Haunted houses are a spooky, but good-natured, Halloween tradition and luckily for Boston residents, some of the best are right in your backyard. Perhaps the preponderance of high quality haunted houses has something to do with Massachusetts’s long history with fabled witches and ghosts. Or maybe it’s because of the old eerie buildings that lend themselves to the season. Either way there is great Halloween fun to be had. From the ghoulishly creepy to shockingly scream-worthy to giggle-inducing fun, the best haunted houses have something for all age groups and fear thresholds. Here are some of the best haunted houses in the Boston area.
One of the largest haunted houses in the area, the Factory of Terror is not for the faint of heart. Located in an old factory building in Fall River, unsuspecting visitors will be terrorized through a maze of discombobulating scenes of murder, mayhem, and insanity. Visitors are ushered through 35 rooms so professional actors can scare the pants off of them. Children are allowed, but it may be too intense for little ones. It is said that earlier tours are less intense than later ones, so that may be the time to bring the kids.
For those who want more fun and less screams, the Braintree Haunted House will be for you. It only runs for three nights, but one of the nights is a “Not So Scary” Haunted House for young children. The lights are left on and the actors will not be wearing scary makeup or masks. On the other two nights, however, the lights are off and the makeup and masks are back on for the adults and older children. This year’s theme is Alice in Wicked Wonderland. The Braintree Haunted House is a non-profit charity organization that raises funds for schools in the area.
Located in Abington, this haunted house has been running for 20 years. If you think that will make the experience stale, think again. They change the house every year and, to make things even more unexpected, they change their ghouls every night. Even repeat visitors are sure to be kept on their toes. Tours are limited to only six people, so the lines can get long. Parents are advised to leave children under seven at home.
Lakeville might be something of a drive south of Boston, but it is worth the chilling effects of this haunted house. Thousands of visitors come every year to experience the ghastly concoctions that have been devised by the volunteer staff. And if this wasn’t reason enough to visit, all proceeds go to the community of Lakeville, including some for scholarships for the town’s students.
Visitors to Westford’s Witch’s Woods are driven to the haunted houses by hayride, but this is no leisurely joyride. Passengers will be treated to 20 minutes of blood-curdling terror as zombies and witches pursue them. At the end of the ride, visitors can explore three haunted houses: Nightmare Mansion, the Keeper’s Crypt, and Castle Morbid. This year they have even added a Horrorwood Chamber of Chills.