The blog of author Dennis Cooper

DC’s theoretically favorite North American * professional haunted house attractions for the Halloween season 2018 **

* excluding Southern California
** Halloween countdown post #8

Lewisburg Haunted Cave, Lewisburg, OH
World’s Longest Haunt! What’s Scarier than a REAL CAVE? With 500 ft of haunted bridges and 30,000 live bats, the Lewisburg Haunted Cave is located deep underground and been the #1 Rated Haunt for two years in row by Ohio Valley Haunts. Open rain/shine (it’s dry underground). Cash only at Lewisburg Haunted Cave. There is a ATM onsite and several ATM’s at banks in nearby village of Lewisburg.



Blood Prison, Mansfield, OH
The United States prison system is in disarray…The worst inmates all over the United States have escaped their respective institutions looking for a new place to call home. After numerous murder sprees and in some cases “Clown Sightings” across the nation these psychopaths have found the destination they were looking for in Mansfield Ohio….The Ohio State Reformatory! Once known for filming movies and music videos these crazed inmates have taken over and renamed it BLOOD PRISON! The authorities do not dare go after them as these extremely psychotic inmates have The Ohio State Reformatory locked down…..but every Halloween they open up the gates and dare anyone to try and make it through this once famous prison….Do you have what it takes to ESCAPE FROM BLOOD PRISON?!



McKamey Manor, Huntsville, Alabama
What the majority of the population would consider a torture chamber rather than a haunted house, McKamey Manor is by far the scariest “haunted house” there is. It began in San Diego, and now has locations in Alabama and Tennessee, and not one person has made it through without asking for it to be over. The 30-page waiver you need to sign in order to participate gives Russ McKamey and his “team” the OK to shock you, submerge you in water, and even give you unwanted dental work, along with other disturbing things we’ll save you from reading.

McKamey is currently under watch from locals — in both of his new locations — who want him out. The most disturbing part: He has over 27,000 people on the waiting list.



Miasma, Chicago
Miasma is a show that grew out of the creator’s personal dissatisfaction and a desire to truly connect with an audience. This experience is an extreme haunt that is story focused, without forgetting why the guest arrived – fear, emotion, and exploration.

During the show, guests will find themselves guided through the experience, but with interaction in every scene requiring full participation. There will be little distraction from the narrative and interpersonal connections – sets are minimal, more ambient in nature. “Horror has always been at its most effective for me when fear and emotion collide,” reveals Justin, and it is this merging of full contact and a strong emotional narrative that makes Miasma such a fascinating undertaking.

This haunt isn’t for everyone. “We’ve had past guests leave angry because they didn’t think miasma was what horror should be and took offense to the non-traditional content and the sickening feeling they left with.” He explains that the Midwest is not accustomed to this kind of terror immersion and as such, “it’s important to me to make sure our guests know, as best as I can allow without spoilers, this isn’t a ‘boo haunt’ and they should be prepared for content they won’t experience in the local haunts. It’s too easy for a guest, new to this, to purchase a ticket, influenced by the commoditizing ideas proprietors of local horror have embraced and sold to them for years in Chicago.”



Haunted Plantation, Waipahu, Hawaii
The Haunted Plantation insists this is more than a haunted house — it’s an entire haunted village.Haunted Plantation has been Hawaii’s premiere haunted house attraction for 12 years, drawing thousands of visitors from across the island. Located on a plantation that is said to be haunted by real spirits, you will walk through multiple houses on the property, taunted by multiple frights along the way.



Containment Haunted House, Atlanta
One of Atlanta’s favorite haunts, Containment Haunted House encompasses 26 shipping containers linked together into a terrifying maze of unusual scares.



Haunted Overload, Lee, NH
Haunted Overload is simply one of the most creative and unique haunted attractions in the world. Now located on the DeMeritt Hill Farm on Route 155 in Lee NH, the show has been voted one of the top 13 haunted attractions in the country multiple times.

Focusing on quality, we are committed to giving the customer the ultimate Halloween experience at an affordable price. Nowhere else can you see huge monsters looming over the crowd, some as tall as 42 feet. The authentic farm location provides the perfect backdrop for the hundreds of lighted pumpkins and movie quality sets. Most of the one of a kind props are designed and created by founder Eric Lowther. The attention to detail has led to being ranked the #1 Scariest Haunted Attraction in America in 2015 by Hauntworld.com. Additionally Haunted Overload is and has been consistently ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in the world. Haunted Overload was also voted #18 of the Top 20 Most Influential Haunted Attractions of ALL TIME by HauntWorld.com.



