Best Halloween Things to Do in Detroit, Michigan

Haunted Houses, Ghost Hunts, Children's Activities, and Spooky Parties

High angle view of a heap of pumpkins, Detroit, Michigan, USA
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Halloween is reflected throughout the Metro-Detroit area in its quantity of haunted houses, corn mazes, Halloween parties, ghost tours, house decorations, and spooky legends. Also, candy and costumes make Halloween a favorite holiday for kids, and there are several different types of activities around the Metro Detroit area that are appropriate for younger travelers, from trick-or-treating opportunities to special movie presentations. Find out all there is to do and see in celebration of the holiday this year so you can plan your trip in style.

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Survive a Night in a Haunted House

The Metro-Detroit area is heralded by many as the Haunted House Capital of the nation. Whether Detroit qualifies for the moniker or not, the area certainly knows how to show folk a spooky, scary time. With thousands of visitors to each attraction annually, you can't go wrong with one of these great haunted houses:

  • Haunted Warehouse: This annual event usually arrives at the 8 Mile Trade Center in early October, converting the event space into a haunted house of epic proportions.
  • Haunted Erebus: Located in Pontiac, Michigan, this haunted attraction is a four-story haunted house that's been in operation for over 60 years, making it one of the top destinations in the state for the Halloween season.
  • Hush: This Westland, Michigan haunted house won "Haunt of the Year" in 2013 and was completely rebuilt in 2016 and expanded in 2018. Hush provides a unique haunted house experience just a little way outside the city. Returns September 22, 2018.
  • Exit 13: Opening September 14, 2018, this Mt. Morris, Michigan, attraction just expanded after the 2017 season to include a new feature called "Total Blackout." 
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Get Scared at a Haunted Attraction

When it comes to haunted attractions, the Detriot region isn't only known for its plethora of haunted houses; there are also plenty of spooky farms, event spaces, and abandoned buildings in and around the city that have been transformed for Halloween.

  • Rochester Jaycees Tunnel of Terror: On Friday and Saturday evenings starting on October 12, you can experience this dark maze of corridors in Rochester, Michigan.
  • Terrorfied Forest and Manor: This expansive property and estate in Pinckney, Michigan, is transformed into a place of nightmares for the Halloween season each year.
  • Scarefest Scream Park: Located in New Haven, Michigan, this attraction features everything from a mildly frightening hayride to an absolutely terrifying "Castle of the Dead" haunted house. Open from September 7 through October 29, 2018.
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Buckle Up for a Haunted Hayride

If you're a thrill-seeker who finds yourself too terrified to move through a haunted house or corn maze on your own, you can still experience all the surprises and frights of some haunted attractions in Detroit from a somewhat comfortable haybale. These haunted hayrides provide all of the thrills without having to motivate yourself to peek around that next terrifying corner.

  • Blake’s Spookyland Haunted Hayrides: Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill in Armada, Michigan, transforms into a "Spookland" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from September 22 through the end of October in 2018. You can tour a three-story barn, listen to a live DJ, or go on a zombie paintball safari haunted hayride.
  • Slaughtered at Sundown Haunted Hayride: From September 28 to October 28, 2018, you can either embark on a terrifying hayride or travel through a 3D haunted house in Armada—both of which are said to be equally frightening but not appropriate for children under 8 years old.
  • Haunted Farm of Terror: This Lennox, Michigan attraction presents a 20-acre "Hayride of Horrors" on weekends this fall starting on September 14 and running through October 30, 2018.
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Take the Kids on a Haunted Camping Trip

When it comes to getting the most out of your October vacation to Detroit, you might want to consider a night spent enjoying the autumn weather before the cold winter sets in by going camping. Fortunately, there are many haunted events planned around this favorite outdoor activity in 2018 including:

  • Haunted Hollows Camping Events: This annual series of events takes place at the Groveland Oaks County Park in Holly, Michigan, and includes camping, trick-or-treating, face painting, hayrides, pumpkin painting, monster puppet crafting, and dancing.
  • Boo Bash Camping Events: Complete with a haunted house on-site, this series of events takes place on October 12 and 19 and Addison Oaks County Park in Leonard, Michigan.
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05 of 11

Watch Some Scary Entertainment

If you're not a fan of interactive horror, you may want to get your Halloween thrills from a scary musical, play, show, or movie instead. Fortunately, Detroit is full of fantastic concert venues, theaters, and event spaces where you can see a holiday-themed production or film this October.

  • Theatre Bizarre: Known as "The Greatest Masquerade on Earth," this interactive theatrical performance features multiple performances in October.
  • AMC Theaters: Movie theaters nation-wide will be hosting special Halloween screenings and double-features of the best new and classic horror movies throughout October.
  • Halloween at Hogwarts: On October 27, 2018, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will perform a special tribute to the "Harry Potter" series for Halloween.
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See the Best Decorated Houses

By the time October rolls around, the Detroit area is already covered in Halloween decorations, especially in certain neighborhoods that are popular for trick-or-treating. Orange and black lights, air-filled goblin, and hanging ghosts adorn many a house this time of year.

Aside from the haunted attractions, several neighborhoods take part in haunted makeovers, including "Terror on Tillson Street" in Romeo, Michigan, where homeowners between Main Street and 32 Mile Road decorate the entire community in festive props.

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Discover the History of Devil's Night

The nation knows of it as a night of arson and mayhem, but Detroiters have more innocent memories of Devil's Night in Detroit. Outside of the arson that played out among the many abandoned buildings in downtown Detroit starting in the 1980s, the night was traditionally filled with pranks and mischief.

Although taking a trip to the Detroit Historical Museum may not seem like the best way to get your holiday thrills, you can take a tour through some of the history of this night at an exhibit in the cultural wing of the museum.

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Uncover Detroit's Urban Legends

Detroit has some legendary spooky figures, as well as many other paranormal figures that may not be so well known. Fortunately, some people living in the city are interested in all things paranormal and legendary and have provided ample ways for tourists to experience the unknown in Detroit.

From mediums who can communicate directly with the ghosts and apparitions to investigators tracking down the latest ghost sightings, you can uncover a lot of secrets of the city on your trip to Detroit. We recommend checking out Metro Paranormal Investigations, which was established in 2006, offers investigative services, hosts educational events throughout the year.

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09 of 11

Get Costumed at a Halloween Store

In addition to the traditional costume stores scattered around the Metro-Detroit area, the new trend in retail is the seasonal Halloween store. In fact, there are now several Halloween chains that offer decorations, frights, and costumes from September through early November each year.

  • Screamers Costumes: This Halloween superstore is located in Clinton Township and is open year-round.
  • Halloween City: This Taylor, Michigan, Party City transforms into Halloween City for the holiday season.
  • Happy Four Party Store: This family-owned party store brings out the costumes in September and doesn't put them away until early December each year.
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Take a Haunted Ghost Tour

Detroit has historic buildings, cemeteries, and spooky legends aplenty, but only a couple of enterprising individuals and organizations have made a tour out of them. Haunted happenings can be explored through a walking tour and ghost hunt at Historic Fort Wayne or a guided bus tour that visits several haunted sites in and around the Metro-Detroit area.

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Crawl With Zombies (To the Bar)

Zombies are big right now. In fact, the undead moved from populating movies to starring in television series. Lest you think you're safe living away from the epicenter of zombie activity (Hollywood), think again. In 2018, you can embark on a full-on zombie stampede on Saturday before Halloween for the annual Zombie Pub Crawl, which takes place from 4 to 11:59 p.m. on October 28, 2018.