Haunted House and Halloween Industry Now a $10 Billion Industry
Halloween is big business. The commerce of Halloween in the U.S. should exceed $10 billion during
the 2018 season, according to Hauntworld.com, the industry’s leading website. That’s a lot of candy, costumes, decorations and tickets to haunted attractions. One of the largest growth areas in the Halloween trade is
the explosion in number and quality of commercial haunted house attractions, haunted farms, corn mazes, hayrides and other spooky venues. More than $1 billion of the $10 billion spending on Halloween is attributed to ticket
purchases at themed haunted sites. “Visiting a haunted attraction is now the single most
popular way to celebrate the holiday,” says Larry Kirchner, founder of Hauntworld.com, which directs consumers to find and review Halloween attractions around the globe. The site provides locations and information about all major haunts, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hayrides.
Haunted attractions strive to make guests feel like they’re experiencing a real-life horror movie, some going so far as to use computer animation,
giant monsters and even virtual reality to provide scares guests enjoy. Many haunts now feature new attractions, such as zombie
paintball, zombie laser tag, corn mazes, haunted hayrides and escape rooms.
This season, families have many options. Haunted houses have become more realistic, but at the same time,
more family-friendly to appeal to larger crowds. So, what is the best way for your family to experience the
Halloween haunt craze? Those with teenagers should seek out the scariest haunted house near them. Families with
younger children should head to local farms. Professional Halloween attractions are now often based at family farms, which typically offer traditional pumpkin
patches, corn mazes and hayrides to appeal to younger guests. However, many of these farms transform into
spooky attractions by night, featuring actors portrayingfrightening characters, creepy lighting and elaborate décor
to provide fear-based fun. You can find the best hauntedattraction for your family by visiting Hauntworld.com.
According to Hauntworld.com, these attractions are rated as 2018’s scariest in the U.S.
1. Headless Horseman’s Hayrides and Haunted Houses - Ulster Park, New York - www.headlesshorseman.com: Located in the heart of the haunted Hudson Valley region of New York State The setting is an eighteenth-century historic manor that was originally a horse exchange tavern circa 1793. It encompasses 65 acres of orchards, gentle rolling hills, woodlands, ponds, barns, and outbuildings. The manor is the backdrop for the Legendary Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses. Our event is galloping into its 26th season that continues to expand with a theatrical hayride, cornmaze, 8 additional haunted attractions, 5 eateries, 4 giftshops, and home to Headless Horseman Escape Rooms.
Headless Horseman continually evolves with unusual monsters, amazing illusions, stunning special fx, unique and original costumes, makeup, animations and frightening detail created by our sister company American Made Monster Studios. Only the courageous will survive the intense encounters with the infamous Headless Horseman.
There is a new theme every year. For 2018 - the theatrical hayride theme is “The Hollow” Before the beginning, and after the great war between light and dark, dominion over this earth was given to the crafty ape, we call man. By this time, the creatures of old were forgotten and man would forever trade wonder, for reason. These creatures have now been beaten back into our memories and banished to live deep in the woods where man shall not tread, but tonight you have….and there will be hell to pay!
You have booked a ride on the "Old Crow Hollow Ghost Tour", a haunted tour to the abandoned town of Old Crow Hollow. The brochure states it will be the ride of a lifetime. Care to spend a lifetime in the realm of Darkness. You may not have a choice. “Something is hiding in the darkness”
There are all new scenes and frightening themes throughout our haunted attraction, including: Dark Harvest Cornmaze, The Lunar Motel, Glutton’s Diner, Slaughterhouse, The Horseman’s Tomb, Dr. Dark’s Circus Side Show, Nightshade Greenhouse and Nursery, The Feeding, Two Raven Inn, an all new illusion magic show featuring Ryan Dutcher, and our mobile trailer 5-minute escape rooms: Missile Countdown and Bio Hazard.
Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses also offers the following:
• Eateries - Croaked Crow Cafe, Deadly Donuts, Witch Hazels, Coffee Cauldron, and Evil Eatery
• Gift shops - Scareware, Fear Gear, Magic Moon Gift Shop, and Photo Shop
• Headless Horseman Escape Rooms (Headlesshorsemanescaperooms.com)
• Featuring: Icabod’s Revenge, The Inheritance, and Death Row
Additionally - New for 2018:
Dare to venture into the deserted ruins of The Foundry. Discover the secrets that are hidden within its crumbling walls. The Wood Shed ominously hidden deep in the cornfield. What awaits you as you venture inside? Towering ahead of you is the Crow Hollow Church, your entry into the Horseman’s Mausoleum and Tomb.
"Hell is empty and all the devils are here"- William Shakespeare
In the late 1700’s the country was new, it was wild, and savage. Blood was shed to gain our independence. Things needed to be done that didn't make the history books, horrific things, unspeakable things. Men were hired to do this work, they killed men, women, and children in the name of their cause. The Hessian Soldier was one such man. At first it was just a job, but after a while he didn't kill for the money. The hunt was no longer for mere sport either. He enjoyed the art of murder. The young assassin's stone heart won him a place beside the throne of Satan, but his untimely death trapped his soul on earth for eternity. Forever searching for his head, he continues to take the lives of the innocent only making him even more powerful and evil. Good men, honest men knew if the Horseman obtained his head he would finally be allowed to leave this world and join the other Horsemen and begin the apocalypse. The monks took what was left of the shattered skull and relocated it to a secret location 100 miles north, and across the Hudson River and buried it in a monastery. This area in Ulster County, New York was called Crow's Hollow. The monastery has been long gone and the area became farmland. The small hamlet of Crow's Hollow had been the epicenter of the most horrific spirits and monsters for over 200 years. It was cursed with some of the most treacherous evils since the head arrived. However, the past 25 years the town has been quiet. Not even the Headless Horseman has reared his ugly stump. But tonight, the town has a different atmosphere. The fog is thick and no one is to be found. You can hear the hooves in the distance.... He is back... He is angry... And he is on the hunt... The shadows betray you because they serve me!
2. Field Of Screams - Mountville, Pennsylvania - www.fieldofscreams.com: Terrorizing over one million victims to date, Field of Screams is celebrating 26 YEARS OF FEAR in 2018! Field of Screams was voted #1 by USA TODAY, featured on the Travel Channel and the Howard Stern Show, and written about in Time Magazine and Newsweek. Boasting 4 Impressive Attractions, Field of Screams is a show that must not be missed. The Horrifying Haunted Hayride will be the most disturbing ride of your life through thick rows of corn. The distorted Den of Darkness will leave you trembling in fear. The Frightmare Asylum is packed full of demented doctors and nasty nurses just waiting to treat you. And the wicked woods of The Nocturnal Wasteland will give you lasting nightmares. Field of Screams is described by many as the Haunted Attraction with the Ultimate AtmosFEAR. In between the horrifying screams, challenge your mind with trying to escape our BRAND NEW 5 minute escape rooms that have been added for the 2018 season. Also, in between the Haunts, visit any of the other attractions located in our impressive Entertainment Area which is full of additional entertainment, games, food, photo booth, and souvenir shop. PREPARE TO BE TERRIFIED.
3. The Dent Schoolhouse - Cincinnati, Ohio - www.frightsite.com: The Dent Schoolhouse is known for its tragic legend about a murderous janitor who killed students back in the 1950s and this year guests plunge deeper into the schoolhouse's dark history. The old nurse's office has been converted to a monument paying tribute to the lost children. Be careful as the picture frames and statues come to life to warn trespassers before they continue their experience. The school's cafeteria has been upgraded with a new walk in freezer, 6 ft long rotating body... we mean hot dog saw, and prep area. Guests will have to walk through all of the bodies and waist that are piling up from the culinary master minds in the cafeteria. The creators also went through every scene and peppered new live scares and animations to really intensify the walkthrough. The schoolhouse also boasts over 280 fake carved jack o'lanterns and loads of vintage Halloween decorations that make every walkthrough the schoolhouse seem like it is a Halloween day from 1955.
