October is here! That means Halloween is coming. However, instead of just one night of tasty treats, we get a whole season of scary fun, courtesy of some really great haunted Halloween attractions. Central Florida is a hotbed of big theme park Halloween events. They’re some of the biggest and best in the world, however, Central Florida is also home to some of the best smaller haunted attractions that you won’t find at theme parks. These events may not have a huge theme park behind them, but they all have some really talented actors, builders and make up artists behind the scenes that could make the toughest person pee themselves. So, leave the candy for the kids, and check out some of Central Florida’s scariest haunted attractions.
The rules are simple. We love Halloween Horror Nights, in fact you might say that it’s our home base for haunt season. However, sometimes you want to try new things. So to qualify for this list, haunted attractions needed to be less than a two hour drive from Universal Orlando (not counting I-4 traffic).
So here’s our list of the Central Florida haunted attractions that you can’t miss this Halloween season!
The Haunted Yard
It’s as simple as it sounds. It’s someone’s yard, that they’ve turned into a haunted house. There’s several different paths, different characters and on some nights candy. The event kicks off on October 3rd, and runs weekends until Halloween.
The Radley Haunt
The Radley House is another example of a home haunt gone haywire. The gang at The Radley House has been doing professional style haunted attractions, on a home haunter budget. This year they’ve teamed up with our friends over at Outside the Magic (or Inside the Magic, whichever way you want to go) to bring a huge new experience to life. Dr. Radley’s Nightmare Machine promises to be one of the most intense experiences ever brought to life, and all because a nerd loves Halloween.
Another St. Petersburg haunted attraction, Hellview Cemetery is a free haunted attraction. Admission is free, but a donation to their charity is suggested and appreciated. The proceeds this year will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. On top of that, it’s a fun haunt as backwoods swamp people and cannibals fight for control.
A Petrified Forest
Not so much a haunted house, but a haunted trail…in the actual woods…with crazy demented people chasing after you with chainsaws, and worse. Petrified Forest offers one of the most unique experiences in Florida, as guests can choose from two different trails, mutant laser tag, backstage tours and even a chance to sleep in a tree fort as creeps and ghouls raise hell around you.
The Shallow Grave
In their first year, The Shallow Grave absolutely KILLED it with their twisted brand of horror. In 2014 they are back with Haunted Hills as Thaddeus is back. In addition they are rolling out a brand new house, ADHD which promises to take you into the minds of the people that faced their demented mascot, Thaddeus. Traumatic experiences tends to mess with your mind, and now you get to walk through one of those minds.
Legends: A Haunting at Old Town
Yes, you can experience the fear all year at Legends. Yes, Ashdown&Sons don’t care if it’s Halloween, they want your bodies…err…business anytime they can get it. However, is it really Halloween without a trip through the mortuary? We don’t think so. Legends: A Haunting in Old Town will headline the huge Old Town Halloween celebration beginning weekends in October, and will be open all the way through Halloween.
Halloween comes but once a year, so get out there and get as many scares as you can! If you’re in the Central Florida area, and want to venture outside of the theme park realm, these haunts are a great place to start.