St. Louis Scarefest: A Parents Guide to Taking Your Kids to Haunted Houses

It’s that time of year again for the spooky season to begin! It is one of my favorite times of the year. The weather is amazing but sometimes chilly, and the end of the year festivities begin to really start ramping up. For the last few years my wife and I had the awesome opportunity to visit two amazing haunted houses, The Darkness downtown in the historic Soulard area and Creepyworld in Fenton. They have always, always, ALWAYS been a blast, but this year was a little different… We brought the kids!!!

We have waited so long for this time to come. To be able to take our children to the fun things that we like to do but they had never been old or mature enough! That changed this year. As the spooky season approached we had discussed with our kids the idea of going to one or more of the haunted houses in the St. Louis area. They always seemed reluctant, but this year was different. I talked with my brother-in-law about going to the haunts and that I thought my niece (12) would be able to handle it. He thought both of his kids (12 & 8) would enjoy a walk through terrifying lane. So I talked with my kids as well. My son Alex (8), he was all about it, my daughter (12) on the other hand, she was a little iffy and asked if she could think about it over night.

The next morning she said she was down to go, so we figured out a time and Friday night when the sun went down we were on our way to Creepyworld in Fenton, MO with a group of 10 ready to take on the scares that awaited us.

It was so much fun! Having the four kids with us made the frightening adventure that much more enjoyable. We have done the haunted houses, so we know what it’s like to get jump scared or grossed out from looking at the amazing setups, but seeing our own children get frightened beyond belief is the entertainment parents need. Remember all those times they wouldn’t go to bed, well now it’s time for payback with a few dozen jump scares!!!

The kids had the time of their lives. They got scared but not scared enough to turn around. The actors did an amazing job of being creepy and scary! Going through each attraction was a heart racing time as we twisted and turned our way through areas such as the Krampus House, Camp Crystal Creek, Silo X, and the eye popping Sleepy Hollow 3D! We also had to ride the haunted hayride at Creepyworld. It was one of the kids’ favorite parts, especially when Jason dragged a camper right off the trailer! The hayride is a nice break between a few of the houses. It gives you a change of pace before getting right back into the biggest Screampark in St. Louis.

After a trip the grab a couple t-shirts from the gift shop we ventured through the new Jack O’ Lantern Spooktacular setup they have out at Creepyworld. It is a large area with some of the most amazing, awesome, pumpkins ever made! Lots of photo-ops and a nice change up from the scary adventure you just went through. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you have kids with you, or even if its just adults, it is a nice break from the creepiness that is Creepyworld.

Our experience at The Darkness was much different, and not in a bad way. In my opinion I think The Darkness can be scarier than Creepyworld. Mainly because The Darkness is inside a building, Creepyworld, while you do go inside areas, you are also outside too, but The Darkness, well it’s a maze inside there and it can get pretty scary. We went to The Darkness two days after Creepyworld. We also didn’t have a big group of 10, it was just the St. Louis Dad crew. 2 adults and 2 kids. The Darkness did their job of terrifying us and we had to let Pig Face that was hanging outside with the line that The Darkness was pretty scary!

Between the two Scarefest options, I think they both are great for kids. Well, kids that have watched at least a scary movie or two. You know your kids better than I would, but if the Sanderson sisters freak them out, haunted houses might not be for them, but if Ghostface is a household staple, it’s time to get them into Scarefest!

If you plan on taking your kids, here are few things that might be helpful before you get in line.

  • Use the bathroom! If you already went before you left the house, go again!
  • Parts of Creepyworld are outside such as the lines to each attraction and the Haunted Hayride and Jack O Lantern Spooktacular, so be sure to check the weather and dress accordingly.
  • The Darkness is indoors and it can get pretty warm. You will get hot if you wear a hoodie.
  • Remind your child that the actors cannot touch you and they should not touch them! It’s all just for fun and nobody is there to hurt anyone.
  • There are no refunds! Even if you are in line and you haven’t gone in, you can’t get a refund!
  • Parking at Creepyworld is $5, so bring some cash, and parking at The Darkness is in a secured lot, but you do have to pay at a kiosk or use the app.
  • Use the bathroom before you go!!!

Both places are affordable and tickets can be purchased online or at the locations. They both have great gift shops with shirts, masks, and other spooky items and according to my sister-in-law the hotdogs at Creepyworld are AMAZING!

