Best Halloween Horror Nights in The USA – All the Best Theme Park Halloween Events in America

Halloween is everyone’s favorite holiday, apart from maybe Christmas, it’s fun, silly, scary, and just what you need as summer starts to fade from memory. A big trend in the US in recent decades is Halloween Events run by America’s big theme parks. It seems every Theme Park worth its salt now runs some kind of Event. Often referred to as Horror Nights, or Scare Events these horror movies brought to life are now part and parcel of the Halloween tradition. But with so many on offer, how do you know which are the best or even what is available?

That is why we put together our Best Halloween Horror Nights in The USA article. We show you exactly what’s on offer and what All the Best Theme Park Halloween Events in America are, from the West to the East Coast and everywhere in between. We look at the big hitters and the more unique and niche park events. So get ready for a fright as we take a deep look at the best Halloween horror event in the country.

Best Halloween Horror Nights in The USA

What are Halloween Horror Nights?

Before we get onto the actual events let’s just take a minute to look at the events in general. These nights are essentially a horror takeover of a Theme Park. As night falls the parks transform into a living horror movie. Hordes of monsters roam and terrifying scenes lie around every corner.

While most of these events are strongly recommended to be ages 13+ and even that’s a bit low for some, we have included a few more family-friendly events that keep the spooky but drops the horror and more macabre themes.


Halloween Horror monster

The heart and soul of these events are the monsters. These are seasonal workers and actors who dress up in details and horrific costumes and roam the parks jumping out and scaring the guests out of their wits. Even their presence can be deeply disturbing.

Depending on the location the monsters are themed to the area they haunt. Such as clowns and circus performers in Circus-Themed Zones, Zombies and Undead in Graveyards, Aliens in the Sci-Fi themed area, and such alike.

The costumes are usually, although not always, fabulously detailed and horrifying. Expect movie-quality costumes with high-level visual effects such as wounds and gore and all things nasty. Also, expect them to be carrying some fearsome and pretty intimidating weapons. Knives, Swords, Bats, hooks, even chainsaws, and guns, and expect to be attacked by these!

Obviously, everything is simulated and any attack will be stopped well before contact is made, but the fear and intimidation are still there! It’s all an attempt to scare and frighten you, which is exactly why you are here. The quality of the Monsters really makes and brake the nights and the best nights attract the best monsters entrenching them further as the best!

There is a straightly enforced two-way no touching covenant between monster and guest. No monster may touch a guest and no guest may touch a monster.

Haunted Houses

The Haunted houses are the backbone of the Events. These are the attractions that you will actually have to queue for. Some events call them houses, others mazes, or some variation on the theme but they are all essentially the same. They are dark, heavily themed, enclosed spaces filled with terrifying monsters who will jump out on you and scare you out of your skin!

They use high-tech lighting fogging and industrial-grade special effects to really amp up the terrifying atmosphere and if you are prone to jump scares these things are utterly terrifying! The Houses are filled with hidden hiding holes where the monsters appear from to relieve your bowls of the contents!

Scare Zones

Scare Zones are a larger version of haunted houses and are essentially large portions of the theme park that have gotten a more intense theme applied to them and are host to a large crew of monsters. As you pass through the Zone these will attack, often in formation and often relentlessly.

Scare Zones are usually positioned as you navigate the park so you are required to pass through them to reach another area of the park. It is wise not to linger as the attacks will come thick and fast.


Shows are also a large component of the Events and there are usually 2-3 different shows of varying quality naturally all themed around something macabre. Some of these are really good with excellent production values others are less well put together and maybe not be the best use of your time in the park.


As these are mainly set in theme parks there is usually at least a good selection of the park rides open during the event. Honestly, we are pretty disappointed if all rides are not open, those that offer a selection are pretty mean, but you do get at least all the major headline rides. It’s also a good opportunity to experience some of these at night. A lot of these parks close in the summer before sunset and you don’t ever get to ride at night so it’s a different way of experiencing them.

