Top 8 Scariest Attractions in the US: Visit them in 2023

While tourism is generally about discovering new and amazing places or enjoying the sea and sun, it doesn’t hurt to get a bit out of the beaten path and try something a bit more unique.

And this is what I am going to focus on today: the best scary attractions in the US. From haunted houses to scary mazes and everything in between, you’ll find some interesting things to do – things you maybe haven’t considered in the past.

Sure, we might prefer the nice beaches of Batam, Indonesia or at least check out one of the best DN-friendly cities in the US – but never say never. I am sure you will really enjoy visiting these recommended places below, so let’s get it started!

Best Scary Attractions in the US

Days are shorter and there is a crispness in the air… The trees are bare and many animals have entered their winter slumber. Boo! Halloween presents a good shake.

It is time for a sensory wake-up call and there are spots waiting to help. Allow these haunting venues to scare you awake to enjoy the delights of the changing season with my top five scariest attractions in the US.

1. Terror Behind the Walls: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia

Located near Philadelphia, the Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) is closed as a prison but open to those prepared to be frightened.

The decrepit national landmark was once home to iconic gangster Al Capone. The cellblocks and guard posts are in ruins adding to their authenticity.

It offers actors who provide interactive horror. It is popular among ghost hunters and paranormal fanatics and recently it started housing one of the greatest, scariest and most amazing Halloween parties you can dream of.

Featured on numerous television shows, ESP became a haunted attraction over 25 years ago. You can find out more about it (and plan a visit) here.

2. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Photo by Mr. Jason Hayes

New Orleans is home to this final resting place to many rumored to roam as ghosts.

The queen of voodoo, Marie Laveau, is buried at Cemetery No. 1. She is gossiped to haunt her tomb and is one of the main reasons why this place is considered spooky nowadays.

It is believed that if one marks her grave with three chalk Xs and makes a wish, it will come true.

Chalk should not be forgotten when visiting the creepy venue, although you should double check to make sure that it is indeed legal to do this. After all… this is a resting place for many.

3. Myrtles Plantation

Built in 1796, this estate is home to many ghosts of the Antebellum South, or so it’s said..

Some claim as many as ten murders were committed on these grounds located in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Spirits of slaves have been reported, including one named Chloe who is said to have been lynched on the premises.

The plantation is open to the public as a bed and breakfast with guided mystery tours provided. Find out more about it here.

4. The Haunted Maize at the Pumpkin Patch

Located on Sauvie Island outside of Portland Oregon, this family friendly attraction has been in operation for 20 years now.

The haunted trail covers four acres and includes watch-towers offering scenic views. It offers frights and doubles as a learning experience.

Animal exhibits and Halloween treats are available to visitors and it’s a great way to spend some time outdoors.

5. The ScareHouse

Located in a 100 year-old Elks Lodge in Pittsburgh PA, this attraction has been frightening visitors for generations.

The ScareHouse has four separate areas. The most recent is the ghoulish basement, which is prohibited for children under 13 years of age.

Highly trained actors add to the experience while obeying a “no touch” policy.

Nationwide ghost-hunters flock to the ScareHouse for its authenticity and if you want to visit, you should start here.

6. The Stanley Hotel

stanley hotel aerial view
Aerial view of this otherwise beautiful place

Known for being the inspiration for Stephen King’s “The Shining,” this Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is considered to be one of the scariest attractions in the US.

Of course, the place itself is actually beautiful and there are absolutely no risks involved if you decide to spend a night there, but they do like to take a bit of that The Shining fame and offer, for example, a 60 minute night walking tour of the hotel.

So if you are up for a nice, relatively scary experience, this is one you should try.

7. The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts

the Lizzie Borden house

Home of one great murder mystery, where it is believed that Lizzie Borden murdered her parents violently. And, as a result, the place is haunted even today.

You can visit this place, which operates as a bed and breakfast, and go on a ghost tour on the premises or even do some ghost hunting.

The best part is that some tours are available virtually, so if you don’t want to travel to the destination, you can still do it online. Check the place’s official website for more details.

8. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston

This asylum is infamous for its history of mistreating its patients, with many claiming ghost sightings and various supranatural occurrences on the premises. Therefore, it is a great choice for those looking for a different type of attraction.

Right now, you can visit the place and take either a historic or a ghost tour, exploring this actually spooky National Historic Landmark. It’s fun, but make sure to bring your friends or family along.

Click here to check out the official website for its schedule and more details.

Wrapping up

I am sure you can get your spook on in any of these highly recommended spooky attractions throughout the US.

I wouldn’t expect finding any real ghosts there, but it will still be a good experience – and something a bit off the beaten path that will prove highly enjoyable.

Do you know of any other scary attractions that should be mentioned here? Let us all know about them by sharing a comment below.

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