(Credit Thinkstock)
(Credit Thinkstock)
Halloween this year can be more than just pillow cases and trick-or-treating. This is the best time of the year to enjoy a haunted house experience only really available during the fall Halloween season. Although all haunted houses are not recommended for younger children, there are some local events that accommodate younger children as well as teenagers and adults. Get ready for the blood, gore and special effects and check out some of the best haunted houses available in Orange County.
(credit: Boot Hill Vengeance Reborn)

(credit: Boot Hill Vengeance Reborn)

Boot Hill Vengeance Reborn
16 Goldenrod
Irvine, CA 92614
(818) 633-0300
Dates: Oct. 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 25, 29 & 30, 2015 from 7-10pm; Oct. 31st from 6:30pm to 10:30pm

Described as Orange County’s ‘Most elaborate yard display,’ The Boot Hill haunted house is coming back for the 16th year and is sure to bring a thrill to adults and children. This tour is made for all ages and is built around a backstory that is available to read here. There is no charge to experience this haunted house but donations are accepted, which benefit the CHOC hospital.

(credit: The Empty Grave)

(credit: The Empty Grave)

The Empty Grave Haunted House
Laguna Hills Mall
23400 Laguna Hills Mall
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 257-2279
Dates: Oct. 2, 2015 – Nov. 1, 2015

If you are looking for a scary maze in the Orange County area, the Empty Grave Haunted House is a great alternative to overly crowded locations like Knott’s Scary Farm and Disneyland. This experience is not recommended for younger children as it will include some blood and gore. Venture through a world of terror, where the dead walk around you and haunted visions are brought to life. The Empty Grave uses fog machines, strobe lights and various other disorienting effects to bring the scare factor to the next level. Check the schedule for dates and times.

(credit: mcquirephoto.com)

(credit: mcquirephoto.com)

Haunt At Heritage Hill
Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA 92630
(949) 461-3450
Dates: Oct. 16 and 17, 2015

The Haunt at Heritage Hill officially takes place again this year. Get ready for a great mix of fright and fun during an evening of entertainment that features a haunted house, photo booth, music, mazes and classic scary movie screenings. It is recommended for children over the age of 13; and it is only $5 per person. This will be a great event for teenagers and adults that dare to be scared.

Related: Kid-Friendly Haunted Houses in OC

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

Cemetery of Lost Souls
4965 Yorba Ranch Roa
Yorba Linda, CA 92887
(714) 777-5026
Dates: Oct. 16, 17, 23, 24, & 30, 2015

This year will be the sixth annual haunted house at The Haunted Dojo. On select dates, you can enjoy the haunted mazes and houses. What makes this different from other experiences is the option of family-friendly time from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., where you can have your younger children join in the fun. Then the more haunting frightful hours begin for the teenagers and adults. Children six and under are free during the FF time, and different packages are available for others that range from $12 to $24.

A zombie arrives at the premiere of Screen Gems' 'Quarantine' at Knott's Scary Farm on October 9, 2008 in Buena Park, California. (credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

A zombie arrives at the premiere of Screen Gems’ ‘Quarantine’ at Knott’s Scary Farm on October 9, 2008 in Buena Park, California. (credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Knott’s Scary Farm
8039 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620
(714) 220-5200
Dates: Sept. 24 – Oct 31, 2015

One of the highly frequented destinations for all ages during Halloween is Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt. New this year is the special ops hunt for zombies. The interactive experience is the first of its kind in North America and is a challenge for the guests to help exterminate the infested zombies that threaten mankind’s existence. Introduced last year was the Special Fright Lane with Skeleton Key passes that allow guests to skip maze lines and special rooms and mazes that run all night long. This year will also feature 11 haunted attractions that makes Knott’s Scary Farm one of the largest and most terrifying Halloween events in Southern California.

Related: Scariest Haunted Houses in OC

Elle Toussi is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.