4. The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, Louisiana - www.13thgate.com: The 13th Gate continues it’s ultra realistic nightmares by introducing several new and terrifying realms to it’s already massive haunt. Only the bravest will find their way across a real Louisiana swamp infested with hundreds of live snakes to the house of voodoo. Then make their way through the dark forests of Oz (beware the flying monkeys). Also new this year, CarnEvil haunted midway. A twisted carnival full of Halloween scares, roaming characters, games, Axe Throwing, Virtual Reality Experiences, great food, and free nightly entertainment and concerts.
5. Netherworld - Atlanta, Georgia - www.fearworld.com: After 20+ years in their previous location, Netherworld Haunted House has relocated to a massive new complex in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Almost literally in the shadow of Georgia's biggest tourist attraction (Stone Mountain Park), the new Netherworld is situated on almost 10 acres and now has over 70,000 square feet of space in which to imagine, fabricate and bring to life one of the most incredible haunted attractions you will ever experience.
In addition to the haunts, the complex features 3 absolutely top notch escape rooms, a museum of monsters and movie props, meeting spaces, a gift shop that's next to none in the haunt industry, an outdoor midway, an impressive amount of indoor queuing and lots and lots of free parking.
Netherworld as always brings the goods and this year is no exception with two all-new fright filled experiences.
THE AWAKENED is their larger main attraction. Rotted mummified corpses each with a single hideous eye in their forehead have emerged from the depths below Whyshburg Cemetery to destroy everything in their path. Are you brave enough to descend to the forbidden city and confront the ancient horror that created them? Their second (always the "grittier" of their two attractions) is SUBJECT: UNKNOWN. An alien virus has infected the secret facility known as The BOX causing mutations and insanity to all exposed. You must complete your mission before you are overcome by the virus or attacked by one of the other experiments set loose in the chaos.
In short, Netherworld has always been a Must-See Haunted House...if you are a haunted house fan, we'd even go as far as to say that it's a Bucket List experience...but somehow Netherworld just got even better!
6. Nightmare on 13th - Salt Lake City, Utah - www.nightmareon13th.com: New for 2018! What unearthly horrors lurk within Nightmare on 13th this year? Allow us to shed a little light among the shadows for you! Make haste as you navigate the aquatic depths, for those who linger too long may fall victim to the treacherous tentacles of Cthulhu! The “Great Old One” has been awakened, and will not tolerate anyone foolishly trespassing in his realm.Hiding among the droves of decaying bones of the ossuary, are bloodthirsty creatures of the night, waiting anxiously for their next meal to wander into their midst. Only the fortunate will escape their embrace! It is an egregious error to enter the dark labyrinth of the mine; for here, the ghouls harvest and horde their precious stones. Any who dare to venture near their treasure, will suffer unspeakable consequences when captured! This, of course, is but a taste of the fearsome feast that awaits within the walls. So, come witness for yourself all the reasons why Nightmare on 13th continues to be a “haunt” above the rest! You're not too scared, are you?
7. Haunted Schoolhouse & Haunted Laboratory - Akron, Ohio - www.hauntedschoolhouse.com : The Legendary Akron Haunted Schoolhouse and Haunted Laboratory consists of seven total floors of complete terror and is northeast Ohio’s only multi-story haunted attraction. The haunts feature the demented librarian Mrs. Alvah, tempting you to go through her horrifying book of stories, and the deranged Dr. Guttenheim, feverishly taunting you to venture through his lab and escape his mutations along with the virus that will likely infect you. Check out our new midway and experience the atmosphere and activities which includes photo ops, characters on the loose, seasonal vendors, games, merchandise, delicious concessions, and alcoholic beverages. Our newest event “Beer before Fear” lets you sip on an ice-cold beer before the attraction opens. The last two years the attractions and entire property have received an extensive overhaul and update. This massive attraction has been scaring millions for over four decades. Get your tickets now and let the nightmares begin.
