The brainchild of a small group of friends with a handful of props and some pirate costumes, the Pirates of Emerson started out in the backyard of a family home on Emerson Street in Fremont, California in 1991. The haunted attraction was an immediate hit, and over the years has grown into a major commercial enterprise covering nearly three acres and featuring a cast and crew of 75 to build and operate the wildly popular seasonal show.

In fact, it grew so large that in 2010 it was moved to the Alameda County Fairgrounds, where a carnival-like pirate-themed midway greets visitors with games and features like Bumpkin Patch, Carnevil, Bone Ball, misfortune teller, and the mystifying Fields Family Corn Maze, an which is open during the day on weekends in October for those who need a little daylight to help find their way out.

The haunted attraction actually consists of six different buildings, the Pirates of Emerson, Mental Maze, Wicked Wild West, Habit of Hags, Lockdown and Doll Hostel. The extensive use of special effects, robotics, animation and ghoulish interaction provides an intense experience that is geared toward older children and adults, and not recommended for those under 13.

To save time, it’s a good idea to purchase tickets in advance so you can skip the ticket line and go direct to Will Call. Also, credit cards, checks and debit cards are not accepted at the ticket window, although there is an ATM on site. With weekday passes starting at just $20, Pirates of Emerson hasn’t increased their base price in seven years!

For those who really don’t like to wait in line, the Speed Pass is a good value for just an extra $10, allowing you priority entrance at the six different haunted attractions.

Since it is being held at the Alameda Fairgrounds, visitors must pay the standard fairgrounds parking fee. And because of the dirt lot, high heels and open-toed shoes are not recommended.

This year’s Pirates of Emerson is bound to be another spookiliciously spectacular adventure not to be missed if you’re anywhere in Northern California this fall!

Congratulations to Pirates of Emerson…The Victim’s Choice for one of the “Top 31 Haunted Houses in America” at