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Haunted Spots in California

From spirit-filled ships to ghostly caverns, here are 10 of the most haunted places across the state

The forlorn spirit of a lovely young woman, a headless friar, a bevy of prehistoric phantoms: frightful sightings abound in these paranormal hotspots across California. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, a visit to these 10 spooky spots is sure to deliver a thrill. Listed from north to south, here are a handful of reportedly haunted houses, hotels, ocean liners, and more.

Fort Humboldt State Historic Park ,  Eureka

Overlooking a rugged bluff in Humboldt Bay, this former fort’s remote location in Humboldt County lends an eerie air. The real draw, however, is the supposed ghost of a deceased commander who succumbed to malaria in 1897 and now stares out hospital windows as hikers stroll past.

Preston Castle ,   Ione

The castle’s foreboding facade looks straight out of a horror film. Once a reform school for unruly youth and abandoned children, the structure’s sinister history includes corporal punishment, toxic dunking baths, and a housekeeper’s murder. Open for tours year-round, the Amador County castle turns into a full-fledged haunted house come October.

Bodie State Historic Park ,   Bodie

Spanning 500 acres in Mono County , about 75 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe, Bodie is a Gold Rush–era ghost town frozen in time. More than 100 structures remain, as do the supposed spirits of prospectors. While dishware shards and nails can be found on the streets, anyone who takes home a souvenir risks the curse of Bodie (and it’s also against park rules).

Moaning Cavern ,   Vallecito

Named for the wailing sound air once made passing through the cave (prior to its eventual widening), this Calaveras County wonder is also a site for some of America’s most ancient remains. Bones up to 12,000 years old have been discovered here, and many believe that the cavern is home to prehistoric paranormal activity.

Winchester Mystery House ,  San Jose

A door that leads to nowhere and a staircase that dead ends into the ceiling? It’s said that widow Sarah Winchester designed the house this peculiar way to confuse the ghosts: men killed by her late husband’s creation, the Winchester rifle.

Point Sur Lighthouse ,   Big Sur

This picturesque lighthouse has been illuminating the waters off the coast of Big Sur since 1889. Perhaps it’s the original keeper who some believe still visits the site in his original uniform. Moonlight tours are available for the brave and the curious.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel ,   Los Angeles

Stay at this swanky hotel for a chance to glimpse one of the most glamorous ghosts of all time. It’s said that Marilyn Monroe herself still haunts the halls. Guests have also reported mysterious trumpet music believed to be the spirit of Montgomery Clift who liked to practice in suite 928.

The Queen Mary ,   Long Beach

Once known as the “Grey Ghost,” the Queen Mary serves up chills in the form of screams from a decapitated sailor in the boiler room and visions of a lady in white roaming the halls. Visitors can choose from a handful of haunted tours , or book a stay in Stateroom B340 for overnight thrills. (Note: The Queen Mary has suspended tours and stays until at least 2022, but you can still behold the massive ocean liner from the Long Beach’s Shoreline Village .)

El Adobe de Capistrano ,   San Juan Capistrano

Go for the chips and guacamole; stay for the headless friar sometimes seen at the restaurant’s door! This Mexican eatery sits atop the town’s old jail. A spirit of a former prisoner reportedly haunts the wine cellar, converted from a cell.

Hotel del Coronado ,   San Diego

In 1892, 24-year-old Kate Morgan checked into this luxurious waterfront resort alone and then ended her life on the hotel’s staircase. Many guests have experienced strange breezes, flickering lights, and phantom footsteps believed to be evidence of the young woman’s unrest.

Official Resources

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary

Preston Castle Haunt

Preston Castle Haunt

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

Bodie State Historic Park

Bodie State Historic Park

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haunted house experience california


September 22 & 23, "scarier than ever".

haunted house experience california

Los Angeles' Ultimate Halloween Event

Halloween lives here, about los angeles haunted hayride.

Experience the world-famous Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Los Angeles’ Ultimate Halloween Event. Halloween lives here!


New 2023 themes coming soon, all new for 2023.

haunted house experience california

Venture deep into the backwoods of Midnight Falls where a long rumored cannibalistic family has taken in the spirit of Halloween by dishing out diabolical tricks filled with horrifying treats.

haunted house experience california


haunted house experience california

Join Goosebumps as they take over Trick or Treat 10/13-10/15! “Goosebumps” follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three decades earlier of a teen named Harold Biddle ― while also unearthing dark secrets from their parents’ past.

haunted house experience california

What customers are saying

5 star google reviews.

This was my very first time going to this event. Let's just say this won't be my last.

Mark Encinas

Google Review

Every maze, haunted house and the hayride were scary and entertaining. It was a really fun night and well put together, we were especially impressed with the animatronics and organization of the event. Will definitely return in the future.

Michelle Coral

It was a fun and inventive event. Very much put me in the Halloween spirit.

Michael Fritsinger


More exciting halloween activities.

haunted house experience california

The Monte Revolta Show

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Zombie Splat - Gellyball Experience

  • Live Zombie Actors
  • Gellyball Shooters

haunted house experience california




haunted house experience california

World's largest halloween entertainment company

Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group is the world’s largest Halloween-themed entertainment company. With over 15 locations and counting. We bring a premier haunted house experience to markets all across the country.

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Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

Los angeles's best haunted house, 4730 crystal springs dr., los angeles, ca 90027.

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haunted house experience california


haunted house experience california

California Ghost Tours

Whether you're a believer in ghost or not, taking part in one of California's Ghost Tours offers a unique experience. There are historic haunted mansions to visit, highlights to renowned sites to learn about, walks through history-rich downtown districts, and much more. You may even experience a ghost sighting of your own during the tour.

haunted house experience california

San Diego Ghosts

Located in San Diego (757) 532-8805 --> Next open 10/12/23

Are you ready to experience the ghosts of San Diego? Venture into the secret corners of San Deigo’s deadly past to discover the ghosts of the Gaslamp District. Our stories have earned us recognition as the premier ghost tour in San Diego, presenting a tour in the Gaslamp District that reveals Read More

haunted house experience california

Medieval Torture Museum with Ghost Hunting Experience

Located in Los Angeles (213) 414-7777--> Next open 10/12/23

Use promo code 'HAUNTED' to get 10% off extra during checkout. We are the largest interactive historical museum in the U.S., occupying more than 7,000 square feet, with over 100 unique implements and devices on display. Enter the minds of fanatics, madmen, and murderers, and discover the world’s Read More

haunted house experience california

LA Ghosts: Heartbreak, Hauntings and Hollywood

Located in Los Angeles 844-757-5657--> Next open 10/12/23

Explore the enigmatic realm of Los Angeles, where Hollywood's allure meets heartbreak and tragedy, painting a vivid tapestry of dreams that take a haunting turn. Welcome to LA Ghosts—a journey through the dark history of Tinsel Town. Our mesmerizing collection of spine-chilling historical tales Read More

haunted house experience california

Winchester Mystery House - Unhinged: Nightshade's Curse

Located in San Jose 408-247-2101--> Next open 10/13/23

After a two year hiatus, Winchester Mystery House presents a new terrifying chapter, Unhinged: Nightshade’s Curse. For 13 nights guests will be horrified by the Winchester Mystery House’s scariest show to date. Local residents are inexplicably drawn to Madame Nightshades’s Mystic Carnival and the Read More

haunted house experience california

San Francisco Ghosts

Located in San Francisco (757) 532-8805--> Next open 10/12/23

San Francisco Ghosts: Sinister Secrets in the Fog Venture into the misty realm of San Francisco's spectral past with San Francisco Ghosts. Welcome to the city that harbors secrets as deep as its iconic bay. Discover what lurks behind its elegant facades on our captivating ghostly walking tour. San Read More

haunted house experience california

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haunted house experience california

Categories: Paranormal Events | Ghost Tours | Pub Crawls

haunted house experience california

Categories: Ghost Tours | Pub Crawls

haunted house experience california

Categories: Haunted Houses | Paranormal Events | Ghost Tours | Gothic History Tours | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Other Events | Haunted Museums

haunted house experience california

Categories: Haunted Houses | Haunted Trails | Theaters & Plays | Ghost Tours | Gothic History Tours | Halloween Parties & Nightlife | Escape Games | Safe Trick or Treating

haunted house experience california

Categories: Haunted Houses | Halloween Festivals & Parades | Ghost Tours

haunted house experience california

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Haunted Attraction

The Alone Experience, Immersive Theater, Solo, Los Angeles, CA


ALONE is an ongoing, site-specific, fully-immersive and existential experience that explores the range of human emotions. Presenting itself in a variety of configurations, this experience explores the complex folds of the human psyche, placing you as the participant within dreams and fantasies and nightmares that you may have had and within those that you definitely have not. Your body may be touched and moved or tenderly embraced or be utterly left displaced and alone.

  • Los Angeles Area
  • Individual Shows and Group Exploration Shows
  • Full Contact; Darkness; Massages & Tea
  • More artistic, abstract, & surreal, than horror.
  • Very evocative and will make you feel something
  • A great introduction to experiences that touch you.

For information on any upcoming Alone experiences, please scroll down or check our events page , map , or calendar !

haunted house experience california

More about A L O N E

ALONE is a fully immersive, walk through experience which you participate at some times in the company of others but mostly by yourself. Lying somewhere in-between surreal fever dream, art installation, evocative abstraction, and immersive theater, this company is one of the best experiences for those looking try experiential entertainment that includes contact. Thus, with this inclusion, it is only for people who are 18 years of age or older. Further, they   explore the conditions of the human experience in all forms–never shying away from exploring any emotional.

Alone rarely uses face characters in their narratives; instead, they often focus on the faceless corporate structure of the Enola Foundation–which gave way to form Alone Inc in recent iterations. This enigmatic organization does not care about you, but does care about your body and your emotions. You may meet with their elders, their salesman, or just shapeless bodies in the dark.

Some experiences you may find yourself in a group situation, but as in life, you will eventually find yourself to be alone. Prepare to feel something and interact with the actors. These shows are incredibly immersive. You will be touched.

Selected previous shows include:

Index of Reflection:  an exploration of light, sound, self and surrounding. It was a multi-site, real world experience lasting one to three hours, which required you to explore downtown Los Angeles with an extensive auditory soundtrack.

Index of Absorption: As light is absorbed, darkness remains. Step into an industrial location and prepare to be absorbed by the armless hugs of the Enola Foundation.

AloneInc Acheland: the first in a series of shows in 2016 that delve into the psychology of self v. system, personhood v. corporation and comfort v. threat. This was an hour long experience that you must go through alone.

The Mushin of the Ashen Deer Clan:   An hour long, narrative based presentation and the second show in a pair of concomitant offerings. Presented on the grounds of ScareLA. Participants must encounter and discern the entry point.

