What to Wear to Haunted Houses or Hayrides: The Complete Guide

With Halloween just around the corner, haunted houses and hayrides are opening their doors for fright fans to enjoy a night filled with screams and scares. However, while these attractions are exhilarating, you’ll want to dress appropriately to stay comfortable and safe. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what to wear to haunted houses or hayrides.

Plan Based on Your Activity Level and the Weather

Image of a person checking a weather app on a phone

When deciding what to wear, your first considerations should be how much walking you’ll be doing and what the weather will be like.

Haunted houses usually involve standing in queues and walking through multi-room indoor sets at your own pace. Hayrides, on the other hand, mean sitting in a slow-moving tractor-trailer outdoors at night, possibly for over an hour. The activities involved will determine the kind of shoes and layers to choose.

Additionally, is it rainy, windy, or unseasonably cold on your haunted night out? Check the weather forecast beforehand and pack accordingly—nothing ruins the scary mood faster than shivering or wet socks!

Choose Comfortable Shoes

Choose Comfortable Shoes

No matter what haunt you’re visiting, comfortable footwear ensures you can focus on the frights instead of your feet.

For haunted houses, wear sneakers or slip-on shoes that you can walk in easily. Avoid sandals or flip-flops—it’s all too easy to stub your toes when you’re startled! High heels are another bad choice since attractions purposefully use uneven surfaces and dim lighting to trip you up.

On hayrides, boots offer more protection from mud and getting straw in your shoes from the trailer floor. Just steer clear of steel-toed or heavy industrial boots that restrict movement and could injure your toes if someone steps on your foot accidentally.

If you’ll be going to multiple indoor and outdoor attractions in one night, consider packing a change of shoes in the car to switch between haunts.

Dress in Layers for Warmth and Modesty

Without it, you’ll find yourself rapidly going from shivering to sweating once the scares start! Having layers gives you the flexibility to adjust to temperature changes.

For hayrides, bundle up with a light jacket, sweater, or hoodie on top of a long-sleeve shirt. Bring along gloves and a scarf if needed. Just avoid bulky winter coats that limit mobility or could get caught on props.

In haunted houses, t-shirts or light long sleeves work well for most people. Adding a flannel shirt or cardigan enables you to remove layers as you warm up from adrenaline and crowds.

Lastly, be mindful that attractions often use air blasts, vibrating floors, and even electric shock props. Avoid short shorts or skirts that could lead to embarrassing moments in dark passages! Stick to pants, leggings, or shorts/skirts past mid-thigh length.

Don’t Wear Anything Valuable

Don’t Wear Anything Valuable

In the chaos of haunted houses full of hidden characters chasing you, valuables can easily get lost or damaged. Leave expensive jewelry, watches, or anything breakable at home.

A basic outfit of shirt, pants, and shoes allows you to run full-speed without worrying about your belongings. Consider tying back long hair for similar reasons.

Some attractions even recommend removing glasses before entering for safety. Having a glasses strap or case to quickly stash them if needed is wise. Alternatively, switch to contact lenses just for your haunted night out.

Protect Your Phone and Wallet

While you shouldn’t wear anything precious, carrying a phone and wallet is inevitable. Protect these essentials from falls or liquid scares.

For your phone, choose trousers or jackets with zippered rather than open pockets. Many brands now sell leggings and athletic wear specifically designed with phone pockets to eliminate this hassle.

Similarly, keep your wallet in a secure zip-up pocket or small crossbody bag rather than loosely in your hands. Some outdoor haunts prohibit large bags, so check policies before bringing a purse.

Waterproof phone cases provide the ultimate protection against both rain and blood splatter in haunted houses. Just avoid full-coverage cases that muffle scream alerts or ringtones if you get separated from friends.

Don’t Wear a Mask or Heavy Makeup

Elaborate costumes and scary character masks seem fitting for Halloween haunts…until you literally can’t see or breathe!

Most attractions prohibit guests from wearing full-face costumes or masks for safety reasons. Vision-blocking items create tripping hazards in the dark and confusion-identifying groups. Instead, accessorize with creepy hair clips, witch hats, capes, or temporary FX makeup.

Speaking of beauty looks, skip heavy stage makeup or prosthetics that could melt or irritate skin under hot lights and sweat. Opt for basic eyeliner, shadow, and blood splatter that can be easily reapplied between houses. The more smudge-proof, the better!

The point is looking scary should be fun, not uncomfortable or risky. Keep costumes minimal so they enhance rather than hinder your experience.

Use Face Paint and Hair Products Wisely

That said, scary makeup and hair gel can enormously boost your creepy atmosphere! Just follow some common-sense rules.

When face painting symbols, skulls, stitches, or cuts, avoid anywhere that obstructs vision or breathing. Skipping under-eye areas prevents irritation and melting if you tear up.

For hayrides, stick to bare skin rather than costume pieces to allow adding or removing layers as needed. Bring makeup remover wipes for fresh applications between attractions.

Hair gels, sprays, and colors are great for spiking Mohawks or dyeing strands blood red. But skip heavyweight wet-look products—they’ll just mix with sweat and ruin your ‘do quickly. Stick to matte waxes or light gels instead.

Budget extra time for removing paint and gel after your haunted night. Avoid products not labeled “washable” or “water-soluble” to prevent staining.

Bring Hand Sanitizer and Tissues

Bring Hand Sanitizer and Tissues

Between gripping railings in long queues and surplus dirt and dust in some older haunt sets, having some personal hygiene items is wise.

Mini hand sanitizer bottles easily fit in pockets to use discreetly as needed. Some outdoor haunts even have sanitizing stations available, especially since COVID.

Tissues or wet wipes also help for quickly wiping grime off hands or faces without needing to detour to the restroom. We recommend keeping these items easily accessible but secured in zippered pockets.

The Best Haunted House Outfits By Category

To summarize guidelines into easy outfit formulas, here are go-to looks for common visitor types:

For Teens and College Students:

  • Sneakers or slip-on shoes
  • Black jeans
  • Graphic t-shirt
  • A hooded jacket or flannel shirt
  • Backpack for phone and wallet storage

For Parents and Kids:

  • Closed-toe shoes with straps
  • Leggings or joggers – easy to move in
  • Patterned long-sleeve layering shirt
  • Lightweight crossbody bag

For Couples:

  • Tennis shoes
  • Dark jeans
  • Halloween-themed baseball tee
  • Bomber jacket, button-down or cardigan
  • Phone armband

For Groups:

  • Footwear with arch support
  • Black leggings
  • Custom matching t-shirts
  • Lightweight windbreaker
  • Mini backpack or belt bag

The Bottom Line

What to Wear to Haunted Houses

When preparing outfits for haunted house hayrides, opt for shoes that support walking and mobility, layers to adjust warmth, secured storage for valuables, and minimal makeup and hair products. The less you have to worry about your appearance, the more you can revel in the Halloween spirit!

Hopefully these tips help you focus more on the thrill of the haunts rather than your outfit. Got any other haunted house clothing hacks? Share in the comments below!