I was in Tucson for a friend’s wedding and had a chance to go to Old Tucson because that’s where the couple hosted their rehearsal dinner on Halloween night at the Old Tucson Nightfall event. Definitely unconventional, but a lot of fun! It’s a bit of a drive from Tucson proper, about an hour if I remember correctly. The drive was very pretty with great desert views – lots of saguaros on steep hillsides.
Old Tucson was a movie set for many famous Westerns, like Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and is open year round as a “Western experience” with shootouts, stunt shows, and actors. It gets crazier for Halloween though. The whole place turns into a giant haunted house with tons of actors roaming the streets and several live shows spread throughout the little town.
We got there right before sunset on Halloween, ate at the canteen-style restaurant, and then caught the opening speech before dispersing to explore the haunted house. There were zombies and freaks and all sorts of scary actors in costumes. The worst (best?) were guys with real chainsaws jumping out from behind corners and revving them in our faces. Terrifying! We also caught some of the shows. The comedic show in the main corral was in somewhat questionable taste, but funny, and the magic show we saw was ok as well, but the highlight was definitely the spooky grounds and all of the little shops and other buildings you could check out.
I’m not big on getting scared, but I could appreciate that it was well done. I believe you could buy a light that showed that you didn’t want people to scare you, but we didn’t do this and definitely were scared. An exciting way to spend Halloween!