The Official News Publication of Herriman High School

The Herriman Telegraph

The Official News Publication of Herriman High School

The Herriman Telegraph

The Haunted Forest – is it worth it?

Scarlet Wittwer

AMERICAN FORK- The Haunted Forest, located in American Fork, is an excellent addition to any October Agenda.  It is about a thirty-minute drive from the high school and prides itself on being 1,000,000 square feet of haunts. The attraction opened in 1990 and since then, it has been a Halloween must for many Utahns. For others, it doesn’t take priority over other spooky events taking place across the state. This review will show what sets it apart from other attractions around town, and help you decide if it should be a part of your 2024 Halloween routine.  It will be ranked on value, fear level, and atmosphere.

While not the scariest attraction in the valley, the atmosphere sets it apart. They have plenty of space to work with, and while not every square foot is optimized, there are many moments where the emptiness between scares is just as frightening as the scare itself. Unfortunately, this emptiness does have its downsides, most of the journey through the haunted forest was a walk through the dark. An attempt is made to spice the scenery up through lighting and even a slide midway through the walk-through experience. Just don’t expect to be constantly occupied and frightened like at Fear Factory or Nightmare on 13th. Cast members were very involved and had unexpected ways to achieve scares that weren’t cheap. Unfortunately due to the high demand for scare actors and the large swaths of forest that needed to be filled, not every actor hit it out of the park. With some actors even being seen holding iPhones instead of chainsaws. This took guests out of the experience and broke the illusion they were aiming to create. 

The walk-through attraction took visitors around many different highly themed locations: Dracula’s castle, a dungeon, a swamp, and even a Martian encounter. For every one of these intricate sets, there is a stretch tenfold as long, of trees, lights, and an occasional chainsaw man popping out of the brush. It is nice to be able to take a spooky walk with friends, but just keep in mind that the pictures online emphasize the more decorated parts, while keeping the less decorated parts undocumented. 

Overall, The Haunted Forest is one of Utah’s most iconic and longest-standing Halloween attractions for a reason, and while not without flaw, the year-over-year improvements make it worth a visit. For the overall value you can’t beat it, it’s thirty dollars a ticket, minus student or military discounts, and is far and away the longest attraction in Utah. This price is on par with other attractions in the area. The fear level is fairly high, the whole attraction feels like the eerie music that plays before a jumpscare in a movie. And the atmosphere is extremely fun, even though it is sparse at times. Compared to other attractions in the area, the Haunted Forest is a 7/10 experience and is worthy of a try.

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Brooks Udy
Brooks Udy, Writer

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