Haunts 2018

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: 10/22/2018 11:58 AM

  1. Name: Adventureland Inn’s Haunted Hotel
    Location: 3200 Adventureland Dr, Altoona IA 50009
    Dates/Times: Oct 27, 2018. 7pm to Midnight.
    Calendar: Sat-27
    Short Desc: 21+ event with entertainment and a haunted attraction
    Long Desc: NEW for 2018! Billed as “The Worst Sleep You’ll Ever Pay For,” Adventureland enters the Halloween market with a rather unique offering. First, it is 21 and older only. Second, while it will contain a “haunted attraction,” it is mostly a night of entertainment at Adventureland Inn. It will feature Gimikk (9pm to Midnight), and Dueling Pianos (8pm to Midnight), and Brad Seidenfeld and Tony Bohnekamp (7pm to 9pm). There is also “epic event entertainment” including Insphyre (a fire-based performance). The $200 hotel room packages include access to the courtyard and pools without kids (try that any other time of year!), a Halloween dinner buffet, costume contest with prizes (including an Adventureland season pass), a $5 credit at the Adventure Zone Arcade, and breakfast at Spectator’s Sports Bar and Grill. At $350, you have all of that, plus you get to stay in one of only six themed rooms. At $500, you can stay in one of only four super haunted rooms where you have to sign a waiver and they try to scare the heck out of you… Let the games begin!
    Admission: $35, $200, $350, $500
    Discounts: Adventureland season pass holders get in free.
    Category: Event
    Website: www.adventurelandresort.com
  2. Name: Adventureland Hotel Haunted House
    Location: 3200 Adventureland Dr, Altoona IA 50009
    Dates/Times: Oct 27, 2018. 7pm to Midnight.
    Calendar: Sat-27
    Short Desc: 21+ ONLY!
    Long Desc: New for 2018: 21+ ONLY! “Experience what happens when the pigs run the butcher shop!”
    Admission: $20
    Discounts: Adventureland season pass holders get in free.
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.adventurelandresort.com
  3. Name: Ames Haunted Forest
    Location: Check Website, Ames IA 50010
    Dates/Times: Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-21, 26-28 and 31, 2018. Opens at 7pm.
    Calendar: Fri-5, Sat-6, Fri-12, Sat-13, Fri-19, Sat-20, Sun-21, Fri-26, Sat-27, Sun-28, Wed-31
    Long Desc: 20th year. New this year: Oakwood Asylum. This is a large outdoor haunt that windws through the woods and in and out of covered show scenes. Each zone is separated by tarps that keep you from seeing what is on the other side. Which is usually something scary. This haunt is known for getting some huge lines on busy nights, so go on a weeknight or Sunday if possible.
    Admission: $17
    Discounts: $1 off coupon on website (valid through Oct 21 only).
    Category: Haunted Walk
    Website: www.ameshauntedforest.com
  4. Name: Linn’s Haunted House
    Location: 3805 6th Ave, Des Moines IA 50313
    Dates/Times: Sept. 28-29, Oct 5-6, 12-13, 19-21 and 25-31, 2018
    Calendar: Sep-28, Sep-29, Fri-5, Sat-6, Fri-12, Sat-13, Fri-19, Sat-20, Sun-21, Thu-25, Fri-26, Sat-27, Sun-28, Mon-29, Tue-30, Wed-31
    Long Desc: 35th year. One refreshed scene this year, some new lights and sounds. This is the older haunt in the area, and folks drive from hours away each year to explore this creepy supermarket basement. It features pitch black hallways and has an entrance tunnel that causes people to chicken out before they even make it to the … well, you’ll see. This is often the first haunt many kids get to go to, and if you bring yours, and they can’t handle it, ask the actor to take them to safety. (And, apparently, the gorilla has been known to give out treats to young kids…) So much fun!
    Admission: $17
    Discounts: $4 off coupon on website (valid first two weekends only).
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.linnshauntedhouse.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/linnshauntedhouse
  5. Name: Perry Firefighters Association Haunted House
    Location: 1st Ave and Willis Ave, Perry IA 50220
    Dates/Times: Oct. 19-20, 26-27 and 29, 2018. Opens at 7pm. Low scare Cub Scout matinee on Oct 20th from 12-3.
    Calendar: Fri-19, Sat-20, Fri-26, Sat-27, Mon-29
    Long Desc: They are done clowning around… 1415 square feet of maze.
    Admission: $5
    Category: Haunted House
  6. Name: Slaughterhouse
    Location: 97 Indiana Ave, Des Moines IA 50314
    Dates/Times: Oct 5-7, 11-14, 18-21, 25-28 and 31, 2018. 7pm-10pm Thu/Sun. 7pm-Mid Fri/Sat.
