Haunts 2016

See also: 2010201120122013201420152016201720182019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Here are all the haunted houses we have heard about, so far. The descriptions initially come from the haunt operators (or their websites), but as we go through the attractions, we will try to revise them to reflect what they actually consist of. “The worst of humanity” doesn’t give much information — chainsaw killers? politicians? We will try to keep spoilers to a minimum.

When visiting these haunts, please tell them you saw their listing on DMHauntedHouses.com.


Last Updated: 11/01/2016 8:34 AM

  1. Name: Ames Haunted Forest
    Location: 1470 S 4th St, Ames IA 50010
    Directions: East of University Boulevard near Hilton Coliseum and Jack Trice Stadium.
    Dates/Times: 10 NIGHTS: Oct 7-8, 14-15, 21-23, and 28-30, 2016. 7pm-10pm (Fri/Sat 7-8 and 14-15), 7pm-Midnight (Fri/Sat 21-22 and 28-29). 7pm-10pm (Sun 23 & 30).
    Calendar: Fri-7, Sat-8, Fri-14, Sat-15, Fri-21, Sat-22, Sun-23, Fri-28, Sat-29, Sun-30
    Theme: Phantom of the Bijou.
    Short Desc: Long outdoor haunted walk.
    Long Desc: This is their 18th year, and they have once again set attendance records. It is the largest and most spread out haunt around. (About 40 actors this year!) The scenes are spad out rather than right on top of each other, and the journey goes through various “indoor” rooms along the way. The layout is a bit different this year with scenes in different orders, and a huge “endless” maze at the end. People drive from hours away to visit the forest each year. On peak weekends, the line to get in can be 2-3 hours long! They had over 1200 one night opening weekend, and have gone well beyond that since. Get there early to avoid the HUGE line later in the evening. (Video interview.)
    Duration: 15-30 minutes.
    Admission: $15
    Discounts: $1 off coupon on their website.
    Category: Haunted Walk
    Website: www.ameshauntedforest.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ames-Haunted-Forest/168825177811
    Twitter: @Haunted_Forest
  2. Name: Circus of Freaks
    Location: 502 7th St, Bussey IA 50044
    Dates/Times: 5 NIGHTS: Oct 8, 15, 22, 29 and 31, 2016. 8pm-11pm.
    Calendar: Sat-8, Sat-15, Sat-22, Sat-29, Mon-31
    Theme: Clowns. ‘nuf said.
    Long Desc: Presented by Twin Cedars FFA and City of Bussey. Clowns. Lots of clowns.
    Admission: $5
    Category: Haunted House
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/BusseyHauntedHouse
  3. Name: Clarion Haunted House
    Location: 5th Ave SE, Clarion IA 50525
    Dates/Times: 2 NIGHTS: Oct 28-29, 2016. 7pm-Mid.
    Calendar: Thu-27, Fri-28, Sat-29
    Long Desc: Multiple events. “Boos and Brews” on Oct 27 (7-9, 21 and older). “Enchanted Family Fun Night” on Oct 28 (5-7). Haunted House on Oct 28-29 (7-Midnight).
    Admission: $15
    Discounts: $2 OFF coupons at Urness Hardware & Appliance in Clarion.
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.clarioniowa.com/spooktacular-nights/
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/hauntedhouseclarioniowa
  4. Name: Fright Manor (Home Haunt)
    Location: 4102 138th St, Urbandale IA 50323
    Dates/Times: 2 NIGHTS: Oct 30-31, 2016. 6pm-9pm.
    Calendar: Sun-30, Mon-31
    Long Desc: This is a home haunt in a residential area. They formerly hosted one in Kansas City, and this will be their first Halloween in Des Moines. The photos look amazing. They say they are good for kids — they won’t be trying to scare them.
    Admission: Free
    Category: Home Haunt
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbandalefrightmanor/
  5. Name: Haunted Garage (Home Haunt)
    Location: 612 NE 13 St, Grimes IA 50111
    Dates/Times: 2 NIGHTS: Oct 29 (7p-10p) and 31 (6p-8p), 2016.
    Calendar: Sat-29, Mon-31
    Short Desc: Home haunt in their garage.
    Long Desc: This is a home haunt/Halloween display in a residential neighborhood. They handle about 150 visitors each night, so plan accordingly. This is the fifth year for this home haunt. It is totally free but they accept canned good donations for the food pantry.
    Admission: Free, Donations accepted for food pantry.
    Category: Home Haunt
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/grimeshauntedgarage/
  6. Name: Linn’s Supermarket Haunted House