Ghost Boat, Wisconsin Dells, WI
Wisconsin Dells legends tell of ancient canyons buried deep in the rocky banks of the Wisconsin river, where dark things haunt the passageways and shadows move in the moonlight. What lurks inside? Take an eerie, after-dark journey up-river by boat and into the shadow-haunted passages on foot, and find out. The Ghost Boat is Wisconsin Dells’ scariest and most intense attraction. Climb aboard for an experience you’ll never forget . . . assuming you come back.



Asylum 49 Haunted Hospital, Tooele, Utah
1. You can be touched, grab, separated from your group, detained in small dark areas and left, straped to a metal bed and worked on by the crazies.

2. If you can’t handle rule #1 then don’t come whimpo.

3. You can’t touch the actors or the props unless we throw something at you then by all means put your hands up you will look stupid getting hit in the face with a prop.

4. We do not recommend small children, immature adults or pregnant women. If you think your kids are too young, then they are too young.



Dan’s Haunted House, Lake Dallas, Texas
Granted, when it comes to naming a haunted house, Dan’s Haunted House does not exactly strike fear into anyone. However, it’s not likely you have ever experienced a haunted house like this. It carries a Japanese theme, so instead of clown masks and chainsaws you’ll be your scare from kabuki masks and samurais. The house also has the approval from Rob Zombie who highly recommends Dan’s.



Dent Schoolhouse, Cincinnati
The Dent Schoolhouse, built in 1894, on Harrison Avenue in Dent, is one of Cincinnati’s most popular haunted houses, drawing huge crowds every Halloween season. It is also believed, by some, to be haunted for real!

Any online search you do about the place will give you the same basic story. Several of the School’s students disappeared between 1942-1952. The legend goes that people noticed an odd smell coming from the basement of the School House, but the School’s janitor, Charlie McFree, convinced them it was backed up pipes. Things calmed down, but then the smell started again in 1955, after 7 more children disappeared. This time a mob formed and broke into the basement, finding the rotting corpses of the missing students. Charlie the Janitor was immediately suspected, but no one was ever able to find him. So now the School reportedly is haunted by the ghosts of the murdered children, and Charlie’s still around, looking for more victims!



Psycho Path, Tulsa
Making it through the Psycho Path means surviving three events. The Dark Ride, a chilling ride through the forest, the Shadow Box, an old funeral home haunted by an orphaned boy, and the Rage Cage, where you’ll have to find your way out of the maze. Additionally, you can choose to go on the Last Ride if you’re feeling daring. The Last Ride simulates what it feels like to be buried alive.



The Nevermore Haunt, Baltimore
Bizarre creatures, terrifying visions of the past and heart pounding horrors return this spring for Baltimore’s 3rd annual Light City! Locally inspired, historically themed and scary as hell, The Nevermore Haunt is unlike any haunted house you’ve ever seen.



The Haunted Hydro, Fremont, OH
The Haunted Hydro resides in a decommissioned hydroelectric dam in a secluded farming area of Fremont, Ohio. They are celebrating their 27th season this year with the addition of 3 high-speed escape rooms in addition to their two enormous main attractions. The Hydro’s main attraction this year was called “Quarantine” and their 2nd attraction, The Woods, ran under the name “Infestation.” The themes were evident immediately upon entering the courtyard, where a very…gooey nurse walked us through their medical shack to make sure nobody in our party had been contaminated before entering the Hydro’s courtyard. A photographer was ready to take a family photo of us before we went to explore the Hydro’s many entertaining offerings. It was suggested to us by the staff that we explore the Woods first and then the Hydro for maximum enjoyment.



Raisin Hell Ranch, Madera, CA
Wicker Village

Wicker village was a quiet town until the day the Nuclear testing site calculations were off..and the bomb sirens were too late. Wicker Village suffered a devastating lost.The village was soon abandoned. Members of a local historical society decided to turn this little village into a museum to educate about Nuclear testing; unbeknownst to anyone that some still resided, welcoming those to Wicker Village.

Snyd’s Sideshow of Oddities

Lights…cameras…Show biz! It’s the 1886 and Jenny Jones is the star of Snyd’s Sideshow and oddities. Having been born with ectrodactyly or “Lobster hands” he fits right in with her fellow companions on the Circus tour. Welcome to Snyd’s Sideshow of Oddities! Be warned you cannot take back what you are about to see!


