Top 4 Scariest Haunted Houses in America
Updated: Apr 9
Haunted houses are one of the most popular ways to celebrate Halloween, especially for teenagers and adults. Typically, you can expect to be scared by actors dressed up in elaborate costumes and makeup. It's all for fun; however, some haunted houses go above and beyond to physically torture their guests.
To save you the time and money (and trauma) of going through these torture abodes, we put together a list of the scariest haunted houses in America in order from least scary to the most scary. Prepared to be spooked!
4. Cutting Edge
Cutting Edge Haunted House in Forth Worth, Texas holds two Guinness Book of World Records; one for being the largest haunted attraction in the world and the other for being the largest walk-through haunted house in the world.
Located in a century-old abandoned meat-packing plant, the experience takes visitors through six different houses, each with their own theme. Guests can expect a full hour of fright and horror from a clown maze to realistic mannequins shredded through the real, fully functional meat-packing equipment.
Other attractions within the haunted house include a suffocating tunnel of bubbles and live music along the way for participants who could use a break from the scares. If you are looking to get an adrenaline rush while also getting your steps in for the day, Cutting Edge is the place for you.
3. Terror Behind the Walls
Terror Behind the Walls is the annual haunted house hosted by the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA. Before being turned into a tourist attraction, Eastern State was a fully operational prison and was once home to world-famous gangster Al Capone. In addition to Capone, 70,000 other inmates lived in the facility where they faced extreme torture methods as punishment. As a result, many prisoners decided to take their own lives to escape having to go through the torture experience.
Many visitors, employees, and paranormal researchers have reported hearing strange sounds including maniacal laughter and whispers coming from the cells, though it has been closed since the 1970s. Some guests even claim to have seen ghostly figures, and one man says he was momentarily paralyzed by spirits when doing routine maintenance work on the building. Due to its naturally spooky nature, Terror Behind the Walls makes the perfect Halloween attraction for those who dare to enter.
2. Asylum 49
Asylum 49 in Tooele, Utah is not for the weak as it is considered an "extreme haunt" due to the way actors make full contact with guests. This haunted house takes place in what was once the city's main hospital before it was turned into a nursing home and later abandoned.
Originally, the company offered ghost tours of the creepy halls where figures of "ghost nurses" could be found, but feedback from visitors suggested they wanted more from a haunted hospital, thus it became Asylum 49.
Their website is covered in warnings that you will be touched, grabbed, separated from your group, detained in solitary confinement, shocked, and waterboarded. Due to its intensity, guests are required to fill out a lengthy waiver of liability before participating in the haunted hospital experience.
1. McKamey Manor
We saved the best (or worst) for the last because this house of horrors has us questioning the attraction's legality and the morality of its owners.
McKamey Manor, located in Summertown, Tennesee, is known as the scariest and most controversial haunted house in America. Many reviews and testimonies from victims can be found across the internet where the house is described as a "torture chamber" and "survival simulation". The extreme activities that take place there have even prompted a petition that calls for the site to be shut down and legal action be taken against Russ McKamey, the company's founder.
Prior to the experience, participants must undergo a sports physical, mental exam, video call screening with Russ McKamey, background check, and a take a drug test on the day of the challenge. In addition, they must complete a 40- page waiver, provide a doctor's note, and proof of medical insurance. Once the basic requirements have been completed, guests much watch a two-hour film of past experiences in order to truly understand what they are getting themselves into.
The tour can last anywhere from 6-10 hours and guests are subject to kidnapping, involuntary drug use, waterboarding, and hypnosis. Each experience is filmed for legal reasons and police are contacted prior to each tour, which is how McKamey Manor has stayed out of trouble with law enforcement. If you would like to see what a McKamey Manor tour looks like, you can check it out here, but be warned: it's graphic.
We're going to stick to our scary movies and trick or treating, but would you try one of these "extreme haunts"? Let us know in the comments below!