Simulacrum:   A forty-five minute experience that began during Camp Fangoria. This experience explored the role of a performer and audience, utilizing the actual stage of the Montalbán theater, the backstage dressing rooms, and even the crawlspace beneath the stage. Audiences were encouraged given full agency to explore in this experience–and with numerous riddles to uncover, guests united, got lost, and ultimately learned what the role of the audience truly is.


october, 2023

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Alone Simulacrum

The Guts of a Theater – A Haunting Recollection of Alone’s Simulacrum

Alone Simulacrum

Alone Returns with Simulacrum – A Powerful Exploration of Performance – Review

ScareLA | Alone Experience

Alone Opens Their More than Two Arms and Many Minds to Guests at ScareLA 2018 – Video

ScareLA, Suspense to Screams Panel, Convention

ScareLA 2018 – Suspense to Screams – Unique Voices in Immersive Horror Panel Video

Prologue, Alone, Screenshot Productions, Whisperlodge, Midsummer Scream, Immersive Theatre, ASMR

Prologue Combines the Best of Three Worlds: Alone, Screenshot Productions & Whisperlodge – Video + Review

Alone midsummer scream scavenger hunt immersive theater arg arx existential evocation haunting photocopy of a memory

Alone – A Photocopy Of A Photocopy Of A Memory – Midsummer Scream

More on haunting.

Haunting is a resource for immersive theater and horror fans in Los Angeles and across the world, promoting art and community. Want to help us reach even more people, and get some cool perks and experiences? For as little as $1 a month, you can join our Patreon and help us keep bringing content to life.

If you like this company and want to find more like it, make sure to join our community. If Facebook is your favorite, follow us there and join our community groups for Immersive Horror fans or Immersive creators . We’re active on Instagram, posting imagery and stories to promote our reviews and recollections; follow us there . We even have a twitter; click here to follow . For those who want to explore deeper, we have a vibrant Slack community with new event alerts and immediate ticket sale announcements; click here to join . Finally, we have a newsletter that comes out once a week; click here to sign up .

So however you like your news being delivered, we have something haunting for you.


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California Haunted Houses

Browsing Haunted Attraction Directory » USA (All 50 states) » California

Reign of Terror Haunted House

The 17th door haunt experience, a fear overload haunted houses in san leandro, a ultimate terror scream park in sacramento, ca, apricot deadly dark maze, arising evil 2013, asylum at coffin creek, big worm's sherwood scare, boccali ranch haunted hayrides, callson manor haunted house, cemetarium haunted house, cemetary of lost souls, coffin creek, dead time dreams haunted attractions, doll factory, dr. mortis presents terror at the feargrounds.

CALIFORNIA California is shaking with terrorizing haunted houses. California’s featured cities of terror Los Angeles, San Leandro, and Pomona.  Los Angeles: Haunted Hayride , Fear Overload , and Reign of Terror Haunted House are the scariest haunted houses in California . California is worth the trip to participate in some of the best review haunted houses.

With the unprecedented amount of media and celebrity attendance in previous years, Los Angeles Haunted Hayride continually creates brand new experiences each year.  This year in addition to an all new storyline on the hayride trail, two brand new attractions, House of the Horsemen and Seven Sins Sideshow will be added to the Purgatory section of Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.  The Crowd favorite, “In-Between” Dark Maze returns as a pitch black labyrinth that will send patrons into the darkness with nothing but the hands in front of them and a low voltage lantern that helps them to be seen rather than actually see.  The creatures that call this home will do everything in their power to send you screaming through the emergency exit doors.  October 9th is the Annual Premiere Night including press, celebrities, and sponsors who will get to experience this year’s all new festivi-ties.  Past celebrity attendees at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride included Zac Erfron, Katy Perry, Demi Lovato, Jillian Michaels, Nikki Reed, Megan Fox, Sarah Hyland, Lucy Hale, Chris Colfer, Chord Overstreet, Stephanie Pratt, David Beckham, Emmy Rossum, Sarah Silverman, Ryan Gosling, Kristin Ritter, Giles Nissan and many more.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride will be open from Oct 3-Oct 31.  Visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com  For a list of Haunted Houses in Los Angeles you can go here: Haunted House Los Angeles  

In 2011, Fear Overload was awarded for its quality and scare factor. This year, they plan to take their haunted attractions to a new level of fear. “Our design team works all year long creating the most intricate scenes. And this year, we have far outstretched our limits.” Polanco ensures that his new scenes will send chills through your spine, should you choose to enter Fear Overload this October. For more information, dates, and tickets, please visit the Los Angeles haunted house website at www.fearoverload.com


 What if, just a few hours north, there lied a “diamond in the rough”? A burgeoning haunt that could give any multi-million dol-lar Hollywood production a run for its money? One-hundred-and-twelve miles up the I-5 freeway is Bakersfield, the jewel of Kern County, known to some for its own colorful brand of country mu-sic popularized by the legendary Buck Owens. But to others, Ba-kersfield is the home of Talladega Frights, one of the best kept secrets in the haunt business today.

 “We’ve had to work hard keeping ourselves on our toes be-cause there aren’t people in our immediate market pushing us,” says Mike Wilbur, co-owner of Talladega Frights and an admitted competitive spirit. “We don’t have competition to deal with, but we have the challenge of keeping fresh and new, and that’s in-ternally what we have to do.”

 In 2008, Wilbur was heading up the then-brand spanking new haunt, staffing the attraction with high school drama students. A local magazine editor by the name of Dana Martin interviewed Wilbur for a cover story on haunts, setting off a chain reaction of events that began with Martin’s own daughter becoming an actor, and ended with Martin eventually becoming business part-ners with Wilbur in 2012.

 “We make a good team because we specialize in different ar-eas,” says Martin, a writer with a knack for the kind of details that make Talladega Frights a uniquely immersive experience. Since 2009, the creative process has begun with the two co-owners sitting down and imagin-ing what has “happened,” so to speak, in the context of the story.

This February, when the haunt opened for the Friday the 13th / Valentine’s Day weekend, the backstory began at Green River High School, where students and teachers alike roamed in various states of decay. From there, the narra-tive moved on through a litany of jaw-dropping scenes, including a junkyard straight out of a fever dream, with giant pillars of fire shooting into the sky, not to mention a truly unsettling tribute to Buffalo Bill of Silence of the Lambs infa-my (complete with Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses” playing in the background).

 Once Wilbur and Martin have a complete backstory fleshed out, it is pre-sented to their true secret weapon: A cast of characters practically chomping at the bit, which has numbered anywhere from 60 to 110 in the past. And just like a miniature army of Method actors, they devote an ungodly amount of time and energy to exploring their varied roles in the story. “Over the summer, we’ll hold actor workdays,” says Martin, “and I will have actors come up to me and say, ‘Hey, Dana, can I just go sit in my room for a while, so I can get a feel for it and get some ideas?’ And then they’ll go disap-pear.”

 “This is a lifestyle for them when they come out here, and they want to make it the best they can,” adds Wil-bur.

 The intensity and the physicality of the actors, young as they may be, is what sets Talladega Frights apart from their far-away competitors; a would-be captor slams his victim to the ground in the junkyard scene, brandishing an aluminum baseball bat, while ravaged cheerlead-ers contort themselves on a school bus, bending back-wards over the seats to intimidate hapless guests.  “They can’t rely on just their words,” says Martin. “It has to become a whole body experience, really, to become as realistic as we expect it to be.”

 So what does the future hold for Talladega Frights? Well, for one, a minor change in scenery. As of this writing, Martin, Wilbur & Co. called the Kern County Museum their home, but for Halloween 2015, they’ll find a new home. The idea is to grow and expand into a new locale that will allow them not only to continue terrorizing the brave souls who enter their haunt, but to continue offer-ing entertainment options for the whole family; believe it or not, this includes an event called Christmas Town, an all-ages holiday spectacle boasting light shows, ice skating, and other less-than-terrifying activities.

 Ultimately, Mike Wilbur and Dana Martin consider themselves to be part of the entertainment business, and while Talladega Frights is as scary a haunt as you’ll find on the west coast, Dana explains that fear isn’t necessarily the endgame; fun is.

 “I know a lot of people come through, and you’ve seen this in other haunted houses, they’re not gonna be scared, they don’t wanna be scared. But as long as we feel like they’ve been entertained, if they’re having a good time and they’re smiling when they come out and they feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth, I think that we feel successful.” More Information about Talledega Nights Can be found at Talledeganights.com

The 2023 Public Tour Season Has Ended

Preston Castle Foundation

  • Gates close at 10PM

Dare to venture into the dark and mysterious realm of the Haunted Tour at Preston Castle this Halloween.

Quick Details

  • User Ages: All ages
  • Tag Admission: General admission , VIP pass

Join us for the most thrilling Halloween adventure at Preston Castle and discover what lurks in the darkness.

Prepare to be thrilled and chilled as you step into the eerie atmosphere of this legendary haunted location. Embark on a spine-tingling adventure through the shadowy corridors and hidden corners of the castle, where ghostly legends come to life. Armed with your courage and curiosity, navigate through interactive challenges and clues, uncovering the secrets that lay dormant within the castle’s haunted walls. Whether you’re a seasoned ghost hunter or a brave novice, this immersive experience promises an unforgettable evening of suspense, excitement, and perhaps even paranormal encounters.

The event you’ve been waiting for, Preston Castle Haunt 2023 at the magnificent, eerie, scary, Preston Castle! Featured on

  • Ghost Hunters
  • Ghost Adventures
  • Ghost Asylum
  • As the location of several horror movies,

Come experience Northern California’s only REAL Haunted House!

This is a fun Haunt walk-through and not a historical tour of the Castle. This year’s Haunt will be better than ever, with an ALL NEW path and new scares!

  • Chevron down General Information

Gates open at 6:45 pm, first walk-throughs at 7:00 pm. 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm General Admission tickets (enter at any time in that period).

Gates open at 8:30 pm for the 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm timed General Admission tickets (enter at any time in that period).

VIP tickets are valid anytime from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm. VIP tickets will allow you to go the VIP line once you are through the front gate and security.

The Gates close at 10:00 pm.

Order tickets according to which night and time period you want to attend.

General admission tickets are valid for the time period stated on you ticket confirmation.

This Halloween experience may be too intense for younger children. There will not be a children’s carnival.

Food vendors will be on hand to take care of your hunger pangs. Cool merchandise including really great T-Shirts and Sweatshirts, will be available for purchase.

All parking is free for the Haunt. Please do not park in the surrounding residential neighborhoods. If you are parked in the lower parking lot, please wait at the shuttle station for a complimentary ride to the gate. Please do not walk through the State-owned housing areas to get to the front gate.

Related Activities

  • User All ages
  • Self-guided

Christmas at the Castle & Winter Craft Fair: Dec 9

Step into a world of enchantment and festive wonder with our Christmas Castle Tour at Preston Castle. Immerse yourself in the joyous spirit of the holiday season as this historic landmark transforms into a captivating winter wonderland.

  • up to 5 people
  • User Ages 18+

Public Paranormal Investigation Tours

Feel the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you experience unexplained phenomena, hear whispers from the past, and witness mysterious occurrences that defy explanation. Are you ready to confront the spirits that reside within the walls of Preston Castle?

