Mere birthright alone doth not a Utahn create. What makes a true local? We say it is not the number of years you've lived within Zion's borders, but rather the zeal with which you explore all our state has to offer. If you're new, or if you're questioning your right to citizenship, we're here to help, with this refresher course. Every other week, we'll bring you a quintessential Utah-to-do experience. Check back for another to check off your list.


Casey Harrison looking scary as a Nightmare on 13th zombie.

Utah has plenty of haunted houses to check out for the Halloween season. And no matter the scaring location—circus trailers, a forest or even a village—Utah does it like no other state. 

Check out a bunch of our haunted house and other Halloween recommendations by clicking here

But before you do, here's the backstage scoop we got from Nightmare on 13th's Casey Harrison way back for our October 2011 issue:

Casey Harrison was a kid when he first saw Nightmare on Elm Street, and even though the movie terrified him, he was inspired. Now, as an adult, he’s Nightmare on 13th’s cast director and, like Freddy Krueger, has a history of making people wet themselves.

“It was my first season, and I was in this graveyard scene, coming out of the ground and crawling toward these two couples," he says. "One of the boyfriends started freaking out, so I crawled at his feet. Then his girlfriend ran to him and grabbed onto him, and I actually saw her pee." 

But that's what the Nightmare on 13th cast is there to do—scare people. Cast members who can prove they made someone pee get a free lunch or dinner on Harrision. He still dresses up sometimes, but his main job now is keeping the cast on task and coaching them through problems. Harrison hires about 70 of 300 applicants each year. He also works at Black Diamond Climbing, but the haunted house is his top priority. He looks for applicants who love scaring, but they can rarely scare him. 

“When somebody does, I give them props. Last year, we had this tomb area with zombies, and one wasn’t standing in his usual spot. He was actually behind me and made this little snarl that startled me,” he says.

During the off season, Harrison and others from Nightmare on 13th visit conventions to find new products. And after shows Harrison and the rest of the crew can be seen, still in costume, at The Pie or at the table they always sit at in Dee’s after work.

“By the end of the season, the whole cast are friends and we stay in touch,” he says. “I love Halloween, and I love horror. I’m sure this is what I’ll be doing the rest of my life.”

Read our other How to be a Utahn posts:

See the Twilight Concert Series

Go to the St. Patrick's Day Parade

Swim in The Crater at Homestead Resort

Tour the Beehive House

Go Tubing!

Visit Clark Planetarium

Visit a Salt Lake Film Society theater

Skip work and go to Alta

Eat at Red Iguana

Catch a show at Wiseguy's

See a play at Pioneer Theatre

Visit Ogden's Dinosaur Park

Visit Red Butte Garden

Brew Your Own Beer with the Beer Nut

Get tickets to Salt Lake Comic Con

Hike Delicate Arch

Go on a parade of homes

Run in the Mud

Go to Oktoberfest at Snowbird

Visit Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter

Go on Park City Ghost Tours