Halloween: 8 of America's Spookiest Places


                                                                  Courtesy 13th Gate/Midnight Productions Inc.


As sure as Charlie the janitor haunts the hallways of the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, the proprietors of America’s spookiest places will be overrun this week with enough ghoul-hunters to staff the largest graveyards imaginable.

So forgive people like Dent co-owner Bud Stross for their unwavering defense of spookiness, even when the reputation of local law enforcement is on the line. “It’s definitely haunted. … Cincinnati police haven’t confirmed it but I think they’re just trying to forget,” Stross says of the converted schoolhouse where it’s ill-advised to taunt Charlie.

The Dent Schoolhouse is on a random list of some of America’s spookiest places complied by ABC News to fill in your Halloween adventures, with guidance from HauntWorld.com and a closer look by our staff.

There’s also Louisiana’s 13th Gate (pictured above), which opens to what could easily qualify as people’s 13 worst fears, including being buried alive or locked in an insane asylum.

The House of Torment in Austin, Texas ,  is a perennial favorite, where the undead can fall victim themselves to paint gun-toting zombie killers at any moment.

The Netherworld Haunted House near Atlanta  seems to capture the most unnerving nightmares year after year, although illuminati warriors patrol the grounds to keep you safe from harm.

The Darkness Haunted House in St. Louis turns your phobias against you, employing state-of the-art effects to remind you to stay out of that elevator.

Norman and his mother have nothing on this Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride near Philadelphia , where the drive-through slaughterhouse awaits those who survive the drive-through insane asylum.

The Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses in Ulster Park, N.Y., is so spooky that the owners set aside a few afternoons for young children to experience a toned-down version. Must be the six haunted houses, or the abandoned mine shaft, that require parental notice.

The Asylum Haunted House in Denver is reminder of a time when insane asylums were considered the answer to mental illness. That’s scary enough, even without these haggard, foaming-at-the-mouth “patients” who’re desperate to leave.