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13 Haunted cave tours to get your brood in the Halloween mood

Catherine Parker has a passion for travel with only two states left in her quest of seeing all 50.  As a former flight attendant with one of the largest airlines, there isn't a major North American airport that she hasn't landed in at le...

Skip the haunted houses this year and explore a haunted cave for Halloween thrills and chills

Have your kids seen it all? Are the kids over the zombie chasing them with a chainsaw? Have the fake blood and coffin corpses lost their thrill? Are they all scared out?

What about clumsily climbing through a cave so dark you close your eyes to get away from the suffocating darkness, knowing there are thousands of tiny, blind bats hanging inches above your head with only an old-fashioned lantern to protect you?

After schlepping heavy recording equipment down a narrow cave shaft, you see the sudden glow of the monitors through the impenetrable darkness as researchers whisper, "I haven’t seen that phenomenon before."

Is your skin crawling? Do you feel the goosebumps as a mysterious breeze creeps through a cave without wind? Have a facial twitch you can’t explain?

13 Creepy caves are waiting to up the thrill factor for your family this Halloween

1. Howe Caverns — 255 Discovery Drive, Howe’s Cave, New York (40 miles west of Albany)

A ghost leads the haunted lantern tour at Howe Cavern, where the minimum age is 12 years old.

Tours take place Saturday, Oct. 17 and Saturday, Oct. 24.

Admission is $45 per person.

2. Crystal Cave Park — 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown, Pennsylvania (65 miles northwest of Philadelphia)

At Crystal Cave Park, you experience a lantern tour with guides in Victorian clothing recounting the hauntings of the 1800s. The minimum age is 8 years old.

Tours take place Friday, Oct. 16; Saturday, Oct. 17; Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; and Friday, Oct. 30

Admission cost for adults is $20, and children 8 to 11 is $12.

3. Lincoln Caverns — 7703 William Penn, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania (95 miles west of Harrisburg)

Take a haunted cavern tour before climbing aboard a haunted hayride.

Tours are available Friday, Oct. 16; Saturday, Oct. 17; Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $20 per person.

4. Penn's Cave — 222 Penn's Cave Road, Centre Hall, Pennsylvania (83 miles northwest of Harrisburg)

Take a family-friendly flashlight cave tour by flat-bottom boat.

Tours take place Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission for adults is $20, and children from 2 to 12 is $11.

5. Lewisburg Haunted Cave — 4392 Swisher Mill Road, Lewisburg, Ohio (25 miles west of Dayton)

Take a tour through a limestone cave with 30,000 live bats.

Tours take place Friday, Oct. 17; Saturday, Oct. 18; Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission for adults is $16, and children 10 and under is $8.

6. Bell Witch Cave — 430 Keysburg Road, Adams, Tennessee (42 miles north of Nashville) 

Visit a cave so haunted it has terrorized generations of residents and lead to the death of one man. No children under 2 year old are admitted. Anyone under 18 years old must have parental consent.

Tours are offered Friday, Oct. 16; Saturday, Oct. 17; Sunday, Oct. 18; Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Sunday, Oct. 25; and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $12 per person.

7. Ledge View Nature Center — W2348 Short Road, Chilton, Wisconsin (76 miles north of Milwaukee)

Enjoy this family-friendly candlelight cave tour. The minimum age is 5 years old.

Tours are available Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24.

Admission is $6 per person.

8. Cave of the Mounds — 2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin (25 miles west of Madison)

Costumes are welcome on this family-friendly cave tour.

Tours are available everyday.

Admission for adults is $17, children 4 to 12 is $9 and children under 3 are free.

9. Longhorn Cavern State Park — 6211 Park Road 4 South, Burnet, Texas (65 miles northwest of Austin)

Come along as researchers try to capture paranormal activity and tour the cave. Bring your own flashlight and ghost-busting gear. 13 years old and above is the recommended age.

Tours take place on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $25 per person.

10. Kickapoo Cavern State Park — 20930 RM 674, Brackettville, Texas (146 miles west of San Antonio)

Take a wild cave tour with bats. The tour requires a helmet, provided by the park, and two sources of light that you must provide. The minimum age is 5 years old.

Tours are offered Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $10 per person.

11. Colossal Cave Mountain Park — 6721 E. Old Spanish Trail, Vail, Arizona (27 miles southeast of Tuscon)

In addition to haunted cave tours, you can enter a costume contest.

Tours available Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 5 to 12 years old.

12. Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park — Get directions at the Lodge Pole Visitors Center, located at 63100 Lodge Pole Road (225 miles north of Los Angeles)

Minimum age to explore Crystal Cave is 8 years old.

Tours are offered Friday, Oct. 23; Saturday, Oct. 24; Friday, Oct. 30; and Saturday, Oct. 31.

Admission is $25 per person.

13. Oregon Caves National Monument — 21000 Caves Highway, Cave Junction, Oregon (296 miles south of Portland)

Rangers lead a haunted candlelight tour and divulge the wicked tales of the cave. The minimum age is 12 years old.

Tours are available Friday, Oct. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 31

Admission for Adults is $10, children 12 to 15 is $7.

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