(StatePoint) Halloween is a big business industry these days, and the commerce of the holiday in the U.S. will exceed $10 billion this year. But what drives this growing industry?
For the average family, Halloween over the yearsÂ traditionally included nothing more than buying candy and costumes for little kids to go trick-or-treating. But, over the last couple of decades, the occasion was transformed, and now adult costumes, home decor, home haunting and amusement parks have joined the fright industry, too, with haunted houses springing up on farms, downtown buildings and even big box store spaces. Todayâ€™s haunted houses have evolved into multiple themed venues with shows, hayrides, corn mazes, haunts and even escape rooms.
When is the last time you visited a haunted house? If itâ€™s been a while, you should know that haunts today appeal to a wider audience than the gore heavy attractions you might remember decades ago, with an infusion of Hollywood talent at the helm.
So, with thousands of attractions nationwide, and in some cases dozens near you, how do you select the best one for you and your family?
â€œItâ€™s always best to go with the more established attractions, and local haunts are almost always going to be more authentic experiences than visiting an amusement park,â€ says Larry Kirchner, founder of Hauntworld.com, which offers a nationwide directory to find corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hayrides, escape rooms and haunted houses.
Kirchner adds, â€œHowever, the closest attractions arenâ€™t always the best ones. Haunts, pumpkin patches and corn mazes are sometimes in rural areas. So, donâ€™t be afraid to jump in your car and travel a bit to find to the best haunt in your area.â€
If you are looking for something super spooky, these attractions are rated the scariest haunted houses in the U.S. according to Hauntworld.com:
1) Headless Horseman - Ulster Park, N.Y. -- headlesshorseman.com
2) Field of Screams - Mountville, Pa. -- FieldofScreams.com
3) Den Schoolhouse - Cincinnati, Ohio -- frightsite.com
4) The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, La. -- 13thgate.com
5) Netherworld - Atlanta, Ga. -- Fearworld.com
6) Nightmare on 13th - Salt Lake City, Utah -- nightmareon13th.com
7) Haunted Schoolhouse - Akron, Ohio -- hauntedschoolhouse.com
8) Bennett's Curse - Baltimore, Md. -- bennettscurse.com
9) Haunted Overload - Lee, N.H. -- hauntedoverload.com
10) Erebus - Pontiac, Mich. -- hauntedpontiac.com
11) Hells Gate - Lockport, Ill. -- hellsgate.com
12) The Darkness - St Louis, Mo. -- thedarkness.com
13) Bayville Screampark -- Bayville, N.Y. bayvillescreampark.com
From pumpkin patches to corn mazes to hayrides and more, find haunted houses this fall at Hauntworld.com.
This Halloween, feel like a kid again. Find a haunted house or other themed attraction near you and prepare to get spooked!