The Top 13 Haunted Houses in the U.S.


Look, it’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it: has scoured the country for the scariest and weirdest haunted houses from coast to coast. Here are the attractions they've deemed most likely to make you pee your pants.

1. 13th Floor, Denver, Colorado

The undead don’t just jump out from behind walls at the 13th Floor; suspended on wires, they move quickly and silently and can appear from just about anywhere. And a writer from the Denver Post almost called his tour off at the Room of Spiders.

2. Bates Motel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If serious special effects are what you look for in a haunted house experience, look no further than Bates Motel, which has effects that are so impressive they've been compared to the backlot tour at Universal Studios.

3. Headless Horseman, Ulster Park, New York

If you’ve ever wanted to see the Headless Horseman live and in the flesh—well, maybe not live, exactly—here’s your chance. Hauntworld calls this the best haunted hayride in the country, with incredibly detailed sets and over the top costumes.

4. Cutting Edge, Dallas, Texas

If you’re in the Dallas area and you’re thinking you’ll run through this one really quick, think again: The Cutting Edge once held the Guinness World Record for the longest haunted house in the world.

5. Netherworld, Atlanta, Georgia

As the most-visited haunted house in the U.S., Netherworld pulls out all the stops—including haunting the parking lot, before people have even paid for the scares.

6. 13th Gate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Two words: Live. Snakes. Thousands of them. And if that doesn’t do it for you, check out the “old-fashioned Voodoo Fire Show” on the weekends.

7. Field of Screams, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Though part of Field of Screams is the Dead River Haunted Hayride, the longest haunted hayride in the world, attractions also include a haunted insane asylum and the “4-D Cirque du Souls.”

8. The Darkness, St. Louis, Missouri

After you work your way through an Indiana Jones-esque temple, you’ll find yourself in a haunted mansion with all of the trimmings: a mirror maze, a greenhouse with man-eating plants, a boiler room, and a wine cellar. But the real kicker is the 3D haunted house that comes at the end.

9. House of Torment, Austin, Texas

There are no random scares at the House of Torment. Every night, a mastermind sits at a control room and watches the guests coming through. This evil genius then picks the exact moment and the exact type of terror that each individual guest experiences.

10. Erebus, Pontiac, Michigan

Hauntworld has deemed this four-story attraction “the most unique haunted house in America,” probably because it’s no mere walk-through, though it is more than a half-mile of scares. Erebus includes walls that actually close in on guests, “bottomless” pits, waist-high swamps victims have to wade through, and a ball drop that buries guests in 10,000 of those little balls you find in the germ pit at Chuck-E-Cheese.

11. Dent Schoolhouse, Cincinnati, Ohio

Within the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati lurks a serial-killing janitor. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also a creepy lunchlady, a whole classroom of children who are definitely not there to learn ABCs, and clowns. Because of course there are clowns.

12. Spookywoods, High Point, North Carolina

It’s not just one haunted experience—it’s a midway, an inn, a mine, a corn field, a graveyard, and even a cathedral. The whole setup inhabits most of a 60-acre farm.

13. Nightmare on the Bayou, Houston, Texas

Nightmare on the Bayou, according to some, is actually haunted (aren’t they all?). But since it is located next to Houston’s oldest graveyard, you can almost believe the claims.

Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)

For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

How to Say Merry Christmas in 26 Different Languages

“Merry Christmas” is a special greeting in English, since it’s the only occasion we say “merry” instead of “happy.” How do other languages spread yuletide cheer? Ampersand Travel asked people all over the world to send in videos of themselves wishing people a “Merry Christmas” in their own language, and while the audio quality is not first-rate, it’s a fun holiday-themed language lesson.

Feel free to surprise your friends and family this year with your new repertoire of foreign-language greetings.


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