Come October, frightening, creative Halloween haunted houses open in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. During October, the Twin Cities transform from the good-natured Midwest vibe they are famous for into a hair-raising playground. Many of the area's events are for adults only (they're that scary), but some are fine for children with adult supervision. Area events include zombie paintball, scary hayrides, and terror mazes, with some of the more intense events offering a "low scare" version for smaller children and those just wanting to have a little light Halloween fun.
One of the area's largest and scariest Halloween events is Scream Town, with a huge haunted corn maze, a haunted forest, and three haunted houses. The seven main attractions include the Zombie Apocalypse, Crop Spawn, Santa’s Slay, Oak Blood Forest, Ludicrous Labyrinth, and Circus Asylum. Scream Town, geared for those 10 and over, is open weekends and select weekdays starting September 28, 2019.
Sauk Rapids is an hour northwest of Minneapolis, but it's worth the trek to visit Molitor's Haunted Acres. This sprawling, remote farm has zombie paintball and a haunted hayride through the woods, where ghouls, ghosts, killers, and madmen creep in the shadows. Molitor's Haunted Acres, billed as "Central Minnesota's Scariest Plot of Land," is open on weekends and select other nights from October 4, 2019, through Halloween, and it is running rain or shine. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
At the ValleyFair amusement park, you'll find a combination of thrill rides and haunted houses. It's pricey but you get access to all the thrill rides as well as haunted houses, a pumpkin festival, survival mazes, and scare zones. With more than 75 rides and monsters prowling the park, there's plenty to do for those 13 years of age and over. ValleyScare is open select Friday and Saturday nights from September 21 through October 26, 2019.
During the day, younger children can visit with Peanuts characters in Halloween garb and dance with their friends during the Great Pumpkin Fest. There's a corn maze, costume parade, and a pirate party. These fun family events take place on Saturdays and Sundays, September 21 through October 27, 2019.
Trail of Terror is created by the same producers who designed the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, so you can be assured of good costumes. This is another large event with a huge corn maze, haunted houses, wicked woods walk, scary rides, a zombie pub crawl, and other attractions.
Trail of Terror is open Fridays and Saturdays, October 11 to 26, 2019, and two Sundays, October 20 and 27, 2019. Hours on Friday and Saturdays are 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and on Sundays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department opened Fright Farm in 1996 and has continued to run the scary event ever since. It is held in a century-old barn in Maplewood, and all proceeds go to Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.). Fright Farm is open on Fridays and Saturdays in October, as well as Halloween, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
There's a low-scare matinee offered for the little ones (and the faint of heart). This tamer version of the big haunted house is held on Sunday, October 27, 2019, from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees receive free treats and prizes and can participate in fun activities like face painting and see a magic show.
The Hamel Lions Haunted Acres is a fundraising event established in 1997 and located 30 minutes northwest of Minneapolis. Starting on October 11, 2019, this volunteer-run scary house is open Friday and Saturdays through October 29, 2019, and has costumed figures, plenty of spattered blood, and horror-themed rooms to encounter. Admission is $10 cash, and a canned food donation in addition to the admission price is encouraged.
After the sun sets, visitors can be scared witless in the huge 3D house of horror and on the mile-long hayride of terror. There's also a corn maze, scary movies, and live music. The Haunting Experience is open on select dates from September 21, 2019, through November 2, 2019. On all nights The Haunting Experience starts at approximately 7 p.m. End times are 11 p.m. for Friday and Saturday nights and 10 p.m. for Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights.
They offer a low scare option for children with milder thrills on Saturdays and Sundays in October from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. After all that frightening activity, they have food to purchase and a beer tent.