Scariest haunted houses in the world

Do you dare enter these extreme horror houses?

Zombie walk - France
(Image credit: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

There are thousands of haunted house attractions in operation around the world, offering fear factors which range from fairground thrills to mind-bending terror.

The ghost train might be spooky enough for some, but if you think you’ve got what it takes to handle a truly extreme horror experience, add some of these to your bucket list.

Labyrinth of Fear, Japan

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Located within Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland theme park, the Labyrinth of Fear certainly lives up to its name.

Navigating your way through the corridors of an ultra-creepy abandoned hospital while trying to avoid its “patients” will definitely get even the most jaded thrill seeker’s blood pumping. One visitor described her experience as “so horrifying that I ended up losing my voice due to shouting non-stop”.

Even worse for cowardy-custards praying for it to all be over, the Labyrinth is one of the largest haunted houses in the world, and takes up to an hour to complete.

Netherworld, USA

Voted the best haunted house in America by Hauntworld magazine last year, this Atlanta attraction opens its doors in October every year.

Netherworld “was one of the first haunts to create unique themes and populate the attraction with original monsters and special effects”, the magazine wrote, meaning that visitors truly have no idea what to expect inside.

In fact, the scares might even start before you get through the doors - “creatures often escape the building and roam the parking lot in search of their next victims”, according to viral news site TheThings.com.

Lost Souls Alley, Poland

Despite its picturesque location in the heart of Krakow’s Old Town, there is absolutely nothing charming about this haunted house-cum-escape room.

Once the door shuts, you have around 20 minutes to find a way out of “a creepy ramshackle apartment full of blood-spattered beds, hacked-off limbs, moaning invalids and reaching hands”, says travel website In Your Pocket.

Guests are asked to choose their preferred “pain level” before they enter. If you opt for maximum pain, not only will the hands of the actors inside become more grabby, some of them may even be holding stun guns. Yikes.

Thorpe Park Fright Night, UK

Thorpe Park’s annual fright nights have become a Halloween staple - but that doesn’t mean they’ve got any less terrifying. In fact, this year the theme park has put together a bonanza of fear, with nine scare zones and mazes to exhaust even the most hardened horror nut.

Horror movie fans can step into zones inspired by spine-chilling cult classic The Blair Witch Project and the gorefest SAW series, or try their luck at surviving a zombie hoard in The Walking Dead: Do or Die.

Among the new attractions is Vulcan Peak, “an intense nightmarish tribal hell where visitors will need their most primal instincts to survive”, says the Daily Express.

McKamey Manor, USA

The brainchild of Russ McKamey, McKamey Manor - formerly located in San Diego but recently relaunched in Tennessee and Alabama - is infamous among adrenaline junkies as the world’s most extreme haunted house. The experience is truly in a league of its own - in over ten years of operation, not a single visitor has made it to the end of the night.

Would-be participants must have a doctor’s note and undergo a background check before they can even attempt the gruelling ordeal, which many have likened to torture.

So what’s involved? The experience is different for every guest, says lifestyle website Can You Actually, but the 40-page waiver involves “agreeing to force-feeding, ice water dunking, head shaving, gagging and bondage, to list a few”. Not for the faint hearted doesn’t even begin to describe it.

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