This coming up weekend my wife and I are planning on visiting the Lemp Brewery Haunted House. That will be a completely new experience for us and we are looking forward to it. Be sure to come back to read about our visit!

Creepyworld, The Darkness, and the Lemp Brewery Haunted House are now open! Grab your tickets ahead of time by ordering online and be sure to follow them and of course, me on social media!


St. Louis — is ready for the 2022 Haunt Season and new frights and experiences have been added at the event’s three attractions — The Darkness, Creepyworld and the Lemp Brewery. 


The area around St. Louis’ historic Soulard neighborhood might just be America’s scariest square mile with two of the nation’s top haunted houses and fright-themed escape rooms opening for the Halloween season.

The Darkness, called America’s Best and Scariest Haunted House, is now open on weekends through October 16 and then every night from October 20 – 31, ending the season reopening on the weekend of November 4 & 5.

The Darkness celebrates its 29th Year of Fear in 2022 with a renovation that has made the experience longer and scarier with 200 animated scenes. New in 2022 is the Horror Retail Store along with new scenes and screams, including a Killer Pumpkin Barn, Haunted Conservatory, a Horror Arcade with pinball games, a new five-minute Coffin Escape Room, Zombie Jam Basketball, Walking Dead Shooting Games, Horror Arcades, Ride the Electric Chair, and photo opportunities with the haunt’s living monsters.


All new at Creepyworld for 2022 is the Jack O’Lantern Spooktacular. Featuring more than 2,500 pumpkins carved with monsters and pop culture celebrities, the experience is fun for everyone in the family. Tickets to Creepyworld are not required to visit the Jack O’Lanterns except for Friday and Saturday nights.

Creepyworld is America’s longest & biggest haunted “screampark” with 13 attractions including a haunted hayride, a new Monster Midway, a Vampire Crypt Escape Room, graveyards, cornfields and a Christmas-themed haunted house.

Creepyworld in Fenton, MO, opens for the season on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 30 and then every night from October 20 through October 31, and again the nights of November 4 & 5. 


The all-new Lemp Brewery Haunted House is located deep underground where operators promise, “no one can hear you scream” inside St. Louis’ only real haunted house. 

Inside the historic brewery’s caverns — once used to lager beer and host parties — guests will come face to face with demons and navigate confusing mazes inside the House of Occult in the pitch black limestone cave. 

The Lemp Brewery Haunted House is only open for 10 nights in 2022:  October 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 21 & 22, 28 & 29 and 30 & 31. 


Jurassic island, the Pirate’s Curse,Frankenstein & Dracula-themed Escape Rooms are now open at St Louis Escape, located in the Soulard neighborhood south of downtown St. Louis next to historic Soulard Market and The Darkness Haunted House.

The Frankenstein room is filled with animations, high-tech special effects and amazing puzzles. Players must prove there is life after death to be released from the chamber.  St. Louis Escape now features seven escape rooms. In addition to Frankenstein and Dracula, groups can play the new Jurassic Island with its fearsome dinosaurs, The Haunted Hotel, The Cellar, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Silly Putter, an elaborate black-light 1980’s-themed mini-golf course, and a retro pinball arcade round out a visit to the haunt complex.

Escape rooms can be booked at Follow the escapes on Instagram @stlouisescape. The escape rooms and mini golf course are open Wednesdays through Sundays.


Tickets for The Darkness, Lemp Haunted House and Creepyworld are available individually or in combination deals at

The Darkness and St. Louis Escape are located at 1525 and 1517 South 8th Street, St Louis, MO 63104. 

Creepyworld is located in Fenton off highway 141 just a mile south of Gravois Rd. at 1400 S Old Highway 141 Fenton, MO 63026 

Lemp Haunted House is located at 3500 Lemp Avenue just one mile from The Darkness off South Broadway. 

More information is available at

A Christmas Horror Story: Krampus – Jack Frost’s Revenge! – ONE NIGHT ONLY AT THE DARKNESS IN ST. LOUIS!

Krampus is coming to The Darkness – America’s scariest haunted house – for one night only, December 11, 2021 from 7 to 10 p.m.

The horrifying event is limited to the first 1,500 tickets sold. Timed tickets are available online at:

Guests can scare up holiday pictures with Krampus, enjoy free Christmas candy and walk through the Darkness which has been reimagined as a creepy Christmas nightmare. 

