Haunted Houses, Haunting Displays
Text by Robyn Collins + Ron Jensen
Here’s a guide to the Valley’s Halloween haunts, including
details on what frights they’ve got planned, operating
hours and pricing when applicable. Happy haunting!
Above, left: The Nightmare Before Christmas at Halloween. Right: Jim Fry’s Halloween Display.
HAPPY HAUNTED PUMPKIN PATCH
18639 North First Avenue, Phoenix
A collection of more than 100 jack-o’-lanterns light up the front yard of Carl Jimenez’s north Phoenix home. Arranged in a pyramid of sorts, it includes grinning gourds both large and small, as well as one inspired by Pennywise from It, 30 Rock’s Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, and Agatha Harkness from WandaVision. Beginning on Friday, October 15, you can tune into 92.9 FM on your car radio and hear a 30-minute loop of Halloween music programmed by Jimenez. From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly. Donations are appreciated to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona.
JIM FRY’S HALLOWEEN DISPLAY
1850 East Concorda Drive, Tempe
Tempe resident Jim Fry goes all out decorating his Tempe home with a display laid out like an elaborate cemetery. It utilizes elements both whimsical (there are multiple characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas) and elaborate (a large pirate ship is crewed by skeletons). For 2021, he’s constructed a moving sleigh being ridden by Jack Skellington. From 6 through 10 p.m. nightly until Halloween.
1423 East Earll Drive, Phoenix
Karen Lennon and Matthew Wiley’s amazing Beetlejuice-themed display at their central Phoenix home pays tribute to Tim Burton’s 1988 fantasy comedy film and some of its most memorable scenes. There’s a full-sized mockup of fictional strip club Dante’s Inferno Room, an enormous sandworm which stretches across their front lawn, and the grave Beetlejuice emerges from after being summoned from the netherworld. This year, the couple improved the lighting, expanded the graveyard, and added mannequins dressed like characters from the flick, like Adam and Barbara Maitland in their ghoulish disguises and the Magician’s Assistant (a.k.a. the ill-fated female from the afterlife waiting room scene who was sawed in half). On display nightly, dusk to 11 p.m.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS AT HALLOWEEN
2537 East Amberwood Drive, Ahwatukee
As its name portends, this family-friendly display outside of an Ahwatukee home features Jack Skellington, Sally, and other characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. There are also witches, ghosts, talking skeletons, and a choreographed light and animatronics show that takes place hourly. From 7 through 9 p.m. on Friday through Saturdays during October.
Above, left: Halloween House. Right: Terror in Tolleson.
KIPP FAMILY’S HALLOWEEN DISPLAY
1610 East Hermosa Vista Drive, Mesa
Retired pediatrician David Kipp is known for the illuminated holiday displays that adorn his enormous Mesa home with thousands of lights. Starting the week of Halloween night, though, the display will feature a light show of purples and oranges, as well as glowing pumpkins and elaborate multimedia shows on giant LED screens. Visitors are welcome to view it from the sidewalk or while inside their vehicles, as Kipp is following COVID-19 safety protocols. On display, 6 to 9 p.m., from October 25 to 31.
27213 North Brenner Pass Road, Queen Creek
Despite the deluge of monsoon storms over the summer that damaged Courtney and Jason Myers’ walk-through haunt on their sprawling rural property, the couple assure us that Halloween House will be open next weekend. It will still feature a multitude of props, dozens of tombstones, and numerous other holiday decorations and characters. Open on October 22, 23, 29, and 30, from 6 through 9 p.m.
EDDIE SHRINER’S HALLOWEEN DISPLAY
11020 North 79th Avenue, Peoria
Spoiler alert: If clowns haunt your nightmares, steer clear of Eddie Shriner’s display. A vast horde of hundreds of life-sized creatures and frightening figures crowd the exterior of his house, including several dozen freaky-looking harlequins. Some are animatronic, most are frightening. So enormous is Shriner’s collection that it stretches from the front of his home, through the garage, and into the backyard. You’ll encounter hundreds of insidious-looking pumpkins, dozens of spooky scarecrows, and such slasher film villains as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers. On display 7 to 9 p.m., Sunday to Thursday; and 6:30 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, through Halloween.
TERROR IN TOLLESON
8609 West Preston Lane, Tolleson
This haunt has a labyrinth of hallways and passages containing different “scare zones” and a variety of obstacles and surprises. Meanwhile, a rogue’s gallery of beastly beings and things that go bump in the night will roam the place trying to scare anyone they encounter. Open Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 to 11 p.m. through October 31. Admission is $10 per person.
SANCTUM OF HORROR
6555 East Southern Avenue, Mesa
Sanctum of Horror’s M.O. is the same as ever: scaring the heck out of its patrons. Located in the parking lot of Superstition Springs Mall, the Halloween attraction features two separate themed haunts and plenty of thrills and chills. The Breach involves an abandoned military bunker where a series of experiments have gone awry, while Sanctum of Horror is set inside the blood-soaked home of an escaped mental patient named Lenore seeking revenge against those who wronged her. Open 7 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 7 to 10 p.m. on Sundays, through October 24. They’ll then start operating at 7 p.m. nightly through Halloween. Tickets are priced at $25 for general admission to both haunts, $35 for admission plus a fast pass.
Above, left: Hellbilly Holler. Right: Phoenix Dead Rising.
