Photo: Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. (Photo by Donald Wood)
To celebrate Halloween, Haunted Attraction Association (HAA) has officially certified 14 haunts across the United States as the Top Haunted Attractions.
For a haunted attraction to become certified by the HAA, they must be a member of the group and meet a list of 10 criteria relating back to the mission of the association, which protects customers, promotes haunted attractions and educates industry professionals.
“The safety of our guests is the number one priority,” HAA President John Eslich said in a statement. “The certification is a symbol of excellence that honors those attractions that are making strides above and beyond to focus on the safety and education of their employees, while developing a world-class haunting experience for guests.”
One of the attractions on the list that has become world renowned for its scariness is Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Built in 1829, the prison was in operation until 1971 and now hosts a demented series of haunted areas. With six new secret rooms opening this year, the facility is scarier than ever.
For those looking for a haunted attraction a bit off the board, the USS Nightmare in Newport, Kentucky, is exactly what you need. Built on the remnants of the William S. Mitchell dredging vessel, guests are treated to thirty minutes of pure horror on the vintage ship.
Here is the official list of the top haunted attractions, via the Haunted Attraction Association:
•Creepy Hollow Haunted House: Rosharon, Texas
•The Factory of Terror: Canton, Ohio
•Fright Farm: Smithfield, Pennsylvania
•Fear Fair: Seymour Indiana
•Field of Screams: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
•Headless Horseman Hayrides & Haunted Houses: Ulster Park, New York
•Ruby Falls Haunted Cavern: Chattanooga, Tennessee
•Saint Lucifer’s Screampark: Flint, Michigan
•Shocktoberfest: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
•Spooky Ranch at Rockin'-R- Ranch: Columbia, Ohio
•Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
•The Haunted Hotel: Louisville, Kentucky
•USS Nightmare: Newport, Kentucky
•Wisconsin Fear Grounds: Milwaukee, Wisconsin