13 BEST San Diego Haunted Houses [2024 Halloween Guide]

A close-up view of two glowing jack-o-lanterns against a dark background.

Published on: August 31, 2023

Make the most of the scary season with this list of the best San Diego haunted houses for all ages!

Are you one of those people who takes the “spooky” in “spooky season” to a new level? 

Do you love being scared to your core? Are you an enthusiast for all things horror, gore, and terror? 

If your favorite part of Halloween is the scare factor, you’ll be in luck in the San Diego area. There are tons of freaky attractions awaiting you there this Halloween! 

If you’re looking for things to do in San Diego on Halloween, check out some San Diego haunted houses for some of California’s best haunted attractions.

But don’t worry; it’s not all gore and terror, and there’s nothing on this list as extreme as the controversial McKamey Manor. 

You’ll also have many options if you want more “boo” than screams of fear. 

There are also several delightful, spooky attractions for kids and those less excited by the more intense hauntings. 

With options for the whole family alongside adult-only and age-restricted terrifying experiences, you’ll have no trouble finding spooky fun in San Diego County this Halloween season!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

San Diego Haunted Houses-- Two children knocking on the door of a house decorated heavily for Halloween at night time.

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Scary San Diego Haunted Houses

Scream Zone at the Del Mar Scaregrounds

When: Select dates in October
Where: Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 
Cost: starting at $32.99 [based on last year]

**Not recommended for children under 12

The Scream Zone at the Del Mar Scaregrounds is home to a laundry list of haunted attractions. 

Here, you’ll find Southern California’s original haunted hayride, Stars of the Silver Scream, the Mind-Bending Midway, the Hell-Billy Hootenanny, and the Passage Maze.

Super brave visitors to Scream Zone can expect zombies, iconic horror figures, critters, and many ghoulish characters hiding around every corner.  

As you navigate the creepy lands at Scream Zone, there will be many food vendors, drink options, games, a virtual reality experience, and more. 

You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to snap iconic Halloween photos on-site. It’s a carnival of fear!

The Haunted Hotel: Disturbance – Mission Valley

When: Closed for 2023 🙁
Where: Mission Valley Center, 1640 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego, CA
Cost: Last year, it started at $27.99

** Not recommended for children under 12

CNN named the Haunted Hotel one of the “10 Best Haunted House Attractions” in the US. 

This annual San Diego haunted house is a must-see if you’re seeking terrifying haunted places in the San Diego area. 

Disturbance at The Haunted Hotel includes three separate haunts, making it one of the overall best San Diego haunted houses.

It also features the 3-D FreakFest and Stars of the Silver Scream, all included in your admission, giving the other spooky spots in San Diego a run for their cob-webbed cash!

On top of that, light shows, axe throwing, roaming characters, a new VR section, live entertainment, DJs, and so much more will be available for your gory pleasure. 

Much like the popular Savage House, the Haunted Hotel looks like it’s not operating this year. We’re sad to see them closed this year, but hopefully, both Savage House and the Haunted Hotel will be back in the future!

The Haunted Trail, Balboa Park

When: 2023 dates TBD
Where: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $27.99

**Not recommended for children under 10 

As seen on the Travel Channel, the Haunted Trail located at Balboa Park is recognized in CNN’s “Top 5 Best Haunted Attractions in America.” It’s a favorite for San Diego locals looking for a scream around Halloween. 

The giant maze spans over 3,500 square feet. The mile-long haunted trail through Balboa Park to ​​Marston Point is open throughout October. 

Enough ghouls, zombie rodeo clowns, and terrifying characters populate the trail to give you nightmares for weeks. 

Guests will come out on the other side shaking, but it’s all part of this unique experience.

Seaworld San Diego’s Howl-O-Scream

When: September 15th – October 31st
Where: SeaWorld, 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $48.99

Howl-O-Scream, located at San Diego’s SeaWorld, is one of the best haunted houses in San Diego and one of the most popular San Diego attractions. 

SeaWorld is famous for its extensive haunted houses. Its many nooks and crannies hide ghosts, creepy photo ops, terrifying live performances, haunted rides, Halloween-themed cocktail bars, and plenty more fun events throughout the fall. 

Discover SeaWorld as it transforms into the Howl-O-Scream at night after dark. 

Remember when you buy tickets that this is their scary version of Halloween, and there is a family-friendly version during the daytime. You don’t want to bring the kids to the wrong event!

The Famous Thomas Whaley House

When: ongoing, with booking
Where: Whaley House Museum, 2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $19

The famously haunted Thomas Whaley House is perhaps San Diego’s most haunted house. Around Halloween, it’s one of America’s best haunted houses! 

Located in downtown San Diego, visitors will travel back to the 1800s as they walk through the preserved history of real-life ghost stories. Discover the mystery of the Whaley house spirits.

The Whaley House After-Hours Paranormal Investigation Experience is available for those seeking ghost hunting and contact with spirits. 

With a guide, you’ll explore the different rooms in the Whaley house using ghost-hunting equipment and partake in an actual paranormal investigation. 

Pro tip: If you’re excited about San Diego haunted house tours, check out these other real haunted landmarks open to visitors located in San Diego County:

  • Old Point Loma Lighthouse
  • The Horton Grand Hotel
  • El Campo Santo Cemetery
  • Hotel Del Coronado
  • Uss Midway

Old Town Trolley Ghost and Gravestone Tours

The black bus for the Old Town Trolley Ghost and Gravestone Tours seen parked by the curb of a street, with palm trees and a Spanish-style tile roof visible behind it.

