Haunted house sign and pumpkin

26 Best Haunted Attractions Around Chicago (2023)

It wouldn’t be Halloween without a few spooky activities. We’ve done some research and found a wide range of haunted options, so whether you want to introduce your little one to the spirit of Halloween or scare the living daylights out of your teenager, there’s something for you. Here are the best haunted attractions in Illinois to create an unforgettable Halloween season for the entire family!

scarecrows in a row in a field

Not-So-Scary Spooky Places for Little Kids

1. Scarecrow Trail Morton Arboretum

4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL 60532

The Morton Arboretum is a gorgeous way for your family to enjoy the beautiful colors of fall. During the weeks of October, they have a scarecrow trail where the Meadow Lake trail is lined with nearly 50 scarecrows made by local boy scout troops.

After walking the trail, you can cast your vote for your favorite scarecrow at the visitor center. They also have a children’s garden which is 4 acres of kid-friendly climbing structures, plants, and streams, that allow your kids to connect with nature!

2. Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm Little House on the Scary

13341 W. 151st St., Homer Glen

Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm has an adorable kids’ village they call “Little House on the Scary” that little kids will love! There are creepy tunes, a kids’ jail, and lots of photo opportunities. The farm also has rides, animals, and great food.

3. Sonny Acres Haunted Hayride

29W310 North Ave., West Chicago, IL 60185

The hayrides at Sonny Acres Farm takes you through enchanted woods with spooky live action actors, pyrotechnics, music and sound effects. It’s fun for all ages, and it shouldn’t be too scary for the little ones!

They also have a haunted barn!

4. Ackerman Haunted Trail

Website | October 26-October 27

See the creepy creatures of this haunted trail that has different levels of scary based on time.

  • 4-6pm: Lower scare factor for younger children
  • 6-9pm: More scary scenes for older kids

There will also be Halloween-themed games and local food trucks.

All adults and children over the age of 3 walking the trail must register and pay the $5 fee. If tickets are still available, cash-only purchases of $7 per person can be made at the door.

5. Itasca Haunted Trail

Website | October 21

This haunted trail is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to spooky season. There are two times slots, one that is more family friendly, and one with more scare zones.

  • 6-7pm: Family hour with fewer creepy characters
  • .7-9:30pm: Active scaring with creep-tastic actors

6. Haunted Dolls 2: Riddles of the Wayward Spirit

Chicago History Museum

There’s nothing creepier than a creepy doll, and The Chicago History Museum is hosting their spooky scavenger hunt of creepy dolls that will be fun for all family members. Use riddles from Chicago history to help find the dolls in the museum.

7. Haunted Forest at Diane Main Park

Website | October 21 | 200 W 59th St, Westmont, IL 60559

Hop on a wagon ride and explore the forest filled with ghouls, goblins, and other spooky creatures. The earlier part of the day is less scary than the evening portion, so everyone will be in for some good times!

  • 3-6:30pm: Little.Monsters
  • 7-9:30pm: Sheer Terror
neon sign that says haunted hosue

Somewhat Scary Places for Kids Who Can Handle a Little Fear

8. Windy City Ghosts

2021 N Burling St, Chicago, IL 60614

This haunted tour is definitely what I’d recommend for history enthusiasts and people who want to learn a little bit more about Chicago. The walking tour departs from the Tin Man Statue in Oz Park and takes you to 8-12 stops in historic Lincoln Park. You’ll learn about the Great Chicago Fire, John Dillinger, Al Capone, and the murders of H.H. Holmes while seeking out the wicked spirits of the windy city ghosts.

Windy City Ghosts also has tours of the Old Joliet Prison, which held some of Chicago’s most famous criminals, including John Wayne Gacy. The tour is not stroller or wheelchair friendly, but I’m looking forward to taking kids on this tour when they’re older!

9. Hayride of Horror

199 Woods Dr, Lockport, IL 60441

Haunted hayrides are perfect for school-aged kids because they can be seated next to parents within the confines of the moving tractor, so there’s an added element of feeling protected during the scary parts. This hayride has live actors, so it can definitely be spooky, but hold your kids close and give it a try!

10. Scream Scene Haunted House

4701 Oakton St. Skokie, IL 60076

Every year the Skokie Water Playground turns into a seasonal haunted house, and each year is different so it can be a yearly tradition with your family. They don’t recommend the Haunted House for children under 10 years old, but they do have a “lights on” Haunted House from 3pm-5pm on October 28th for the little ones.

11. Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm

40 W Higgins Rd, South Barrington, IL 60010

This pumpkin patch features a lot more than just pumpkins, including corn mazes, pig racing, pony rides, and a ten-room haunted house designed for school-aged children. This is a great way to introduce kids to the spooky aspects of Halloween!

12. Boo Fest

Website | 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031

Boo Fest is a great way for kids to experience Great America theme park without their darkest fears being realized. There will be trick-or-treating, a monster bash party, candy corn lane, and more!

