7 of Denver’s best haunted houses to get you in the Halloween spirit

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The anticipation is what gets you.

As you walk room to room, you grab on to the person in front of you — friend or stranger — and wait for the inevitable: the roar of a chainsaw, the moans of the undead or the shrill squeals of hospital experiments gone wrong.

And they get you, but you keep going. They pop out from the dark corners or hang from the ceiling. You walk through the abandoned war zones or the haunted hotels and let the fear take over, because it’s Halloween.

Elitch Gardens Fright Fest

2000 Elitch Circle, Denver

Zombies Molly Evansen and Cara Fresquez lurk in the walkways at Elitch Gardens waiting to scare visitors to Fright Fest 2013. (Denver Post file)

Fright Fest at Elitch Gardens will return for scare-seekers of all ages.

Before the sun goes down, the little ones can enjoy family-friendly activities from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Costumes are encouraged so kids can partake in the daily costume contest and Trick or Treat Trail. Other festive activities include creepy crafts, scary-oke and a scream-it-out contest (which we’re sure the adults wish they could partake in, too).

Then, starting at 6 p.m., it’s time for Fright by Night — a.k.a. grown-up time (or at least 12 and over). Monsters and creepy creatures will roam the cobweb-decorated grounds as you make your way to the haunted houses or check out a seance. Fright Fest runs through Oct. 28. A combo ticket with park entry and haunted houses is $59.99; other attractions may require another ticket inside.

Elitch Gardens is at 2000 Elitch Circle, Denver. Park hours: Fri. 6-10 p.m., Sat. noon -11 p.m., Sun.  noon-9 p.m.;  elitchgardens.com/fright-fest, 303-595-4386. paranormal,paranormal,paranormal

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