The A.V. Club’s spooktacular, overly spookcific guide to Milwaukee Halloween spooktivities
More Halloween Guide
Christmas has long been criticized as the most commercialized holiday, but if the number of orange and black displays that pop up in August are any indication, Halloween is a close second. Now that Halloween week is actually here, there’s little time to waste in deciding how to spend the lengthening evenings. The A.V. Club presents its ultra-specific list of local haunted house suggestions for those people who don’t want to spend the entire week and weekend watching Tales From The Crypt episodes taped from HBO while eating all the “extra” Kit Kats. (Some stay-at-home suggestions are included, as well.)
For the cool kids who want to be scared ironically: Shakers haunted cigar bar
Details: In a town where there’s a bar on every corner, the fact that there’s only one official haunted bar is frightening.
Spookiest part: The number of guests allowed in the basement? 13! (Exceptions made for larger groups.)
Silliest part: What’s the difference between paying $20 to wander around this haunted basement and wandering around the basement of someone’s house party?
Let’s just stay home instead: The 1991 TV movie Dillinger provides a chance to see the ghost of Mark Harmon.
For the sister who insists on bringing all of her girlfriends: The Hill Has Eyes
Details: This new attraction features not one, but three different ways to stumble around in the dark and be chased by bored teenagers/theater students.
Spookiest part: The trail promises some mutants torturing some humans, much like the movie the title was ”borrowed” from.
Silliest part: The advertising centers on the presence of a beer tent rather than getting shitfaced in the parking lot, as the old witches’ tradition states.
Let’s just stay home instead: Frozen runs pretty far with the horrors of being trapped on a spooky ski lift.
For the mom who insists you use coupons for fucking everything: Wisconsin Feargrounds
Details: Three haunted houses take over the grounds where GOP dreamboat Paul Ryan made his VP debut.
Spookiest part: Top ratings from multiple websites that track this shit all year.
Silliest part: People show up looking for the big pumpkin full of costumes at the fairgrounds in West Allis all the time.
Let’s just stay home instead: Catch up on Paranormal Activity on Netflix.
For the dad who keeps nagging you to get outside: Bear Den Haunted Woods
Details: A romp in the haunted woods with more zombies than you can shake a broomstick at.
Spookiest part: Why go for a haunted hayride when you can ride in an actual hearse?
Silliest part: Enough people wore high heels into the woods they had to make an announcement about it? Really?
Let’s just stay home instead: Nothing beats the zombies in the graveyard of the original Night Of The Living Dead.
For the brother who wears his Nightmare Before Christmas hoodie throughout the year: An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe
Details: Lori Minetti and Jim Iaquinta read some of Poe’s creepiest stuff.
Spookiest part: Brumder Mansion is the perfect location for something like this, mixing a classic Victorian mansion with some spooky dinner theater.
Silliest part: Will the same duo’s Christmas Carol be more or less scary?
Let’s just stay home instead: Any and all Vincent Price movies, but especially The Tomb Of Ligea, The Pit And The Pendulum, and, shockingly, An Evening With Edgar Allen Poe.
For the uncle who got hooked on that Xzibit “Yo dawg, I heard you liked” meme: Mars Haunted House
Details: The only haunted house that claims to be legitimately haunted.
Spookiest part: Scary clowns in the logo, homepage, and video will keep all coulrophobic souls away.
Silliest part: Bring your MySpace friends list on Thursdays and Sundays for a discount. Does Tom get in for free?
Let’s just stay home instead: Insidious is a decent recent entry into the haunted house genre.
For your college buddy who moved to Chicago and only wants to hit up Mars Cheese Castle while he’s in town: Abandoned Haunted House Complex
Details: Someone got the bright idea to convert one of those creepy motels along I-94 into a haunted house.
Spookiest part: The small chance of someone accidentally showing up at one of the actual creepy motels.
Silliest part: If both houses are in the same building, how does that make it two separate haunted houses?
Let’s just stay home instead: Psycho is the king of all creepy motels. Sorry, Vacancy.