The Haunt, Des Moines. This speakeasy requires a hidden key.

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For those not in the know, The Slaughterhouse in Des Moines, Iowa is a highly sophisticated and upgraded version of the haunted house. But the owner, Ian Miller has gone one step further opening a secret underground speakeasy called The Haunt, opening Halloween of this year. If that sounds fun, there’s a catch, to get in on opening day you’ll need a hidden key for access.

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The Haunt Speakeasy entrance in Des Moines, Iowa. All that is shown is a small skull sign.
The Haunt Speakeasy in Des Moines

The Haunt Des Moines

Gone are the days of cheap outfits, and volunteers who may have startled you, but certainly did not scare you. Miller says, The Slaughterhouse has 69 actors, and the entire experience is engineered to scare the crap out of you. Literally. It’s happened. But don’t worry they have people on site for cleanup.

Partnering with SlipKnot a few years ago, The Slaughterhouse has become a popular attraction, bringing tourists from around the entire country. Rumors about a mysterious project appeared in an Axios newsletter back in February, and now Miller is revealing his plans on the hidden underground speakeasy and theater.

The Haunt is an Underground Spooky Speakeasy

The key required for entry into The Haunt Speakeasy in Des Moines.
The key required for entry into The Haunt

The Haunt speakeasy in Des Moines, Iowa is an immersive theater/bar, located in the center of the slaughterhouse. Miller says it’s the only bar in the world located inside a Haunted attraction space. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a small skill at 500 Locust Street in downtown Des Moines.

The Haunt Speakeasy opens Halloween Day but it might not be easy to gain access. If you want early access you have to find hidden keys located throughout the city. And how do you find those hidden keys? Miller explains at the end of the interview. The venue will serve drinks, absinthe, and a wide selection of mocktails for their patrons that don’t drink alcohol.

Haunted Iowa

Miller has also teamed up with Adventureland in Altoona. In 2022, he began providing theatrical direction and set production for the park’s Phantom Fall Fest. He just opened this year’s event at the park and the show has grown considerably from last year. This year, The Slaughterhouse has a scare zone at the park.

The haunted attraction industry is growing rapidly and Halloween is quickly outpacing other Holidays in revenue, making billions of dollars annually. Many haunted attractions in Iowa contribute to this industry’s economic impact by attracting thousands of visitors each year.


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