Let’s get scared.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush this Halloween season, we know where all the monsters, zombies and vampires hang out after dark.
While Boulder itself doesn’t have any large-scale, well-known, public haunted houses, in the traditional sense, there are plenty of other local ways to get spooked. And if a dark and creepy haunted house is what you’re craving, some of the state’s best offerings are less than an hour away.
Denver is the main hub for haunted houses, both “real” and seasonal. But there is plenty of screaming to be had beyond Denver.
Here’s a look at the best haunted house attractions close to Boulder.
In Boulder County
Banjo Billy’s Ghost Tours: Boulder has some great haunts. So many of the historic buildings have unusual stories. And this quirky tour bus will take you to the best of them. Banjo Billy’s bus does ghost story tours Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons in October. The Boulder tour visits the Hotel Boulderado, the Montgomery house and Boulder Creek. Learn the stories of one particularly odd Boy Scout and learn about the ghost who supposedly lives at the historic Boulder Theater. Banjo Billy will also do private ghost tours and has a second route in Denver.
A Self-Guided Tour: Take yourself on a tour of Boulder’s ghostly locations by following along with the book, “Ghosts of Boulder,” by Ann Alexander Leggett and Jordan Alexander Leggett. The book, part of the “Haunted America” series, walks readers through Boulder’s “hair raising lore.” Wonder which popular restaurant used to be a mortuary? Find out here, and then visit it for yourself to see if you can sense the creepy crawlies. Another fun local scary book is “Haunted Boulder 2: Ghostly Tales From Boulder and Beyond,” by Roz Brown and Ann Alexander Leggett. Learn more about Boulder’s supposed haunted spots online at Haunted Boulder.
Terror in the Corn and Zombie Paintball: By night, Anderson Farms in Erie transforms into a scary corn maze. It claims to be Colorado’s only haunted hayride and ghost town experience. The 30-minute ride begins when a wagon drops you off in the middle of a cornfield, which you must try to walk your way out of, including venturing through a “haunted ghost town.” This is not a maze, though, so you can’t get lost. There’s also a zombie paintball “hunt” in the cornfields from wagons. A wagon holds 20 people and wagons are stocked with paintball guns.
About 30 Minutes Away
Haunted Field of Screams, Thornton: This is one of the best haunted tours in Colorado and it claims to be Colorado’s largest haunted attraction. Actually, there are three different scary experiences in one spot. Haunted Field of Screams takes you through a cornfield in the dark. You guessed it; clowns, zombies and madmen await around random corners. You can also visit Dead Man’s Night Maze and the Zombie Paintball Massacre.
The Frightmare Compound, Westminster: The Frightmare Compound claims to be Denver’s first haunted house, dating back to 1983, which means organizers have had plenty of time to fine-tune the frights and create a pretty terrifying experience. The founder has since died, and rumor is he’s buried within the guts of this compound, which has invested millions of dollars into its Hollywood-quality production. You will crawl through a barn, caverns, wet swamplands and more.
This “compound” also houses the House of Darkness, featuring a Clown House this year, and Lights Out. This all-dark haunted house actually runs Nov. 10 and 11 and has a limited number of tickets. There’s no description of this event beyond: “Your group. Complete darkness. Lost in the compound.”
30 Minutes to 1 Hour Away
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park: Just about an hour drive from Boulder is one of Colorado’s most famous, “real” haunted houses. The Stanley Hotel inspired author Stephen King to write “The Shining,” and it has since held much ghostly lore. Want to learn more? Take a nighttime spirit tour that will bring you through the hotel’s underground tunnel and into some of the strangest nooks of the sprawling white mansion.
Central City Masonic Cemetery: About an hour southwest of Boulder, you’ll bump into the gamblin’ town of Central City. This old mining town also happens to have a cemetery with some scary legends connected to it. There are stories of seeing a young boy ghost, a woman in black and more. The Gilpin County Historical Society is known to offer Creepy Crawls through the cemetery and around town in October.