Some rides also get special overlays. These are re-theming of certain rides to various Halloween themes. Some are just a few pumpkins dotted about others are full-on transformations. We make sure to point out any of the really important overlays.


As these events have developed one thing that has become a theme is the use of an event Icon. This is a Head monster who can act as a bit of a Compère for the night. It could be the Pumking King, Jack The Clown, or The Crypt Keeper. Really it’s not that important but it’s something to be aware of.


There are two ways these events are Ticketed. Either they are separate Ticketed events or the Horror night is included with (a slightly inflated) Entry. The biggest and best tend to be ticketed events.

This means the park is open during the day and operates as a regular Theme Park. There may be some Halloween sprinklings but on the whole, it’s just the regular park. If you want to visit you need a regular admission ticket. The park will usually close a couple of hours early and the cast heads out to transform the park into HELL!

As Dark falls, the Guests for the event arrive and they must have a separate ticket for this event. Day admission is not included in these tickets and vice versa, Horror Night Tickets are not included in the day admission. If you want to visit both, you need to buy BOTH!

Some of the lesser events can’t justify splitting the two events up so the day ticket on horror nights does get you in the horror night, and if you are here for the horror night specifically you can always arrive earlier and hit the park first. They are one and the same. Make sure you check

All the Best Theme Park Halloween Events in America

Best Halloween Horror Nights on the West Coast

We start on the East Coast and Primarily Sothern California where there is a large cluster of theme parks and a huge choice of Scare Nights available. And we start at the beginning where these events first began.

Knott’s Scary Farm

Knotts Scary Farm
  • Dates – 22nd September – 31st October
  • Cost – $59+
  • Fast Pass – + $135
  • Haunted Houses – 9 Houses – 5 Scare zones – 3 Shows
  • Unique Features – No Escape

The original and still, at least one of the best, not everyone knows Knotts berry farm was scaring people half to death well before the trend of horror nights ever really took off. The event was first run in 1973 the event is now approaching 50 years of horror and has launched a thousand copycats.

For many, this is the pinnacle of Horror nights and with the possible exception of Universal Orlando’s offering, we agree, we discuss that later, but Knott’s Scary Farm takes the West Coast crown with ease. The Monsters are scarier, the theming more intense, and the mood far darker and more sinister.

Knott’s Scary Farms trick is to essentially do away with the Scare Zones. It lists 5 on the website, but these are just themed areas, not real scare zones. Instead, there is just one scare zone at Knott’s Scart Farm, the entire theme park. The 1000+ Monsters roam the entire park and no location is safe from a terrifying encounter.

The Monsters are some of the best in the world and have a huge range of intricate and terrifying costumes. Their ability to sneak up on you and scare the bejeebus out of you is…well frightening. There is a lot to love about Knotts Scary Farms Halloween event but the monsters are the highlight…or lowlight depending on your opinion.

The park remains fully open and all rides that would usually be open are running at night. This includes the Timber Mountain Log Ride which gets a Halloween Makeover. We normally steer away from water rides this late in the year but the Halloween Hootenanny transforms the ride into an unmissable Ghost train-style ride with heaps of scares and thrills all on one.

One of the most spectacular parts of the event is the Monster Depart. Before the festivities kick off all the 1000+ monsters gather in the main square before scattering to all corners of the park, where we are sure you will meet them again!

The Legendary Boo-Fet is a great option for those wanting to get early access to the park and have a really great view of the grand depart, and early access to some rides before any queues build! This is a great way to get more out of the day without buying the extremely expensive fast passes!

It is a fantastic event and easily the best on the west coast. If you only visit one Halloween Night this is it!

Rides – Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny + All regular rides open

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Universal Studios Hollywood – Halloween Horror Night

terror tram USHHH
  • Dates – 8th September – 31st October
  • Cost – $72 – $102
  • Fast Pass – $199 -349 admission included
  • Haunted Houses – 8 Houses – 3 Scare zones – 1 Show
  • Unique Features – Terror Tram

While it was Knott’s Berry Farm that started it all, it was Universal that popularized and took horror nights to the Masses with their original Fright Nights, now called Halloween Horror Nights. And Universals Horror Night at its Hollywood studios is still a corker of an event.

