New Orleans is steeped in colorful and creepy history, so you know there’s plenty of spooky places to explore and haunted tales to uncover in the city around Halloween. But for thrill seekers and horror fans, only a proper haunted house will do. New Orleans most well-known attraction, House of Shock, celebrates its 25th season this year. A trip down Canal Street will bring you to The Mortuary, located in what is purported to be an actual haunted house. Chamber of Horrors in Harahan isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is Bernie Baxter’s Traveling Sideshow. Attend at your own risk, and be prepared to be scared. If scary isn’t your style, check out the Berger Residence on St. Charles Avenue for their skull-decorated lawn that attracts both tourists and locals. Grab your friends or brave it alone – just don’t miss out on these spooky attractions this Halloween.
The House of Shock
House of Shock returns for its 25th season and promises to be scarier than ever. This haunt, which has been featured on many national “Best Haunted Houses” lists, is not for the faint of heart: big-budget horror movie-quality makeup, costumes, and special effects lend a disturbing verisimilitude to the whole experience. The 25,000-square-foot haunted house is filled with ghastly characters around every corner and features a “post-apocalyptic theme chainsaw maze.” If you decide at the last minute that you can’t hack it in this haunt, or if you need some liquid courage before entering, there’s a Halloween festival outside the house with a bar, live music and other entertainment of the heavy metal, circus freak show variety. It’s free with haunt admission.
Location: 319 Butterworth St., New Orleans, LA 70121
Price: $30 general; $55 VIP with line-skipping privileges
Dates: Every Friday and Saturday through October as well as October 22, 26, 29, 30, and Halloween night; Doors open at 7 p.m.
If you’re into real haunted history but also the horror-movie feel of a haunted attraction, The Mortuary in Mid-City has a little bit of both. Claiming to be “actively haunted,” this manor located on Canal Street – not too far away from a cemetery – once functioned as a funeral home. The house offers tours for “ghost hunters” outside of Halloween season. But during Halloween, the Mortuary hosts a haunted attraction beyond the regular paranormal experiences the house supposedly offers.
Location: 4800 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70119
Price: $30 general; $125 VIP with line-skipping privileges
Dates: Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October, as well as October 25, 30, and Halloween night; 7:30 p.m. till 10:30 p.m.
Chamber of Horrors
20 rooms filled with Hollywood film sets are sure to make you feel like you’re living a real-life horror movie. And who wouldn’t want that, right?
Location: 7335 Jefferson Highway, Harahan
Dates: Every Friday and Saturday through October; the Monday and Tuesday of Halloween; 7:30 p.m. till midnight
Bernie Baxter’s Traveling Sideshow
Known as the longest-running free haunt in the city, Bernie Baxter’s offers something the other attractions don’t. Before you go, check out the story behind this year’s attraction, called “Frederick’s Flicks.”
Location: 44 Vivian Ct., New Orleans, LA 70131, Algiers
Price: Free; donations accepted
Dates: October 27, 28, and Halloween night; 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Fifty skeletons find their way onto the lawn of the Berger Residence every October. Though these decorations have been a tradition for years, the skeletons change each year to reflect the political and cultural climate of the year at hand. Bring the kids but stay for the humor – your funny bone will surely be tickled.
Location: The corner of St. Charles Avenue and State Street
Dates: All of October