The time of ghosts and goblins, vampires and werewolves, and things that go bump in the night is upon us. Want to get your scare on? You have all kinds of choices. Here are some haunted house options for you, ranked from least scary (safe for older kids) to most scary (not for the little ones, and think hard about your own scaredy-cat level). If you've got really young ones, there are various non-scary events around town, but let's face it—haunted houses are scary, no matter what, so they may not be a good fit for the littlest kids.
The Haunting Experience
Zywiec's Garden Center
10900 E. Pt. Douglas Road
Cottage Grove, MN 55016
Another terrifying treasure Like the Fright Farm, the Haunting Experience has a "matinee" appropriate for the 12-and-under crowd. Visitors still get to experience the haunted house, the hayride and bonfire, but without quite the scare the evening visitors will get.
2020 White Bear Ave No
Maplewood, MN 55119
OK, during normal hours Fright Farm is terrifying. So terrifying they advertise "emergency exits" in case you can't handle it! But, they do offer a special "low scare" matinee that's family friendly.
DEFINITELY NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART
Not just a haunted house—it's a Klown House. And if that's not scary enough, plan to stop at the Hillbilly Motel, take a walk down Rabid Alley, check out the Oak Blood Forest, and find out what's causing Terror in the Corn. You can get a $3 off coupon at certain Spirit Halloween Super stores to use on specific dates. Don't feel like waiting in the frighteningly long line? You can buy a "fast pass" for $30. You can also buy food at Scream Town - from pork chops on a stick to hot cider.
CBS Minnesota Insider Tip: While it's not recommended for ages 10 and under, touts itself as "family friendly" since no alcohol is served or allowed on site.
Fright Farm, operated by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department, uses psychological horror to produce its thrills. The haunted house here requires visitors to find their own way out—no one will guide you, and you can be sure it's not a straightforward route. There are emergency exits available. Not recommended for ages 12 and under. However, there is a matinee day for kids (see above).
The Haunting Experience
If you come later in the day than the low-scare matinee mentioned earlier, prepare yourself. The horror here isn't just scary—it's 3D. The glasses are included and two houses and twenty rooms of terror lead to a haunted hayride. There's also a corn maze and pumpkin farm on the property. Not recommended for kids under 8.
CBS Minnesota Insider tip: bring in 2 canned goods to donate and receive $1 off admission.
Trail of Terror
This is definitely an adult event. Shakopee's Trail of Terror has 25 terrifying rooms to explore, if you dare. But that's not all—check out the Hollywood Horror Corn Maze, or the Monster Truck Ride or Haunted Hayride. Phobias? Find out how strong they are at the five Halls of Horror. There are a total of 15 attractions from tattoo artist and karaoke on the weekends to a psychic far and dance club. Alcohol and snacks are also available. Not recommended for kids ages 12 and under.
Frightmares at Buck Hill
Before ski season kicks in, Buck Hill showcases four haunted houses: Orchard Manor Dead and Breakfast, Fright Factory, Bellharm-Lovejoy Asylum, and Haunted Hollow. Not recommended for kids ages 12 and under.
FOR ADULTS ONLY (AND VERY BRAVE ONES AT THAT)
The Soap Factory Haunted Basement
514 2nd St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Reserve tickets now: Click here
It's not a matter of recommendation—the Soap Factory will not admit you if you are under 18. This fairly new addition to the haunted house scene in the Twin Cities is wildly popular (be sure to order tickets ahead of time to avoid disappointment). Artist-designed and playing with your head in ways you'd never imagined, this is the most truly terrifying place to visit at Halloween.
Amy C. Rea lives with her family in the Twin Cities. She's the author of Backroads & Byways of Minnesota and Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes: an Explorer's Guide. She can also be found chatting about Minnesota travel topics at flyover-land.com.
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