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 out top five scariest attractions in the US.
1. Terror Behind the Walls
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. Featured on numerous television shows, ESP became a haunted attraction 22 years ago. You can find out more about it (and plan a visit) here.
2. St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
New Orleans is home to this final resting place to many rumored to roam as ghosts. New Orleans has many above ground cemeteries, as it is located below sea level. The grounds are dotted with ornate tombs which insight scares. The queen of voodoo, Marie Laveau is buried at Cemetery No. 1. She is gossiped to haunt her tomb. If one marks her grave with three chalk “X”’s and makes a wish, it will come true. Chalk should not be forgotten when visiting the creepy venue.
3. Myrtles Plantation
Built in 1796, this estate is home to many ghosts of the Antebellum South. 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 15 years. 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.
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.
Halloween is not only a holiday for children. These attractions continue to cause chills well into adulthood. Paranormal enthusiasts and ghost hunters are not the only ones enjoying the scares of the season. Enjoy the turning leaves and these opportunities to soak up the horror and a cup of warm cider.