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Uniquely Utah: Carnival of Creeps

Posted at 10:35 PM, Oct 17, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — A 23-foot-tall Ferris wheel has gone up in the front yard of a Salt Lake City home. Its only riders are plastic skeletons.

It’s one of many elements of what Ammon Smith calls the “Carnival of Creeps.”

Smith and his family create original, elaborate Halloween displays each year.

“This is entertainment for us. When people watch Netflix documentaries, we’re putting Halloween together because that’s what we’d rather be doing,” Smith said.

While the “Carnival of Creeps” may look frightening at first glance, it’s surprisingly kid-friendly.

There are places for visitors or trick-or-treaters to pose for photos among props, and even a carnival-style game called the “skull toss."

“You can win one of the various creepy dolls we’ve got here," Smith said.

Smith says when his family moved to their current home several years ago, they had very few trick-or-treaters, and the elaborate displays he’s built ever since are intended to inspire Halloween memories for kids.

“I think that there is some magic in running around in the dark with your Halloween Costume on and trying to fill up your whole pillowcase full of candy,” he said. “I feel like because we do this, the neighborhood is just full of trick-or-treaters on Halloween and that makes me really happy.”

The “Carnival of Creeps” is located at 1542 S. 900 E. in Salt Lake City.