A Not-So-Spooky Guide to Halloween 2022


The witch bench at Gardner Village.(Courtesy of https://www.gardnervillage.com/photo-gallery/Witch-Displays)

By Audrey Hall, Arts Writer


It’s that time of year. The leaves are falling, pumpkin spice lattes are emptying our pockets and the spookiest night of the year is nigh. But not everyone sees the appeal of horror movies and haunted houses. Here’s a guide to local activities, movies and events to ensure you can have Halloween fun without the fear. 


Salt Lake is chalk full of local escape rooms. Each one is unique, ranging from mysterious to funny to terrifying. This season, be sure to check out A Great Escape at Gardner Village which offers a Halloween-themed room. The price is reasonable, accommodates three to 12 people and its 30-minute run-time leaves plenty of time to explore the plenty of adorable shops after.

While having a night out is fun, don’t forget some of the old Halloween classics including pumpkin carving (be sure to save the seeds for roasting) and movie nights. Start a new tradition by searching for a Halloween party playlist on your favorite music app and having a family dance party. Maybe even mix in some autumn smells by baking pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, spice cakes and apple pies. Even store-bought sugar cookie dough is sure to be a hit at any Halloween party and a good way to avoid the mess. 


If you’re looking for more ways to get out of the house, consider these fun events.

An ideal fall date destination, Rowley’s Red Barn Apple Harvest Festival allows patrons to pick apples and take pictures throughout the gorgeous orchard. They offer fall treats like cider donuts and fresh apple slushies.

Snowbird’s Oktoberfest offers fun for all ages. Bungee cord trampolines, local artisanal booths, delicious food and beautiful hikes pair perfectly with a German pretzel and, for those over 21, a traditional Oktoberfest lager. The leaves are still beautiful in the mountains, so get outside and enjoy the fall weather.

Cornbelly’s pumpkin patch is famed for having a horrifying haunt after the sun has set, but there are plenty of attractions for all ages, before and after dark. Carnival rides, a corn maze, cornhole, hay rides and paintball are scattered across Thanksgiving Point to make for fall fun through Nov. 5.

After 28 years of horrifying dances and spooky songs, the Odyssey Dance Theater will be taking the stage for the final year of  “Thriller.” This is your last opportunity to see this well-loved performance. Dancers are wrapped in bandages, hidden behind hockey masks, and covered head to toe in SFX makeup. It is an absolute must.


Horror movies are a popular choice of entertainment around Halloween, but definitely not for everyone. Check out this list of not-so-scary movies to get into the spirit. 

Coco” — an animated film about Miguel, a young boy bent on being a musician despite his family’s restrictions and his journey through the land of the dead. It’s visually stunning, heartfelt and set during Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Watch on Disney+, YouTube and Vudu.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” — the classic Peanuts Halloween special has Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the gang in their annual debate between trick-or-treating and waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Can be viewed on Apple TV+.

Hocus Pocus” 1 and 2 — fun and nostalgic, “Hocus Pocus” is about three witch sisters who come back to life in the 20th century. The long-awaited sequel was released this month and makes for a great back-to-back watch. Can be viewed on Disney+, YouTube, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video.

Goosebumps” — geared towards a younger crowd, the campy special effects and comedic flair is the perfect combination for a night full of laughs. Can be viewed on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.

The Addams Family” — there have been many adaptations of “The Addams Family” since the original 1964 sitcom. The spooky feel and playful writing adds to the season with plenty of laughs. The most popular of the films is the 1991 “The Addams Family.” Most of the films and shows can be viewed on Pluto TV, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.

The Nightmare Before Christmas” — Tim Burton’s ever-popular “The Nightmare Before Christmas” plays with what would happen if Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, were to take over Christmas while searching for a new direction in life. Can be viewed on Disney+, YouTube, Vudu and Amazon Prime Video.

Ghostbusters” — perfect for those who love ghosts without the terror. The catchy theme song, hilariously outdated CGI, an all-star cast and an enormous Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you’ll bust a gut (pun intended) watching this 1984 classic. Can be viewed on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.


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