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

New England Travel

Looking for the scariest haunted house in Massachusetts? Try one of these spooky attractions.

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 more unnerving 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.

Many haunts are only open Friday or Saturday and/or offer tickets for time slots, so it’s best to purchase your tickets online in advance to ensure you can get in on a night and at a time you prefer. Some are open on Sundays, Thursdays, and holidays, so you’ll want to check their website.

Several haunted house owners said you will have the best experience on Friday or Saturday, as this is when the houses will have the most actors. On the other hand, if you’re more interested in the sets and atmosphere than jump scares, Thursday or Sunday nights are a good option for you.

Additionally, some of the houses offer nights where you can use a flashlight and nights where the set lights are turned off. So no matter how much courage you possess, you should be able to find a night to attend with a scare level that’s right for you.

Finally, there’s a lot of fun to be had at haunted houses aside from shaking in your boots, so this list also details other spooky activities you can indulge in at each location.

6. Witch’s Woods — Westford

Scariness: 3/5

Actors: 3.5/5

Set Dressing: 3.5/5

Overall fun: 4/5

While Witch’s Woods is always a fun time, it isn’t always the scariest of Boston’s local haunted houses.

Unfortunately, individual haunts such Castle Morbid and the Haunted Hayride are often similar to previous years and lacking in actors and decorations. In the Haunted Hayride at least, the actors usually make up for it with good performances.

Witch’s Woods is a scream park in Westford. – Susannah Sudborough/

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

In addition to its four haunts, Witch’s Woods offers a Jack-o-Lantern Jamboree exhibit, which always has expertly carved pumpkins. It also features a Horrorwood exhibit with scenes from classic horror films, and some carnival games and rides. Tickets are not required to visit these parts of the screampark.

Witch’s Woods is a scream park in Westford. – Susannah Sudborough/

The haunted house is on the same property as Nashoba Valley Ski Area, so you can also visit the cozy Outlook Restaurant where you can get a bite and a drink before or after getting spooked.

Why you should go: This haunted house has the most individual haunts of any house in the area, there’s a lot to do, and it has a restaurant. This makes Witch’s Woods an easy, fun night out for families looking for some Halloween fun.

Ticket information: Tickets are $48 per person, except on opening weekend (Sept. 29 to Oct. 1), during which they are $35 per person. They can be purchased online up to a week before the day you visit.

5. 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 actors can make physical contact any night you attend, which definitely takes the fear factor to the next level.

13th World is a haunted house in Palmer, Massachusetts. – 13th World

Our favorite part of 13th World was when actors used this freedom well. That said, we felt many of the actors were uncomfortable touching attendees, so this aspect of the haunt may be 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 off your glow stick necklace if it becomes too much for you.

13th World is a haunted house in Palmer, Massachusetts. – 13th World

This year, in addition to their main haunt, Moonlight Mayhem, 13th World has a maze full of fog and fire called Hellfire House. It also features a haunt called Alone, which visitors must travel through by themselves, and a bar onsite called Brimstone Tavern. Additionally, 13th World is offering two nights this year during which there will be no actors on set and people can take selfies. They’ve also organized one night during which the lights in the attractions will be off.

Why you should go: Not only is there the option to have actors make physical contact, but the sets are smartly designed.

Ticket information: Tickets start at $30 and can be purchased online. This haunted house also offers fast passes. 

4. 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. Additionally, despite a modest crowd, lines can be a problem at this scream park.

This year, Fear Town has three new haunts. The first is Black Cat Theater, a movie theater in which guests walk through the screen to become the stars of two different horror movies in which they are being hunted. 

Fear Town is a haunted house in Seekonk. – Susannah Sudborough/

The second is Slasher II, the sequel to last year’s impressive Christmas-themed haunt. This year, guests will try to escape unscathed as they dive deeper into the lore of the “Bay State Butcher.”

The final haunt is Madame Guillotine’s Sinister Court, which the haunt owner described as a “simple party invite [that] turns out to be much more than guests bargained for.”

The other big draw for Fear Town is its non-haunt offerings. It has a lot of Halloween-themed carnival games that are more engaging than your average ring toss.

Why you should go: There’s a lot to do between the three haunts and  carnival games. The haunts are also creative and fun to look at even if they aren’t all that scary.

Ticket information: Tickets start at $25 online for less crowded nights. There is a $5 online discount.

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, Factory 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 $20.

This year, it’s offering two nights during which actors will be allowed to make physical contact. The haunt’s website says you will be put in “more extreme situations,” but they do provide a safe word in case the scares are overwhelming.

Unfortunately, because it’s a single haunt and is located in the middle of a city, long lines can be a problem. Also, 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.

Ticket information: Tickets start at $20 per person with the $5 online discount. This haunted house also offers discounts for groups of 15 or more.

2. 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 and of 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.

Ticket information: Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased online.

1. 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. 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.This effort is evident given the high energy of every haunter in both the Haunted Mansion and Condemned haunts.

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

The house also offers Bite and Fright nights where you can get dinner before or after your haunted evening.

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

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 are allowed to make physical contact, and “Darkness Unleashed,” a night during which the actors can touch you and the lights are turned off inside the haunts.

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

Ticket information: Tickets start at $40 a person and can be purchased online.