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Halloween lovers rejoice: The Denver area is filled with frightful fun this month. Here, our go-to guide for those who love goosebumps (we’re not kidding; this list is not recommended for kids under age 12).
The Asylum Haunted House (Denver)
Why It’s Scary: A realistic setting stokes fear as you try to escape the walking dead.
When to Go: Weekends through Oct 28; Mon-Sun until Oct 31; times vary
Are you daring enough to venture into 15,000 square feet of nightmare-inducing horror at this hospital for the mentally insane? Rated one of America’s top 13 haunted houses by Hauntworld Magazine in 2016, this asylum is home to an evil doctor’s tortured souls and the deranged blood-thirsty victims of an incurable virus. Open since 2002, the popular Halloween attraction continues to draw crowds. But you’ll have to find your own way past the clutches of a serial-killing nurse and the gnashing teeth of the walking dead if you’re going to survive this haunted house.
Victorian Horrors (Denver)
Why It’s Scary: Blood-curdling tales are even scarier when told in a creepy mansion.
When to Go: Oct 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28, 6-9 p.m.
At this immersive theatrical event, take an hour-long nighttime tour through the Molly Brown House Museum and hear a series of chilling tales from the Gothic era. Edgar Allen Poe, L.M. Montgomery and the Brothers Grimm will visit from beyond the grave for the event’s 24th season to recite some of their spookiest stories (like The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Among the Shadows), all while you tiptoe through the haunting Victorian mansion formerly occupied by Molly Brown, the Titanic’s most famous passenger.
Creepy Walk in the Woods (Loveland)
Why It’s Scary: More than lions and tigers and bears await at this walk through Savage Woods.
When to Go: Oct 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28, tours begin at 7 p.m.
A nighttime walk in the woods is scary enough, but what happens when you add hideous creatures that follow you through the forest? It gets creepier. This terrifying trek takes place in Savage Woods, just west of Loveland at the base of the Devil’s Backbone. Unlike many haunted houses and Halloween-themed corn mazes, this is an unguided tour—but if you stick to the path, you can make it out (depending on how fast you run).
Haunted Field of Screams (Thornton)
Why It’s Scary: Zombies, clowns, and chainsaw-wielding ghouls prey on your fear.
When to Go: Thurs–Sun & Halloween, Sept 29- Oct 31; times vary
Located just fifteen minutes from downtown Denver, this is one of the area’s largest Halloween attractions, with over 35 acres of haunted corn maze and three different haunts to choose from. The Haunted Field of Screams, now in its fifteenth season, is the main attraction (an unguided tour through tall corn stalks), but there’s also the Dead Man’s Night Maze (a complicated series of pathways with many twists and turns) and the Zombie Paintball Massacre, where you must use your wits—and paintball guns—to escape the walking dead.
Elitch Gardens: Fright Fest (Denver)
Why It’s Scary: If a fear of heights and roller coasters doesn’t get to you, flesh-eating clowns and a haunted hotel might make you scream.
When to Go: Fri-Sun, Sept 29-Oct 29; times vary
On weekend evenings throughout October, Elitch Gardens Theme Park transforms into a “fright by night” extravaganza, complete with a haunted inn, a carnival graveyard filled and creepy immersive performances bringing ghost stories to life. Experience the thrill of the three attractions at various places throughout the park—just make sure to keep an eye out for zombies on your way between each one.
Capitol Hill Ghost Tours (Denver)
Why It’s Scary: Real-life haunted houses and historic landmarks make for a good place to spot—or feel the presence of—a ghost.
When to Go: Thurs-Sun, Oct 6-29; times vary
These historic ghost tours run all year long, but they’ll feel far more realistic in the days leading up to Halloween. Over the course of two hours, you’ll visit numerous historic spots—many of which people say are haunted—throughout the Capitol Hill and lower downtown area, including the Henry Treat Rogers Mansion (which inspired a 1980s horror film called The Changeling) and Cheesman Park, which was formerly a cemetery in the late 1800s. Hear tales of the various ghosts and ghouls that haunt the city, as well as some spooky superstitions and mysterious legends that have yet to be forgotten.
Mile High Horror Film Festival (Denver)
Why It’s Scary: Nightmare-inducing horror films will leave you trembling and terrified.
When to Go: Dates and locations still in the works; check their website for updates
Are you a movie buff with a passion for the macabre and supernatural? Then this festival is for you. Established in Denver in 2010, the Mile High Horror Film Festival celebrates the best films in the horror, thriller, and sci-fi genres, showcasing a variety of movies both old and new. If you can’t get enough of freaky films like The Shining or The Exorcist, then you’re in for a treat—and maybe a trick or two.