Whether you have the need to escape a locked room or tour a classic haunted mansion, we have everything you need to keep you up all night this Halloween.
The Terror Vault
October means one thing—time to scare your pants off. Terror Vault is taking over the SF Mint for one hell of a haunted house with terrifying characters, mazes, and escape rooms. Need some liquid courage? Grab a cocktails from the pop-up bar inside. // Every half hour from 6:30pm to 10pm nightly, through Nov. 3rd at The San Francisco Mint, 88 5th St. (SoMa); admission is 21+; tickets ($60) are available on 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 ($25.99-$50.99 per person); 15555 E 14th St. (San Leandro), fearoverload.com
Candlelit Tour at the Winchester Mystery House
This Halloween check out the candlelit tours 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. // Tours ($19-49 per person); 525 S. Winchester Blvd. (San Jose), winchestermysteryhouse.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 site of Tessie Wall's historic brothel. // Tours can be booked online ($21.18 per person); (Union Square), viator.com
Great America's Halloween Haunt
California's Great America Theme Park is decked out for Halloween with rides and attractions for the whole family. 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 ($34 per person); 4701 Great America Parkway (Santa Clara), cagreatamerica.com