8. Bennett's Curse - Baltimore, Maryland - www.bennettscurse.com: Bennett’s Curse featuring “Monster Fest” has long been rated as Maryland and DC’s best and scariest Haunted House, but for 2018 we are raising the bar once again! Known nationally for our theming, we are making creative set design improvements and adding new scares to virtually every scene in each of the 4 haunted houses!
A new exciting addition for 2018 is Monster Fest Laser tag. The creators of Bennett’s Curse are giving you the chance to turn the tables on us this season. For 2 exciting nights only Friday September 21st and Saturday September 22nd only, Bennett’s Curse is having this special Monster Fest Laser Tag event. You can now be the hunters of the horrific Bennett’s Curse Monsters where they are the prey. For years they’ve terrified you, stalked you, made you scream, but here is your chance for some revenge! Each guest will receive a Battle Rifle laser tag gun, and will tour the fully staffed Bennett’s Curse in search of Monsters to shoot, but move quickly, as the monsters are immortal and your weapon can only temporarily wound them. A fun event for friends or the whole family!
Also new for 2018, the Demon Baby Scavenger Hunt will take your terrifying Haunted House tour to the next level! A “cute” but terrifying demon baby has taken refuge hiding amongst the many monsters and creatures inhabiting Bennett’s Curse Haunted House. On select nights Sunday and Thursday nights this season, challenge yourself in the ultimate game of hide and seek while you tour the haunted house and try to find the mischievous spawn of the Underworld . If you are lucky enough to find him, you’ll win some cool prizes, and not to mention bragging rights amongst those in your group!
Bennett’s Curse boasts a show packed with remarkable theming, film quality monsters and costumes, and one of the best scare crews in the Haunt industry!
9. Haunted Overload - Lee, New Hampshire - www.hauntedoverload.com: Haunted Overload is an outdoor attraction like no other. Described as The Ultimate Halloween Experience, it blends gigantic original sets and oversized creatures with lush sound, lighting and award-winning costumes for a terrifying experience that is utterly unique. Pumpkin alley with hundreds of hand carved jack-o-lanterns is not to be missed by any lover of Halloween. Haunted Overload can be found every year on various best haunts lists both nationally and internationally, and in 2014 won the grand prize on America’s Great Halloween Fright Fight on ABC. in 2015 it was listed as Hauntworld’s #1 haunt. Set in an eerie forest in New England, it brings to life the true feel of vintage Halloween terror. Each season the dedicated Haunted Overload crew creates entirely new twists to its trails and takes each added scene to unimagined heights. The Victorian-themed Abaddon Hall stuns patrons with its detail. The incredibly over-the-top Sinister Circus gives horrifying new meaning to the term “Big Top”. The New Fortress of the Damned is a crowd pleaser as well. Haunted Overload is partnered with the Cocheco Valley Humane Society and gives a percentage of its proceeds to help local animals. It’s located at DeMeritt Hill Farm, a traditional stop for apple picking, blueberries, pumpkins and home-made goodies from the farm store. The farm also offers seasonal holiday hayrides and classes.
10. Erebus - Pontiac, Michigan - www.hauntedpontiac.com: Dr. Edgar Colber graduated with honors from Yale with majors in Astrophysics and Celestial Mechanics. As a child, he could never take his eyes off the starry night sky. The stars sang a seductive melody that over time became his obsession. After several breakthroughs during his college career, Dr. Colber then re-focused his efforts into the realm of space where the answers weren’t always so clear. Why here, why now, and how? These questions haunted his days and kept him up nights. His world renowned research facility eventually became somewhat of a mockery as he reached points of no return, seemingly driving himself insane. Diving deeper into areas of quantum mechanics, general relativity and astroparticle physics, he searched for the answers to many open ended questions. Black holes, dark matter, and dark energy consumed him as his intelligence was diverted and controlled by the daunting question… is time travel possible. Time Travel became him, his love, his curse, his end. After many reports of missing persons working at his facility… the authorities were forced to get involved. The government revoked his certifications and research licenses, forcing him underground… Working behind the black curtain, in an abandoned facility in the heart of Metro Detroit, he did it! He actually figured out how to make it work! Dr. Colber unofficially became the first of mankind to construct a working time machine. After running trials on all of his personnel he still could not bring them back through the spectrum of time. Every particle and person he forced into his machine never returned the same. It seemed, no matter the destination, the time period looked at their cells as a virus, attacking and destroying every ounce of sanity, like an immune system would a foreign bacteria… Like the destination was alive, breathing and thinking, knowing they did not belong! Hallucinations of the Beast consumed him and his unwilling participants. They describe it as a massive, burning monster, created solely to protect the sanctity of time… Still, refusing to accept defeat, the mad doctor woke in the middle of the night with his most brilliant idea yet… Disguise his time machine as a Haunted House! Now he has an endless supply of human guinea pigs… and better yet… they fund the program. Welcome to EREBUS!
