With Halloween around the corner, many are looking for new and exciting things to do when they make the usual rounds of costume-donning, party-hopping, and scare-inducing activities. And if you’re a Halloween aficionado like the rest of us, you’re always looking to outdo yourself from the previous years.
For those who want to experience one heck of a spine-tingling, hair-raising Halloween this year, you can check out these crazily disturbing haunted houses in North America. But be prepared. The experience might leave you traumatized!
Queen Mary Dark Harbor (Long Beach, California)
Though the historic Queen Mary cruise ship doesn’t offer chilling fetish-like experiences, its Dark Harbor Halloween event onboard the vessel is unique in its own way. Having been through a lot on the high seas, the ship naturally has many real ghost stories to offer and it’s these ghost stories that the Halloween activity harps on. Guests are sent on a ghost hunt to rooms yet unexplored, like the engine rooms. There are also interactive mind games to mess with the customers’ heads.
Shocktoberfest: Naked and Scared Challenge (Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania)
The shock factor of Shocktorberfest is experiencing the thrills and fears of the haunted house—nearly buck naked! What makes it morbidly fun is aside from the house being dark, the temperature is dropped to nearly zero degrees with the occasional water and air blasts. That makes it all the more difficult because you’re both scared and freezing in your underwear at the same time. As the creator said, the whole experience is meant to be intrusive and he’s certainly able to achieve that, as relayed by some of the guests who’ve visited the place!
Cutting Edge (Fort Worth, Texas)
Having made it twice to the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest haunted house, fanatics can be sure that Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, Texas can make your hair stand on-end. Standing true to its name, the haunted house is located inside an actual meat processing plant and get this—some of the razor-sharp equipment actually still works. What better way to scare you than coming face to face with equipment that can slice your fingers for real?
Alone: An Existential Haunting (Los Angeles, California)
Daring enough to enter the realm of nightmares and mental manipulation? If you are, then Alone should be a good challenge for you. Described as unnerving, guests are placed in front of a blank canvass, where their nightmares supposedly unfold. There’s no blood or gore or monsters or chainsaw-wielding zombies. Everything is in the mind, which is a thousand times scarier than a horror scene physically playing before your eyes. It’s said that the mental haunting can have some lasting effects, so tread carefully before deciding to do this!
Freakling Brothers’ Gates of Hell and Victim Experience (Las Vegas, Nevada)
The fact that it’s a full contact haunted house makes the Freakling Brothers’ Gates of Hell all the more intriguing to conquer. In the house, guests are cursed at and touched frequently and are subjected to two of the most gruesome experiences. The “Faces of Death” depicts various ways one can die, ending with “death” by firing squad. The “Victim Experience” is supposed to be a whole different story though, as it subjects guests to the physical sensation of violent deaths, such as suffocation, emotional manipulation, and criminal sexuality. Luckily, there’s a safe word if you want to tap out.
ScareHouse: The Basement (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
While most haunted houses are meant to scare the beejesus out of you, ScareHouse is a tad different. It relies on mind-bending scare factors and taps into the psyche of the person. Located in the basement of a former lodge, guests are treated to a mini-theatrical show that challenges you to think of and address your deepest fears, such as claustrophobia, needles, death, and even religious beliefs, which is likely the most controversial aspect that’s challenged in this experience.
Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres (Pataskala, Ohio)
You can be sure you’re in for a scare when a sign at the entrance of the Haunted Hoochie in Ohio reads “Attention: Entering Dead Acres entails known and unanticipated risks that could result in physical or emotional injury.” And when there are live actors lurking around and touching you, the whole experience can really induce a heart attack! On some occasions, an actor can throw a random guest over his shoulder, carry her to a different room in the house and then bring her back to her group. Other times, actors with chainsaws corner the guests and there have been incidents that the guests have even gotten hit on the head.
Blackout (New York and Los Angeles)
The pioneer of extreme Halloween experiences, Blackout is definitely not one to miss as far as scare factors go. Those who visit it have relayed their disturbing experiences, ranging from stripping down half-naked, bound and gagged, and even standing in front of a highway for all the world to see. There’s a safe word for those guests who aren’t able to stand it any longer, but many have stuck to the whole experience til the end. Though the experience used to require entering the house one at a time, the house has expanded operations to be able to accommodate guests in groups, for those too scared to go in on their own!
The Cult (North Conway, New Hampshire)
The Cult in New Hampshire isn’t just scary—it’s gross too! Strictly for adults only, guests are given the option to drink fake urine, and are bound and gagged while cockroaches crawl all over them. But no worries, the guests are given a safe word in case things get too intense to handle. Oh, and the biggest catch of all? You have to go in alone.
McKamey Manor (San Diego, California)
Many have touted McKamey Manor as the most extreme haunted house ever be open to the public. Every year, the owners up the ante so as to make the experience scarier than the previous years. Designed to last for eight hours, guests are made to enter alone and are treated to the most morbid of experiences, such as being placed on a morgue table and having tarantulas crawl all over them. No one has made it through the eight-hour ordeal and there have been cases of guests passing out from sheer trauma. And get this—there’s no safe word. The owner just stops the show when the guest gets to the point of needing medical attention!