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The 12 Most Haunted Places in California

When most people think about California, the first thing that comes to mind is usually sunshine, Hollywood, and golden beaches! However, The Golden State has a much darker side to it, and it is home to some of the most haunted locations in the country!

Are you prepared? Let’s now take a moment to explore the 12 most haunted places in California!

1. The Glen Tavern Inn, Santa Paula Stay Here

An image of the Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula, California

The Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula was built in 1911 in the old English Tudor style. It is a beautiful building, but it could be described as having a somewhat ugly past! The history of The Glen Tavern Inn is rich and colorful, with a hefty dose of dark and seedy moments.

It is a fascinating building once frequented by the stars, which fell on hard times after prohibition was introduced, and the 3 rd floor became a speakeasy, brothel, and gambling den. This is likely to have triggered the majority of the paranormal activity reported here.

One of the most well-known hot spots is Room 307, which is haunted by two ghosts, a cowboy known as Calvin and a prostitute.

Calvin is tall and thin, wearing a white shirt and sporting long hair and a goatee beard. He has been seen walking through walls and is often captured in photographs taken by guests.

Read more on the haunted Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula, California .

2. East 8 Mile Road, Stockton

One of California’s most haunted sites is not a building but a stretch of road – Eat 8 Mile Road, to be exact. It is said that there is the spirit of a witch who appears on the road.

Many a heavy goods vehicle driver has reported a scary woman in a tattered white dress standing in the middle of the carriageway!

Legend states that if you turn back to take a second look at the phantom, you will see the spirit sitting in your back seat.

There are also reports of a Native American girl wandering the road on the night of the full moon, and locals say she can be heard screaming in the night. It’s no wonder paranormal fans loved the idea of a haunted road trip along East 8 Mile Road!

3. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose

A picture of the reportedly haunted Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House is one property that certainly lives up to its fearsome reputation! Construction began in 1884, and it never really stopped until the owner, Sarah Winchester, passed away on September 5, 1922.

It is believed that she spent around $5 million on construction. Why? Because Sarah was convinced that her home was haunted by all of the victims killed by a Winchester Rifle, the only way to quiet the spirits was to keep on building!

Sarah may well have been correct because since the mansion was opened up to the public in 1923, staff and visitors alike have reported several mischievous spirits in the building.

Read more about the haunted Winchester Mystery House 

4. Los Coches Adobe, Soledad

An image of Los Coches Adobe in Soledad California

Los Coches Adobe might be one of California’s most terrifyingly haunted places. In the early days, Los Coches Adobe was the site of a mine.

However, one day a horrific accident caused over 30 mine workers to be trapped in a collapse. All of them lost their lives. A tragedy like that has to leave a stain on the very land, so it is little wonder this place is haunted!

Locals and visitors alike have heard the screams of trapped miners emanating from an old well on the property, and there are also numerous reports of a lady in black and a male phantom walking around the grounds.

Some even claim to have seen the ghost of a man hanging from a tree just on the property’s boundary!

5. Alcatraz, San Francisco

A view of Alcatraz in the distance from San Francisco street

Few structures in this world are as infamous as Alcatraz! Prisons are often a haven for restless spirits, and Alcatraz is no different.

This former high-security prison is probably even more likely to be haunted, given the conditions when it was in operation, coupled with the dangerous criminals housed within its walls.

The entire building is soaked in fear, regret, anger, pain, and death – the perfect recipe for restless souls and much darker entities!

The prison is like a breeding ground for the paranormal. One of the most feared presences on the island is known simply as ‘The Thing.’ This entity is said to have red glowing eyes, and it has been seen not only by visitors today but by prisoners and staff when Alcatraz was in operation.

Other common reports detail disembodied voices, sobbing, screams, banging of cell doors, and putrid smells, which some say indicate a demonic presence.

Visitors have experienced being touched, feeling cold spots, and even having emotional outbursts of either sadness or anger.

Some have even said that they encounter apparitions who spoke to them of abuse at the hands of guards and other inmates!

Read more about the haunted Alcatraz Prison .

6. Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach Room Availability

An image of the Queen Mary Hotel in Long Beach California

The Queen Mary Hotel is recognized as not only one of the most haunted locations in California; many believe it to be one of the most haunted hotels in the world.

The former ocean liner is now permanently docked at Long Beach, where it serves as a very popular hotel with paranormal researchers and others interested in the supernatural.

The ship is incredibly haunted, and we could not even begin to document all of the strange events that have occurred there in this one summary. However, we can touch on some of the most common hauntings.

The First Class Swimming Pool is haunted by two female spirits who are said to have drowned in the 1930s and 1960s, respectively. They have both been seen as apparitions, and visiting psychics have said they feel a negative presence coming from the changing rooms.

There are also reports of a lady in white in the Queen’s Salon, a male in 1930s attired in the First Class suites, and the sounds of children playing near the storage room. These are the only handful of reports of paranormal disturbances on board!

Read more on the haunted Queen Mary Hotel .

7. Mission San Miguel, San Miguel

An image of the reportedly haunted San Miguel Mission in San Miguel, California

Mission San Miguel’s story is undoubtedly intriguing and sounds like a blockbuster movie’s plot! The Mission was founded in 1797 but was secularized in 1836 and sold to The Reed Family in 1846 for just $250!

Reed set up the Mission as a bed and breakfast, requiring payment in gold – as it was the height of the gold rush, he managed to amass a small fortune, which he decided to bury somewhere on the mission grounds.

It is believed that the buried treasure was worth roughly $200,000. However, Reed was a boastful man, and he may have boasted to the wrong people!

In 1848 some British pirates staying at the Mission learned of Reed’s gold and laid waste to the Mission, slaughtering everyone in the building. They never did find it, and they were soon rounded up and executed for their crimes.

Somewhere between 10 and 13 people were murdered that night, so it is no surprise that the place is haunted. Most commonly, sighted spirits include a lady in white believed to be Mrs. Reed and a man in a blue peacoat who could be Mr. Reed.

8. Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena

An image of the Colorado Street Bridge in the distance

Colorado Street Bridge is a beautiful structure, but it has a dark side. It is known locally by its nickname – the suicide bridge.

There is an unusually high number of suicides here. The latest figure sits at about 102, but that number is constantly growing. The bridge was built in 1913 and claimed its first death in 1919, so that’s a rate of more than one suicide per year.

However, some say that this ‘official’ number is not accurate because the local authorities have been known to knock off a few numbers whenever they get too high.

As you might expect, given the death toll, the bridge is also said to be incredibly haunted. There are many reports of a man jumping off of the railing, but he vanishes before hitting the water.

It is also fairly common to see a female apparition crossing the bridge. Drivers often have to swerve to avoid her, but she always disappears when they come too close!

Some have suggested that not only could spirits be trapped here due to the nature of their passing, but also because the authorities perhaps have denied their existence by fudging the suicide figures!

9. Oak Park Cemetery, Claremont

An image of Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont, California

The Oakwood Cemetery in Claremont has a pretty fearsome reputation. There are reports of small grey apparitions running around the cemetery in the hours of darkness, and some witnesses say that these apparitions are prone to attack people.

There have also been countless sightings of shadow men lurking in the burial ground. Visitors have captured strangely light anomalies on camera, and there is said to be a tall winged apparition that walks down the driveway that leads to the cemetery!

10. Disneyland, Anaheim

An image of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland in Anaheim

It may be known as the happiest place on Earth, but Disneyland in Anaheim has its haunted secrets.

There are many tales of animatronics moving when the rides are turned off. It is traditional for some families to scatter the ashes of their loved ones (without permission) on favorite rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion.

Custodians have discovered ashes, bone fragments, and even a jaw bone in the park for years. Real human bones are also used in the décor at The Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

There are also several ghost sightings around the park, including Walt Disney, who has been seen in his former apartment above the Fire Station on Main Street.

There have also been sightings of various spirits believed to be people who either died in the park or have had their ashes scattered there.

11. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Los Angeles Book a Room

An image looking up at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles California

One of the most haunted hotels in California is also one of the most iconic hotels in the state. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles has played host to some big names since opening its doors in 1927, and some say that a few of those stars may well have stuck around!

One of the hotel’s most famous ghosts is claimed to be Marilyn Monroe. She has been seen appearing in the mirror of room number 229 and also dancing in the hotel’s ballroom.

However, she is not the only famous spirit that is said to haunt the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. There have also been reports of actor Montgomery Clift’s ghost haunting room number 928, which is the room that he occupied while filming ‘From Here to Eternity’ in 1953.

12. The Whaley House, San Diego

An image of the reportedly haunted Whaley House in San Diego, California

The Whaley House in San Diego has long held a reputation for being one of the scariest haunted places in Southern California. It was built in 1957 by Thomas Whaley, and over the years, it has served as a general store, a granary, Crowdie Theater, and even the town’s courthouse.

It also included a morgue at one time and happened to be built over a former cemetery! No wonder it is said to be haunted!

Several suicides and hangings have taken place on the property. The two most commonly sighted spirits here include a young girl who died in an accident while playing with the Whaley children, Yankee Jom Robinson, who hung himself on the property, and the Whaley family.

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The 13 Most Haunted Places in California

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California is a state riddled with haunted locations including cemeteries, hotels, hospitals, and other public and private establishments. For those of you who enjoy a good scare, are fascinated by the paranormal, or just want to go on a spooky adventure – here’s our list of the Top 13 haunted places in California.

The Whaley House

The Whaley House in San Diego was a family home that also housed a movie theater, a general store, a school, polling place, granary, and court house.

Hangings took place on the property before the house was constructed and legend has it that some of the ghosts that haunt the Whaley House are criminals who were hung on the property.

One of the main ghosts that reportedly haunts the Whaley House is the bandit known as Yankee Jim. The tales of Yankee Jim stretch from stealing horses in Placer County, fleeing from the law throughout the state, and eventually ending up in San Diego where he met the end of a rope.

  • Yankee Jims: The legend of a bandit, the lore of a gold rush town and Folgers coffee
  • The search for Yankee Jim and his gold

All of the violent and mysterious events that have occurred here, including the suicide of Violet Whaley in 1885, have given the Whaley House the #1 spot on just about every credible list for haunted places in California. It’s also widely considered as one of the Top 5 most haunted places in all of America.

The Whaley House has been the focus of many documentaries, ghost hunter TV shows, and paranormal videos like the one below. It’s the most haunted house in California and possibly the country.

Battery Point Lighthouse

Battery Point Lighthouse and Museum is an active lighthouse found at the foot of A Street in Crescent City, California. Tours allow visitors to go through the Lighthouse and museum to look at the artifacts left behind by keepers and their families since the Lighthouse was first lit in 1856.

Despite its coastal charm, some paranormal experts and visitors declare that this lighthouse trails only the Whaley House as the most haunted place in California. It’s also considered one of the most haunted lighthouses in all of America.