– The wind, the corn, the dark, and you…these are the only things between you and freedom. Can you find your way out of the maze? Will you make it out alive that is? As the darkness seems to envelope you the further you go…the cold chilling you to the bone had it been 30 mins or 3 hours? Come see if you can make it out of the blackout maze!



Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres, Pataskala, Ohio
Dead Acres Haunted Hoochie is one of, if not the MOST, extreme haunted house in the country, only in Columbus. This attraction is not for the faint of heart. It is always ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in country and is rated as the Most Outrageous Haunt anywhere! If you are looking for a totally unique and extreme experience…look no further!




p.s. Hey. ** Rewritedept, Hey. Oh, Spiritualized. Yeah, on one listen, I found the new album kind of dull ,or at least not what I’m in the mood for, but of course I plan to try it again. I’ll keep you posted on the possible LA trip too. Take it easy, man. ** Sypha, Yeah, I figured the curation came from above. At least it’s huge. ** Jamie, Morningest to you, Jamie. Cool re: the Strand outlay, my pleasure. Ah, the dentist. Well, long story short, he pulled out my fucked up tooth. No fun, although I liked how noisy it sounded. Then I was put on pain killers, which were much needed, and that pretty much turned the rest of my day into mush with vague activities happening on the perimeter. Same today, but I have to work, so we’ll see what I can eek out. Your sojourn into the medical sounds much more festive, yes. Wow, that thing you swallowed is pretty cool. I’m almost envious. Glad you’re back to stomach inputting. Me too, although I’m sticking to the soft stuff. My TV co-conspirators: Gisele’s in Japan with ‘Crowd’, and Zac has a bad cold, so I’m a bit on my own for the moment. Tuesday’s tooth removal was no small surprise, that’s for sure. Otherwise, it was haze central. Wednesday is TV work-cum-pain killer effects of some probably futile sort. May your day be the complete opposite of mine. Flurrying love, Dennis. ** Amphibiouspeter, Hi. Happy the films hit your spot. Ah, gotcha, on your Halloween jones. Well, at least you could ostensibly make that happen on your lonesome. I’m stuck daydreaming about mine and putting together longing posts like the one day. Jenny Hval wrote a novel? Holy moly. I did not know about that and I am, like you, extremely interested. Thanks, man. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I had not heard that but I will today thanks entirely to you. And I suspect it will flatter my pain-killed brain illustriously. Thank you! ** Steve Erickson, Man, just to give you a night-and-day example of France vs. the US on the medical front, at the dentist I got a thorough exam, x-rays, a lengthy tooth extraction, aftercare, and how much did all of that cost me? $40. No one here in France seems to be the slightest bit interested in that Cher album, thank fucking god. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. Cool, yeah, glad we share the Strand fandom. I know about that new Malick, but I don’t know when it’s due. I suppose it’ll be born at one of the big festivals. Extremely interested to see what it is given its seeming movement to some degree towards his earlier style. This weekend for Skyping is good. Saturday evening won’t work for me, but otherwise, I think I’m pretty around. ** Kyler, Hi. Yeah, my expectation was that the dentist was going to tell me I need at least a half-dozen root canals, but, no, he was minimalist. He was, like, I could keep the fucked up tooth, but it will turn agonisingly painful ere long, or I could get a tooth reconstruction, which would be costly, or he could yank it out for $40. And he happily ignored whatever fucked-up-ness my other teeth surely contain. Well, let us know when you have a pub date. No, I won’t be able to go back to my novel until the TV script is finished, I think. ** Nik, Hi, N! Yeah, the dormant but soon to be revived novel is probably the semi-quasi-autobiographical one I described. Apart from finishing/revising that bit I read in London, I haven’t gone back to it, other than to read through it somewhat. It needs a whole bunch of work. When will you get feedback on your new story? Congrats on finishing it. That is a lot to juggle. I’m a big juggler, or seem to end up being one quite often, but there is that one-too-many projects point, my novel being the too-many point at the moment. I have read ‘Hill William’. I liked it. But, yeah, I think you’re probably right about its relationship to the others now that you mention it. Interesting. ‘Invisible Cities’, yes! Not bad on the class reading front so far. I’m stalled on reading right now due to interruptions, but I’m heading back in. I’m reading New Juche’s ‘Bosun’, which is great, and about to start a few things. Well, assuming the Yves Tumor album is great enough to fuel two distinct great weeks, I hope and trust your half meets and even exceeds its standard. ** H, Hi! Great, my pleasure, naturally, on the Chick Strand post. I’m okay. On pain killers from an extracted tooth, just back from travels, having to get back to work with reluctance. I’m glad your conference-centric travels went well! You have a swell week too. ** Okay. There’s my annual stab in the dark-style picks re: the USA’s possibly best commercial haunted house attractions for this year. ‘Best’ home haunts and So. Cal. attractions coming soon. See you tomorrow.


