Scream yourself silly at these frightful Halloween haunted houses

Photo courtesy of Valleyfair

The macabre month of October is once again upon us. It’s a time when all the ghouls, ghosts and haunts come out to play, and Minneapolis and St. Paul are happy to host their dark desires. Do your best to summon every ounce of courage within you while you try to survive some of the most horrifying haunted houses the Twin Cities have to offer. Just be sure to pack an extra pair of underwear.

Fright Farm Haunted House

Open: Fridays and Saturdays; Oct. 31
Tickets: $12

Scaring audiences since 1996, this hotbed of haunts calls the Ramsey County Poor Farm and Cemetery home. Within its ghastly walls, visitors are (treated?) to scenes of horror, local legend and folklore.

New additions this year include The Carnival of Fear where brave visitors get a look at traditional sideshows and carnivals with a Fright Farm twist, The Legend of the Witches’ Woods where frightening tales of the forest of Maplewood are dug up, and the Puppet Factory where the mystery behind the fear of puppets, mannequins and dolls is unraveled.

If you’re looking for a less terrifying experience, Fright Farm offers a “Low Scare” event on Oct. 29 from noon to 4 p.m. loaded with family-friendly activities and free prizes.

A portrait of a clown at Scream Town, one of the many haunted houses in the Twin Cities.

Scream Town

Open: Weekends only; Wednesday, Oct. 19
Regular admission: $30 online; $36 door; $21 coupon (located at Minnoco Gas Stations)
Fast Pass: $48 (online only)
VIP: $59 (online only; separate VIP ticket entrance, exclusive heated tent, VIP parking, free hot cider and gift)
Lights Out: $40 (online only)
PROMO CODE: Enter “visittwincities” during checkout for $8 off a general admission ticket!

Like being trapped in a nightmare, except this time there’s nothing to wake up from. This festival of fright has a permanent home in a secluded cornfield and forest outside of Chaska, and features six (or eight with a VIP pass) attractions that will scare the socks off you. Venture alone deep into Oak Blood Forest where the Blood Family awaits uninvited guests or try to escape Crop Spawn where life forms not of this world lurk around every corner.

New attractions this year include:

  • Zombie Apocalypse CDC: Try to survive a lockdown where hungry predators are craving your flesh.
  • Santa’s Slay: A Christmas morning you wish you didn’t wake up to.
  • Abandoned Down the Rabbit Hole (VIP only): Think you can survive the woods … alone? Be warned, beasts in this part of the forest can reach out and touch you.
  • Phobia House (VIP only): Where five of the biggest human fears are brought to life.

If you’re feeling extra brave, visit Scream Town Oct. 29 for their special Lights Out event where visitors are tasked with exploring the attractions with only a glow stick in hand.

A nurse holding a wheelchair full of rags at the Haunted Basement, one of the many haunted houses in the Twin Cities.

Image by sharyn morrow/flickr

Haunted Basement

Open: Thursday through Sunday; Wednesday Oct. 18 and 25; Oct. 31
Tickets: $27 general admission; $40 blind invocation

New location, same terrifying experience. Formerly haunting the basement of the Soap Factory for the past decade, this hellscape mainstay has moved to a new home this year in northeast Minneapolis. Delve into a basement lurking with artist-created, gore-filled environments and performances aimed at absurdist psychological horror where no two nights are the same.

For the meek and faint-hearted, Haunted Basement offers ‘Fraidy Cat tours where the lights stay on and the scares are nowhere to be found so visitors can explore the set and costume designs without the spike in heart rate.

For those looking to crank the horror dial to 12, there’s the Blind Invocation alternative. This one-of-a-kind solo trial offers an enhanced and extended tour where brave visitors are able to get up close and personal with exclusive environments, characters and experiences.

A clown behind jail bars at the Dead End Hayride, one of the many haunted houses in the Twin Cities.

Dead End Hayride

Open: Wednesday through Sunday; Oct. 30 & 31
Tickets: Ticket prices vary by day

This is one ride you won’t soon forget … if you survive. Your night of terror takes place in the normally peaceful woods of Pinehaven Farm where panic enthusiasts begin their journey on a hayride accompanied by the grips of dread and shock around every corner before progressing through further attractions, including the Sunnyvale Asylum, Garden of Souls and the Pinehaven Motor Inn, all filled with horrific creatures who can’t wait to meet you.

A zombie scarecrow in a corn maze at ValleySCARE, one of the the many haunted houses in the Twin Cities.

Photo courtesy of Valleyfair


Times: Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 19
Tickets: $53 at gate; $29.99 online

Every fall, the family friendly theme park brings out its claws, clowns and creatures, and transforms into a carnival of consternation with more than 75 rides, haunted mazes, scare zones and monsters that feed off your fear. Traverse a Viking ruin in Berserkers Unleashed where the spirits of warriors past still haunt the halls, or make a less-than-appetizing visit to Mr. Cleaver’s meatpacking plant where butchers and plant workers bring their darkest fantasies to life.

For more haunted happenings, check out our updated list from last year for the scoop on Trail of Terror, Twin Cities Horror Festival and more.


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