Things To Do

Face Your Fears at South Florida's Haunted Houses

Fright Nights
Fright Nights Photo courtesy of Fright Nights
What’s your biggest fear? Is it enclosed spaces? Dark places? Heights? Snakes? Disappointing your parents? Whatever it might be, everyone — even the most macho among us — is afraid of something. During the Halloween season, the operators of haunted houses do their damnedest to expose our fears and use them against us. They get off on it. And in a sick, twisted way, so do we.

People love a good scare. How else do you explain the popularity of haunted houses? You’ll find six of them in South Florida this year, including the return of an old favorite following a two-year absence.

Below, in alphabetical order, are your options for a frightfully good time this fall. Mask up and be safe!
click to enlarge Enigma Haunt - PHOTO COURTESY OF ENIGMA HAUNT
Enigma Haunt
Photo courtesy of Enigma Haunt

Enigma Haunt

1751 N. Military Tr., Boca Raton

What began as a few Halloween decorations for trick-or-treaters in a south Palm Beach County home 22 years ago turned into a full-scale, two-story haunted house in a former Bally Total Fitness in 2012. But the building has been bought by a new owner who has plans for the space, which is why this will be the last year for Enigma. The Boca Raton haunt will take its final bows with three experiences under one roof: The swamp-based Cursed, the carnival-themed Twisted Mayhem, and the mixed bag that is Realms of Terror. As for what Enigma owners Billy and Karen Groeneveld will do next, a rep says, "Plans for a future haunt are uncertain at the moment." Friday, October 1, through Sunday, October 31. Tickets cost $30 to $45.
click to enlarge Fright Nights - PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIGHT NIGHTS
Fright Nights
Photo courtesy of Fright Nights

Fright Nights at South Florida Fairgrounds

9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach

You probably won't find West Palm Beach's biggest ghoul at Fright Nights. No, that soul-less monster lives part-time ten miles east of the South Florida Fairgrounds in Mar-a-Lago. But the killer clowns and zombies roaming around Fright Nights — now entering its 19th season — are almost as terrifying. This year’s edition of offers three haunted houses: The elitist Red Room; Fatal Fables, which turns childhood tales into nightmares; and Curse of the Siren, set in a cursed seaside town. Visitors can also expect carnival rides, video games, and live entertainment, including Moto, a sci-fi theatrical dance show. Friday, October 8, through Saturday, October 30. Tickets cost $40.
click to enlarge House of Horror - PHOTO BY AMADEUS MCCASKILL
House of Horror
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

House of Horror at Miami International Mall

1625 NW 107th Ave., Doral

A trip to the mall in Miami can be an absolute nightmare. You'll find hell-raising customers, road-raging drivers fighting over parking spots, and news-making shoplifters. That might explain why the employees at Mall Mayhem — one of four haunts at House of Horror, which is back after a two-year hiatus due to lease issues and the pandemic  — have gone mad. It's enough to turn the mannequins into demonic monsters. This longtime Halloween tradition also offers two other haunts, Toxic Apocalypse and 1455 Asylum, and the Instagram-friendly Scare X Studios. Want thrills with your chills? Visitors can enjoy unlimited carnival rides at House of Horror. Thursday, September 30, through Sunday, October 31. Tickets cost $25 to $40.
click to enlarge Miramar Drive and Scream - PHOTO COURTESY OF SBI
Miramar Drive and Scream
Photo courtesy of SBI

Miramar Halloween Drive and Scream at Miramar Regional Park

16801 Miramar Pkwy., Miramar

Haunted drive-thrus were all the rage in 2020 for obvious reasons. This year? Less so. But we're glad that a safe and convenient alternative is still available in the form of this new family-friendly drive-thru, which replaces last year's Horrorland at Miramar Regional Park. Guests can cruise through six settings inspired by horror flicks (Carnival Creeps, Shawshank County, Graveyard Shift, Morgue of Misery, Screaming Dead, and Día de los Muertos) without having to leave their car. And if they do feel like stretching their legs, they can visit the Final Resting Place at the end for carnival games, food, and photo ops with monsters. Friday, October 1 through Monday, November 1. Tickets cost $60 to $100 per vehicle via
click to enlarge No Way Out - PHOTO COURTESY OF NO WAY OUT MIAMI
No Way Out
Photo courtesy of No Way Out Miami

No Way Out at Westland Mall

1675 W. 49th St., Hialeah

You probably saw the past videos of scared Miami Heat players stumbling through a haunted house. Now check out the new haunt from NWO Haunt, the team behind those scares. No Way Out is located in a former Sears in Westland Mall and consists of two sleep-themed haunted houses, Insomnia and Sleep Paralysis, and a laser zombie hunt, Infected. Because not everyone has a high tolerance for terror, there's also a family-friendly section featuring a maze called Not So Haunted. Thursday, September 30, through Sunday, October 31. Tickets cost $25 to $35 via
click to enlarge Paranoia Horror Maze - COURTESY OF PARANOIA HORROR MAZE
Paranoia Horror Maze
Courtesy of Paranoia Horror Maze

Paranoia Horror Maze

2602 NW Fifth Ave., Miami

Want to know how many people have chickened out while stumbling through this pitch-black maze in Wynwood? Simply look at the running tally on the wall at Paranoia, which proudly displays the total. It’s a badge of honor and speaks to Paranoia’s ability to terrify its patrons into submission. The themes are constantly changing, so you have a reason to go this Halloween season, even if you've visited efore. Or you could wait a few weeks: Paranoia is the only attraction on this list that's open year-round. Tickets cost $25.
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Luis Gomez left his life in Chicago to backpack around the world and has since dedicated himself to freelance writing, with Miami now his home base. You can read about his global adventures on his travel blog, Extra Underwear.