Six Denver haunts that will scare the yell out of you
The leaves tremble on the trees, knowing they, too soon, have to fall to the earth.
John Abramson Photography City of the Dead indeed.
Trembling is appropriate these days. It's October, and the leaves know what comes up from the ground in October. Ghouls, ghasts, wights and other wickeds rise with the night and inhabit the dark corners and abandoned homes, hungry for human victims. Which is exactly why it's time to hit one of Denver's top haunts. Here's our list of the six best
The Field of Corpses
13251 West 64th Avenue, Arvada
Something's come up from the wheat and the weeds out in Arvada. Or is pulling itself up. Neighbors report sightings of children wandering about in the field, and links to the White family, all victims of mysterious deaths, abound. This three-acre, indoor-outdoor arena de scare keeps popping up each year as the place to lose something -- sanity, maybe. Nerve. The chills last a half-hour -- as long as you're running in the right direction.
Open Thursdays through Sundays through October 31. Tickets are $16, cash only; $25 for VIP entrance. Find a $1 off weekday attendance coupon here; we hear there are also some super-special Rockstar cans with $2 off deals floating about the marketplace.
The 13th Floor
4120 Brighton Boulevard
Otis Elevators estimates that 85 percent of the buildings operating with their elevators do not have a 13th floor. Certain buildings use 12A, 14A or M and simply avoid use of the number; others allow entry only from freight elevators. The 13th Floor Haunted House's website suggests the hidden floor they've gained access to is "a subterranean storage facility of the unexplained. It houses artifacts [..] deemed not acceptable in the modern world, items with supernatural powers, [..] fantastical creatures and animals of both the mammal and reptile variety, and portals to mysterious worlds."
The organizers will also toss you through the Undead Haunted House before you ascend to this floor, and if you make it out and are the 113th hauntee of the day, you get the cost of general admission back.
Open pretty much all the time between now and Halloween; find the extensive calendar here. Tickets are $25 for GA, $35 for Fastpass, and $45 for immediate-walk-straight-in-access; buy tickets here..
The 13th Door
The intersection of I-225 and Parker Road, Aurora
You've heard the whispers: "You mean the 13th Floor?" No, the 13th Door, the only door from which you can escape this hotel, according to the now-ghoulish Robert "Bones" Benifield, who haunts the place. The host's legend has it that J. Barrington, a millionaire, hosted an All Hallows gala each year -- until the year his nephew Andrew came seeking aid. The young man was deep in gambler's debt and his uncle, "more Scrooge than benefactor, refused his pleadings and had [him] thrown out." Hell hath no fury like a gambling debt ignored, yes? It was swift to the knife and the arson for young Andy Barrington. Light the fire, lock the doors, and disappear into the night, accompanied only by the echoes of screaming victims. The remains are left to you.
The season runs through November 2; the 13th Door is open from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays, 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $21, or $20 if you bring a canned food donation; $25 VIP. Combo tickets -- which include admittance to Curse of Slaughterhouse Gulch (Haunted House) and The Black Hole (a 45' Tunnel Ride) -- are $25 GA $35 VIP. Buy tickets here or any Front Range King Soopers.
City of the Dead/Carnival of Carnage
I-76 and 88th Avenue
"Built on one premise: Pure Fear...where Zombies live like people but their city shops and streets take a much more twisted turn." according to the City of the Dead website. Folks compare the haunting to a high-end movie set: two-story buildings built within the Mile High Flea Market, with upturned cars and incredible undead make-up among the sights. Chock on the coveted Best Chainsaw award by Native Gorilla last year and blazow, horror magic. Plus, it's a double event:
The Carnival of Carnage or, if you prefer the Spanish, Carnaval de Carniceria (which conjures up images of hung pigs and swinging hooks and slabs of red red meat), is the place for "carnival-style games," "twisted drinks," and arcade games on open play. Sounds the perfect kickstart to a trek through haunted streets, no?
1946 Market St., Denver, CO