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Scary Halloween Attractions for Big Kids and Tweens

Are you thinking about taking your big kid to a scary attraction in Greenville? It can be hard to decide if kids are ready for frightening Halloween events. Kidding Around contributor, Kate Lupo has the inside scoop for parents who want to know what to expect, as well as some tips if you are thinking about bringing your children to haunted attractions.

The best time of year has begun! Fall is here! Make way for our favorites things like pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, apple cider, that warm fuzzy feeling in your soul, and last but not least…haunted attractions! Halloween is around the corner, and what better way to prepare for your favorite holiday than by planning a spooky adventure.

While many parents may be chomping at the bit to creep their way to a haunted hayride, there might also be a haunted hesitation. For those of us who have children between the ages of 7 and 12 (like me!), it’s hard to know if your child is ready for their first haunted experience. But, of course, the last thing you need is for your child to be so scared, they can’t sleep, and their little fists are knocking on your door in the middle of the night. So to help you out, we’ve put together a list of the top slightly scary Halloween events for big kids and tweens in the Upstate (and beyond), with tips on how to determine if your child is ready for their first haunted experience and if so, which to choose and how to prepare.

Are the kids ready for their first haunted attraction?

Please note that while we have done our research and believe the below attractions provide fun for the whole family before you take the plunge and bring your 7-12-year-old, please exercise caution. While you might have a hunch if your big kid or tween is ready for their first haunted experience, the following questions can also help you make an informed decision.

  • Does your child wake up at night and need comforting?
  • Is your child afraid of monsters?
  • What is the scariest content your child is already consuming? What he/she is watching on TV or reading in books might also give you clues to what he/she may be comfortable with.
  • How does your child react to sudden noises, sudden flashes of light, or being accidentally scared? 
  • Is your child comfortable in the dark?
  • Is your child comfortable in small spaces?
  • Is your child comfortable in crowds?

If any of the questions above give you even a twinge of doubt, it’s probably best to hope for haunted fun next year. But if you feel like your kiddo is ready for the challenge, then proceed if you dare!

Pump up their kid courage

To prepare your child for their first haunted experience, here are some ideas to pluck up their courage.

When preparing our 7-year-old for the Wompus Woods haunted hayride (sadly, no longer open), we told him that the live monsters, goblins, and ghouls he would see were just people called scare actors. The scare actors are human beings (“like you and me”) who are having a lot of fun and who love Halloween (“Ohhhh” he said). We told him that the scare actors would have costumes and makeup on and that any “blood” he would see is just makeup (we even joked with him: “the blood is probably just ketchup!”). We told him that the haunted hayride would be a little scary but mostly fun! We said that it’s possible to be scared and laugh simultaneously (a whole new concept to him). Also, we emphasized that we will be together, be safe, but we need to be brave as a family. Finally, we asked him, “Can you be brave with us?” He said, “Yes!”

Also, be sure to let your kid decide whether they are ready for a scary attraction. If your child is forced or manipulated to experience something scarier than they are prepared for, it may increase anxiety.

Insider tips about haunted attractions

Your family is ready for a haunted adventure (yay!), but now it’s time to prepare. Here are some essential tips before you start your haunt.

Wear Sneakers

Make sure the whole family wears sneakers or other comfortable shoes for a few reasons. First, there is a high probability you will be standing in line for at least 25 minutes at each attraction (many times much longer), so you want to be comfortable. Second, remember you will be doing a lot of walking in a haunted house, on a haunted trail, or at an amusement park. Furthermore, if you do get startled on your haunt, you don’t want to be wearing unstable shoes that cause you to topple over easily!

Stay hydrated & well-fed

Make sure your family is well-fed and hydrated before you begin your journey. You don’t want anyone fainting with hunger or thirst. Though please note the next tip…

Visit the restroom beforehand

Again, you are likely going to be standing in line for stretches of time, perhaps with no access to the bathroom. And, if you do get a slightly spooky scare, you want to make sure you and your kids don’t, ahem, pee your pants.

Bring earplugs

Many of the attractions below will feature loud noises. For example, when my family went to Wompus Woods, their scare actors fired off cannons that shook the ground. They were so loud. And, of course, there will be screaming. So for those sensitive little kid ears (and even your own), please bring some ear plugs. You won’t regret it.

Haunted Attractions for Tweens and Teens in Upstate, SC

Madworld Haunted Attractions

SPONSORED 864.436.6307 | 147 Country Manor Road, Piedmont, SC

Madworld Haunted attraction near Greenville, SC

This attraction makes haunted houses family-friendly events in addition to the haunted house, including a picnic area, bonfires, music, photos with characters, access to food, mini golf, ax throwing, and more.

Don’t let the family-friendly fun fool you, Madworld claims to be the scariest haunted house in the state.

Open Friday and Saturday from September 8, 2023 – November 4, 2023. 
Open Friday – Sunday beginning October 1st, 2023
Open on Halloween
See the calendar for date and time details.

Admission: Madworld offers a variety of admission options and packages. See their ticketing website for a complete list of options.
General Admission tickets start at $40

Family Friendly haunted house experience
Scary Haunted House Experience

Big Kids and Tweens at Mad World

We love that Mad World also offers a “No-Scare” Medallion for both grown-ups and kids. The Medallion “allows your children to take back control of the night by not only signaling to the monsters to stay away from him/her but also giving the child special powers to control the monster!”

