By all means, go to your Halloween parties. Dress up as your favorite superhero or sexy whatever. Carve out pumpkins and put up your cute little Halloween displays.
But if you really want into get into the scary spirit of this festive day, then why not get scared by professionals? Haunted houses across the country feature expensive, frightful Halloween-themed displays that are as intricate and imaginative as those you’ll find in a big-budget horror movie. You’ll see animatronic monster displays, actors dressed in ghoulish makeup, and full-scale sets. You’d be amazed at some of the messed-up lengths these places will go to shock and scare those who dare visit.
“Many years ago, all you ever heard about with haunted houses was, ‘It’s a little thing with blood on the walls,’” says Ben Armstrong, owner of popular Atlanta haunt Netherworld and president of America Haunts, a national association of haunted attractions. “But now people realize it’s a major art form. They realize that the high-level attractions, it’s like going to a theme park. That’s basically what we’re doing now.”
Here are 15 haunted houses (they’re often called “haunts” because they aren’t always houses) you might want to pop into if you’re visiting or in the neighborhood. Keep in mind, these are not in any particular order: judging from the playfully demented minds behind these places, this is definitely a crowd we don’t want to play favorites with.
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