The dane101 2012 Wisconsin Haunted House Guide
Post by Jesse Russell on 9/18/2012 9:50am
Each year we attempt to put together a guide of Wisconsin haunted houses that operate for more than one weekend in October and are within a three hour drive of downtown Madison. Our state has an unusually high concentration of annual haunted houses with the greatest concentrations in the Fox Valley and Milwaukee County. The latter region has upped the ante this year by adding at least two new haunts putting it about even with the Valley in terms of scare opportunities. However, south central Wisconsin is definitely nipping at their heals with seven houses all within one hour or less of downtown Madison. South central Wisconsin also lays claim to the state's only paintball zombie hunt (although Milwaukee has haunted Laser Tag).
This list is in no way comprehensive. In addition to the houses that are open for more than one weekend there are plenty that open up for one or two nights (typically fundraising events for nonprofits or school programs). We also stop at the state line leaving out a number of houses between here and Chicago. For more opportunities - including haunted corn mazes, ghost walks, haunted history events, and more - check out Haunted Wisconsin. Starting the final weekend of September a haunted house fan could technically go to a different haunt each weekend night right up until Halloween.
Horror in the Dark at Olin Park: Madison The only Haunted House we know of in Madison proper. Every year the Jaycees put on this event and a portion of the proceeds go to a charitable organization. Dates: Oct. 12, 13, 18 - 20, 25 - 27, and 31.
The Haunted Barn Stoughton (30 mins.) Stoughton’s Haunted Barn started as a 15 minute scare nearly a decade ago and has since evolved into a meander haunt filled with a volunteer staff of more than 30 "scare actors." Dates: Sept. 28, 29, October 5, 6,12,13,19, 20, 26, 27
The Insanitorium New Glarus (45mins.) Oooooo....a new haunted house within a one hour drive of downtown Madison! Find out which inmates were left behind in the basement of an abandoned asylum. If this haunt does well this year they promise more surprises next year. Dates: Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 31
Fall River Chamber of Horrors and Zombie Hunt Fall River (47mins) All the pleasures of paint ball without the frustrations that come with people shooting back at you. The fact that they have a haunted house that was voted one of the best in southwest Wisconsin in 2011 is simply a bonus. Dates: 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, and 27
Dr. S. Cary’s Haunted House: Fort Atkinson (50 mins) The story of Dr. S. Cary is a good one. He set out with the best intentions, curing “scary” illnesses, but soon found experimenting on animals wasn’t enough. He began tricking people into coming into his home so he could have better specimens. He’s invited you to visit his laboratory and morgue. Dates: October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, 2012
The Fright Factory Janesville (50 mins.) Is the Fright Factory Wisconsin's longest consecutive annual haunted house? Quite possibly. They celebrate 20 years scaring the heck out of people this year. Dates: October 12, 13, 19 - 21, 26 - 28
Shockwave Haunts Whitewater (1hr) Shockwave has four haunts including a timed haunt that a person is required to crawl through. The also have a wheelchair accessible house. Dates: October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25-28, 31
Dark Side Haunted Adventure Ixonia (1hr, 10mins) The Dark Side continues to expand this year with five haunts: The Descent, Twilight Nightmare, Backwoods Revenge, Schizophrenia, and Foxglove Nurseries. Each haunt has it's own creepy story you can read in advance on the scream park's website. Dates: September 28, 29 and October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25 - 27.
Wisconsin Feargrounds: Waukesha(1hr, 16mins) Waukesha is home to what was named the number one haunt in Wisconsin by HauntedWisconsin.com. Held at the Waukesha Expo Center Grounds you can experience three haunts: Morgan Manor, Morgana’s Torment, and Shadowlands. Rumor has it this year has a bonus final room exclusively for Madisonians featuring Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nichols tabulating election night voting results for the entire country. Dates:
October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25 - 27, and 31
Terror on Rural Street Hartford (1hr, 27mins) Entering their 14th year Terror on Rural Street offers 17 rooms of scares including live actors and animatronics. Dates: Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
Hauntfest West Allis: (1hr, 30mins) At nine years Hauntfest is one of Milwaukee’s longest running Halloween attractions. Recently they’ve added “The Last Ride” which takes you on a simulated journey of death. Hauntfest is located at the State Fair Grounds and they tout 20,000 square feet of scares. Dates: Oct. 12-14, 18-21, 24-28, and 31
Mars Haunted House Milwaukee (1hr, 34mins) This house lays claim to being the only “truly” haunted house in Wisconsin. In 2009 a “professional” group of paranormal investigators asked to tour the building and found multiple incidents of paranormal energy. So, who knows, this could be the year the spirits get fed up with the living providing all of the scares and decide to show up for unexpected spookings. This is also one of the more "open" haunts in the sense that as the month goes on it stays open for more nights. Dates: Oct. 5, 6, 12-14, 18-20, 24 - 28 and 31.
Haunted Laser Tag Milwaukee (1hr, 37mins) Well, that's clever and different. Haunted Laser Tag. Exactly what it sounds like, you're in training to fend off a zombie invasion. Dates: September 28, 29, October 5, 6 - 12, 13 - 19, 20, 21 - 26, 27, 28
Oblivion Haunted House Menasha (1hr, 45mins) The theme this year is "Contamination III – The Season of the Sisters" and they promise all of the gore and terror one would expect from a post-Apocalyptic world. Dates: September 28, 29, October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19-21, 24-28
A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt Berlin (1hr 47 mins) The Fox Valley possibly could lay claim to the most square feet of Haunted House space in all of Wisconsin. The Berlin Tannery is one of the few haunted houses located in a space that ghost hunters have alleged is actually haunted. It's 75k square feet that has been the home of a number of real deaths over the last 100 years, including a massive fire in the 20s. The Theater of Lost Souls takes advantage of 25,000 square feet in the old tannery which includes "Doctors Demented lab, Industrial Chaos, the electrical shock therapy room, the vampires lair and much more." Dates: Oct 5,6,12,13,19,20,25-28
Burial Chambers: Neenah (1hr, 50mins) The Burial Chamber has two haunted houses, one haunted path, and four burial simulators. Adrenaline House goes for the old school scares including pitch black sections requiring you to feel along the walls, loud noises, water (or is it blood?), and more. Insanity House is, according to the organizers, “a haunted house on crack” filled with mental and physical scares. October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19-21, 24-28
Abandoned Haunted House Complex Srutevant (2hr 4mins) The newest haunted house in the Milwaukee area. It's been in the making for two years and provides two haunts: Ambush and Hysteria. Dates: Oct. 5, 6, 12-14, 18-21, 24-28, 31
Terror on the Fox: Green Bay (2hrs, 22mins) Terror on the Fox has been named one of the top ten haunts in the nation by HauntWorld Magazine and this year they celebrate their Sweet 16. At Terror on the Fox you will experience The Ominous Sanctum, 3rd Dimension of Fear: Fun House, The Void: Static Shock, and Torment: Last Rites. It's worth noting that Terror on the Fox will be open for eight days straight starting Oct. 24. Dates: Sept. 29, Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 18-21, 24-31.
Bonus!: If you want to drive yourself insane this Halloween put on headphones and open the website for every single haunted house on this list at once.
Jesse was born and raised in Connecticut, began blogging in 1997, and moved to Madison in 2003. In 2005, he co-founded dane101 along with Kristian Knutson and Shane Wealti. In addition to helping nearly a dozen contributors run this website he's helped launch various events in the city including What's Your Damage?!, the MadPubQuiz of Awesomeness, the Fire Ball Masquerade, Dane101's Freakin' Halloweekend, and more.