It’s that time of year again—the wind is getting brisk, the colors are changing on the mountains, and the sound of leaves blowing down the street are followed by pumpkin lattes and co-eds sporting Han Solo boots-and-vest style on campus. That’s right, one of the best holidays of the year is just around the corner, and we are ready to celebrate. Salt Lake is home to some of the best Halloween diversions in the country, and we’ve created a best-of list so you can get your David S. Pumpkins on in full force.
Haunted Houses & Parks
Ranked as one of Buzzfeed’s Top 20 Scariest Haunted Houses in the World, Fear Factory opened operations as a cement factory over 100 years ago… but a string of horrific accidents led many to believe the building had a murderous mind of its own.
In addition to general admission to this haunted attraction, Fear Factory offers private and public ghost tours and paranormal investigations, a VR “face your fears” experience, and a free Zombie Bus between the Gateway and the Fear Factory every 30 minutes.
Frightmares at Lagoon
Normally, the screams at Lagoon are only due to stomach-dropping rides and roller coasters. But not during Frightmares, where the happy theme park turns becomes a haunted theme park, featuring attractions ranging from non-scary to very scary. There are gobs of haunted experiences, including but not limited to: Seance -an immersive, multi-sensory, and ghostly experience involving live performance, intense physical effects, and audience participation; Treat Street - a non-scary trick or treating trail; Frightening Frisco - haunted ghost town; Vampire Nightwalk; and Straw maze. And of course, all the rides and roller coasters are open during Frightmares.
Nightmare on 13th
This Salt Lake scare offers different experiences every year. This year’s themes: Nightmare Haunted House, with 12 themed nightmares; and X-Scream, an intense VIP only attraction. Guests also have the option try their luck at one of four themed escape rooms: Walk the Plank, Rogue Agent, Curse of Anubis, or Species Unknown.
Cornbelly's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest
One of Utah’s most popular Halloween destinations, Cornbelly’s has something for everyone, from thrill-seeking grown-ups to the littlest boos and ghouls. Watch halloween fireworks, walk through “The Belly of the Beast,” and run through the 12-acre corn maze. Or try to keep your composure in the Big Top Terror haunted circus or the Hayloft Horror haunted barn. Scare ratings are mild during the daytime, but they climb at night. In addition to spooky fun, there are countless other fall attractions, including zip lines, apple blasters, face painting, pumpkin bowling, interactive games, hayrides, and lots of food and treats.
Castle of Chaos
Why go to a haunted house when you can go to a haunted castle? Depending on your scare sensitivity, you can choose from five different levels of fear. In level five, you may be touched, restrained, moved, and threatened—even Danny Trejo was spooked. In addition to the haunted castle, be sure to try one of the castle’s famous haunted escape rooms: Lockdown, Serial Killer, Asylum, and Paranormal.
Boolights! at Hogle Zoo
With Halloween lights and decorations and themed attractions, this less-than-scary event at the Zoo is perfect for your little ones, and a great place for them to wear their costumes. Check out the bat cave, pirates' lair, graveyard, land of spiders, and a wizard world maze.
Halloween on the High Seas at Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Held at night on the Aquarium's plaza, this fun-filled event will bring you and your kids face-to-face with mermaids, pirates, and creatures from the deep. Experience the Seaside Carnival with games and treats.
BOOtanical - Once Upon a Garden
This year's BOOtanical at Red Butte Garden will drop your family into the middle of a fairy tale. Chauncey the Garden Gnome and the Skeleton King will take you to a land of adventure. Enjoy the fun and live local entertainment.
Witchfest at Gardner Village
Get that tall pointy hat out of the closet, dust off your flying broomstick, and head down to Gardner Village for the 21st year of Witchfest. A favorite annual event, tickets can be purchased for Witchapalooza Dinner Theater, Breakfast with a Witch, magic shows, and an escape room, or simply come on down to see the witch displays and participate in the witch scavenger hunt.
Pumpkin Walk at The Gateway
The Gateway is hosting our first ever community-wide Pumpkin Walk. From 6-9 PM, admire and vote for your favorite hand-carved and painted pumpkins decorated by local artists. Get in the Halloween spirit, bring your friends and family for pumpkin art, photo ops, and other spooky fun!