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America Haunts Lists Top Five Scariest U.S. Attractions

While there are disagreements globally, there is consensus that almost all cultures enjoy a good scare. In the U.S., the best fright options are to go to professional haunted houses that are sure to be scary and safe. America Haunts, the haunt industry association where professional safety and scaring is a priority, recognizes the nation’s top five scariest haunted attractions.

Whether visitors enjoy scary haunted houses because they are adrenaline junkies or are just looking for a fun night, they benefit from going. Haunted houses counterintuitively bring people together. Visitors often appreciate the kindness of other strangers showing them an escape route to avoid the intensity of the scare, or they may bond over screaming and laughing. Couples and families often credit this activity with creating stronger bonds. Fun-filled scary nights at a haunt won’t be soon forgotten either – people tend to recall moments of intense fear.

A killjoy would be a kiddie haunt that isn’t scary or where the cast breaks character. The best haunts have strict cast policies to stay in character, and the technological advancements outmaneuver the expected. The “holy grail” of a scary haunt is a high level of realism where illusions are off the charts. Sophisticated custom silicone masks with skin-like or animal-like features and technical devices mimic creatures living and the undead.

Haunt experts at the scariest attractions consider every detail in the experience – they chart what happens at each twist and turn and formulate eerie sounds to trigger fear. The results are screams of fear to cries of joy where social posts often mark the occasion. If one of the top five haunted attractions isn’t nearby, visit

One: 13th Gate – Baton Rouge. The zombie-infested graveyard and the encounters through an abandoned asylum are terrifying enough, but 13th Gate goes deeper. Thrill-seekers discover live snakes in a bayou and wind through dark underground tunnels where everything seems to turn into a frightful scare. This attraction is a travel destination by haunt enthusiasts.

Two: Bennett’s Curse – Baltimore. Scaring comes in all forms, and this attraction’s strategic scares play out in four haunts within the Bennett’s Curse experience. The thrills and jump scares are from all angles at the Underworld, Ravenbrook Asylum, and Legends of Halloween, plus the Inferno adds a 3D twist on top of all the live-action – leaving guests breathless.

Three: Nightmare on 13th Curse – Salt Lake City. The masterminds making this haunted attraction wrapped 13 massive themes through a horror journey testing all the senses and the wits of those that enter. Guests will want to hold each other tight because the mayhem of ghosts, undead, witches, killer clowns and more create the unexpected at every turn.

Four: Headless Horseman – New York City. Headless Horseman Haunted Attractions draws people from seven surrounding states, across the USA, and around the world. The experience includes a haunted trail and corn maze in addition to six haunted houses that take guests back to the 1700s to present-day scary.

Five: Cutting Edge – Dallas. This 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant is actually haunted. The massive, multi-story building has the space to incorporate many themes to earn relentless screams. It is intense, it’s realistic, and it’s an original. The attraction adds flair with a haunt drumline and music that will drown the screams of anyone looking for mercy.


America Haunts is the national association of premier haunted attractions dedicated to excellence in fear-based, sensory entertainment. Their collective visitors exceed more than a million people frightened annually. America Haunts’ members are recognized for their longevity in the industry, driven by professionalism, technical expertise, innovation, and a penchant to generate screams for fun and excitement.