Barrett’s Haunted Mansion
1235 Bedford St.
Abington, MA 02351
Dates: Sept. 21 to Oct. 30
Barrett’s Haunted Mansion has been in operation for more than 20 years now, positively petrifying visitors with a unique and horrifying show that changes nightly, even regularly switching out the actors and ghouls to make each visit the most frightening experience imaginable for unsuspecting visitors. The mansion’s rural, farmhouse setting and do-it-yourself aesthetic set a creepy and claustrophobic atmosphere guaranteed to set up bouts of anxiety and fear for adult guests. The experience is probably a bit too realistic for the young ones. Guest groups are limited to six at a time, which means lines here at Barrett’s can be a bit long. The wait is most definitely worth it.
Factory of Terror
33 Pearl St.
Fall River, MA 02721
Click here for dates and hours
Price: $20 adults/$15 children/$40 VIP
This southern New England attraction has long been a horror staple for the area, proudly frightening visitors from throughout the Boston area. Totally worth the drive down 93 South to Route 24 and 195, Factory of Terror prides itself on providing harrowing scares and real-life frights for adults during its infamous evening shows. Earlier events feature tamer, more kid-friendly fare designed for families. Nighttime is fright-time at the Factory of Terror, however, with the darkness ushering in the style of scares perfect for tough guys and date nights alike.
See also: Boston’s Best Fall Festivals
79 Powers Road
Westford, MA 01886
Hours: Thurs to Sun through October – 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Price: $30 per person/$22 per person group rates on Thursdays/$30 per person weekends
This Westford location provides options for fright with a terrifying, 20-minute haunted hayride populated by demons, zombies, witches and ghouls, all out for blood and screams. After the trip, guests are also able to venture (if they dare) into any number of the explorable haunted houses on site. Although the lines here, like most haunted houses, can prove to be quite long, the Nightmare Mansion, the Keeper’s Crypt, Horrorwood and malevolent Castle Morbid contain plenty of open-ended adventures and scares — enough for a whole night’s fright.
Lakeville Haunted House
28 Precinct St.
Lakeville, MA 02347
Hours: Fri and Sat through October – 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $13 per person
Like Fall River’s Factory of Terror, the Lakeville Haunted House could prove to be a bit of a hike for most Bostonians, yet this demonic destination is similarly worth the drive, as evidenced by the thousands of visitors who seek out this haunted house on a yearly basis, eager to test their mettle and bravery against a morbid menagerie of volunteer ghouls. The best part of this particular fright factory, however, is the fact that the proceeds here go back into the Lakeville community and the student volunteers who make this wonderfully scary place a reality every Halloween season.
454 Charles Bancroft Highway
Litchfield, NH 03052
Dates: Sept. 28 to Oct. 30
Click here for prices
Although some may argue this New England fright tradition may, at this point, be resting upon its proverbial laurels as a venerable haunted house institution, these nightmare makers still draw a fearsome crowd on a yearly basis, with Friday and Saturday nights featuring long waits and even longer lines. The price tag that usually goes along with a night’s fear at Spooky World is also no screaming matter, as VIP parking and ticket prices (which include a bonfire) prove to be an almost essential part of the deal, at least if getting in and out in a relatively timely manner means anything to the unsuspecting visitor. Still, with six haunted houses to explore, and a huge group of gory ghouls out on the prowl, the heritage of Spooky World still rings loud and clear for many every Halloween.
George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at Examiner.com.