Where can you go to experience the world’s longest utterly terrifying indoor haunted house? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the answer to that question is the Factory of Terror: a seasonal attraction located inside a 160,000-square-foot abandoned aluminum foundry in the city of Canton, Ohio.
In fact, the Factory of Terror has earned that title on three separate occasions — and when they say it’s long, they mean you’ll be passing through over a mile of horrors stretched out among five full-length attractions: “1300 Lost Souls,” “Industrial Nightmare,” “Backwoods Hollow,” “Massacre on Mahoning,” and “The House of Nightmares.”
That’s an amazing 3,318 feet of hallways, mazes, darkened chambers, and creepy rooms full of ghosts, ghouls, zombies, psycho killers, and creatures worthy of their own horror movies. The factory was first built in 2002, but its owners, brothers John, Rich Jr, and Matt Eslich, have expanded it several times since then. Every year, they add a few more feet to keep a firm grip on the record, which had to be verified with the help of a nonstop single-take video, a professional surveyor, local fire department officials, a photographer, a reporter, and even a notary to corroborate all of the witnesses’ accounts.
Even those of us located too far away to experience this attraction in person can get thoroughly spooked watching the series of videos that show off what guests have in store when they enter. Too scared to walk through the house when the lights are off? Factory of Terror lets private parties book a “Lights ON Tour” to check out all the facility’s incredible props, sets, and details without the scares. You can also get a look at some of it in a series of behind-the-scenes videos available on the official YouTube channel.
“Halfway through the heart-pounding tour, patrons can take a breather and enjoy concessions with their friends at the ‘Monster Midway.’ Here, guests can also have some fun with the plethora of photo-ops. Over the years, this once quick pass-through area has emerged into a fun-filled gathering place full of activities. It also allows timid patrons time to calm down, regroup, and gather their courage to continue on.”
“Not only do these five attractions have some of the most highly detailed and elaborate sets in the haunt industry, [but] they are [also] paired with an incredibly talented team of scare-actors and specialty performers. The Factory of Terror employs over 130 actors and staff, in addition to more than 500 of the industry’s scariest monsters and high tech animatronics. The Factory of Terror has committed itself to keeping up with current product developments in the industry as well as the trends of the culture, both of which are reflected in the guests’ experience.”
The attraction is only up for 18 days every year, yet it draws more than 20,000 people from Ohio and surrounding states. Its closest competitor, the Cutting Edge Haunted House, is all the way in Texas. The facility is kept intact year after year, but that doesn’t mean it’s closed down altogether in the off-season. There are separate dedicated spaces for an axe throwing facility, escape games, and an events center.
If you’re still looking for a scare once Halloween is over and Christmas decor has taken over the shelves of your local stores, have no fear: the Factory of Terror has a little something special planned for the holiday season, too. In 2017, the factory brought the mythical tale of Krampus to life, and the horned half-goat half-demon from Central European folklore brought evil elves, abominable snowmen, and other ghastly creatures along with him. Kids who have been good all year might receive gifts from Santa Claus, but according to the legend, Krampus comes to punish those who have misbehaved…