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Draper Journal

Draper’s Haunted Trail promises a spooky good time for families

Oct 12, 2023 09:26AM ● By Katherine Weinstein

Intrepid explorers made their way through a trail of “spider webs” at Draper’s Haunted Trail event in 2022. (Photo courtesy of Draper City)

For family-friendly Halloween thrills and chills, the Haunted Trail is the place to be in Draper. The event, a short hike along a wooded trail filled with spooky scenes, eerie special effects and creepy characters will take place on Oct. 26, 27 and 28 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Andy Ballard Arena, 1600 E. Highland Drive.

Community Events Manager David Wilks explained that the idea for the Haunted Trail came about during the first year of the pandemic. “Because of the health conditions at the time, we were unable to gather for a traditional Halloween party,” he said. Previously, Draper families had enjoyed activities and treats at the annual Haunted Hollow events.

The Haunted Trail allowed for socially-distanced spooky fun instead and was a huge hit. “We thought at the time that it would be temporary, but the community response was so positive we’re continuing,” Wilks explained. This year, organizers planned the event to take place over three nights to accommodate as many families as possible.

The Draper City community events team is in charge of putting together the scenic décor along the trail. Wilks was quick to point out that the event is designed for children age 15 and under and does not include any bloody or graphic violence displays. No costumed characters will be jumping out to scare or chase anyone.

Instead, guests will be greeted by a 12-foot skeleton and walk past a haunted graveyard. A display of creepy dolls will be new this year. Guests can also walk through a laser tunnel to witness a live dramatic scene from a galaxy far, far away.

“The darker it gets, the spookier it gets,” Wilks said. Very young children should attend the event earlier in the evening. All are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.

As noted on the Draper City website, the Haunted Trail does incorporate fog machines, sudden noises, scary music and strobe lighting. Persons with conditions that can be aggravated by these special effects should not attend. The trail is only partially paved and involves some uneven ground. Sturdy shoes are recommended and strollers are not permitted.

Members of the Draper City Mayor's Youth Council will be volunteering at the event. Connor Van de Graaff, a junior at Corner Canyon High School explained, “The DYC kids mostly guide people throughout the trail and help show people where to go.”

Kaiyah Sharp, who is also a junior at Corner Canyon, added, "We're stationed throughout the trail. We stay bundled up and watch the kids go through it."

"It's a really fun opportunity to interact with the community," Van de Graaff said.

"This is my favorite holiday event," Sharp said. "It encompasses what Draper is all about—celebrating tradition and being with family but also being on the mountains, on the trails."

In the past, tickets for this popular event have sold out. The cost is $3.25 per child and accompanying parents get in for free. Wilks emphasized that the tickets, which are reserved for specific time slots, must be purchased online. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the event.

For more information and to find the link to buy tickets, visit λ