2017 Haunted Houses

Featured Haunts: Circus of Freaks & Linn's Haunted House (websites hosted here) and The Slaughterhouse (they’re back!).
The Slaughterhouse
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Here are all the haunted houses we have heard about, so far. The descriptions initially come from the haunt operators (or their websites), but as we go through the attractions, we will try to revise them to reflect what they actually consist of. “The worst of humanity” doesn't give much information -- chainsaw killers? politicians? We will try to keep spoilers to a minimum. Events that have been specifically tagged as "Family Friendly" will not appear in this listing.

When visiting these haunts, please tell them you saw their listing on DMHauntedHouses.com.

Database:

Last Updated: 10/21/2017 3:35 PM

Name
THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE
Location
97 Indiana Ave, Des Moines IA 50314
Dates/Times
Oct 6-7, 13-15, 19-22 and 26-29, 2017. Fri/Sat: 7-Midnight. Other nights: 7-11.
Calendar
Fri-6, Sat-7, Fri-13, Sat-14, Sun-15, Thu-19, Fri-20, Sat-21, Sun-22, Thu-26, Fri-27, Sat-28, Sun-29
Theme
Pig slaughtering factory.
Short Desc
A tour through a meat processing plant.
Long Desc
Slaughterhouse previously operated from 2010-2013 in different temporary locations. It returns in 2017 in a new permanent home where they have constructed movie-style sets, similar to what you might see at Universal Studios. The haunt is themed around a meat processing plant that is letting you take a tour where you discover what is really going on. There are a number of gruesome scenes you pass, dark corridors, and startles along the way. Zombie Burger (downtown restaurant) is a sponsor with a special "The Slaughterhouse" burger, Firetrucker brewery beer called "The Slaughter", and a $2 off admission if you bring in a receipt. Free shuttle between Zombie Burger and the haunt on Friday and Saturday nights. Check out their website and read the highly detailed backstory of the Biggs clan and the "business" the descendents continue to operate. (They received the 2013 DMHH awards for BEST ACTORS, and BEST THEME.)
Duration
24 minutes
Actors
24-36
Admission
$20
Buy Tickets
www.dmhauntedhouses.com/redirects/slaughterhouse.shtml
Discounts
$18 using a $2 OFF coupon or coupon on a receipt from Zombie Burger. Coupons have been spotted at Casey's General Stores.
Category
Haunted House
Website
www.dmhauntedhouses.com/redirects/slaughterhouse.shtml
Facebook
www.dmhauntedhouses.com/redirects/slaughterhouse.shtml
Name
Ames Haunted Forest
Location
1470 S 4th St, Ames IA 50010
Directions
East of University Boulevard near Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium.
Dates/Times
Oct 13, 20-22 and 27-31, 2017. Opens at 7pm with various closing times.
Calendar
Fri-13, Fri-20, Sat-21, Sun-22, Fri-27, Sat-28, Sun-29, Mon-30, Tue-31
Theme
Phantom of the Bijou.
Short Desc
Various scenes through the forest.
Long Desc
19th year! This is a nice, long walk through a haunted forest which goes through a number of enclosed rooms along the way. Several dozen actors will try to scare you are at least creep you out along the way. People drive from hours away to visit the Haunted Forest each year, and lines can exceed THREE HOURS on peak nights. Go early in the season, or show up right at opening to avoid a potentially very long wait. In the past few years, they have had a food truck available. More details about 2017 added when I get to visit with them. (NOTE: Last year they saw some record breaking crowds - over 1200 on opening weekend! On peak weekends, the wait was 2-3 hours to get in. Go early in the season!)
Duration
15-30 minutes
Actors
25+
Admission
$15
Discounts
$14 using a $1 OFF coupon, printed from their website.
Category
Haunted Walk
Website
www.ameshauntedforest.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com/pages/Ames-Haunted-Forest/168825177811
Twitter
Haunted_Forest
Name
Circus of Freaks
Location
502 7th St, Bussey IA 50044
Dates/Times
Oct 7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and 31, 2017. 8pm-11pm.
Calendar
Sat-7, Fri-13, Sat-14, Fri-20, Sat-21, Fri-27, Sat-28, Tue-31
Theme
Klown Chaos
Short Desc
Klown Chaos.
Long Desc
They have access to more space this year, and have added 10 new scenes. It is in a building they have aquired, with temporary rooms made (using black plastic to separate them) like many haunts start out. They have ambitious plans to grow. From a DMHH visitor report, it takes about fiteen minutes to go through.
Duration
15 minutes (reported by DMHH visitor).
Actors
40-43
Admission
$5
Category
Haunted House
Website
www.circusoffreaks.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com/BusseyHauntedHouse
Name
Escape Haunted House
Location
102 W Main St, Marshalltown IA 50158
Directions
Downtown Marshalltown. (Across the street from where Purple Cherry used to be.)
Dates/Times
Oct 12-15, 19-22, and 26-31, 2017. 7pm-10pm.
Calendar
