Fan-favorite Club Blood is back again, at least in name. The previous Club Blood was an all-ages “silent disco” attraction at Sleepy Hollow Sports park. It was decorated with hand-painted floor-to-ceiling banners of classic horror movie icons in different poses. (The wonderful work of their staff artist and set decorator, Tina.)
This year, Des Moines gets Club Blood again, but it will be an bar at Adventureland’s Phantom Fall Feast. Those of you who know area haunt history may recall that a former general manager of Sleepy Hollow went to for work Adventureland, but it is unlikely this had anything to do with them using the name (he left just before the park was sold to Palace Entertainment a few years ago). The naming of Club Blood is likely just a coincidence (Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun also featured a Club Blood scene in its vampire haunted house, if I recall).
But who knows. Sleepy Hollow always used the phrase “All night fright” in its TV ads (I made many of those TV ads over the years), and last year Adventureland started using “Fright all night.” After Club Blood this year, maybe we’ll see the amusement park add Blazing Jack-o-Lanterns or something next year 😉
When Adventureland di their first Halloween event in 2018, they made it an adults-only 21+ event at the hotel. There was nudity (from a movie playing on the wall of the banquet area) and some profanity, but it was mostly just a fun party environment without “those pesky kids.” It was really a nice event, but that was the only year it happened.
In 2022, the new owners of Adventureland, Palace Entertainment/Parques Reunidos (Madrid, Spain), started up the Phanton Fall Fest event. Much like Sleepy Hollow, this event would have one admission price that allowed access to multiple haunted houses. One haunt was an upcharge and not included with the ticket price.
The haunts open in the evening, but the park is open during the day and all ages can show up and ride and eat all day.
If you are looking for good “starter” haunted houses for very young kids, this is the one to consider. Some of the comments from last year:
“My daughter went to fall fest, did all the haunts, and loved it. She was five last season.”
“Our girls were 7 and 6 last year for Fall Fest and they loved it.”
“Fall fest has a family atmosphere during the day and a scary creepy atmosphere after dark. Even when the scare actors come out in the evening, before dark they are wonderful with the little ones.”
“Last year my 3yo and 6yo did fall fest (all the haunted houses except the Alice in wonderland one). They loved every bit of it and can’t wait for this year.” (*Alice in Wonderland is the one that is the add-on cost, FYI.)
“took my almost 11 yr old son last year and it was his first haunted event snd he loved it. It was the perfect level of spooky for him. We love watching ghost hunting shows but he still gets scared to watch movies. So for him to enjoy this with me who loves the darker side of things I was absolutely elated! He super excited to go this year. We have season passes.”
So it looks like it’s a great place to take the little kids. But maybe not too little:
“Evening is not for toddlers. In my opinion. My son was 7 and he was a little scared when it got dark.”
These comments line up with others I heard last year, so unless they change directions, this is the haunt to consider if you have some preschool or elementary aged kids that want to get started visiting haunted houses.
Linn’s Haunted House has been operating since 1984. I’ve visited when three generations were all attending together (grandparent, parent and offspring). It is a Des Moines institution.
In 2016, Merlyn Linn “retired” from his Linn’s Supermarket, and began leasing it out. The future of the haunted house was assured, though, since it was stated that the lease did not include the basement haunted house. That would remain there for ten years.
I have recently learned that in 2020 the supermarket was purchased. Although the haunted house did not operate that year due to Covid-19, it has operated the past two years in 2021 and 2022.
But this year, things may be different. The haunted house has received notice from an attorney that the haunted house must vacate — four years in to the supermarket having a new owner.
Last year may have been the final season for folks to crawl through that basement or, if things get resolved, maybe that will be this year.
I’ll share news as I know it. But until then, please spread the word – the future of Linn’s is uncertain at this time. The building owner is not interested in this multi-generational tradition operating there. For some reason.
That said … perhaps this is a great opportunity for some other business with an available basement to contact Merlyn Linn and start talking about relocating the haunt 😉
The final two weekends of haunted house season 2022 have begun, with several haunts operating Thursday-Sunday. I haven’t heard from any other haunts that want to be listed, but if I do, they will be added to the site.
When you buy tickets online, you usually do so either to guarantee entry (for places that sell out), or to get a discount. Most online ticket sales have extra fees added. Here is a rundown of the area haunts and their fees, from most expensive to least:
Adventureland Park – $4 Processing Fee (per item, but no fee for $5 mAlice add-on)
Scare DSM – $2.50 Fee (per ticket)
Slaughterhouse – $2.48 Processing and Service Fee (per ticket)
Sleepy Hollow Sports Park – $1.50 Service Fee (per item)
Parking is also extra at Adventureland ($20, or $15 online) and Sleepy Hollow Sports Park ($5?). Some have had to pay after buying a ticket online, and others have said buying a ticket online includes parking. Always check with the haunt to make sure.
Also, Adventureland is cashless as of 2022, so you have to have a credit card to pay for parking. Other places may be cash only to buy tickets or pay for parking at the event.
In the future, I’ll be adding these items as categories to the listing.
Haunted house season officially began last weekend with Adventureland, Linn’s Haunted House, Scare DSM, Slaughterhouse, Sleepy Hollow Sports Park, and Tormented Souls Haunt beginning their season.
This weekend, the Ames Haunted Forest will join them. It will open at 7pm this Friday and Saturday night.
Meanwhile, a few online comments have started to show up about opening weekend. If you enjoyed the haunt, be sure to leave a review on Google or their Facebook page. Likewise, if you do not think the haunt was worth the money, be sure to leave a review and let others know.
For those new here… EVERY HAUNT will have fans who think it’s the best thing ever. And EVERY HAUNT will have folks saying it’s the worst one they’ve ever been do. Don’t let reviews sway you unless they are overwhelmingly negative or overwhelmingly positive.