Spooky season is here! There are plenty of ways to get in the spirit, from scary movies to dressing up to Halloween decorating. But nothing is quite as visceral as experiencing real-life fright at a haunted house.
Whether you’re looking for jump scares or gory scenes, visiting one of these eerie abodes will get your blood pumping. Luckily, there are plenty of options across the region. Here are eight of the best haunted houses in the Midwest.
Fear Asylum Haunted House — Brookings, SD
This October marks the lucky 13th year in operation for this haunting South Dakota destination. As the name implies, the setting for Fear Asylum is a mental institution, and it is crazy scary. In fact, it’s frightening enough that it’s not suitable for kids. But if you’re of age, Fear Asylum is well worth the $25 general admission price. The experience usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.
This chilling attraction also includes two separate escape rooms and a burial simulator called the “Last Ride.” The entire Fear Asylum operation is known for its high production values. Those brave enough for the experience can expect “movie quality” sets and costumes. Be prepared to be scared!
Terror on 12th Street — Crete, NE
The best part of Terror on 12th Street is that it’s actually two haunted houses in one. A general admission ticket, available for $25, will get you admission to both (a ticket for just one costs $15). The worst part? One of the houses, BoneShaker, is the only pitch-black haunted house in the state of Nebraska. That’s right, you’ll only be able to rely on four senses to get out of there.
Admission proceeds go to a local community center, so your money will go to a good cause, which may not be much consolation if you don’t make it out! This attraction isn’t recommended for kids under 12 (although no one is denied admission). But it certainly is recommended if you’re looking for a fright.
The Beast — Kansas City, MO
No list of the best haunted houses in the Midwest would be complete without a mention of The Beast. This Kansas City attraction has made the list of the best haunted houses in the country multiple times. It boasts four floors of scares, each with a different, terrifying theme. Consistent across all four floors are the amazing special effects. And the fear.
Single-entry tickets are available for $35, and there are also combo deals with other nearby haunted attractions. One of the coolest parts of the experience is that it’s an open-format design, which means you can spend as much — or as little — time as you want to experience each frightening floor. Most visitors spend an hour or two navigating The Beast. Give it a shot and see how long you can last!
Geisler Mansion Haunted House — Cawker City, KS
A 2.5-story Victorian house built in 1885, the Geisler Mansion once served as a funeral home. It’s appropriate, then, that it’s now home to a haunted house that can scare you half to death. This Cawker City landmark is fully transformed into a house of horrors during the scary season.
Run by a professional special effects makeup artist, Geisler Mansion’s costumes and gore are out of this world. This haunted house is worth the trip if that sounds up your alley. Be aware that this family-run attraction is only open the weekend immediately preceding Halloween. This can mean the line is something of a nightmare, but it’s nothing compared to the terrors inspired by the inside of the house!
Hillside House of Hell — Glenwood, IA
The Hillside House of Hell is a relatively new haunted attraction. Located on the grounds of an abandoned insane asylum, this house of horrors has quickly made a name for itself. Boasting over 50,000 square feet of chills, screams, and scares, it’s Iowa’s largest haunted house, And it just might be the most frightening, too.
You can purchase tickets to Hillside online for $40. This entitles you to explore four separate areas within the madhouse, each with its own theme. The entire experience typically lasts between 30 and 40 minutes. But the heart-pounding fear will probably stay with you for quite a bit longer!
Monster Bash Haunted House — Harmony, MN
Monster Bash has been named “Best Haunt in Minnesota” by Minnesota Haunted Houses for five years running. This spooky attraction changes its theme each year so that you can experience brand-new scares every visit. The 2023 edition is cemetery-themed and is sure to give you the fright of your life.
Located in Harmony, MN, Monster Bash is a community institution. Tickets cost only $13, making it accessible for just about anyone who can handle a good scare. If you can’t, they even offer a “reduced fright” option so you can still participate. Just make sure to bring cash, as tickets aren’t available for pre-purchase, and no credit cards are accepted.
Warriors Haunted Asylum — Mount Calvary, WI
Wisconsin is well known for the quality of its spooky attractions. The Wisconsin Feargrounds in Waukesha is a nationally known attraction with multiple haunted houses on its compound. But it’s hard to beat Warriors Haunted Asylum if you’re looking for a great show in a creepy location.
This Fond du Lac haunted attraction is located in a 100+-year-old house that will have you spooked before you even enter. Visitors start on the second floor and work their way down to the basement, looking for an escape. The scares are virtually non-stop along the way. Tickets were available in 2023 for $14 in advance or for $18 at the door. Buyer beware!
Lemp Brewery Haunted House — St. Louis, MO
All the haunted houses on this list have a backstory, some more fictionalized than others. But none are truly scarier than the story behind the Lemp Brewery Haunted House. The brewery was founded by the Lemp family, who also owned a mansion on the same property. The family would suffer a series of seven tragic deaths and suicides in the mansion between 1870 and 1949, leading to locals declaring the entire property haunted.
The Lemp mansion and brewery are connected by a series of underground tunnels, which may or may not house the ghosts of Lemp’s past. But the tunnels are definitely home to the Lemp Brewery Haunted House. For $35, you can experience the terrors of these tunnels yourself. Be forewarned — no one can hear you scream underground! Also, be aware that minors must be accompanied by adults for entry.
Now you know where to go if you want to visit some of the best haunted houses in the Midwest this Halloween. If you’re ready for a few good scares, gather your friends and give one of these frightening attractions a visit. Happy Haunting!
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