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Bountiful couple turns backyard into haunted forest

Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 30, 2023

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — A man in Bountiful has transformed his backyard into a haunted forest and invites the public to check it out — if they dare.

"Oh, it'll scare ya!" Doug Butts said of the walk from his backyard down a ravine and to the creek all the way below, often along a pretty steep trail. "At night, it’s scary. It’s spooky. It’s a haunted forest, and it is a haunted forest."

He and his wife Johanna have put in well over 100 hours on this project, but Doug says it's worth it to see their visitors' reactions.

"Every time they come up from the backyard, they’re like, ‘This is my favorite and this is my favorite!’ and they’re so excited," he said.

He says it all started when he was asked to throw a party and he went all in, deciding that it was time to try something new.

"I planted palm trees in my front yard almost 20 years ago, and every time I look at them I'm reminded to try to think outside the box," Doug said. "A lot of people get tired of doing the same old thing. This just helps us do something different. Don’t be afraid to do it, and get out there and have fun!

He admits he may have gotten a little carried away with this, his first time doing something like this for the spooky holiday, "But this is fun!"

He estimates that he spent over $7,000 on more than 100 skeletons and some two dozen giant animated Halloween characters that line a path from his house at 1016 E. Millbrook Way down to the creek below.

It's been open to the public the past several weeks and will wrap up after Tuesday, the night of Halloween, its final night.

What will he do once this is over?

"We’re worrying about that after we get done," Doug laughed. "We’re figuring that out."

And as for plans already for next year?

"It’s like having a baby. I’ll probably wait until next year and say, 'Yeah let’s do it again,'" he said.

Doug says they're charging admission to help offset their costs of upkeep. It's $5 to take the tour, and $15 for a family to walk through. They're also accepting canned food donations for the local food bank. It is open Monday and Tuesday from 6-10 p.m.