(Courtesy of Winchester Mystery House)

The 5 Scariest Haunted Tours Around the Bay Area


From information on candlelit tours of a haunted mansion to words of advice on how to escape a locked in a room in just minutes, we have everything you need to keep you up all night this Halloween.

Candlelit Tour at the Winchester Mystery House

For the first time this Halloween, candlelit tours are being offered at the Winchester Mystery House, a sprawling Victorian estate in San Jose built in 1884 with construction lasting 38 years. Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester firearms fortune, sought out a medium who advised her never to stop construction on the mansion or the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles would kill her too. This 161-room manor has been listed as one of the Top 10 Haunted Places by Time magazine. On this tour, guests are guided through a maze of rooms by the light of a flickering candle. // Candlelit Tours are offered on only ten nights in October; tours ($35-49 per person); 525 S. Winchester Blvd. (San Jose), winchestermysteryhouse.com

(Courtesy of SF Armory)

Escape: Hell in the Armory

It's every claustrophobic's nightmare to be locked in a room with no chance to escape. However, if you're into that sort of thing, this Halloween you can sign up for ESCAPE: Hell in the Armory, where you'll be locked in the haunted San Francisco Armory with only 20 minutes to fly the coop. In order to escape before time runs out you must find the hidden codes and uncover the keys. Just remember, you're not alone. // Tickets available online ($45 per person); The SF Armory 1800 Mission St. (Mission), eventbrite.com

Fear Overload Scream Park

Fear Overload Scream Park is not for the faint of heart. The deranged minds behind Fear Overload create extensive sets and horror scenes. There are two terrifying haunted house attractions each with their own theme and backstory: The first is a deranged killer who uses the fairy tales as inspiration, killing each of his victims in true Grimm fashion. As you walk (or run) through the haunted house, the Grimm Killer will be following your every move, jumping out at you as he tortures and kills his victims. Once you escape the Grimm Killer, you still have to make your way through the Insanitarium, a prison for the most criminally insane. // General admission and VIP tickets available ($25-$75 per person); 15555 E 14th St. (San Leandro), fearoverload.com

Haunted San Francisco: The City After Dark

For history buffs, the City After Dark walking tour dives deep into the history of San Francisco's dark past. Unlike other SF walking tours, this is strictly for adults focusing on the murders and mysterious deaths that mar San Francisco's history. The tour meets near Union Square and takes you to various murder sites, including the Pine Crest Diner, location of the bizarre "poached-egg" murder, and the Glide Memorial Church, where cult leader Jim Jones, of Jonestown Massacre fame, began his rise to power. // Tours can be booked online ($20.70 per person); (Union Square), viator.com

Halloween Haunt

California's Great America Theme Park is decked out for Halloween with rides and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. There are eight frightening mazes filled with creatures that relish the screams of guests desperate to escape. And of the three "scare zones," by far the most terrifying is Killer Clown Town, filled with psychotic clowns enacting their revenge upon those who don't laugh. Costumes are not allowed in the park, so make sure you leave the zombie attire at home. // Tickets available ($33.99 per person); 4701 Great America Parkway (Santa Clara), cagreatamerica.com

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