13 Chicago-area haunted houses to explore ahead of Halloween

Read on, only if you dare.

Alanna Quillen NBC 5

Spooky season is here, and that means it’s time to start planning your haunted house visits....if you dare.

A variety are open this October from the city of Chicago to the suburbs and beyond. Whether it's ghosts, zombies or clowns that make you feel uneasy, there's something out there that will almost certainly spook you. Here's a breakdown of some of the available options.

  1. Nightmare on Clark Street - Chicago

Nightmare on Clark Street, located in Wrigleyville, is a three-floor labyrinth-style haunted house where guests must find their way out by navigating through various scares. The attraction even has a bar with Halloween-themed cocktails so guests over 21 can find liquid courage before continuing on. 

Nightmare on Clark Street is located at 3505 N. Clark St. and is open every day of the week. Tickets can be purchased here

  1. 13th Floor Haunted House - Schiller Park

Entertainment company Thirteenth Floor is hosting two themed-haunted houses in suburban Schiller Park. The Deadlands is a post-apocalyptic world rife with viral mutations where visitors embark on a quest to expose the corporation behind the virus. Depths of Darkness, meanwhile, is a maritime horror adventure following an ancient deep-sea creature. 

The attraction is located at 5050 River Rd., Schiller Park and is open most days of the week. You can view the schedule and buy tickets here

  1. Basement of the Dead and Shattered 3D - Aurora

Ranked number one on various haunted house lists is Basement of the Dead, a horror attraction featuring other-worldly creatures, ghosts and chainsaws in Aurora. Tickets to the haunted house include entry to the circus-themed Shattered 3D walkthrough.

Those who want to explore the set without jump scares can participate in “Nights of Isolation” Wednesdays on Oct. 11, 18 and 25 where guests must find their way out of the Haunted House with just one glow stick per group. 

The haunted house is located at 42. W. New York Street, and is open from Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets can be purchased here

  1. Dungeon of Doom - Zion

Creep through a variety of themed sets in this 45,000-square-foot haunted house that has been running for 27 years in Zion. The Dungeon of Doom features eight experiences like the underworld, a haunted circus and a hospital.

You can find the haunted house at 600 29th St. Dates of operation vary, so check out the schedule. The Dungeon of Doom is open from Friday to Sunday throughout October and has a special Slasher Night event on Halloween. Guests can purchase discounted tickets online here and add on $5 for a “buried alive” experience.

  1. Massacre Haunted House - Montgomery

In another massive venue, visitors can walk through over 35,000 square feet of horror attractions rife with killer clowns and blood-thirsty nurses. A new "torture chamber" has opened up this year, too. 

You can also find escape rooms and an axe throwing lounge. The venue, including the waiting line, is fully indoor and has 40 rooms, so don’t let the weather be an excuse to skip out!

The Massacre Haunted House is located at 299 Montgomery Road, and is open on Fridays to Sundays, with additional nights closer to and on Halloween. Tickets can be purchased here

  1. Scream Scene - Skokie

Chainsaw maniacs and a clown maze are some of the frightening highlights you’ll find at the Scream Scene. The attraction comes to haunt Skokie every fall, taking over the Skokie Water Playground that is left abandoned in cooler months. 

Located at 4715 Oakton Street, Scream Scene is open on Friday, Saturday and select Sundays. Find tickets here

  1. The Catacombs  - Chicago

Descend into the Catacombs of St. Pascal’s Church, a non-profit haunted house run by the school and church, where all funds raised will support youth education efforts. The Catacombs, located in Portage Park, houses a list of original characters icons, including Peanut the clown, a scarecrow named Stitches and a three-faced man.

You can visit The Catacombs at 6143 W Irving Park Road on Fridays, Saturdays and select Sundays running up to Halloween. You can buy tickets here

  1. Disturbia - Downers Grove

From the same creator as Basement of the Dead is Disturbia. Visitors will embark on a path that takes them through a haunted graveyard and pumpkin patch filled with deformed monsters. 

Those hoping to avoid jump scares can visit the Wednesday “Nights of Isolation” on Oct. 11, 18 and 25 to walk through the space without actors. 

Disturbia, located at 1213 Butterfield Rd., is open on most Thursdays to Sundays throughout October. The haunted house will also welcome guests on Select Wednesdays, Mondays and on Halloween. Information on how to purchase tickets can be found here

  1. HellsGate - Lockport

This multi-level haunted mansion is hidden in the woods, keeping its ghouls and secrets behind a rusting gate. HellsGate features a giant slide and guests have the chance to get their ticket free if they can find the Key Master and solve their riddle correctly within 10 seconds. 

Visitors must park at 301 W. 2nd St. and take a roughly five-minute shuttle bus ride to the HellsGate grounds. The haunted house is open Thursdays to Sundays in October, with additional dates running up to and on Halloween. Tickets can be purchased here

  1. Hayride of Horror  - Lockport

Knock out two birds with one stone by embarking on the Hayride of Horror after you visit HellsGate, just a five-minute drive away. Guests can also experience the Curse of the Bayou at the same venue instead, or upgrade their ticket to do both.  

Guests can watch horror movies on the venue’s 20-foot outdoor movie screen and warm up around the bonfire while waiting their turn. 

Find tickets to the Hayride of Horror, located at 1811 S. Lawrence Ave, here. The hayride is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

  1. Realm of Terror - Round Lake Beach

See professional horror prosthetics and sets designed to send chills down your spine at the Realm of Terror. The haunted house features a maze to get lost in and a Haunt Bar for refreshments. According to organizers, it’s best to leave kids at home for this one. 

The Realm of Terror is located at 421 W. Rollins Rd. and is open on most Fridays to Sundays throughout October. You can buy tickets here

  1. Midnight Terror - Oak Lawn

Scream at the sight of ghouls, mutated monsters and cannibalistic butchers at Midnight Terror, a 26,000-square-foot Haunted House in south suburban Oak Lawn. Midnight Terror blends old school horror and new technology to create a uniquely terrifying experience. 

Visit the haunted house at 5520 W. 111th St. on Fridays to Sundays, with additional dates closer to and on Halloween. Find tickets here

  1. The Old Joliet Haunted Prison

The venue housing this attraction was featured in "The Blues Brothers" and closed doors as a real prison back in 2002.

Now, it’s haunted - as they say.

The Haunted Prison is another Thirteenth Floor attraction, and it features three attractions this year: Cellblock 13, which houses an inmate with an insatiable thirst for revenge, the old prison yard, a labyrinth slaughterhouse and zombie laser tag.

Visit the Old Joliet Haunted Prison at 401 Woodruff Road. It is open from Fridays to Sundays in October, with additional weekdays running up to Halloween. You can buy tickets here

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