There is said to be three resident ghosts: two adults and a child. Visitors have reported feeling unseen presences touching them, or feeling like someone was there. Others have seen rocking chairs moving on their own, or the sounds of someone trudging up the stairs to the top of the lighthouse.

Photo Cred: Wikimedia Commons

Hollydale Insane Asylum

Abandoned many years ago, the Hollydale Mental Hospital in Downey, California, was originally built in the 1880s as a farm for the poor, turned into a hospital during WWII, later used for polio and tuberculosis patients, then later became a mental hospital.

In 2006, after the mental facility was already shutdown, a group of Marines went into the abandoned structure and found body parts from the 1960’s and 1970’s stored in an old freezer. 

According to visitors there are numerous unhappy spirits here. Additionally, strange noises can be heard and lights have been seen turning on and off by themselves.

Anyone who’s been to an abandoned mental hospital knows just how intense the vibes are.

This is private property and there are “No Trespassing” signs posted all over. Is there anything scarier than an abandoned insane asylum?

Preston School of Industry

The Preston Castle , also called the Preston School of Industry in Ione, started out as a reform school for wards of the state in the late 1800s. Troubled boys were sent there to learn a trade instead of juvenile detention centers or prison.

Over time, the discipline at Preston became extreme with many reports of an abusive environment. Ultimately, desperation and a harsh environment led to escape attempts, violence and even death.

Nowadays, the castle is full of tragic history and tales of ghost sightings. At least one “unsolved” murder took place there. Visitors report that, among others, spirits of the wards who died at Preston haunt the castle.

Over the last few years, the Preston Castle has become a popular subject with ghost hunters and TV shows. It’s also been featured in a big screen movie.

Preston Castle - Cred: Calexplornia

Silver City Ghost Town

This composite ghost town has one of the highest rates of paranormal encounters in the state, maybe even the country. In fact, Silver City has become one of the most sought out California haunted places.

From tourists to paranormal investigators, many visitors have experienced the feeling of being watched, cold spots, and more.

In my trip to Silver City , I definitely experienced cold spots in the jail and the feelings of being watched at the old church and one of the saloons.

The Jail in Silver City - Cred: CalExplornia

Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Mystery House is a haunted mansion in San Jose, California, located on Winchester Blvd. It was built by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester fortune over a period of 38 years, non-stop, according to some accounts.

The haunted California house is certainly strange, with stairways that go nowhere, doors that open into walls, and miles of twisting hallways. Visitors and workers report the sounds of footsteps and breathing, the sounds of screws turning and falling, and mysterious appearances of unknown people in photographs.

Others report lights being turned on after being turned off by workers, windows being unlocked after being locked, and more. This haunted California mansion is like a creepy combination of Willy Wonka and Poltergeist.

The best time to visit this one-of-a-kind haunted house in California is on an overnight adventure.

Mare Island

Mare Island is one of the most underrated locations to explore in California. Not only does it have a wealth of Military history, but it also has tales of death and tragedy.

Visitors to the island can tour many of the longstanding historic buildings including the museum. There’s a charming little park in the middle of the island along with a wonderful old church.

Additionally, visitors can walk through Mare Island’s historic cemetery, pass by the massive abandoned hospital, walk through the preserve, and take tours throughout the entire island.

With that said, the charm and history of the island can be drowned out by the number of reports from visitors that claim to have witnessed paranormal activity all over Mare Island.

From the “Elevator Man” to disembodied voices; some visitors have taken photographs with orbs showing up in the pictures. Some amateur ghost hunters have captured EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) on the island as well. This is one of the most underrated haunted places in California.

In fact, the Abandoned Mare Island Naval Hospital is one place that should be on any Mare Island visitor’s list along with the Historic Mare Island Naval Cemetery .

Mare Island Hospital by CalExplornia

Bodie Ghost Town

Bodie is an old mining settlement that dates back to 1859. It’s locked in a state of arrested decay, being maintained as it is, with nothing being allowed to become worse, but nothing being remodeled either.

Bodie is one of the most popular and most impressive ghost towns in the United States. It also has a rich history with many stories of the supernatural.

One of the main paranormal experiences is of the spirit of a maid who haunts the Cain home. Visitors have reported feeling as if they were being suffocated as they slept. There’s also a Bodie curse wherein anyone who takes anything as a souvenir is followed by misfortune and bad luck.

haunted house experience california

The USS Hornet

The USS Hornet is Alameda’s haunted ship in California. It was commissioned in 1943 and has become known as America’s most haunted ship.

Both visitors and crew members have reported sightings, sounds, and incidents like tools that disappear and reappear, doors opening and closing on their own, feelings of spectral presences, and the sensation of being grabbed or pushed when no one is there.

For those that enjoy overnight stays at haunted locations, this aircraft carrier offers overnight history tours . 

The Enchanted Forest of Cobb Estate

The Enchanted Forest, also referred to as The Haunted Forest, is located at the end of Lake Ave. in Pasadena, California and has a terrifying front entrance gate that marks the beginning of what was once known as the Cobb Estate.

Ghost hunters see the gate as a an opportunity to explore a trail that leads visitors through a haunted forest and into a den of paranormal activity.

At night, it’s extremely dark inside, so make sure you have your flashlight! People have reported hearing screams coming from the forest, or feeling as if someone or something was following them.

Strange lights have been seen as well, lights that couldn’t be explained away as being from flashlights from other explorers. Some ghost hunters have taken EMF detectors into the forest and had the results spike.

This haunted forest in California is a must visit place for any ghost hunter and spooky thrill seeker.

Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado is widely considered to be the most haunted hotel in California.

The story goes: young and beautiful Kate Morgan arrived at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego on Thanksgiving Day in 1892 and checked in, but she never checked out: she allegedly committed suicide after five days there. Since then, employees and guests have experienced some “spooky” happenings, many to do with Kate’s room on the third floor.

Visitors have reported a TV that turns itself off and on, flickering lights, items that move on their own, unexplained voices and footsteps, and strange sounds and scents. That hasn’t stopped people from coming to stay at impressive hotel, though, and staff say the room where she allegedly stayed is the most requested.

haunted house experience california

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary was voted by Time Magazine to be one of The Most Haunted Places in America. There are several ghosts reportedly hanging out on the ship, from a woman and children who drowned in the pool, to a sailor who died in the engine room.

The retired ocean liner was turned into a moored hotel off of Long Beach, California. There’s a museum, several restaurants, and a hotel. The owners offer haunted tours through the day and special events at night for people interested in the paranormal.

It’s easily the most haunted boat in California.

Photo Cred: Wikimedia Commons, Mike Fernwood

Alcatraz, as most everyone knows, was formerly the site of a maximum-security prison. Now a tourist attraction and museum, the island is the home to unexplained “visitors” who produce banjo music, footsteps, screams, cold spots, whispering, and slamming cell doors.

The island has been visited by many paranormal experts and ghost hunters. It’s considered not only as one of the most haunted places in America, but also the most haunted prison in the country. Even before it was used for the site of the prison, it was known by Native Americans to be filled with spirits. Mark Twain himself said the island was “… cold as winter, even in the summer months. ”

haunted house experience california

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San Diego County’s scariest haunted houses and trails, ranked

An actor plays to the camera at The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park.

The options for getting spooked in San Diego County this Halloween season include a haunted amusement park, scream zone, haunted trail and haunted corn maze

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Spooky season has officially commenced in San Diego, and you should be afraid... very afraid.

Across the county, haunted locales are horrifying visitors who dare to enter, including an abandoned amusement center, a chilling walk through Balboa Park and a corn maze not for the faint of heart. The Union-Tribune’s guides reporters aren’t experts in fear, but we do have a pretty good idea of the things that make us jump.

So during the first few weeks of October, we set out to rank the most frightening haunted experiences in San Diego County. At each, we were forced to confront our fears head on: darkness, claustrophobia, clowns, the roar of a chainsaw and the suspicious, inescapable feeling that someone is following you.

Visitors might not be scared at every turn, but we guarantee there’s something creepy for everyone at the locations on this list. It will be updated online as more haunted experiences open throughout the season.

1. Haunted Corn Maze

A sign outside the Haunted Corn Maze at Carlsbad Strawberry Company.

Corn fields have provided the backdrop for plenty of scary movies, but walking through one during Halloween season, knowing it’s “haunted” by various unknowns, is its own kind of terrifying. I was so scared walking through this maze — and screamed so often — that I could barely catch my breath to prepare for the next frightening encounter. The worst part is hearing the screams of other visitors, not knowing how far away they are among the tall stocks of corn, or what might be hiding around the next turn. Don’t be fooled by the pumpkin patch, food and drink stands, beautiful marigold fields, animal encounters and cute photo opportunities surrounding the entrance: an adrenaline rush awaits anyone who dares to find out what lurks within. 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October. Carlsbad Strawberry Company, 1050 Cannon Road, Carlsbad. $10 for general admission, plus $25 for the haunted corn maze. (760) 603-9608, carlsbadstrawberrycompany.com/pumpkin

— Abby Hamblin

2. Haunted Amusement Park

The Haunted House is just one of several experiences at the Haunted Amusement Park.

In the late 1960s, Marshal Scotty’s Playland Park opened in El Cajon, with the slogan, “You’ll never want to leave!” After decades of attempts at renovation and redevelopment, the business failed. With the amusement park abandoned, its buildings fell apart, weeds grew wildly and tree branches twisted themselves through the remnants of an old Ferris wheel. All this is to say: on its own, the old amusement park feels pretty haunted. Combine this inherent creepiness with the Haunted Amusement Park experience — an annual scare trail that takes visitors on a roughly one-mile walk through the grounds — and you’ll be feeling a shiver down your spine. There are ghoulish clowns galore and several jump scares as visitors make their way through a circus maze, haunted house and the ride repair shop, plus more hands-on sections like walking through 3-D bumper cars and crossing through a tunnel on a swinging platform. I didn’t stop screaming and laughing for the 30 minutes it took to walk through, which, to me, was perfect: just enough scariness to have me thoroughly freaked out while still having a good time. Every weekend from now through Oct. 31. 14009 Ridge Hill Road, El Cajon. $25. scaretrail.com

— Maura Fox

3. The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park

Guests walk through The Haunted Trail of Balboa Park on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

This Halloween attraction starts off terrific with the terrifying 3,500-square-foot eXperiment Maze that takes about 10 minutes to get through. In this dark network of twists and turns, you hear spooky music playing, evil laughs and screaming. There are also strobe lights and machine-made fog that give just enough visibility to see various childhood fairy tales turned into frighting installations, like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Three Little Pigs.” After exiting the maze, you walk toward the Haunted Trail. The highlight for me was the dilapidated school bus where zombie prisoners, some fake and some real, scare you off the back door into a foggy graveyard. The open area of the trail is less scary since you can see what’s coming up next, so the element of surprise and the unknown is taken away somewhat. Oct. 11-15, 18-22, 24-31. Corner of Balboa Drive and Juniper Road, San Diego. $32.99-47.99. (619) 696-7227, hauntedtrail.net

— Carlos Rico

4. The Del Mar Fairgrounds Scream Zone

The Del Mar Fairgrounds transforms into "Scaregrounds" each fall.