    Location: 3805 6th Ave, Des Moines IA 50313
    Directions: Located at Linn’s Supermarket.
    Dates/Times: 16 NIGHTS: Oct 1, 7-8, 14-15, and 21-31, 2016. 7pm-Midnight (Sat & Sun). 7pm-10pm (all other nights).
    Calendar: Sat-1, Fri-7, Sat-8, Fri-14, Sat-15, Fri-21, Sat-22, Sun-23, Mon-24, Tue-25, Wed-26, Thu-27, Fri-28, Sat-29, Sun-30, Mon-31
    Theme: “Scariest Night Ever.”
    Short Desc: Des Moines’ oldest haunt.
    Long Desc: The oldest and most unique haunt in town (it started in 1984). Linn’s focuses on complete darkness, long crawlways and sudden surprises. It’s kind of a retro haunt – not a heavy metal/gore haunt. It is very unique. The operator, Merlyn Linn, is 79 years old and still going strong presenting this haunt each year. It overwhelmingly won all voting categories in the 2015 DMHH Victim’s Choice awards:Best Value, Coolest, Funnest, Only One, Overall Best, and Scariest. It has a few crawls which cannot be bypassed. It gets better Facebook reviews than any other haunt. (Video interview.)
    Duration: 10-20 minutes.
    Admission: $14
    Discounts: $10 with coupon (first two weekends only).
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.linnshauntedhouse.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/linnshauntedhouse
    Twitter: @HauntedLinns
  7. Name: Perry Firefighters Assoc Haunted Barn
    Location: 1st. St. and Willis Ave, Perry IA 50220
    Directions: Located on the west side of Caboose Park at First and Willis.
    Dates/Times: 5 NIGHTS: Oct 14-15, 21-22 and 28, 2016. 7pm-11pm.
    Calendar: Fri-14, Sat-15, Fri-21, Sat-22, Fri-28
    Long Desc: They keep posting videos on their Facebook page, so check them to get a feel for what this does.
    Category: Haunted House
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/1825371244349829/
  8. Name: Sleepy Hollow Haunted Scream Park
    Location: 4051 Dean Ave, Des Moines IA 50317
    Directions: East of the Iowa State fairgrounds.
    Dates/Times: 12 NIGHTS: Oct 7-8, 14-15, 20-23, and 27-31, 2016. 6:45pm-10:30pm (Fri & Sat), 6:45pm-8:30pm (Thu & Sun).
    Calendar: Fri-7, Sat-8, Fri-14, Sat-15, Thu-20, Fri-21, Sat-22, Thu-27, Fri-28, Sat-29, Sun-30, Mon-31
    Theme: Various.
    Short Desc: Multiple haunts for one ticket price.
    Long Desc: This Halloween theme park is located in an Old English village built for the yearly Renaissance faire. It features five separate haunted houses: Castle of Blood (vampires), Chaos (heavy metal and strobe lights), Freak Show (after-hours circus walk, added in 2015), Nightmare Estates (hillbilly trailer park), and Twisted Tales (fairy tales gone bad walk). All haunts have had some new effects added. New for 2016 is the return of Club Blood as a silent disco (wireless headphones tuned to one of three projection screens), the new 13 Gates Maze (chain metal fences and fog, no roof), and Infection Laser Tag (new equipment and game). The Zombie Paintball bus ride returns, where you shoot targets and zombies using special paintball guns mounted in the windows of busses. They have added a third bus and claim that even on the busy weekend, the line didn’t get longer than 10 minutes now. There are also other bonus attractions in the village, as well as food and drink vendors (and beer, on some nights). (Video interview.)
    Duration: While individual haunts are quite short, plan to spend all evening there on busy nights.
    Admission: $24.50 – $38
    Buy Tickets: www.sleepyhollowtickets.com
    Discounts: Discounted tickets available online.
    Category: Food, Haunted House
    Website: www.sleepyhollowscreampark.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/sleepyhollowhauntedscreampark
    Twitter: @shspdmscream
  9. Name: Trail of Terror
    Location: Ashton-Wildwood County Park, Mingo IA 50168
    Directions: From 330, exit towards Baxter. On F17, turn right on the first road. Go just past the church with the cemetary (really!) and follow the road all the way back…
    Dates/Times: Oct 21-22 and 28-29, 2016. 7:30pm-10:30pm.
    Calendar: Fri-21, Sat-22, Fri-28, Sat-29
    Theme: Various.
    Short Desc: Mile-long haunted forest.
