Ten Best Halloween Amusement Destinations for 2012

Over the years we have seen Halloween shift to a whole new level. What was once just an evening to take the kids trick or treating has evolved into a full scale production for many of America’s amusement parks. We explore ten of America’s most frightening amusement park destinations and some of their terrifying, adrenalin pumping attractions.


1.Universal Studios Horror Nights, Orlando, FloridaUniversal Studios is in the movie business so it shouldn’t be a surprise they rank at the top of the list. If you’re one of those thrill seekers who loves the feeling of an adrenalin overload, Horror Nights will be happy to oblige. Now in its 22nd year, haunted houses, insane live shows and armies of zombies, mutants and monsters take over the park from September, 21st until Halloween. Warning: This creepy production isn’t for the faint of heart and not recommended for the little ones.


2.Howl-O-Scream at Tampa Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida– Hosted by Trickster, a monster killer clown whose main goal is to lure unsuspecting victims into the maze of spooky haunts. This year the event will showcase some new scary attractions like Blood Asylum; a sadistic high level security asylum for the criminally insane which happens to be under the control of an escaped serial killer. You can draw the conclusions. In addition the 300 acre park will have seven deranged attractions equipped with the creepiest characters only a nightmare can produce.


3. Universal Studios Horror Nights, Hollywood, California – Again this world famous studio makes the list but in a different location with a different set of screams. Horror Nights in Hollywood features some familiar fright themes. Remember the Texas Chainsaw Massacre? The park has designed a re-enactment of one of Americas most horrific films. Leatherface chases down unsuspecting victims with his bone clogged and blood soaked chainsaw as they explore the maze of Leatherface’s grotesque crimes. The town of Silent Hill also rest in the shadows of the park for those brave patrons as well as the hit series Walking Dead inspired maze. Trust me, I’ve been to this and it delivers the gore. 


4. Knott’s Scary Farm, Los Angeles, California – One of the originators of the Halloween inspired amusement park, Knott’s Scary Farm is preparing to celebrate their 40th year of scary the silly out of California. It’s unlikely they will disappoint. The park is infected with thirteen mazes, over 1000 ghouls, zombies, evil clowns, four scare zones and nine live shows featuring the freakiest freaks on earth. The party kicks off starting September, 21st through Halloween.

  1. 5. Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood Amusement Park, Pittsburg, PA – One normally doesn’t make a connection with Kenny Rogers and Halloween. However, every Halloween the Phantom takes control of the park. Phantom Fright Nights features four terrifying haunts among other gut wrenching attractions. Kennywood spares no expense when it comes to creating an environment full of screams.
  2. 6. Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Virginia – The evil parent of number two on our list takes its world culture themed park to a whole new level. A haunted traveling carnival waits for visitors in the parks Italian country side while on the other side in France, you can visit the underground city of the dead; the Catacombs, and witness the voices of the dead speak and take shape. Other attractions feature a nightmarish visit to Germany where vampires are very real and very hungry.
  3. 7. King’s Island Haunt, Cincinnati, Ohio – This place is known for its screams. The park features some of America’s most intense thrill rides. They also know how to double up on those screams during the Halloween season. The park features over 500 ghastly creatures walking freely among visitors, hiding in the shadows and patiently waiting for their opportunity to pull a few scares out of you. Other attractions include haunted houses and roller coasters that have been processed by demonic entities. 8. Cedar Point Haunt, Sandusky, Ohio – Northern Ohio knows terror. Cedar Point is the roller coaster capital of the world and home to some of the largest and best roller coasters on the planet. They also love the tradition of Halloween. The park features four haunted houses, numerous scare zones and terrifying mazes to get that adrenalin pumping. If those don’t scare you, head over and take a spin on Millennium Force. 9. Six Flags Fright Fest, Jackson, New Jersey – Six Flags has succeeded off creating fear so it’s no surprise they intensify it during the Halloween season. It may not be as detailed and intense as some of the other top picks on the list but does have the potential to make your experience unique. The park features spooky mazes, scare zones and an army of wandering creeps. 10. The Goretorium, Las Vegas, NV.  Las Vegas has jumped on board to pay homage to Halloween. Eli Roth’s Goretorium is now open for business and will be 365 days a year. Located on The Strip, the Goretorium spared no expense in creating a truly disturbing masterpiece posing as the haunted Delmont Hotel. Roth was the mastermind behind gruesome flicks such as Hostel and Cabin Fever. This is not for the faint of heart or young children.