It is a little pricey, the most expensive in the So Cal area, but you get a lot for the money and the fast pass entry is not too far off what you would pay at Knott’s Scary Farm. Universal does a great job of mixing up the themes and providing new attractions every year. Most events just run the same Houses and Zones year after year with just a gradual change, but Universal is a lot more dynamic. They also like to tie in with the latest Movies and popular shows as they have a unique position in already owning the rights to many franchises and have the willingness and budget to lease the rights to many other top franchises.

Universal has a proud history of Horror Movies dating right back to some of Hollywood’s earliest monster movies. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, etc all make appearances most years at the Horror Nights.

Their ability to include scare zones and Haunted Houses with well-known franchises is one of the strongest appeals of the Universal Nights, In recent years have seen the Purge, Stranger Things, Walking Dead, Texas Chain Saw Massacre, GhostBusters, Saw, and many more. Halloween (The Franchise) makes regular appearances and remember the set for Physco still sits on the Back lots of the Studios. It all makes for a really scary ambiance.

This year Halloween’s Jason makes a return, there is a BIG showdown of some cult Universal monsters, Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Weekend makes his Haloween Horror Night Debut with his own Haunted House,

One other highlight of the Hollywood nights is the use of the Trams and the Backlot sets. The Terror Tram heads out to part of the Studio and has separate Horror Mazes at famous locations. This year Jorden Peele has helped set up the Terror Tram and there are set pieces based on his latest film “Nope” and his 2019 horror classic “Us“. We are especially thrilled about the “Nope” content as we are big fans of the film.

Overall it is a GREAT night. It should sit proudly as the Best West Coast Horror night, but that pesky Knotts Scary farm just pips it every time.

Rides – Select Rides Open

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Sea World San Diego – Howl O Scream

Sea World San Diego - Howl O Scream
  • Dates – 16th September – 31st October (Fri, Sat, Sun, and Select Thu + Halloween Night Monday)
  • Cost – $44.99-$54.99
  • Fast Pass – + $34.99-$54.99
  • Haunted Houses – 5 Houses – 6 Scare zones – Roaming Scares
  • Unique Features – Roaming Monsters – Gore Cocktails

Sea World San Diego is pretty late to the party with Halloween Horror Events. Their Howl-O-Scream event was first launched in 2021! The first year was fairly small and low-key but it has grown a lot since and now offers 5 Haunted Houses, 6 Scare Zones, Roaming Hordes, Some great Horror themed Cocktail Bars, and a New Witch themed show for this year!

We still feel this event is growing and finding its feet, but SeaWorld has plenty of practice with horror nights at its other locations so it’s no stranger to these events. While we would pick Knotts Scary Farm or Universals Halloween Horror night over Howl-O-Scream, it’s still a solid event, and being in San Diego means it opens up the nights to those who don’t want to head up to L.A.

Rides – The Electric Eel, Emperor, and Journey to Atlantis

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Family Friendly Halloween Party – West Coast

The Options we have explored so far are all genuinely frightening. The cast members are out to scare you and leave you a cowering shivering wreck, and they are good at it. There are also some really strong themes. Expect Dead bodies to be strewn around and depictions of murder, violence, and suicide! As such these events are not for everyone, and certainly not for children. Under 13’s are strongly advised to not attend and we would g a lot further, it’s easy to be pretty freaked out at these horror nights. But Halloween is not just for Adults and those of strong constitutions, Halloween is for Kids really so there are some options for Halloween fun that are not so nerve-jangling and stomach-churning!

Oogie Boogie Bash

Oogie Boogie Bash

Dinsey California Adventure

  • Dates – 6th September – 31st October
  • Cost – $TBC
  • Fast Pass – None (The bash is limited attendance so a fast pass is not needed)
  • Haunted Houses – Treat Trials – Villians Grove – Frightfully Fun Parade
  • Unique Features – Free Candy, Dinsey Villains, not scary!

