Interested in the latter? There are ghost tours for that and countless inspired-by-a-true-story haunted house movies on Netflix. But if you want menacing zombies and elaborate graveyard sets, there will be seven haunted houses in South Florida this Halloween season.
Havana Haunted Mansion at Curtiss Mansion500 Deer Run, Miami Springs
hauntedmansionmiami.comIt's not technically a haunted house, but the adults-only Havana Haunted Mansion does offer an immersive Halloween experience that combines ghosts and cocktails. The story revolves around a haunted mansion in Havana that used to house an illegal casino in the early 1900s. Some rooms will feature actors playing out the storyline — watch out for the Cuban mafia — while other rooms will be dedicated to food, themed cocktails, and cigars. Guests are encouraged to dress up in elegant attire, but it's not required. Friday, September 15, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $59 to $99.
The Horrorland at Jungle Island1111 Parrot Jungle Trl., Miami
thehorrorland.comSome people want the spooks without the scares at Halloween attractions, which is why the Horrorland offers a free "Don't Scare Me" necklace that lets performers in the scare zones know to play nice. Everyone else, however, is fair game. The Horrorland will set out to terrorize those customers with its eight scare zones and five haunted houses. Cirque du Soleil veteran Francisco Santos is behind this haunt, which includes its show, Freak Cirque, and a día de los muertos display featuring puppets from Fort Lauderdale's Day of the Dead parade. Food and drinks can be purchased at the Cemetery Bar, while Halloween apparel and souvenirs are available at the Shop of Horrors. Friday, September 22, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $48.99 to $118.99.
House of Horror at Miami International Mall1625 NW 107th Ave., Doral
houseofhorrorcarnival.comIf it's good enough for Camila Cabello, it's good enough for us! The "Havana" singer was spotted last year at House of Horror, which has been scaring South Florida since the early aughts. This year's edition features four haunted attractions (the Scare X Studios photo ops return for the Instagram crowd) and more than 20 carnival rides (Scarecoaster is billed as "South Florida's only Halloween-themed rollercoaster"). Keep an eye out for the top-hat-wearing Mr. Lockhart, Master of the Carnival, and former members of Fifth Harmony. Thursday, September 28, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $20 to $40.
No Way Out: Insomnia at Dolphin Mall11401 NW 12th St., Miami
nowayoutmiami.comDo haunted houses give you nightmares? You won't have to worry about that after visiting No Way Out: Insomnia, which is set in a deranged sleep study center and features the tagline "You'll never sleep again." Problem solved. Once you're done walking through Insomnia, you'll exit into the new Monster's Lounge. You can enjoy drinks, food, and music here until 3 a.m. Friday, September 29, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $30 to $45.
Nightmare Village at Xtreme Action Park5300 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale
xtremeactionpark.com"Carnival of Carnage" — one of two haunted houses at Nightmare Village — takes place in a psychiatric hospital rather than a carnival. So why the name? Because clowns have taken over the hospital. And it turns out clowns don't make good mental health care professionals. That would explain why patients are being held in cages. The haunt isn't recommended for children under 13, but Nightmare Village offers a more family-friendly version on Saturday, October 28, for kids 6 and older. Saturday, September 30, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $25 to $40.
Fright Nights at South Florida Fairgrounds9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach
myfrightnights.comThis West Palm Beach Halloween attraction is now old enough to drink. Fright Nights returns for year 21 with four haunts, including sequels to last year's Country Bill's Meat Market, now called Jed's Chop Shop, and the Christmas-themed Dead of Winter, now Dead of Winter: Chapter 2. As usual, Fright Nights offers a behind-the-scenes tour on Thursday, October 5, with carnival rides, scare zones, and live music. Friday, October 6, through Saturday, October 28. Tickets cost $35 to $40.
The Haunt at Tree Tops Park3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie
floridahaunt.comThe Haunt invites you to get some fresh air and walk through the woods at night. What could go wrong? Sure, you could come across la bruja's graveyard or run into the swamp-dwelling Florida Man. And there are also twisted clowns and mutated wildlife. But other than that, the four themed trails are a walk in the park. If you want to bring the kids, the Haunt offers a more family-friendly event for children 10 and under on select evenings. Friday, October 13, through Tuesday, October 31. Tickets cost $45 to $120.