11. Hell's Gate - Lockport, Illinois - Since you were a kid, you've heard about the haunted house with the giant slide, the one hidden in the woods, the one where you could get your money back, but you were never able to find it... until now! It’s HellsGate Haunted House in Lockport, IL. www.hellsgate.com:
Zombie Army Productions, the creative production team behind Statesville Haunted Prison, The Fear at Navy Pier, Zombie Containment, and many other Chicagoland dark events, has resurrected the legendary HellsGate Haunted House. This dark adventure shuttles you deep into the forest where you must find your way through the torch-lit haunted woods, across the Cemetery of Lost Souls, up the hill and through the gate, to find the front door of the 1920’s Victorian Mansion, Moorstone Manor.
Once in the house, you may feel that you have escaped the horde of zombies from the cemetery and forest, but your challenge has just begun. The house itself is alive with darkness and The Twins are searching for new hosts for their demon kind. You will need to find the secret passages in each room to escape the ever-pressing Darkness and make your way to the attic. After reaching the top of the house, you must ride the slide into the basement, find your way through a zombie-infested laboratory and attempt your escape through the Dragon Caves. The Gate itself is hidden in the caves below the house and from it the Darkness enters our world. Guarded by three dragons, the caves are vast and difficult to navigate. However, if you make it through the entire house and you can find the Key to HellsGate... Your ticket is free!
This is not just a haunted house, it’s an adventure!
This Halloween season, don’t just go to any haunted house, go on an adventure! If you are looking for Chicago's best haunted house and the scariest haunted house in Illinois, then you must travel through the zombie-infested woods and across the Lost Souls Cemetery to find HellsGate Haunted House.
12. The Darkness - St. Louis, Missouri - The Darkness celebrates its 25th Year of Fear as one of the World’s biggest and scariest haunted houses. The Darkness is more than just a haunted house featuring multiple attractions in one location. The Darkness is a two floors of fear haunted house, also features Terror Visions 3D, The Hive Zombie Experience, Horror Vip Party Rooms, Outdoor scream zones, and one of the nations best Escape Rooms (St Louis Escape) located next door to The Darkness. The Darkness features over 200 animations, digital fx, and some of the most detailed scenes in the industry. The Darkness is one of the most high tech detailed haunted house in the Nation, Glenn Hetrick a judge from faceoff called it the best haunted house in the World. The Darkness has been featured on national television more than any other haunt in America because of its amazing special fx, scary actors and multiple types of attractions. The Darkness opens for its biggest season ever in 2018, its 25th Year of Fear! www.scarefest.com:
13. Bayville Screampark - Bayville, New York - www.bayvillescreampark.com: Bayville Scream Park is the largest Halloween event in the North East with 6 Haunted Houses, 3 restaurants, 3 bars, and many other attractions. There is so much to do and see people come multiple nights to celebrate the Halloween season. Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needles Fun House of Fear and Mirror Maze in 3D, The Haunted Asylum, The Temple of Terror, The Cage and Evil in the Woods. There is also the Creepy Cafe, The Zombie Bar and Lounge, The Scream Shop, The Shipwreck Tavern, Breakers Sports Bar, Zombie Pirate Miniature golf and much more!