Welcome to your nightmare…Take Halloween to the next level by venturing out to a Long Island interactive haunted attraction with live actors and practical effects. Here’s a guide to the most gruesome and gross:
WARNING Each of these haunts are very scary. Venues tend to post age guidelines, however it’s up to each parent or guardian to determine what their child can handle. Adults, this style of entertainment is not for the weak or oversensitive individual. You’ve been warned.
Boo (1 skull)
Scary (2 skulls)
Intense (3 skulls)
Terrifying (4 skulls)
HEMPSTEAD HOUSE HAUNT
THE LOWDOWN Be warned - this is not your average haunt but rather an immersive horror experience.
"We're not your typical," says Beth Horn, Executive Director of Sands Point Preserve. "It's more psychological fear than jump scares with blood and guts." The theme, which is new every year, is "Dreams & Nightmares" where guests go through more than a dozen rooms in a three story 50,000 square foot mansion. "Each room is a different nightmare scenario," says Horn. "It's all about entering the world of the subconscious mind and where your fears take you."
NEW THIS YEAR Each room incorporates a lot of artwork and photography.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls)
TIPS You are entering a park at night therefore it's going to feel spooky just because the desolate austere setting.
WHEN / WHERE 7-11 p.m. on Oct. 18-20, 24-25, 30 and 31 (Halloween); Sands Point Preserve, 127 Middle Neck Road
INFO 516-571-7901, sandspointpreserveconservancy.org/events/dreams-nightmares/
THE LOWDOWN Since his childhood, Kevin Baird, 28, of Massapequa has been the host of a haunted house. "I started this in my backyard for a fourth grade Halloween party," says Baird. "By the time I was a teenager my parents and I transformed our entire backyard and first floor of our house into a haunted experience." Today he has turned his home haunt into a full-fledged professional horror house called Darkness Rising. This year's theme is a cursed village from 1600's by witches featuring more than 20 actors in a super theatrical event. "It's pretty dark and claustrophobic," says Baird. "We have people crawling through tunnels and getting pulled back by harnesses."
Proceeds go toward YES Community Counseling Center in Massapequa.
NEW THIS YEAR The venue is new at 360 Sports Center in Copiague with more than 7,000 square feet.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls), suggested for age 12 and up
TIPS Empty your bladder before entering.
WHEN / WHERE 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays (Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25) and Saturdays (Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26); 6-10 p.m. Sundays (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27); 7-10 p.m. on Oct. 24 and 31 (Halloween); 360 Sports Center, located at 800 Chettic Avenue in Copiague.
INFO 516-799-4747, darknessrising.org
DEEPWELLS HAUNTED MANSION
THE LOWDOWN The title of this year's haunt says it all - "Dead & Breakfast."
Enter into this 1800's mansion in St. James with trepidation because it might not be so easy to get out.
"First, you check in and receive a skeleton key to your room. You must not lose your key or give it to the inhabitant of the hotel or else you can't get out," says Denise Davis, board member of the Deepwells Farm Historical Society. "As you go through some of the haunters will be asking for your key so that they could get out."
On the first floor pay your respects at a funeral for the homeowner before going upstairs where the bedrooms await your presence. "Each room deals with different phobias - spiders, clowns or the dark," says Davis. "You'll pass through the asylum, execution room, exorcist room and even a nursery."
NEW THIS YEAR New photo opts outside in the graveyard and the Trial of Terror in the woods has increased scares.
FRIGHT FACTOR Intense plus (3 1/2 skulls), under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
TIPS The house is historically known to be haunted therefore be aware and look out for real ghosts.
WHEN / WHERE 7-10 p.m., Oct. 11-12, 18-19 and 25-26; Deepwells Haunted Mansion, 2 Taylor Lane in Saint James
INFO 631-862-2808, deepwellshauntedmansion.com
ADMISSION $20 ($15 online)
GATEWAY’S HAUNTED PLAYHOUSE
THE LOWDOWN This year Gateway has gone total hippie cannibal colony, which celebrates human extinction. "This is colony existed in the '60s but they all perished and haven't been heard of since," says manager Paul Allan about the haunt's fictional theme. "Recently the leader became immortal as a demon character unearthing his closest followers who are in various states of decay." Encounter live members of the colony who try to desperately indoctrinate new members. "It's very immersive," says Allan. "When you are in it, you are swept up in the story not just walking through."
NEW THIS YEAR There are special event nights to add an extra edge such as Zombie Apocalypse Night (Oct. 23), Clown Invasion Night (Oct. 24), Hollywood Horrors Night (Oct. 29) and Glowstick Night (Oct. 30).
FRIGHT FACTOR Intense plus (3.5 skulls), suggested for 13 and older
TIPS Prices are "slashed" to $20 on Oct. 10 and 17. Also, don't eat before you come as Billie Jean's Grill food truck serves up fish tacos, burgers and roasted corn and there's a full bar for those 21 and up.
