Where to get scared this October

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Canada's Halloween Haunt

Where: Vaughan, ON, Canada
October 15, 2009 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

Our neighbors to the north love to celebrate Halloween as well, even if their spooky day is after Thanksgiving. For those in and around the Toronto area, the best place to get some thrills is at Canada’s Wonderland. Cedar Fair owns the place, the same theme park experts responsible for HalloWeekends at Cedar Point. It might not be as crazy spooky as things in Ohio, but they definitely get the job done.

Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland dares visitors to explore their way through the park while attempting to avoid possessed woodland creatures and vampires. All the major rides will be running, but it’s up to you to make your way to the coasters without being frightened out of the park.

Mazes are the big thing here, and there’s plenty of returning favorites as well as some new ones. The park seems especially excited about Club Blood. Visitors are led to believe that it is just a nightclub to celebrate the season, but unfortunately vampires run it. Just try to avoid being invited back into the VIP lounge; that’s where the vampires do their thing.

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Mickey's Not So Scary Party

Where: World Drive [map], Lake Buena Vista, FL, United States
October 13, 2009 at 9:38 AM | by | ()

You know Disney has some deep pockets when it comes to their theme parks, so visitors looking to celebrate Halloween have nothing to worry about if they make Walt Disney World their spooky holiday headquarters. For many years the Magic Kingdom has been shutting things down early and welcoming families to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

It’s a Halloween bash that encourages both parents and their kids to dress up; however, some of the adults get a little carried away and that’s always slightly frightened us. As you take in all the seasonal decorations be sure to stop and fill your bags with candy. There’s plenty of trick or treat spots throughout the park and they are usually pretty generous. The best part of the party is that the crowds are manageable. Disney only sells a certain amount of tickets to the shindig, so it’s a great chance to ride Space Mountain like five times in a row without waiting.

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Six Flags Fright Fest

Where: 1 Six Flags Blvd [map], Jackson, NJ, United States
October 9, 2009 at 9:28 AM | by | ()

The best place to celebrate the spooky season in the New York City region has to be a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure in neighboring New Jersey. It’s a few hours from the city, but most theme parks are already boarding things up for the winter, so it’s your best chance for once last spin, dip, and drop on a roller coaster. Most of the Six Flags across the country offer a little entertainment, but the offerings at Great Adventure are some of the best around.

Celebrating its eighteenth year of freaking people out, Six Flags Fright Fest is well underway. This year’s events are sponsored by Snickers, so hopefully there will be some treats as well as some tricks for park visitors. There’s new shows, creepy decorations, and plenty of pumpkins and spiders to get you in the mood for Halloween.

The park is transformed into thrills by day and chills by night, so no matter what time you’re attending, you’ll get chills down your spine. Things during the day are a little tamer especially adventures like the Trick-or-Treat Trail. Here you’ll fill up your pillowcase as you get some free candy from the Looney Tunes characters. Hey Bugs Bunny, we’ll take the big size bars if you have any—thanks. Once nighttime arrives prepare Professor Zombini's Freak Show. Here you’ll be able to criticize and judge sideshow freaks as they perform their antics, let’s just hope they don’t escape.

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: HalloWeekends

October 8, 2009 at 10:34 AM | by | ()

If you're so over the usual haunted houses and Scream masks jumping out at you, you'd still better brace yourself for Cedar Point's haunted toy factory, "Cornstalker" scare maze which only opens after dark, and much more. Cedar Point's HalloWeekends veers away from the family-friendly fun in favor of the macabre and truly frightening.

The haunting has already begun at this amusement park, located on a peninsula in Lake Erie nearest to Sandusky, Ohio. During the summer season, the steep drops from some of the world's highest and fastest roller coasters, surrounded by sparkling water of the lake, is perhaps the scariest thing. But on September 18 through November 1, the park transforms every nook and cranny into a pants-wetting scream zone with 4 haunted houses, 5 scare zones, and 9 live shows.

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Busch Gardens Williamsburg Howl-O-Scream

Where: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd [map], Williamsburg, VA, United States, 23185
October 7, 2009 at 9:31 AM | by | ()

For those in our nation’s capital looking to celebrate Halloween without Obama and Palin masks, there’s always the option of taking a ride down I-95 to Williamsburg, Virginia. Busch Gardens Williamsburg has been doing the scary theme park for over ten years now, and this year’s Howl-O-Scream looks to do more damage than even their roller coasters.

Like some of the parks we’ve featured before, Busch Gardens transforms the park into a scary land featuring costumed characters lurking behind every corner. There’s six different haunted houses to terrify and torture, especially when a few of them are more maze than haunted house. Good luck if you’re trying to get out. If you’d rather have a chance to escape, you can always run through one of the park’s nine scare zones.

If you need to take a breather there’s plenty of scary shows to entertain you. Sit back and relax, or try to, and take in the scene. There’s one for your little pumpkin as well—starring Elmo—but we won’t tell anyone if you need to watch that one instead.

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Knott's Scary Farm

Where: 8039 Beach Blvd [map], Buena Park, CA, United States, 90620
October 6, 2009 at 4:28 PM | by | ()

It's hard to believe that California could be home to anything labeled "The Oldest" but at Knott's Berry Farm in Anaheim, the theme park's Scary Farm is the world's first haunted theme park attraction in the U.S., having opened in 1973.

Drawing mostly from gory horror movies and crafted by professional "scare-masters", the park fashions itself into a giant haunted house with mazes, scary zones, frightening attractions--like the Slaughterhouse, The Asylum and The Doll Factory--and showing off short horror films.

Additionally, the park sets up "specially employed" monsters throughout the place who sole job is to scare the living bejesus out of you. Fun, right?

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2009 Halloween Theme Park Scare Guide: Halloween Horror Nights

Where: 6000 Universal Boulevard [map], Orlando, Fl, United States, 32819
October 6, 2009 at 9:28 AM | by | ()

At this year’s event you will be trapped by “SAW’s” maniacal serial killer Jigsaw, come face-to-fangs with “The Wolfman” and be chased by the twisted “Chucky” doll.    

And that’s just the beginning: All eight haunted houses, six scarezones and two live shows are inspired by blockbuster horror films. Until now, you’ve only been able to watch the action in horror films like “SAW,” “The Wolfman,” and “Chucky.” But at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, these films and more have been transformed into live experiences that put you in the middle of your worst cinematic nightmares.   

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