Each fall, a section of the Del Mar Fairgrounds transforms into The Scream Zone, featuring a haunted hay ride and two immersive walk-through experiences, the first of which takes visitors past characters from famous horror movies and the second forcing them to find their way out of a trippy labyrinth. The walk-throughs were genuinely frightening, but the hay ride was more impressive as we cruised through the fairground’s stables and were confronted with elaborate and believable sets. The Scream Zone would have been scarier if it weren’t for the long lines to enter the three experiences, since each are separated by their own line. Even though horrifying characters wandered around scaring waiting thrill seekers, I felt my fear dissipate the longer I stood there — a more sustained fright would have made this haunted experience all the better. Open most nights except some Mondays and Tuesdays, now until Oct. 31, 7 to 11 p.m. 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. $33 for general admission. (619) 231-0131, thescreamzone.com

5. SeaWorld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream

A scene near the entrance of SeaWorld San Diego's Howl-O-Scream experience.

The appeal of this spooky experience is the amount of time and space available for absorbing every sight, smell and scare. Howl-O-Scream spans much of the SeaWorld San Diego site, with five scary outdoor walk-through zones, five indoor haunted houses and five entertaining live performances known as “vile vignettes.” There are a startling number of fears represented, including creepy dolls, aliens and even snakes and crocodiles. I did scream and slosh my drink in the air at one point, but with themed food and drinks, visually intriguing horror scenes rivaling movie quality and the opportunity to ride roller coasters, this haunt ranks higher for its entertainment than its fear factor. Open Thursdays-Sundays in October and Halloween night. SeaWorld San Diego, 500 Sea World Drive, San Diego. Tickets start at $41.99. (619) 222-4732, seaworld.com/san-diego/events/howl-o-scream/tickets

haunted house experience california

haunted house experience california

The 17th Door Haunt Experience

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The 17th Door Haunt Experience is a Haunted Attraction located in Buena Park, CA.

haunted house experience california

8420 On the Mall, Buena Park, CA 90620

Special Directions: Located in the Buena Park Downtown Mall, on the corner of La Palma Ave & Dale St. Park near the 24 Hour Fitness. Walk down the corridor on the right side of 24 Hour Fitness to find our entrance.

( Click for Fullscreen Map )

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haunted house experience california

About This Attraction:

Haunt Types:

Has Current Dates and Hours Available Icon

# of Attractions: 1

Min. Recommended Age: 16

Dates & Hours:

Always verify the attraction’s dates and hours prior to visiting.

Dates: September 22-23, 29-30 October 1, 5-8, 10, 12-15, 18-22, 24-31

Hours: 7:00-11:00pm weeknights 7:00-12:00am Fridays & Saturdays 6:00-12:30am select Fridays & Saturdays

The 17th Door has moved its over-the-top immersive experience to Buena Park, Orange County. As one of the scariest, most intense, and most interactive haunted houses in the country, they have continued their pursuit to innovate and push the boundaries within the haunt industry. With a new location, even bigger and better than before, comes exciting future opportunities and room to expand. The 17th Door is excited to present more unique experiences that have never been undertaken before in a haunt!

Each year, the team at The 17th Door looks to outdo themselves and raise the bar with cutting edge scares you won’t find elsewhere. In the 2023 season, guests will experience new added surprises… more of what they love, and more of what they hate! Will you cry ‘Mercy?’ Or will you survive all 35 minutes of psychological terror?

Heinous crimes deserve a severe sentence at Perpetuum Penitentiary, the most horrendous prison. A darkness has seized control of the inmates. Muffled screams of suffering ooze out of every crack and crevice of the dismal stone walls. At Perpetuum, a new circle of hell has taken root. Courtesy of Vixi Labs, all prison treatment facilities will now be powered by revolutionary Vixi-technology. Operated by vile and sadistic engineers, their unorthodox methods for treating evils of humanity have hit new levels of depravity. They are enjoying every minute.

Evil pervades this space which has become a black reality. The question is… Will it become yours? Go cautiously, as the prisoners of Perpetuum’s cell blocks have no concept of confinement and are thirsty for the sweet-smelling blood of new victims. No one escapes. Your only hope is to survive. Will you cry Mercy or will you emerge from Perpetuum Penitentiary stronger than before?

***Must sign waiver to enter***

THE FIELD TRIP EXPERIENCE The most epic add-on experience in 17th Door history. This 50 minute off-site experience will transport you from the grim and gruesome prison to a pair of worlds that are both equally wacky and unique. From Rave Gangs to Ratrod Clowns, you are in for a wild ride that includes chasing, hiding, drops, sparks, music, dancing, and a bunch of cool cars. Part drive through, part walk through, all fun, this intense experience is like nothing ever done before. Once The Field Trip has concluded, all inmates will return back to the prison and will be ushered through a VIP entrance straight into The 17th Door maze experience to continue their sentence. The Field Trip has extremely limited tickets available so you can either hear about how fun it was from someone else when it’s too late, or you can sign your permission slip and find out yourself! ***NOTE: ALL MEMBERS OF YOUR GROUP MUST PURCHASE ‘THE FIELD TRIP’ TICKETS IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO STAY TOGETHER DURING THE MAIN HAUNT EXPERIENCE.

haunted house experience california

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Hi-Tech” Attraction, “Extreme” Attraction, You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

haunted house experience california

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haunted house experience california

Guest Reviews Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Rob – 10 / 10 – September 30, 2023 Excellent professional scare teams. Very well done! Loved it. Will do this every year from now …show more on. These people know how to deliver the goods!! Sign that waiver!! So worth it. Do both the Field and the 17th Door!

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Disclaimer from The Scare Factor: Our listings are usually only updated a couple of times per year. A lot can change in that amount of time, especially during Halloween season. For this reason, even though we try our best to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, it is ultimately your responsibility as a customer to do your own due diligence and research the attractions directly that you would like to visit. We are not liable for any mistakenly inaccurate information that you may find on our website. We appreciate your understanding and, as always, stay scary! ~ The Scare Factor

haunted house experience california

The Scare Factor provides reviews and directory listings for Halloween haunted houses, haunted trails, haunted hayrides, scream parks, and other types of haunted attractions.

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Seasonal & Holidays

Haunted houses 2023: sf bay guide to halloween's bone-chilling best, attention, san francisco bay area fear-seekers. this list is for you ....

Susan C. Schena's profile picture

Susan C. Schena , Patch Staff

Winchester Mystery House in San Jose hosts the immersive Halloween "Unhinged: Housewarming" -- one of several haunted experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA — Fall is officially here, and it's time to start prepping for Halloween.

Part of the seasonal fun for many in the San Francisco Bay Area is braving the region's haunted houses. Use our annual guide to find the most scream-worthy near you. (We've included some tamer options, too, for the faint of heart.)

And have a Happy Haunted Halloween, from Patch!

Find out what's happening in Newark with free, real-time updates from Patch.

Always double-check with organizers to confirm events are proceeding as planned.


OCT. 27: Ship of Spirits: Spaghetti & Spirits Paranormal Dinner & Tour: USS Hornet . Be brave & bring a flashlight.

OCT. 27-29: Annual Teen Haunted House . "Completely created & proudly presented by Alameda teens!"


OCT. 31: Family Fun, Halloween Haunted House . "Spooktacular time" for families. ----------

THROUGH OCT. 31: Haunted Hike . "This hike gets creepier as you go!"


SEPT. 29-OCT. 28: Corbett’s House Of Horror 'FEAR FARM' - This is what happens when a family farm takes a turn for the creepy ...

OCT. 20-21: 'Ghosts Of Dublin' Cemetery Flashlight Tours . This popular event always sells out, so move fast on reservations.

OCT. 13-28: Police Activities League 'Skreamz' Halloween Haunted House . Enjoy being terrorized while also raising funds for PAL College, Leadership & Career Preparation program.

OCT. 13-30: Candle Lighters Ghost House . Terrifying folks since 1969.

OCT. 20-29: Halloween 'Haunted Train': Ardenwood Historic Farm . This "spooky (not scary) ride through the haunted forest" is back after three-year hiatus.


THROUGH OCT. 31: Arata’s Pumpkin Farm, Labyrinth Hay Maze & Haunted Barn . Enjoy pumpkin-patch fun. Then conquer the labyrinth & try the spooky barn, if you dare.

THROUGH OCT. 31: Pumpkin Patch, Petting Zoo & Haunted House: Lemos Farm . Train & pony rides, too!


SEPT. 23: Explore The Paranormal At McConaghy House . Find out if McConaghy family still calls their house "home." (We'll wait in the car.)

OCT. 20-21 & 27-28: 'Beyond The Veil' Ghostly Tours: Meek Mansion & McConaghy House . Tales, traditions, ghosts, ghouls & more ... on guided tours.

NOV. 4: Explore The Paranormal At Meek Mansion . Keep the ghostly season going ...

OCT. 6-31: Halloween 'Trail Of Lights & Frights': Swank Farms . More spooktacular than spooky, so good for all ages.

OCT. 21 & 28: G&M Farms Haunted Corn Maze . Two nights of terror offered. It's up to you ...

OCT. 28: 'Mom's Haunted House' Halloween Walk-Thru . "You're gonna be in soooo much trouble!"

OCT. 28-31: 'Evil Vines Cemetery' Halloween Yard Haunt . With trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

SEPT. 23-NOV. 5: 'Fear Overload Scream Park' Halloween Haunted House: Newpark Mall . One location, two walk-thru attractions: House of Phobia & Happy Days Asylum. Be brave! ------------


SEPT. 29-OCT. 31: 'Pirates Of Emerson' Halloween Haunt: Alameda Co. Fairgrounds . Online ticket sales only, so don't miss out!

OCT. 13-14 & 20-21: 'Museum On Main Ghost Walk': Downtown . "You never know what spirits you might encounter along the way."


SEPT. 29-OCT. 31: Into The Dark's 'Terror Vault: The Initiation' Halloween Haunt: SF Mint . Is it scary? Well, the tagline is "Warning: Few survive The Initiation," so you decide.

SEPT. 22-OCT. 31: 'Unhinged: Housewarming' Winchester Mystery House Halloween Haunt . Fun begins at a Roaring '20s garden party before taking a dark turn ...

OCT. 6-31: 'Dead Time Dreams' Walk-Thru Halloween Haunt . The good news ... "an open-air walkway with plenty of room to run."

OCT. 13-31: 'Grimm's Hollow: Maze Of Madness' Haunt . Two versions: family-friendly & super scary.


