Ready to scare your pants off this Halloween? 7 haunted houses in the Houston area to enter at your own risk this season

13th Floor Haunted House Houston promotional image (Amanda Cochran, 13th Floor Haunted House Houston)

HOUSTON – It’s officially that time of year.

A chill is slowly -- ever so slowly -- is settling over the city of Houston, and with it, your favorite fear-mongering locales are preparing to welcome you, brave citizens, into their cold, undead arms.

Most haunted houses are gearing up for a super scary Halloween, filled with axe throwing, paintball, carnival-style games, and just as many cruel characters and spine-tingling scenes as you can imagine.

Since it is the season, we’ve got seven creepy, carefully curated scares located all around the area that’ll leave our more fearless readers with a rush of adrenaline -- or the more frightful yearning for just one sleep without nightmares.

Read -- and attend -- at your own risk!

Houston Scream Fest

When and where: Open Sept. 30 – Nov. 12, 1500 Elton St. Houston, TX 77034

Houston Scream Fest is the largest Halloween event in Houston, according to its website. The attraction is open “rain or shine” all of the aforementioned nights. Houston Scream Fest features a sanitarium that could make your skin crawl, a gloomy graveyard attraction, a Texas Chainsaw Maze prime for their mimicked murders, and more. If you aren’t there for the scare, there is also an area to play carnival games, a concert stage offering live music every night, and an entire food court.

Admittance requires a waiver that can be found on Scream Fest’s website. Tickets range from $10 - $30 depending on the night.

13th Floor

When and where: Open Sept. 17 – Oct. 31, 7075 Farm to Market Road West Ste 20, Houston, TX 77069

Ticket offerings include general admission, fast pass, skip the line, and platinum VIP. Prices vary by night.

13th Floor Houston’s invitation is intimidating in that their website touts a warning: “Event may be too intense for children 12 & under.” It offers three amusingly appalling attractions:

The first is “Chop House” which simulates an old meat processing plant where a criminal runs the place freely, dressed as a pig, the plant’s mascot, and touting a chainsaw.

The second is “Legends of the Deep” which features an old steamship whose crew “still drifts at sea with one mission - to claim as many souls as they can for their dark lord.”

The last is “All Hallows Eve” where “A cursed group of undead trick or treaters rise up from their shallow graves once a year on Halloween in search of blood, guts, and candy! As the fall spirit infects others, their numbers grow.”

In addition to the scary shows, there will a bar with concessions, an axe throwing class, and mini escape rooms.

Houston Terror Dome

When and where: Open select nights from Sept. 23 – Oct. 30, 16030 East Freeway Channelview, TX 77530

Similar to 13th floor, Houston Terror Dome allows children 12 and under, but does not recommend their attendance. What they do recommend is that attendees bring a change of underwear. According to the attraction’s website, “You are going to need it!!!” Houston Terror Dome is open rain or shine and advertises a haunted house, axe throwing, and two escape rooms, one a cabin in the woods and the other zombie apocalypse-themed. They have paintball, carnival games and the Nightmare Alley Selfie Saloon that comes complimentary with all tickets.

Horror Trails

When and where: Open Oct. 1 – 31, 1415 Almeda Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77047

The Horror Trails are unique in that this is an attraction you can drive through. It’s the excitement and fear of all the other locations mentioned except, for the more fearful participants, you get the safety of your vehicle. They will close on days when the weather threatens the fun, but updates regarding any shutdowns can be found on its website or answering machine. Come with your headlights on, windows down, maintain a speed of three miles per hour, and let staff scare you right in your driver’s seat -- or out of it.

The cost per vehicle is $30, but the first 25 cars on opening night will get in for $25.

Purgatory Scream Park

When and where: Open Friday – Sunday, Sept. 23 – Nov. 5, 1965 Northpark Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339

According to its website, Purgatory Scream Park is “Kingwood’s best kept secret, the former ‘Kingwood Asylum,’ has evolved. It is now bigger and better with more thrills and chills than ever. Purgatory Scream Park is THE place to go in Houston. Purgatory’s scenic designs are second to none, and its resident personalities are unforgettable. If you are looking for the most exciting haunted house to visit, this is the one you don’t want to miss. At 27,000 square feet and a 30 to 40-minute walkthrough, it is the largest haunt in the state of Texas. Come see Kill Count, Dredzo, Lester the Jester, Bendy, and the crew of signature characters that have been tormenting north Houston for years.”

Actors will not intentionally touch guests, but according to their frequently asked questions, it is likely. Halloween costumes are allowed, but masks are prohibited. Ticket options start as low as $40 with general admission and go up for VIP admission and elite package options. Ticket booths on-site accept cash only.

Dungeon of Doom

When and where: Open Oct. 1 – Nov. 5, #8 Kemah Boardwalk, Kemah, TX 77565

The park opens at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and closes between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m. depending on the night.

Phobia’s Dungeon of Doom offers two haunted houses for the price of one. Tickets are $25 per person with a $30 VIP pass also available. No flash photography is permitted and closed-toed shoes are recommended. Actors are not allowed to touch those in attendance but, as their website says, “enter at your own risk!”

Redrum Fear Park

When and where: Open Oct. 1 – Oct. 5, 1800 E Hwy 90 Alt, Richmond, TX 77406

“As you enter REDЯUM Fear Park, get ready to descend into madness with unimaginable scares and innovative ghastliness,” the attraction’s website reads. “Prepare to experience screams that wake the dead, and horrifying visuals that’ll have you on the dreadful path to insomnia. Serving terrifying thrills, unforgettable moments of laughter, and blood-curdling screams in Fort Bend County since our founding in 2008.”

“REDЯUM Fear Park offers a wide array of entertainment. From live music, outdoor seating, delicious food, outside crowd actors, merchandise, and indoor climate-controlled restrooms on-site. REDЯUM Fear Park offers a variety of nightmare-fueled sights from our two live theatrical performances or insanity incarnate within each of our four haunted house attractions that will last you for years. Located on actual haunted grounds at 1800 E Hwy 90 Alt, Richmond, TX 77406.”

General admission starts at $40 with a Speed Freak ticketing option available at $60. A chaperone pass is a $15 option for adults attending with minors, but it does not allow entrance to the haunted houses.

Did we miss any of your favorite haunted houses in the Houston area? Let us know in the comments and we could include it in a future updated version.

About the Authors:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.