A haunted house is born from a past tragedy, be it a grisly murder, a mysterious disappearance, or a long-forgotten bologna sandwich buried beneath the floorboards. Sign on for a spooky tour of an eerily cursed residence with today's GrouponLive deal to The Heart of Darkness in Waterloo, running September 30–October 31. The complex opens its doors from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and from 7 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays, and Monday, October 31. Choose from the following options:
- For $13, you get two general-admission passes (up to a $26 value).
- For $20, you get two front-of-the-line passes (up to a $40 value).
- For $32, you get five general-admission passes (up to a $65 value).
Secluded amid acres of empty countryside, The Heart of Darkness's haunted complex houses 22,600 square feet of serpentine passages and grisly creatures, all of which conjured a horror-movie-starlet scream from a stoic high-schooler on MTV's Made. For approximately 30 minutes, duos and groups weave through nine themed haunted areas, beginning their horrifying odyssey in the pitch-blackness of Darkhold Castle, where unseen monstrosities lurk and eternally tail-less donkeys cower against the wall. On a haunted playground, zombie children lure passersby into eerie rounds of Red Rover while in Slaughter Cabin, atomic testing has left hillbillies deformed and cannibalistic. Each teeth-chattering jaunt concludes at Grizzly's Chainsaw Massacre, where power-tool-wielding maniacs strike fear into guests with tales of Home Depot's no-return policy.
The Heart of Darkness is hosted by family-owned Halloween Traditions, which has been in the fright industry for a decade. With a new entry system that lets visitors into the complex by number, guests can pass the wait time with DJ music, nosh from The Missing Hole Mini Donuts (not included with this Groupon), and photo ops with monsters, who also regale visitors with lectures on the works of Joseph Conrad. Those opting for front-of-the-line admission get to brave the dark passages of the complex first.
The Heart of Darkness
For more than 10 years, The Heart of Darkness has elicited scares from nearly 10,000 visitors every Halloween season with one of the largest haunts in Iowa. People from across the country and ghosts studying abroad brave nine separately themed areas on the terror-infested grounds, from a haunted playground to a maniacal-clown asylum. Each section crawls with grotesque creatures. A living scarecrow swipes at guests with a rusted sickle, causing them to flee right into the padded cell of Crispy, a demented arsonist whose victims gave him a taste of his own medicine by scorching his skin.
So committed to their duty to terrify, owners Kevin and Dolly Schults are affectionately known as The Halloween Family, as detailed on a 2009 episode of ABC's Wife Swap. Outside their spooky corridors, the Schults reward survivors with concession stands, a live DJ, and a photo booth that snapped the pictures Crispy uses for his online-dating profile.
5111 Osage Rd.
Waterloo, Iowa 50703Get Directions