The CH in Chaos


Photo by Dylan Snook

Growl Staff

Castle of Chaos is a Utah based haunted house that first opened in 2001, and since then it has changed locations multiple times. At the location it is in right now, 7980 S State Street, the haunted house is the only underground haunt in Utah. USA Today said that the Castle of Chaos is in the top ten best haunted houses in America. 


This haunted house is dedicated to scaring people all year round. Castle of Chaos also has escape rooms and they are all themed to be scary.  Dalton Brown, the general manager of Castle of Chaos, said, “It’s fun to do. Scaring people is a blast even in the off season with escape rooms.”  The haunt and escape rooms are not the only things that they offer.


The overall haunted house offers different levels of experiences, ranging from one to five. Level One being where the scarers aren’t allowed to touch or get too close to you. Level Two, the actors can get as close as they like, but they cannot touch you.  Level Three, allows the scarers to touch you, but they cannot force you into anything beyond your comfort zone. Level Four and Level Five are similar, being that the scarers can carry you, be ruder to you, and push you around. The only difference between those levels is that for Level 5, you must be over the age of 18 and the more aggressive interactions are guaranteed. 


Most of the scarers weren’t allowed to discuss Level 5 to The Growl, but the creative director, Nick Justice, AKA The Exterminator, explained that Level 5 isn’t an experience he would personally recommend to a stranger. 


The Krusebel is an extreme haunt. For $150 you and 9 of your closest friends can try and stay the whole night from 11pm to 7am in not just the regular haunted house, but in specialty rooms too. To do this you must be over 18 and sign a waiver. James Bernard, Founder and CEO, said, “We’ve only had one person stay the whole night.” He continued by saying, “A guy got out one time and we chased him down the street and brought him back.” 


The main focus is still their main haunt, and in order to improve from year to year the crew changes it each year in an attempt to make it scarier and entertaining. Brown said, “We used to have a kitchen, but nobody wanted to buy food from a haunted house, so we closed it down and added a set. Then we added a new finale that’s ‘Friday the 13th’ themed.” The Grizzly Growl staff got the opportunity to tour behind the scenes of the haunt, and meet the cast and management.


The following are their perspectives:


I usually prefer being in control of my environment. Haunted houses don’t offer the pleasure of being in control, but rather the exact opposite. I didn’t want to enter the Castle of Chaos at all due to me being terrified of not knowing what was going to happen. With a good amount of peer pressure, I chose the Level One experience. 


Level One offers a glowstick to help the scarers identify who they can’t touch and to prevent them from invading personal space. Having the glow stick felt like having a magic wand that made all of the monsters disappear, but I would definitely go back and choose level 2 or 3 depending on the amount of peer pressure I receive. Being in Level One, you can easily drop or put away the glow stick and enter Level 2. I didn’t drop my glow stick because I felt the need to have it in my hand. 


-Milan Mena, Level One Experience


Level 2 was a lot of fun because the actors could get right up in your face and creep you out. They knew what they were doing, they could push you to the brink and keep you on edge the whole time. This made the experience jump to a whole new level. They were professional so even when you tried to talk to them, they would respond in character even if what you said was completely random. The special effects were very high tech; some of the rooms made you go, ‘wow, how did they do this’. Overall, I had a great time and I would definitely go again but on a higher level next time. 


-Alex Hess, Level Two Experience


I did Level 3, which is the level where the actors can start to touch you, but it’s only light touching, meaning that they can hold onto you but if you pull away they’ll let go. It also means that they won’t steal you away from the rest of your group, but if you get asked if you are okay with it, and you give them the thumbs up, they will. This level is all about feeling safe while being scared.


With that being said, I was scared the whole time. There was a time that I got asked if I wanted to be taken away from my group, and It was the best part of the whole experience. I was one on one with the director of Castle of Chaos, and he was basically giving me a private experience. After he was done scaring me, he pushed me back into the main hall of the haunt and I had to walk through by myself until I caught up to the rest of my group. With actors grabbing me and being in my face the whole time, it was one of the best haunted houses I’ve been to in a while.


-Zach Thorne, Level Three Experience