Now that it’s finally October and Halloween is just around the corner, it’s time to get ready for every thrill-seeker’s favorite fall activity… haunted houses! Prepare to be scared out of your mind at these 10 awesome haunted houses in Iowa.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Scream Acres, Atkins
Scream Acres is a three-part haunted attraction that offers a haunted cornfield, a slaughterhouse themed scare area, and a new 2,800 sq. ft. carnival themed haunt. Scream Acres is open every Friday and Saturday night in October, and tickets can be purchased for $20 per person at the ticket booth, which is open from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m., although the haunting doesn't officially start until 7 p.m. To go through all three attractions, it usually takes about 25-40 minutes.
2. Haunted Carter Farms, Princeton
Haunted Carter Farms offers a haunted corn maze consisting of 4 acres of twisting paths and haunted corn. They also offer a 3-D indoor maze, and zombie laser tag. The zombie laser tag is offered from 7 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night in October for a cost of $8, and the mazes are open every Friday and Saturday night in October from 7 to 10:30 p.m., for a cost of $12 per person. They offer military discounts, canned food discounts, and they have family nights and college nights.
3. Gateway of Chaos, Malvern
Gateway of Chaos offers one of the best scares in the state, and all the proceeds go to local charities and the Malvern Area Betterment Association - scaring is caring! The Gateway is open October 3, 10, 17, 23, 24, and 30. The line opens at 7 p.m. and the scaring starts at 8 p.m., ending around 11 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, or $15 for a fast pass, and they do offer discounts for canned food items.
4. The Haunted Forest, Ames
The Haunted Forest in Ames offers a full thirty minutes of fear-packed excitement and the scariest walk you'll take all year. Admission is $14 per person, but you can find coupons on their website. Their hours are October 9, 10, and 29 from 7 to 11 p.m.; Oct 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31 from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.; and Oct 18 and 25 from 7 to 10 p.m.
5. The Heart of Darkness, Waterloo
The Heart of Darkness in Waterloo is the ultimate haunted house experience, offering 10 different haunted areas, including: a mausoleum maze, 3-D haunted circus, haunted barn, coffin corridor, Darkhold Castle, and more. Plus, you can enjoy live music and food while you wait! Tickets are $15 per person, but they are cheaper if you buy them online, and they offer military discounts, family discounts, and kids nights. They are open during the month of October on Thursdays from 7 to 10 p.m., Fridays from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. They are open on Halloween from 7 to 10 p.m.
6. Scare Central, Sioux City
Scare Central in Sioux City offers two different scare complexes: The first is Nightmare on 4th Street, which offers over 5,000 sq. ft. of terror as you walk-through the dark attraction filled with terrifying live actors, amazing special effects, and incredible monsters. The second is the Fear Factory, which offers 4,500 sq. ft. of horror as you encounter flesh eating zombies as you roam the twisted corrid
Nightmare on 4th Street and the Fear Factory are both open weekends beginning September 25 and nightly starting October 29 through October 31, from 6:30 p.m. to 12:00 on Fridays and Saturdays and 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sundays. You can visit either haunted attraction for $9 per person, or see both for $15 per person.
7. Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park, Des Moines
Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park is one of the Midwest's best haunted theme parks, and they create an atmosphere like nothing else you will encounter. They offer many attractions, including: The Castle of Blood haunted house, zombie paintball, a freak show themed haunt, Nightmare Estates, a 3-D alien attack gallery, a fog maze and more. Plus, they have delicious food vendors if you get hungry and bonfires set up to keep you warm. They are open October 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, and 31 and there are several levels of ticket pricing depending on what you want to do. The park hours are 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays.
8. Thrashers House of Terror, Mount Pleasant
Thrashers House of Terror is open on October 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31. On Thursdays they're open from 6:30 to 10 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays they open at 6 p.m. On Halloween Night, they're open from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, or $15 per person for a fast pass.
9. Ultimate Haunted House, Pleasant Hill
Ultimate Haunted House is another great scare in Pleasant Hill. They are open October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and November 1. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets are $15 per person, or VIP tickets (where you get to skip the line) are available for $20. If you check out their website, they have coupons as well.
10. Zombie Hollow, Urbandale
Zombie Hollow, in Urbandale, is less of a haunted house and more of a yard haunt. This is a great, family-friendly haunted house where you can take the kids to see a dazzling show without having to walk through pitch black rooms and be grabbed. Admission is free, and they are open on Friday October 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
What are some more truly terrifying haunted houses in Iowa to visit? Share them with us!