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How 3 Ohio Haunted Houses Are Reinventing the Wow Factor on Fright and Fun

Ohio has set the bar for the best and scariest haunted houses for decades, and now they are taking it to new frights, I mean heights.

Haunted Houses are the ultimate celebration of all things Halloween. From the terrifying to the creepy, they have succeeded in giving us all nightmares that leave us wanting to return year after year.

1: The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

Celebrating 50 years, the Schoolhouse and Laboratory in Akron have created terror on every level and are the nation’s longest-running, original haunted house. The Schoolhouse takes its victims through three floors of blood-curdling action before leaving you at the mercy of the mad scientists in the laboratory. Be especially wary of the Telsa Coil—shooting sparks at you that makes the hair on your arm stand up. Hmmm, it sounds like something Frankenstein got a jolt out of.

If you think you have experienced it before, you are in for a surprise. Over the past couple of years, as of 2017, the new owner has been busy renovating existing scenes and creating new opportunities for spine-tingling, harrowing excitement for everyone.

Paying tribute to its history as a working lab, the Haunted Laboratory has been redesigned to elaborate and exaggerate its history with homage to the experiments that once took place inside these walls. The building has been returned to much of its original architecture, giving it an authentic spine-chilling appeal.

The Monster Midway is the perfect place to meet up with friends, take a breather, or enjoy the attraction with a little distance between you and your darkest fears. Midway offers games, photo ops, gift shops, food trucks, and Beer Before Fear. Come early for a drink or stop in during your time in the Schoolhouse.

2: Factory of Terror

Located in Canton, Factory of Terror is a three-time world record winner for the largest indoor haunted house in the world. Over a mile long, the factory will take you deep into the unknown and make you excited, amazed, and petrified all at the same time.

Five shows demonstrate exceptional talent, elaborate sets, and high-tech animatronics designed with your fear factor in mind. The owner pays particular attention to consistently upping the attractions with recent changes and technological advances. Layette 13 has undergone significant scene changes, and Massacre on Mahoning has added a coffin maze to the delight of the underworld.

A new mirror maze will have you seeing double and triple in this visually manipulating version of a mind game, questioning what is real as you clamor for your escape.

Guests can take a break throughout the attraction at one of the five bars on the Midway. Visit Carnevil before entering and then stop by Poison Ivy’s for a break. The Forsaken Bar on Bourbon at the Factory will have you experiencing the New Orleans French Quarter like never before.

The last stop is One Eyed Jacks Pirate Bar, where they hopefully don’t make you walk the plank. One Eyed Jacks is the perfect spot to celebrate making it out alive with dancing, food trucks, and a visit to the gift shop.

The Bullseye Axe Bar is a full-service bar in the All-American Axe throwing venue. Stop in and watch some axe throwing or try it yourself for an additional cost. Lanes are available throughout the year on Fridays and Saturdays with reservations.

Don’t let the weather hold you back from your fate. The entire attraction is housed inside.

The factory may have been resurrected from the dead, keeping you safe from the weather. But it is everything inside that will haunt your days to come.

3: Blood Prison

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield is infamous for its paranormal activity all year, but imagine what Halloween does for this old gothic building. Visit the only haunted house located in an actual prison! Over the years, many men died in this prison, either from disease, murder, or suicide.  

Tread lightly as you embark so as not to wake the Warden’s Widow. If she knows you are there, beware of her blood-curdling scream and take it as a warning. At 6’ 7’, the widow and her Elite Guards are what nightmares are made of.

Creatures at a haunted house

Feel the chill? You are entering solitary. Experts worldwide have experienced the sudden and unexplained chill that lets you know you are not alone. Known as the Hole, after a riot in the 1950s, guards put 120 violent men, six each, into cells meant for one man. Overcrowded conditions in isolation can make even the sanest of men maniacal. Not all who entered the hole came out alive—many claim to hear their voices within the walls.

While the prison offers the ideal backdrop for all things terrifying, The Blood Prison will have you questioning your sanity and fearing for your life. Amazing special effects, experienced actors, and a rich history of death, despair, and the paranormal lend authenticity to an already macabre experience.            

Keep your eyes and ears open. You never know what you will experience in Blood Prison. Many have made it out of the Ohio State Reformatory Prison, and others did not.

Gruesome discoveries, madness and mayhem, danger, and the unknown await you at these bone-chilling haunted houses. Don’t let the season get by without some panic and fear to get your blood flowing. To plan your trip, visit the websites at the Haunted Schoolhouse & Laboratory, Factory of Terror, and Blood Prison for the latest hours and days of operation.

If, I mean, when you make it out alive, please share your experience on our Facebook page.

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