In 2013, I presented my first batch of fun awards to area haunted houses. Unique categories were created with the intent that, once awarded, the category would be retired unless a new haunt stepped up to win. The idea was to prevent a haunt from winning for the same thing over and over.

For 2014, I created several new awards, and even a new survey to let DMHH visitors vote on the haunted houses in various subjective categories ("DMHH Victim's Choice" Awards).

And now it's time to do it again...

2015 DMHH Awards

Details

Best Dirty Trick

Ames Haunted Forest builds new scenes every year. In 2015, they added a checkerboard room, illuminated entirely by strobe lights. This made it very disorienting. They also camouflaged the exit door, which would have been tricky to find under normal lighting. So they put a clown there, too, so he could help victims find a way out. Classy.

Best Dirty Trick - Runner Up

Freak Show was a brand new attraction in 2015, so no one knew what to expect. Even those who thought they knew what to expect probably didn’t expect that popping those balloons hanging in a hallway under a sign that said ‘Do Not Pop Balloons’ would cover them with glitter. Now THAT is a dirty trick. That stuff lasts forever!

Most Expanded

In 2015, the Ankeny Haunted Barn bought the former Slaughterhouse haunted house. They had enough wall panels and props to create a second attraction, but instead, they decided to just expand their original haunt. Instead of running down a hallway to freedom, as in years past, this year, victims ran straight into … another haunt! Nice.

Most Liked

You don’t become one of the largest Halloween attractions in the Midwest without having plenty of fans. In 2015, Sleepy Hollow Sports Park ended up with more fans willing to ‘Like’ their page on Facebook than any other area haunt. In fact, they had more than double of any other. I bet they ‘like’ that…

DMHH Victim's Choice

We asked you to tell us which haunts you visited this year, and then pick your favorite one from several categories. The more haunts you experienced, the more your vote would count (since you had more to compare with). Here are the questions we asked, and the results of our second annual non-scientific survey.

SCARIEST: First, which haunted house did you think was the "scariest"? (Not the overall best, but the one that scared you or startled you the most.)

Scariest - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Scariest Runner Up - Ames Haunted Forest, Chaos, and Freak Show (3 way tie)

FUNNEST: Second, which haunted attraction did you think was the "funnest"? (Again, not overall "best", but the one you had the most fun going through.)

Funnest - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Funnest Runner Up - Twisted Tales

COOLEST: Third, which haunted attraction did you think was the "coolest"? (For instance, best sound, coolest sets, neatest special effects -- regardless of if it was scary or not, or expensive or cheap.)

Coolest - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Coolest Runner Up - Zombie Hollow

BEST VALUE: Fourth, which haunted attraction did you think was the "best value" for the ticket price? (For example, you might think a $5 haunt was great for the price, even if it wasn't anywhere as good as a $20 haunt you visited. Or, you may find a $16 haunt disappointing, but would have loved it if it was $10.)

Best Value - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Best Value Runner Up - Zombie Hollow

OVERALL BEST: Fifth, which haunted attraction did you think was the overall "best"? (For whatever reason - maybe it had the coolest special effects even if it wasn't scary, or it was the longest -- the one YOU personally liked the most.)

Overall Best - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Overall Best Runner Up - Zombie Hollow

ONLY ONE: And finally, for whatever reason (most fun, scariest, best for the money), if you had only gotten to choose just ONE haunted attraction to attend this year, which ONE would it have been?

Only One - Linn's Supermarket Haunted House

Only One Runner Up - Ames Haunted Forest and Zombie Hollow (2 way tie)

For 2016, if a past winner of category has no challengers the next year, that category will be retired. This will keep the same haunt from winning the same category over and over.