All dressed up and no place to go this Halloween season? Here’s a UNO-friendly guide to get out there and hit up some of the area’s most notorious haunted attractions. If trick-or-treating isn’t cutting it anymore, consider attending one of these haunted houses.
House of Shock
Hours of operation: 27-31 from 7-11 p.m.
Ticket price: $25-$30
Overall rating: 4.5/5
House of Shock has never disappointed thrill-seekers looking for a more high-octane approach to their typical haunted house. The set-up that greets thrill-seekers is more of a delightfully deranged amusement park, or perhaps a more twisted, appalling version of a music festival, equipped with a full-fledged stage show, local heavy metal bands blasting out full-throttled performances, a merch booth, and a bar to entertain (and perhaps sedate) haunted-house goers. Other pregaming entertainment includes sword-swallowers, tight-rope walkers, and pretty much anything else that could give someone nightmare fuel. Of course, the best part is ultimately the house itself—a twisting, 45-minute foray of terror—where houseguests are at the mercy of clowns (no laws here—these clowns are off-leash), fire-breathing creatures, and a few scenes from hell along the way. Think this is all hype? Just ask any of the thousands of people who pass through any given weekend and see why the Travel Channel once dubbed this place “The Most Extreme Haunted Attraction in America.”
Hours of operation: Oct. 27-31 from 7-11 p.m.
Price: $25-$30, Free Express Admission Ticket for on-site blood donors
Overall rating: 3.5/5
In the not-too-far off area around Canal Street and City Park Avenue lies the notorious Mortuary—famous for once being an actual funeral home. In recent years, however, the Mortuary is known among local haunted attractions for showcasing an impressive array of aesthetics, which may not have the production value of the House of Shock, but makes up for it with dark, Victorian charm. While in line for the now-haunted attraction, the hottest new music videos are juxtaposed between frightening promo videos of zombies and flesh-eating monsters; a friendly reminder that this is not exactly a neighborhood haunted house. New terrifying editions in the house include rooms of total and utter darkness and a basement of swashbuckling, undead privateers. The ghostly spiels of poltergeists and vampires by house actors may seem recycled; however, for the first-time haunted house guest, the Mortuary is still an affordable and ghoulish experience, especially since it’s a ten-minute drive from UNO. Don’t feel like paying the full price for the full scare? Donate blood and get in for free – that’s right, free – and skip the general admission line, another perk and perhaps spook of this haunted attraction.
Hours of operation: Oct. 20-31, Nov. 4-5 from 6:30-11:30 p.m.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Just far enough out of NOLA’s city limits, but not too far, this haunted attraction has garnered the talk of the haunted house underworld nationally. 13th Gate is a full-fledged, sensory-overloaded experience that does not accommodate or apologize for the massive scares it gives guests. Even the line to get into the attraction is scary, snaking two-thirds of the way around the building on some nights—but the wait is worth it for those who can stomach the tension. Upon entering 13th Gate, however, the scene vastly changes, and the sights that greet guests become all too real—an ambitious and imaginative gothic landscape that pays tribute to some of the most well-known horror films—with all of the staples of traditional haunted houses— and a healthy Halloween dose of the macabre. 13th Gate is brilliantly effective and surprisingly terrifying. No buzz kill here: this is a-one-of-a-kind, fully-interactive attraction that leaves house-goers with shocking after-images and enough adrenaline to get on I-10 and head back to NOLA, only to return next year and take the ride over again with a friend or two.
There’s still time to get some scares in before the Halloween season—pick a house to haunt or haunt them all