September 25

Tips For Visiting Haunted Houses


Although we have delayed the opening of ScareDSM until fall of 2021 due to the pandemic, some attractions have opted to still operate this Halloween season. With folks needing a form of entertainment and escapism now more than ever, here are a few tips for visiting attractions this October to assure a fun, safe, and thrilling experience for everyone!

Original Post| Tips For Visiting Haunted Houses by

Find Haunts Near You has been working on updating their site to not only include haunted attractions in Des Moines, but also yard displays and other attractions throughout the state. Check out their newly revamped site at

Verify The Facts

Know before you go. Visit a haunt directory or the event’s website and use the listed contact information to verify their dates and times of operation. There is nothing more disappointing than driving for two hours, only to find that the haunted house you were looking forward to isn’t open.

In addition, if there is inclement weather, check the attraction Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram before starting your travels to assure the attraction does not close due to weather concerns.

Waiting In Line

When you arrive at a haunted attraction, don’t expect to get in right away. Haunted houses are very popular during the month of October, so you will most likely have to wait in line for a significant amount of time. For some of the more popular attractions, it isn’t unusual for patrons to have to wait more than two hours in line. If you have a long wait, make the best of it and enjoy your surroundings. Many haunted attractions have various forms of wait entertainment, including themed waiting areas, roaming actors, horror movie clips and creepy music playing in the background. Spooky elements like this can really help set the mood, making your haunted attraction experience even better.

Go Early In The Season

Don’t wait until the last two weekends of October to visit haunted attractions. Most haunted houses open the first weekend in October (some even open in September). If you go to haunted houses earlier in the month, you will see shorter lines and shorter wait times and can sometimes even purchase cheaper tickets earlier in the season.

Arrive Early In The Evening

Getting there early means that you will experience shorter lines. The later in the evening you go, the longer the line will be. If you really want to minimize your wait time, arrive at the haunted attraction before they open and before the long lines start to form.

Visit On Non-Peak Nights

Friday and Saturday are the busiest nights for haunted attractions, but many are open on other nights, as well. Seriously consider visiting on non-peak nights and you will see significantly shorter lines. Some attractions even offer discounts for their less-busier nights.

Avoid The Line Altogether

With safety concerns regarding Covid-19, some attractions are offering a wait-free experience with timed ticketing. This means that you and your group show up when it is your turn to enter the attraction and avoid the wait altogether. While this is a great bonus for customers, it can cause issue if groups do not show up on time so be sure to arrive by the designated time!

Dress For The Weather

Some haunted attractions have indoor waiting and others do not. It can get pretty chilly in October. If you have to wait outside, dress appropriately for the weather. In addition, be sure to wear wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. In many attractions, you will have to walk on uneven surfaces (especially haunted trails), so wearing flip-flops or high heels is never a good idea.

Wear Your Masks

We are living in the age of Covid-19 where social distancing and facial masks are required at most establishments. Be sure to pay attention to social distancing signs and markings and wear appropriate coverings to assure the safety of staff, patrons, and yourself.

Have Fun!

This is the most important tip on this page. A lot of work goes into creating these haunted attractions, so go out and enjoy all they have to offer!

Have fun, be safe, and we’ll see you in 2021!
Zach Wiechmann
Owner/Show Director
ScareDSM, LLC.


2020, Covid-19, Des Moines, Des Moines Iowa, Entertainment, Halloween, Haunted Attraction, Haunted House, Iowa, Nightlife, ScareDesMoiens, ScareDSM, Scary, Zombies

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