For some folks scaring is caring during October, and Gildshire Magazines’ Travel crew is here for them. We found old-fashioned mazes with a traditional sense of spook, and extreme one-person experiences that are so frightening that we’re writing this in a closet with the lights off. Are these for you? Has Halloween come to this?
Gates of Hell, Las Vegas, Nevada:
The first R-rated Nevada attraction, this is an experience of interactive, uncompromising horror. GoH is a part of Freakling Brothers’ Trilogy of Terror. It’s an event reminiscent of 2013’s Victim Experience, a single-person offering so mercilessly intense that very few participants completed it without tapping out via the safe word.
Scream Hollow, Smithville, Texas:
Located 46 miles southeast of Austin, the four Scream Hollow attractions last between a half hour and 45 minutes. It’s spread out over 20 acres of buildings that have actually been used in horror films. The best attraction here is Virgil’s Last Laff, featuring evil clowns with a twist (aren’t evil clowns twisted enough?) Something in this spooky maze is…scaring…the…CLOWNS! Find out what it is…if you dare.
Horrorworld, Rowland Heights, California:
Fans of George Romero’s 1978 classic, “Dawn of the Dead” will be delighted by this SoCal horror attraction. Social commentary and horror intertwine in a shopping mall. Set in Puente Hills Mall, Horrorworld’s list of mazes include the gory Flesh Yard and the mistreated inhabitants of Psycho Sanitarium. The signature fright-fest is called Into the Black, which is a walk-it-by yourself experience. Are you brave enough?
ScareHouse: The Basement, Etna, Pennsylvania
ScareHouse, by itself, features high-adrenaline spookiness, but fear aficionados after a more extreme experience will buy a ticket for the 18 and over “Basement.” No more than two to a group. You can travel through this fright-fest by yourself…if you dare… It’s an immersive, atmospheric experience that features profanity, dark and claustrophobic spaces, along with scenarios of violence. You must sign a liability waiver to enter (which is scary enough.)
Fear Factory, Salt Lake City, Utah:
Located in a spooky-in-its-own-right industrial portion of Salt Lake City, the old Portland Cement Works plant was a real business, but a high-risk choice of career. During the time the PCW plant was in operation, several employees had gruesome accidents on the job. Eventually, the word got out to the community that PCW had a bloodlust. During October, people come to the plant to experience scary close encounters themselves. The attraction entails carefully walking across (seemingly) rickety metal, never quite knowing what lurks around the next corner. In the end, a slide hurtles guests, one at a time and screaming all the way, into a totally dark cavern that is the only way out!
Scream-A-Geddon, Dade City, Florida:
No one hears you scream in this town. No one is quite sure how this community just outside of Tampa got that reputation, but the town embraces it during the Halloween season. Mazes here include the fluorescent-lit fire-storm they call Rage 3D, along with Dead Woods. The latter involves being stalked by murderous hillbillies (fans of “The Outsiders” would ask if there are any other kinds.) Guests are given a glow stick at the beginning, but you just know that it will be of little help, and will eventually go out, leaving you helpless against the family about to…visit you.
Scream-A-Geddon, perhaps more than the other scary places on our list has an old-school carnival vibe with food and games in abundance. Oh, did we mention the freaks wandering the premises, ready to step into your selfies?
Dungeon of Doom, Zion, Illinois:
Do you remember how long it took to walk through the last haunted house attraction in your town? 10-15 minutes, probably. Twenty at the outside. Dungeon of Doom in Zion is an hour-long series of jumps, chainsaw sounds, and even burial alive (if that is something that would interest you.)
Do one of these sound like a good Halloween trip? They all sound like good Halloween trips? You’re braver than Gildshire. Let us know how they turn out, and maybe we’ll join you next time…with our eyes closed. Happy spook-tacular fun!