It’s the time of year for witches, ghosts, vampires, giant spiders and ax-murderers hiding behind every corner to make you jump, scream and even pee your pants in terror. As people prepare to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve and pay tribute to the dead, there’s no better time than now to explore meanings of the phrase “scared to death.” With five terror-packed haunted house attractions near Baltimore, you can pick your preference of torment from 3D in-your-face scary movies to real-life haunted battlegrounds and cursed houses. So plan a date to get scared, have fun and, of course, don’t forget to bring a change of pants.

Bennett’s Curse
7967 Max Blobs Park Road
Jessup, MD 20794
(410) 538-6461
www.bennettscurse.com

Date: Held Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 26 – Nov. 1

Ultimate scare seekers need look no further than Bennett’s Curse. One of America’s scariest Halloween attractions as rated by The Travel Channel, this haunted house continues to raise the bar when it comes to executing mind-numbing horror. There are three different attractions to partake in: Medieval Underworld, Inferno 3D and Sanctuary of Insanity. The epic new shocks that unfold each year will leave you with nightmares for nights to come and truly demonstrate the commitment to creativity and scaring that this haunted house undertakes. Bennett’s Curse is not recommended for children younger than 10, however most adults admit to being scared senseless here, so count yourself warned.

The Haunted Dungeons
Fort Howard Park
9500 N. Point Road
Fort Howard, MD 21219
(443) 216-9001
www.haunteddungeons.com

Date: Held Fridays and Saturdays in Oct. and Nov. 1

For over 30 years, The Haunted Dungeons at Fort Howard has been chilling and thrilling visitors. Seeped in tragic, real-life history with land that was used during The War of 1812, The Civil War, the Great Wars and Vietnam War, the fort is the spot of many soldiers’ deaths. Rumored to still have spirits wandering about, gather up courage and walk through the spooky haunted woods and down the long, dark ex-military bunkers. By the end of this 1-2 hour walking tour, you’re guaranteed to have the hair on your arms standing up. Afterwards, regain your composure with some dungeon dogs and hot chocolate, comforts that will hopefully help you go to sleep that night.

Kim’s Krypt
431 Eastern Blvd.
Essex, MD 21221
(410) 391-7726
www.kimskrypt.com

Date: Held Oct. 30 and weekends from Sept. 26 – Nov. 2

More than just a haunted house, Kim’s Krypt is a one-of-a-kind adventure that can make adults cry and children laugh, so come prepared for the unexpected, but count on unbeatable entertainment either way. The average tour is 25-30 minutes long and 100 percent indoors, although the waiting line is outside so dressing for the climate is still a must. Since scares and scenery change frequently, every encounter is a stimulating and fright-filled experience. There are also hearse rides and concessions stands available for those who can stomach it. With “over 20 years of fear” at this haunted house, this attraction is a must-visit this Halloween season.

Related: Best Haunted Places In The Baltimore Area

Field of Screams
4501 Olney-Laytonsville Road
Olney, MD 20832
(240) 366-7273
www.screams.org

Date: Held Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 19 – Nov. 1, and select Thursdays and Sundays

Scream City, presented by Field of Screams Maryland, continues to live up to its frightful reputation as one of the scariest haunted house attractions in the state. Just 25 minutes from Baltimore, this multi-haunt attraction has four terrifying options to choose from: Trail of Terror, Lusion Manor, Hades Hayride and Paintball Apocalypse. The traditional haunted house attraction is Lusion Manor where a past battle over property rights has turned this once hopeful orphanage into a truly horrific site. To avoid the long lines, opt to purchase tickets online in advance. The cost is per attraction, or you can buy a thrill, screams or terror pack to enjoy a bundle of scary attractions, plus additional perks like a fast pass or concessions pass. All activities at Field of Screams are recommended for those 10 years of age and up.

Nightmare Manor
10240 Fingerboard Road
Ijamsville, MD 21754
(855) 956-2667
www.nightmare-manor.com

Date: Held weekends through Oct., Sept. 26-27, and Nov. 1

The opportunity to venture through a 200-year-old estate that is mired in fire and tragedy is well worth the drive (approximately 50 minutes from inner-city Baltimore) to Nightmare Manor. While visiting, you’ll learn more about the true story of the many people who lost their lives and still haunt the manor today thanks to “Seth’s Folly.” Activities on site include paintball, bungee run, zombie nation, fear fair, an outdoor cinema and live magic show, however check the online calendar before visiting to see when specific events are offered. As an indoor and outdoor attraction, it’s important to come weather-prepared and because of the intensity of the show, it’s not recommended for kids under 10. For younger audiences seeking a thrill, try attending on family night for a toned-down version of the scares.

Related: Best Places To Get A Sexy Halloween Costume For Under $40 In Baltimore 

Keri Ann Beazell is a Baltimore writer following the latest developments in arts and culture, natural wonders, lifestyle and pets. She enjoys promoting thought-provoking discussions, education, new ideas and smiles among readers. Follow her online at beazellblog.com and Examiner.com.