Essential Guide to Northern California Haunted Houses

Halloween is right around the corner and that means all of the Northern California Haunted Houses are putting dust on the furniture, hanging the cobwebs, and resurrecting monsters. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys having the living daylights scared out of you (or watching your friends scream in terror) we’re here to help.

Below you’ll find all of the haunted houses, creepy corn mazes, and petrifying paintball experiences within 150 miles of downtown San Francisco (in Southern California? Cool, check out our essential guide to Los Angeles Haunted Houses). This list is organized by earliest opening date so you can fit in as many scary weekends as possible.

Hat tip to our friends at the Northern California Haunted Attractions Enthusiasts Facebook group who did the bulk of the research that made this list possible.

California’s Great America Halloween Haunt

Event Type: Theme Park/Haunt/Maze
First Date: September 21
Location: California Great America in Santa Clara
Miles from SF: 43

California Great America’s Halloween Haunt is one of the more affordable California theme park’s that dress up like a haunt. This year the park features nine mazes, three scare zones, and five shows. Mazes come with names like “Toy Factory,” “Roadkill Road House,” “Wax Museum Chamber of Horrors,” and “Zombie High.”

All Dates: Sept. 21-23, 28-30, Oct. 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28

Fear Overload Scream Park

Event Type: Haunt/Mazes
First Date: September 28
Location: 15555 E 14th St, San Leandro, Calif.
Miles from SF: 24

California Haunts Fear Overload

Fear Overload is relentless. Even going to the website is a bit unnerving as the masked horrors keep coming at the viewer in an endless loop. These haunt creators up the scare factor by running the two attractions in total darkness. All you have to light the way is a single flashlight. As a bonus, the horror doesn’t end on Halloween. Fear Overload runs until November 3. The November 2 and 3 nights are special “glow stick” tours.

All dates: September 28 & 29, October 5-7, 11-14, 17-21, 23-31, November 2 & 3.

Winchester Mystery House: Candlelight Tour

Event Type: Tour
First Date: September 14
Location: Winchester Mystery House, 525 S Winchester Blvd, San Jose, Calif.
Miles from SF: 58

While not a theatrical haunted house like most of the events on this list, the Winchester Mystery House candlelight tour is a must-see Bay area Halloween event.

All dates: Sept. 14-15, 21-22, 28-29,  30, Oct. 5-7, 11-14, 17-21, 23-31

Ultimate Terror Scream Park

Event Type: Haunt/Mazes
First Date: September 29
Location: 4909 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento, Calif.
Miles from SF: 98

Ultimate Terror Scream Park is produced by the same folks behind Fear Overload Scream Park. At the Sacramento haunt the themes are Lobotomy, Begrudge, and The Superstition Killer. Similar to the San Leandro location, Ultimate Terror will convert into a glow stick hunt/haunt for Nov. 2 & 3.

All dates: September 28 & 29, October 5-7, 12-14, 17-21, 23-31, November 2 & 3.


Snelling’s Ranch of Horrors

Event Type: Haunt/Paintball/Mazes
First Date: September 29
Location: 15080 N. Snelling Road, Snelling, Calif.
Miles from SF: 130

The Ranch of Horrors adds an extra layer of interactivity. In addition to two haunts, this year they’ll feature two haunted paintball trails. You can be a hunter or be the hunted.

All dates: Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19-21, 26-28, Nov. 2, 3

Pirates of Emerson

Event Type: Haunt
First Date: October 5
Location: Pleasanton Fairgrounds
Miles from SF: 40

One of the longest-running haunts in the Bay Area. The Pirates of Emerson turns the Pleasanton Fairgrounds into a “Haunted Theme Park” with six attractions. Wander through Farmageddon, survive the Dark Gauntlet, and, of course, escape the Pirates of Emerson.
All dates: Oct. 5-7, 12-14, 18-21, 25-28, 30, 31