13. Haunted Maze at Navy Pier

Website | 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Check out the creepy characters at the Haunted Halloween Maze on Navy Pier. This is SCARY, so it’s not recommended for children younger than 10.

creepy, dilapidated house at night

Beware: Extra Scary Places That Are Only Great For Teens and Adults

14. HellsGate Haunted House

301 W. 2nd Street, Lockport IL 60441

This multi-level mansion in the woods consistently ranks as the scariest haunted house in Illinois, and one of the best haunted houses in the United States. It contains giant slides, secret passages, ghastly secrets, undead abominations, and nervous groundskeepers that will give you the darkest nightmares. This year, the former Statesville Haunted Prison inmates have joined forces with the house staff of HellsGate, and there will be double the number of live actors, special effects, and square feet of absolute terror!

15. 13th Floor Haunted House

5050 River Road, Schiller Park, IL 60176

13th Floor Haunted House is one of the most anticipated Halloween events in the Chicago area. It is always regarded as one of the best Illinois haunted houses, and this year they have a couple of unique attractions, including an outcast carnival and an undead group of trick-or-treaters that rise up from their graves in search of blood, guts, and candy! This year they also have mini escape rooms for $5 each on top of general admission!

16. Realm of Terror Haunted House

421 W. Rollins Rd. Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

Be prepared to have nightmares after visiting the Realm of Terror horror experience that has received rave reviews from the Chicago Tribune. The award-winning casts and talented makeup artists take this local haunted attraction to the next level. There are food trucks, escape room games and a haunted bar for the adults in your group!

17. Disturbia Haunted House

1213 Butterfield Rd., Downers Grove, IL

The legendary Disturbia Haunted House is supposed to be a great time, and it’s only about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. There honestly isn’t a lot of information on the website, so let us know if you check it out so we can give more information about it!

18. Evil Intentions Haunted House

900 Grace St, Elgin, IL 60120

This Haunted House is particularly cool because it’s actually supposedly haunted and not simply manufactured for Halloween night. According to their website, Evil Intentions is the site of an abandoned casket factory built in the early 1900s. In the 1940s, five mutilated bodies were found in the basement and unexplained occurrences have happened ever since.

Haunted Illinois, an organization that scopes out supposedly haunted locations, explored Evil Intentions before it opened to the public, and they experienced some things they can’t explain–including what seems to be paranormal activity caught on video systems.

19. Basement of the Dead

Website | 42 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506

Basement of the Dead is in a covered parking lot in Aurora, and it’s consistently regarded as one of the most horrifying haunted house experiences. Kids are allowed at their parents’ discretion, but it’s not recommended for those under 13.

20. Dungeon of Doom

Website | 600 29th St, Zion, IL 60099

Dungeon of Doom is a haunted house with detailed sets including “Dead Clown Alley”, “Mercy General Hospital”, and more scary scenes straight from a horror movie. They have a “killer crew” of characters that make their appearances throughout the haunted house, so check them out on the website before you go!

They also host special events, including a totally dark haunted house experience.

21. Midnight Terror Haunted House

Website | 5520 W 111th St, Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Midnight Terror Haunted House is a haunted house event that will be sure to awaken your darkest fears. They have a whole backstory about an abandoned factory that will please any scare fanatic.

22. Old Joliet Haunted Prison

Website | 401 Woodruff Rd, Joliet, IL 60432

If you want to mix a little history in with your terror, the Old Joliet Haunted Prison is the right place for you. Located in a real abandoned prison, it’s one of the only haunted houses that also serves a historical landmark. It once held John Wayne Gacy and Baby Face Nelson.

There are more historical tours in one area, and then a high-quality production “haunted” area that has mini escape games and scare scenes.

Fun Fact: Old Joliet Prison was a filming location in the Blue Brothers!

23. Massacre Haunted House

Website | 299 Montgomery Rd, Montgomery, IL 60538

Massacre Haunted House is one of the largest haunted houses in Chicagoland. There are dozens of photo-ops, dirty-looking sets, and plenty of frightening sites.

24. The Congress Plaza Hotel

Website | 520 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

If you’re looking for a more real life haunted experiences, the Congress Plaza Hotel is consistently rated one of the most haunted places in the country. There are quite a few stories, but staying a night in this historical hotel may be a great way to enjoy downtown and perhaps catch a glimpse of a ghost!

25. Haunted History Tours

Website | More Information

This is a great activity if you have teenagers! It’s only for ages 16+.

Walk around Chicago with Adam Selzer, an expert on Chicago’s Haunted History who frequently appears on the Travel Channel. This popular tour sells out fast, so buy tickets in advance! Tour meetup location will be provided in an email to attendees two days prior to the event.

26. Fright Fest

Website | 1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, IL 60031

Fright Fest is one of the best Chicago Halloween Events for teenagers. Ride rollercoasters in the dark, experience some of the most horrifying haunted house experiences, and experience multiple different scare zones.

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