Ghosts, ghouls, and haunted houses in West Michigan

Credit: Aotaro / Flickr Commons

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – Scary movies have swept the mainstream, and while you may be safe watching from your couch with popcorn in hand, there’s always an opportunity to come face to face with a ghost, mutant, ghoul, or zombie this time of year. Not only does West Michigan have stellar haunted houses, but there are also ghost tours, haunted corn mazes, and real ghost sightings around every corner. You may not want to visit these haunted attractions alone, so bring some friends and see if you can survive.

Haunted Attractions in Southern West Michigan

The largest haunted attraction in southwest Michigan, Niles Scream Park, continues their mission to terrify everybody that enters the grounds. Visit all five of their main attractions, each of which is uniquely themed and professionally redesigned each year to scare you and your friends. Almost as popular as the Niles Haunted House is the outdoor Field of Screams attraction. It is full of mazes to disorient you and special effects that will dazzle and confuse your senses. Once they have you where they want you, the characters in the field will make sure to maximize the scare effect. Parking is free, and so is entry to the midway filled with Halloween-themed games, food concessions, and more!

The Marshall area hosts a Haunted Trail for two weekends in October. Join the fun along the River Walk south of town, but beware! Pirates have been sighted and a mutiny may be planned. Fun walks are planned for the very young, with scarier trails for the brave pirates who dare enter. These walks are on October 20th, 21st, 27th, and 28th.

A new haunted forest is coming to the Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek this month. The Terror Trail will be open every Friday and Saturday night in October, starting on October 13th, culminating in a Musical Freak Show Beer Garden event on Saturday, October 28th. The Terror Trail tours will cost $12 per person and are recommended for ages 14 and up.

Join the dead this Halloween season in South Haven at the Michigan Maritime Museum‘s Haunted Museum: FALLOUT fundraiser. Each year, the Haunted Museum is themed and has a distinct scary storyline. This year’s backstory follows the the years after WWII, as the United States Government funneled millions of dollars into Project Castle, a military research and development study of new technologies such as chemical and nuclear warfare. Top secret test sites were set up all over the United States for various experimental projects including those on human subjects. Radioactive exposure, mutations, and adverse reactions to chemical testing are only a few of the failures the US Government attempted to contain. Find your way through the museum with these mutants around every corner. The Haunted Museum is open on October 21st and 22nd from 8pm to 11pm.

Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall is hosting their Haunted Adventure every weekend from October 7th to 29th. Returning for another year, the Haunted Adventure has unsuspecting visitors exploring the corn maze, going through the haunted barn, and taking a trip on the hayride or ghoulish train.

For those who think that they’re brave enough, Coldwater Country is hosting two haunted attractions that may keep you up at night. The month of scares kicks off with the Historic Paranormal Penlight Tour on Saturday, October 21st. Spend the night exploring the paranormal activity of Branch County, followed by a tour starting on the south side of Oak Grove Cemetery. You can also visit the Masonic Temple, which is transformed into the Haunted Temple on October 21st, 22nd, 28th, and 29th.

Haunted Attractions in Central West Michigan

Shadowy figures, strange noises, and mysteriously shifted objects have all been witnessed at the Mitten Brewing Company in Grand Rapids. One night during the second week of operation, owner Chris Andrus was the last person to leave the Engine House, heading home at 2am after mopping the facility. He was also the first one to arrive early the next morning. As he prepared the taproom for opening, he checked the front lobby and noticed a few footprints left from the wet mop water the night before. At first, Chris thought nothing of it. But after a few minutes of going about his business, he realized no one else had been in the building between his leaving and return, and that the prints were made by bare feet. He returned to the footprints and made a perplexing discovery: they were the footprints of a child. More footprints would show up over the following years, along with shadows, silhouettes, and noises. They even started documenting everything that came up, in order to see if there were trends. Next time you’re in for a beer, ask the bartenders about the ghosts or keep an eye out for any shadowy figures lurking in the back.

The Haunt in Grand Rapids has been West Michigan’s choice for fear since 2001. Make your way through dark hallways and zombified nightmares inside the 20,000 square feet indoor facility. The Haunt is open from now until the end of October. Bring a friend. You don’t want to do this alone.

The Muskegon area has two haunted attractions for you and your friends to check out this month. On October 27th and 28th, visit Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall for their Haunted Trail. This after-hours event will examine the legends, myths, and ghost stories from the 1600s through the early 1900s. Over a dozen local actors from Muskegon Civic Theatre and volunteers will be stationed at the stops along the half-mile trail creating a historic haunted atmosphere. If you’re looking for more scares, visit the Muskegon County Fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday nights in October for the Haunted Hall. Shake and cower with fright at The Foundry, The Bunker, and The Containment Zone. Enter all three haunted areas for only $15. If you want to save on admission and help the community at the same time, you can receive $1 off for every canned good you donate to Love, Inc. at the ticket office with a maximum of $3 off per ticket.

The Haunted Maze in Mecosta County is open Fridays and Saturdays from October 6th to 28th. Ghosts, ghouls, and monsters wander through the Maze, hide among the corn, and do their best to make sure you have a good time running for your life and screaming at the top of your lungs. Walking through the maze at night presents a new challenge, and when you add a little fear to the mixture, it becomes something truly terrifying.

Haunted Attractions Near West Michigan

The Michigan City LaPorte area is hosting the Hesston Ghost Train every weekend from October 14th to October 29th. The train will take you through a haunted woods, where you may see a ghost or two.

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