Nightmare on 13th: Thrills, Chills, and “Phantasms”

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The oldest haunted attraction in Utah is back again this year with the theme of “Phantasms” to thrill your fears.

Nightmare on 13th first opened in 1990 and has grown in popularity year after year. Troy Barber and Mike Henrie, owners of the attraction, work to create a different theme for each season alongside their talented team. The haunted house attracts over 60,000 people each year and has been ranked in the top 10 scariest haunted houses in America.

This year, Nightmare on 13th has a new feature: a haunted courtyard through which visitors pass before entering the entrance line. The atmosphere of the entire attraction is scary and frightening, as it should be, with large structures of nightmare animals and ghosts. Once inside, crowds are managed quite well with an assortment of entertainment. The pre-entrance room in particular includes a theater with special effects to get your heart racing and build your anticipation.

Following the interactive segment, you are then led through a series of rooms, which takes about 45 minutes to wander through in total, though that amount is subject to variation. Each room is a different scene with a different terror or character, all while falling under the umbrella category of “Phantasms.”

Particular scares of note were the classic Halloween chainsaw, which follows you as you exit the final room, an entire section dedicated to eerily glowing clowns and a haunted circus, excellent effects of lights and multi-sensory effects (i.e. spraying water, strings and bugs dangling from the ceiling, etc.) and an entire room and bridge that spins, creating a delightfully and nauseatingly dizzying affect.

There is also the ever present screaming that accompanies you throughout your entire journey. Either by you, your fellow haunted house go-ers or the employees themselves, expect consistent and startling screams to be your staple.

Nightmare on 13th has many thrilling and entertaining qualities. A phenomenally well-run business with an aptitude for handling large crowds and delivering what is promised.

l.randall@dailyutahchronicle.com

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