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Here’s the scariest haunted house in Mass. (and 5 more you should visit for fun)



Your guide to spooky fun this Halloween.

Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is a haunted house in Abington. Susannah Sudborough

Local Halloween fans are lucky to have a number of haunted houses within driving distance of Boston.

Most of the attractions will elicit a shriek from young and old alike, but some houses are spookier than others, and some are downright frightening.

So if you’re looking to test your bravery, took the time to visit and determine which of the state’s top haunted houses instill the most fear.

If you plan to visit, several of the haunt owners say the best nights to be scared are Friday and Saturday, as this is when they have the most actors. On the other hand, if you’re intrigued by the spookiness but aren’t looking to be scared out of your wits, Thursday or Sunday nights are a good option for you.

There’s a lot of fun to be had at haunted houses aside from shaking in your boots, so this list also details other Halloween activities at local haunts.

6. Witches Woods — Westford

Scariness: 3/5

Actors: 3.5/5

Set Dressing: 3.5/5

Overall fun: 4/5

While Witches Woods is always a fun time and offers good bang for your buck, this year, it simply wasn’t the scariest of the bunch.

Witches Woods is a screampark in Westford. – Susannah Sudborough

In addition to four haunts, Witches Woods offers a Jack-o-Lantern Jamboree exhibit which always has expertly carved pumpkins, a Horrorwood exhibit with scenes from classic horror films, and some carnival games and rides.

It also houses the cozy Outlook Restaurant where you can get a bite and a drink before or after getting spooked.

Witches Woods is a screampark in Westford. – Susannah Sudborough

Unfortunately, haunts like Castle Morbid and the Haunted Hayride were similar to previous years and lacking in actors and decorations. In the Haunted Hayride at least, the actors made up for it with good performances.

Vampire Passage continues to be Witches Woods’ best and scariest haunt, with well-placed actors and smart set design that is accented by the spooky setting of the woods around it. Additionally, the clown-filled Keeper’s Crypt used the black light 3D effect well, making the walls creepy but artful and disorienting to visitors.

Witches Woods is a screampark in Westford. – Susannah Sudborough

Why you should go: There’s a lot of haunts, a lot of stuff to do, and a restaurant, which makes it an easy, fun night out for families looking for some Halloween fun. It’s also the only haunted house in the state using a black light 3D effect.

5. Fear Town — Seekonk

Scariness: 3.5/5

Actors: 3.5/5

Set Dressing: 4/5

Overall fun: 4.5/5

Fear Town is also great fun, but lacking in scariness.

Fear Town’s best feature this year is the Christmas-themed haunt. The actors in this haunt were a cut above the rest, working together to come up with a story about a serial killer dubbed “The Butcher” who killed his family at Christmas and was roaming the haunt.

The scenario left visitors worrying about when they would finally encounter the infamous character. Turning the decorations of another holiday into something creepy was also a creative twist.

Unless you have a specific fear of clowns, the clown haunt was not frightening, and there were sections of all three haunts where the decoration was scarce. And despite a modest crowd, lines can be a problem at Fear Town.

The other big draw for Fear Town is its non-haunt offerings. It has a lot of Halloween-themed games that are more engaging than your average carnival ring toss. It also has a couple of small escape rooms — an uncommon sight at seasonal haunts.

Why you should go: There’s a lot to do between the three haunts, the games, and the escape rooms. Two of the three haunts were creative and fun to look at even if they weren’t all that scary.

4. 13th World — Palmer

Scariness: 4/5

Actors: 3.5/5

Set Dressing: 3.5/5

Overall Fun: 3.5/5

Though this haunt is a bit out of the way for Bostonians, there’s good reason to make the trip.

This is the only haunt somewhat close to Boston in which you can have actors touch you, which definitely takes the fear factor to the next level and is a big draw for people who are not easily scared.

Our favorite part of 13th World was when actors used this freedom well. That said, we felt many of the actors were uncomfortable touching people, so the option is sometimes underutilized.

The choice of experience is up to you. You can pay $5 extra for a glow stick necklace, which tells the actors they can touch you. If not, it’s just a normal walkthrough haunt. You can also take your glow stick necklace off if it becomes too much for you.

We suspect that 13th World, which just opened this year, is going to be even scarier in years to come. The owners are experimenting with new ideas for haunts, such as a fog-filled maze that is hard to see and navigate through, and a pitch-black haunt through which you must make your way alone.

Why you should go: You have the option to have actors touch you, some of the sets were smartly designed, and the experimental haunts are unique.

3. Factory of Terror — Fall River

Scariness: 4/5

Actors: 4.5/5

Set Dressing: 4.5/5

Overall Fun: 3/5

If you want a solid, traditional haunt with great set dressing and actors, Factor of Terror is an easy pick. It may only host one haunt, but the sets are beautiful and the walkthrough is long, which in itself can cause unease.

Factory of Terror also offers pretty good bang for your buck if you buy online and go on one of the less crowded nights when entry is just $17.

That being said, long lines can be a problem, and of all the locations, Factory of Terror has the least to offer, with only one haunt and no food or other activities.

Why you should go: It’s simply a quality haunt.

2. Barrett’s Haunted Mansion — Abington

Scariness: 4/5

Actors: 4.5/5

Set Dressing: 5/5

Overall Fun: 4.5/5

Mary Barrett Costello, who runs this family-owned business, puts a lot of effort into making the two haunts at this location shine, and it shows.

The sets, both inside and outside the haunts, are creative and intricate, and their use of sound is smart and unsettling. Costello said she goes to a haunted house convention each year to find new things to add to the set, and this high level of design is evident as you walk through.

Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is a haunted house in Abington. – Susannah Sudborough

Costello also said she takes great care in choosing her actors, and this effort is made clear by the high energy of every haunter in the joint.

Barrett’s also shares its property with Abington Ale House, which offers both vegan and gluten-free options to make sure everyone in your party can dine.

Barrett’s Haunted Mansion is a haunted house in Abington. – Susannah Sudborough

The house works with the restaurant to offer Bite and Fright nights where you can get dinner before or after your haunted evening.

For those who don’t want to get too spooked, Barrett’s offers a “lights on” tour during which you can clearly see the beautiful sets. On the other end of the spectrum, it offers “Devil’s Nights” twice a year, during which the actors will touch you.

Why you should go: Great sets, great actors, and a great restaurant.

1. Hysteria at Connors Farm — Danvers

Scariness: 4.5/5

Actors: 3.5/5

Set Dressing: 4/5

Overall Fun: 5/5

The setting of a corn maze and woods goes a long way for Hysteria at Connors Farm. It’s a long haunt, and it has a lot to offer.

While its sets were sometimes a little sparse and could have used more (or sometimes better) actors, when the haunt was good, it was really good.

This was the only haunt we visited where actors actually ran at you, which was pretty scary in itself. It also had some creative sets that hit at fears such as claustrophobia, and was the only haunt in which the animatronics were actually scary.

Connors Farm is undoubtedly a lovely and fun place to go. It has a large farm store that offers produce, sweets, and fresh, delicious apple cider donuts. It also has a corn maze which you can traverse at night with a flashlight, which is a lot of fun.

Why you should go: You just can’t beat a haunted corn maze for scariness, and the entire farm is a fun, delicious delight.


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