Who doesn’t have a seasonal appreciation for the spooky? Halloween is only a few short weeks away — and as it approaches, Bay Area residents have the chance to take part in some of the scariest, creepiest, and most shiver-down-your-spine fun attractions in the Golden State. In this blog, we’ll introduce you to attractions that offer Halloween experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Pirates of Emerson

For the last 29 years, the Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park Drive-Thru has been widely regarded as Northern California’s premier haunted house attraction. Pirates of Emerson takes place in the Alameda County Fairgrounds, which spans an impressive 10 acres. 

The event is only open to regular cars and excludes vehicles such as top-down convertibles, motorcycles, golf carts, campers, bikes, and motorcycles. Everyone must be in a car, with a fee of $95 per car. The staff advises you to keep your car windows rolled up the whole time you are in the attraction. Reservations are required; the drive-thru operates every Thursday through Sunday, starting October 2nd, and ending November 1st.

Ultimate Terror Scream Park

Located in Sacramento, the Ultimate Terror Scream Park captures the very essence of Halloween. On select nights between September 25th and November 1st, the park is open to the public and offers attractions including the House of Undead, Voodoo Bayou, and Midnight Asylum.

In the House of Undead, you assume the identity of someone who was kidnapped. When you wake up in a room you don’t recognize, you find that you have been placed in a maze of horrors. The Voodoo Bayou is a walk-through with a New Orleans theme; it immerses you in the lair of an angry witch that has placed a curse on the locals, as well as on the city itself. The Midnight Asylum is a walk-through that finds you trapped in an insane asylum. Your goal is to find your way out of the asylum and back to freedom.

With so much to do, this attraction can be overwhelming. Because of this, you have the option of following the interactive audio storylines throughout the park.

For an extra treat, be sure to make plans for the night of November 6th or 7th to attend the park’s GlowStick Fright Nights. Ultimate Terror Scream Park is not for the faint of heart. It has been named “The World’s Scariest Museum Walk-Thru Ever.”

Dead Time Dreams

In San Jose, you can scare yourself silly at the Dead Time Dreams. This open-air Halloween attraction includes Horror Alley and the Midway of Terror. The attraction is open only from October 16-18, as well as the 22-25, and then again the 28-31st. It opens at 7:30 PM each night and closes promptly at midnight.

Winchester Mystery House Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour

Also in San Jose is the Winchester Mystery House Hallowe’en Flashlight Tour. This attraction is open during certain nights in October, ending on the 25th. Winchester Myster House’s flashlight tour is self-guided and allows you to explore a mansion that is known to be haunted. Along the way, you will hear stories told by all of the people who previously lived there. Tour hosts are strategically placed to guide you through this attraction.

Fear Overload Scream Park

You will find the Fear Overload Scream Park in San Leandro. One of the few haunted parks in San Francisco, it is open only on select dates starting September 25th and ending November 1st. Just like the Ultimate Terror Scream Park, this one also has GlowSticks Fright Nights on the same dates. Fear Overload features attractions such as The Demon and Descend the Basement.

These are the spookiest Halloween attractions that San Francisco has to offer. If you have the guts and gumptions, we encourage you to start exploring one (or all)!