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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


A beginner’s guide to Tucson’s Slaughterhouse horror experience

Jadon Rivas
The billboard above Slaughterhouse as seen from W. Grant Road advertising the attraction.

As its name suggests, Slaughterhouse was formerly a meatpacking plant that was in operation for decades until it was closed down in 2004 and converted into an attraction of fright. Some have even claimed it’s haunted and they’ve had visions while traversing the facility; but is it really haunted, and better yet, is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Firstly, it’s important to decide which ticket is right for you. The base ticket for Haunted House only is $29 per person and the “Haunted House + Apocalypse” is $39 per person. Apocalypse is a shooter attraction where guests have rifles and attempt to slay zombies in a military-style hunt. You can also get a VIP upgrade for an additional $27 for a total of $66 per person. The VIP includes “front-of-line entry” and a $10 gift shop credit. Children under the age of four are not allowed and the experience is 13+ recommended.

Each ticket is given a time in which you should arrive. Slaughterhouse is open Thursday through Sunday and it doesn’t open its doors until 6 p.m. on the weekends, which is fitting because the faculty was rumored to have been the place where a crazed uncle would throw children into a meat grinder under the cover of darkness. 

Unfortunately, the first real scare you will have is the parking. You can pay $10 to park in the front in a private area, or you can park for free in a quite long parking lot and if you happen to be late, you’re going to have to burn the Halloween candy you’ve been eating. 

The entrance is an elaborate open area that really paints the picture of what you’re about to witness once you walk past the two giant skeletons guarding the walk-in. It’s important to note outside food and drinks are not allowed at all and the staff will ask you to throw them away. If you do get hungry or thirsty, you can purchase snacks inside.

You don’t need anything other than yourself and a ticket when entering the action according to customer Lorina Rice, “Probably just expect people to jump out at you and be scared and probably use the bathroom before you go in,” Rice said. 

Once you get in, it’s time to wait for your turn to go into the Slaughterhouse. This is done utilizing a text system. The first text you receive tells you the position in line you will start out in. The second reminds you to use the restroom and sends you a link where you can see your live place-in-line updating. The third tells you to go up and notify the employee it’s your turn to head into line. From here, you can now wait in line for your turn to enter. Here, there is an optional place to take a photo that you can pay for and receive after exiting and you should expect to wait around 20 minutes before entering. “It wasn’t bad, I mean it went so fast we had to toss our beers before we had to go in,” Frankie Castillo said, another visitor at the Slaughterhouse, “So, less than a beer wait.” 

The Haunted House is a walk-through area and the experience has three parts each with amplifying levels of fright factor. For the third part, guests are asked to wear vision-distorting glasses to enhance the experience. However, it isn’t recommended to do this third part if you have epilepsy or other types of sensory impairment as it’s quite loud. While going through the haunted house, there are curtains that guests aren’t allowed to touch so if you’re bringing children, it’s important to remind them of this. 

Apocalypse is immediately after the Haunted House and guests must wait in a building before it’s their turn to enter. This wait is very short and should be only around 10 minutes. Unfortunately, this building is somewhat hot because there aren’t any fans so if you are doing this part, be mindful of what you decide to wear. The main experience, including the Apocalypse, took around 60 minutes. In addition to the main experiences, there are also miniature escape rooms and photo backgrounds, all of which are free. There’s even an area where you can kick back and watch horror films. 

After you’ve braved everything, there’s a gift shop that sells various Halloween-themed merchandise. Overall, Slaughterhouse has created a very intuitive experience and the addition of the text reminders for waits was an addition aimed to create an easy experience for families, freaks, ghouls and zombies alike. 


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