    Long Desc: A terrifying walk through the dark timbers of Ashton-Wildwood County Park. They will have up to 40 volunteers trying to scare you. This half mile long path is even spooky when when it’s not dressed up for Halloween! 2015 was the first year for this fundraiser for the Baxter Fun Days town celebration. If there is strong support, they would like to expand to more weekends in the future. (Video interview.)
    Duration: 10-15 minutes, expected.
    Admission: $8
    Category: Haunted Walk
    Website: www.baxter-iowa.com/residents/baxter-fun-days
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/baxterfundays
  10. Name: Waukee Haunted House
    Location: 1255 Warrior Lane, Waukee IA 50263
    Directions: Centennial Park enclosed shelter.
    Dates/Times: 2 NIGHTS: Oct 28-29, 2016. 7pm-10pm.
    Calendar: Fri-28, Sat-29
    Theme: The haunted toy box.
    Short Desc: The Haunted Toybox.
    Long Desc: A creepy guide leads you on a 3-4 minute tour through twisty passages and rooms full of creepy toys. This is a very different experience from any of the other haunted houses. There are a few very cool scenes and surprises. Since they only let one group in at a time, the wait can be quite long. If the line is at the third zig-zag row, expect at least an hour.
    Admission: $5
    Discounts: $1 off with a non-perishable donation for the Waukee Area Food Pantry.
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.waukee.org/475/Halloween-Haunted-House
    Twitter: @CityOfWaukee
  11. Name: Zombie Hollow (Home Haunt)
    Location: 3109 Pine Circle, Urbandale IA 50322
    Directions: Located between Douglas and Hickman, just east of 86th Street in Urbandale, Iowa. (At a home in a residential area.)
    Dates/Times: WEATHER PERMITTING! Check their Facebook page. 3 NIGHTS: Oct 28-30, 2016. 7pm-10pm (Sat & Sun), 7pm-9pm (Halloween).
    Calendar: Fri-28, Sat-29, Sun-30
    Theme: Zombies
    Short Desc: Elaborate walk-thru yard display.
    Long Desc: Haunted Mansion + Pirates of the Caribbean + Zombies = Zombie Hollow. More new effects added for 2016, including a recreation of Disneyland’s Hat Box Ghost. A must-see! In past years, this has been the most amazing home display in the area. It features animated characters, surround sound, lighting and fog effects and the most immersive environment outside of a Disney/Universal Studios theme park. Last year it featured ghosts from Scooby Doo, and other years have featured Harry Potter and even Duck Dynasty zombies!
    Duration: Explore at your own pace.
    Admission: Free, Donations accepted for Sentinels of Freedom.
    Category: Yard Display, Home Haunt
    Website: www.thezombiehollow.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Zombie-Hollow-258264987517799/
    Twitter: @ZombieHollow
  12. Name: Scary Garage
    Location: Ankeny, Ankeny IA
    Dates/Times: Oct 28-29, 2016.
    Calendar: Fri-28, Sat-29
    Long Desc: (I just found out about this one on 11/1, so it was not part of the 2016 listing. I wanted to add it here so I can remember it next year.)
    Admission: Free, Food Bank of Iowa Donations accepted
    Category: Home Haunt
    Website: www.scarygarage.weebly.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/1675393816085235

Other Indexes

We believe in cross promotion, so here are other family-friendly Halloween indexes we have found. DMHH is not responsible for the accuracy of information on these sites, but we will at least try to point out major omissions if we notice them. (Visitors beware: the national sites often list defunct attractions or have incorrect information. Always verify a haunt actually exists before driving out.)

List updated on 10/12/2015:

Local Sites:

National Sites:

Most of these sites seem to only list haunts that submit their information and/or pay them money, so they are usually very inaccurate or missing tons of information.

  • www.findahaunt.com – probably the best national site (but not updated for Iowa).
  • www.funtober.com – updated for 2016, listing that Haunted Barn as not operating, but I didn’t see any other haunts there.
  • www.hauntworld.com – they do not have a Des Moines category, but they still have a banner for Madrid (Tormented Souls from two years ago).
  • www.iowahauntedhouses.com – they use domain names registered for different states so they look regional. I couldn’t find anything listed for the area.

See also: 2010201120122013201420152016201720182019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.