WHEN | WHERE 7-10:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays Oct. 4-5 (extended to 11:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26), closing at 10 p.m. Sundays beginning Oct. 6; noon-4 p.m. sessions on weekends Oct. 5-27 and 7-10 p.m. Oct. 10, 16-17, 23-24 and 29-30 plus 7-10:30 p.m. on Oct. 31 (Halloween) at 215 South Country Road in Bellport
INFO 631-286-1133, gatewayshauntedplayhouse.com
ADMISSION $35 ($30 online), $45 fast pass ($40 online)
CHAMBER OF HORRORS NY
THE LOWDOWN Every year the Chamber of Horrors NY offers up a new Trilogy of Fear. "We have three different haunts with three different themes," says general manager Robert Frankenberg. "We redo everything from scratch every year. The entire thing gets cleared." The journey begins at a drive-in which shows short films filling in the background on each haunt. "You experience how the villains came to be and how the monsters rise," says Frankenberg. "Then it's your turn to encounter them." The first part is "Silent Evil" where demonic dolls are on the attack while "Malevolence" features a witch that rises from the dead. "Cold Blood" closes out the trilogy with Russian vampires in Alaska. "These vampires are not your classic regal types," says Frankenberg. "They are savage zombie-infused creatures with black eyes and pale skin that are highly aggressive."
NEW THIS YEAR There's an option for full contact on Halloween night (those who prefer non-contact are given a glow necklace)
FRIGHT FACTOR Intense plus (3 1/2 skulls), suggested for 16 and older
TIPS Go between 7 and 8 p.m. to avoid long lines. Use the restroom before entering.
WHEN | WHERE 7:30-11 p.m. Fridays (Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25), 7-11 p.m. Saturdays (Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26), 7-10 p.m. Sundays (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27) plus 8-10 p.m. on Oct. 30 and 8-11 p.m. on Oct. 31 (Halloween) at Matt Guiliano's Play Like a Pro, 1745 Express Drive North in Hauppauge
INFO 855-227-6384, chamberofhorrorsny.com
ADMISSION $35 ($45 R.I.P. fast pass)
BAYVILLE SCREAM PARK
THE LOWDOWN Bayville Scream Park is more than just a haunted house -- it's a whole theme park. "We have six different haunted attractions," says owner D.R. Finley. "You can spend an entire evening here. It's an event." Enter Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, which offers traditional haunted house scares while Uncle Needles' Fun House of Fear and Mirror Maze delivers scary clowns in 3-D. Get caught in the Temple of Terror maze or venture onto an outdoor walking path filled with escaped lunatics as part of Evil in the Woods. If you dare, enter The Cage to face blood-thirsty cannibals while Bayville Haunted Asylum features patients who have been experimented on by the evil Dr. Barrington Bay. "We utilize animation, special effects, sound effects and 150 professional live actors," says Finley. "There's also a detailed mythology and history of all the characters and each attraction."
NEW THIS YEAR Nov. 1-3 are "Glowstick Fright Nights" where groups go through six pitch-black haunted attractions with one glow stick.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls)
TIPS As it gets closer to Halloween, weekends get extremely busy. But the park will not close until everyone is able to go through the attractions they bought tickets for. Take a break from the action and have a cocktail or some food at the Zombie Bar & Lounge in the middle of the park.
WHEN | WHERE Open Oct. 4-6, 11-14, 16-20, 22-31 and Nov. 1-3; 6-10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays, 6 p.m.- midnight Fridays, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturdays at 8 Bayville Avenue in Bayville
INFO 516-624-4678, bayvillescreampark.com
ADMISSION $26.75 ($34.75 speed pass) Bloodworth Mansion and Bayville Asylum, all other attractions: $23.75 ($30.75 speed pass), combo tickets: $49.75 (six attractions - $67.75 speed pass), $42.75 (three attractions - $56.75 speed pass), $35.75 (two attractions - $47.75 speed pass)
DARKSIDE HAUNTED HOUSE
THE LOWDOWN "Scary Tales from the Darkside" is the focus of Darkside Haunted House's 21st season. "Each one of our scenes is like a little story and we have 31 of them," says owner Mike Meola. "Every story is based on a type of fear such as being alone, insects or clowns. There are so many fears to play on." However, they make sense in the end. "It all ties together," promises Meola. "How will your story end?"
NEW THIS YEAR People are going to be able to buy Scarecams, a one-minute video of their experience going through the haunted house (price undetermined). There will be cameras shooting video in six different locations capturing six different scares.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls), suggested for 12 and over.
TIPS Wear comfortable, loose clothing and supportive shoes (no flip-flops). Also, come Wednesday, Thursday and Sundays to avoid crowds.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays (Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25), 6 p.m.-midnight Saturdays (Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26) and 6-10 p.m. Sundays (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27), 7-11 p.m. Oct. 17, 23-24, 29-31 and Nov. 1 and 2 at 5184 NY-25A, Wading River (GPS users: put in Calverton)
INFO 631-369-7227, darksideproductions.com
ADMISSION $30 ($40 fast pass)
SCHMITT’S MELVILLE ASYLUM & PSYCHO PATH
THE LOWDOWN In celebration of its 25th anniversary, the entire haunt has been completely changed. "We've been the Haunted Mansion of Melville for the past 24 years and now we are the Melville Asylum," says manager Tony Arone. "Back in the 1800's, they used to take farmhouses over and turn them into asylums. The patients would work in the fields." A story featuring demented patients, creepy doctors and frightening orderlies are spread throughout 30-plus rooms. "As you go through there's more and more gore," promises Arone. "Halfway in a patient takeover happens so the intensity increases." The outdoor corn trail has been transformed into the all new Psycho Path. "It's where all the deranged patients live who work in the field," says Arone. "Plus, partial asylum experiments that have been left out exist there."