    Calendar: Fri-5, Sat-6, Sun-7, Thu-11, Fri-12, Sat-13, Sun-14, Thu-18, Fri-19, Sat-20, Sun-21, Thu-25, Fri-26, Sat-27, Sun-28, Wed-31
    Long Desc: New this year: Collaboration with heavy metal band Slipknot. This is the haunt getting all the press this year. It is themed around a meat processing plant. The sets are movie-quality, and easily the best of any haunt in the area. There is even an eBook you can buy that will tell you the (fictional?) back story of the Biggs Family and the Slaughterhouse. (Note: This is a heavy metal, blood and gore haunted house.)
    Admission: $30 VIP, $20
    Buy Tickets: www.slaughterhousedm.com/get-tickets/
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.slaughterhousedm.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheSlaughterhousedm/
  7. Name: Sleepy Hollow’s Haunted Scream Park
    Location: 4051 Dean Ave, Des Moines IA 50317
    Dates/Times: Oct 5-6, 12-13, 18-21, 25-28 and 31, 2018.
    Calendar: Fri-5, Sat-6, Fri-12, Sat-13, Thu-18, Fri-19, Sat-20, Sun-21, Thu-25, Fri-26, Sat-27, Sun-28, Wed-31
    Long Desc: New this year: ToxiCity zombie lasertag, and “they can touch you” version of Freakshow. Five haunted houses for one price, or do a Pick-3 and choose. Also has bonus attractions such as an elaborate carved pumpkin display, a fog maze and a 3-D gallery. Food available.
    Admission: $45 VIP, $30 Park Pass, $25 Pick Three.
    Discounts: Buy online from their website and use code DMHH18 to receive $2 off a Park Pass.
    Category: Food, Haunted House, Haunted Walk, Maze, Snacks, Covered Waiting Area
    Website: sleepyhollowscreampark.com
  8. Name: Tormented Souls Haunt
    Location: Edgewood Park, Madrid IA 50156
    Directions: Park at Edgewood Park and wait for the Terror Bus to pick you up and shuttle you to the haunt location.
    Dates/Times: Oct 18-20 and 25-27, 2018. Opens at 7:15-10pm on Thursdays. 7:15pm-11:45pm on Weekends.
    Calendar: Thu-18, Fri-19, Sat-20, Thu-25, Fri-26, Sat-27
    Short Desc: Visit the haunted mining town of Zook Spur.
    Long Desc: Originally ran in 2013-2014, and now back. One of the longest haunts around (maybe around 9800 square feet?), with a two large covered sections, and an outdoor haunted walk section. It’s so remote, you can’t even drive to it. You have to abandon your car and take a ride on the “Terror Bus” (shuttle) to get there. Many of the smaller scenes from past years have been combined into larger ones this year, and DMHH assisted with wiring up their haunt with new custom audio. They have a vortex tunnel, and the largest animatronic prop of any haunt in the area (it fills an entire room). They also have an open-air trailer ride where you shoot zombies with paintball guns. It was the first one in this area. (When I did the paintball thing in 2014, it was one of my all-time favorite haunt things I’d ever done.) FOOD AVAILABLE from Yellow Wagon food truck. Be sure to also check out the Snider’s Halloween Light Display a few blocks from where you park (see other listing on this page). See my Facebook page for a photo gallery.
    Duration: 11-19 minutes
    Admission: $17 for haunt, $28 for Zee-Pocalypse, $38 for both.
    Buy Tickets: tormentedsoulshaunt.fearticket.com/event/orderticket/eventid/292
    Category: Haunted Walk, Paintball, Food
    Website: www.tormentedsoulshaunt.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/tormentedsoulshaunt
  9. Name: Trail of Terror
    Location: Ashton Wildwood County Park, Mingo IA
    Dates/Times: Oct 19-20 and 26-27, 2018. 7:30pm to 10:30pm.
    Calendar: Fri-19, Sat-20, Fri-26, Sat-27
    Long Desc: INTENSE 3/4 mile walking trail. This is a LONG haunt with tons of actors and scenes along the way. They have more actors and show scenes than any other haunt in the area! They give you a flashlight to help you find your way. Be sure to use it to check out the fancy makeup many of their actors are in. Many of their scare zones use a tag-team approach (some had as many as FIVE scares layered on top of each other) compared to most haunts that seldom have more than two actors in a scene. There is nothing like it, and it’s the lowest cost ($10) of any haunt around. It’s a fundraiser for the Baxter Fun Days event. All the actors are super into it and super creepy. There are some VERY creative scenes this year. (For example, last year, there was a campsite with two female campers just freaked out from being stalked by a killer. This year, you come across that same campsite and see the bodies of those two campers and find two terrified FBI agents who were originally there to investigate the crime scene.) FANTASTIC value. Don’t miss it!