In the Dark

First Date: October 10
Location: San Francisco Mint
Miles from SF: In SF!
Into the Dark is the most recent attempt to turn San Francisco’s old U.S. Mint into a haunt. We’re not 100 percent sure what you’ll get for your $60 ticket because the website is sort of vague on details: “Terror Vault combines elements of theater, haunted mazes, escape rooms, and special effects to produce a uniquely terrifying experience like no other.” What we do know is they have a bar with a killer cocktail list curated by BIIG’s Ronnie Buders. San Francisco should have a proper haunt, so we hope this one works out.
Also in the Mint is a very promising Dead Zone Zombie Tag game: “ZVOC is calling on all local citizens to head into this Dead Zone and recover infected zombie brains and other valuable research data to continue the work for a cure at other facilities. Your mission is to enter the Dead Zone and survive 4 games of increasing complexity: find the research, grab the infected brains, and avoid the zombies lurking in the shadows.” This isn’t the main haunt but we appreciate that it has a description.
Into the Dark Dates: Oct. 10-14, 17-21, 24-31, Nov. 2-3
Dead Zone Dates: Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27, Nov. 2, 3

Blind Scream

Event Type: Haunt/Last Ride
First Date: October 12
Location: 1500 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Miles from SF: 50

This Rohnert Park haunt offers two haunted houses, CarnEvil and Slaughter Shack, plus the popular haunted house experience The Last Ride. The Last Ride lets guests experience being buried in a coffin without actually punching your ticket with the Grim Reaper.
All dates: Oct. 12-14, 18-22, 25-31

Corbett’s House of Horror presents Fear Farm

Event Type: Haunt/Corn Maze/Paintball
First Date: October 6
Location: 46500 County Road 32B, Davis, Calif.
Miles from SF: 80

Tired of being scared all the time? Get revenge! Corbett’s Fright Farm puts you in a “Zombie Assault Vehicle” and shoot zombies with paintballs. Take out your frustration with all of these scareactors making you wet your pants. Need more scares? Check out Carn-Evil and the Scarecrow Corntrail.
All dates: Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27-31

Northern California Haunted Houses in Limbo

All of the Northern California Haunts below are currently in limbo. As of the current update we don’t know if they’re returning, taking a year off, or dead.

ScareCo Haunted Attraction

Event Type: Haunt/Mazes
First Date: September 29
Location: 5530 Newpark Mall Road, Newark, Calif.
Miles from SF: 37

ScareCo is tough to pin down. They started at the abandoned West Oakland train station, moved to the U.S.S. Hornet, and have finally landed in Newark. The haunt makers hope the new location will provide lower overhead allowing for a greater investment in scares. Tickets are on sale.
All dates: September 29 – October 29: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays plus October 30 & 31

The Warehouse

Event Type: Haunt
First Date: October 6
Location: 400 Guthrie Lane, Brentwood Calif.
Miles from SF: 55

Visit the haunted Warehouse in Brentwood. What’s inside? Probably horror. Not much is known about this haunt but you can wander down to this warehouse by the docks and find out what happened to Mary Lou…
All dates: Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28

DireWorld Scare Park

Event Type: Haunt/Mazes
First Date: September 29
Location: 800 All America City Blvd. Roseville, Calif.
Miles from SF: 107


The Sacramento region is a little hub of horror and DireWorld is one of the best reasons for making the drive. DireWorld has eight haunted attractions creating “a terrorizing world of dark fantasy and zombie western entertainment.”

All dates: September 29-30, October 6-7, 13-14, 20-22, 26-31

Cemetarium Haunted House

Event Type: Haunt/Mazes
First Date: September 29
Location: 7983 Arcadia Dr. Citrus Heights, Calif.
Miles from SF: 110


Cemetarium Haunted House offers three haunts and two scare levels: Cemetarium, Zombie Heights, and Psycho Circus. Sundays through Thursdays, the Cematarium and Psycho Circus will be “low scare” and family friendly from 7 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. the haunts shift into full scare mode.

All dates: Sept. 29, 30, Oct. 1 (only Cemetarium open), 6-8, 12-15, 18-31, Nov. 3-4 (Cemetarium only)

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