Thu-12, Fri-13, Sat-14, Sun-15, Thu-19, Fri-20, Sat-21, Sun-22, Thu-26, Fri-27, Sat-28, Sun-29, Mon-30, Tue-31
Long Desc
Details coming... 10+ to enter.
Duration
5-7 minutes (expected).
Actors
10
Admission
$13
Category
Haunted House
Facebook
www.facebook.com/Escape-Haunted-House-marshalltown-1233642476751136/
Name
Haunting of Fright Manor (Home Haunt)
Location
4102 138th St, Urbandale IA 50323
Directions
Located on the west side of Caboose Park at First and Willis.
Dates/Times
Oct 20, 28, 30-31. 6:30pm-9:30pm.
Calendar
Fri-20, Sat-28, Mon-30, Tue-31
Short Desc
Cool walkthru scenes in a garage.
Long Desc
Home haunt packed in a large garage. In 2016, it had a number of rooms with animated props and sounds. It looked very cool with lots of things to look at as you pass through. This one is kid-friendly - they won't be trying to scare you. (They formerly did a home haunt in Kasnas City, but moved to Des Moines last year and started it up here.) I am hoping to get a preview soon so check back next week for more details.
Duration
Explore at your own pace.
Actors
1 (mostly automated props)
Admission
Free, Donations accepted for Animal Rescue Leage of Iowa (food, bedding, monetary donations).
Category
Home Haunt
Facebook
www.facebook.com/urbandalefrightmanor
Name
Linn's Haunted House
Location
3805 6th Ave, Des Moines IA 50313
Directions
Located at Linn's Supermarket.
Dates/Times
Sep 29-30, Oct 6-7, 13-14, 20-31, 2017. Fri/Sat: 7-Midnight. Other nights: 7-10.
Calendar
Fri-9/29, Sat-9/30, Fri-6, Sat-7, Fri-13, Sat-14, Fri-20, Sat-21, Sun-22, Mon-23, Tue-24, Wed-25, Thu-26, Fri-27, Sat-28, Sun-29, Mon-30, Tue-31
Short Desc
Des Moines' oldest haunt.
Long Desc
The oldest (and most unique) haunt in town, as well as the longest and lowest priced. This one has been a fun favorite for two generations as kids who grew up going to it now bring their kids. It is a classic haunted house, focusing more on pitch black areas and starrles rather than blood and gore. There are many areas of complete darkness, and several long crawls you must do (which cannot be bypassed). It has been voted the top haunted house in Des Moines by readers of Cityview, and won almost every award voted on by this website. People drive from hours away to go through this each year. It's kind of a retro haunted house at this point. (Video interview.)
Duration
10-20 minutes
Actors
25-30.
Admission
$15
Discounts
$10 using a $5 OFF coupon for Sep 29-30 and 6-7. Coupons have been spotted at Casey's General Stores. Every paid admission gets a FREE BOWLING PASS from Plaza Lanes, too!
Category
Haunted House
Website
www.linnshauntedhouse.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com/linnshauntedhouse
Twitter
HauntedLinns
Name
Panora Haunted Tower of Terror
Location
607 E Market St, Panora IA 50216
Dates/Times
Oct 20-21, 27-28 and 31, 2017. 7pm-11pm
Calendar
Fri-20, Sat-21, Fri-27, Sat-28, Tue-31
Short Desc
Three story haunted house.
Long Desc
A three story haunted house within an hour from Des Moines. It is put on by the Panora Fire Department. There will be areas with stairs and crawling. Children under 13 not allowed without parent.
Duration
15-20 minutes
Actors
30
Admission
$10
Category
Haunted House
Facebook
www.facebook.com/panorafd
Name
Perry Firefighters Assc. Haunted Barn
Location
1st. St. and Willis Ave, Perry IA 50220
Dates/Times
Oct 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28, 2017. 7pm-11pm.
Calendar
Fri-13, Sat-14, Fri-20, Sat-21, Fri-27, Sat-28
Long Desc
"...the Perry Fire Association's Haunted Barn will be held on October 13th & 14th, October 20th & 21st, and October 27th & 28th from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. each night. The cost is $5 per person. The Haunted Barn is located in the Perry Marketplace at the corner of 1st Street and Willis Avenue."
Admission
$5
Category
Haunted House
Facebook
www.facebook.com/groups/124169191310088/
Name
Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park
Location
4051 Dean Ave, Des Moines IA 50313
Directions
East of the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Dates/Times
Oct 7, 13-14, 19-22, 26-29 and 31st, 2017. Opens at 6:45 and close at 10:30 on Fri/Sat, and 8:30 on other nights.
Calendar
Fri-6, Sat-7, Fri-13, Sat-14, Thu-19, Fri-20, Sat-21, Sun-22, Thu-26, Fri-27, Sat-28, Sun-29, Tue-31
Theme
Halloween theme park.
Short Desc
Multiple haunts for one ticket price.
Long Desc
