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(StatePoint) Halloween is big business. The commerce of Halloween in the U.S. should exceed $10 billion during the 2017 season, according to Hauntworld.com, the industry’s leading website. That’s a lot of candy, costumes, decorations and tickets to haunted attractions.
One of the largest growth areas in the Halloween trade is the explosion in number and quality of commercial haunted house attractions, haunted farms, corn mazes, hayrides and other spooky venues. More than $1 billion of the $10 billion spending on Halloween is attributed to ticket purchases at themed haunted sites.
“Visiting a haunted attraction is now the single most popular way to celebrate the holiday,” says Larry Kirchner, founder of Hauntworld.com, which directs consumers to find and review Halloween attractions around the globe. The site provides locations and information about all major haunts, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hayrides.
Haunted attractions strive to make guests feel like they’re experiencing a real-life horror movie, some going so far as to use computer animation, giant monsters and even virtual reality to provide scares guests enjoy. Many haunts now feature new attractions, such as zombie paintball, zombie laser tag, corn mazes, haunted hayrides and escape rooms.
This season, families have many options. Haunted houses have become more realistic, but at the same time, more family-friendly to appeal to larger crowds. So, what is the best way for your family to experience the Halloween haunt craze? Those with teenagers should seek out the scariest haunted house near them. Families with younger children should head to local farms.
Professional Halloween attractions are now often based at family farms, which typically offer traditional pumpkin patches, corn mazes and hayrides to appeal to younger guests. However, many of these farms transform into spooky attractions by night, featuring actors portraying frightening characters, creepy lighting and elaborate décor to provide fear-based fun. You can find the best haunted attraction for your family by visiting Hauntworld.com.
According to Hauntworld.com, these attractions are rated as 2017’s scariest in the U.S.
1. Netherworld - Atlanta - fearworld.com
2. The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, La. - 13thgate.com
3. The Dent Schoolhouse - Cincinnati - frightsite.com
4. Erebus - Pontiac, Mich. - hauntedpontiac.com
5. Headless Horseman’s Hayrides and Haunted Houses - Ulster Park, N.Y. - headlesshorseman.com
6. Haunted Overload - Lee, N.H. – hauntedoverload.com
7. Nashville Nightmare - Nashville, Tenn. - nashvillenightmare.com
8. Bennett’s Curse - Baltimore – bennettscurse.com
9. The Darkness - St. Louis – scarefest.com
10. Field of Screams - Mountville, Pa. – fieldofscreams.com
11. Factory of Terror - Canton, Ohio - FOTOhio.com
12. Nightmare on 13th - Salt Lake City - nightmareon13th.com
13. USS Nightmare - Newport, Ky. - ussnightmare.com
The complete list of the “Best of” scary to not-so-scary attractions is available at: hauntworld.com.
There are many ways to give your family an age-appropriate scare this season, no matter where you live.