We’ve had a long hot summer, and it’s fair to say that many Utahns are more than ready for everything fall has to offer, especially the spooky season. What if I told you that you don’t have to wait until October to celebrate Halloween? It’s true! There are Halloween activities for the whole family that you can enjoy all September long. 

Here are some local events to get you in the spirit this September.

The Crazy Corn Maze in West Jordan

This family favorite opens on September 24th. You and your family can get lost in 8 acres of corn. This year they’ve included a mini-maze inside the giant maze for double the fun. There’s also a pumpkin patch on the property, and this year, they will doll it up with Fright Lights. The pumpkin patch will be transformed with lights and music into a magical experience that will delight kids and adults. A pumpkin to take home is included with admission (while supplies last). 

For those feeling a bit braver, check out the night stalkers haunted trail located on the same property. This outdoor haunt also begins September 24th and is perfect for older kids or teens. 

See their site for more information and to buy tickets. 

Fall Festival at Cross E Ranch in North Salt Lake

The hot June weather postponed Cross E Ranch’s sunflower crop this year, but that’s actually good news. It means they have gorgeous fields of sunflowers ready for September guests, and they are starting their fall festival early so people can enjoy them. From September 17th through October 30th, they’ll be hosting their annual fall festival. Come out and enjoy sunflowers, pumpkins, a corn maze, and farm animals at this working ranch. For a small fee, you can even take some sunflowers and pumpkins home with you. 

They also have pig races, hayrides, a zip line, and a hay pyramid. They don’t offer much that’s spooky unless you count the corn maze, but there’s something about fall on the farm that brings back memories of candy corn, apple bobbing, and other childhood Halloween staples. Speaking of which, don’t forget to try some of their famous apple cider donuts and gourmet caramel apples. 

See their site for a complete list of activities.

Witch Fest at Gardner Village

Gardner Village is celebrating 21 years of Witch Fest this year with a packed calendar of witch-themed activities. The event starts on September 18th and runs through October 30th. If you prefer warmer weather and a slightly less crowded experience, September is a great time to go. September events include rides and activities, a witch scavenger hunt, the Witch 5K Run on September 25th, and witchy decorations throughout the village. While you’re there, you can buy some new Halloween decor or treat your sweet tooth with some gourmet candy. Don’t forget to wear your best pointed hat.

See their website for more details.

The Oddities and Curiosities Expo

This traveling event is landing at the Mountain America Expo Center on Sat. September 11th. It bills itself as a DIY craft and artisans fair “for lovers of the strange, unusual and bizarre.” According to their site, guests can see and take home items such as taxidermy, preserved specimens, quack medical devices, odd jewelry and clothing, and Halloween/horror-inspired pieces. There will also be original artwork and antiques. 

For those who want to dig in deeper, they offer a taxidermy class and a cadaver class. The cadaver class offers attendees the chance to view a forensic autopsy on a complete human cadaver, with educational description throughout. Or you can take the dissection class to be guided through a human dissection by medical professionals. This class offers several opportunities to get an up-close view of what’s beneath our skin. 

If curiosities and cadavers don’t scratch that Halloween itch, then nothing will.

Tickets and info

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at West Valley Performing Arts Center

A spooky night at the theater is a great way to celebrate Halloween anytime. The West Valley Performing Arts Center presents the infamous story of Sweeney Todd from September 9th through October 2nd. Get ready to get your fill of theatrical blood and gore (and never look at a meat pie the same way again.) Horror movies are great, but live performances can be even more immersive. You can also feel good about supporting talented local actors and artists. 

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Castle of Chaos Haunted House in Midvale

If you want to get some serious Halloween screams this September, look no further than Castle of Chaos. The underground haunt is open every Friday and Saturday all month long. They’ve been a Utah staple for years because they consistently provide a scary-awesome experience. 

They’ve added more animatronics to make things safer for guests during the pandemic, but the actors still go the extra mile to personalize things. They also keep groups separate as you go through the haunt. This gives actors the chance to zero in on you, so you’ll never feel like you are just being funneled past creepy props. The experience is immersive, and they let you choose what level of fear you are up for. Those with younger kids can choose level one for a less scary experience. If you want your pants scared off, you can choose a higher level.

September is a great time to get a jump on the crowds and preview the experience so you can decide which friends you want to take on Halloween. (Read: which friends will be totally freaked out.) If one weekend isn’t enough for you, you can keep your wristband on and bounce back for only $10. 

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