UZA MysCreation HAUNTED ATTRACTION
2935 West Libby Street
This experience packs twice the scares into one horrific haunt, as it consists of two differently themed attractions, each with a mix of costumed actors, ghastly props, animatronic effects, and twisted creatures. The first is Ravbies, which depicts the aftermath of a zombie outbreak at an underground dance party. (Picture an episode of The Walking Dead starring kandi kids and ravers.) The other is known as Blood Thirst, where visitors must escape from a torture chamber located within a den of vampires. Open 7 p.m. to midnight, Friday to Sunday, through October 31. General admission is $10 to $15 online, $12 to $17 at the door.
14601 North 40th Way, Phoenix
This display is a grisly slice of Southern horror in north Phoenix, a homespun haunt that’s equal parts Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deliverance, and The Hills Have Eyes, all with a dash of True Blood. Every Halloween, with the help of her teenage niece, local artist Michaela Nastasia transforms her house into this bizarre display. It features a facade resembling a backwoods cabin, buckets of severed limbs, banjo-plucking hillbillies, a creepy atmosphere, and other spooky touches. Operates nightly, dusk until 10:30 p.m., now through Halloween. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
PHOENIX DEAD RISING
8611 North 30th Drive, Phoenix
Located in front of Nick Chryst’s north Phoenix home, the display features a legion of decorations including skeletons, zombies, ghouls, and other ghostly figures adorning the front yard and garage. Shrouded in stage fog and lit with an eerie glow, the display has gotten larger this year with the addition of a bunch of new props. On display nightly, dusk until 10 p.m., now through Halloween, with the fog effects running on weekends.
1740 East Purdue Avenue, Phoenix
The theme of this year’s edition of Mount Mayhem – a small, family-run haunt in north Phoenix – will be phobias, which Rod Carillo says will include the fear of clowns, dentists, birds, skeletons, insects, or any combination thereof. “Our family has been doing this haunted house for 12 years, and we pick a new theme each year. This time, we thought, ‘Why don’t we play on people’s fears and anxieties?’” You won’t have to worry as much about exposure to COVID-19, though, as Carillo says Mount Mayhem’s staff and cast will be fully vaccinated, groups will be limited, social distancing will be used, and hand sanitizer will be available upon entry and exit. On view from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on October 22 through 25 and on October 29 through 31. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Above, left: The 13th Floor Haunted House. Right: Scarizona Scaregrounds.
TERROR NIGHTS HAUNTED HOUSE
511 East La Donna Drive, Tempe
After running a yard display last Halloween, the owners of this popular DIY home haunt are bringing back its original setup as a walk-through experience. Areas like The Boogeyman Room, Maniac’s Revenge, Dining Room of the Dead will all return. They’ll also debut a new scene they’re called Bathroom of Screams. There’s also a good chance you’ll cross paths with a Michael Myers look-alike or Annabelle from The Conjuring. Open from 7 to 10 p.m., October 28 to 30. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Nonperishable food items will also be collected for local charities.
THE 13th FLOOR HAUNTED HOUSE
2814 West Bell Road, Phoenix
This is one of the biggest Halloween attractions in the Valley and offers three different haunts within its 6,500-square-foot location, each with a different theme. To wit: Bad Blood places you into an urban battle between zombies and vampires, Asylum takes place in a mental ward, and The Dollmaker features creepy Victorian-era playthings inside an abandoned home. There’s also an interactive experience called Phobia, which takes place in complete darkness and involves navigating a maze and various physical obstacles while using touch and other senses to escape. (It’s available as an $8 add-on to any ticket.) Operates nightly through Halloween, except October 11, 12, 13, 18, and 19. Hours vary. Admission is $27.99 to $32.99 in advance. Fast passes are an additional $10 while skip-the-line passes are $20 more. Masks are strongly encouraged whenever social distancing isn’t possible.
8414 East Valley Vista Drive, Scottsdale
The Haunted Graveyard encompasses the front yard, garage, backyard, and other portions of the Birkett Family’s four-bedroom home and goes beyond the pale far and far beyond most DIY displays. A graveyard with animatronic headstones, singing pumpkins, and a fire-breathing dragon occupy the front yard. The garage houses a cramped, claustrophobia-inducing maze through a decrepit mansion. Along the side of the house are haunted mine tunnels leading to a spooky scene around the Birkett’s backyard pool. Plan to arrive early in the evening, since this DIY attraction is popular and lines are common. Open nightly, 6:30 to 10 p.m., from October 27 through 31. Admission is $5.
1901 North Alma School Road, Mesa
A trilogy of terrifying experiences awaits at the haunts making up Mesa’s Scarizona Scaregrounds. Attendees can encounter a gore-filled abattoir occupied by a serial killer or wander through total darkness inside Epic Fear. If you’ve still got some adrenaline left, Startled Darkness offers confined spaces, snakes, spiders, and other things going bump in the night. A variety of “bonus experiences” will also be included. Opens at 6:30 p.m. October 15 to 17, 21 to 24, and 27 to 31. Closing times vary per night. Tickets are $39.95 per person and will only be sold for scheduled arrival times taking place every 15 minutes. Discounts for multiple people are available, but groups will be limited to eight or fewer.
6801 North 99th Avenue, Glendale
The Valley’s largest haunted attraction relocated to Glendale earlier this year, but still spans multiple acres and is populated by more costumed fiends than a Spirit Halloween store. Like its original location, the new Fear Farm will have four themed haunts – Dead End Slaughter, the post-apocalyptic Nuketown, Dead In the Water, and Sinister Circus – as well as a giant haunted corn maze, and an expanded midway area with vendors and concessions. Operates nightly through Halloween, except October 13, 18, and 19. Hours vary. Admission is $27.99 to $32.99 in advance. Fast passes are an additional $10 while skip-the-line passes are $20 more.