Some of my favorite haunt experiences in the area have been home haunts. The Haunted Garage in Grimes has been an absolutely wonderful experience where they pack in a dozen or more actors in their twisty garage haunt to traumatize the kids (er, and adults) that are brave enough to stroll through. I really think they have more screams per square foot than any of the commercial haunts 😉 And they are fun people.
Sadly, no home haunt for the 2020 season.
It could be worse, though. Los Angeles County California banned Halloween a few weeks ago, then lightened up a bit and changed that to “not recommending” Halloween. Hopefully we can at least have some form of Beggar’s Night here in Des Moines.
Tormented Souls Haunt has updated their website and now has their dates for 2020 posted. They will operate ten nights this year:
Oct 3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-24 and 29-30, 2020. Opens at 7:15pm.
On Fridays and Saturdays they run until 11:45pm, and on the Thursdays they are open they will close at 10pm.
They are offering their huge haunted walk (explore the haunted mining town of Zook Spur) as well as their Zee-apocalypse Paintball experience where you ride on a tractor-pulled trailer shooting at targets and zombies with mounted paintball guns. They were the first haunt in our area to bring us a Halloween paintball experience.
They have also posted their Covid-19 precautions which will include:
Face coverings required at all times.
Social distance between each group.
No contact with actors.
Their days and hours will be added to our Calendar soon.
When the Ankeny Haunted Barn announced they were returning, one of the details they provided was that they would be “handicap accessible.” Because of this, I created a new category this year called “Wheelchair Access.” You will now be able to select that category and see all the attractions that should be able to accommodate screaming guests travelling in wheelchairs.
Ian Miller, one of the folks behind the newly rebuilt Slaughterhouse, also says that they are “definitely accessible!”
Be sure to check out these haunt’s entries in our index for maps, discount information, and links to official websites and social media accounts.
And please let us know if there are any others in the state of Iowa. Thanks to the filters in the new directory (which let you see only haunts within a certain distance), I will now be listing any haunt in the state of Iowa that wishes to be included.
“After 37 years of operating our Haunted House in the basement of Linn’s Super Market, we regret we will not be opening this year (2020) due to Covid-19.
We will miss seeing you this year, but feel that since the experts have said we have one of the worst outbreaks in the country at this time, we should not put our customers and workers at risk.
We have always prided ourselves in running a safe Haunted House and feel it would be impossible to keep everyone safe at this time.We will continue working to improve the Haunted House and are looking forward to seeing you in 2021.”
I’d like to welcome Tormented Souls as the latest site sponsor for this season.
Tormented Souls Haunt originally opened in Madrid, Iowa in 2013. It was unique because you never actually parked at the haunt. Instead, you drove to a park and waited for the “Terror Bus” (a decorated school bus) to pick you up and drive you deep into the woods to where the haunt was. It gave quite the feeling of being isolated.
They were also the first attraction in the area to offer a zombie themed paintball shoot where guests rode on a tractor-pulled trailer and used mounted paintball guns to blast away at targets and live (er, undead?) zombie actors wearing protective gear. Great fun!
They ran for a few years, then went on hiatus. They returned in 2018 and DMHH helped install an all-new central sound system to their main haunt, and other sound systems to their external areas. And a great time was had by all!
They will be operating this year with new Covid-19 precautions in place. You can find more details from their listing page here on the site. Be sure to check out their website, Facebook page, and Instagram.
They are currently requesting molds of people’s faces. But why?
Do you have a cool Halloween yard display or home haunt you’d like folks to know about? Submit it and we will add it to the directory. Please include any special notes (like nights it will be operating, parking restrictions in the neighborhood, etc.). Let’s see if we can at least have cool Halloween things to drive by and look at if we don’t have as many haunts go actually go in to this year.
In 2009, the Bondurant Haunted Barn appeared on the scene. In 2011, they relocated to Ankeny where they became known as the Ankeny Haunted Barn. This was the year Des Moines Haunted Houses first began doing video interviews. The Haunted Barn was the second haunt ever interviewed by this site. Here is that original interview. (Sadly, the interviewee Chris Bales passed away last year.)
In 2020, the Ankeny Haunted Barn will be returning. They will be in the same Ankeny location as past years, but the haunt has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. DMHH got a sneak peek at their new layout, and it looks quite fun.
The Barn will continue its style of having random scenes of horror. Many rooms are inspired by popular horror movies. The tradition of using live snakes and rats is also expected to return. There are even some fan-favorite actors returning.
New for 2020 will be wheelchair access thanks to wider hallways. There will also be a new sound system and computerized show lighting.
Admission will be $25, but look for $5 OFF coupons if you want to save some money. (Just note you have to have a physical coupon.)
For more details, see their listing on this site and follow links to their website and social media page.