The 13 Most Awesome Haunted Houses In America

The darknes haunted house

Photo: The Darkness Haunted House

Every year Hauntworld.com releases the premier list of haunted houses, haunted hayrides, scream parks, Halloween attractions, corn mazes, real haunted houses and even home haunted houses. By doing so, Hauntworld.com has helped even the smallest home haunts become nationally recognised, allowing some to even progress into major, professional attractions. 

It has also helped many local haunted houses receive national recognition as one of America’s best haunted houses in the nation.  Many of the best haunted houses in the World were discovered and promoted on this very list, our annual list of the best haunted houses in America.

The haunted house industry started back in the early 1970’s predominantly as charity attractions. Then later into the 1980’s, they transformed into huge local screams!  

With the invention of the internet and more specifically high speed internet access, haunted houses could cost-effectively showcase videos, photos, logos and more towards the worldwide promotion of their events as high end attractions, gaining the kind of national awareness that only places like Disney World or Universal Studios were able to garner prior.

Haunted houses flourished, finding new audiences and creating worldwide identities as tourist hotspots.  Today, there are people from all over the world planning Fall vacations in search of attending the best haunted house attractions in the world. 

Many load up their vehicles, take off work for a week, and travel from city to city finding haunted houses throughout the nation that make their heart pound and the hair on the back of their neck rise.  They’re in search of finding that ultimate high and extreme sensation that ONLY a haunted house can create.  Hollywood can no longer compete with the live experience of fear. 

The debut of horror movies have moved out of October, because haunted houses get all the press and hype. Today, haunted houses are better attracting their attention, and haunted houses are getting millions of people from around the world lined up for miles to enter their favourite haunted houses.

Today’s horror fans flock to haunted houses to experience live, in-your-face thrills, suspense, screams and terror. They seek that fear, real fear, only found in live experiences.  Haunted houses today are sophisticated with high tech special effects. These are the same high end effects you’d find in major motion movies and multimillion dollar theme parks.  

The haunted house industry is much like the movie industry, in that it creates very emotional experiences, but the difference is motion pictures are creating movie experiences; haunted houses are creating unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.

This year we present our 2011 list of the best haunted houses in America, best scream parks, best hayrides and best real haunted houses too.

This post originally appeared on Hauntworld.com.

#13 Nightmare on the Bayou Haunted House in Houston, Texas

#12 The 13th Floor Haunted House in San Antonio, Texas

The 13th Floor Haunted House is the flagship haunted attraction of America's most haunted city, San Antonio, Texas.

This is truly a testament to its high action, in-your-face premium production value among Texas haunted houses. Spanning 40,000 square feet across 3 stories in a 105 year old historic building, the 13th Floor San Antonio takes patrons through several levels of horror from the depths of its decrepit, underground basement.

Through the wickedness of its massive gothic cemetery and into its horrifically fantastic haunted hotel, 13th Floor San Antonio customers get to experience a barrage of special effects, animatronic monsters and impeccably detailed sets. Add to that some of the most talented group of performers in the industry, and you've got a top notch, first rate haunted house that's 2nd to none.

Taking nothing for granted the 13th Floor San Antonio delivers 2 haunted experiences that continually raise the bar and push the limits of what a haunted house is and what a haunted house can become. To read a detailed review of this attraction, click here or visit their website www.13thfloorsanantonio.com.

# 11 The Dent Haunted Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH

#10 Asylum Haunted House / 13th Floor in Denver, CO

If there is less oxygen, can you scream as loud? Visit The Asylum Haunted House, 13th Floor Haunted House, and Blood Shed Haunted House in Denver, Colorado and you'll find out!

There's terror in the heart of the Mile High City. These haunted houses offer intense graphic experiences, where attention is paid to every detail ensuring those who visit have a frightening good time.

It all begins with The Asylum, set in Gordon Cottingham's Hospital for the criminally insane. It's a damp and musty place infested with unimaginable nightmares and coupled with the endless screams of tortured souls. This year guests will be scared out of their minds with an insanely redesigned layout featuring new sets and effects that create a truly mind blowing experience.