    Actors: 30
    Admission: $10
    Category: Haunted House
    Website: www.baxterfundays.com/trail-of-terror
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/BaxterTrailofTerror
  10. Name: Waukee Haunted House
    Location: Centennial Park, Waukee IA 50263
    Dates/Times: Oct 26-27, 2018. 7pm-10pm.
    Calendar: Fri-26, Sat-27
    Long Desc: I’ve only made it out to this one once, but they turn a park shelter house into a cool little haunted house, each year with a different theme.
    Admission: $5
    Discounts: Donate THREE non-perishable items to the Waukee Area Christian Food Pantry and save $1.
    Category: Haunted House
  11. Name: Winterset FFA Haunted House
    Location: Madison County Fairgrounds, Winterset IA
    Directions: Swine Barn
    Dates/Times: Oct 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27, 2018. 7:30pm-10pm
    Calendar: Fri-12, Sat-13, Fri-19, Sat-20, Fri-26, Sat-27
    Long Desc: The former Urbandale Zombie Hollow is part of this. It is a fundraiser for the local FFA chapter. The first two weekends will be scary, and the third weekend will be classic Zombie Hollow kid friendly.
    Admission: $10 adults, $5 10-and-under.
    Category: Haunted House
  12. Name: Creepo the Clown
    Location: 306 W Salem, Indianola IA
    Directions: RESIDENTIAL AREA
    Dates/Times: Oct 30, 2018 (Beggar’s Night) from 6pm-8pm(ish).
    Calendar: Tue-30
    Long Desc: Please Like their Facebook page and help them get past 100 to let them know how much you love creepy clowns…
    Category: Yard Display
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Creepo.The.Clown
  13. Name: Grimes home haunt
    Location: 3101 SE Keystone Drive, Grimes IA
    Directions: RESIDENTIAL AREA
    Dates/Times: Oct 30, 2018. 6pm-8:30pm.
    Calendar: Tue-30
    Theme: Circus
    Long Desc: “As seen in the Des Moines Register.”
    Admission: Donate a food item to be given to homeless veterans at the Central Iowa Shelter and Services in downtown Des Moines
    Category: Home Haunt
    Website: www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/community/2018/10/11/retired-army-sergeant-hopes-haunted-house-benefits-homeless-veterans/1592779002/
  14. Name: Halloween on the Hill
    Location: 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines IA 50309
    Dates/Times: Oct 31, 2018. 6:30pm to 8:30pm.
    Calendar: Wed-31
    Theme: Haunted neighborhood.
    Long Desc: An entire neighborhood turned into a haunted walk through various yard displays.
    Category: Yard Display
    Website: www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/community/2018/10/17/des-moines-sherman-hill-neighborhood-wide-haunted-house-gathers-donations-food-pantries/1657511002/
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/2179939312266433/
  15. Name: Snider’s Animated and Musical Holiday Lights Display
    Location: 611 S Market St, Madrid IA
    Dates/Times: Through Oct 31. 7pm-10pm.
    Long Desc: If visiting Tormented Souls in Madrid, be sure to take a detour and check out this Halloween light display. It is just a few blocks from the haunt parking lot. You tune your FM radio to 107.1 and listen to music (Thriller, Time Warp, etc.) and watch the synchronized light display. It features lasers, color changing lights, and a giant singing pumpkin light. Very cool! (They also do shows for other holidays.)
    Admission: Free
    Category: Yard Display
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/snidersanimatedlightsdisplay
  16. Name: DarkWitch Haunt
    Location: , Des Moines IA
    Dates/Times: September 2019
    Short Desc: Coming in 2019.
    Long Desc: I’m just adding this now to get it into the search engines. It claims to be an “extreme haunted house” that will open in September 2019.
    Website: www.darkwitchhaunt.com

Other Indexes

We believe in cross promotion, so here are other 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 10/2018:

Local Coverage:

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 – not updated for 2017 yet (still lists haunts that are not operating).
  • www.hauntworld.com – not updated for 2017 (still list at least one haunt that isn’t operating).
  • 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.