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California's Top Ten Halloween Haunts

Oct. 2, 2017

Leaves falling and temperatures dropping are just a couple of signs that summer is ending and fall is approaching. But before we make it to the holiday season we must first face our fears and endure the scariest holiday of them all - Halloween.  Although Halloween is a time to be spooked, it is also a time for great entertainment. Here are 10 of the top ways to experience a mix of fear and fun in California this Halloween:

  1. Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Hollywood brings together one of the most terrifying and intense Halloween events in the entire state. Halloween Horror Nights is a one of a kind experience that immerses you in a living and breathing realm of terror, guaranteed to leave you shaking. This year's event features more mazes than ever with eight petrifying experiences based on the most frightening films and television shows, including American Horror Story, SAW and The Walking Dead.

  2. Ultimate Terror Scream Park
    Ultimate Terror Scream Park returns to the Sacramento area with one of Northern California’s most disturbing haunted houses. This year features three new haunted houses that will give a nightmarish experience. Journey into an eerie abandoned hospital or meet the demons living in an old warehouse. But if you really want to test yourself, be sure to check out their signature attraction: the home of a psycho serial killer. Ultimate Terror Scream Park also has a location in the San Francisco Bay Area

  3. Knott’s Scary Farm
    One of the world’s largest Halloween events, Knott’s Scary Farm, returns in 2017 for its 45th year of horrendous thrills. The entire theme park undergoes a dark transformation that includes 13 uniquely haunted mazes and attractions and over 1,000 creepy creatures hiding in every crack and crevice. Those who are brave enough can trudge through serpent filled swamps, explore an abandoned hospital overrun with evil spirits, run from a blood hungry murderer or go on a quest through an ancient Japanese temple guarded by the souls of slain samurai warriors

  4. The 17th Door
    More terror returns to Southern California with The 17th Door in Fullerton. Their all new interactive attraction features a haunted prison, Perpetuum Penitentiary, filled with the remains of suffering and despair. This waiver-requiring maze sends you off one-by-one, leaving you all alone trying to escape. The attraction also features a unique virtual reality experience that will be sure to give you nightmares.
  5. Ranch of Horror
    The family friendly Ranch of Horror returns this year to the Turlock Fairgrounds with an all-new interactive experience: Zombie Escape. This attraction is a combination of an escape room and paintball tag in one. Players are put into teams and equipped with paintball guns, masks and gear to fight off zombies. Players also have to wear flag football tags, which allow the zombies to fight back. Other attractions at The Ranch of Horror include a jail break, ghost-busting house and a psychic experience.

  6. Haunted San Diego
    San Diego offers a paired attraction that will leave visitors on the tip of their toes the entire time. The first is The Haunted Hotel which is located in Mission Valley. It is the longest running haunted house in San Diego and it was named one of the top 13 haunted houses in America by Haunt World Magazine. The next frightful experience is located in San Diego’s world-famous Balboa Park. The Haunted Trail is a horrifying stroll through the park that includes a maze of over 3,500 square feet, a hijacked ghoul bus, possessed farm house and several horror icons like Pennywise, Leatherface and Michael Myers.

  7. Winchester Mystery House
    One of nation’s most iconic haunted houses, the Winchester Mystery House, offers a candlelit tour of the eerie mansion around Halloween time. This tour is more like a maze that will leave you questioning what you see. Doors and stairs that lead to nowhere will play tricks on your mind and make you think about what might exist on the “other side.”

  8. Griffith Park Haunted Hayride
    The Haunted Hayride comes back to Griffith Park but this time it’s bigger, better and scarier than ever. Take a seat on a tractor-pulled hay wagon through Griffith Park’s Old Zoo and meet a legion of vicious clowns ready to have psychotic fun. Other attractions in Griffith Park include a haunted corn maze, two haunted houses known as House of Shadows and Purgatory and Trick or Treat, a haunted trick or treating experience.

  9. All Saints Lunatic Asylum
    The All Saints Lunatic Asylum is a haunted attraction, offering several terrifying experiences that are not recommended for pregnant women, children under 10 or the faint of heart. This terrifying attraction in Apple Valley is over 6,000 square feet and put on by those who are dedicated to providing a high quality Halloween experience. The All Saints Lunatic Asylum now offers an escape room where you and a team need to escape from a series of rooms.

  10. Halloween Haunt at California’s Great America
    For the past 10 years, California’s Great America has undergone a terrifying transformation for the month of October. This premier Halloween event features eight haunted mazes, five skeleton key rooms, five live shows, three scare zones and hundreds of monsters and creatures waiting to scare you around every corner. This year the classic roller coaster, “Demon: Re-Ignited,” returns to its glory with an array of lights, fog and a blood red waterfall.

    Bonus: Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest
    Voted by USA TODAY as the Best Theme Park Halloween Event in the country for the second consecutive time, Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest returns with 13 thrilling mazes and dare-to-enter scare zones, new shows, haunted rides and attractions, and extraordinary roving “scare-actors.” Due to increasing popularity, the park has expanded the calendar to a record 21 days of operation.