There is no doubt the king here. The Oogie Boogie Bash is easily the top “not” scary Halloween party. Naturally, being Disney, delighting younger audiences is their forte, along with delighting those that are young at heart.

We are huge Disney fans and Halloween at Disneyland is one of the best times to visit. The Oogie Boogie Bash is also one of our favorite events of the year. It is not what most people think of as a Horror Night, it’s really not very horrific at all! Instead, it focuses on spooky themes and more cartoon-style scares.

The Bash completely takes over Disney California Adventure in the evening and the whole park is devoted to ghoulish fun. The Treat trails are so much fun and you really can bag an impressive haul of candy! The Frightfully Fun Parade is really special as Disney goes to town on the various floats and villainous characters.

There are special Ride Overlays and the wonderful Villians Grove where you can meet some of Disney’s most villainous villains with new additions every year. And the tightly is the amazing Halloween and fall-themed treats.

We think Halloween is one of the best times to visit the parks as both locations are awash with spooky fall-themed displays and characters. And a visit to the Bash really tops it off. It has to be on any Disney fan’s must-do list and we find it hard not to head back EVERY year!

Rides – All Rides Open – Monster After Dark Overlay for Guardians Of The Galaxy

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Tip – Tickets go on sale in late June, which is way too early to think about Halloween, but if you are not on the ball they will sell out before you can say “Is it July yet?” Seriously, these events can sell out for eh entire year the same morning they go live, high demand dates in a matter of minutes! Plan early and book as soon as you possibly can or else you may well miss out on the funniest Halloween party in the country.

Best Halloween Horror Nights on the East Coast

We now head over to the East Coast and take a look at the offerings on the other side of the country. In Florida, we have the record-breaking award winner, and some great events further north where fall really looks like fall.

Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

halloween horror nights Orlando
  • Dates – 2nd September – 31st October
  • Cost – From $73.99 – $104.99
  • Fast Pass – + $129.99 – $219 (Admission NOT included)
  • Haunted Houses – 10 Houses – 5 Scare zones – 2 Shows
  • Unique Features – Amazing Cast and Food.

Ok, it’s time for the Big Boys now. Let’s just get this straight the Golden Ticket Awards has voted Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights the Best Halloween Event 12 out of 15 times the award has been handed out and this includes an 11-year run! There was a bit of a hiccup in 2021 as there was a Halloween Hiatus, but before this, it was a straight run, with just Knotts Scary Farm (who came second every year they didn’t win) nipping in for a couple of years early on. We can expect Universal Orlando to retake its crown when the awards are released this year.

So the industry has decided This is the best Halloween event in the world, we will hold of in that and finish off with a trade-off at the end of the article. But it is a clear winner on the East cast. Why, well let’s take a look at this Titan of Halloween Events.

As we mentioned earlier Knott’s Scary Farms were the first theme park to host these scare events but it was Universal that really took them mainstream and perfected the formula and take it mainstream. A lot of this success was from utilizing Franchises and Film Rights that Universal already owned. Frankenstein, The Mummy, Dracula, Psycho, etc… They introduced the idea of icons as the host of the night and really took the costume-theming to the next level.

The current events are nothing short of spectacular as the whole park is given over to the horror nights. There are currently 10 haunted houses with some really epic themes, Halloween, Blumhouse, Legends Collide, and a new Celebrity House from “The Weekend”. We are also really freaked out by the new Bugs: Eaten Alive house which is really creepy.

There are 5 Scare Zones that are pretty much unavoidable as you navigate the Park. The layout of Universal Studios Florida is perfect for the night creating a large loop that forces you into several scare zones as you navigate around.

The real highlight is the quality of the cast and their costumes. The park just goes next level with everything and the detail and quality of casting are phenomenal. The park’s transformation is incredible. We have been pre-horror night and you can hardly tell the event is on, then once night falls the park morphs into a horrifyingly detailed and macabre murder site! The enthusiasm and menace of the cast are just fantastic.