Three haunted houses, two haunted walks, zombie paintball shoot bus ride, and more for one ticket price. They originally started with one small haunted house around 1995, and now have grown in to the largest haunted "scream park" around. Though the individual haunts can be very short and may only have a few actors in them, they are enhanced with theatrical sound and lighting (and many high-tech effects, from moving props to videos and projections). It is held in the Old English style village that Sleepy Hollow uses for their new Renaissance Faire (and formerly the Des Moines Renaissance Faire). There are usually food and drink shops open. In the past, there have been huge lines just to buy tickets and get in (even with 4-6 ticket windows open), but in the last two years they have moved more to online ticket sales. This gets you a discount, and lets you skip a one-hour line just to get in. Lines inside the scream park often get very long by the second weekend, but they started doing timed tickets last year (you get a window of time you can show up and go through everything) which cut down on the lines. Be smart and buy in advance online - save money, save time at the front gate, and save time in line. Go early in the season and you can get in and out in an hour or so. Thursdays and Sundays can have almost no waits, but Fridays and Saturdays after the second weekend usually have huge crowds.
Duration
Some haunts are less than 2 minutes, and some closer to 10. On busy nights, expect to spend all evevning to go through everything.
Actors
The scream park features a cast of nearly 100 (5+ in haunted houses. 20-26 for Zombie bus ride).
Admission
$30 Park Pass, $25 Pick Three. Ticket allows access to the scream park ALL EVENING to do the bonus attractions, but will have a 2-hour window for going through the 6 main attractions.
Buy Tickets
sleepyhollowscreampark.com/tickets/
Discounts
Buy in advance online for discounted pricing.
Category
Food, Haunted House, Haunted Walk, Maze, Snacks
Website
www.sleepyhollowscreampark.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com/sleepyhollowhauntedscreampark
Name
Trail of Terror
Location
Ashton-Wildwood County Park, Mingo IA 50168
Directions
From 330, exit towards Baxter. On F17, turn right on the first road. Go just past the church with the cemetary (really!) and follow the road all the way back...
Dates/Times
Oct 20 and 27-28, 2017. 7:30-10:30.
Calendar
Fri-20, Fri-27, Sat-28
Theme
Haunted trail.
Short Desc
3/4 mile haunted trail.
Long Desc
(NOT OPEN SATURDAY 10/21 DUE TO WEATHER.) 2017 will be the third year for this fundraiser for Baxter Fun Days. It is a 3/4 mile trek through a nature trail with many various scenes and around 40 volunteer actors trying to scare you. It is easily the longest haunt in the area, taking almost half an hour to walk through. There are many steps along the way, so be prepared for a real workout. Wear comfortable clothes and good hiking shoes. This one is well worth checking out, but show up early. They have limited hours they can operate, and must be shut down promptly at 10:30pm. (Nearby business Greencastle Tavern is offering a 1/2 price drink if you bring in your Trail of Terror ticket stub, which also registers you for a drawing to win a $200 Busch Light smoker.)
Duration
25-30 minutes.
Actors
30-40
Admission
$10
Category
Haunted Walk
Website
www.baxterfundays.com/trail-of-terror
Facebook
www.facebook.com/Trail-of-Terror-308088989656509/
Name
Waukee Haunted House
Location
Centennial Park, Waukee IA 50263
Directions
Centennial Park enclosed shelter.
Dates/Times
Oct 27-28, 2017. 7pm-10pm.
Calendar
Sat-28, Sun-29
Short Desc
4-5 minute guided tour.
Long Desc
Unlike other haunts, this one is guided. A group of up to 6 will be walked through the haunted house. The tour is expected to take 4-5 minutes. This means the line will move VERY slow, so show up early to avoid an hour+ wait. (If it takes 5 minutes, and every group is 6 people, only 12 groups can go through per hour. If it takes 4 minutes, that's 15 groups per hour. If some groups are smaller, it will take even longer. You will be able to count the number of people in line ahead of you and estimate how long it will take.)
Duration
4-5 minutes.
Actors
10-15
Admission
$5
Discounts
$4 if you bring three non-perishable donations for the Waukee Area Food Pantry.
Category
Haunted House
Website
www.waukee.org/475/Halloween-Haunted-House
Name
Spooktacular Nights Haunted House
Location
600 Blk of 5th Ave SE, Clarion IA 50525
Dates/Times
Oct 20-21, 27-28 and 31, 2017. 7-10:30 (7-9 on Halloween night.)
Calendar
Fri-20, Sat-21, Fri-27, Sat-28, Tue-31
Long Desc
Children under 12 not admitted without a guardian.
Admission
$10
Discounts
$8 using $2 OFF coupon. (From where?)
Category
Haunted House
Website
www.clarioniowa.com/spooktacular-nights
Facebook
www.facebook.com/hauntedhouseclarioniowa

See also: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Other Indexes

We believe in cross promotion, so here are other family-friendly Halloween indexes we have found. DMHH is not responsible for the accuracy of information on these sites, but we will at least try to point out major omissions if we notice them. (Visitors beware: the national sites often list defunct attractions or have incorrect information. Always verify a haunt actually exists before driving out.)

List updated on 10/11/2017:

Local Coverage:

National Sites:

Most of these sites seem to only list haunts that submit their information and/or pay them money, so they are usually very inaccurate or missing tons of information.