Halloween isn't all pumpkins and hayrides. For many, this time of year is more about thrills, chills, horror and fright and less about trick-or-treating (or trunk-or-treating). Good thing Connecticut has some of the scariest haunted houses you'll ever find! These frightful attractions are geared towards older children, teens, and adults and not recommended for very young children. If you're looking for the real deal, check out our post on the Real Haunted Houses of Connecticut. For those who just want to have a spooky-good time, then a haunted house attraction is just the thing. From amusement parks filled with zombies to empty summer camps and abandoned school buildings, there is something to scare the pants off of everyone. We've rounded up the scariest haunted houses across the state, and a couple that are right over the border, for all of your frightful fun this Halloween season. Check it out...if you dare!
Haunted Isle - East Haven
September 30, October 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29
The Haunted Isle experience takes you on a trolley ride into the deep, dark woods. Once you arrive at the Isle and pass through the gates, brave an unlit path for the scare of a lifetime. Ghosts, goblins, and zombies haunt your journey back to the trolley and the safety of civilization. Once your trip is complete, refuel with food trucks and a concession stand.
Haunted Isle, The Shore Line Trolley Museum, 17 River Street, East Haven CT, 06512, 203-467-6927
Legends of Fear - Shelton
September 30, October 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
Do you know the Legend of the Melon Heads? These terrorizing creatures are said to haunt the woods of Shelton to this day and the Melon Head Revenge Trail walks you right through their territory. Along the way you'll encounter terrifying creatures all waiting to make your heart race. Follow that up with the Haunted Hayride, a mile and a half trip in the dark where "Live Creatures of the Night" wait in the shadows. Revenge Trail is strictly for ages 12 and up, the Haunted Hayride is suitable for families with children ages 7 and up, though use your discretion as every child is different. **There are no Hayrides on October 16, 23, and 30.**
Legends of Fear at Fairview Tree Farm, 486 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton CT, 06484, 203-944-9090
Rails to the Darkside - East Windsor
October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
Legend has it that in 1905, the Hartford & Springfield Street Railway moved a cemetery to complete construction of the railroad tracks. Ever since then, people say that the restless souls haunt the rails through the dark woods of East Windsor.
Rails to the Darkside, CT Trolley Museum, 58 North Rd (Rte. 140), East Windsor CT, 06088, 860-627-6540
Trail of Terror - Wallingford
October 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
Walk along an outdoor trail past 30 different scary scenes, venturing through crawl spaces, squeeze walls, aboard a boat, under a spinning carousel, across a rope bridge and through a vortex tunnel. Celebrating 20 years of fear, The Trail of Terror is staffed entirely by volunteers and has donated close to a million dollars to local non-profit agencies. Prior registration for time tickets is strongly recommended. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Trail of Terror, 60 N Plains Hwy, Wallingford CT, 06942, 888-855-4716
Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce - Bristol
September 30, October 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
This spine-chilling walk-thru maze is set up inside Lake Compounce amusement park, and for a separate fee it keeps the screams coming with over 150 live actors and animatronic scenes. Open at dusk on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through October 30. Group and military discounts available, and please note that the Waterpark and Kiddieland rides will be closed. The Haunted Graveyard has donated over a million dollars from admissions sales to the American Diabetes Association since it started in 1991.
Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce, 186 Enterprise Drive, Bristol CT, 06010, 860-583-3300
The Only Scream In Town - North Haven
October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
For those familiar with this Halloween attraction, be prepared for big changes. The Only Scream in Town has changed everything except their name (which they are keeping in honor of a lost founder) their website declares that they are "a completely new haunt run by new management with completely new scares!" This year those scares come in the form of classic cinema monsters and ghouls. They are unleashing decades of celluloid horror onto their brave ticket holders. Same name, same location, new terror. This attraction is not recommended for younger children. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. There are discounts for groups of 20 or more.
The Only Scream In Town, 275 Valley Service Rd, North Haven CT, 06473, 203-239-4653
The Dark Manor - Baltic
This popular haunted attraction has been voted Connecticut's #1 scariest haunted house. There are three attractions to wander through, The Graveyard, The Catacombs, and The Dark Manor. The Manor is staged inside an abandoned schoolhouse, which makes for a very creepy location, and the scares are staged throughout the building on two floors. For the full experience, management recommends groups of six or fewer entering at a time. The hours and days vary through the end of October, so it's best to check their calendar. Ticket prices vary depending on time of day (there are less scary matinee options) and peak season. Group discounts are available. The Dark Manor is not recommended for children under age 13.
The Dark Manor, 25 Main St, Baltic CT, 06330, 860-822-TOMB
Nightmare on Wolcott Street - Waterbury
September 30, October 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
With over 55 rooms of terror, you'll find live characters, animatronics, chainsaws, creepy sounds, loud bangs, and everything else that makes a haunted house so scary. Recommended for teens, but younger children may attend if accompanied by a parent. Tickets sold at the door.
Nightmare on Wolcott St, 1058 Wolcott St, Waterbury CT, 06705, 203-754-5000
These two haunted attractions are worth the trip over the Connecticut border:
Scared by the Sound - Rye, NY
October 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31
This haunted attraction is in it's 17th consecutive year and since 2014 they have been haunting Rye Playland. Visitors make their way through attractions like the Crypt Walk, the Tunnels of Doom, the Creepy Morgue and the new Outdoor Blackout Maze. There are over 100 live characters who create creepy scenes throughout the attraction. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 31. Hours vary so best to check the website. Please note that the amusement rides are not open for Scared by the Sound.
Scared by the Sound, Rye Playland, 1 Playland Pkwy, Rye NY, 10580, 877-SCARY-FUN
Six Flags Fright Fest - Agawam, MA
October 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
This amusement park offers thrills by day and chills by night during the month of October. Zombies and other frightful characters come out at night and walk through the park, scaring people while they wait for rides. A Scream Pass gets you admission to some terrifying entertainment including the Midnight Mansion, Total Darkness, and Wicked Woods. Park goers will get to experience the New England SkyScreamer backward, which sounds pretty frightening. Six Flags isn't cheap, and there is an additional fee for parking. I find it's best to buy tickets online in advance to save some money, or stop by your local AAA branch.
Fright Fest, Six Flags New England, Route 159, 1623 Main St, Agawam MA, 01001, 413-786-9300
Originally published 10/14/2014.
Photo Credit: Julia Tolstrup