We’ve rounded up Kentucky’s most intense haunted attractions. Are you game?
As Halloween approaches, many haunted houses and attractions across Kentucky open their doors to those who appreciate a good scare. But not all haunts are created equal. Whether they spring from the twisted imaginations of a few individuals or are based on real-life tales of terror, we’ve rounded up this year’s most intense haunted attractions that are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine and a scream to your lips.
Field of Screams
132 Darnell Avenue, Brandenburg
Field of Screams has been around for years, and its owner takes real pleasure in ramping up the intensity of this horrifically frightening attraction with each incarnation. This year there are four scares on offer: The Den, which takes visitors through a creepy, haunted mansion; Asylum, with a psychotic mental hospital theme; Nocturnal Wasteland, which features a haunted trail through dark woods; and the signature Haunted Hayride, which takes visitors through a cursed hayfield on a wagon surrounded by ghouls and things that go bump in the night. The most terrifying part? There’s nowhere to run.
Bloodshed by Horror Industries
608 S. Main Street, Franklin
Bloodshed was designed with the intent to deliver measured doses of real, intense fear for fright enthusiasts. The actors are truly committed to staying in character — and a few probably should be committed — and special effects like the electric ceiling will give you a real jolt throughout this entirely indoor haunted attraction. Bloodshed doesn’t enforce an age limit, but children ages 12 and younger are discouraged from attending.
The USS Nightmare
101 Riverboat Row, Newport
In 2015, Coaster Nation ranked this unique attraction as No. 15 on its list of Top 31 Haunts in the U.S., so that tells you something right there. The USS Nightmare is the only floating haunted house in Kentucky, and is based on a truly creepy and realistic story line. Imagine human experimentation, military secrets and chemical reactions — all set aboard a zombie- and monster-infested historic boat — and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. But you’ll never expect what’s waiting around the next corner.
Waverly Hills Haunted House
4400 Paralee Dr., Louisville
Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened in the early 1900s to help contain and treat victims of a tuberculosis outbreak what was sweeping through Louisville. Rumor has it that many inhumane treatments and procedures were tried over the years, including gruesome experimental surgeries. Many patients died, and their bodies were often quietly removed via the renowned Death Tunnel for burial on the property. Today Waverly is regarded as one of the most haunted places in America, and man-made scares only add to its spooky atmosphere during the annual haunted house fundraiser. With a VIP experience ticket, guests can tour upper floors of the building and learn about Waverly’s twisted past before being dropped straight into the haunted house.
Otter Creek Park, 850 Otter Creek Park Rd, Brandenburg
Nightmare Forest is populated by creepy, spooky individuals who thrive on screams earned by popping out at the least likely moments. Some characters are based on historic haunts, while others are modern hack-and-slash scares, but all will make you cringe. Nightmare Forest features five different haunts, including the Nightmare Harvest corn maze; Hawthorne Circus Bazaar; Trail of Terror Cemetery; Dead End Hotel, with a 1930s theme; and the renowned Nightmare Forest, with 13 different movie themes. This is one of the best places to go to add a little fear to your Halloween season.
Baxter Avenue Morgue
942 Baxter Ave., Louisville
This property in Louisville has a dark and troubling history. The former owner was a strange one, and during his reign both animals and humans mysteriously disappeared. Eventually, even the owner himself, Victor Vanderdark, ceased to exist without a trace. Following his disappearance in 1932, the building was sealed off like a giant tomb. The ghouls may dress in costumes today at this frightening historic haunted attraction, but in the past people say the haunts were quite real.
3246 Meeting Creek Rd., Eastview
Sinister Tombs is not your average haunted house. Instead, fear enthusiasts find themselves embarking on a complete horror adventure during their journey. Begin in a haunted house, and then stumble your way through creepy, haunted woods before finally cross a sinister bridge that hides unknown terrors beneath. Those with heart or health problems are advised to stay away from Sinister Tombs.
Wicked World Scare Grounds
5817 Tates Creek Rd., Nicholasville
Wicked World Scare Grounds serves up a variety of different scares. There’s the Darkwood Carnival outdoor trail, for example, with tons of scary costumed characters. Mercy Hospital is a 1950s-themed hospital of terror, and then there is the local favorite, Quarantine, which takes you on a Walking Dead-style journey through a military zombie camp. Not everyone makes it out in one piece. Haunt enthusiasts can experience one attraction, or purchase a discounted ticket for all three. This season has been record setting so far, and once you visit, you will understand why.
The Mayhem Mansion
13966 DeCoursey Pike, Morning View
The Mayhem Mansion is based around a historical tale from the 1920s that involves a number of restless spirits. Mr. Havorford, the family’s patriarch, made a living bootlegging liquor from the basement of his family’s mansion during Prohibition. His daughter fell ill in 1933, just as Prohibition ended, and died at the age of 8. Havorford decided to host the funeral of his daughter at the house, as was the tradition, and invited neighbors, friends and family to attend, promising he’d open a cask of his finest stash in her honor. Havorford’s grief ran deeper than anyone knew, however, and he poisoned the liquor. He finally took his own life as his last guests dropped.