Wisconsin knows fear, and it goes beyond Brett Favre interception flashbacks and running out of Miller Lite.
2825 S.E. Frontage Road, Mount Pleasant
Mount Pleasant’s Abandoned Haunted House is one of the only ones in the nation where you’re allowed to fight back. One of the complex’s four attractions is “Shoot A Freak,” an interactive paintball experience that lets you fight back against the clowns of nightmares. Just don’t be surprised if the frights return fire. It’s won “Best Haunted House” four times from the Chicago Halloween Awards and was also featured in the Wall Street Journal. Tickets start at $15.
N8660 Clover Valley Road, Whitewater
A jester-occupied asylum, corrupted manor and mortician’s nightmare are all well and scary good, but there’s one adventure that makes Shockwave Haunts in Whitewater stand out. The Mystery Haunt tests your agility and evasion, putting you right into the fray. It’s for the horror-lover fed up with yelling “Don’t open the closet!” at movie screens. The scares kicked off on Oct. 5 and don’t end until Oct. 27.
Kenosha County Fairgrounds, 30820 111th Street, Wilmot
Terror at the Fair invites you to descend into madness with two of the scariest haunted houses in the state: The Descent and the brand-new Soul Reapers. The Descent is just plain scary, while Soul Reapers asks the brave to confront a cult that hopes to consume the souls of the innocent. It’s freaky. It’s also $15 and is open every Friday and Saturday of October.
601 E College Ave., Waukesha
[Editor’s note: Now closed] This haunted house, hosted by the high school of the same name, raises money for a different charity every year. In 2017, the proceeds are going to Operation: FINALLY HOME, a nonprofit that provides mortgage-free homes for veterans and military widows.
1000 Northview Road, Waukesha
The Wisconsin Fear Grounds has been consistently ranked among the best haunted houses in the country by hauntedhouseratings.com and Haunted Attraction Magazine. It offers three haunted houses and, all-new this year, an hour-long escape room adventure. Wisconsin Fear Grounds pairs terror with heart by partnering with the Don’t Be A Monster anti-bullying campaign. Individual tickets run between $15 and $45.
212 Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc
If Stephen King’s It wasn’t scary enough for you, or you just really like clowns (for some reason), then The Dark Carnival calls you. With more than 40 rooms, it’s one of the largest haunts in the state, plenty of space to hold dozens of nightmare-inducing carnies. General admission is $18.
7900 W Crystal Ridge Drive, Franklin
A carnival from hell, a cannibalistic thrill ride, a laser tag war up the haunted hill, a forest with more evil than anything Harry Potter could imagine, and more exist side by side at The Hill Has Eyes, a former pick as the Journal Sentinel’s No. 1 haunted house.
8. The Haunt
W67N866 Washington Ave., Cedarburg
Creative names aren’t what bring true fear, and the twisted minds behind The Haunt in Cedarburg understand that. The Haunt is simply “scary good” and has been for more than a decade. It’s redesigned every year, creating new frights for the brave souls who dare enter. The Haunt opened on Oct. 12 and accepts adventurers every Friday and Saturday until Oct. 27.
147 N Rural Street, Hartford
Eighteen rooms, 30 actors, special effects, animatronics: Terror on Rural Street is the haunted house of the 21st century. Sticking with the theme, it’s also perfect for those who are 21 and older, selling beer and mixed drinks, because dulling the senses can only make Terror on Rural Street all the more horrifying.
2970 Mile View Road, West Bend
The later you arrive, the scarier it gets. Open until midnight, every exploration of Meadowbrook’s Haunted Cornfield is unique; the scares are entirely unscripted, but they’re still coming for you. It’s open during the day too, in case you’re interested in a less-scary, family-friendly trip. Open six days a week, there are plenty of opportunities to confront your leftover fears from Children of the Corn. Admission starts at $11.50 during the day and is bumped up to $25 at night.
N1255 Hoard Road, Ixonia
The Dark Side Haunted Adventure is as scary as it gets. Voted scariest in the state no less than four times, there are seven bone-chilling haunted adventures across 40 acres. It gets
worse better: for $10, volunteer one of your unsuspecting friends to receive The Terror Treatment, where the frights will target them throughout the evening. If you want to get back at the dastardly creatures, there’s Zombie Expedition Paintball for $15. It’s only $30 for entry to all seven haunts.
299 S Pearl Street, Berlin
Misery Haunted House is jumping in on the trend of letting you take control of your fate. It recently added two escape rooms, in addition to the award-winning Return to the Darkside nightmarish haunted house. Entry is free, with donations welcome.
13. Burial Chamber
500 N Lake Street, Neenah
What better way to end than in the Burial Chamber. On the largest haunted complex in the Midwest, the most terrifying attraction is also the most confined. There are four live burial simulators for the most macabre Wisconsinites. The Burial Chamber website promises that getting buried is not “crap yourself” scary, but no such promises are made for the two giant haunted houses or forest trail. The burial simulator is only $4. Entry for the haunted house is $15, or $30 for three.
[Editor’s Note: now closed] With only a flashlight to lead the way, patrons travel through a maze made up of over 30 spooky scenes in this interactive haunted house, which features actors, hidden exits, moving floors and plenty of other frightening surprises. According to the owner, several people wet their pants or had to leave out of fright last year.