Frightful Fun In North Carolina
For some reason, October seems to bring out the ghost hunter in all of us. In North Carolina, there are scores of scary scenes waiting for you to explore… if you dare. Whether you like your frightful haunts in cornfields, battleships, or amusement parks, NC has the place to get your fill of Halloween fear. Here is a list of ‘unlucky thirteen’ favorites:
The Bloody Reign of the Mad Miner (Midland)
Based on a local legend, The Bloody Reign of the Mad Miner portrays the story of a gold miner driven to murder his mail-order bride. Witness the carnage of the mad miner’s wrath and hear the screams of his ill-fated wife and other victims throughout the haunted mine. Old-fashioned hayrides, a storyteller, and a magician are also available.
Forbidden Hollow (Taylorsville)
Creatures run amok in the Forbidden Hollow, where things that go bump in the night bring to life some of the scariest nightmares this side of Elm Street. Among the scream-inducing attractions here are a haunted farm, a cemetery, an insane asylum and a slaughterhouse.
Located completely indoors, the Frightmare is a 13,000 square foot maze of thrills, chills, and terror… all in glorious Chromodepth 3-D! And if that’s not enough of a fear factor for you, the Frightmare is also the home of The Last Ride Coffin Simulator, where you can find out what it’s like to be placed in a coffin, taken on a wild ride in a hearse, and buried alive. That should keep you up at night!
Ghost Train (Blowing Rock)
A ghoulish conductor named Casey Bones takes over the Tweetsie Railroad in October, leading his guests on a journey into the darkness from which you may (or may not) return! The attraction also includes a haunted house and a freaky forest, but there are also a few less frightening attractions for younger trick-or-treaters to enjoy.
Ghost Ship (Wilmington)
The hatches of the BATTLESHIP NORTH CAROLINA crack open to lead unwitting visitors into the depths of fear on the Cape Fear River. This real-life World War II battleship has a genuine ghost story attached to it, and organizers of this Halloween event promise to attack its guests from all sides and all senses. The goal here is to scare you to death, and the ghosts on this ship don’t care how loud you scream.
Hacker House (Pilot Mountain)
This is a haunted house with a real-life legend attached to it, making every scary twist and turn a little extra frightening. The property is said to be cursed, and during your tour of the courtyard (where Granny Hacker’s shack still stands), the house, and the recently re-opened graveyard, you will have to try and figure out which of the monsters and creatures here are manufactured, and which just might be real…
The Haunted Mill (Belmont)
What is now The Haunted Mill is a 100-year-old mill that was once the home of Vision Hosiery. Local folklore says there was a building inspector named Fred Bailey who worked here during its construction, working hard and stepping on a lot of toes to make sure the plant was safe. However, on its first day of operation, Fred was found hanged from the rafters, and his tortured soul is said to haunt the property to this day. Perhaps he’s the one that makes this popular Gaston County haunt so scary.
Nightmare Factory (Havelock)
You’ll have to face some of your most disturbing fears at the Nightmare Factory, a psychotically twisted house of horrors with brand new nightmares for you to survive. If you manage to make it all the way through with your sanity, a new Mystery Maze is right next door to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Original Hollywood Horror Show (Snow Camp)
Designed, produced, and built by two NC natives with real Hollywood filmmaking experience, this huge haunted house is one of the most elaborate and realistic haunted houses you’ll ever experience. Most of the terror is indoors, where top-notch lighting and special effects will send chills up your spine. Then, if you dare, visit the graveyard, where more haunts await.
Pinhead’s Graveyard (Asheville)
Western North Carolina’s only outdoor haunted house has a lineup of Hollywood’s most iconic fearmongers to guide you on a half mile trail through these dark and lonely woods. This area is home to Pinhead, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Chucky, Jigsaw, and Jason Voorhees, among others, and none of them will be very friendly if they find you in their path!
From March through September, the thrills at Carowinds come in the form of wild rides on roller coasters. But in October, ghouls, ghosts, and goblins turn the theme park into a scream park, complete with several “scarezones” and a vast array of haunted mazes to survive… if you can.
Spookywoods (High Point)
The howls of approval from victims, er… guests to Spookywoods have made this one of the top haunted attractions in the Southeast. It certainly is one of the largest, laid out over 55 acres with more than 240 of the undead on staff! Your admission ticket gets you three scares in one… from a haunted house to a tram ride with monster hitchhikers, then into a very dark and frightening cornfield. Not for the faint of heart!
Strickland Farm Trail of Terror (Macclesfield)
Out on the back roads of Wilson County is a farm so terrifying that you won’t want to come alone. The forest comes alive when darkness falls here. Your every move is watched as you trek down a long, narrow, winding path with moonlight as your only guide. Who or what is out there? Is it real, or did you just imagine it? Can you make it out alive? All questions you’ll be asking yourself once you’re on this path to perdition.
NOTE: Many of these attractions are considered too intense for young children. Please check with each attraction for operating dates and times. Some of the outdoor venues are closed during inclement weather, so be sure to call ahead.
added: October 23, 2009
updated: June 28, 2010
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