OCT. 13-31: 'Blind Scream' Haunted House . "Venture forth, if you dare, and experience the terror that has made Doc Hunter's House of Horror a legend"


OCT. 26-28: 21st Annual Scotts Valley Haunted House . This year, you'll tour "The Schmetterling Institute of the Mind," where the terror is "all in your head." -------


OCT. 20-29: 'Haunted Carhouse' Paranormal Halloween Tours: Western Railway Museum . Stick close to guides as tour described as "not for faint of heart."

SEPT. 23-OCT. 29: 'Fright Fest': Six Flags Discovery Kingdom . Featuring haunted attractions, scare zones & more.


THROUGH OCT. 31: Halloween 'Hospital Of Horror' & 'Manor Of Escape': Diablo Escapes . "The room is virtual, but the fear is very real!"

SEPT. 23-OCT. 31: 'Haunted Forest' Outdoor, 30-Acre Halloween Experience . Creatures & spirits take over forest near Green River Brewing & Taproom.

DON'T MISS: SF Bay Area Halloween Events 2023: Pumpkin Patches & Trick-Or-Treats

For statewide haunts: haunted houses 2023: california guide to halloween bone-chilling best.


ALSO SEE: Oktoberfest 2023: SF Bay Area Guide To The Best Of Bavarian Fests

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You Don't Even Have To Leave Your Car At Urban Legends Haunt, A Unique Haunt Experience In Southern California

haunted house experience california

Daniella DiRienzo

Though Daniella was born in New York and has lived in a couple of other states, Mississippi has been her home for more than 30 years. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Daniella began to hone her writing skills through various internships. In the years since, she’s had the privilege of having her articles appear in several publications, such as the Mississippi-based Parents & Kids Magazine. She’s also had the honor of interviewing actress Sela Ward for The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience.

More by this Author

Many things have changed since the start of the pandemic. Social distancing requirements have put the kibosh on a lot of beloved events, including several long-running local haunts. Luckily, there’s a new haunt coming to town – and it doesn’t require you to get out of your car. Read on for all the details, and make sure to check out the video at the end of the article.

haunted house experience california

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Check out the video below for a closer look at the drive-thru haunt.

Tickets are sold on a per vehicle basis and start off at: $49.99 on Wednesdays, $59.99 on Thursdays and Sundays, $69.99 on Fridays, and $79.99 on Saturdays. The price varies depending on the day you visit as well as the type of ticket purchased (standard or VIP). For more information, check out the Urban Legends Haunt website or Facebook page .

So, did you know about this new haunted attraction? Think you’ll visit? Know of another new haunt? Tell us in the comments section.

This isn’t the only way to have fun from your car, though. Read about another here .

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.

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Icons of The Haunted Attraction Industry - Hauntworld Names the Top 10 Icons of the Haunted House Industry.  See which haunted attractions currently in operation are named the ten biggest ICON haunted attractions.  

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Hauntworld ranks the top scary places in America to get SCARED and Scream 2022.  The best and top rated haunted houses, and Halloween Attractions in America.  Did we rank a haunted house near you find out by clicking on this article.  

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Are you ready to experience the best haunted house in America? How deep into the depths of The Darkness can you plunge before your next breath is your last? The all new Darkness Haunted House, located in Soulard, off South Broadway in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, has been rated as America's BEST haunted house.

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Hauntworld ranks the top scary places in America to get SCARED and Scream 2021.  The best and top rated haunted houses, and Halloween Attractions in America.  Did we rank a haunted house near you find out by clicking on this article.  

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Hauntworld rates the top 13 best and scariest haunted houses in America.  Hauntworld rates and reviews the scariest, best, longest, haunted houses and Halloween Attractions in America 2020.

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Hauntworld rates the top 13 best and scariest haunted houses in America.  Hauntworld rates and reviews the scariest, best, longest, haunted houses and Halloween Attractions in America 2018.

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Read Review and Ratings of Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride located in New York.  Headless Horseman features hayrides, haunted houses and much more. 

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Creepyworld Haunted Screampark is America's biggest haunted attraction with over 13 attractions including a haunted hayride.  Learn more and read the review click here. 

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Escape From Blood Prison in Mansfield Ohio site of one of the single most famous Prisons in Hollywood History ( Ohio State Reformatory) famous of the film "The Shawshank Redemption".  Now its one of the biggest scariest haunted houses in America.  Read about Escape from Blood Prison! 

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Haunted House Review The Queen Mary's Dark Harbor is Los Angles California's biggest, scariest and most haunted real haunted house.  Read the full review of this haunted attraction click here. 

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Hauntworld created a video series many years ago called 'Hauntworld The Movie' and now all the movies which document the haunted house industry from the 1990's are finally uploaded. 

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Hauntworld visits the horror museum at Arts Sideshow located near Los Angles, California.  We go behind the scenes at Arts Sideshow.  Make sure you like and subscribe to the hauntworld youtu

Hauntworld stopped by and visited with the creators / owners of Midnight Studios FX to see their latest monsters and creations.  Watch the video below.  Please like and subscribe to our Yout

Monsterpalooza full Monster Museum walking tour.  We look at some of the most amazing full sized monsters created by artists in the Hollywood movie industry.  Please watch the video below.&n

Hauntworld explores ways to help haunted house owners DOUBLE revenue, while opening their haunts YEAR AROUND!  Make sure you like and subscribe to our Hauntworld Youtube Channel.  Please lea

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Hauntworld takes you thru the entire 2023 Oddities Expo to learn what this show could offer a Haunted Attraction owner.  Larry Kirchner explores the show and talks about highlights, and why haunt

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Have a Scary Good Night in a Goosebumps Haunted Maze this Weekend!

If you live in L.A., you can still snag tickets for the exclusive experience that is going to be frightfully fun

You know you'll be glued to the screen (and watching through your fingers) on Friday the 13th when the Goosebumps series premieres on Hulu and Disney+ , but what if you could make your terror a little more 3D?

Get the chance to bring the show's scares to life from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 by experiencing the Goosebumps maze as part of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride . Fans who are up for a scare can buy tickets to the Haunted Hayride to get access to a limited-time-only Goosebumps- themed maze packed with shieks, screams and scare actors, who will await the brave souls who walk through.

"Enter the world of Goosebumps!" reads an invitation to the event. "From possessed tokens to supernatural encounters, guests embark on a twisted and mysterious journey based on the show, and it's anybody's guess on what will happen next."

Intrigued? Join us this weekend by purchasing tickets here . Can't make it (or too chicken)? PEOPLE will be on site for all the action and excitement and will bring the scares to you. We promise, it's going to be a scream!

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Halloween Haunts: The Most Extreme Haunted Houses For 2023

  • These extreme haunted houses are not for the faint of heart, offering intense scares and physical contact that will leave adrenaline seekers begging for more.
  • From Maryland to California, these top ten haunted houses guarantee a genuinely horrific experience that will have you screaming and covered in fake blood.
  • Whether you're looking for immersive horror, survival challenges, or disturbing themes, these haunted houses push the boundaries to deliver the ultimate terrifying adventure.

Adult-only and safe word-needed, these haunted houses are the definition of extreme. When it comes to finding a proper haunted attraction that'll actually have you screaming, these are the menacing sites you need to consider. From fake drugging to aggressive physical contact, these haunted houses do not hold back.

These haunted houses are for the most fearless adrenaline-seekers and gore lovers only; you have been warned. If you're looking for a genuinely horrific haunted house experience, keep reading our top ten choices for the most extreme haunted houses you need to visit this Halloween season.

UPDATE: 2023/09/29 18:04 EST BY NOAH STAATS

There Are More Ultra-Scary Haunted Experiences For This Fall

This post has been updated with new information regarding the scariest haunted homes in the country and a new horrifying experience in Baltimore. Whether someone wants to scream, cry, or be covered in fake blood, there are endless horror-worthy haunted houses to check out this fall. Have fun, and be safe!

Bennett's Curse Haunted House - Baltimore, Maryland

  • Voted one of the scariest haunted houses in the nation.

As one of the country's scariest haunted homes in the nation, Bennett's Curse Haunted House is a Maryland staple and is owned by a family in town. First opened in 2001, this has become a multi-night scare event, boasting frights, jumpscares, and plenty of screaming for everyone. Make sure and book tickets ahead, as this event fills up: FAST.

Miasma - Chicago, Illinois

  • Miasma tests visitors' limits, scaring people through endless corridors.
  • This location isn't revealed until 24 hours beforehand.

Pushing the limits on what a haunted house should be, Miasma is an immersive horror experience that will also test your limits. Not only are Miasma's attractions restricted for those eighteen and older, but you may only enter alone. That's right; you won't have anyone to cling to throughout the show. With narrative-led immersive experiences, participants are warned of physical intensity (such as crawling), violence, and emotional distress.

Those crazy enough to want to experience Miasma must register and wait for an invitation. All guests are asked to refrain from sharing details of the experience as well. The location isn't even revealed to guests until twenty-four hours prior.

McKamey Manor - Lawrence County, Tennessee

  • This is listed as one of America's scariest and extreme haunted houses.

Credited as one of the first "extreme haunted houses," McKamey Manor raises the pressure. Located in a menacing Manor, this experience uses survival narratives to keep your adrenaline pumping. Consisting of gruesome obstacles, those who can complete them all are entitled to $20,000. Yet, no one has ever been able to do so.

Be warned the forty-page waiver process will take two hours to complete. All those wishing to enter must also provide a doctor's letter confirming they're physically and mentally prepared for ten hours of grueling terror.

Related: These Spooky Airbnb Stays Are Perfect For Halloween (Or For Year-Round Ghouls)

Heretic House - Los Angeles, California

  • This horror house is adult-only, and guests can be expected to be smothered in fake blood.

With an artsy edge, Heretic House is still no less gruesome than the others on this list. Consisting of sexually triggering themes, this experience is difficult to endure. Simulated torture, claustrophobia, brutal aggression, and more are to be expected at Heretic House.

This year-round horror experience ensures participants will walk out drenched in fake blood. Similar to Miasma, Heretic House offers a wide selection of narratives, including a panic-filled sleep paralysis experience and the infiltration of a violent cult.

Victim Experience - Las Vegas, Nevada

  • The Victim Experience in Sin City is geared towards masochists.

Designed for true masochists, the Victim Experience promises bodily harm at the very least. This experience ensures that each participant feels that they are a victim and will genuinely think that they're about to die. Consisting of electric shocks, ice-cold water dunking, and shredded clothes, this extreme event also requires a safe word which is used 70% of the time.

Expect to be bound, only left to crawl and even be dragged by "tormenters." Created in 2013, this event sells out fast, with only eight visitors allowed per night. Before signing that waiver, know that one goer reported walking out with a black eye.

Pennhurst Asylum - Spring City, Pennsylvania

  • The Pennhurst Asylum offers three unique haunted houses for guests to enjoy.

Located in a historic site with real paranormal sightings, Pennhurst Asylum is a must for thrill seekers. USA Today rewarded this haunted house as one of the best attractions in the USA. Pennhurst Asylum offers three different haunted attractions for you to choose from. The building was an asylum founded in 1908 with a long and violent history.

