Zombie paintball, zombie hayrides, zombie-paintball hayrides — haunted-house season is upon us. But it’s not all just “Walking Dead” wannabes. There are some more traditional spooktaculars out there, and some pretty creative ones, too. Here are nine to choose from around the Valley.
The 13th Floor Haunted House
The 13th Floor is a lesson in economies of scale. Part of a national chain put up by the America Haunts company, the 60,000-square-foot attraction not only boasts being the biggest in Phoenix, but is packed with well-crafted spooky scenery that dwarfs the competition. This year’s version has two haunts. “Ancient Evil” is set at the Ravenswood Manor, where a highborn family has been brought low by an Egyptian curse. That means mummies, of course, but you can expect a variety of horror motifs to be worked into the maze. Then there’s “Zombie Land: Biohazard,” the kind of postapocalyptic battlefield that has come to dominate haunted houses in the past few years. Nov. 4 is a “Blackout” event where brave souls enter the maze with only glow sticks to light the way.
Details: Friday, Sept. 29, through Saturday, Nov. 4. Days vary, and hours are 7 p.m. to midnight. $26.99-$33.99 (add $10 for fast-pass reservation, $20 for skip-the-line option). 602-456-2250, 13thflooraz.com.
Another America Haunts attraction, this time claiming the title of largest outdoor haunted house, built on 30 acres of farmland. It has five indoor/outdoor tours plus the Phoenix Haunted Hayride, which, perhaps in a nod to Stephen King’s “It,” has a circus/clown theme. The five titles this year are “Dark Carnival” (more clowns), “Legends: The Witch,” “Undead,” “The Bunker: Area X” (scary aliens) and “Slaughterhouse” (slasher flick plus walking corpses). Nov. 3-4 are a special “Blood Harvest” event (glow sticks only in the corn maze of terror).
Details: Friday, Sept. 22, through Saturday, Nov. 4. Days vary, and hours are 7:30-11 p.m. $26.99-$33.99 (add $10 for fast-pass reservation, $20 for skip-the-line option). 623-866-5378, fearfarm.com.
Four haunted houses include “Operation Zombie Storm,” where guests get to shoot zombies with paintballs, plus “Epic Fear,” “Slayer’s Slaughter House” and “Started Darkness.” Better yet, you can get oiled up for the scares at the Beer and Wine Cemetery, and on Thursdays there’s a zombie trivia game dubbed “Who’s Got BRAINS?”
Details: Friday, Sept. 22, through Tuesday. Oct. 31. Days and times vary. 1901 N. Alma School Road, Mesa. $22 for one haunted house; $28 for two; $39 all access ($10 more for fast pass). 480-444-2113, scarizona.com.
The Outbreak at Schnepf Farms
The Queen Creek attraction has updated the old-fashioned hayride for the “Walking Dead” era. Admission includes a paintball gun with 150 rounds of neon ammo and a chance to shoot “live zombies” (!?) from a moving vehicle — which definitely ups the difficulty level. Must be 3 feet tall to ride the ride. There will be food trucks and a full bar featuring beers from SanTan Brewing Company. A VIP option includes shorter waits, a catered dinner and two drink tickets.
Details: 7-11 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays in October. Schnepf Farms, 24810 S. Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek. $22 online; $28 on site; $75 VIP. theoutbreakaz.com.
The Rawhide Western theme park hosts another “hayride,” this time aboard an Army truck and trailer dubbed the Zombie Assault Vehicle, where you’ll be armed with paintballs renamed Zombie Slugz. Head shots are recommended if you want to put the undead down for good.
Details: 7-10 p.m. start times Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 6-Nov. 4. Koli Road west of Wild Horse Pass Boulevard, Chandler. $25 online; $29 on site; $20 for active/retired military and first responders. zombiewarzaz.com.
The Crypt Haunted Attractions
The double attraction features the Crypt (“ghouls, ghosts and goblins”) and the Asylum (where the mad Dr. Vantas has turned the inmates into killers), plus the Chaos Maze.
Details: Friday, Sept. 22, through Wednesday, Nov. 1. Fiesta Mall, 1600 S. Alma School Road, Mesa. On site: $18 for single haunted house, $8 for Chaos Maze. Online sales: $25 for all access, $35 to skip the lines. hauntedaz.com.
AZ Field of Screams
Decaying ghouls, masked slashers and chainsaw-wielding lunatics are among the dangers that might be lurking in this haunted corn maze, supposedly grown on top of a graveyard. (Actually, it’s at Tolmachoff Farms, which also is hosting Pumpkin Days in October.)
Details: 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (plus Halloween), Sept. 30-Oct. 31. 5726 N. 75th Ave., Glendale. $15-$20. 602-999-3276, azfieldofscreams.com.
Golfland Fright Nights
Golfland-Sunsplash has the Gauntlet Haunted House, which promises “skilled actors,” special effects and animatronics in its multilevel walk-through. Crawling and climbing required. Option two: Spooktacular Mini Golf, 18 holes with Halloween themes. There are also costumed characters here, but they’re on hand with candy, not scares.
Details: Friday, Sept. 29, through Tuesday, Oct. 31. Days and times vary. Mesa Golfland/Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave. $15 for the Gauntlet; $6.99-$7.99 for golf. 480-834-8319, golflandfrightnights.com.
Sanctum of Horror
Enter the mind of little lost Lenore (that’s a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, folks) to witness the brutal murder of her family and travel to St. Charlotte Asylum, where the inmates have taken over and started experimenting on the doctors. Then there’s the Breach, which offers its own version of the Zombie Apocalypse set off by a South American leech. Eww.
Details: Friday, Sept. 29, through Tuesday, Oct. 31. Days and times vary. Superstition Springs Center, 6555 E. Southern Ave., Mesa. $15; $22 for both haunts. 480-200-8136, sanctumofhorror.com.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-4896.
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