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The Scariest Haunted Houses in Iowa

I'm not sure if I can preference this enough - I LOVE Halloween and I LOVE to be genuinely scared. Anyone else? "Something like an adrenaline junkie?" you ask? I don't know, but I love it! Touring the state to be scared each weekend seems crazy, but that is what I'm up to this October! Buckle up, it's time to get scared...here are the scariest Haunted Houses in Iowa.


Check out deetz' picks of the scariest haunted houses across the state!

Scream Acres 🤝 Cold Beer

  1. Sleepy Hollow's Haunted Scream Park (Des Moines). Sleepy Hollow. A happy, perfect place to sled, snowboard and ski in the winter, but don't let that fool you. In October, this place will have you begging for mercy! With seven attractions, including a new one opening this year, you're guaranteed scared! We recommend buying tickets online in advance, as this scream park hits capacity quick on peak nights!

  2. Slaughterhouse (Des Moines). With our office in the same building, Slaughterhouse has become the talk of deetz this October! You know I had to check it out! Before going, you HAVE to read the "History" tab on their website. I had goosebumps then, and I should've known better. Tickets are available online, and the attraction is open Thursday-Sunday all of October. Time to get scared!

  3. Haunted Forest (Ames). This classic haunted experience was my favorite all of high school. Only a short drive outside of Des Moines, this one will have you sprinting for your life -- if you're like me anyways. Don't let the website or cheesy back story fool you, this place is scary! While they don't offer advance tickets, the wait is generally not terrible, and totally worth it. The Haunted Forest is open every Friday & Saturday through October.

  4. Linn's Supermarket (Des Moines). Beginning in 1984, this actual super-market-turned-haunted-house has been scaring for generations. Seriously! My parents love to tell me about being scared half to death at this place. Being around that long makes this place a MUST try, especially with their website not boasting "blood and gore" but instead "suspense and startles". Check out their website for open dates and times. Keep in mind people come from all over to experience Linn's, and no advance tickets are available.

  5. Eclypse Haunted Attraction (Iowa City). This new kid on the block hit the top of my 'must try' list! With a story line based around an evil being living in the shadows, even the website recommends an extra pair of pants. Check out their website for advance tickets and their calendar.

  6. Scream Acres (Atkins). This haunted house consists of three indoor attractions, each with their own storyline. Sprint through the 3D Sinister Silo, Cell Block Z, and The Slaughterhouse. If you survive, check out the Haunted Cornfield. Finish the night with an ice cold beer in the 21+ Glass Alley Beer Garden, and trust me, you'll NEED a beer to recoup!! One ticket includes access to all the activities and, if you buy online, saves you a few bucks.

  7. Scare DSM (Des Moines). Scare DSM is the perfect place to start your night on the town this October! With a live DJ in the courtyard, there's so much fun to be had while waiting for the scare of a lifetime. There's even a "Night of the Living Drag" event on Thursday, October 28th. Tickets are available online or when you arrive for the haunted house and drag show.

  8. Tormented Souls Haunt and Scream Park (Madrid). This haunted house comes with a fun twist. Try your luck with the haunted maze, and if you make it out in one piece, enjoy one of the food or beverage options available for purchase! If you're feeling like taking charge of your experience, try out their Zee-pocolypse Paintball. While tickets are available on-site, this attraction recommends purchasing before hand due to spotty service out in the country!

  9. The 5th Realm (Cedar Rapids). With an eerie backstory, this haunted house is sure to keep you up at night. Flip through their website to learn all about the Cedar Hills Sanitorium, and maybe give yourself an extra meaning to the horrors you'll see at the 5th Realm. Book your tickets in advance online for a guaranteed spot. Open every Friday & Saturday in October, and two Thursday's & Sunday's!

10. Circle of Ash Haunted Attraction (Central City). This three-part haunted attraction offers three types of scares, all daring to be scarier than the next. Even their 30 second promo had me checking over my shoulder! Featuring Socko's Fun House, Circle of Ash, and Frightmare Forest, you will not leave with dry pants. Tickets available online, open every Friday & Saturday in October.


11. Marengo Haunted Barn (Ladora). This haunted attraction is the epitome of Iowa. In a barn in a small town, where people like us go to wet ourselves. Ahhh yes, beautiful. But seriously, if you tell anyone I nearly peed myself, I'll be so embarrassed. No advance tickets available online, but at this price? Worth it. Check out their website for open dates!


Who is ready to try the scariest haunted houses in Iowa? Join our #deetzfam in on the fun.

Find other activities, live events, and so much more near you on the free deetz app!






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