Spooktacular Haunted Houses
Nothing like a monstrously magical haunted house to jump start your Halloween. For a spooky-good time, the Bay Area is home to many Haunted Houses, ranging from child-friendly to down-right creepy.
For serious thrill seekers there are many options, such as Pirates of Emerson Haunted Theme Park, NightMARE Island, The San Francisco Dungeon, NorCal Fear, and Blind Scream. While this might be ok for older kids, it's definitely not a haunt for the faint of heart.
I've rounded up a list of places offering fairly child-friendly haunted houses. Keep in mind that even the tamest of these can become sensory overload to an imaginative child, so always come prepared with a backup plan.
Nightmare on Cherry Street, check their Facebook page for updated information. Directions: 101N, take the Atherton/San Marin exit. Right on Atherton. Right on Armstrong. Slight left onto Cherry. If 101S, take the Atherton/San Marin exit. Left on Atherton. Right on Armstrong. Slight left onto Cherry. 663 Cherry Street.
Novato Cemetery, not quite a haunted house but a scene display with lights and radio broadcast on channel 87.9FM, usually up and running for a week before Halloween, thumbs way up from me, Dusk to 10:30pm, 500 Sunset Drive, Novato.
October: 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22 and 28 - 31: Halloween Candlelight Tour, led through the labyrinth-like house via candelabra where you'll discover what the restless spirits have in store just for you! San Jose.
October 21-23: Tam Valley Haunted House, 3:30-4:30pm Not scary for under 8, 5-6:30pm Scary Over 9, 7:30-9pm HORRIFYING, Mill Valley.
October 21 & 22, 28 & 29 Novato Horsemen Haunted House, 7-10 pm, $5, 600 Bugeia Lane in Novato.
October 22-21: McKinley Elementary Harvest Festival and Haunted Mansion, Burlingame.
October 28: Scaregrove, Stern Grove, San Francisco.
October 29: Scream on the Green Faire, 10am-5pm, "Chamber of Horrors" Haunted House, Costume Contest, Music, Artisan Booths, Children's Play Area, Food & Beverages and Safe Trick or Treat from 11a-2p, Downtown Novato.
October 28-29: The Terrifying Tour, 7-10pm, bone chilling, frightening, terrifying, haunted guided tour, Dunsmuir-Hellman Historic Estate, Oakland.
October 29: San Raphael School Halloween Festival and Haunted House, 12-4pm, San Rafael.
October 29-31: Dr. Egret's Haunted Center of Fright, Corte Madera Community Center.
October 31 Halloween Sausalito, Child Friendly Haunted House Preview – 4:15pm Beat the rush and avoid the long line later in the evening. This year the Haunted House will open early with a low key, lights on version geared for the little ones. Haunt will be open from 4:15-5:00pm in the child friendly mode. It will re-open at 6:15pm in full terror mode. $5 per-person/$20 per-family recommended donation. Haunted House – 6:15pm Come see what spooky terrors lurk in this year’s inception of the annual Sausalito Haunted House. They’re dying . . . to meet you! The Haunted House resides in the Game Room at City Hall. There is a special child friendly version from 4:15pm – 5:00pm, and then the haunt re-opens in full terror mode at 6:15pm.
Do you know any other great child-friendly haunted houses? Please leave a comment below.