Halloween is coming! (2013)

Hand of horror raising from glowing pupmkin lantern.

Halloween is coming! Black and orange are appearing in stores all over town, costumes are for sale, and creepy, spooky, fun Halloween decor is everywhere! Want to celebrate with more than just trick-or-treating? Below are both terrifying haunted houses and fun un-scary family events…the choice is yours!

Please be advised, these dates/times and descriptions were current at time of publishing, but DO use the provided link or your own search skills to verify the information before you go. The family-friendly label is used as a general label, please judge for yourself what your children are old enough to do.

Also, haunted houses are NOT suitable for those with heart conditions or young children…or the easily offended. Many of these events have very frightening scenes, gore, and attendees often use explosive language. Attend at your own risk.


Are you in the mood to be scared out of your socks? A haunted house experience may be exactly what you need to start the spooky season off right. Here’s a list of Central Ohio haunted houses for you. Scream through just one, or make plans with your friends (and maybe your cardiologist) to be scared senseless at all of them!

Professional Venues:

  1.  The Haunted Hoochie/Dead Acres: A downright infamous event anticipated across the midwest, and not to be missed by mature scare-fans! Truly ADULT content, including a simulated demonic experience. Thursday-Saturday Doors open at 8:30pm, open as long as there’s a line to get in. Tickets are $20 and VIP tix are $30 each. Open 9/26-11/2. 13861 West Broad St SW in Pataskala
  2. Pataskala Haunted Forest: Based on a great scary story of an anniversary of a killing, and a open air creepy wood, this one is not for the uncertain…or for children! This is is the longest running outdoor haunted event in Ohio.
    Open every Friday and Saturday night 7:00pm-12:00am in October. Open Halloween 7:30pm-12:00am
    Tickets are $15 and up, group rates available, parking is free…all proceeds go to charity.
    Located 8838 Refugee Road SW, in Pataskala. Being outdoors, check facebook for weather related closings.
  3. Scareatorium: It’s two, two, two scare venues in one! Also offer special FX makeup with reservations and an additional fee. Purchase timed tickets in advance, to avoid the worst of the lines.
    Friday-Saturday 7:00pm-12:00am (Sept 27-28, Oct 4-5, 11-12, 18-19, 25-26, Nov 1-2, and Weds/Thurs/Sunday 7:30-10:00pm Oct 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, 30, 31)
    Not for children on most days, but they do have a “Lights On Sunday” event with lights on/no actors that may be fun for the very brave over-six set! Family Lights-on: Sundays 5:00-7:00pm Oct 20 & 27
    Tickets are $18-27 for the scary version and $5-15 for the lights-on older family versions.
    New location in Northland Plaza.

Amatuer Venue:

  1. Walking Dead Mansion: This has been successful two years running, and back for a third. Run by the Vassor Village Civic Association. Open for a lights on sneak peak October 18 7:30-9:00pm , then open October 12, 18, 19, 25 from 7:30-10:00pm, and Oct 26 (7:30-9:00pm), and Oct 31 (6:00-8:00pm). Tickets are $5, VIP tickets are $7. Located at 625 E Jenkins Ave, Columbus

For those haunted houses with a moral message or religious theme, or hauntings further afield in Ohio, visit Haunted Ohio.


Are you looking for family Halloween fun? Here’s the list for you and yours! Fun seasonal things to do indoors and out, and all for families of various ages. Happy Halloween!

  1. The Haunted Ship: Typically held on the Santa Maria, this seasonal adventure has been put on hold this year. Here is a note from organizers:

    “Unfortunately, the city is temporarily closing the Santa Maria on October 19, 2013 in order to continue work on the Greenway Dam removal project. We are scheduled to reopen in the spring of 2016. As such, the Haunted Ship event initially scheduled for October 24-26th has been canceled on short notice.

    We are sorry for any inconvenience, and hope you’ll be able to edit the listing to minimize any disappointment. Any questions? Please call 614-645-0351 or 614-645-8760.”

  2. Scareatorium: Not for young children on most days, but they do have a “Lights On Sunday” event with the venue fully lit and no actors involved, that may be fun for the very brave over-six set!
    From 7:30-10pm on Sundays Tickets are $20 Northland Plaza
  3. All Hallow’s Eve: The Ohio Village offers a traditional and family friendly 19th century Halloween experience, fun for children of all ages. No scares. Open Saturday, October 12 and 19, 5:30-9:30pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $9 for children. Located at the Ohio Village, 800 E. 17th Ave, Columbus
  4. Boo at the Zoo: This relaxed and enjoyable family event has candy stations, the Little Boo maze and mansion, and even a haunted train ride! All suitable for very young children. The emphasis is on the fun side of halloween…WITHOUT the scary stuff! Open Friday-Sunday evenings, October 18-27, at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with Zoo admission or membership.

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