Then it's onward to the 13th Floor, where the age-old question is answered…Where is the 13th Floor, and why is it absent in so many buildings? Find out as you board a haunted elevator for a heart-pounding ride to a thrilling adventure on the legendary 13th Floor. Superstition? Conspiracy? Supernatural? Or something far, far worse?

Either way, be prepared, because there's a plethora of updates added for 2011, including a mirror maze never before seen in Denver. It appears to provide you an endless supply of horrifying reflections.

Visit the 13th Floor Haunted House and you are guaranteed an amazing journey through the most sought after haunted experience in Colorado. To read a detailed article about this attraction, click here or visit their website www.getscared.com.

#9 Erebus 4 Story Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI

Erebus Haunted House is surrounded by tons of competing haunts, but that's what keeps them on their toes, always staying ahead of the pack by making and developing their own unique scares that you can't see anywhere else but Erebus Haunted House.

With over 30 years in the haunted house business, they are masters at creating things that will grab you, bite you, and even land on top of you. Imagine being placed in a room, doors slam, and 10,000 balls fall on your head to bury you alive! How long can you hold your breath?

New for the 2011 season, is Erubus' War of the Worlds section where the war between humans and aliens is raging. Watch in terror as you see an alien explode right before your eyes. To read a detailed review of Erebus, click here or visit their website www.hauntedpontiac.com.

#8 House of Torment Haunted Houses in Austin, TX

House of Torment Haunted Houses in Austin, TX Texas: House of Torment is widely considered to be one of the most innovative haunted houses in the country.

Take a journey through its dynamic and ultra-creative attraction, The Reckoning, and when you think you've seen it all, you'll find yourself in more terrifying danger as you enter their next attraction, Cursed. The Reckoning is an apocalyptic saga that takes customers through a devastated city that has suffered through virulent out breaks, alien invasions and ample amounts of destruction.

The Reckoning features aerial stunts, giant animatronic monsters, massive movie quality sets, a crashed space ship, thrilling special effects, and nonstop action as war unfolds between hoards of the undead and the intergalactic Soul Reaper army. Cursed is an immersive experience taking customers on a journey through a haunted island where blood thirst savages attack and zombie pirates stalk the living.

Dark terrors lurk in the shadows of ancient temples along with murky caves, thick jungles, and a massive shipwreck. The Reckoning and Cursed are both new for 2011!

The highly revered House of Torment production team prides itself on creating new and vivid experiences each year for its avid fan base. To read a detailed review of this haunt, click here or visit their website www.thehouseoftorment.com.

#7 13th Floor Haunted House in Phoenix, AZ

#6 Cutting Edge Haunted House in Dallas Fort Worth, TX

Cutting Edge Haunted House was recognised by Guinness Book of World Records as the longest haunted house in the world! Cutting Edge is located inside an old meat packing plant, the perfect setting for a gruesome haunting. Cutting Edge Haunted House features live sets, animations, and hundreds of live actors inside and outside the building.

One of the best features of the attraction is all the real meat packing plant equipment left behind from when the planet closed years ago. Much of the meat packing theme has been incorporated into the setting of this attraction making this haunted house in Dallas Fort Worth Texas one of the most authentic haunted houses ever created. Cutting Edge Haunted House is waiting for you…Will you make it out alive?

Visit them online at www.cuttingedgehauntedhouse.com.

#5 Netherworld Haunted House in Atlanta, GA

The legendary Netherworld Haunted House is a walk-through dark attraction filled with the most terrifying live actors, special effects and monsters.

They too always seek to produce an even scarier, over-the-top haunt for each coming year. Netherworld's creators spare no expense in constantly improving and expanding. They play to every nightmare imaginable inside Netherworld Haunted House.

Known for their originality of unique monsters and innovative scares, Netherworld Haunted House offers an over-the-top production that many in the industry consider to be the top horror attraction in the country. Created by film and television professionals, Netherworld is also noted for its unique themes, stunts, costumes and sets.

Netherworld has been featured on everything from Travel Channel to The Today Show and was even used as a filming location for the movie Zombieland. To read a full review of this attraction click here or visit their website www.fearworld.com.

