These Are the 21 Scariest Haunted Houses in the World, So Enter If You Dare

While some haunted houses are accused of being silly and unconvincing — with lackluster acting, splatters of fake blood, and hokey monsters — others offer the reality of a bone-chilling experience. Every year, popular haunted houses seem to go one step further to truly terrify people, and every year, more and more people are up for the challenge. We scoured every corner of the globe to find the very best ones, and there are a lot.

From haunted hospitals with tormented pasts, to theatrical labyrinths of terror, to lavish estates with cryptic tales of supernatural occurrences, all of these will send a cold shiver down your spine. Some even invite (or challenge) you to dine and stay overnight. So, whether you're a ghost hunter chanting for the arrival of a spirit or simply a junkie for a frightful encounter, the following list offers just what you're in the mood to summon, but only if you dare.

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Haunted Plantation in Waipahu, Hawaii

This is not your ordinary haunted house, but a long and winding village full of creepy happenings. Once visitors cross through the tiny fairy lights at the entrance, they're in for a spectacular treat — but only if horror is their thing. Over the years, guests have praised its convincing theatrics, brilliant costumes, and disturbing chimera so highly, it was featured on the Travel Channel.

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Loftus Hall in Wexford, Ireland

Did someone just poke me? Is that tapping on the window? What about the muffled sound of a little girl giggling from the staircase? These are the questions guests of this gorgeous country mansion often ask themselves. There are intensely paranormal lock-down experiences hosted after dark, but for the less brave, a simple 45-minute guided tour of the haunted premises will do.

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The Mortuary Haunted House in New Orleans, Louisiana

Located on Canal Street and minutes from the French Quarter, this once decaying funeral home — one rich with hundreds of reports of hair-raising occurrences over its long history — was spectacularly renovated and opened for public tours after Hurricane Katrina. It's a special artifact within the city's haunted history. Visitors flock to its gorgeous grounds year after year to snap pictures and embark upon their own paranormal investigations — ones that haunt their conversations long after. And during Halloween season, it becomes a theatrical haunted experience with impressive special effects.

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Fearaphobia in Sydney, Australia

Got an anxious disposition? You might want to steer clear. This fear factory is where wicked encounters provoke gasps and jolts — the kind that become full-body screams.

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Field of Screams in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

There are convincing monsters, ravenous zombies, and murderous terrors. Also blood-pumping escape games that will make you drip with sweat and panic. It comes as no surprise that USA Today recently nominated this experience as being the Best Extreme Haunted Attraction.

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Lost Souls Alley in Kraków, Poland

This place falls somewhere between a haunted house and a mind-bending maze. It's for sure an experience of horror. Your heart will pound, you will flinch, and you will scream.


Villisca Ax Murder House in Villisca, Iowa

While this isn't a haunted house, it is a house that is haunted. A gruesome family murder still looms over this two-story home in a rural Midwestern town. Eight people died, and more than 100 years later, the case remains cold. But locals claim that its pulse refuses to die out. Available for short tours and overnight investigations, ghost hunters, psychic mediums, and spook junkies claim to have captured moving objects and apparitions on video, and have described experiencing "unexplained noises" and "an overwhelming negative energy" from the confines of its walls.

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Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls, Ontario

Imagine moving through an hour-long tour in total darkness, unable to determine where that random hiss, startling pop, and stomping of feet are coming from. This experience offers a challenge to your adrenaline and a thrill to your psyche.

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Fright Nights at Walibi Holland in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands

Expect this amusement park to be crowded with creepy clowns, hissing witches, obscure creatures wearing pig masks, and reenactments of some of Hollywood's most revered horror flicks. The rides are terrifying enough to haunt your dreams — and stomach — for months.

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The Blackout Experience in New York City

Where haunted house meets performance art, guests of this experience have to move through every twist and turn of its premises . . . completely alone. Elaborately produced and psychologically thrilling, each progression is designed to call upon the individual's most dreaded fears.

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Haunted Overload in Lee, New Hampshire

There is a skull castle. There are men with roaring chainsaws and the echoes of rampaging psychos. Enter if you dare, but you may have trouble sleeping afterwards.


Super Scary Labyrinth of Fear in Japan

It's a hospital. It's a sadistic maze. It's 900 meters of vengeful spirits and heart-thumping terror. Some visitors depart this venture by running out in a fit of blood-curdling screams.


Shanley Hotel in Napanach, New York

This one is at the top of nearly every ghost hunter's bucket list, but no guests under 16 years old are permitted to venture beyond its doors. Legends claim its grounds are cursed, and a waiver must be signed if you plan to stay overnight. There are reports of chairs rocking on their own, flickering lights, strange sounds abounding throughout the hallways, footsteps on your trail, and animals behaving erratically. Most noteworthy of all? This real-life haunt inspired Stephen King's The Shining.

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Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

Locals consider this domain of shrieks and shrills to be one of their favorite Halloween traditions. Its creaky stairs lead to rooms that are designed to inspire nightmares.

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Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Seoul, South Korea

This abandoned mental facility is considered one of Korea's most haunted locations, and attracts daily visitors. The legends surrounding it, which include a slew of mysterious patient deaths that led to its doors closing abruptly in the 1990s, have spawned countless paranormal investigations — including a documentary.

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13th Gate Haunted House in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This place threatens to put you under a spell of freakishness. There are corpses, dark magic tricks, and raging vampires — just to name a few.

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13th Floor Haunted House in Denver, Colorado

With elaborate sets, props, and costumes, thrill-seekers often return to this haunted house annually to explore its changing attractions.

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The Amsterdam Dungeon in Amsterdam, Netherlands

An exploration of 500 years of Amsterdam's most shadowy history, there is witchery, fire, and Medieval torture.


Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky

Paranormal enthusiasts consider this former tuberculosis hospital to be one of the most haunted places on the planet. Its overnight tours have left countless visitors exchanging horrifying stories — from crazed coincidences to the sounds of whispering children. In the Fall, there is a theatrical haunted experience that blends fantasy with the chilling reality of its past.

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Haunted Labyrinth in Cranston, Rhode Island

Creative sets, frightful effects, and an unearthly atmosphere, this haunted house was built inside a former school. The Factory of Terror is among the facility's most unforgettable.

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The Dent Schoolhouse in Dent, Ohio

Legend has it that this old schoolhouse holds the answers to the mysterious murders of a string of vanishing students in the 1940s and 1950s. Today its grounds host an annual theatrical haunted production with critically-praised acting — one embedded in the heaviness of its haunted past. There is a vengeful janitor, a disturbingly psychotic clown, and rumors of roaming spirits have never been laid to rest. It's time to get your scare on.