You'll find the sites and signs of Halloween throughout Detroit, Michigan, with haunted houses, parties, ghost tours, neighborhood decorations, and spooky legends in nearly all sections of the metropolitan area. Candy and costumes make the October holiday a favorite for kids, of course, and many activities around the Metro Detroit area are appropriate for younger travelers, from trick-or-treating opportunities to special movie presentations.
Survive a Night in a Haunted House
The Metro Detroit area is heralded by many as the "Haunted House Capital" of the nation and the region certainly knows how to show folks a spooky time. With thousands of visitors to each attraction annually, you can't go wrong with one of these great haunted houses:
- Erebus: Located in Pontiac, Michigan, about a 30-minute drive from Detroit, this four-story haunted house has been in operation since the year 2000, with national recognition as one of the top destinations in the state for the Halloween season. Erebus runs from the middle of September through early November.
- Hush Haunted Attraction: This Westland, Michigan, haunted house approximately half an hour by car from Detroit has been called one of the country's best haunted attractions. Hush provides a unique experience in a 40,000 square foot building with three haunted houses from late September through early November.
- Exit 13: From mid-September through early November, this Mt. Morris, Michigan, attraction about a 75-minute drive from Detroit changes each year to add more thrills and has been voted "Best Haunted Attraction" in Genesee County since 2013.
Get Scared at a Haunted Attraction
The Detroit 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 are transformed for Halloween.
- Terrorfied Forest: This mile-long walk through a forest in Pinckney, Michigan, about an hour's drive from Detroit, turns into a place of nightmares for the Halloween season each year from late September through the second week of November.
- Scarefest Scream Park: If you drive about 45 minutes from Detroit to Lenox Township, Michigan, you'll find this attraction which has had everything from a mildly frightening hayride to an absolutely hair-raising "Castle of the Dead" haunted house since 2006. It's open from early September through the end of October.
Buckle up for a Haunted Hayride
If you're a thrill-seeker who is too terrified to move through a haunted house or corn maze, you can still experience all the surprises and frights of a number of haunted attractions in Detroit from a somewhat comfortable bale of hay. These hayrides provide all of the kicks, but you won't have to motivate yourself to peek around that next dreadful corner.
- Blake’s Big Apple Haunted Hayrides: About 50 minutes by car from Detroit in Armada, Michigan, you'll find Blake's Big Apple, which transforms into a "Spookland" on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights from late September through the end of October. You'll encounter more than 20 frightening scenes including loud sounds and chainsaws, and stop for cider and donuts at the "Witches Cauldron."
- Slaughtered at Sundown Haunted Hayride: Also in Armada, from late September to late October on Fridays, Saturdays, and some Sundays, you can either embark on a ghastly hayride or travel through a completely dark haunted house—both of which are said to be equally scary.
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 spend a night camping and enjoying the autumn weather before the cold winter sets in. There are many haunted events planned around this favorite outdoor activity in 2019, including:
- Haunted Hollows Camping Events: This annual series of events takes place on September 13 and 20, 2019, at the Groveland Oaks County Park in Holly, Michigan, an approximately 50-minute drive from Detroit. The fun includes camping, trick-or-treating, face painting, hayrides, pumpkin painting, monster puppet crafting, and dancing to a DJ's tunes.
- Boo Bash Camping Events: At Addison Oaks County Park in Leonard, Michigan, also about 50 minutes from Detroit, this series of events will be a hit with the kids. Complete with a haunted house, an all ages costume contest, campground trick-or-treating and campsite decorating, Halloween face painting, inflatables, family games, costumed DJ dance, and more, these events take place on October 11 and 18, 2019.
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. 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 at Detroit’s Masonic Temple features several weekend performances in October for those 21 and above and in costume.
- Halloween: The Heavy Metal Horror Show: On October 26, 2019, Halloween the Band with special guests 86 Noodles, Headrush, and Casting Shadowz will perform an all-ages show at Harpo's Concert Theater in Detroit.
The nation knows it as a night of arson and mayhem, but locals 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 learn about this interesting night in the past at an exhibit in the cultural wing of the museum.
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 goblins, and hanging ghosts adorn many houses during this time of year.
Several neighborhoods take part in spooky makeovers, including "Terror on Tillson Street" in the village of Romeo, Michigan, a nearly 45-minute drive from Detroit. About 25 homeowners between South Main Street and 32 Mile Road decorate the entire community in festive props. The public can tour the area for free, and families may choose to trick-or-treat there the evening of Halloween.
Detroit has some legendary spooky figures, as well as many other paranormal figures that may not be as well-known. Some people living in the city are interested in all things otherworldly and mythical and have provided ample ways for tourists to experience the unknown in Detroit.
From mediums who can communicate directly with the spirits 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. Check out Metro Paranormal Investigations, which was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit organization that offers investigative services and hosts educational events throughout the year.
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 various walking tours, like one with frightening tales told about Detroit's oldest neighborhood, Corktown. Or try a guided luxury motor-coach tour that visits several haunted sites in and around the metropolitan area: You'll learn about assassinations, hauntings, cholera outbreaks, wars, and more.
Zombies are big in movies and even star in television series. In 2019, you can embark on a full-on zombie stampede a few weeks before Halloween at the annual Wyandotte Zombie Pub Crawl just a 25-minute drive from Detroit. This fundraising event takes place on October 12, 2019; proceeds will provide free mammograms to uninsured women of the Downriver area.
Get Costumed at a Halloween Store
In addition to the traditional costume stores scattered around the Metro Detroit area, the sometimes seasonal Halloween stores are fun stops. Several Halloween chains sell decorations, frights, and costumes from September through early November each year.
- Screamers Costumes: This Halloween superstore is located in Clinton Township, a 35-minute car ride from Detroit, and is open year-round.
- Halloween City: This Taylor, Michigan, Party City transforms into a Halloween store for the holiday season and it's just 15 minutes from Detroit by car.
- Happy Four Party Store: This family-owned party store in Detroit brings out the costumes in September and doesn't put them away until early December each year.