Photos by De La Vaca
At the ripe old age of 18, Josh Holden took the reigns of Frightmare from his father, who began this singularly terrifying experience in 1983. It’s Colorado’s oldest haunted house and, arguably, one of the scariest around.
YS went behind the scenes (see yellowscene.com for more pictures) and we can vouch for the creepy fun intentionality of Frightmare. From the lumberjack swinging axes to the rednecks dragging shovels to the brand new airplane crash scene to that last chainsaw wielding psychopath chasing you out of the 6000 acre compound into the chaotic horror of the clown asylum, Frightmare is out to ruin your night in the best possible way.
Returning visitors will recognize many areas of the compound. Frightmare doesn’t tear down and rebuild. Holden likes to add detail, gore, and nuance to the existing sections while expanding into new ones (pay close attention to the candied skeletons that look so lifelike I thought it was beef jerky). This is a major benefit of The Frightmare Compound’s location in Westminster, north of Denver.
Past visitors have warned that this isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the sure footed, for those who can scramble and scream and feel their way in blackness to the shrieks of horror, whirrr of chainsaws, and cries from the skinned knees and terror stricken. The good news is you get a beer with the cost of admission so, after you’ve caught your breath and collected your emotions, you can walk across the street to Westminster Brewery, grab a Frightmare draft, and tell everyone about how you survived the scariest night of your life.
A legacy in Colorado, a legacy of the Holden family, this is probably the one haunted house in Colorado you don’t want to miss out on. Not this year. And not in the years to come.