If the sight of Halloween decorations for sale back in August wasn’t scary enough, perhaps some of these Greater Des Moines haunted houses and attractions will do the trick (or treat)...
Multi-weekend commercial haunts:
Linn’s Supermarket Haunted House
Location: 3805 6th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50313
Nights of Operation: October: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th, and 31st. November: 1st and 2nd.
Hours of Operation: Fridays/Saturdays: 7 p.m. to midnight. Other days: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Admission: $17. Coupons are available on the website for the first and last weekends.
Details: Des Moines’ oldest haunted house returns for its 36th season of screams. As other haunts embrace blood, gore, and heavy metal, Linn’s continues to focus on classic suspense, pitch-black hallways, crawl ways, jump scares and maybe some chainsaws. This year, expect an updated scene or two. Just be prepared for long lines on peak nights. Three generations of fans drive for hours each season to laugh and scream their way through this creepy supermarket basement. There’s a reason this haunt has won multiple awards for “Best Haunted House” over the years.
Location: 97 Indiana Avenue, Des Moines IA 50314 (downtown)
Nights of Operation: October: 4th, 5th, 6th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th.
Hours of Operation: 7 p.m. to midnight.
Admission: $20 regular admission. $30 VIP to skip the line.
Details: The Slaughterhouse is located in the lower level of the Barnum Building. It features movie-quality sets that rival those found at major theme parks. A detailed (and fictional?) backstory about the Biggs Family and their meat processing plant is summarized on their website, and also documented in a recently released book. We recommend reading up on the Biggs family history while enjoying the Slaughterhouse special at Zombie Burger and then hopping on the free shuttle (Friday and Saturday nights only) that runs between Zombie Burger and the Slaughterhouse every 20 minutes. If you thought 2018 was scary, just wait. 2019 is the year of the pig after all...
Sleepy Hollow’s Haunted Scream Park
Location: 4051 Dean Avenue, Des Moines IA 50317 (East of the Iowa State Fairgrounds)
Nights of Operation: October: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 31st.
Hours of Operation: Opens at 7 p.m. every night. Thursdays/Sundays/Halloween: ticket booth closes at 9 p.m. Fridays/Saturdays: ticket booth closes at 11 p.m.
Admission: $45 for a VIP pass, $30 for a park pass, and $25 for a pick three pass.
Details: Sleepy Hollow remains one of the largest haunted scream parks in the region, offering multiple haunted houses (Castle of Blood, Chaos, Freakshow, Nightmare Estates, Twisted Tales), ToxiCity zombie laser tag, 13 Gates fog maze, and Club Blood (dance club). This year also marks the 25th year of fear, so to celebrate, guests will get to explore a new mystery area of Sleepy Hollow that's been off-limits until now. And if that's not enough adrenaline for you, there are waivers are available for those who are brave enough to opt into being touched! (What could possibly go wrong?)
Location: Edgewood Park, Madrid, IA 50156
Nights of Operation: October: 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 31st.
Hours of Operation: Fridays/Saturdays: 7:15 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Thursdays: 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Details: Get picked up from Edgewood Park by the Tormented Souls Terror Bus; it's the only way to reach what lies in wait. We dare you to ride this scream maker with your eyes wide open in the pitch dark. Once you're dropped off at the edge of an old abandoned coal-mining town you'll soon experience chills and thrills as paranormal, tormented souls make your worst nightmares come to life.
Location: One block east of Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA 50011
Nights of Operation: October: 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 31st. November: 1st.
Hours of Operation: Thursdays/Sundays: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays/Saturdays: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (extended to 11:30 p.m. on peak weekends)
Details: Vincent's world is a dark and tortured place... being trapped as you burn alive will do that to you... read Vincent's full story HERE.
- Sometimes the scariest thing about the haunts is the long lines—especially on the Friday and Saturday nights around Halloween. However, if you don’t wish to spend the extra money for a line-skipping pass, simply choose an earlier weekend, or an off-peak night (such as a Thursday or Sunday). A two-hour line on Friday might be a 10-minute wait the evening before.
- Remember that many haunts are outdoors, or could be indoors but have no covered waiting areas. Check official websites and/or Facebook pages for any weather related delays or closings before driving out.
- Appropriate clothing and footwear is also a must. You might find yourself trekking through sand or mud, crawling or just running from two insane clowns.
- Be safe. Strobe lights, loud audio, fog machines, and other theatrical effects are found in many attractions. Be aware of any physical limitations you might have, and contact the haunt operator before your visit to ask any questions.
But most of all… be prepared to scream and have fun!