#4 Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, NY

Located in the Historic New York Haunted Hudson Valley, Headless Horseman offers a second-to-none haunted scream park featuring a massive corn maze, 6 haunted houses, a haunted hayride, side shows, 5 gift shops, 4 places to eat, and to top it off, you'll even find professional actors riding around as The Headless Horseman himself…Or are they actors?

The property offers over 40-five acres of natural landscape that as night falls provides the perfect setting for the ultimate haunting. It's one of the only haunted houses in America where they presell every ticket before ever opening… a true testament to how incredible this attraction has become! To read a more detailed review of this attraction click here or visit their website www.headlesshorseman.com.

#3 13th Gate Haunted House in Baton Rouge, LA

13th Gate Haunted House has it all. Their level of detail, set design, and effects combined with their impressive actors and incredible makeup effects can only be compared to the likes of Hollywood.

As soon as you enter The 13th Gate Haunted House, you immediately realise you are inside no ordinary haunted house. Over 13 different indoor & outdoor fright zones make this huge scream factory a top haunt on our list.

Haunted asylums, claustrophobic cellars, a real snake-infested Louisiana swamp, nightly voodoo shows, hidden subterranean passages and even a prehistoric ice cave all seamlessly woven together is nothing short of masterful. You never know what to expect around the next terrifying corner at 13th Gate.

Plus, the company behind 13th Gate Haunted House, Midnight Production, will unveil their latest addition, Necropolis 13, new for 2011! Necropolis 13 is a 40,000 sq. ft. New Orleans style cemetery complete with over 400 zombie-infested crypts and mausoleums.

Upon entering the attraction, visitors are sent 13 steps down an open grave into dark underground catacombs where they must find an alternate escape up and out into the cemetery where the terror continues! 13th Gate Haunted House is one of the best, most detailed haunted houses in the WORLD. To read a more detailed review click here or visit their website www.13thgate.com.

#2 The Darkness Haunted House in St. Louis, MO

The Darkness Haunted House is beyond belief with haunting atmosphere and terror. The Darkness is very much like a high end, Hollywood movie set. From room to room, the fear intensifies with never ending detail, special effects, animations, live actors, and more.

It's simply the best. The Darkness rests inside a 100-year-old, two story warehouse and includes three attractions in one location for one price. If you can survive both stories of The Darkness, you will then enter the World's best 3D haunted house, Terror Visions 3D.

As you exit Terror Visions, you'll find yourself inside The Monster Museum filled with real horror movie collectibles, full-sized horror images, and life-like monsters. The Darkness is a multimillion dollar attraction filled with terrifying experiences. With the ultimate creative team behind it, The Darkness truly stands out from year to year as one of America's best haunted houses.

Each year, they look for new ways to create the ultimate haunting experience for producing the best haunted house in America. To read a more detailed review, click here or visit their website at www.Scarefest.com.

#1 Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride and Pennhurst Asylum Haunted Attraction in Philadelphia, PA

The Bates Motel Haunted House & Hayride is a unique haunted attraction for several reasons: The Haunted Hayride is located deep in a 200-year-old forest full of overgrown trees creating the ultimate dark trail even during a full moon.

This puts customers on edge even before ever entering the first hayride scene. Combined with a digital custom soundtrack, pyrotechnics and continuous scares throughout the ride, this hayride attraction is sure to create the ultimate haunting experience of your life!

To read a more detailed article about this attraction, click here or visit their website at www.TheBatesMotel.com.

Additionally, The Pennhurst Asylum is one of the scariest haunted attraction sites in the world, mostly due to the setting of this haunt. It's located in a 100-year-old, abandoned mental institute. The building itself will instill real fear and true horror in anyone.

The Asylum has been investigated by professional ghost hunters and featured on Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters several times. This attraction is truly haunted.

To read a more detailed article about this real haunted house click here or visit their website at www.PennhurstAsylum.com. Bates Motel and Pennhurst Asylum are owned and operated by the same company and are within a short drive of each other. These have to be number one on our list for locations to get scared this Halloween.

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