You can add St. Patrick’s Day to the list of holidays getting the haunted house treatment.
There are a handful of haunted houses across the US that will be open for the Irish-centric holiday, just like many do around Christmas time and Valentine’s Day. It’s just one more step in making haunted houses relevant outside the traditional Halloween season.
Really, it’s not too much of a stretch to give St. Patrick’s Day a haunted house spin, especially when a horror film franchise has already somewhat paved the way. The “Leprechaun” films took the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed leprechaun character and turned him into a grotesque monster who kills anyone who gets between him and his gold.
Here’s a look at the haunted houses that will carry on the proud tradition of maniacal leprechauns St. Patrick’s Day weekend:
MIDNIGHT TERROR HAUNTED HOUSE
Location: Oak Lawn, Ill.
Hours: 7-11 p.m. March 18
Admission: $25; midnighterrorhauntedhouse.com
Preview: Patrons at St. Patrick’s Day Fear need to solve puzzles and set traps for murderous leprechauns who, like your grandparents, have grown tired of today’s selfish and disrespectful youth.
Location: Bluff City, Tenn.
Hours: 7-11 p.m. March 17 and 18
Admission: $15; thefunhouse.wix.com/funhouse
Preview: The leprechauns are said to have escaped from the freak show and are summoning creatures such as the Wailing Banshee and Dearg-Due (“red blood sucker” in Gaelic). “To make this event unique, we’ve created new props and new characters,” said The Funhouse’s Chris Kastner, by email. “Think Leprechaun unleashed at a carnival. Very 80’s/90’s horror with some Celtic history added in.”
DARK HOUR HAUNTED HOUSE
Location: Plano, Texas
Hours: 8-11 p.m. March 17 and 18
Admission: $28; darkhourhauntedhouse.com
Preview: Chances are you aren’t scared of fairies, but that could change after you wander through Dark Hour’s Saint Patrick’s Slay haunt, now in its fourth year. “The witch of the fae, Shannon MacKenna, has tried to steal the leprechaun’s gold, causing a full on war between these enchanted worlds,” said Dark Hour spokesperson Amy Reed about the haunt’s premise, by email. “The leprechauns have enlisted the help of evil fairies, giants, and other monsters of Irish lore as they take over Coven Manor and take back what is rightfully theirs.”
BRANSON HAUNTED HILLS
Location: Reeds Spring, Mo.
Hours: 7-11 p.m. March 17 and 18
Admission: $8; bransonhauntedhills.com
Preview: Wands will be available at the ticket booth to keep leprechauns away, but can they keep the bad weather away too? This outdoor haunt was closed March 11 due to the weather.
FACTORY OF TERROR
Location: Canton, Ohio
Hours: 8-11 p.m. March 17
Admission: $25; fotohio.com
Preview: The former Guinness World Records holder for “Longest walk-through horror house (indoor)” is bringing back its St. Patrick’s Day scares for another year.
Location: Monessen, Pa.
Hours: 8-10 p.m. March 17, 7-10 p.m. March 18
Admission: $20; castleblood.com
Preview: This haunt promises to “celebrate all things Celtic” during its St. Batrick’s Weekend.
Location: Aurora, Ill.
Hours: 7-10 p.m. March 17, 6-10 p.m. March 18
Admission: $24.99; zombieoutbreakchicago.com
Preview: Expect to work up a sweat at this laser tag haunt, brought to you by the people behind Basement of the Dead, as you shoot zombie leprechauns with your score-keeping guns. “When you shoot the zombie leprechauns with the replica M4 assault rifle (laser), they will drop coins that the players can collect,” said owner Todd Baraniak, by email. “At the end, you will be able to redeem the coins for prizes (worth thousands of dollars), including TV’s, electronics and Zombie Outbreak swag.”