With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to be afraid...very afraid. Like jump-out-of-your-skin spooked, scared silly or, if you're the timid type, slightly chilled and thrilled. Metro Denver is full of haunted attractions, and there's something to satisfy every grownup ghoul and boy at these eight spooky spots.
3400 East 52nd Avenue
This haunted house has scared the pants off Coloradans for years, and in 2019 there are three attractions in one place to get the job done. Get ready for Clown, Tales of the Unknown and The Other Side, all aimed to bring out your darkest fears; for added ghoulish fun, you'll find Class Axe Throws and Sensory Overload in Complete Darkness. And there's a Shriekeasy Bar, of course. The 13th Floor is open from 7 p.m. to midnight most days now through November 9; prices start at $29.99 for the three main attractions, with others requiring an added fee. Find the complete schedule and more information here.
City of the Dead
7007 East 88th Avenue
They're coming for you, Barbara. Get a taste of the living dead in this action-packed, dark and suspenseful haunted house full of zombies. In this city, the streets are packed with the dirty and decayed, who all seem to want to bite you and/or eat your brains. For respite, you can visit a freaky flea market! Admission starts at $19.99; the fright shows are open daily through November 2, save for a blackout date on October 14. Times are 7 p.m. to midnight Friday through Saturday and 7:30 to 10 p.m. the rest of the week. Get all the gory details here.
Day of Defiance
6100 East 39th Avenue
Mixing the fun of a haunted house with the logistics of an escape room and a little video game-like action, this zombie shooting range is a bloodthirsty thrill. Using a real gun pumped up with non-lethal ammunition, you shoot at real zombies (aka actors) thumping around the course. But before you get to pretend you're on the set of the Walking Dead, the national company that organizes Day of Defiance also promotes gun safety and teaches tactical training. Each participant (ages 13 to 17 must have an adult companion) is given fifteen minutes to run the course and can choose from three types of guns. Prices start at $40; Day of Defiance is open Wednesday through Sunday from 6 to 9:45 p.m. Find out more here.
Dead Zone Scream Park
Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
8500 Deer Creek Canyon, Littleton
The Denver Botanic Gardens isn't all about tiptoeing through tulips and sniffing roses. In the fall, the Chatfield Farms outpost boasts the Dead Zone Scream Park, which comprises the Corn Stalkers Haunted Maze, a natural space full of nightmare scenes you can barely see as you stumble through the dried corn, and the After Dark Maze, which doesn't have any added devils but is still pitch-black, making it hard to find your bearings and make your way through. And if you don't want to get too scared but still want to visit the venue for Halloween, take in one of the Fear Flicks screenings right there on the farm. Fair warning: No costumes or masks allowed for ages thirteen and older. Tickets start at $28; activities run through October 27 from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays. Grab more ghoulish info here.
The Frightmare Compound
10798 Yukon Street, Westminster
For 35 years, Brad Holder's haunted house in Westminster has attracted the hordes, who want to see what gruesome things might be lurking within the decrepit (but solid) walls. This year, you'll be spooked by the House of Darkness, where sinister clowns lurk. There are also special Lights Out nights on November 1 and 2, when you can enter the premises without a spark of hope or any other illumination. The Frightmare Compound opens at 7 p.m. every day and closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, at midnight Friday and Saturday. Tickets start at $29.99; find out more here.
Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens
2000 Elitch Circle
Once the water park closes and the nights get longer, Elitch Gardens starts hosting its annual Fright Fest, an extravaganza of haunted attractions. The Enigma starts at 6 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and includes live shows, the haunted house No Vacancy, a spooky experience called Séance, the Big Top Freaks haunted house and roaming terrors. Visit now through November 2; prices vary on what you want to add to basic admission, which starts at $39.99. Get more details here.
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Haunted Field of Screams
10451 McKay Road, Thornton
Shout as loud as you can — no one will hear you. That is, no one save for the other horror-seekers wandering through this 35-acre cornfield. Expect creepy clowns, ghosts, zombies and other frightening figures to jump out, scaring the living daylights out of you. The ticket price includes Condemned, a house of ghouls; CarnEvil, a deadly circus troop; and Zombie Paintball Massacre, as well as Dead Man's Maze, the field where it all starts and hopefully won't all end. Doors open at sundown, and prices start at $44.99; the attraction is open Thursday through Sunday through November 2 — from sunset until the park closes at 10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and till midnight Friday and Saturday. Learn more here.
Spookadelia at Spectra Art Space
1836 South Broadway
And now for something completely different: This psychedelic installation blends the ethos of Meow Wolf with a haunted house. Think otherworldly planes, a bit of Purgatory and mind-bending rooms exploring the human psyche. It's haunting and thoughtful, but also tame enough for kids to enjoy. The attraction was created by local artists, including Lexi Lund & The PussayHaus collective (creators of Natura Obscura), DAS (part of the Denver Meow Wolf team) and the Spectra crew. Also look for live performances by Kayla Smith, who has worked with Adams Mystery Playhouse and Fearless Theatre. All tickets, which start at $5, are timed and cover one hour of exploration. It's open Tuesday through Sunday through November 3; learn more at the Spookadelia website, or call 720-535-7244.
For a walk on the mild side, see our list of the Great Pumpkin Patches of 2019.