Haunted attractions are preparing for ‘Spooky Season’


Haunted attractions around Utah opened in September to kick off this year’s spooky season.

“People in Utah love Halloween, it’s not just an October event anymore … and it gives us more days to have fun,” Heidi Dunfield, co-owner of Salt Lake City’s Fear Factory, said.

Fear Factory, which claims to be Salt Lake City’s #1 haunted house, opened on Sept. 15.

Fear Factory is not the only place capturing people’s attention. Nightmare on 13th, also located in Salt Lake City and opened Sept. 15th, was ranked top five for haunted attractions in the nation this year, according to The National Association for Haunted Attractions.

Chris Laparra, a 26 year-old BYU economics student mentioned his “frightful” and “fun” experience with Nightmare on 13th.

“I’ve only been once, but it was definitely a haunted experience I’ll remember. It was just so fun, and the actors all did an amazing job. It’s not only them though, the place itself was very well decorated,” Laparra said.

Laparra said he would recommend this haunted attraction to everyone this October.

Fear Factory does some of their advertising via their own social media pages. This photo shows a portion of its Haunted Venue in Salt Lake City. (Photo Courtesy of Fear Factory Facebook page)

Amy Hernandez, a BYU graduate in molecular biology, recommended Fear Factory to anyone wanting to get a good scare and have an enjoyable time.

“I would recommend Fear Factory … I like the adrenaline rush of getting scared,” she said.

She mentioned haunted attractions not only provide a thrill but also an opportunity to grow friendships.

“I think it’s a really fun bonding experience with friends,” Hernandez said. “It’s really fun seeing everyone you’re with also get scared.”

Hernandez is not the only one who feels this way. Tess Barth, an actress living in West Jordan, shared her excitement about the opening of Fear Factory.

“It’s huge, they go full out with production and actors, are amazing to their employees and spend so much time showing their time and appreciation to each individual who comes as both a patron or their cast, crew, artists,” she said.

This year, Barth said just visiting the attraction is no longer enough for her and even auditioned to work there as an actor.

Dunfield talked about what her team does to maintain their top spot in Salt Lake City’s haunted house market.

“As soon as we shut the doors in November, we start working on a plan and a theme for the next season,” she said.

Asylum 49 Haunted Hospital at night. They prepare for their guests to be frightened and enjoy a night of screams. (Photo courtesy from SLUG MAGAZINE)

BYU alumna Stacy Laparra said one of her favorite attractions is Tooele’s Asylum 49 Haunted Hospital.

“Something about it being a hospital just really freaks me out. You can also choose if you want the scarers to be able to touch you or not,” she said. “We look forward to when spooky season rolls around, and we just love the thrill of going to these places.”

Other haunted attractions opened their doors in September including Haunted Hollow in Ogden, Night Stalkers Haunted Trail in West Jordan and Strangling Bros Haunted Circus in American Fork.

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