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13th Floor haunted house
Photograph: Will Byington

The 13 best haunted houses near Chicago

If you need to be frightened in October, head to the scariest haunted houses in Chicago.

Zach Long
Edited by
Zach Long
Written by
Samantha Nelson
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Haunted houses weren't an ideal way to celebrate Halloween in Chicago last year, but with vaccines, mask mandates and other precautions in place, it’s now much safer to have some spooky fun. Haunted houses near Chicago offer the chance to encounter ghosts, zombies, mad scientists and other horrors brought to life with incredible costumes and sets. These attractions aren’t meant for the young or faint of heart, so if you’re looking for some more tame fall fun, check out our guides to the best pumpkin patches and apple picking. For everyone else, these haunted houses near Chicago are good for a few frights.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to Halloween in Chicago

Best haunted houses in Chicago

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Regularly ranked as one of the top haunted houses in Illinois by Halloween connoisseurs, Basement of the Dead has been providing seasonal scares since 2000 in a 120-year-old building in downtown Aurora. Explore the dark, sinister confines to encounter demented doctors and nurses, creepy dolls, and a cult. Admission also includes entry to Shattered 3D, a circus-themed space lit by blacklights and filled with mesmerizing art and creepy clowns. If you want to avoid jump scares, visit during the Night of Isolation Wednesdays Oct 6-20, when you can explore the scenes without the actors. For an extra spooky experience, go on closing day when the lights are all out. Sept 26–Nov 6

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Located in an old briquette factory in Zion, Illinois (near Six Flags Great America), Dungeon of Doom celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The 45,000-square foot space features sets like Mercy General Hospital, the Underworld, and Quimby Slaughter House, all manned by a “killer crew” working hard to provide you with nightmare fuel. For an extra $5, you can also add on the claustrophobic “Buried Alive” experience. Come on Nov 5-6 for the Blackout experience, where you’ll navigate the attraction with just a single glowstick. Sept 25–Nov 6

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  • Attractions
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This year is your last chance to check out this Lockport haunt, which will officially close its doors after this Halloween after freaking out visitors since 1996. Navigate 23 cells in a maximum security prison where the criminals have taken over. The creepy cast includes mass murderers, torturers, killer clowns and a demonic warden haunting the bloodsoaked confines. This is always a popular attraction, but you’ll want to book tickets well in advance given the crowds expected for “the final fear.” Oct 1-31

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You can't visit Camp Crystal Lake, but you can experience a drive-thru haunted attraction at Camp Big Timber in Elgin, Illinois. Terror in the Timbers sends visitors on a drive through the woods, where the spirit of serial killer Dr. Henry Howard Holmes is running amok. Cruising through the attraction at no more than 5 miles per hour (and aided by some nifty stop lights), you'll remain in your vehicle while the scares surround you. This year you can also add on a half-mile hike through a haunted forest and explore a midway featuring games and concessions. Oct 15–30

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  • price 2 of 4

The latest haunt from the creator of Basement of the Dead in Aurora, Disturbia Haunted House is packed with scary scenes including a haunted pumpkin patch, medieval crypt and ancient graveyard populated by terrifying characters, including demons, pig monsters and an extremely creepy Raggedy Ann doll. It’s a grotesquely gorgeous attraction. Like Basement of the Dead, Disturbia also offers blackout dates and visits without the actors, so choose the level of scare that’s right for you. Sept 24–Nov 6

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Featured in The Blues Brothers, the Old Joliet Prison closed in 2002. Now it’s become the Old Joliet Haunted Prison, transformed into a research facility by mad scientists trying to uncover the mysteries of the afterlife. You’ll also navigate the prison yard, machine shop, laundry room and other spaces populated by violent, undead criminals seeking vengeance on the living. Extend your visit with mini escape games and drinks at the Commissary. Sept 30–Nov 6

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Navigate a zombie-infested forest and a cemetery to reach HellsGate, where you’ll find a terrible darkness unleashed by a grief-stricken madman. The team behind Statesville Haunted Prison manages this immersive adventure, which spans multiple levels, secret passages and giant slides where you’ll encounter undead monsters and other creepy characters. Want to surprise your horror-loving friend? Get them a special Hell Pass and the haunt’s staff will single them out for some special scares during their VIP tour. Sept 30–Oct 31

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This South Side haunted house combines old-school startle tactics provided by a cast of costumed actors with animatronics, special effects and spooky sets. Creepy characters—from demonic workers to ghost cult leaders to cannibalistic butchers—hide around nearly every corner, waiting to terrify anyone who steps inside the 26,000-square-foot experience. Travel through the Black Oak Gear Factory, whose brutal owner summoned a demon lord that transformed his workers and nearby townsfolk into twisted creatures. Navigate a nightmare realm and face your phobias to escape the twisted space. Sept 24–Nov 6

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Filmmakers, set designers, sound designers, engineers and makeup artists collaborated to build an immersive haunted house meant to scare you even if you close your eyes. Before you step into the monster-infested maze-like structure, you’ll be greeted by skeletons in the parking lot and can compete for prizes in a carnival. If you need a drink to work up the courage to go in or to steady your nerves after, Realm of Terror also has a bar serving themed cocktails in souvenir cups. You can also find booze-free seasonal treats like apple cider. Oct 15-31

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13th Floor Haunted House moved to Schiller Park this year, setting up two totally new haunted attractions in a 40,000-square-foot space. Try to stay out of the feud between werewolf bikers and skate punk vampires that has spilled into the streets in Bad Blood, then experience the Spirit of Halloween, where a witch’s spell has summoned spirits of the underworld who have possessed pumpkins and other decorations. The new location also features a carnival midway where you can play games and buy food and drinks. Sept 24–Nov 13

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Everything at Massacre Haunted House is indoors, including the lines to get in, so don’t let bad weather scare you away. Vampires are the new theme this year and you’ll encounter the bloodsuckers along with creepy dolls, scarecrows and demons in dark elevators, a haunted El train, and mini mazes spread across more than 30,000 square feet decorated to resemble horror movie sets. The venue also features escape rooms and axe throwing so you can make a full night of your trip to Montgomery. Oct 14–Nov 6

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Located inside the abandoned Elgin Casket Company, the Evil Intentions Haunted House plays up the "unexplained occurrences" that have been reported within the building throughout the years. The multi-level, 55,000-square-foot attraction offers a 30-minute experience, during which you'll encounter some of the decayed residents and frightening spirits that haunt this building. Sept 24–Oct 31

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