October 29 2010 by Julie Drossos
Halloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get you into the spooky spirit than planning a fun weekend getaway around a visit to one of these terrifically terrifying Haunted Houses. I've surveyed my most devoted Halloween-lovers and Haunted House fanatics and put together this list of "must-see" haunts.
The Scarehouse - Pittsburgh, PA
This may very well be one of the most talked-about haunted houses in existence. At the Scarehouse, for $18 you get a very full and very haunting experience! Your admission gets you access to three different haunts: Rampage, Delirium and The Forsaken.
Located just minutes from downtown, the Scarehouse is currently open Thursday to Sunday, and the week of Halloween it will be open Tuesday to Sunday. Opens every night at 7pm and closes at 10pm on weekdays and 12 Midnight on weekends. You can also opt to purchase a ride on the Scarehouse Shuttle on Thursdays of this month if you are living or staying in or near the Oakland area. The cost is $20 (cash only) and includes your admission to all 3 haunts, as well as shuttle to and from the Carnegie Museum of Art in England. Pick-up times are 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.
Note that the Scarehouse website does include a disclaimer that the Scarehouse may be too extreme for those under the age of 13. During Halloween season, lineups can be quite long so if you want to bypass the long ticket line at the gate, purchase ahead of time online. Check out these spine tingling videos for a taste of what to expect...
Make a weekend of it! The newly-renovated Best Western Parkway Centre Inn is a 15-20 minute drive away from The Scarehouse and is very close to downtown Pittsburgh.
Oblivion Haunted House - Menasha, WI
Oblivion Haunted House is 20,000 square feet of sheer terror. Apparently some people can't even make it through the entire experience! There are 6 separate themes throughout, and the word on the street is that the "Asylum" is the most terrifying of them all.
Oblivion is no "mickey-mouse" haunted house and definitely for the squeamish. You will be blown away by the amount of time that must have been spent to dream up, design and construct each room. Considering how professional the sets, costuming and special effects are at Oblivion, it's a great deal and you'll definitely get your money's worth. Even better, Oblivion is a completely not-for-profit event - all proceeds go back to local charities and non-profit groups... so you'll be getting spooked for a good cause.
Admission to Oblivion is $12 at the door and $10 online (if you buy online you skip the line!). It is open up to and including Halloween - Fridays & Saturdays from 7pm to 11pm and Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays (check the website to confirm open dates) from 7pm to 10pm. Click here for a spooky sneak preview.
Like the Scarehouse, Oblivion is not recommended for small children; however your wee ones don't have to miss out completely. If you have a little one you should consider the Children's Matinee event from 1pm to 4pm on October 23rd. This event benefits the local Children's Hospital, and for $4.00 per child or 2 non-perishable canned goods or a gently used or new children's Halloween costume, your child can experience a "lights-on" non-scary but festive event.
Where to Stay: The Best Western Fox Valley Inn in Appleton is less than 3 miles away and offers rates as low as $69/night!
Hacker House - Pilot Mountain, NC
Hacker House has received much public acclaim for its "frighten factor" since it was established 14 years ago. Apparently this is the place to go if you really want to be scared out of your boots. Hacker House fanatics have been known to travel hours just to see this indoor and outdoor attraction, which changes every year. It promises to be "in your face scary", and based on what a close friend has told me, the entire experience from the moment you arrive on the property including waiting in line and being chased right out of Hacker House will get your heart pumping and adrenaline going full throttle. The actors (whom have been referred to as "crazies") at Hacker House take great pride in their scare factor and make the experience realistic, interactive and full of the unexpected. Hacker House is described as "intense" and is not recommended for small children - we're not talking "friendly" ghosts & goblins here, people!
Located in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, you can visit Hacker House between 8pm and 11pm on any Friday or Saturday night in October for $15 per person. You can buy your tickets online and if you hate waiting in lines you can upgrade to a fast pass for an additional $5. You'll want to allow yourself at least 1 ½ to 3 hours to fully take in the Hacker House experience. Check out this tour of Hacker House to get you in the mood!
Overnight it for a bargain: The Best Western Bryson Inn in Mount Airy, North Carolina is 19 miles away, and roughly 25 minutes by car. Rates this month are as low as $60.79 a night!