  1. Hey Dennis – Nice round-up of haunts. Blood Prison is the one I can’t shake, but they all have their charms. The entrance to McKamey Manor is maybe more terrifying than the photos of the inside. Interesting that a number of them hail from Ohio.

    For Skype, how about 10 or 10:30 EST on Saturday — or 4 or 4:30 pm your time? Does that work?

    Sorry to read about your tooth. Hope the pain meds do their thing today without too much brain fog.

  2. Ah, Dennis, sorry about the dental issues. I’m no stranger in that area as you can guess. You may recall that I had like 13-14 cavities last year that needed to be filled: but at least now I know what was chiefly responsible (using throat drops before bed) and I’m very anal now about flossing and using mouthwash once a day: my last cleaning this year came out A-OK, so hopefully things have turned around in that department, knock on wood.

    At our B&N the background music is piped in by some company called Muzak. They have tons of different playlists. Normally the music we play in the background is instrumental New Age-y classical/jazz stuff, with a few exceptions: during the Holiday season they’ll play Christmas music, over the summer they play pop stuff, and in October Halloween-themed music. I noticed yesterday they were still playing the classical stuff so I asked my manager when we would be switching to the Halloween music and she thanked me for reminding her and promptly changed it. I notice some new songs have been added to the rotation, such as “On Our Own,” that song that Bobby Brown did for GHOSTBUSTERS 2 (a song that my brothers and I were obsessed with back in 1989, ha ha).

    I see that Steve Erickson mentioned me yesterday. In regards to the Lil Xan album, I thought it was okay, nothing earth-shattering. To be honest that kind of style of rapping I have little interest in, but one thing that fascinated me about the album was how almost every song sounded the same, or used the same elements over and over again, to the effect that it felt less like listening to 14 songs over 35 minutes and more like one long 35 minute song (if that makes sense).

  3. hello dennis

    i left a comment a few days ago but i reckon it got abstracted in the electricity

    re your tooth, did you get novocaine or take one for the team ? im asking as ive a vague eno ambient hum from one of my mouth squatters and it may need to be evicted

    dennis, have you seen MANDY ooooh, oooh, i loved it

    that’s my tiny teen tit news, scaryface love, alex,x

  4. I don’t want to tell you how much I spent on dental bills from last December-February, but when my dentist told me he owns beachfront property in Puerto Rico, I became convinced I’d contributed a substantial amount to his mortgage payments. A $40 payment for all that (or my health insurance covering dental care) seems utopian.

    Here’s my interview with music video director Zev Deans: http://www.studiodaily.com/2018/10/music-video-director-zev-deans-denzel-curry-clout-cobain-ghost-st-vincent-fast-slow-disco

    I feel the same way about the new Spiritualized album. I know that it’s basically a Jason Pierce solo album, recorded at home over several years, but it feels like a tired retread of ideas and sounds he’s done much before better.

    If you lived or were visiting near the McKamey Manor, would you go there?

  5. The haunted houses seem especially hardcore this year, McKamey Manor in particular. Maybe it says something about the times we live in?

    Worst use of ABBA ever: today Theresa May took to the stage of the Conservatives’ party conference in Birmingham to deliver the Tories’ big speech hoping to unite their Brexit-fractured party, and she made her big entrance to Dancing Queen. TM cannot dance and so she just did these awkward robotic moves in a futile attempt to look like a human being. Now I fear hearing that song will always trigger these images in my mind.

  6. I am very curious about the economic implications of many of these institutes. The expenses involved with staging walkthrough horror setups, and especially the locations and set involved in many of these is; a lot.

  7. Hello, Dennis: I’m sorry to read that you’re not feeling well. Ugh. Tooth extraction. But it can be simpler to get that, you know, than undergoing other complicated surgeries. Please try to rest very well if possible, and will talk to you soon more. Take care.

  8. Thoroughly written article and A lot of thanks to you for making this amazing of this article. Looking forward to your next article. Keep doing and keep sharing.

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