Castle of Chaos is the horror attraction giving fear all through the year


Spencer Baese

Jeremiah Southworth prepares for his role as Pennywise for the night.

Nason Jones and Andrew Gardner

Darkness, smoke across the floor, loud bangs and pops, and a beating heart fills as walking through the halls of a haunted attraction.

Often everyone knows it’s coming, but when? Around the corner, a lifeless figure in the dark lunges towards that fear.

It was inevitable, but it still felt so terrifying.

The state of Utah is the hidden gem for any haunted attraction, especially in the Salt Lake valley. Most of the time you see them in plain sight: Fear Factory is visible while driving north and southbound on the I-15; Nightmare on 13th is nearly impossible to miss when driving down 13th South. However, what should be seen as a “hidden gem” is Castle of Chaos on State Street and 7980 south.

What makes it so hidden is how the completely haunted house is under the ground. Feeling it’s deep depths are nothing more than tight spaces, demonic themes to scare, and actors at the ready to cause nothing but fear.

“They know how to scare people, anyone can make a scary voice and some people can shrug that off,” House of Chaos Employee Katie Kolesky said. “It’s really hiding where no one can see you and almost getting under people’s skin.”

This year, the Castle of Chaos Haunted Houses opened on September 9 and remained in business until Nov. 5. Even though the Haunted Houses are open for a limited time, they also offer Escape rooms which are open year-round.

During Halloween season on weekdays, the haunted houses were open from 7:30-10 and most weekends from 7:30-11. However, nearing Halloween they can be open all the way till 12 A.M.

The hidden nature of the attraction would make many questions how they fit a full half hour of walking and terror in a small building. Unlike competitors, Castle of Chaos is completely underground which takes you through a maze of themes and scares designed to try and create jump scares and fear.

Castle of Chaos as well differs because of how it is afraid levels ranging from 1-5. Level one participants limit any real jump scares and fearful grabs. However, on the other side of the spectrum is their attempt to make as realistic and terrifying of an experience as they legally are able to.

In order to participate in this crazy part of the attraction, you must be 18 and sign a wavier where participants give permission to be placed in rooms and are tested and challenged by the actor’s more fearful ways.

Just before the opening of the attraction, the Rambler was able to ask some of the actors about their experience with the attraction and even then they remained in character. The devotion of the actors to the job is something that only further enhances the experience, making it well worth the money you spend for that little bit of fear.

If you aren’t quite in the mood for living that full horror experiment, level 3 gives the best of both worlds. Actors will give swipes and brushes to try and give you more fear but won’t go any further than that. This can quickly freak you out but not leave you feeling like it was nothing more than a walk in the park.

The short time that the horror spot is open quickly comes and goes for the Halloween season, but Castle of Chaos doesn’t want to close off its horror operations for the year. Instead, the very haunted attraction that you walk through to be frightened becomes a escape room with inspiration from the darkest of horror experiences.

This way you are able to fill that horror desire, both during the spooky season and any other time.