After carving pumpkins and stuffing your face with candy corn, haunted hayrides are one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween. Piled into a wagon with your friends and family, you get to scream your lungs out into the October night — and these haunted hayrides are so much more than a quaint trip through the pumpkin patch. Killer clowns, chainsaw-wielding madmen, and the Headless Horseman himself come complete with special effects, dedicated performers, and frightening storylines. These haunted hayrides will be worth every nightmare they’re sure to give you.
The 10 Scariest Haunted Hayrides in the United States
1. Dark Terror-tory Haunted Hayride — Niles, Michigan
Niles Scream Park lets you know that it’s not responsible for dry-cleaning bills when visitors wet their pants. If that level of scared sounds like your kind of good time, then you’ll want to climb aboard the park’s Dark Terror-tory Haunted Hayride. Once safely seated in the wagon, guests are pulled past more than 30 sets on a mile-long trail. Part horror and part humor, the scenes work together to tell a story. The narrative, which changes every year, draws guests in and makes them part of the show. Tickets for the hayride cost $8 per person. For the hayride as well as access to the entire park, combination tickets cost $30 ($35 on Saturdays in October). Other attractions include a haunted house, haunted corn maze, and an experience called “Hooded,” during which thrill-seekers are alone and blindfolded.
Where: 855 Mayflower Rd, Niles, MI 49120
2. Dead End Hayride — Wyoming, Minnesota
For most of the year, the woods around Pinehaven Farm are peaceful and void of evil. But every fall, brave souls gather to test their courage at the Dead End Hayride, the self-billed “ultimate horror experience.” The journey’s hair-raising scenes are made even more so by cryogenic blasts, explosions, and pyrotechnic displays. If you manage to make it past the horrifying creatures prowling among the trees, you’re welcome to rest at either the Pinehaven Motor Inn or Sunnyvale Asylum. Don’t let your guard down, though. Creepy clowns have been known to follow visitors out of the woods. The Friday and Saturday before Halloween, general admission tickets cost $30 at the door.
Where: 28186 Kettle River Blvd N, Wyoming, MN 55092
3. Haunted Hayride — Los Angeles, California
Before you can experience the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride for yourself, you have to walk through the gates of Purgatory. Set in the abandoned Griffith Park Zoo, the haunted village features a variety of Halloween experiences, such as rides on the Scary-Go-Round and mind-readings by a psychic. But the real scares are waiting for you in the haunted woods. Stay on the lookout for killer clowns lying in wait for an unsuspecting passerby. Tickets, which include admission to Purgatory and the haunted hayride, cost $36 per person.
Where: 4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
4. Ride of Terror — Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Creamy Acres Night of Terror Farm knows how to make visitors scream. If you dare, climb aboard the Ride of Terror haunted hayride for 25 acres of terrifying zombies, psychotic clowns, and chainsaw-wielding madmen. You never know what’s waiting for you around the next turn or lurking among the cemetery headstones. General admission tickets cost $35 per person and include access to the other park attractions. If you survive the Ride of Terror, check out the Haunted Paintball hayride, where you have to fight to protect yourself from the oncoming zombie hoard. The Haunted Paintball hayride is separate from the other attractions and costs $25 per person. Combination passes are available for $75 each.
Where: 448 Lincoln Mill Rd, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062
5. Legends of the Fog — Aberdeen, Maryland
The undead are coming, and for any hope of survival, you must stick together with your hayride companions. The Legends of the Fog haunted hayride takes visitors on a long and spooky journey through a zombie-infested junkyard, haunted forest, and creepy cornfield. Are you sure you should trust the friendly local who offered you a ride? Keep a close eye on the rest of the group — and your limbs. Whatever happens, don’t stop moving. You don’t want to get caught by the fog. Hayride tickets cost $20 while a $30 combination ticket allows you to experience all the attractions.
Where: 500 Carsins Run Rd, Aberdeen, MD 21001
6. Witch’s Wood Haunted Hayride — Westford, Massachusetts
Did you hear that sound? It’s werewolves howling at the moon, and they’re emerging from the darkness of Witch’s Wood to encircle your wagon. The werewolves aren’t the only ones attracted to the scent of human flesh. While the good witches do their best to keep guests safe, zombies and other unknown creatures inhabit the forest. Try your hardest to get away, but the spirits of dead lumberjacks want to hack your wagon in two to ensure you never leave. If you haven’t screamed enough after the haunted hayride, check out the park’s other attractions, such as the Keeper’s Crypt. The three-dimensional land of the living dead promises a whole new level of terror. General admission tickets cost $38 per person.
Where: 79 Powers Rd, Westford, MA 01886
7. Headless Horseman Hayrides — Ulster Park, New York
This 250-year-old farm in the historically haunted Hudson Valley sets the perfect spooky scene for Headless Horseman Hayrides. On the mile-long hayride, you’ll tour the abandoned town of Old Crow Hollow and come face to face with evil creatures — made up in incredibly terrifying costumes — that want to drag you into the darkness. Ichabod Crane didn’t get past the infamous Headless Horseman. Will you? General admission tickets cost $50 plus tax. In addition to the hayride, the price of admission includes access to a haunted corn maze, six haunted houses, and a dark circus sideshow.
Where: 778 Broadway, Rte 9W, Ulster Park, NY 12487
8. Forest of Fear at Spooky Ranch — Columbia Station, Ohio
If passing the giant skull mounted on top of the Haunted Barn doesn’t scare you out of buying tickets for Spooky Ranch’s Famous Haunted Hayride, buckle up for a high-tech spookfest through the Forest of Fear. Thirty-foot animated monsters and actors dressed in their most frightening Halloween digs creep in the shadows. Fog lingers all around, blood-curdling screams sound in the background, and pyrotechnic touches add extra drama to the ride’s 25 minutes of terror. Well, 25 minutes of mostly terror. Expect a few comedic moments throughout for optimal entertainment, as well as a chance to let your heart rate settle after all those jump scares. Tickets to the hayride cost $20 for adults and $15 for kids.
Where: 19066 E River Rd, Columbia Station, OH 44028
9. Hanna Haunted Hayride — Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis’s largest and most famous haunted hayride doubles as the star attraction at Hanna Haunted Acres. Tension builds as the tractor pulls you through the cursed woods, where ghastly creatures and grisly beasts await. In past years, guests have been terrorized by animatronic monsters ranging from super-sized spiders to a pumpkin king rising from the flames, as well as dedicated actors dressed up like witches, ghouls, and more. Masked actors may even try to climb aboard the wagon with you. If that doesn’t scare you, the final chase through the forest will definitely have you quaking in your seat. Hayride tickets cost between $17 and $20 depending on the day you visit. General admission to the Hanna Haunted Acres Halloween theme park ranges from $23 to $31.
Where: 7323 E Hanna Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46239
10. Bates Motel Hayride — Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
This haunted hayride at Arasapha Farm, about 45 minutes from Philadelphia, is often called one of the scariest Halloween-time attractions in America, and for good reason. No two thrills are the same here, where 25 spooky scenes are brought to life by a crew of 75 actors, realistically gruesome props, and a killer digital effects team. Look over your shoulder as you ride through the forest and you might just see the Headless Horseman stalking the wagon. After, watch your back as you move through the cemetery filled with restless souls. Tickets to the Bates Motel Haunted Hayride cost $20 for adults and $15 for children.
Where: 1835 Middletown Rd, Glen Mills, PA 19342
A version of this article was previously published on October 9, 2018 by Alex Wittman, and was updated on October 14, 2019 by Alex Bresler.