It is the little details that make it, the layout, the cast, and the attention to detail of the general theming. They leave no stone unturned in making this a horrifying and terrible spectacle. Even the food is next level, this year they are serving rotten bear meat in plastic trays (replica obviously) amongst many other devilishly delectable treats.

The quality of the night means any other Florida Night is at a serious disadvantage. Universal has the market covered and this means there is no real breakout rival in the area. There are other shows but this is the Big Gig, the one to beat and nothing really comes close.

Rides – 5 Rides – Rip Ride Rocket – Transformers – Revenge Of The Mummy – Escape From Gringotts – Men In Black

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Salem – Haunted Happenings

Salem Witch Museum

Ok, this one is a LOT different and not a classic Horror Night but we have to mention it. Salem is basically the home of Halloween, Witches, and all things spooky. At most of the events, we have listed at theme parks a large part of the theming will be autumnal in nature. Fallen leaves, pumpkins, and such like, the ingrained childhood memories we all have of Fall and Halloween. However, in Salem, this is just how it looks!

There is no one single event in Salem but lots of little Halloweenie things going on. The highlight for us is the Eerie Events at the Peabody Essex Museum, this is the iconic house from Hocus Pocus which houses a Witch Trials Museum and is fully decorated for the season.

There is a food festival on Salem Common which is pretty much the childhood imagining of Halloween. There are ghost hunts, Physic faires and Witch Markets, Pumpkin patches, and Lanbrinths, there is even a huge fireworks display on Halloween night.

Really just being in Salem for Halloween is a real treat but the town really embraces its heritage and makes visiting at Halloween time a real treat!

Check out Salem’s Haunted Happenings for everything that’s going on.


  • Dates – 16th September – 30th October
  • Cost – From $45 – $85
  • Fast Pass – + $89 – $129 (Admission NOT included)
  • Haunted Houses – 5 Houses – 9 Scare zones – 2 Shows
  • Unique Features – Fury 325

Scarowinds is the Halloween event for the North Carolina Themepark Carowinds…see what they did there! First the bad news, the Scare event here is good but it’s not great and possibly not worth heading all the way to Charlotte North Caroline for, not if there is an event closer. If this is your local park, you can still expect a really good event, it’s just not as great as others and if you are traveling just for a scare event we would revel elsewhere.

However, remember this is a Cedar Fair Park and these are the same people who run the Knott’s Scary Farm event, which is top 1/2 in the world, so it’s no slouch, and the real highlight of this event is Carowinds itself! The park hosts 2 of the top rollercoasters in the world including the world’s No1 Ride – Fury 325. This colossal Giga-Coaster pretty much defies belief and is worth the trip to Carowinds just for a ride on that.

Combine one of the best theme parks on the east coast with a really solid scare event and you really have something to write home about.

The 5 mazes offer themes such as Murder Scenes, Abandoned Hospitals, Death Row, a Slaughter House, and the Tooth Fairy. There are 9 intense scare zones and two great shows.

We think Scarowinds is an outsider choice but it is a great place to get some great scares of both the thrilling and chilling variety!

Rides – All Rides Open – Fury 325 – Intimidator – Night Hawk Vortex

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Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream
  • Dates – 9th September – 31st October
  • Cost – From $44.99  – $104.99
  • Fast Pass – + $69.99 – $179 (Admission NOT included)
  • Haunted Houses – 5 Houses – 7 Scare zones – 4 Shows
  • Unique Features – huge ride line-up

Bush Gardens is often overlooked in both terms of a Themepark and as a Wildlife attraction. The truth is despite its much more famous local neighbors over in Orlando (Universal, Sea World, and Dinseywaorld) it is actually a really good park. It has some absolutely cracking rides, such as the incredible Iron Gwazi which will certainly shale up the Golden Tickets awards this year along with several other award-winning coasters such as Montu, Kumba, SheiKra, and Cheetah Hunt all of which have scored good rankings in the awards.

