It's that time of year when people do crazy things—like trying to find the scariest haunted house in an attempt to scare the crap out of themselves. I'll admit right off the bat that I do love a good spook house and an even better scare, and we sure have great ones in Utah. I remember years ago, I had a party right around the time we dinosaurs got the ability to print photos off this new thing call the internet. I researched creepy-looking human anomalies and odd heterosexual things and put photos of them up in my basement under a black light. The Halloween guests could be heard yelling "Gross!" and "Ew!" which made my heart sing, especially since everyone at the party was from the LGBTQ community.
I'm a fan of Nightmare on 13th, 320 W. 1300 South, and Frightmares at Lagoon in Farmington. Nightmare traps you for 45 minutes with tactile, visual and audio displays that are truly Disney-esque. You either lead a pack of friends through the rooms and mazes or linger behind in hopes you won't get shocked or chainsawed first. Frightmares, on the other hand, is a different experience because you can go to Lagoon during the day and work your way into the nighttime scares. The rides are open and the place is decorated to the nines with pumpkins and wandering ghouls. There's the Malevolent Mansion, a haunted Pioneer Village way back in the dark section of the park, a non-scary straw maze for kids and—new this year—séances. It's a fully immersive haunted experience. Tickets are in addition to a Lagoon day pass, and showtimes are hourly. There also are haunted houses for adults and kids. Youngsters who are frightened easily can purchase a $1 glow stick, which alerts haunted house employees they shouldn't be spooked. They can also enter "no-scare" zones. In addition, the park doesn't allow visitors to wear makeup, masks or costumes.
As a side note, Lagoon is opening a biergarten next year. They've had beer-sales permits for years but this will be the first time the park has sold alcohol since 1979. They've allowed beer trucks to park at the RV campground during some holidays and when special groups rent the area. The park began as a swimming area and dance hall and, once upon a time, had quite the saloon. Now, we'll get to experience a biergarten with steins of local and imported cold brews and beer foods. Beer, served in glass mugs, won't be allowed outside the garten area. But just imagine a Frightmares' biergarten next year!