A Very Haunted Halloween

Austin's best haunted houses will leave you shaking in your boots

Austin's best haunted houses will leave you shaking in your boots

Austin Photo Set: News_Karen_house of torment_oct 2012_14
For a good scare, scope out Austin's spookiest haunted houses. Photo by Charlie L. Harper III

Can't get enough ghost stories and things that go bump in the night? Put on your walking shoes and get ready to scream, because Austin's offering up some very spooky sights. Try our list of the city's best haunted houses for a real thrill this Halloween.

Scare for a Cure: Dread Asylum
Whether you don a poncho or a prom dress, prepare for buckets of blood on an intimate tour of the Littig Asylum and Sanatorium. Scare for a Cure has been operating since 2010, using months of planning and volunteers to pull off terrifying feats to benefit the Breast Cancer Resource Centers of Texas. Tour groups are limited to just six people, and those attending are forewarned there may be running, climbing, or crawling. Buy tickets and make reservations online for the tour, then head over to The Bone Yard: Danse Macabre set at Blair Valley High School for a full night of wicked fun.

The Great Outdoors: Gruesome Gardens
Little plant shop of horrors! After dark, The Great Outdoors Garden Center turns into Gruesome Gardens, a destination which promises to engage your senses with spooky sights, sounds, smells, and more. Spend an evening trying to figure out what's in Dr. Killingsly's fertilizer. Utter commitment to creepy atmosphere makes this South Austin spot a must-sense experience. Get tickets online and avoid long lines at the door.

House of Torment
Wait in any good lines lately? Like many Austin gems, there is a wait here. And like many Austin gems, it's worth it. A local classic, House of Torment has been scaring up a good time for years, and many have taken notice. Featured on the Travel Channel, in The Wall Street Journal, and endorsed by the screams within, there's a reason people are talking about this haunt. With 20,000 square feet devoted to the horror of it all, House of Torment offers three attractions this year. Check out clowns in the (s)Laughterhouse, try not to get cursed at Hex of the Harvest, and play out the end of days in Dead End District. You can even skip the line for a price! This perennial favorite delivers year after year.

Second Annual Davidson Family Haunted House
Not much is known about the old Davidson house. For those looking for something relatively untried, check out the sophomore year of this event. With eight rooms devoted to chills and thrills, this event is free and open to the public. Donations will support homeless youth in Austin.