When: ongoing nightly, with booking
Where: Old Town, San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $39

If you love immersing yourself in the Old Town for Halloween festivities, then the Ghosts & Gravestones Tour will be a good one for you to check out. 

Located right in Old Town San Diego, this tour embarks on a journey into San Diego’s ghostly past. 

The Trolley of the Doomed will take you through some of the most haunted historical places in the city, such as the Thomas Whaley House, El Campo Santo Cemetery, Pioneer Park, and many more haunts. 

You’ll hear all the ghost stories of San Diego on this tour, running at night through September and October.

Salem Haunts Mira Mesa

When: October 31st
Where: 10908 New Salem Cir, San Diego, CA
Cost: Free

Looking for a neighborhood haunted house in San Diego? Salem Haunts Mira Mesa is a homegrown haunted Halloween experience that’s funded and created entirely by the local community.

Every Halloween since 2012, the neighbors who live at the intersection of New Salem Circle and New Salem Street in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego create this front yard attraction.

Salem Haunts features costumed actors from the local community. Around every corner, you can expect anything from a chainsaw-wielding gorilla to a scary clown.

Although the content might be horror-filled, the vibe is decidedly wholesome as this attraction is completely volunteer-based and free to the public.

Scotty’s Haunted Amusement Park, El Cajon

When: 2023 dates TBD
Where: Marshal Scotty’s Playland, 14011 Ridge Hill Rd, El Cajon, CA
Cost: $20

This Southern California attraction located in El Cajon is an abandoned amusement park filled with ghosts, ghouls, and terrifying folk. 

The Historically Haunted Marshal Scotty’s Playland now hosts Scotty’s Haunted Trail during the Halloween season, and it just may be one of San Diego County’s scariest Halloween events!

This one is lots of fun and a proper scare! Wind through the trail of abandoned 1960s amusement park rides. 

Use 3-D glasses to take in some terrifying visuals through the Circus Maze, the graveyard, the House of Curiosities, the slaughterhouse, haunted houses, and so much more.

Family-Friendly San Diego Haunted Houses

Carlsbad Strawberry Company: Pumpkin Patch & Haunted Corn Maze

When: throughout September & October
Where: Carlsbad Strawberry Company, 1050 Cannon Rd, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Cost: $5

Get tickets to Carlsbad Strawberry Company and bring the whole family for their annual Halloween spooktacular; it’s a family favorite located in San Diego!

They’ll have corn mazes, kids’ haunted houses, a pumpkin patch, and a general store. Expect Halloween decorations for photo ops and lots more family-friendly fun to discover on their farm.

Looking for more options? Check out our complete list of the best pumpkin patches in San Diego.

Fort Cross Haunted Harvest Hayride

When: October 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th
Where: Fort Cross, 4425 CA-78, Santa Ysabel, CA
Cost: $30

There’s plenty of family fun at the Fort Cross Haunted Harvest and Hayride. 

Instead of a scare, you can prepare for spooky fun in the spirit of Halloween at this festive event located in Fort Cross. 

Attractions include Jug Band Music, a Halloween Hoedown, “Ghost Stories,” and even a Haunted Hayride. 

This one takes place in the evening. There are time slots between 7 pm and 8 pm to select for your hayride, so make sure you plan accordingly.

SeaWorld San Diego’s Halloween Spooktacular

When: Weekends throughout September & October
Where: SeaWorld, 500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $64.99 

SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular is the “spooky, not scary” version of Halloween fun located at SeaWorld. This one is perfect for the whole family. 

Here, you’ll find haunts for children filled with vibrant Halloween characters, scavenger hunts, dance parties, trick-or-treating, and many more activities.

There’ll even be craft beers and other refreshments for the adults. Be sure to grab your tickets!

Legoland Brick-or-Treat Party Nights

When: Select dates throughout September & October
Where: Legoland, San Diego, CA
Cost: starting at $89

Located in Carlsbad, Legoland hosts an annual Halloween party that runs through September and October. There’s nothing quite like Halloween at LegoLand, California.

This attraction is more of a Halloween bash than a haunt. Tickets for Brick-or-Treat include lots of shows, hands-on activities, family photo ops with beloved characters, a 3-D movie experience, and many more events. 

America’s Lego-verse comes alive for Halloween, so discover this unique experience located at LegoLand this fall!

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular At Sesame Place

A yellow park bench in front of a large model of a pumpkin decorated with text that reads, "Count's Halloween Spooktacular At Sesame Place."

When: Select dates September 16th – October 29th
Where: Sesame Place San Diego, 2052 Entertainment Cir, Chula Vista, CA
Cost: $99.99

If you love Sesame Street as much as I do, The Count’s Halloween will be your favorite option. Here, you’ll get to have Halloween fun without the scare; you’ll be giggling down Sesame Street!

Halloween at Sesame Place has been an annual Halloween tradition in “America’s finest city”  since 1997. 

Buy tickets so the kids to experience all the wonders of this special Halloween event located in Chula Vista, San Diego. 

Guests don elaborate costumes for the neighborhood fall street party to trick-or-treat into the night’s wee hours. Find character photo ops for the family amidst this California park, and even some mini corn mazes!

Can’t get enough of spooky things to do in San Diego? Read our guide to the best ghost tours in San Diego.


Get Your FREE California Travel Planner + printable checklists for 101 things to do in California!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taylor Neal

Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, yoga instructor and frontline worker who spends most of her time in her van (Vannigan) winding through the coastal and mountain roads of California where she feels most at home. From navigating the realities of van-life to the fluctuations in diverse climates and landscapes, Taylor is excited to bring everything she’s learned about California to fellow wanderers seeking beauty and adventure.


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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

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