Don't expect to be dragged like a rag doll, but be terrified by the fact that this site has one of the highest numbers of paranormal sightings recorded .

The Fear Experiment - Champaign, Illinois

  • This is an extreme haunted house experience, focusing on physical contact, aggression, nudity, and discomfort.

Promising to "liberate you from your fear," the Fear Experiment is an immersive extreme haunted house with countless testimonies detailing how it changed their lives. This experience requires you to be older than eighteen, sign a waiver, and know that you will endure physical contact, discomfort, aggression, and nudity.

Be warned that this horror experience consists of the following: claustrophobia, clothing removal, crawling, dizziness, foul odors, suffocation, insects, and more.

Related: 10 Canadian Halloween Haunts For The Spook Love

The Tension Experience - Los Angeles, California

  • This is from the same creator of the "Saw" movie series.

Created by the same creative mind that directed four Saw movies, Darren Lynn Bousman unleashes the Tension Experience. Taking place in an abandoned warehouse, this experience consists of alleged cult members and having you become the protagonist of a two-hour horror film.

With creative storytelling and emotional elements, this experience surpasses the traditional haunted house strategy. Be warned; past participants have compared the horror experience to David Fincher's mind-bending film The Game .

STAG - Saginaw, Michigan

  • STAG is meant to have guests calling it quits before making it out.

Using terrifying real-life situations, STAG is sure to have you calling quits before getting to the finish line. Rather than relying on jump scares, STAG utilizes intense psychological distress through its horrific scenarios. Two hours away from Detroit, this haunted house offers two different levels: Extreme Haunt and Extreme Immersive Horror (EIH).

Addiction, abuse, and sexual taboos are only a few of the realistic horrors covered. Physical touch, total darkness, sensory deprivation, nudity, cramped places, and electricity are all things that participants may anticipate.

Cutting Edge - Fort Worth, Texas

  • Cutting Edge is a multi-story haunted house and was voted best in the nation in 2021.

With intense special effects within a multi-storied location, USA Today voted Cutting Edge the best-haunted house in the nation in 2021. Located in a 100-year-old building that was originally a meat packing plant, this extreme haunted house keeps with the theme and includes plenty of mutilated gore.

This horror walk-through takes around fifty-five minutes of terror to complete. One of the top haunted houses in the nation, Cutting Edge has developed a lasting reputation. Cutting Edge even has a Guinness World Record.

13th Floor - Multiple Locations

  • This haunted attraction takes place across the US in cities like Chicago, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

The 13th Floor has locations in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Phoenix, and San Antonio, so you're bound to be near one of these haunted house locations. Considered one of the most famous haunted houses in the world, the 13th Floor brings in visitors from all over, and for a good reason. This haunted house is also open to the most daring teens with their parent's approval.

Halloween Haunts: The Most Extreme Haunted Houses For 2023

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Walk through Knott's Scary Farm's Room 13 maze with ABC7 - only if you dare!

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Every Friday in October, ABC7's Tony Cabrera will take you along some of the spookiest spots in SoCal in a new segment called "Terrified Tony."

BUENA PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- It's time for some ghoulish fun!

Every Friday in October, Eyewitness News Mornings will air its new segment called "Terrified Tony" in which ABC7's Tony Cabrera will check out some great spooky spots across Southern California that are perfect for Halloween lovers.

Hit play in the video player above as he walks you through Knott's Scary Farm's newest haunted maze called Room 13.

Watch live newscasts and in-depth reporting from ABC7 on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and GoogleTV. Just search "ABC7 Los Angeles."


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Universal Horror Nights is bringing the spooky tales of Latin America to life

A woman dressed as La llorona

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The mythical creatures from Latin American horror stories are haunting visitors at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights. A new maze, “Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America,” is giving life to popular Latin American legends like Tlahuelpuchi, La Lechuza and El Silbón.

The maze is open throughout Horror Nights, which ends at the end of October.

“It occurred to me that there’s just this untapped potential that speaks uniquely to our audience,” said John Murdy, creative director for the horror maze at Universal Studios.

The "Latin American Monstruos" house

Noting the presence of Latinos in California and at Halloween Horror Nights, Murdy credits the creation of the maze to Latino horror fans, who have called for Latin American folklore representation at the theme park for more than a decade.

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“They’ll just come up to me in the middle of the park and go, ‘Have you ever heard of La Llorona or have you ever heard of El Cucuy?’” Murdy said.

After hearing requests for Latin American monsters, Murdy brought La Llorona, the vengeful mother who drowned her own children in a jealous fit, to the Universal Scare Zone in 2010. In light of her popularity among attendees, she was given her own haunted house the following year.

The Last of Us house.

Actor Diego Luna was brought in as a creative consultant for the haunted house, a necessary step, Murdy says, in assuring the approach was culturally appropriate and authentic. Murdy said he asked Diego, “Tell me what you remember from being a child. What stories were you told?”

Murdy also consulted with actor Danny Trejo about El Cucuy, the boogeyman that takes away disobedient children. Trejo voiced El Cucuy, which replaced the Llorona haunted house in 2013.

The Latin American Monstruos house

However, the mazes that focused on these Latin American folk tales were short-lived and did not continue in the Horror Nights event again until 2022. Murdy brought back La Llorona in 2022, along with other monsters in the nearby scare zones: El Cucuy, La Chupacabra, El Cadejo and more.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - SEPTEMBER 13: One of the two 'non-human' beings displayed to the media is seen during a press conference of Mexican journalist and UFO expert, Jaime Maussan, at the Camino Real hotel, in Mexico City, Mexico on September 13, 2023. The press conference was holding the day after the country's first public congressional hearing on the topic with UFO experts. The bodies displayed in cases, have three fingers on each hand they were recovered in Peru in 2017, they have no relation to human beings, experts said. (Photo by Daniel Cardenas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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“We’ve basically created like a mini land within Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Studios Hollywood that’s fully dedicated to Latin American myths and legends,” he said.

The Last of Us house.

Visitors to the maze, located in the Parisian Courtyard, are greeted by La Muerte before entering the haunted house.

Inside, the first mythical monster that visitors encounter is Tlahuelpuchi, a cursed shape-shifting vampire witch with an insatiable desire for blood. Though variations of the story exist along the Nahua region of Mexico, Tlahuelpuchi typically turns into a Mexican turkey vulture.

The second monster to greet visitors is La Lechuza, a mythical creature from Mexico and southwest Texas. She is a half-owl and half-elderly woman, who seeks revenge on the village that put her to death for suspicions of her being a witch.

Inside the Holidayz in Hell house

The third monster is El Silbón, a killing whistler with origins in Colombia and Venezuela. Though there are many variations of the tale, the most common one is of a young spoiled man falling in love with a woman that his father did not approve of. The father murders the woman, and in a fit of rage, the son murders the father. His grandfather comes home, beats his grandson for his actions, and condemns him to carry the sack of his murdered father’s bones into the woods.

These myths and legends are often used to explain the unexplainable in Latin American communities.

In his research, Murdy found that “Tlahuelpuchi” was listed as the cause of death for many premature infants from a region of Mexico in the 1950s.

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“The parents immediately attributed it to this witch, so I think, if you can’t accept the grief, you have to blame it on something,” Murdy said.

Murdy explained that these scary stories also serve as a form of discipline in Latino culture.

“It’s how parents exert control over their kids,” Murdy said. “It’s like: ‘Don’t go out at night or La Llorona will get you.’”

Opening night at Universal Studios Horror nights on Sept.7th 2023.

These tales of horror ring true to Latino visitors of the theme park who have their own family tales. April Luna first heard of La Llorona from her grandfather, who had an encounter with an unexplained figure.

“My grandpa said that he was roaming the streets alone, coming out of a bar in Mexico, and he was by a river, and then he said he heard someone crying,” Luna said. “He approached them and once they came face to face he said that she didn’t look human. He just left running. That’s the first time I heard of La Llorona and I was so scared.”

Inside a haunted house

For someone who grew up with tales of La Llorona, El Cucuy and La Lechuza, “Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America” brought all of Yamir Aleman’s fears to life.

“It was interesting to see how someone else portrayed our fears as what they thought our fears should be like,” Aleman said.

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A lot of these mythological stories existed only in Aleman’s memory as the tales were passed on by his relatives. To see a physical representation in horror felt like he was living in those ancestral legends.

The Holidayz in Hell house

“We’re living it. Like the stories of our ancestors, our grandmas, our great-grandmothers,” Aleman said.

Though these stories of monsters and tragedy might be new to the theme park, they are not new to the Latinos who grew up with them as cautionary tales. The impact of Latin American horror is a testament to the power of intergenerational storytelling that honors tradition in terror.

haunted house experience california

Andrea Flores is a reporter with De Los covering the many contours of Latinidad for the Los Angeles Times. She holds both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University. Prior to joining The Times, she was a freelance reporter for LWC Studios and Illinois Public Media. She began her journalism career as a fellow with WTTW Chicago PBS, where she produced nightly segments for “Chicago Tonight.” Originally from Waukegan, Ill., she holds the Midwest near and dear to her heart.

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Embrace the spooky season at these top spots for Halloween fun

10Best Editors

September 29, 2023 // By 10Best Editors

By 10Best Editors September 29, 2023

The spooky season has arrived! Halloween is a time of fun and fright that's celebrated in so many ways, from carving pumpkins and dressing up in costumes for trick-or-treating to feeling the fear at haunted hotels and haunted houses.

To find the best ways to make the most of Halloween, we asked an expert panel to nominate their favorite places to go and things to do across seven categories, from haunted houses to pumpkin patches. Our readers then voted for their top picks to determine the winners.

Click on each category below to see the full winners list:

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Best Escape Room: Enchambered in Sacramento, California

Test your skills at Enchambered's four different escape rooms

Sacramento-based Enchambered operates four different escape rooms. Containment Breach challenges players to solve the mystery of a locked laboratory where a teleportation experiment went terribly wrong. In The Whispering Halls, players enter a Victorian manor with a paranormal problem, while the Skull Witch traps visitors in a cabin deep in the swamp. For something less intense, Patches the toy bear needs your help to make and deliver toys in Trouble in the Toy Shop.

Full list of winners: Best Escape Room »

Best Ghost Tour: Mysteries of Hawaii in Oahu, Hawaii

See another side of Oahu on a tour with Mysteries of Hawaii

Mysteries of Hawaii offers four different walking tours, including a Ghosts of Old Honolulu Tour, Honolulu's Haunted Crime, and the Waikiki Night Marchers. The business is Native Hawaiian-owned and -operated, and tours are as educational as they are fun.

Full list of winners: Best Ghost Tour »

Best Haunted Destination: Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada

Zak Bagans' The Haunted Museum wins Best Haunted Destination for fourth year in a row

This quirky Las Vegas museum showcases original collectibles from supposedly haunted destinations around the United States in a 1938 property that is itself believed to be haunted. Explore more than 30 rooms filled with artifacts — and keep an eye out for spirits roaming the halls.

