Halloween is coming up, and you know what that means: haunted houses! Many mainstream haunted attractions have their scares toned down by rules prohibiting touching and genuinely disturbing actions, but there are some haunted houses out there that go way beyond jump scares.
Some of them actually do permit their performers to grab onto you, scream violent things and attempt to scar you for life. A few of the most extreme haunted houses have been shut down, for obvious reasons—but even though some are impossible to visit, it’s still interesting to hear about those houses that dared to go too far. Here they are:
At most haunted houses, the actors aren’t allowed to touch the guests. At McKamey Manor in California, however, guests are shouted at, force fed, and locked into small boxes for two to three hours. They’re even drenched in fake blood after being bound and gagged. This haunted house is so extreme that every single person who enters has to sign a waver and even have their health checked beforehand.
The Cult was a haunted house in New Hampshire that also required customers to sign a waver before walking through. The attraction was 18+ only, because the experience included violent cursing, an S&M chamber, and live cockroaches that would be placed on your body. Of course, there were safe words involved that you were allowed to use if you were too frightened to finish the experience.
Blackout has locations in both New York and California. Before entering, you receive a warning that you will be touched and even sexually harassed. After all, some of the actors will be partially—or completely—nude. Unlike other haunted houses, you must walk through it alone, which means you can’t bring your partner or friends along to use as human shields.
This haunted house in Las Vegas will still be open in 2015. Again, you can be touched and verbally abused, so bring all the courage you can muster. If you have claustrophobia, then it’s a bad idea to visit this haunted house, because you’ll be shoved into a tiny locker. Of course, the actors will never actually hurt you; they are required to go through a series of background tests and psychological examinations before they’re hired.
PennHurst Asylum is located inside of an actual old mental institution in Pennsylvania. There are four different attractions that you can go through, one of which involves swamps and catacombs. There’s even one tour that is self-guided, which means that you’re given a flashlight and are left on your own to explore whichever area you’d like. If you’re into the survival horror experience, this might be the place for you.
This isn’t a typical Los Angeles haunted house filled with blood and guts. It’s based on psychological horror, which means that the actors will interact with you and even call you by your name in order to freak you out. The experience also requires you to crawl and climb through rooms, so make sure before you go that you will be physically able. You might even get a bag thrown over your head for the total blind terror experience.
Louisiana is home to some terrifying haunted houses, and The Thirteenth Gate is a great place for those of you who hate to be touched, because there is a “no touch” policy. Don’t get too relaxed though; you are required to crawl through a cemetery and underground tunnels. Talk about an immersive experience! You may want to bring a change of clothes to this one. And here’s your strange fact of the day: part of Pitch Perfect 2 was filmed at this location…but you’ll probably be too busy screaming to sing.