands above all others, Nightmare on the Bayou.

Nightmare on the Bayou features several animations, sets, and special effects. It’s built right next to one of Houston’s biggest and oldest haunted graveyards, so to have supernatural visitors drop by from time isn’t unusual (at least, according to their promotions).

House of Torment, Texas

House of Torment is one of the most cutting edge haunted houses in America offering a horrific experience like no other and featuring three unique attractions offering patrons a variety of dynamic experiences. The first attraction guests must brave is Nightmare Mansion, a theatrically driven horror escapade that takes customers through the macabre and demented experiments of an early 20th century physician, Dr. Incubus.

The Dent Schoolhouse, Ohio

Ohio is a great state for finding haunted houses. Ohio natives expect excellence in their haunted houses and they find it year after year at The Dent Schoolhouse, rated best by Fangoria, and we agree!

Imagine reliving a horror movie or your worst nightmare… You can at The Dent Schoolhouse! Movie quality sets, intense detailing, and first-rate animatronics combine inside an actual haunted schoolhouse from 1894. You’ll experience the story of the murderous janitor and how the school came to its grizzly demise. The Dent Haunted Schoolhouse will shatter your fond memories of school and replace them with horrific, haunted nightmares of school-age days.

The Asylum, Colorado

The Asylum is Denver’s longest running haunted house featuring two levels into Gordon Cottingham’s Hospital for the Mentally Insane. The Asylum is a damp and musty place infested with spiders, rats, snakes and endless screams of tortured souls. Together with Blood Shed Haunted House, Denver’s newest and goriest Halloween attraction, this haunt location offers a truly terrifying experience. As you travel through a dilapidated family farmhouse, a backyard of bloodshed and finally the family home, you’ll see why Blood Shed is hillbilly horror at its most extreme.

Spookywoods, North Carolina

Spookywoods isn’t just a haunted house. By day, it’s also a Halloween attraction for the whole family featuring a huge corn maze, a 2-mile long zip line, pumpkin patches, fossil & gem digs and much more. Once dusks sets in, Spookywoods Haunted Scream Park opens featuring America’s only haunted tram ride, Dark Terror. Spookywoods also includes a haunted cornfield, Wrong Way haunted house, The Fun House, and the main attraction, Spookywoods Maze. Using some of the best scare techniques combined with top quality sets, special effects and detailed creatures around every corner, Spookywoods offers a unique haunted attraction and probably America’s best overall Halloween experience.

Cutting Edge, Texas

Located in a 100-year old abandoned meat packing plant in a section of Fort Worth historically known as ‘Hell’s Half Acre’, Cutting Edge is built on a foundation of fear. The old meat packing plant is back in use, but this time it’s being used for human flesh! Cutting Edge features 32 animations, 26 sets, massive creatures on the roof, monster hearses outside, and a pre-show performance comparable to ‘Stomp’. This is one haunted production you won’t want to miss!

Netherworld, Georgia

Netherworld Haunted House brings you a monster fest of epic proportions. Inside Netherworld, nightmarish creatures fly, swing and crawl as they hunt for flesh, so real you’ll feel trapped in a horror movie. You might even see a 17-foot tall gargoyle king feasting on his prey. Walk lightly…You won’t want to be his next victim. You must escape The Mangler, The Acid Room, The Drowning Tank, The Flesh Compactor, and other horrific death traps as the haunt grows even bigger this year. You might escape with your life, but not your sanity!

Headless Horseman, New York

Headless Horseman includes 8 separate attractions including a hayride, a corn maze, 5 haunted houses, 4 eateries, a haunted walk, and a haunted show. Their 2010 hayride theme, Escape of Prisoner X, incorporates high tech special effects, pyrotechnics and illusions. The newly constructed Crow Hollow Harbor is an expansive set design that includes three 40-foot haunted fishing boats. Also, new for 2010 is the antique Night Shade Nursery & Greenhouse, purchased from a historic estate and restored at the Horseman.

Edge of Hell, Missouri

Established in 1975, Edge of Hell is Kansas City’s oldest and best haunted house and has molded into a national model for celebrating the Halloween season. The converted five story warehouse in which it stands is the granddaddy of them all, offering a 30-minute, quarter mile walk-thru. Its many scenes are elaborate and detailed and house a cast of over 45 live actors, including two of the largest anacondas in North American captivity. This is one haunt you won’t want to miss. Can you make it through hell and back?

The Darkness, Missouri

The Darkness has been featured in USA Today, Modern Marvels, the Travel Channel, and National Geographic Channel. It features some of the most realistic set designs and special effects ever seen inside a haunted house. With two floors of fright, The Darkness also features a monster museum and the world’s best 3D haunted house, Terror Visions. The Darkness is often hailed as simply the best, most detailed haunted house in America.

The 13th Gate, Louisiana

The 13th Gate has consistently been recognized as one of the top haunted attractions in the country, rated best by This 40,000 square foot haunted house will take you on a journey through 13 frightening themed indoor/outdoor sets where your worst nightmares come true and anything can happen. Award-winning scenic artists, set carpenters, lighting and sound technicians, and special effects artists are just a few of the many crewmembers that make The 13th Gate a great haunted experience. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget, IF you survive The 13th Gate!

Erebus, Michigan

Located in the haunt capital of the world, Erebus opened its doors in 2000 and has consistently gained recognition as one of America’s top haunts. It remains #1 in the Detroit market for a reason. Erebus is known for the way it engages its victims in an all out scare assault. Because Erebus personally manufactures nearly all of their major effects, guests are guaranteed a unique experience as they advance through the terrifying, four story labyrinth of dark, dank, dingy passages where your fate is unknown. This haunt creates a fear factor so intense, some call it PAIN.

The Bates Motel, Pennsylvania

The Bates Motel is a high action, adrenaline pumping haunted attraction featuring a 25 minute, heart pounding haunted hayride through the dark forests of Arasapha Farm. This horrific hayride is just the beginning. The dark corridors of the Cornfield Trail will surely send shivers up your spine, but nothing compares to the main attraction of this trilogy of terror, The Bates Motel, a huge Victorian mansion filled with computer controlled animatronics, digital sound , lighting and fog, detailed rooms, custom soundtracks, and a host of professional actors. Consistently ranked best in the country, The Bates Motel is one show you won’t want to miss!