By Jennifer Weber

October is a month full of warmth and hearth. Cozy wool sweaters come out of the closet. Crockpots start making decadent stews. Houses are decorated with rich tones of red, yellow and orange mums and leaves and pumpkins and gourds. But there’s another side of October as well, the scary, haunted fun that comes with all things Halloween.

And guess what, it happens to be our (un)lucky day! There’s no better time to get out there to explore the spooky side of Western New York than the weekend of Friday the 13th. Let’s take a look at some of the more frightful adventures that await…if you dare.

Haunted Hayrides

• Close to home you must check out the Nightmare Hayrides on Sommerville Street located at 6319 Sommerville Valley Road, Ellicottville, NY. Known as the “scariest haunted attraction in Western New York” this hayride will take you for a twenty-five minute adventure filled with scary creatures about! After the hayride, visitors dare to enter the haunted wooden maze and haunted barn and vortex tunnel. For more information, visit

• Becker Farms Haunted Hayride located at 3724 Quaker Road, Gasport, NY offers not only a Haunted Hayride through the woods of Becker Farms but also a Phylotec: Biogenetic Testing Station which has been “scaring the “yell” out of unsuspecting victims” as a Halloween tradition.  For more information visit

• Haunt Manor – Hayrides & Haunted Houses located across the border at 9387 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, Ontario has been named  “one of the Scariest Attractions in the country by Fangoria Magazine” and is one of the largest scream parks in the world, located on a real historic haunted site from 1812. For more information,

Amusement Parks

• House of Horrors and Haunted Catacombs located at 3637 Union Road, Cheektowaga, NY has been rated one of USA Today’s 10 Best Haunted Attractions and boasts six haunted attractions (Hellhouse, Killer Theater 1 and 2, Mark of the Beast, The Infection and The Last Ride) and five escape rooms (Death Machine, Bomb Squad, Escape the Serial Killer, Locked in a Room with a Zombie and Escape the Pharaoh’s Tomb.) For more information, visit

• Frightworld America’s Screampark located at 800 Young Street, Tonawanda, NY is rated “Buffalo’s #1 Haunted Attraction” and features five award winning haunted houses including Camp Blue Falls Massacre, Nightstalkers Interactive Flashlight Experience, Eerie State Asylum, Grind House and Insanity. For more information,

• Halloween Horror – Family by Day, Fright by Night at Fantasy Island located at 400 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island has family friendly trick or treat trails, pumpkin painting and hay mazes during the day and haunted mazes, live entertainment and three scare zones to frighten you at night.  For more information,

Ghost Walks, Hunts and Tours

• Mason Winfield’s Haunted History Ghost Walks offers visitors to explore the stories of haunted village sites based on “history, architecture, folklore, and parapsychology” throughout Western New York including tours of Allentown, Buffalo Theater District, Canalside, East Aurora, Larkinville, Lewiston and Orchard Park. So many ghost stories to be told and so little time. For more information, visit

• Beyond Ghosts offers visitors the choice of attending a paranormal investigation of the Buffalo Naval Park located at 1 Naval Park Cove, Buffalo, NY and Ghost Tours, Para-Historical Tours and Intimate Ghost Investigations of the Buffalo Central Terminal located at 495 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY. For more information,

• Paranormal Walks offers visitors a choice of the  Phantom Captain Ghost Hunt located at Lake Effect Ice Cream, 79 Canal Street, Lockport, NY on Tuesday, Oct. 17 and the Haunted 1829 Ellicottville Town Hall located at 1 West Washington Street, Ellicottville, NY on Tuesday, Oct. 24. For more information

• Haunted Wine & Craft Beer Walk in the Woods takes place on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 5 p.m. located at The Woods at Bear Creek, 3510 Bear Creek Rd, Franklinville, NY This two-mile haunted walk in the woods is followed by dinner and a Halloween Party. For more information visit