Prior to knowing Zach I had never been to a haunted house. I didn’t have a huge desire and none of my circle of friends cared to go, so I never went. Since Zach loves haunted houses, that was what our first date was (from what he’s said it wasn’t to see if I’d scream and cling to him, but he’d be disappointed since I’m not a screamer no scare easily).
They aren’t my favorite thing to do, but going is festive for the season and Zach loves them. In lieu of the Halloween on Wednesday, I’ll talk about some haunted houses in the state of Utah.
Castle of Chaos – Taylorsville/Riverdale/Orem – $
Castle of Chaos is a chain of haunts in Utah. They actually have a deal for $30 that allows you into all three locations when if you go to only one it’s $20. If you like haunted houses and don’t want to pay a whole lot, this is the way to go. Each location is great at being different from the other. I like their organization of lines and their options for upgrades (VIP and the only house I’m aware of that does Hands On, aka the actors can touch you). Taylorsville has my vote as my favorite entrance display. I love the mansion on the bayou.
Until last year there was a location in Salt Lake City, but has since been demolished for a gas station. I liked that one because of the coffin drop. They’ve now brought it to Taylorsville, but it’s an extra charge to ride in it. Lame.
(Haven’t made it to the new Orem location, but I’m sure it’ll happen this week)
Fear Factory – Salt Lake City – $$$
Personally I think this place would be a lot creepier if they didn’t have as many staged actors and gimmicky haunted house stuff. It’s an abandoned cement factory where many worked died in its operation. It’s a legit haunted place and it’s kinda ruined by the theatrical. If you paid a cheaper price just to walk through it with just the sound of the train going by I’d be a lot more freaked out. But due to what the place is, I consider it the scariest. But only if you go off season. Going during Halloween season there’s so many people you don’t have a lot of time to look at the decor or really get scared. The first time I went there were too many actors, and there still is, but now they have the coolest butcher room.
Even though it was built, the long pitch-black slide that you ride and you exit into a graveyard or bayou is impressive. A lot of the presentations are impressive, but I still stand by it’d be better if they just let you walk through the place in silence.
Haunted Forest – American Fork – $$
I think Haunted Forest is still my favorite, and it’s not because it was my first. I enjoy outdoor haunts the most. It feels more eerie and open and exposed to more danger. The lanterns hanging from trees in the bridges from scene to scene is so beautiful. The mines are also cool and noteworthy.
Nightmare on 13th – Salt Lake City – $$
I went once and wasn’t really impressed (typical gimmicky things and nothing stand-outish) and skipped it for a year. And this year they added a Zombie section and that’s what they had been pushing as their main attraction. And honestly the Zombie part was the lamest section! Netherbeast and Cirque du Fear was ten times scarier and cooler. Nightmare on 13th has been voted the scariest haunt in Utah, and after this year I guess I feel better about that claim.
This is the Place Haunted Village – Salt Lake City – $
Like the Haunted Forest, it is outdoors and creepy. But unlike the Fear Factory, it uses its already legit haunted and creepy atmosphere and you spend a good portion wandering in silence and paranoid something – anything – will come and attack you. You walk in and out of decorated old buildings the creaking of the ancient wood flooring… ah! I heard there was a headless horseman one year. I missed that.
Black Island Farms – Syracuse – $$
Another outdoor haunt like Forest, but also has a corn maze, too. We were lost in that maze for a while the first time we went. The haunted part of the maze was paved and marked, so that was somewhat disappointing and would be much scarier if it weren’t clear where to go. Scare factor is pretty mild, but a neat place. My favorite memory is probably when the chainsaw guy biffed it as he ran after some screaming people.
If you want to go to an extreme haunted house and don’t mind the price, I recommend Fear Factory. If you want your monies worth, do the Trilogy buy at Castle of Chaos. If you want a fairly moderate scare, Haunted Forest. First timer, probably Black Island Farms.