If you want a good fright, but you don’t want to get out of your car and walk amongst the spooks and ghouls in the cold autumn air, a drive-thru haunt would be just the thing for you.
The Canyon Road Haunt in Pleasant Grove is a haunted drive-thru display that, in addition to being a Halloween tradition for many, acts as a means to help those in need.
The Nicol family has been transforming their regular driveway, located at 4416 Canyon Road, into a spooky driveway every October for 12 years.
“We do it for charity,” Sue Nicol said.
The haunt is free to visit, but people are encouraged to bring food or monetary donations that will all be given to Tabitha’s Way Food Pantry.
Since Oct. 1, when the haunt first opened this year, two truck beds full of donated food has been taken to the pantry, Nicol said.
“We’ve really been excited about that this year,” she added.
Twelve years ago, members of the Nicol family decided to start decorating for Halloween.
“I’m kind of competitive,” Nicol said. “When neighbors started doing Christmas lights to music, I thought, ‘I can’t compete with that.’ But, we love Halloween, so we started this.”
That first year, three witches and a burn barrel comprised the props. Many lights and props have been added since.
It takes about two weeks for the family to set everything up and be ready to open by Oct. 1.
Visitors can enter the curved driveway on the south end and continue as it curves around through various scary figure and lights. At the end of the drive, there is a box for the donated food and information about donating money.
Some of the spooky figures include a zombie named Dead Fred, whose arms move back and forth; a witch that stirs a pot; and Frankenstein and Frankenstein’s bride walking a skeleton dog.
“Everything else is pretty kid-friendly,” Nicol said.
The haunt is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Many visitors attend during the daylight hours, but more usually come after dark, Nicol said. After 6:30 p.m., the lights come on.
“That’s when the action starts and the props move,” she said. “There is a lot to look at.”
While there are moving props every night, there are live spooks on some nights. The spooks are members of the Nicol family. For those wanting to attend when the live spooks are out, they can visit the Canyon Road Haunt Facebook page to watch for live spook announcements.
Each day, as many as 100 cars come through, and many go through more than once.
“It has really grown over the years,” Nicol said. “We have families that say this is their tradition.”