As the leaves turn and temperatures fall, ghouls and goblins come out to play in the Buckeye State. Halloween is part of the fabric of fall, marked by jack-o’-lanterns, festive costumes, candy, trick-or-treating and, of course, haunted houses. Across the nation, there are an estimated 1,200+ haunted attractions in the U.S., and several of the spookiest spots are here in Ohio. Check out this list and plan a terrifying trip to see for yourself, if you dare!
We searched the state for the most fear-inducing experiences out there, and we came up with these five sites that are sure to spook your socks off.
If you think we left a spine-chilling spot off our list, leave us a note in the comments!
The famous Mansfield Reformatory, where Shawshank Redemption was filmed, gets bonus points for being an old, unkempt prison. But this well-known spooky spot already registers high on the scare scale for the creepy clowns and psychotic inmates that have taken over and transformed it into Blood Prison. Nobody dares to visit this haunted attraction except around Halloween each year. If you’re up to the challenge of trekking through a haunted abandoned prison filled with crazy criminals lurking throughout, you might have nerves of steel. Open October 12th to November 5th.
According to legend, The Dent Public School opened in 1894 and was shut down in the 1950s after several children disappeared mysteriously over the course of a decade. After discovering the janitor was to blame, the school shut down in 1952 and is rumored to have been haunted ever since. In the 1980s, it opened back up to the public. This haunted house is not for the faint of heart; its spooky tales have gained notoriety and have been highlighted in the HuffPost and ABC News. Open September 15th to November 4th.
Dead Acres’ Haunted Hoochie attraction is the scariest scene in the Columbus area around Halloween. What began as a haunted hayride decades ago has transformed into an intense, sensory overload experience that’s built for only the bravest of souls. Before even approaching Dead Acres, you’ll see fire shooting off the top of the haunt and hear blaring metal music from the 50-foot-long stage. Once inside, the attention to detail is remarkable, as Hollywood-style special effects, flashing lights and loud music get your adrenaline pumping. Open September 21st to October 28th.
This Canton spooky staple is a truly terrifying experience, boasting the endorsement of the Guinness World Records as the largest indoor haunted house in the world. The Factory employs over 150 actors and staff in addition to over 500 props and animatronic machines to induce fear in galling guests. Make sure you’re fully-committed and wear your tennis shoes for this spooky experience. There’s no escape—The Factory of Terror is over a mile long. Open September 23rd to November 4th.
The Carnival of Horrors claims it’s the scariest haunted house in Ohio, having earned the title from several sources. Each fall, this traditional music venue transforms into a sprawling spooky experience with four unique attractions: an old abandoned funhouse, wicked woods, an abandoned insane asylum and a 3-D experience known as TerrorVision. Open September 29th to October 29th.