Likewise, the Howl-O-Scream has also been a little overlooked too. This is a solid and long-running event that has all the hallmarks and trappings of a great event. Along with the excellent rides, this time in the dark and you are in for a real fright fest.

The event has also been unexpanded over to Sea World Orlando and you can buy dual tickets to the Busch Gardens and Sea World events. While the event really is great, if it’s still a case of choosing between Bush or Universal, we would definitely pick Universal. But for those looking to get as much Halloween horror in as possible, this is a great addition to the Florida line-up. And if you are looking for rides too, the best ride in the state are all found in Busch Gardens and Seaworld!

Rides – All Rides Open

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Family Friendly Halloween Party – East Coast

While a trip to Salem can be considered family-friendly the rest of the east coast options are pretty adult in theme. But there is still one really great option for family fun on the East Coasts and naturally, it comes from Disney!

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Dates – 12th August – 31st October
  • Cost – $149 – $179
  • Fast Pass –None (Limited Capacity means Genie+ is not required)
  • Haunted Houses – Trick or Treat Trails – Hocus Pocus Villians – Boo-To-You Parade – Halloween Fireworks
  • Unique Features – Halloween in August?

Rides – Most Rides Open – Haunted Overlay for Space Mountain

Every fall Mickey Not So Scary Halloween Party Takes over Magic Kingdom in what is the biggest and most visited Halloween party on earth. The party is anything but scary and is all about fun with the characters donning spooky costumes and the Dinsey Villians coming out to play too.

There are a number of Trick Or Treat Trails where guests can really load up on candy, and an amazing Boo-To-You Parade featuring all the best Disney Characters. The Villians show, this year featuring Hocus Pocus is a real highlight and the evening all comes to a glorious conclusion with the Not So Spooky Spectacular Fireworks show.

Along with some really great decorations, and loads of fun and tasty food options, the Magic Kingdom really comes alive in a real Halloween spectacle. It’s one of the best events out there…however…

Now we don’t want to get embroiled in an argument BUT, we definitely prefer Oogie Boogie Bash…There: We Said it!

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TIP- Like Oogie Boogie, tickets for the Party can sell out really fast. It’s not quite the blink-and-you-miss-it sale over at Disneyland, but it’s not that far off on some dates. There is a lot of availability as the Event starts really early in August, and sometimes dates can stay available until near the actual day (Some dates even fail to hit capacity) but some dates do sell out fast, and if there is an important time for you it’s best to book early when the go on sale in June!

Best Halloween Horror Nights – Central

Don’t worry, if you are not on the coast there are still plenty of events inland!

Six Flags Fiesta Texas – Fright Fest

  • Dates – 10th September – 31st October
  • Cost – From $69.99 – $74.99
  • Fast Pass – + $95 – $210
  • Haunted Houses – 5 Houses – 5 Scare zones
  • Unique Features – Fright Night includes Regular Park Admission

In 2021 Sixflags took the Golden Ticket Award for BEST Halloween Event breaking Universal 11 year run, this would be big news, except, Universal did not run a Halloween event that year, nor did many of the regular top-ranked ones so it was a bit of a turkey shoot. But still, Fright Fest is still a really solid event.

5 great Haunted Houses and 5 Scarezone litter the park and there is plenty of freaky-themed food and drink as the event is sponsored by Snickers. What is unusual is the event is not a horror night as such and simply runs all day as opposed to being a separately ticketed event. You just buy the extra  Haunted Attraction Pass and can visit the Halloween attractions.

This means you can visit the park as usual and enjoy the Halloween events later, at most horror nights you need to pay twice if you want to visit during the day. This does mean the theming and the overall atmosphere is a little lacking compared to the dedicated events.

Naturally, this means the fast pass system is the same as the day and all rides are running as expected.

