Utah’s haunted attractions are definitely big business. And they keep getting better, attracting people with more sophisticated special effects, and offering more of an entertainment options. Here is our take on eight haunted attractions from Ogden to Orem.
• Definitely for a PG-13 crowd. Don’t even try to take little ones.
• Go in a group. Screams heap on screams and it’s much more fun than going as a couple.
• The “no touching rule” for both actors and patrons was appropriate, comforting and helped to keep it fun.
• The overall creativity is impressive and captivating, not to mention the use of Hollywood theatrics. You may find yourself wanting more.
• Waiting is entertaining. Many attractions are geared to handle big crowds with pre-show entertainment, concessions and a la carte activities. However…
• Bring a fat wallet. You can easily spend $20 per person on multiple attractions and/or extra entertainment. However…
• Coupons are often available.
• Go on week nights. Avoid the crowds and visit early in the month.
600 Exchange Road, Ogden
Cost: $10 – $13
The setting is the old Weber State Mental Health Building, which itself is rumored to be haunted. Patrons interact with a “mad” doctor and his patients. We found that the longer you stay in the room and interact with the characters, the more they will interact with you. It seems they are to entertain as much as scare. One really unique feature is the maze after you get out of the “hospital.” The walls of the maze can actually change and trap you while you are in it.
1900 W. 1550 South, Ogden
A haunted trail winds over more than 13 acres. The Weber River runs underneath big trees that overshadow dungeons, caves and other spooky scenes.
The outside atmosphere is fantastic. They offer pre- and post-show entertainment that includes projection screen movies and bonfires with concessions to pass the time.
Carnival of Fear
5576 So. Redwood Rd., Taylorsville
Cost: $10 – $13
A new start-up this year. A classic indoor haunted house where actors carry the show. A slightly younger “tweens” crowd could haunt this house. It has plenty of sneak-up surprises and creepy effects. You’ll shiver a bit, and come out smiling. The least expensive in the Salt Lake area.
Castle of Chaos
120 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City
The signature attraction here is the murder mystery game. We found it an intriguing change from a traditional haunted house approach. It was fun to interact with characters and gather clues — to be the first ones in the group to solve the mystery and defeat the vampires! (True confession: Our group was first thanks to sneaking out of rooms without getting caught!)
The Castle also features a haunted house. Patrons can wear a poncho if they don’t mind having a little blood smeared on them!
Nightmare on 13th
1300 S. 300 West, Salt Lake City
Cost: $15 – $30
This is a top notch haunted house. A visit here should be on your list of things to do. It features really high-end Hollywood effects and is highly rated in its industry. On a busy night, prepare to wait in three different places before you enter.
2601 E. Sunnyside Ave., Salt Lake City
This is where you can get hysterical and historical at the same time. Located at This is the Place State Park, this outdoor experience offers a deeper kind of spooky, just because of its old-fashioned setting. Its place on the hillside offers beautiful nighttime views of the valley. Prepare to walk a bit, as the scares take place all over the park. This is definitely good group fun. Look out for the headless horseman!
The Dreaded Grove
Take I-15 American Fork exit #275 and head west to 6000 West.
Lined with tall reeds and grasses that moved in the wind under the moonlight, this haunted trail had a different flair. It was plenty spooky, with not so many props and special effects as we’ve seen elsewhere. Some sections were very creative and different – like the wrecked car yard.
They promote lots of outside entertainment – from zip lines paintballing to swamp rides. But some is free, and you could just hang out around the bonfire here and listen to live bands. (We recommend swamp rides, by the way.)
The Haunted Forest
1100 So. 500 East, American Fork
Exit I-15 at #276 in American Fork. Turn towards Utah Lake and go ¼ mile.
A first-rate haunted experience. Very cool animation and entertainment while you wait for your number to be called. The trail was the longest we’d ever been to – with 70-80 monsters every night and surprise after creative surprise. One of the top rated haunted attractions in America.
Psycho Manor is a new attraction this year. It is a “Bates Motel”-themed haunted house with all the special effects. You can’t go wrong here. (Well, you can…)
Studio 5 thanks Spirit Halloween Superstore
for providing a fog machine for this on-air segment.
Spirit Halloween Superstore
389 W. 1830 South
Salt Lake City