Full list of winners: Best Haunted Destination »

Best Haunted Hotel: Fainting Goat Island Inn in Nichols, New York

Fainting Goat Island Inn is the Best Haunted Hotel for second consecutive year

Guests of Fainting Goat Island Inn, a former railroad hotel built in the late 1800s, have reported numerous ghostly encounters, like being woken in the night by voices or seeing two women sitting for tea in the Fainting Room. Others report hearing footsteps on a staircase that doesn’t exist or finding a child-sized chair next to the bed in the Nubian Room.

Full list of winners: Best Haunted Hotel »

Best Haunted House / Attraction: Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas

Nearly an hour of fights awaits at Cutting Edge Haunted House

More than just a haunted house, Cutting Edge Haunted House begins its entertainment the moment guests enter the parking lot. Located in a historic area of Fort Worth, Texas, known as “Hell’s Half Acre,” this 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant takes visitors on a 55-minute haunted experience with its twisting corridors and multiple stories of live actors and special effects.

Full list of winners: Best Haunted House / Attraction »

Best Pumpkin Patch: Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, Maine

Head to Maine's Treworgy Family Orchards for the best pumpkin patch in the U.S.

When visiting Treworgy Family Orchards, you may want to hop aboard the hayride or take a horse-drawn farm tour so you can get a good look at the expansive pumpkin patch. After all, it covers 8 miles of rows! Once you find the pumpkin you want, you can visit the goats or celebrate with ice cream.

Full list of winners: Best Pumpkin Patch »

Best Theme Park Halloween Event: Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld

Enjoy Howl-O-Scream events at SeaWorld locations across the country

Frights await at SeaWorld's Howl-O-Scream. Each spooky season brings a collection of elaborate haunted houses, darkened thrill rides, immersive scare zones, and darkly entertaining live shows. Parkgoers can even knock one back in one of the many themed bar experiences.

Full list of winners: Best Theme Park Halloween Event »

Congratulations to all these winners! Remember to visit 10best.usatoday.com daily to vote in our other Readers' Choice Awards contests.


  1. 10 Most Insanely Haunted Places in Southern California

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  2. Halloween Haunts: The 7 Scariest Haunted Houses in California

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  3. California Haunted Houses

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  4. 10 Most Haunted Houses in America

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  5. The Haunted Places In California You Have To See To Believe

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  6. Haunted Mansion California

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  1. 13 Must-See California Haunted Houses in 2023

    7. Scare Valley - Bakersfield, CA Fear is back, Bakersfield! Scare Valley is bringing you houses (note the plural) for the 2023 season! Please pay them a visit for heart-pounding scares. 6. Pirates of Emerson - Pleasanton, CA Pirates of Emerson is the Bay Area's annual Halloween tradition!

  2. The 17th Door Haunt Experience

    The 17th Door Haunt Experience - Buena Park California Spook Show 17 (2022) - Official Trailer Copy link Watch on 1 2 3 4 Previous Next The 17th Door is Orange County's newest terrifying haunted attraction in Fullerton California!

  3. California Haunted Houses

    Dark Harvest is a family owned and operated immersive Haunted Maze Attraction located in Garden Grove, CA. Get ready to be scared, thrilled, and startled by these terrifying spirits...and be prepared for loud noises, special effects, gory visuals, and terrifying imagery.

  4. 10 Haunted Houses and Spooky Spots in California

    The Queen Mary, Long Beach Once known as the "Grey Ghost," the Queen Mary serves up chills in the form of screams from a decapitated sailor in the boiler room and visions of a lady in white roaming the halls. Visitors can choose from a handful of haunted tours, or book a stay in Stateroom B340 for overnight thrills.

  5. 2021 Guide to Haunted Houses in California

    The city with the most attractions / surrounding haunts is Los Angeles, CA. Each year, we search the internet to find out what these haunts are up to during the off-season.

  6. California Haunted House and Halloween Attraction Event Calendar

    stormhalloweenfestival.com. STORM HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL AND MARKETPLACE FRIDAY OCTOBER 27 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM SATURDAY OCTOBER 28 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM SUNDAY OCTOBER 29 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM The Storm Halloween Festival & Marketplace is a community event taking place at the... Read More. OCT 27 FRI DAY.

  7. Haunted Houses 2023: California Guide To Halloween Bone ...

    Haunted houses are planned throughout California for the 2023 Halloween season. (Shutterstock) Knott's Scary Farm operates during the Halloween season at Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park ...

  8. Haunted Houses 2022: Guide To The Ghoulish Best In California

    Fear factor amps up with new haunted houses & scare zones. SEPT. 23-OCT. 31: The Haunted Trail Of Balboa Park . Two haunts at one location: eXperiment Maze; or mile-long, terrifying, outdoor trail.

  9. 9 Best Haunted Halloween Attractions in California

    Here, you'll find multiple attractions, over 100 scary rooms, and 25,000 square feet of haunting space. You can choose from The Haunted House, Miner's Revenge, The Asylum, Infected as well as Inbred, Casa Blood, Quarantine and Fun House or the all-new Containment. Dates and Ticket Info.

  10. Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: The Ultimate Halloween Event

    The wondrous magic of a traditional neighborhood Halloween celebration is turned upside down as terrors stalk the streets in Trick-or-Treat. Join Goosebumps as they take over Trick or Treat 10/13-10/15! "Goosebumps" follows a group of five high schoolers as they embark on a shadowy and twisted journey to investigate the tragic passing three ...

  11. California Ghost Tours

    Whether you're a believer in ghost or not, taking part in one of California's Ghost Tours offers a unique experience. There are historic haunted mansions to visit, highlights to renowned sites to learn about, walks through history-rich downtown districts, and much more. You may even experience a ghost sighting of your own during the tour.

  12. Alone

    ALONE is an ongoing, site-specific, fully-immersive and existential experience that explores the range of human emotions. ALONE is an ongoing, site-specific, fully-immersive and existential experience that explores the range of human emotions. ... A Look Back at Los Angeles' Most Artistic Haunted House [VIDEO] Taylor Winters; On the Road: An ...

  13. Top Haunted Houses in California

    Fear Overload Haunted Houses in the San Francisco Bay Area - located in San Leandro, California, Fear Overload is a high shock haunted house attraction. This October, Fear Overload brings you two brand new haunted houses, made by the creators of the 2011 haunts which were voted the scariest in California by HauntWorld.

  14. The Haunt at Preston Castle

    Featured on As the location of several horror movies, Come experience Northern California's only REAL Haunted House! This is a fun Haunt walk-through and not a historical tour of the Castle. This year's Haunt will be better than ever, with an ALL NEW path and new scares!

  15. McKamey Manor

    McKamey Manor is an American haunted house attraction in which survival horror -style events are enacted. [1] [2] McKamey Manor is considered a pioneer of "extreme" haunted attractions. [3] It was founded in San Diego by Russ McKamey and was originally located on his property until it was moved to Tennessee in 2017. [4]

  16. The 12 Most Haunted Places in California

    1. The Glen Tavern Inn, Santa Paula Stay Here Glen Tavern Inn, 134 N Mill St, Santa Paula, CA 93060 The Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula was built in 1911 in the old English Tudor style. It is a beautiful building, but it could be described as having a somewhat ugly past!

  17. The 13 Most Haunted Places in California

    California is a state riddled with haunted locations including cemeteries, hotels, hospitals, and other public and private establishments. For those of you who enjoy a good scare, are fascinated by the paranormal, or just want to go on a spooky adventure - here's our list of the Top 13 haunted places in California. The Whaley House

  18. San Diego County's scariest haunted houses and trails, ranked

    The open area of the trail is less scary since you can see what's coming up next, so the element of surprise and the unknown is taken away somewhat. Oct. 11-15, 18-22, 24-31. Corner of Balboa ...

  19. The 17th Door Haunt Experience

    The 17th Door has moved its over-the-top immersive experience to Buena Park, Orange County. As one of the scariest, most intense, and most interactive haunted houses in the country, they have continued their pursuit to innovate and push the boundaries within the haunt industry. With a new location, even bigger and better than before, comes ...

  20. Haunted Houses 2023: LA Guide To Halloween's Bone-Chilling Best

    Back for a second year with haunted trails, carnival rides, themed lounges & more. THROUGH OCT. 31: The Queen Mary Paranormal Ship Walk Tour . An after-hours experience for ages 13+.

  21. Haunted Houses 2023: SF Bay Guide To Halloween's Bone-Chilling ...

    SEPT. 23-OCT. 31: 'Haunted Forest' Outdoor, 30-Acre Halloween Experience. Creatures & spirits take over forest near Green River Brewing & Taproom. ... FOR STATEWIDE HAUNTS: Haunted Houses 2023 ...

  22. A Drive-Thru Haunt Is Coming To Southern California

    Offering a new take on the classic haunted house experience, Urban Legends of Southern California is specifically designed to be experienced from your car. Urban Legends Haunt/Facebook And as the name implies, it's based on some of the state's freakiest urban legends.

  23. California Haunted House, Los Angles Disney Haunted Mansion Live

    California Haunted House, Disney's Live Haunted Mansion experience reviewed by Hauntworld Magazine. Disney's Haunted Mansion is an iconic ride but now take a trip through the live experience. HOME; FIND ATTRACTIONS. HAUNTED HOUSES; HAYRIDES; Top 13 Haunted Houses 2018;

  24. Haunted Houses in Los Angeles: How to Attend a Goosebumps Experience

    Get the chance to bring the show's scares to life from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15 by experiencing the Goosebumps maze as part of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.Fans who are up for a scare can buy tickets ...

  25. Halloween Haunts: The Most Extreme Haunted Houses For 2023

    From Maryland to California, these top ten haunted houses guarantee a genuinely horrific experience that will have you screaming and covered in fake blood. Whether you're looking for...

  26. Inside the Disgusting Los Angeles Haunted House Where They Touch You

    A haunted house with a legal waiver. (Photo: Laura Hooper Beck) Located in Tustin, California, a relatively sleepy town not far from Disneyland, The 17th Door is situated in one of those outdoor ...

  27. Walk through Knott's Scary Farm's Room 13 maze with ABC7

    Walk through Knott's Scary Farm's Room 13 maze with ABC7 - only if you dare! Every Friday in October, ABC7's Tony Cabrera will take you along some of the spookiest spots in SoCal in a new segment ...

  28. Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights features Latin American

    Oct. 4, 2023 3:43 PM PT. The mythical creatures from Latin American horror stories are haunting visitors at Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights. A new maze, "Monstruos: The Monsters of ...

  29. Best things to do in October, from haunted houses to pumpkin patches

    More than just a haunted house, Cutting Edge Haunted House begins its entertainment the moment guests enter the parking lot. Located in a historic area of Fort Worth, Texas, known as "Hell's Half Acre," this 100-year-old abandoned meatpacking plant takes visitors on a 55-minute haunted experience with its twisting corridors and multiple ...