Haunted houses dot St. Louis area

| Contributing Reporter

Courtesy of the Haunting of Lemp Brewery

A zombie rests on a chair at the Lemp Brewery in Benton Park. The Lemp Brewery and Lemp Mansion were listed as one of the “top 10 spookiest buildings around the world.”

St. Louis is home to some of the country’s best haunted houses—even if you don’t get a chance to go on the day of Halloween, the attractions will still be open this weekend. Here are Scene’s top picks for local fun and frights this weekend.

The Haunting of Lemp Brewery

Complete with caves, caverns, disappearances and a spiral staircase five stories underground, the Lemp Mansion has been included on CNN Travel’s list of the “Top 10 spookiest buildings around the world.” The mansion and neighboring Lemp Brewery were built by the Lemp family, a family marked by several tragic deaths between 1860 and 1949 and whose last member died in 1970. The ghosts of the family now reputedly haunt these buildings. For returning visitors, the 2013 version of this haunted house in Benton Park will feature new secret passages and frightening scenes. The program also adds a “pre-show” that will introduce visitors to a “ghost” of a member of the Lemp family and teach them about the legend of the family. A single adult ticket costs $20, and it is recommended that you purchase tickets online to save time. The Haunting of Lemp Brewery is open until Nov. 2, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 7:30-11:30 p.m. over the weekend and 7-11:30 p.m. on Halloween night.

The Darkness

Located in downtown St. Louis, this haunted house recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The Darkness features the two-story Darkness Haunted House, Terror Visions 3D Haunted House, Monster Museum and a gift shop. An interactive entertainment show in which Dracula and Frankenstein perform amuses guests while they wait in line, and the innovative haunted house is renovated every year. This year’s renovations will include greater special effects along with new scenes such as Reaper’s Cave, Silent Sanitarium, Dinner of the Dead and Lost Graveyard. According to The Darkness’ website, a new special effect will feature a “Flying zombie” along with a “Zombie effect room” that will make it appear as if zombies are walking directly in front of guests. An adult ticket is $25, and a $30 “Speedpass” allows customers to skip the lines. The Darkness is open until Nov. 2—7:30-9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 7:30-11:30 p.m. over the weekend and 7 p.m.-12 a.m. on Halloween night.

Creepyworld

Creepyworld features 10 haunted attractions, including four new houses for the 2013 season. Some of the houses have intimidating names, such as The Evil Dread, The Tool Shed and Grisly’s Gore Zone, while others are more playful. One new haunted house, Carnivorous in 3D, will display 3-D artwork of insane clowns that will appear directly in front of viewers. On Halloween, Creepyworld will include several stops for visitors to pick up candy. One adult ticket for this haunted house in Fenton costs $25, and visitors can pay an additional $5 for Zombie Paintball. The haunted house shares the same hours as The Darkness.

Fright Fest

Fright Fest is an attraction at the Six Flags in St Louis. The frights include Zombie Paintball Apocalypse, an attraction in which individuals attempt to fight off swarming zombies with specially equipped paintball guns. Another attraction is Monstertainment, which offers a variety of spooky shows. For thrill-seeking individuals, the regular rides will also remain open. General admission for Fright Fest is $54.99, but guests may also choose to purchase passes for more specific attractions. For example, Zombie Paintball Apocalypse tickets start at $20.

Alton Haunting Tour

This ghost tour in Alton, Ill., promises an “authentic ghost tour.” Unlike the other haunted houses, these tours are available April through November. However, during Halloween Week—Oct. 29 to Nov. 2—tours are offered every night, although bus tours are already sold out for Nov. 1 and 2. The tours are based on the book “Haunted Alton” by Troy Taylor, which recounts ghost stories and tales of spooky happenings in the small town. Known as “the most haunted town in America,” Alton earned its reputation from various scary sites, including the McPike Mansion, which appeared on the television series “Scariest Places on Earth,” which claimed the mansion is haunted by a former owner and a former domestic servant. Many homes in the town were abandoned following a smallpox epidemic that came from overcrowding during the Civil War. Tickets for the walking tour are $25, and visitors can register online and view a complete schedule. Most walking tours begin at 7 or 8 p.m.

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