8 ways to get scared around Austin this Halloween — from haunted houses to spooky tours

Halloween can be a time for pumpkin picking, pie eating and pint drinking, but many Austin-area attractions can help residents see the spookier side of the holiday. Here is a non-comprehensive list of the haunted houses, ghost tours and paranormal encounters taking place throughout Central Texas this month.

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park Scream Hollow
Sept. 16-Nov. 5

The haunted experience is nestled among 20 acres of forest off Hwy. 304 in Bastrop, a few miles from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre gas station. Participants can make their way through three separate attractions, including the Mansion of Terror Phantoms, Zombie City: The Factory and Slaughter Circus with 16 buildings and 45 minutes of haunted house action. A portion of proceeds benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Bastrop County.

Times and dates vary. $5 (admission into park), $15 (one attraction), $20 (two attractions), $25 (three attractions). Scream Hollow, 149 Split Rail Lane, Smithville. 512-710-8267. www.screamhollow.com

House of Torment
Sept. 23-Nov. 12

After 11 years at the former Highland Mall, the annual haunted house moves to a Northeast Austin venue. House of Torment guests walk through scenarios, such as a zombie outbreak and haunted mansion, featuring animatronic monsters and other characters in horror-movie-like sets.

Times and prices vary. House of Torment, 2632 Ridgepoint Drive, Austin. 512-407-9449. [email protected]www.houseoftorment.com

Nightmare on Jail HillNightmare on Jail Hill
Oct. 14-15 and 21-22

This seventh annual event takes place in Georgetown’s former jail. This year’s season consists of three floors as well as festivities outside the jail. The event is hosted by Williamson County Brown Santa and the Williamson County’s Sheriff’s Office, and all proceeds provide low-income children with toys, books and other items for Christmas. Children younger than age 8 are not allowed.

7 p.m. $5 (ages 8-12), $10 (general admission), $20 (fast pass to skip the line). Former jail, Fourth and Main streets, Georgetown. 512-943-1313. www.wilco.org/countydepartments/

Haunted Halloween Trails
Oct. 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29

The event at Pioneer Farms features three separate spooky trails each night, one for children (rated G), another for those who want spooky surprises (rated PG), and a scary trail for the adventurous (rated PG-13). There are spook lights, stories, pumpkins, food, palm readers and fortune tellers on site.

7-10 p.m. $12. Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin. 512-837-1215.  www.pioneerfarms.org/halloween

Scare for a Cure Final JudgementScare for a Cure: Final Judgement
Oct. 14-15, 20-22, 27-29

This full-contact, interactive haunted experience has participants climb, crawl, dodge, and end up covered in blood and slime as they travel through the haunt and interact with actors. The event is heavily story and actor driven, and the production involves solving the mystery of what happened to Civil War Confederate hero Judge Jedediah Ezekiel Dunstan. Net profits are donated to the Breast Cancer Resource Centers. Guests are encouraged to bring cans of food to support local food banks.

7:30 p.m.-midnight (times vary). $40 (general). Ghost Town, 14219 Littig Road, Manor. www.scareforacure.org

Paranormal Probing
Oct. 16

Bill Pappin, a noted Austin paranormal investigator, discusses his experiences and airs audio clips of unexplained encounters, including details about ghosts at Pioneer Farms.

2-4 p.m. Free (ages 2 and younger), $6 (ages 3-12), $8 (ages 13 and older). Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin. 512-837-1215. www.pioneerfarms.org/paranormal

Ghosts on the Square ToursGhosts on the Square Tours
Oct. 21-22 and 28-29

Join the Williamson Museum for a downtown Georgetown ghost tour as they tell stories of ghosts who have haunted local places for more than a hundred years. Call ahead to reserve tickets because the tours may sell out.

7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m. (each day). $12 (members and students), $15 (per person). Williamson Museum, 716 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown. 512-943-1670. www.williamsonmuseum.org

Hutto Scream House
Oct. 28-31

The haunted house and outdoor graveyard walk is donation based. All proceeds benefit the Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter.

7-10 p.m. (each night). Donations. 1340 County Road 134, Hutto. 512-844-4551. www.facebook.com/huttoscreamhouse