As we slip into October, I decided to assemble my first-ever Fantasy
Think of the Top 13 list as a nightmare fantastic park with the most demented, disturbing and disgusting collection of haunted attractions ever gathered in one virtual place.
Or my definition of a dream vacation if I had a bottomless budget and unlimited vacation time to jet around the world to the best and most bizarre haunts.
I've tried to include a sampling of mazes from each of the major theme park chains plus a few independents.
I purposely went light on
Universal Studios, the undisputed leader in horror this time of year, is the most well represented on the list and probably deserves a Top 13 of its own.
And there's even an entry from Disney, a company better known for family-friendly fare than spine-tingling scares.
A couple of smaller parks that offer well-respected Halloween events, like
In assembling my Top 13, I was looking for unusual, unique and offbeat haunted mazes and attractions that I'd actually jump on a plane and fly half way around the globe to see.
13) The Aftermath -- The Fright Fest maze at
12) La Llorona: The Child Hunter -- Based on the Mexican legend of a distraught mother who drowned her children and then herself, the La Llorona maze at Universal Studios Hollywood is haunted by the
11) Penn & Teller New(kd) Las Vegas -- The eccentric magicians have accidentally nuked Sin City, leaving the desert gambling oasis covered in radioactivity. The comedic 3D maze at
10) Graves Academy -- The Haunted Halloween maze at Hong Kong
8) Trapped -- The up-charge maze during Halloween Haunt at Knott's Berry Farm in California takes up to six people through a labyrinth of locked rooms with increasingly dire consequences. Trapped takes visitors from a rank-smelling bathroom to a confining cage filled with rats to a morgue where the dead come to life. Participants must solve puzzles or make unpalatable choices to escape each room and ultimately the maze itself.
7) The Passing -- Thorpe Park in the United Kingdom introduced the new up-charge maze at this year's Fright Nights. With a suffocating burlap sack over their head, each person is sentenced to death and must blindly make their way through the claustrophobic maze to their own burial.
6) Chinese Wedding of the Departed -- After a terrible fire destroys a mansion, the family killed in the blaze returns as ghosts to haunt their former home. Wandering through the ruins, visitors to Ocean Park's Halloween Bash in Hong Kong try to avoid the Matchmaker of the
5) Alone --
4) Biohazard (Resident Evil) -- The haunted attraction at Universal Studios
3) Down -- Go deep inside a stinking sewer pipe at Europa Park's Horror Nights where you meet rats, spiders and other creatures slithering through the dark. Visitors walk and crawl through a dank and musty conduit lined with slippery walls and reeking of sewage.
2) Ghostly Legends -- Ocean Park asked visitors to vote on the most haunted places in Hong Kong and turned the survey results into a maze at Halloween Bash. A possessed and demented disc jockey serves as the guide through 10 Hong Kong haunts populated by supernatural beings like an eight-headed girl, an ice crystal
1) Take Away -- Prepare to have your appetite spoiled at Europa Park's Horror Nights during the grand opening of a Chinese fast food restaurant (known as "take away" in Germany). The Take Away maze at the German theme park sends visitors on a behind-the-scenes tour of the disgusting kitchen where a cleaver-wielding cook prepares caged cats as the main course.