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Get Spooked with this Utah Haunted House Guide

Every person is different and knowing which haunted attractions are right for you can be difficult. So, let this guide give you a hand.
Mary Allen
(Design by Mary Allen | Daily Utah Chronicle)


With Autumn in full swing, folks are looking for any way to celebrate the spooky season. For those who enjoy a good scare, there’s nothing better than visiting haunted houses. Good thing, this, as in most years, Utah is in good supply. Every person is different and knowing which haunted attractions are right for you can be difficult. So, let this guide give you a hand. 

Nightmare on 13th

This castle of horrors has been a staple of Salt Lake City since 1990. It features some of the best sets and animatronics in all of Utah. “Nightmare on 13th” is less serious than some of the other houses on this list. They are simply looking to give visitors a fun time. That’s not to say there aren’t scare actors around every corner trying to elicit shrieks. However, there’s never a feeling of real danger.

The best aspect of “Nightmare on 13th” is the incredible worlds you get to walk through. You’ll traverse eerie southern marshes, a scarecrow-ridden cornfield and a snowy mountain pass inhabited by dragons.

“Nightmare on 13th” also offers “Institute of Terror,” which is an add-on attraction. This experience is spent mostly in complete darkness. For those looking for something more entertaining than actually scary, “Nightmare on 13th” is the house to hit.

Fear Factory

Housed in an abandoned cement factory covered with grotesque murals, this iconic haunt is hard to miss while driving on I-15. This massive attraction is held within six buildings. Some of which climb up to as high as six stories tall. This adds an extra level of fear for those who hate heights.

Fear Factory” can’t boast the amazing sets “Nightmare on 13th” has. The industrial setting is kept true for the majority of the walk-through. However, the scare actors are constantly energized ensuring you’ll jump at least once while you’re there.

For those who are believers of the paranormal, “Fear Factory” also claims to have multiple ghosts that call the attraction home. This attraction is fantastic for those looking for a balance of jovial spooks and genuine frights.

Asylum 49

Away from the epic scale of “Nightmare on 13th” and “Fear Factory” is this far more humble haunt in Toole, UT. Held inside a forgotten retirement home, “Asylum 49” resembles something closer to a neighborhood haunted attraction.

Its set decorations and props carry a homemade charm to them. That’s not to put down the haunt in any way though. It uses the hospital setting to its full potential, daring guests to put themselves in the shoes of innocent patients at the mercy of disturbed doctors.

The makeup and costuming are incredibly detailed and the scare actors truly become the insidious creatures they embody. While “Asylum 49” offers a no-contact option, they advertise their full-contact experience as the true and scariest version of the attraction. This means “you can be touched, grabbed, separated from your group, detained in small, dark areas and left strapped to a metal bed and worked on by the crazies.” If that sounds like your cup of tea, “Asylum 49” is the place to be.

Castle of Chaos

Like “Asylum 49,” “Castle of Chaos” does not have the spectacle of the first two haunts on this list. It does however have a refreshing variety of attractions.

The main event is their entirely underground haunted house that can be experienced in five different “levels of fear.” These range from level one, where monsters and scare actors avoid coming too close during the haunt, to level five which is 18+ and allows the scare actors to touch, move, threaten and restrain you.

Another attraction offered at this location is the “chaos escape rooms.” These escape rooms are each themed with horror movie scenarios. There’s “Serial Killer Escape” where you must find the way out of the “grotesque lair” of a murderer who has kidnapped you. Their newest room is the “Nightmare Realm” where you clash with iconic 80s slasher Freddy Kruger and bump into a few other familiar horror faces. “Castle of Chaos” offers something different for those looking for something new and exciting.


Who needs Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” when we have our own amusement park of terror with Lagoon’s “Frightmares.”

Here, guests can find ten spooky events and attractions to attend, some of which are kid-friendly. For families visiting, they can enjoy the “Spook-A-Boo Walk-Thru” or “Treat Street.” Here younger guests can meet friendly, fall-themed characters.

For braver folks, the “Fun House of Fear” and “Streetmosphere” offer scares without lasting effects, leaning more odd and absurd than frightening. Those looking to spend the night screaming have haunted houses such as the “Malevolent Mansion” and the vampire-infested “Nightwalk” to enjoy. There is also an interactive “Seance” show made to fill audiences with fear. “Frightmares” is a must while celebrating Fall in Utah.

With so many different options, there’s no excuse not to visit at least one scary attraction this Autumn season. So, before the snow of Winter comes to haunt us all, enjoy each jump, shriek and scream you can get.


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About the Contributors
Graham Jones, Arts Writer, News For U Producer
Graham Jones was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and moved to Utah to study film. Despite his passion for cinema, Graham joined the Chronicle to engage with the University of Utah community and pursue his love for journalism. Outside of the student media office, Graham can be found buried deep into the pages of a graphic novel or lip-syncing to the greatest hits of the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Mary Allen, Design Director
(she/her) Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mary is thrilled to be here at the University of Utah studying graphic design. She feels very lucky to get to rub shoulders with the talented people that make up the team here at the Chronicle and is learning a lot from them every day. Other than making things look cute, Mary’s passions include music, pickleball, Diet Coke, wildlife protection, and the Boston Red Sox.

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