*Please see the very comprehensive FAQ’s on their website as well

  • Loud Noises: Yes, proceed with caution
  • Visibility: Yes, There will be moments of low visibility, as they do use fog machines
  • Open or enclosed (tight spaces): Yes, proceed with caution
  • Blood and Gore: Yes, proceed with caution
  • Surprising special effects? Strobe lights (being mindful of kids with disabilities)? Yes, proceed with caution
  • Quality of scare actors: High-level, well-trained

The Fear Farm Haunted House

864.839.1022 | 424 Ninety-Nine Island Road, Blacksburg, SC

The Fear Farm Haunted Farm offers five attractions in one place: Abyss, Mindshaft Mayhem, Confinement, Twisty Z, and Farm House

All ages are welcome, though we do not recommend for younger children because of gore, scary masks, and costumed characters.
Read more on the “faq’s” page of The Fear Farm before you go.

Open Friday & Saturday nights from September 23, 2023- October 28th, 2023
Open Sunday, October 29, 2023
Open on Halloween

Admission: General admission is $28 (plus tax)
They do offer a Buy 3 get 1 free option for two nights in September.

Haunted Woods

| 416 Old Colony Road, Clinton, SC

Haunted Woods!
Open Friday and Saturdays from September 29th, 2023 – October 31st, 2023

Most nights are Friday and Saturday nights only.
Open Sunday October 29th- Tuesday October 31st (Halloween night)

7:30 – 12 am each night

Tickets are cash only
$15 general admission

The Haunted Farm

828.702.7911 | 624 Townsend Road, Hendersonville, NC

Located in Hendersonville in Western North Carolina, The Haunted Farm is a scary, haunted farmland to explore. They say the land is cursed (eek!)

There are 5 distinct haunted attractions at The Haunted Farm, including The Woods, The Farm, The Meathouse, The Demon Hay Shed, and The Slaughterhouse.
You will see lots of scary costumed creatures, with loud sounds, creepy music, and other scary things.
There is no age limit, but we do not recommend this attraction for younger children because they are all scary.

General admission tickets start at $35, $5 parking

Open Fridays and Saturdays, September 29, 2023 – October 14, 2023
Open Friday – Sunday, October 20, 2023- October 29, 2023
Open on Halloween


The Asylum on Pine Knoll

864.275.0917 | 110 Pine Knoll Drive, Easley, SC

This haunted house sounds like a real thrill and includes “intense audio, lighting effects, fog and mist,” and many other special effects. The experience also includes a 3-D Haunt and Fun House. It is not recommended for children under the age of 12, though they can visit if they are willing. They also have axe throwing to enjoy.

Open Friday and Saturdays from September 29th, 2023 – October 31st, 2023
Open Thursday, October 26th, 2023
Open Halloween

Pricing: Regular admission- $25; Fast pass admission: $40;
Axe Throwing- $5 for 6 throws

Booger Jim's Hollow

864.492.7246 | 278 Doolittle Street, Blacksburg, SC

The Clown House, The Doll House, and the Haunted Trail are all at Booger Jim’s.

This haunted attraction is best for older kids, teens, and adults.

Open Friday and Saturdays from September 29th, 2023- November 4th, 2023
Open Sunday, October 29th
Open on Halloween

Admission: Ticket office opens at 7 p.m. Closing times vary, call after 11:30 p.m.
$25 general admission
No touch medallions are $5
Cash preferred!

Nightmare Hollow

864.809.8115 | 3411 Reidville Road, Spartanburg, SC

This is a 35-minute Haunted Trail along the banks of the Tyger River in Spartanburg, SC.

Nightmare Hollow is definitely scary and there is quite a bit of blood and gore, but one reason why it makes the list of good haunted attractions for big kids and tweens is because the staff is so kind and sympathetic to the children (and parents) that are brave enough to give their attraction a try.

You can let the staff know if you want them to tone it down a bit for your child and you have a guide that can allow any member of your party to walk around a part of the attraction that might be a bit too intense.


Open Fridays & Saturdays September 22, 2023  – 21,  2023, Sunday October 22nd, 2023
Open October 27, 2023 – October 31, 2023


This is a scary attraction and we recommend waiting until children are old enough to understand that the actors are in costume and that the attractions are all staged.

  • Core attractions: 30-minute trail takes you through multiple haunted attractions. These attractions are creatively set up and have a variety of actors and themes.
  • Best rides for tweens: No rides
  • Loud Noises: airhorns and other loud noises, lots of screaming actors
  • Visibility: dark outside and periods of total blackness
  • Fire/Pyrotechnics: none
  • Open or enclosed (tight spaces): multiple very tight spaces
  • Blood and Gore: actors had bloody costumes, several areas did have gory themes
  • Surprising special effects:  yes, strobe lights and some special effects that have a disorienting effect
  • Quality of scare actors: Great, but actors were friendly if they noticed that children were not having fun due to being scared

Admission price: $20 Fridays, $25 Saturdays, CASH ONLY


Sweet Dreams Scare House

864.787.4831 | 250 Saco Lowell Road, Easley, SC

Sweet Dreams Scare House has a quarter mile of indoor and outdoor haunting, with suspension artists and “freakshow” performances before entering the trail. The attraction offers interactive characters and creative frightening scenery throughout the haunt.


Open weekends from September 22nd through October 21st, 2023
Open October 27th through 31st, 2023, Friday – Tuesday
Open November 3rd and 4th, 2023

Pricing: Adults $30; Children 10 and younger: $20 ( We do not recommend younger children attend)
Touch tour tickets are $35
Fast pass tickets available for an additional $10


Joanna Haunted Hospital

864.983.5599 | 212 State Rd S-30-139, Joanna, SC

Open for 2023 season September 29th!

Open Friday – Sunday, September 29th – October 29th
Open Monday October 30th and Tuesday October 31st, 2023

Haunted hospital with costumed characters and scares. Recommended for teens and adults, and older children who do not scare easily!

Tickets are $12 cash only.

Open Friday – Saturday from 7:30 pm to Midnight
Open Sunday 7:30 pm to 10 pm