You can also check out the Fright Fest at Six Flags Over Texas which is a similar event over in Dallas

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Cedar Point – Halloweekends

  • Dates – 2nd September – 31st October
  • Cost – From $49.99 – $79.99
  • Fast Pass – + $75 – $199
  • Haunted Houses – 10 Houses – 5 Scare zones – 2 Shows
  • Unique Features – Incredible Roller Coaster Line-up

Like Six Flags Fiesta Texas, this is an All-Day Ticket that gives you access to the theme park during the day and the horror events as darkness falls. This makes it really good value. This works really well at Cedar Point as there really isn’t much else going on up in Sandusky, Ohio.

Cedar Point is probably the best theme park in America as far as crazy intense thrill rides go. Clocking up 3 of the top ten coasters in the world (Millenium Force(2), Steel Vengence(3), and Maverick(9)) and the world’s second tallest and third fastest coaster (Top Thrill Dragster (although currently closed)). Even its smaller rides would be headliners at many parks!

The Scare Event is a really great compliment to the ark and is technically free as it’s included in the ticket price of the park. The Park is transformed into a fall wonderland filled with pumpkins and Halloween theming through and comes alive at night when the creepy haunted houses open up the “welcome” guests.

The whole package will have you screaming from first entering the park until you leave and for fans of both big coasters and fright night thrills, this is a great package, and the last chance to enjoy the park before the frigid interior winter rolls in.

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Sea World San Antonio – Howl O Scream

SeaWorld San Antonio Howl-o-scream
  • Dates – 16th September – 31st October
  • Cost – $59.99 – $69.99
  • Fast Pass – + $39.99 – $89.99
  • Haunted Houses – 6 Houses – 8 Scare zones – 7 Boozy Bars
  • Unique Features –

Again unlike the other sea-world scare events, this is not a separately ticketed event, like the other interior theme parks, this is a “Free” add-on to your ticket. The park operates as usual during the day and then the Halloween fun kicks off later on.

We like this way of doing it but it is mainly because these parks can’t support a separately ticketed event on these days. But this also means less effort is put into the events compared to the full-on horror nights that can attract crowds willing to pay big bucks to experience the horror.

There is plenty going on at Seaworld, with 6 great houses and 8 Scare Zones, and some really good bars with horror-themed drinks. On top of this, you are getting all the fun of Sea World San Antonio with some great rides, and all the aquarium attractions you expect from Sea World.

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Best Overall Halloween Horror Night?

This has always come down to a showdown between Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights and Knotts Scary Farm.

Universal Studios Orlando Halloween Horror Nights VS Knotts Scary Farm

From an award point of view, it’s got to be Universal. The Golden Ticket Awards speak for themselves and 11 top spots in a row with Knotts Scary at number 2 speaks volumes. However, it’s not as simple as that. The awards are not infallible and Universal has a larger following and more Lobbying power. These awards are really influential and based on traveler surveys, but that is not infallible. Like the Oscars, they get it wrong sometimes.

But 11 years on the trot, possibly not. However, what people are looking for in an event may differ. We look at it this way. The Universal nights are BIG BLOCKBUSTER Hollywood-style presentations. Everything is bigger and bolder and more polished.

But the Knotts Scary Farm event is more like your lower-budget art house production. So you are comparing a Hollywood Blockbuster with a Tarantino movie. What people want and demand are very different, Hollywood films drive the crowds and are thrilling to watch like Universal Horror Night, but they are always a little empty.

We lean towards the more Niche productions and love the quaint and thoughtful event put on by Knotts. The incredible number of monsters, clever and terrifying delivery of the scares, and the really dark and atmospheric atmosphere just put it over the line for us!

It’s a tough call, and we can see the pros and cons for both, but for us, we think the awards have this the wrong way around and Universal wins due to the Hollywood shine the Horror Night produces rather than the really clever and dark world that Knotts Scary Farm Becomes.

But that is just our opinion.

Have Your Say?

We have dropped a few controversial opinions here. Do you agree? Oogie Boogie over Micky? Knotts over Horror Nights? Let us know your thoughts and let us know what you think your favorite Horror Night is. There are so many events up and down the country we can’t visit them all so if we have missed your favorite let us know. And as always any questions just fire away.

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