The Scariest Attractions in NJ for the Family: 2020 Edition

by Devin Frasche
haunted houses nj 2020

The most glorious time of year is almost upon us! The season of fright, fear and terror that makes us feel alive as the foliage decays. Raised heart rates and low guttural growls. Ghosts, ghouls and goblins. These aren’t just for the silver screen, they’re also for NJ families in 2020. Spooky season is more important now than ever, so we’re counting down the scariest attractions in NJ for the family.

While many famous Halloween-themed attractions are not operating this year due to health concerns, that doesn’t mean your family will be left alone in the dark. If you aren’t a fan of exploring abandoned oddities or if you desire fun for the whole family, have no fear! There are still a variety of local favorites prepared to haunt and horrify this year. Your family may prefer to stagger through the harrowed halls of a haunted house, waiting anxiously for a zombie to jump out. Or maybe they prefer a leisurely hayride that treks through evil’s domain. Either way, New Jersey still has a cauldron full of options for fear and fun leading up to All Hallows Eve. Check out some of NJ’s scariest family favorites that are still opening their crypts this year, if you dare:

1. Brighton Asylum 

Passaic, NJ

To say the least, Brighton Asylum is legendary. It has been featured on countless news outlets and reality shows praising its ability to horrify guests and its legitimacy as a top destination for the spooky season. Originally shut down in 1952, Brighton Asylum now operates as one of the most popular Halloween-themed attractions for the whole family, trembling with a multitude of events for different tastes. 

This menacing ground is the epitome of what you want in a grand-scale haunted house. Brighton Asylum features an elaborate walk-through test of bravery, oozing with skilled actors and movie-quality special effects. The main attractions are the asylum itself, The Bleeding Grounds and Port9l. New additions include The Hack Shack, Fear Pressure, Fractvre and The Twitching Hour. With an extensive list of options suitable for different ages, Brighton Asylum is one of the scariest attractions in NJ for the family. 

2. BloodShed Farms Haunted Attractions & Hayride 

Columbus, NJ

Would your family rather be scared from a distance so that no one will hear the screams? If so, BloodShed Farms Haunted Attractions & Hayride may be for you. Unlike Brighton Asylum, BloodShed Farms offers a unique type of fright perfect for the whole family in 2020: The Last Drive. This unique and gripping experience provides theatre-quality scares from the safety of your own car. Cautiously cruise through the mystifying display of creatures and characters sure to shake you to your core. 

Craving something more immersive but still from a safe distance? Opt-in for the VIP bloodbath upgrade. This addition grants the actors permission to touch your car. It also allows for vehicle safe fake blood, ghastly goo, water and more to be included in the experience. Sure to make you squirm, BloodShed Farms is not one to miss.

3. Pantophobia Haunted Attraction 

Montvale, NJ

Looking for the ideal spooky season experience for younger children? Look no further than Pantophobia Haunted Attraction. Hailed as one of New Jersey’s best haunted hayrides, this outdoor experience is perfect for all ages during a circumstantial 2020 season of fright. Journey through open fields, greenhouses and past the haunted Grain family home as the harbinger of hell, Cyrus Grain, protects his farm from intruders. While your family waits to embark on the frightful trail, everyone can enjoy a five-minute pre-show to help dust off the cobwebs of courage and interact with frightful featured characters. Kid-friendly and fun for adults, Pantophobia Haunted Attraction is worth the visit.

4. Scary Rotten Farms Haunted Experience 

Brick Township, NJ

The Jersey shore isn’t just for laid back R&R. There’s also plenty of spooky season family fun tailored for 2020. Scary Rotten Farms Haunted Experience is taking all of the necessary precautions to continue to terrify this year. 

The go-to compilation for all facets of fear, voted Scary Rotten Farms Haunted Experience number four in New Jersey and a top fan-voted must-see haunt. Scary Rotten Farms boasts three different adventures that are to die for.

Sinister Snead’s Carnival of Chaos was once a fun-loving carnival for the family. Until the carnival was eventually doomed for financial collapse. It was then that Sneed made a deal with the devil, forever transforming this carnival into a playground for the wicked and the damned. Twisted Tales invites you to reminisce about the beloved fairy tales of childhood, or so you think. Watch as these stories unfold in a way that would haunt Mother Goose’s dreams forever. Apocalyptic worlds are a staple in the realm of evil. Blackened: The Plague welcomes strong-willed patrons to explore the town of Ravenshire, dilapidated by a dreaded plague. Its citizens are crazed, blood-spewing mutations that were ravaged by the grips of evil. If you aren’t faint of heart, take advantage of their package deal and see all three attractions!

All of these chilling trials of terror are fully operational and adhering to the necessary safety standards set for these uncertain times. Everyone needs a good scare now and again, so enjoy it safely with the scariest NJ attractions for the family.  Happy haunting (insert “Thriller” laugh).

Main image via @gotopantophobia.

About the Author/s

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An avid reader and self-proclaimed jack of all trades that loves golf, gadgets, and New York's Gang Green

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