10 Best Haunted Houses in Metro Phoenix

They're coming to getcha.
They're coming to getcha.
Mohawk Photography

It’s getting downright frightening these days, and there are tons of scary things lurking just around the corner. And no, we aren’t just referring to the impending presidency of either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.

The Halloween season is upon us, which means tons of costumes and candy for sale in stores and hordes of creepy creatures searching for their next victim inside any of the Valley’s various haunted houses.

And there are plenty of haunts located around the Phoenix area. That includes both the professional-looking scream spots like Fear Farm or Jack and Jill’s Haunted Hill, which utilize the latest interactive technology and special effects to frighten you, and the more D.I.Y. ones that are built by passionate Halloween fans inside their homes.

We’ve included both in our list of the best haunted houses in the Valley, many of which boast big thrills and actual scares, instead of flocks of teenagers with bad makeup and even worse acting skills. All will be open at various times from now until Halloween or even early November, and all offer the chance to be chased with chainsaws or have your life and livelihood threatened.

Prepare yourself, mortal.

Mount Mayhem
Think every kid is an innocent soul that’s pure of heart? You’ve obviously never seen The Omen, The Good Son, or The Brood, bub, nor have you paid a visit to Mount Mayhem. This impressive-looking home haunt in north central Phoenix has been frightening people since 2009, and is teeming with corrupted preteens and adolescents known as “darklings.” As the story goes, they’re all refugees from an orphanage that have sworn to do the evil bidding of an insidious swarm of creatures known as The Glomung. It's sort of like Lord of the Flies meets Children of the Corn. Try to keep all this in mind as you traipse through this D.I.Y.-style haunted house situated in a backyard while creepy kiddos let loose with blood-curdling screams.

Hours and pricing: Mount Mayhem operates from October 22 to October 23 and from October 28 until October 31. Doors open at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is free.

The Gauntlet at Golfland is in need of some fresh meat.EXPAND
The Gauntlet at Golfland is in need of some fresh meat.
Benjamin Leatherman

The Gauntlet
Golfland's medieval-like castle goes from utterly kooky to supremely spooky during the month of October, when its second floor transforms into The Gauntlet, a twisting and turning fear factory where patrons are called "victims," the doors open by themselves, and there's something waiting around every single corner that's almost guaranteed to make you jump. That includes its large array of pneumatically powered or automated thrills, and creatures that are triggered by motion sensors (the most out of any local haunt) and that are truly shocking, like the winged succubus that comes from the darkness and appears to fly straight for your head; cackling clown heads that leap out in jack-in-the-box style; and, downright sickening, a swirling infestation of roaches that are projected along one wall. The Gauntlet's actors, however, seem to do their damnedest to freak you out and tend to get especially unhinged. Or maybe they're just acting like normal teenagers.

Hours and pricing: Operates Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. until October 7, and then Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. through October 31. Tickets are $15 per person.

The spooky scene outside of Chris Birkett's house in Scottsdale.EXPAND
The spooky scene outside of Chris Birkett's house in Scottsdale.
Benjamin Leatherman

Chris Birkett's Haunted Graveyard
It isn't hard to guess which two holidays Scottsdale resident Chris Birkett enjoys the most. Drive past the five-bedroom home he shares with his wife and children during the buildup to either Christmas or Halloween and you'll witness eye-popping and interactive multimedia displays devoted to the respective occasion. The 41-year-old goes beyond the pale and far beyond most other decorative yard setups seen around the Valley, as he spends half the year (and likely some serious cash) planning his annual ode to each holiday.

With all that said, we're more partial to the Haunted Graveyard, his Halloween-time display that encompasses his front yard, garage, and part of the backyard. It offers some legit scares. A genuine sense of claustrophobia creeps over you while meandering around the cramped hallways winding through his garage that resemble a foreboding and decrepit mansion cloaked in dim light, choked with spider webs, and imbued with creepy thrills. A mix of influences ranging from macabre illustrator Edward Gorey and Disneyland's Haunted Mansion are evident throughout.

Hours and pricing: Nightly, 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., from October 27 to October 31. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

The saw is family.
The saw is family.
Benjamin Leatherman

AZ Field of Screams
There is most definitely something lurking out in the vast cornfields of Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale. And no, it's not Shoeless Joe Jackson, but rather something similarly ghostly and undead. Sinister creatures like leather-faced freaks, evil clowns, and bloodied brutes are eager to make your acquaintance throughout the six-acre field and inside a few haunted structures scattered along the way.

And believe us, when demonic denizens of Field of Screams' lengthy maze jump out at you, it's definitely going to startle and alarm. There are little in the way of lights, so your pulse is likely pounding from the darkened and disorienting experience of wandering along the narrow paths where the corn seems to be closing in around you from everywhere, probably because it is, and helping to hide whoever – or whatever – is out there.

Hours and pricing: Open on Fridays and Saturdays only, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., through October 31. Admission is $16 per person, and a $2 discount coupon is available online.

Scarizona Scaregrounds
A quarry on the edge of Mesa serves as a suitably scary setting for this new addition to the Halloween scene, which debuted last year. As its name implies, it's akin to a fairgrounds or carnival of sorts with live music on the weekends, games like zombie trivia, sideshow entertainers, a beer and wine garden, vendors, and the chance to run a gauntlet of characters with chainsaws or blast the undead in a zombie-filled paintball course.

There are actual scares to go along with the eclectic cavalcade of activities, courtesy of two different haunts on the property – “Epic Fear,” a blackout course shrouded in total darkness, and “Slayer's Slaughter House,” a revoltingly gore-adorned abattoir with rotting corpses and rancid flesh. We're willing to hazard a guess that you won't be visiting any of the on-site food vendors after rolling though it.

Hours and pricing: Scarizona Scaregrounds is open from 7 to 11 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays; 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is $20 for both haunts or to play zombie paintball. A combo pack covering all the attractions is $35.

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