Plenty of haunted houses and ghostly events take place in the Indianapolis area for Indy residents who are looking for some frightening things to do this Halloween season. Whether your idea is having some fall family fun, being scared out of your wits at a haunted house, touring a historic home, enjoying a Halloween movie or play, or dressing the little ones up in their costumes, you'll find it here.
Halloween Family Fun
Tomb of Doom: Children's Museum Haunted House, 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, 46208, phone 317-334-3322. Dates and hours: Through Oct. 31, Friendly Hours (lights on, for kids who scare easily): Sun, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tue, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 3:30-9 p.m.; Wed, Thu, Sat, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Frightening Hours (for those who dare to be scared): Wed, Thu, Sat, 3:30-9:30 p.m.; Fri, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and 3:30-9:30 p.m. Admission: Tickets $5.50 in advance at local Marsh and AAA locations; $6.50 ($6 museum members) at the door.
An Indy family tradition, The Children's Museum Guild's 46th annual haunted house allows you to choose whether you want to tour it under friendly or frightening circumstances (see hours for each above). Haunters are not allowed to touch participants, even during "frightening" hours.
The 26th Annual Headless Horseman Event: Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Rd., Fishers 46038, phone 317-776-6000. Dates and hours: Oct. 16-17, 21-25, and 28-30; 6-9 p.m. Admission: Wed, Thu, Sun, $7 presale, $9 at gate; Fri-Sat, $11 presale, $13 at gate; presale tickets available at participating Marsh and O’Malia’s stores.
A family tradition for many Indy-area residents, the main event is a haunted hayride featuring glimpses of skeletons and ghosts that warn of the impending appearance of the infamous Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. Other activities include games, dancing, karaoke, animal encounters, storytelling at Lenape Indian Camp, and special presentations as follows: Oct. 16-17, Paranormal Investigators; Oct. 21-22, Spider Sense; Oct. 23-24, Creepy Critters; Oct. 28-30, Bats: Myths and Realities. All special presentations take place at 7 and 8 p.m.
Pumpkin Glow: New Life Community Church, 17777 Little Chicago Rd., Noblesville 46062. Oct. 30, 6-8 p.m. Admission: Free.
New Life Community Church invites the public to a family event that will feature hayrides, a campfire, storytelling, crafts, and trunk-or-treating. Wear your costume!
Halloween Fun for Little Ones
Friendly Hours at the Children's Museum Haunted House: The Tomb of Doom offers lights-on daytime tours--see above for more info.
The Princesses' Nightmare Haunted Play and Costume Party The Play Connection, 9221 Crawfordsville Rd., Indianapolis 46234, phone 317-918-4359. Dates and hours: Oct. 23 & 30, 6-9 p.m.; Oct. 24, 2-8 p.m.; Oct. 25 and 31, 2-5 p.m. Admission: $5 per person, ages 2 and under free.
Intended for kids under age 12, this is an interactive play for kids by kids, where the plot features a twist--Poppy Princess is nasty, while Wanda Witch is actually nice. Wear your Halloween costume!
Truly Horrifying Haunted Houses
Note: These haunted houses may be too intense for children or even adults with weak hearts or sensitivity to blood, gore, and the like.
Hanna Haunted Acres: 7323 E. Hanna Ave., Indianapolis 46239, phone 317-357-0881. Hours: Open daily through Nov. 1 with the exception of Oct. 19 (closed that day only), dark to 10 p.m. Admission: Ages 5 and up, any one event, $13; any two events, $21; all six events, $27. Under age 5 free.
Features six frightening attractions: Haunted Hayride, Phantazmagoria Hanuted House, Carnevil, Blackout, Entanglement, and Hell’s Half Acre.
The Asylum House: German Park, 8600 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis 46217, phone 317-919-9347. Dates and hours: Oct. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 21-25, 27-31; Fri-Sat, 7 p.m.-midnight; Sun and weekdays, 7-10 p.m. Admission: Ages 9 and up, $19; ages 8 and under free; special discount Oct. 28 only – The Asylum House’s 13th Year Celebration, $13.
Journey through five haunts: The Original Asylum House, a 5,000-square-foot labyrinth of horror; Nightmares in 3D, terrifying isolation in 3D; Dark Oaks, the realm of haunted passages; The Crypt of Elysium, where you might lose sight of where you are; and Monster Mayhem, a maze of horror with only one way out.
Fright Manor Haunted Attractions: 2909 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis 46225, phone 317-767-7540. Hours: Sun, Wed, Thu, 7-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat, 7 p.m.-midnight; closed Mon-Tue., through Oct. 31. Admission: $18 per person.
Located in the Old Markey Building, three attractions are included for one price: Fright Manor, the house at the end of the road where nothing is as it seems; Southport Sanitarium, an abandoned mental hospital; and Psychomanthium, where the dead are conjured and used as minions.
Ghostly Events at Historic Homes
Ghost Tales of Indiana: Benjamin Harrison Presidential Home, 1230 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, phone 317-631-1888. Dates and hours: Oct. 16-17 and 23-25; Fri-Sat, 6-8 p.m.; Sun, 3:30-6 p.m.; with tours beginning every half hour. Admission: Ages 18 and up, $10; ages 6-17, $6. Not recommended for under age 6.
Tour the Benjamin Harris Home in the company of Ghost Trackers Interdimensional as they attempt to purge the house of Indiana ghosts.
From Dark Pages: Progressive Mystery Play: Morris-Butler House, 1204 N. Park Ave., Indianapolis 46202, phone 317-636-5409. Dates and times: Fridays and Saturdays in October, with nightly performances beginning hourly at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., plus Thursday, Oct. 29, at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 p.m. Reservations highly recommended as performances may sell out in advance. Admission: $14 ($12 for Historic Landmark Foundation members).
Follow clues through this 1865 historic mansion while encountering the likes of Edgar Allan Poe, Jack the Ripper, H.G. Wells, Lizzie Borden, Sherlock Holmes and Queen Victoria along the way.
Halloween Movies and Plays
Haunted Castle 3D at the IMAX: IMAX Theatre, 650 W. Washington St., Indianapolis 46204, phone 317-233-4629. Dates and times vary, see website. Admission: Ages 13-59, $9; ages 60 and up, $7.50; ages 12 and under, $6.
In this 45-minute, 3D presentation, a young musician takes possession of a mysterious home bequeathed to him by his deceased mother and discovers all is not as it seems as he encounters spooks and spirits.
Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Party: Fountain Square Theatre, 1105 Prospect St., Indianapolis 46203 (on the corner of Shelby and Prospect streets). Oct. 31, two shows, 8 p.m. showing, all ages, doors open at 7:30; midnight showing ages 21 and over, doors open at 10:45 p.m. (party ends at 3 a.m.). Admission: $10 first show only, $15 second show and party, $20 for both shows and party.
Paranormal Activity: Now playing at Indianapolis movie theatres (rated R), check Fandango.com for dates, times and ticket prices.
This is the movie everyone's talking about this Halloween season. A low-budget (think Blair Witch film that's made it to the big leagues, rumor has it that Paranormal Activity is a truly terrifying movie. The plot revolves around a couple who sets up video cameras to capture evidence of a supernatural presence in their new suburban home.
Another Killing on Wall Street: The Mystery Café at The Milano Inn, 231 S. College Ave., Indianapolis, phone 317-684-0668. Dates and times: Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Admission: Ticket prices range from $22.25-$39.50; reservations required.
Assume the identity of a character in this mysterious plot and participate in solving the mystery. A four-act play accompanied by a four-course dinner, with a course served after each act.