Look...we all need something to look forward to between Oktoberfest and Thanksgiving, so that's why they invented Halloween*.
It's a holiday where we take a break from internal existential terror, and instead scare ourselves with the kinds of terrors that have names: ghosts, werewolves, and zombies. I’m talking about haunted houses (and fields, and farms, and literally anything that can contain a few well-placed jump-scares)!
So pack a car full of friends and family, and head out to one of these scary sensations in the South Puget Sound!
*This is absolutely not true, but look at you reading the footnotes!
We’ve given each haunted house a Terror Rating from 1-5: 1 being great fun for the whole family, and 5 being terrifying enough to give grown adults nightmares. You’ve been warned!
Terror Rating: 4
Each fall, Tacoma’s historic train-depot-turned-urban-market converts itself into a paranormal emporium and “Freighthouse” Square becomes “Frighthouse” Square. The twisted minds behind Frighthouse Station choose a theme each year—for 2023, you can expect an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired storyline: “Having embraced an ancient terror from deep beneath the sea, the locals invite you to join them—like it or not. Walk the village's corrupted streets, brave a sinking cargo ship, and descend deeper and deeper beneath the waves to face unspeakable eldritch evil.”
Freighthouse Square, 2501 E. D. St., Tacoma, WA 98421
October 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28;
November 3-4, 2023
Terror Rating: 5
The Fright Factory has been rated as one of the scariest haunted attractions in Washington State three years running, and you’ll find out why as you trek through remote fields and farm outbuildings. The only things you won’t have to fear are the rain—it’s almost completely under cover or indoors—and parking fees. For all the rest though, you’ve been warned! There are also food and drink vendors onsite, but maybe wait til after you’ve gone through the Fright Factory.
2000 Collins Rd, Buckley, WA 98321
October 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 26-31, 2023
Maris Farms Haunted Woods
Terror Rating: 3.5
At almost a mile long, Maris Farms’ Haunted Woods is the longest haunted house in Washington and typically takes about 30-40 minutes to walk through. You’ll be in for multiple jump scares thanks to the actors, and between themed sets, you’ll walk in the dark without ambient music, which is its own kind of uneasiness. Lines can get long, but with great food, light shows, and other activities, there is plenty to do and see while you wait.
Maris Farms, 24001 Sumner Buckley Hwy, Buckley, WA 98321
October 6-7, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, 2023
HAUNTED ESCAPE ROOM
Terror Rating: 1.5-4, depending on the scenario (The Cabin is a resounding 4)
What’s slightly scarier than being trapped in a room with coworkers in the name of team-building? Escape Hour has cooked up 4 spooky scenarios for you to rail against with help from your team: The Cabin: Final Chapter, a paranormal adventure uncovering the inner demons of a family marked for death; Curse of the Mayan Ruins, an archaeological exploration deep in the jungle; Legend of Theradonia, a fight to save a peaceful land from evil; and Midnight Manor, a new scenario inside a terrifying manor. Escape if you can, before it’s too late!
Escape Hour Gig Harbor, 212 50th Street Court NW. Ste. 104, Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Daily through the season
These scheduled ghost tours around Tacoma fill up fast, so make your reservations ahead of time!
Terror Rating: 2
There’s a whole new element of fear when scary tales are TRUE! Leave the land of make-believe and learn about Tacoma’s real spooky past with these two ghost tours. They’re both almost entirely outdoors, so make sure you dress for the weather!
This outdoor walking tour visits several locations along Tacoma's historic Whiskey Row and shares the true crime and ghost stories associated with each location. You’ll also get the opportunity for a drink at the end to warm the chill from your limbs and spirit.
Gruesome murders, hexes, defiled burial grounds, and slavery all have led to spirits that are unable (or unwilling) to move on. You will get to hear these great stories and see the spots where these events took place.
Pretty Gritty Tours
October 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28;
November 3, 2023
Additional times available by request
Bit of a scaredy cat? Have young ones in tow? Here are some more ideas.
Terror Rating: 0
Full disclosure up front: the animals will not be in costume. However, the exhibit areas will be decked out, kids can trick-or-treat for candy or participate in a costume parade, the animals will be eating gourds and special treats, and the elephants will be smashing pumpkins.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, 5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407
October 14-15, 2023
For more ideas to celebrate the season, visit our Harvest Itinerary!