NEW THIS YEAR Try your hand at axe throwing where two people enter a cage and go head-to-head in battle to hit the bullseye.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls), suggested for 13 and older.
TIPS For optimal scares, walk slowly in single file and don't run.
WHEN | WHERE 7 p.m.-midnight Fridays-Saturdays (Oct. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Nov. 1-2), noon-5 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. Sundays (Oct. 6, 13, 20 and 27), 7-11 p.m. Oct. 24, 30 and 31 (Halloween) at 26 Pinelawn Road in Melville
INFO 631-271-3276, schmittsfarmhaunt.com
ADMISSION $28 Melville Asylum, $18 Psycho Path, $38 combo ticket
FRANKLIN SQUARE HORROR
THE LOWDOWN Joe Allocco has been scaring his entire Franklin Square community for 22 years with his handcrafted home haunt. But it's only held for one night -- Halloween. "I always liked answering my door and scaring the trick-or-treaters, so in 1996 I took it to the next level," says Allocco. "People put that day aside. It's a tradition for a lot of families." Allocco can be found outside entertaining those waiting in line in his Leatherface costume from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," complete with a buzzing chainsaw. This year, his 23rd, will be his final bow."We are doing a 'best of' all the prior years in one night," says Allocco. "This will be the scariest of them all. I'm going out with a bang!" Proceeds from the haunt, he says, benefit programs for autism and cerebral palsy like Camp Anchor in Lido Beach, Center for Developmental Disabilities in Syosset and UCP -- United Cerebral Palsy in Roosevelt.
NEW THIS YEAR An indoor corn maze will be offered where guests might find some scary surprises.
FRIGHT FACTOR Terrifying (4 skulls)
TIPS Come by at 5:15 p.m. as lines tend to be up to an hour wait. A huge screen on the lawn shows movie scenes, Halloween greetings and news clips about the haunt.
WHEN | WHERE 6-10 p.m. Oct. 31 (Halloween), 1148 Norbay St., Franklin Square
HORSEABILITY’S HAUNTED HAY BARN
THE LOWDOWN The minds behind the old Bayville Haunted Firehouse bring their creativity to the 1914 horse stables in Old Westbury. "The atmosphere is old and historic, which is fitting for a haunt," says co-chair Jamie Thomas-Martin. "We get some people who walk into the first hallway, through the exit door and right out to their car." More than 40 actors appear in the venue that includes a scary swamp and a creepy doll room. But watch out for the spooky clown circus . . . and the Shaving Man! Proceeds go to HorseAbility, a nonprofit organization that offers horse therapeutic programs for people with special needs.
NEW THIS YEAR The secret new revitalized rooms that will haunt your thoughts late at night.
FRIGHT FACTOR Intense (3 1/2 skulls)
TIPS Take advantage of the coupons offered online via the Facebook page for discounts. Also when driving, put 99 Cedar Swamp Rd. in Jericho in your GPS. Preview night Oct. 13 from 5:30-9 p.m. only $10 tickets.
WHEN | WHERE 6-10:30 p.m. October 18-20, 25-27; on campus of SUNY Old Westbury, Route 107 North, Old Westbury
INFO 516-333-6151, horseability.org/events/haunted-hay-barn/
RESTLESS SOULS HAUNTED HOUSE COMPLEX
THE LOWDOWN This multipart haunt is bordered by an actual cemetery, which quickly sets the tone. The Shack is a traditional haunted house with a mysterious tunnel leading to an evil laboratory in the basement. Meanwhile, the Dark Colony is a murky trail through the woods filled with twisted hillbillies who live off the land."It's more of an old-school haunt. The creepy factor is very high," says producer Todd Iredell. "We can make it extra scary or, if you have young children, we can dial it back." Proceeds go to West Hills United Methodist Church in Huntington Station.
NEW THIS YEAR Enter the Alien Autopsy Escape Room where Dr. Bane is experimenting on aliens. Try to escape before the aliens awake and experiment on you!
FRIGHT FACTOR Intense (3 skulls)
TIPS For those who get too overwhelmed, there's a safe word attendees can shout if they want to exit at any time.
WHEN | WHERE 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays (Oct. 11-12, 18-19, 25-26) and 5-9 p.m. Sundays (Oct. 13, 20 and 27) at 301 West Hills Road in Huntington Station
INFO 631-319-9662, restlesssoulsli.com
ADMISSION $10 The Shack, $8 The Dark Colony, $8 Klownkatraz Correctional Facility in 3D, $8 Alien Autopsy Escape Room, $29 combo ticket