Next door to The Darkness, St Louis Escape offers six elaborately themed escape rooms and a 1980’s-themed blacklight mini golf course. Make a frightful night of it by visiting Krampus at the Darkness and adding an escape room and golf outing. Escape Room adventures can be booked now at

WHAT: A Christmas Horror Story: Krampus – Jack Frost’s Revenge
WHEN: Saturday, December 11, 2021
HOURS: 7 to 10 p.m.
WHERE: The Darkness is located next to Soulard Market at 1525 S. 8th St., St. Louis, MO 63104.
WHAT: What is Krampus? In Alpine folklore, Krampus is a horned beast who helps St. Nicholas by scaring children who have been bad during the year. More details are available at

See the Krampus 2021 video here: 

Scarefest in St. Louis 2021

Haunted house season is upon us and this year Scarefest is back in St. Louis with The Darkness, Creepyworld, and The Lemp Haunted House! With so many new and different attractions this year, it is definitely time to revisit the scariest destinations in the area!

This past weekend my wife and I managed to go to two different haunted houses. Friday night we went downtown to the Soulard area and checked out The Darkness for the 2021 season. Terrifying is an understatement. With new covid precautions in place you can be worry free as you navigate the twists and turns through-out this remarkable scream inducing labyrinth of horror. We arrived early to avoid the lines and when we left you can see the crowd was getting bigger. With plenty of parking, security, and screams, The Darkness is something to embrace rather than avoid this time of the year!

The actors and performers at The Darkness were top notch. Their costumes and performances were knocked out of the park. They thoroughly scared me and my wife. That girl swinging and bouncing around in one of the areas has been ingrained in my head as absolutely terrifying. Let’s just say my heart was pumping and it took a while for the adrenaline to wear off.

After a night of getting my head straight we were back at it again. This time we ventured out to Fenton to visit Creepyworld. This place is literally like a whole other world. Fog, lights, strobes, sounds, and so much more fill so many different haunted attractions and each and every one of them lives up to the Creepyworld name. With 13 haunted attractions in one location including the all NEW Slaughter and Sons Funeral Home – Tales of Terror – The Pumpkin Barn and an all-new Krampus haunted house. Creepyworld also features St Louis’ ONLY Haunted Hayride ‘Trick R Treat Haunted Hayride.

Creepyworld is the longest haunted house in the St Louis area by far! Bring your camera as Creepyworld features multiple photo ops for you and your friends! Creepyworld features several haunted houses including Haunted Asylum, Haunted Prison, Haunted Hospital, Sleepyaway Camp, Krampus, Blackout, Silo-X, Haunted Mansion, and the new Sleepy Hollow 3D haunted house. It takes over one hour to complete so bring your friends and scream together!

While we did not get there early enough to avoid a line, we did not have to wait too long to make our way through this hellish adventure. Plus while waiting in line there was plenty of terror to be had. Actors come through and visit with guests and there is also a huge projection setup telling the story of several of the attractions.

Camp Crystal Creek was one of my favorites. Our family is big into Jason and the Friday the 13th lore, so seeing this area fleshed out with well, flesh, and of course Jason, just makes it even scarier. The Krampus house was also a highlight. With more lighting to highlight the Christmas gore and the enslaved children forced to work by Krampus, it really puts a damper on the holiday season.


We plan on visiting the Lemp Brewery Haunted House this year as well. We just have to fit the trip in our schedule, but judging from the photos, it looks amazing and just as creepy and scary as The Darkness and Creepyworld. Follow me on social media for more photos when we do visit!

The Darkness, Creepyworld, and Lemp are all worth visiting this season. I have got to say, props and amazing work by all that make these haunted houses possible. From the actors, designers, and builders, to the security and sales clerks. Check out some of my behind the scenes at The Darkness photos! A haunted house is a great escape from reality with all of the drama and craziness we all endure day after day, and Scarefest is the place to make that happen. It’s amazing what a couple hours of screaming your head off will do for your mental health!

You can grab tickets at the ticket booth or online at

Follow The Darkness on social media for more awesome details!

Twitter @Scarefest
Instagram @Scarefest
Scarefest on
The Darkness on
Creepyworld on
Lemp on

Each locations has different Covid-19 precautions and rules and regulations are changing all the time. Be sure to check out their website if you have any questions!