9 Ridiculously Elaborate Haunted Houses

by: Joseph On  Friday, October 19, 2012

Epic Haunted Houses


It’s Halloween time again, so you know what that means – it’s time to pack your family into the car, drive to the nearest haunted house, and let strangers jump out of the dark and pretend to try to kill you. It’s all in good fun (OR IS IT?? No seriously it is), but some shockmeisters take their jobs more seriously than others. Here are 9 epic haunted houses that provide a little bit more of a thrill than you might be used to – but they’re all sure to make fright fans feel like kids in a candy store.

13th Gate Haunted House, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

13th Gate

No less an authority on the subject of haunted houses than the people at HauntWorld.com named the 13th Gate in Baton Rouge the scariest haunted house in America. People travel from far and wide to see the 13th Gate’s dark mazes, mad scientist’s laboratories, and much more.

House of Shock, New Orleans, Louisiana

House of Shock

The House of Shock in New Orleans has a more high-profile pedigree than your average haunted house – it’s run by none other than Phil Anselmo of metal band Pantera. And The House of Shock has been through its fair share of tough times, including a near-miss with being shut down in the 90s due to controversy over subject matter. But now it’s still going strong, and scaring more people than ever.

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bates Motel

Named for the setting in the classic Hitchcock horror movie Psycho, Philadelphia’s Bates Motel takes visitors through several rooms of the motel, each one featuring its own array of psycho killers and monsters. There’s also a haunted hayride involved, which I’m pretty sure is not from Psycho.


USS Nightmare, Newport, Kentucky

USS Nightmare

Of course, not all epic haunted houses are strictly housebound. Take the unlikely-named USS Nightmare in Newport, Kentucky. Visitors are treated to a half-hour tour of the haunted ship, docked on the Ohio River. Since this is Halloween, it’s no ordinary tour – there are plenty of shocks and jolts to be had.


House of Torment Haunted House, Austin, Texas

House of Torment

We go to a more traditional haunted house in Austin, Texas. But keep in mind that “traditional” doesn’t necessarily mean “less scary.” Just check out the video below for the kind of horseplay that haunted house managers can get away with – much scarier than a trip to Halloween Horror Nights or something like that.

Terror Behind the Walls, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Terror Behind the Walls

Here’s a fun idea for your haunted house this Halloween: Put it in a real, abandoned prison. Oh, you don’t have access to an abandoned prison? Better head to Terror Behind the Walls in Philadelphia, then. The authentically creepy surroundings compensates for the more restrained style of haunting.

Erebus Haunted House, Pontiac, Michigan


The greatest enemy of the haunted house is repetition. Erebus in Pontiac, Michigan has solved this by constantly evolving and changing forms – its most recent incarnation has included things like “Giant centipedes, mutant gorillas, hidden passageways and moving rooms.” You know, haunted house stuff.

13th Floor Haunted House, Denver, Colorado

13th Floor

Another “13″-themed haunted house, this one in Denver. And before you can even get to it, you have to pass through an abandoned farmhouse, complete with a family of murderous redneck cannibals and something called, uh, a “Blood Shed.” If you’re waiting to for me to tell you what’s in there, you’re going to have to keep waiting.

Cutting Edge Haunted House, Dallas, Texas

Cutting Edge

If you’re wondering why this haunted house in Dallas, Texas is called “Cutting Edge,” let me clear it up for you: It used to be a meat packing plant. And it’s officially named the world’s largest haunted house by Guinness World Records at 235,000 square feet. Visitors are taken on a 1-hour tour that ends in a “human processing area” made from real antique meat packing equipment. Now who’s hungry?