Nightmare on 13th – a Halloween Experience
By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
Rated in the top ten haunted houses in the United States many times, it has stood for 30 years and we have it right here in Utah. The building housed Streater Chevrolet back in the 60s’ with a brightly lit show room displaying the latest models back in the day.
Do You Want to Be Scared?
Now there is nothing bright about the building. Located on 13th south in Salt Lake, it houses 36,000 feet of haunted rooms. There are no soft lights, no soft music, nothing to indicate warmth and comfort. Nothing at all that is inviting about this dark and towering building.
Or is there? 60,000 people a year are drawn to this dark and eerie building. It isn’t the very tall pumpkin-head, wielding a very big mallet, who doesn’t talk. He quietly moves about the courtyard and when you least expect it, he taps you on the shoulder. His joy comes in seeing your reaction. In fact all of the trained actors who lurk in the haunted rooms thrive on getting you to jump out of your skin.
Actors Thrive on Your Reaction
I have a grandson who makes his fun operating a chain saw in one of the rooms in the tower. It doesn’t have a cutting chain fitted in the bar, but you couldn’t prove that to the screaming girls who just barely escaped that mad man.
We entered the courtyard and examined the features there. Yes, while I was talking to my kids, Mr. Pumpkin Head quietly snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. Yes, I jumped, the kids laughed, and so it began.
The courtyard features sets designed for “Kodak” moments. Have your picture taken in one of the coffins standing against a wall, or next to a classy hot rod hearse. Mr. Pumpkin Head will be glad to offer a threatening pose for a picture with you.
Entering the Dark Tower
The entrance into the dark tower was foreboding and people spoke in hushed tones, even the Headless Horseman was quiet, who would have guessed? However, there were a lot of things that weren’t quiet. I couldn’t help my interest in the animatronics.
That interest was with me throughout the haunting experience – while the Headless Horseman was quiet, his sword cut the air with vigor, the giant dragon was hissing and screaming as it blew forth smoke and there was more. Animatronics played a big role throughout the tour.
What lurked in the Next Room?
I don’t remember the sequence of the rooms, but there were some that were unforgettable. There was a huge Tesla Coil that produced lightning bolts that snapped loudly as I passed.
An actor was in a room separated from me by only chicken wire. Electricity crackled as he scraped a shovel across the wire next to my face. Who wouldn’t jump?
I walked a narrow wooden bridge next to a wall. As I moved along the wall, it began pushing me off the bridge. The drop off the edge appeared to be of no small consequence. I made a leap for safety and made it, whew! Unbeknownst to me, it was all an illusion. It was flat and had I been pushed off, I would have just fallen over like an old grandpa – which I am.
The Walls of Claustrophobia
In another room, I had to squeeze between cotton sheets pressed together with air. I called them the walls of claustrophobia.
Moving on through the rooms, I encountered a huge alligator head that just missed me, an R.O.U.S (Rat of Unusual Size) that darted out in front of me, and a rude scarecrow that interrupted my peace.
Entering another room a person dressed all in black suspended on bungie cords jumped out onto the path only to be pulled back to his perch. The thing that caught me off guard the most were the floor boards that dropped. It was only a little, but it happened when I least expected it.
The Turning Tunnel of Lights
Another feature was a walkway through a long tunnel of lights that was turning like a drum. The walkway was stationary, but you couldn’t prove it by me. I had to hold on tightly to make it through that room.
My first thought as I entered any of the rooms was, “Okay, what is going to get me in this one? The last room before I had to face the chainsaw guy was the maze. I was just glad that I was not alone in that one. I just might still be there.
The creativity in this haunted house is worth five stars. It is easy to see why the actors enjoy their jobs. They really get into their roles.
One of the things that made this visit especially enjoyable was that there were six screaming, laughing, high school girls coming behind me. Their reactions boosted my nightmare experience.
Put Nightmare on 13th On Your List
I made it through and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are looking for a haunted house experience, this is one to put at the top of your list.