The fun of Halloween doesn’t have to start and end with a night of trick-or-treating.
The days of stocking up on Reese’s Cups and Hershey Bars end as you get older, so what is there to do? Get in a good scare, of course, with no kids allowed.
These four locations are all within a two-and-a-half-hour drive of Northern Virginia, and some have even been named in the top scariest places in the United States. Whether you’re looking for a dark-and-twisted corn maze, or an amusement park turned into a scary Halloween wonderland, here’s where to head this year for your chance to be scared stiff.
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The Nevermore Haunt
Oct. 4-Nov. 3
Estimated travel time: 1 hour
Take a trip back in time, and expect to find terror. This Baltimore-inspired Haunted House is set in the 19th century, with everyone coming out to play. From drowned sailors and tortured factory workers, to unlicensed doctors and mysterious creatures creeping out of the nooks and crannies of every room, you may find yourself letting out a scream or two. Only time will tell if you make it to the end, but once you do, catch the rotating sideshows throughout the season. Fortune tellers, sword swallowers and more will entertain the nightly crowd beyond the doors of the home. Plus, catch your breath with Evolution Craft beer on tap, and food from Big Momma’s Heart and Soul. // The Nevermore Haunt: 450 Mott St., Baltimore, Maryland; $22-$56
Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt
Sept. 21-Nov. 2
Estimated travel time: 1.5 hours
Thrill-seekers, prepare yourselves. The scariest nights at Kings Dominion are yet to come, and the ghosts and ghouls are waiting for you at every turn. As the night darkens the park, guests are immersed in an adults-only experience: mazes filled with fear, scare zones looking to shake you to your core and live shows featuring The Coven of mischief-seeking witches, botched beheadings with Queen Majesty and apocalyptic music from the Blood Drums. Take a spin on the Delirium, feel your heart race on the Intimidator 305 or flip on The Crypt, and only enter the park if you truly dare. // Kings Dominion: 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, Virginia; $39-$80
Field of Screams
Oct. 4-Nov. 15
Estimated travel time: 2 hours
Watch where you step, upon entering the Field of Screams, you’re finding your way into the Best Extreme Haunted Attraction in the United States, named by USA Today. It’s safe to expect chills to run down your spine, heart-pounding anticipation and, potentially, the ultimate scare of the season. Attendees will journey through the dark cornfield, only to be met face-to-face with their deepest fears, and find themselves sitting front row to the demented patients waiting for their next victim at the Frightmare Asylum. Think you can handle the scare? Take a trip on the Haunted Hayride, or plan to attend the one night of extreme darkness on Friday, Nov. 15, for an elevated scare for the most fearless fans. // Field of Screams: 191 College Ave., Mountville, Pennsylvania; $30-$50
Busch Gardens Howl-o-Scream
Sept. 14-Oct. 27
Estimated travel time: 2.5 hours
As if the head-spinning speed and dangerous drops from roller coasters isn’t enough of a scare, Busch Gardens transforms into an even scarier amusement park for the Halloween season when the clock strikes 6 p.m. Howl-o-Scream, which is included in park admission and gives guests access to later hours, is an adult-focused Halloween event with six haunted houses, six terror-tories (scaring zones), various escape rooms and chilling live-entertainment shows. Favorite characters from years past will lurk in the shadows, ready to scare unsuspecting guests and remind even the most brave of their deepest, darkest fears. Guests should consider the elevated scare factor when deciding if attending the event is appropriate for young children. // Busch Gardens: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd., Williamsburg, Virginia; $47-$100