If you love the chills and thrills of Halloween, read on to discover what our TX. writers have to say about some of the most creep-tastic attractions in the Top of Utah.
Whether you are going on a date, with your friends, or with your family, these Halloween haunts are sure to give you the heebie-jeebies. Prepare to be tangled in nets, lost, alone, hindered by obstacles or chased by chain saw-wielding psychos.
Here are our annual TX. O'Scares awards for 2011.
Alyssa Roberts, Davis High School
Carnival of Chaos
Best face-painting skills: They give you 3-D glasses for the Castle of Chaos haunted house at this Riverdale attraction, and mixed with the black lights, the faces of the people inside get kinda freaky.
Creepiest use of nets: In the 7 Deadly Sins haunted house, one of the rooms has a maze of nets, and the man who represents one of the seven sins follows you around until you get out. It must have taken longer than five minutes for me and my friends to find our way out!
Greatest surprise ending: For Castle of Chaos. Too good to tell, so you'll just have to go see yourself.
Most chain saws: At the end of 7 Deadly Sins, the chain saw noises wouldn't stop. Every time we thought they would, they'd start up again right next to where we were -- scariest thing ever!
Best customer service: One of my friends lost his car keys in the haunted house, and the guy we talked to went in and found them in two minutes.
Minna Wang, NUAMES
Best theme: One of the haunted houses at Lagoon's Frightmares in Farmington is called Psycho Dave's Junkyard with old car parts, broken machines, scattered around trash and skeletons ... talk about creepy!
Best (or worst) use of jokes: All around the amusement park there are tombstones with funny names on them which tell jokes about those buried there. Some of them include Van Pyre, Izzy Gone, and many other jokes that are Laffy Taffy-type humor. They are really cheesy, but depending on your sense of humor they might actually make you laugh!
Best music: The Lagoon entertainment team does two shows after dark. First, the group hosts "Scream," a musical show in which the singers sing popular music in elaborate costumes. Then the "Monsters Classics" show includes actors dressing up like monsters and singing the Halloween favorite, "The Monster Mash." The singers were really good, and their act seemed to be planned out very well.
Weirdest costumes: All around the park there were employees dressed up in bizarre costumes. First I saw a character that had on an 8-foot tall gorilla-type costume. An evil scientist passed by, along with a witch and many others; they were really cool!
Funniest attractions: In the corner by the go-cart track, surrounded by tall trees, we saw a crowd around a gargoyle statue that stood behind opened curtains. It looked like a normal statue -- until suddenly it jumped out and scared all the people in the crowd! Everybody stayed one more time to watch for an unsuspecting person to walk by and fall for it.
Most decorations used: After looking around Frightmares, I realized that there were Halloween decorations everywhere! There was hay scattered all around the gardens and fake spider webs in corners. Skeletons stood in every direction, and hearses were lit up with bright lights and were spewing smoke. It surprised me how much effort the park spent on tons of small and tiny details to make this attraction look great for the Halloween season.
Nathan Beeston, Syracuse High School
Black Island Farms
Best seating: Actual haystacks were used as seating for anyone who needed time to prepare themselves for the haunted house at this attraction in Syracuse, or for those who were waiting for their heartbeat to go down.
Most confusing greeter: The greeter of the haunted house was dressed as an aged cowgirl; however, her "accent" was British. What she was going for exactly none of us could understand. We spent more time making fun of her than being scared like you should be when waiting in line for a haunted house.
Best obstacles: When going through the haunted house you encounter a number of creepy obstacles, such as claustrophobic tunnels, that seem to close their grip on you as you walk forward toward the light. You must also go one by one so it's even scarier to be lost and alone.
Scariest chain saws: Even waiting in line for the haunted house you would hear people screaming and could see them running out of Nightmare Acres, the haunted corn maze, being chased by zombie-like people with huge roaring chain saws that hit the floor as they came closer and closer.
Best nighttime corn maze: If haunted houses aren't your thing -- which is the case for a lot of people -- Black Island Farms also offers three different corn mazes open at dark. The funniest part is they're shaped off of the characters from "Twilight"; what's better than finding your way through a dark Edward head?
Danielle Collier, Northridge High School
Best waiting-in-line movie: This attraction in West Haven plays a lot of scary Halloween films for folks waiting to get in. One great one is "Young Frankenstein"; Devin Savage, a student at Ogden High School, says, "Gene Wilder is a comedic king of acting, and Mel Brooks is one of the greatest men alive."
Best fire hazard: Imagine a huge flamethrower pointed at you. Now imagine a huge flamethrower pointed at you in a very small, very hot room while you're trying to walk past it. The result is awesome and scary at the same time.
Best pontoon bridge: Crossing over the dark and menacing swamp-like river on a small, rotting bridge brings to life those creepy scenes from "Indiana Jones" and some sick fear of the backwoods.
Muddiest walk-through: No surprise with the river being so high this year that the ground is left disgustingly muddy. But the muddy walk through the Haunted Hollow added to the eerie atmosphere. Add it to the pontoon bridge stated above, and it's even creepier.
Scariest inside of a balloon: It sounds odd, but the "Fear of Small Spaces" tunnel lives up to the title. As you walk through the narrow corridor, the walls deflate around you until there is barely enough room to breathe! If you finally escape the claustrophobic nightmare, someone screams "Happy Birthday" at you, adding to the aura of scary weird-ness.
From interviews conducted by Zoe Fetters, Bonneville High School