Get your ‘freak out’ on

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Haunts all over Utah are busy scaring, spooking and sending shivers down spines. There are haunted houses, abandoned bars and factories, forests and asylums for students to choose from.

One of Utah’s longest-running haunts is The Haunted Forest in American Fork. The haunt was started 22 years ago by BYU alumnus Robert Ethington. The 250,000-square-feet haunt stands out among others because it is outside. Visitors waiting in line are entertained by a queue line show called The Haunted Mansion Show. Then they enter Psycho Manor, which is a 10-15 minute teaser haunt. The haunted forest follows and takes about an hour to go through. However, the time spent in the forest will be shortened if one feels the need to run from Samara, Freddy, Jason, scary clowns and other people popping out of the dark.

[media-credit name=”Luke Hansen” align=”alignleft” width=”234″][/media-credit]Ethington said he loves his job.

“It’s fun watching people come out and having a good time,” he said. “That’s the reward. It’s all about clean, good fun.”

Nathan White, 24, from Cedar Hills, said he loved the spinning tunnel, slide and good actors.

“They made their characters believable, which made the experience creepier and more intense,” he said. “The clowns were especially good.”

Haunt-goers will also get their fair share of clowns in 3-D at The Awakening in Lehi. This season is the first for the four owners. Two brothers from Mesquite had always dreamed of putting on a professional haunt when they found an abandoned bar in Lehi. They quickly set to work building the sets for the detailed butcher, Lizzie Borden and clown scenes. Visitors said it was just enough to chill them to the bone. Show a BYU I.D. Oct. 24 to 29 for a buy-one-get-one-half-off special offer.

Another family-run haunt is Anguish Asylum in the parking garage under the Cinemark Theaters at Provo Towne Centre. Although the haunt isn’t the scariest out there, visitors will definitely get their fill of fright. The sets and props are impressively detailed for the cemetery, autopsy scene, insane asylum and body shop.

Britanni Good, a junior from LaGrande, Ore., said she loved the autopsy room and the chainsaw.

“It was the best chainsaw experience I’ve ever had of any haunted house,” Good said. “I could feel the heat from it and for a second I thought he was actually going to cut off my hand.”

Those willing to not only pay to be scared but also to travel, can visit Nightmare on 13th in Salt Lake City. The award-winning haunted house is a mix of classic horror and original ideas. Detailed sets and cutting-edge effects will tingle senses with experiences of the “Night of the Dead” and “Realm of Darkness” with zombies and winged gargoyles.

Castle of Chaos is offering a “Trilogy of Terror” ticket for its final season. The ticket gets participants into three different locations. Visitors must be 18 or older and sign a waiver and should know they can be picked and separated from their group as they go through a meat-packing plant, morgue and toy factory.

In addition to the Cornophobia haunted corn maze, Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point has more than 40 attractions. Six of these are part of Insanity Point. The haunts this year are a cage maze called Insane Reaction, Big Top Terror with circus clowns, the Buried Alive haunted trailer, Chaos Castle hay maze and The Creature. See insanitypoint.com for scream scale scores. A Cornbelly’s Laughin’ Activities Pass is free with purchase of a Screamin’ Pass.

Some of the other haunted attractions include Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus in Draper. It has plenty of clowns, freak shows, mirrors and spinning tunnels in the maze of more than 20 tractor-trailers. The Asylum 49 in Tooele has a haunted hospital. The Fear Factory in Salt Lake City offers “industrial grade fear.”

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