7 spook-tacular Halloween events for you and the family

From heart-racing scares to daytime “trunk-or-treats,” Southern West Virginia has Halloween activities for all ages.

Teens and adults

Lake Shawnee Haunted Amusement Park

1. Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park

Every October, one of America’s most haunted places opens to the public. How can Halloween possibly get better?

Two features are available this year: the photo and history tour and Lake Nightmare.

Prefer a straightforward visit? Get tickets for the tour. If you like haunted houses and costumed characters, Lake Nightmare fits the bill. Either way, Lake Shawnee’s gloomy atmosphere, rusty rides, and “cursed” past will definitely give you the shivers.

Both open every Friday and Saturday night, plus Halloween.

2. Fright Nights

You never know what’s waiting for you in the dark. A whole lot of creepy crawlies live at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, too. Brave a haunted trail. Try to solve clues in a locked escape room. Play “nightmare” laser tag … and much more!

Fright Nights are open every Friday and Saturday night in October from 7:30-10:30 p.m.

3. Nightmare in the Gorge

Oak Hill’s ACE Adventure Resort gets pretty creepy in October. As night falls, Nightmare in the Gorge begins! Feeling pretty brave? For starters, there’s a sinister trail in the woods … and it’s stalked by The Mad Butcher. “Abandoned” buildings and a nocturnal zipline ride make things even scarier.

Nightmare in the Gorge opens every Friday and Saturday night (starting Oct. 13) from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. The last tickets are sold at 11:00 p.m.

4. Terror on the Tams

As humans, we’re used to being the dominant species. But at Burning Rock Adventure Park in Sophia, you become prey. At least, that’s the premise behind Terror on the Tams, a haunted trail with more than a few ghosts.

This activity opens every Friday and Saturday night (starting Oct. 13) from 8-10 p.m. There’s also a “trunk-or-treat” on the 26th.

5. Beckley Haunted Coal Mine

Tired of haunted houses? Travel 1,500 feet below the earth … if you dare.

During October, the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine takes full advantage of Halloween with creepy clowns, damp tunnels, and bumps in the dark. It’s an experience you and your pals will remember for years. Plus, you get to ride a historic mantrip cart the entire way!

The Beckley Haunted Coal Mine will operate every Friday and Saturday night (starting Oct. 13) from 6-10 p.m.

Kids and families

6. Pipestem Pumpkin Run

Join the SWV Road Runners Club for some frightfully fun races! Pipestem Resort State Park will have a:

  • 10,000-meter run: a long-distance race— the equivalent of 25 laps around an Olympic-size track. It’s roughly 6.2 miles long.
  • 5,000-meter run: a standard race that’s approximately 3.1 miles long.
  • 5,000-meter walk n’ run: all fun, no rush! Bring a pal or two and admire all the costumes.

Kids 12 and under get their own division, too. What’s more, everybody can race in a costume. Who knows, your creative duds might win a prize!

The Pipestem Pumpkin Run starts Oct. 28. Register at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center near Fayetteville at 8:30 a.m. The first 100 folks to sign up get shirts.

7. Tailgate Halloween

It’s hard to find October events for young or sensitive kids. Fortunately, Tailgate Halloween at Beckley Intermodal Gateway is all about fun. Simply dress up your children and help them get candy. More than 40 businesses will be handing out treats, too. It’s safe, friendly, and enjoyable— just the way Halloween should be!

Tailgate Halloween starts Oct. 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $1 per child.

More haunted events for families are available on the events calendar, so check it out for more ideas.

How do you celebrate Halloween in Southern West Virginia? Share your favorite haunting grounds with us!