Knott's Berry Farm is celebrating the 41st anniversary of its Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. Before Knott's pioneered the concept, most seasonal parks shut down soon after Labor Day and ignored Halloween altogether. Now, however, virtually every park has haunted mazes, themed shows, and other scary stuff in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Along with the blood-curdling screams from coaster riders, parks elicit screams with actual blood. (Well, not "actual" blood, but you know what I mean.) Discover where to find spooky Halloween fun at theme parks.
The guide is arranged alphabetically by U.S. state and ends with Canada. This page includes parks in U.S. states from Arkansas to Massachusetts.
The next page includes parks in Minnesota to Oklahoma.
The final page includes parks in Pennsylvania to Utah, plus Canada.
Hot Springs (near Little Rock), AR
2013 info: Details not available at time of publication. Past events have included a haunted Wild West Trail, a trick-or-treat trail, a Creature Feature show, and spooky hayride, plus a scare-free zone for younger kids that has offered pumpkin painting and other activities.
For more info: Magic Screams official page.
Halloween Horror Nights 2013 at Universal Studios Hollywood
Knott's Scary Farm at Knott's Berry Farm
Buena Park, CA
2013 info: Special events include Haunted Mansion Holiday, a clever reworking of the classic ride for both the Halloween and Christmas seasons, a modified Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a tricked-out Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a pumpkin festival, Disney villians, Halloween crafts. The resort is also offering a special ticket Mickey’s Halloween Party that includes a Monsters U Dance Party, special fireworks, and trick-or-treat stations.
For more info: Halloween Time official page
2013 info: A "Brick-or-Treat" trail will offer goodies at both the theme park and the Sea Life Aquarium. Other activities will include a costume contest, fieworks, dance party, and other entertainment.
For more info: Brick-or-Treat official page
California's Great America
Santa Clara, CA
Halloween Haunt and Snoopy's Trick-or-Treat Festival
2013 info: The haunt includes the mazs Dia de los Muertos, Fun House Express, and Zombie High. Rides, including the new Gold Striker, will be available. Shows will include Blades of Horror. The tamer Snoopy daytime event is included with admission and features a hay maze, pumpkin decorating, and trick-or-treating.
For more info: Halloween Haunt official page
SeaWorld San Diego
San Diego, CA
2013 info: Shows include Sesame Street’s Countdown to Halloween. Trick-or-treat spots will be offered and there will be a "pumpkinfish patch."
For more info: Halloween Spooktacular official page
Elitch Gardens, Denver, CO
2013 info: Even though it's no longer part of the Six Flags family, Elitch Gardens continues to use the name FrightFest for its Halloween event. Elitch will offer two haunted houses,Flesh Factory and Terror Chamber The park will also offer live shows, including The Awakening. Younger kids can get some sweets at Elitch's Trick-or-Treat Trail and enjoy other daytime toned-down activities.
For more info: FrightFest official page.
Bristol (near Hartford), CT
2013 info: There will be a bunch of haunted houses, trails, and, scare zones to explore, including, of course, a haunted graveyard. Among the scares are Zombie Forest, Mayan Temple, and the ever-popular Slaughter House. Best of all, brave souls get to sample Boulder Dash, one of my picks for the top wooden coasters, in the deep, dark night. Now that's scary. Lake Compounce donates a portion of the proceeds to an organization that supports diabetes research.
For more info: Haunted Graveyard official site
2013 Halloween Events at Florida Theme Parks
Includes info about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, Brick-or-Treat at Legoland Florida, and SeaWorld Orlando's Halloween Spooktacular.
Six Flags Over Georgia
Austell (near Atlanta), GA
More info: Six Flags Over Georgia Fright Fest official page.
Valdosta (near the Florida border)
Terror in the Wild and Kid-O-Ween
2013 info: For Terror in the Wild, haunted atractions will include House of Oblivion and Ashkra - Plague of the Witch as well as Ghost Train, a scary ride aboard the park's Safari Train. Kid-O-Ween offers toned-down family fun such as a hay maze, a coloring mural, and a Count Rockula Dance Party. Kids are encouraged to come in costume. Trick-or-treating will be available.
More info at the Terror in the Wild site.
2013 info: Haunts include 3-Dimentia (a 3D attraction), Blood Bayou, and The Ancient Ruins, an outdoor scare experience. The park's train ride is transformed into the ZombieWood Express. The wooden coaster Timber Terror runs backwards during Scarywood.
More info at the Scarywood site.
Six Flags Great America
Gurnee (near Chicago and Milwaukee), IL
Santa Claus (yes, that is the actual name of the town)
Happy Halloween Weekends
2013 info: Amazingly, the holiday-themed park, which includes a Halloween land, never had a Halloween event -- until last year. The low-scare event will include two corn mazes (the park is in corn country, after all), the maze Holidog's 3D Halloween Adventure, a Mummy's Treasure Maze, Halloween-themed shows, including Graveyard Smash and Gourdon’s Tales from the Patch, a magic show, and a laser show
More info at the Holiday World official site.
Six Flags America
Mitchellville (near Washington, D.C.), MD
More info: Six Flags America Fright Fest official page.
Six Flags New England
Agawam (near Springfield, MA and Hartford, CT), MA
More info: Six Flags New England Fright Fest official page.
Next page: More Halloween park events arranged alphabetically in states from Minnesota to Oklahoma.