SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s that time of year again – spooky season. To mark the October holiday of Halloween, you may be rushing to a nearby haunted house. One, the oldest and most unique in Utah, invited ABC4 inside for a rare behind-the-scenes look at what happens in the scary attraction.
Nightmare on 13th has been opening its doors every fall – and whenever Friday the 13th occurs during the year – for over 30 years. Once you pass the terrifying animatronic Dragon-like creature perched over the doorway, you’re guaranteed to have a scare – or two, or maybe three.
SLIDESHOW: Inside look at Nightmare on 13th
“It is kind of like a dream in a weird way, a bad dream but a good dream,” Jimmy Dilley, the creative director of Nightmare on 13th, tells ABC4. “My belief is if we can’t scare them, to entertain them.”
Unlike other haunted houses, Nightmare on 13th does not allow customers to touch the actors or vice versa, Dilley explains.
If you have been in a haunted house, including Nightmare on 13th, you’ll likely be startled, surprised, or downright scared. And if you were with another person or in a group, you may have had a reaction some of the Nightmare on 13th actors love – the sacrifice.
“Someone is so scared they throw their friend at the scarer,” Dilley describes. Another actor, Josh, tells ABC4 he enjoys “scare somebody so bad that they create human bowling pins.”
Now if you want to bring your kids for a good scare, have no fear – Nightmare on 13th will keep it friendly.
WATCH: Inside look at Nightmare on 13th
“My children come here all the time. The actors know to dial it back a little bit because we do want to scare them but we don’t want to make it so they’re terrified to come back,” personnel director Aaron Record says.
What you may not know is that the Nightmare on 13th staff is constantly working to keep you and its actors safe. Dilley explains there are over 60 different cameras scattered throughout the inside and outside of the haunted house.
“[The cameras] are watching you from the time you pull up to the time you go into the haunted house,” he says. “It helps us monitor the flow, make sure the actors are safe, make sure the public is safe.”
You can find Nightmare on 13th at 320 W 1300 S in Salt Lake City.
See a list of some of the most spooktacular haunted houses in Utah here.