Last Updated: 9/9/2022
Greetings. My name is Allen. Many years ago, some friends and I tried to make plans to visit some Halloween haunted houses around Des Moines. We were unable to find any kind of complete listing of all operating houses. The local Des Moines Register newspaper (and various free newstand publications like Cityview, Datebook, and DMJuice) each had articles, but none listed every haunted attraction in the area.
We were surprised that it was so difficult to find information on these seasonal events. Why was there not a website listing them?
The same thing happened the following years, and by 2010, the situation seemed to have gotten worse! Two of the main newspaper articles discussing “what to do for Halloween” listed a few of the houses, but as we found out after Halloween, a number of other houses were omitted completely, including two of the longest running and well established haunts in town!
With that in mind, I finally decided to put up this site. I hope to proactively collect information on all these haunted events, whether they be commercial, backyard, church “hell houses”, or anything else.
This website first went online in 2010, and greatly expanded in 2012 with a calendar, map and haunted house database. That year we saw over12,000 visitors in October (including one day with over 1000 visitors). By the 2014 season, we were seeing over 1000 visits in a day just one week in to October, and our Facebook page had over 2100 Likes. By September 2015, that number was over 2600, and over 1300 unique visitors to the website by the second weekend in October. In 2016, Facebook had over 2800 Likes, and there were over 1700 unique visitors to the website the weekend before Halloween. In 2018 we’d passed 5000 Likes. I think I see a trend…
In 2020, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the site, it received a complete facelift and all-new directory system. (Of course, that year COVID happened and many haunts did not operate, trick-or-treating was cancelled, etc. What perfect timing to spend a bunch of money on a website project!)
As the 2022 season approaches, we are all hoping for a more normal October.
Stay tuned… And, if you run an event, be sure to drop me a note. I’d like to talk with you!
— Allen, webmaster@DMHauntedHouses.com