Scream and Scream Again

You know, you just can’t walk out on the street these days without bumping into a zombie or two. With half the city getting zombie makeup tips from professionals or suiting up in Thriller costumes for a future flash dance on the 16th Street Mall (and what local bar of ill repute isn’t hosting a zombie wedding or two this season?), the wonderful proliferation of haunted houses opened up for business around town almost seems like an afterthought. But think twice, and look behind you as you proceed: The haunted house, with its de rigueur blood-soaked live actors, spooky sound effects, pop-up scream-inducing shockers ’round every bend and general mayhem on a theme, is a Halloween tradition that’s not ready to die. Ever.

There are many haunted houses in the region (and you can find most of them at; here are a but a couple: The 13th Floor, 6100 East 39th Avenue, is a relatively new attraction and one of the few you’ll find officially within Denver’s city limits; its debut last year prompted Hauntworld Magazine to name it 25th in the nation on a 2009 America’s Best Haunted Houses list. Here’s why: Nine years in the making, the 13th Floor location is said to be actually haunted, not just play-act haunted, and features an elevator ride to hell, where unexpected denizens wander the halls, as well as a second hillbilly-themed attraction, the Blood Shed, which is included in the admission charge of $20. And its kissin’ cousin, the Asylum, on the other hand, is a tried, true and ever-improving local classic. Located at Boondocks Fun Center, I-25 and 120th Avenue in Northglenn, the Asylum is one of the area’s largest — and most timeless — houses, featuring a multitude of turn-of-the-century straitjacketed whackos who run the place, offering lobotomies and shock therapy to anyone they can grab. Or something like that. Tickets are $15.

Both haunted attractions are open from 7 to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 7 p.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday, through November 1; get information and reservations for these and a variety of other scare-rooms around town at or call 303-355-FEAR.
Mondays-Thursdays, Sundays, 7-10 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 7-midnight. Starts: Oct. 1. Continues through Oct. 31, 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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