The Queen ‘Scary’ is about to dock again at Dark Harbor! Last year, Queen Mary was able to successfully change course and offer an exciting haunt experience that was not only scary but creatively impressive.
In spite of the new high-end haunt experience, getting high attendance was a struggle in 2010. The crowd of party seeking teens, who the former Shipwreck Productions, Inc. management team targeted, was left out to sea. Instead, Queen Mary’s new haunt management team, lead by Sinister Pointe Productions, focused on marketing to those who go to haunts, for the haunts. While the overall experience was significantly improved with the new crowd, many serious haunt stalkers had already abandoned ship in prior years. Therefore, it took a lot of work from the very diligent Queen Mary marketing and PR teams to lure them (us) back.
Hopefully with a successful year behind them and some positive reviews, even more Haunt Stalkers will return this year to discover one of our most highly rated haunts of 2010. While the mazes will be the same, there’s still many who’ve yet to experience them. And for those who did visit last year, the mazes are all worthy of a second visit, especially our favorites; Submerged, Containment and The Cage.
The Queen Mary steams into the harbor of the damned, on Friday, October 7th 2011. It will be a decidedly demonic destination. With the trio of She-demons that prey on all mortals who dare enter their realm after sunset – villagers, passengers and visitors alike.
The Gory Details:
Dark Harbor Nights in October
7, 8, 9
14, 15, 16
20, 21, 22, 23
27, 28, 29, 30, 31
Beginning Saturday, Oct. 1 Fright Dome takes over The Adventuredome at Circus Circus in Las Vegas. As we reported earlier, this year’s headliner is Mr. Halloween himself, Michael Myers. In addition, Fright Dome will be offering three other mazes, Scare Zones, and their full slate of thrill rides which includes the motion simulators Elvira’s Superstition and Dracula’s Haunted Castle.
This October, the Scare Zone is planning to head out Sin City, put it all on red, and try our luck at Fright Dome and other Vegas area haunts. So, be sure to look for our Vegas haunt reviews, coming soon. In addition, if any of our Haunt Stalkers have been to Fright Dome before, we’d love to see your comments.
Here’s the full Fright Dome line up:
Haddonfield Memorial Hospital
The newest addition to Fright Dome as Michael Myers lands in Las Vegas for the 2011 Halloween season! All seems normal as guests arrive at the Emergency Room to check in with the nurses however in a twist of fate the elevator lands on the wrong floor stranding everyone in the basement. Instead of triage guests now find themselves in the middle of the Psychiatric Ward of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital where the evil force Known as Michael Myers is being held. Or is he? Guests will soon learn that Michael has escaped and roams the hallways hunting them. Will you escape or will he find you?
The Home of Michael Myers
See where the evil began. Guests will get a one-on-one tour of the Myers home. Nosey trick-or-treaters have been sneaking inside giving the neighbors tours as it creeps closer to Halloween. What they don’t realize is that the legend himself is returning home for the season. Will you be there on the night Michael comes home…?
Chainsaw Massacreis a Fright Dome favorite. Most guests can’t make it through this bloodcurdling haunted house. Chainsaw Massacre has the record for the guests using the “chicken exits” every year. This year the “chicken exits” have been boarded up and you are stuck inside to try to survive. Are you brave enough to take on chainsaw wielding maniacs?
Knock ‘em dead class of 2011!! Think your high school is a nightmare? Think again… you obviously haven’t visited Fright High! All new for 2011 guests will enjoy their first day with a terrifying orientation. Dare to take part in the Fright High Prom night and experience Anatomy class as its finest as students hack up their classmates. Be sure to stay out of the locker room…
Hillbilly Hell is a classic and has been ranked one of the scariest haunted houses at Fright Dome. Guests will be transported from the Las Vegas Strip to the backwoods in this terrifying haunted house. Visit the taxidermy shop, butcher shop, and even land in the dining room of the locals. Will you make it back alive? Or will you be stuck in this rustic hell forever?
Test your luck against the notorious Fright Dome Chainsaw Twins and their deranged friends. Will you survive? Towering at almost 7-feet-tall each they cut through the darkness wielding their blood-splattered chainsaws.
Uniquely situated in the former WWII US Army Barracks in Freeman Field Municipal Airport, Fear Fair is preparing for the 2011 season and to retain the title of “Indiana’s Scariest Haunted House”. Fear Fair is ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in the Midwest by Ohio Valley Haunts, City Blood Haunt Reviews, Louisvillehalloween.com, and other noted review sites. Fear Fair was also recently featured on the 2011 haunt tours forHauntcon, and National Haunted House Industry Convention.
Fear Fair’s success lies in the fact that they take haunting seriously as every summer hopeful scareactors attend their Fear Camp to learn about the latest and greatest in haunt acting and performance. This includes a chainsaw operating and safety class, stunt class, victim screaming class, and magic classes to name a few. Attendees are also treated to some spontaneous ”chase” scenes through unsuspecting classes in session where a poor victim is being hunted down by a machete wielding crazy guy. You know, just the usual haunt classroom diversion.
This year Fear Fair is creating all new haunt experiences that will be even more intense and horrifying than year’s past. The terror starts in Hangar 17which promises to have the most intense opening ever experienced at a haunted attraction with a parachute ride to hell. Once inside Hangar 17, victims come to find that Freeman Air Field is under assault and their senses will be terrorized as they’re thrown into the middle of a full on raid by mutated soldiers who were subjects of top secret military experiments trying to create the ultimate solider.
Cinema of Fear takes up residence in the second half of the haunt and features scenes from hit Hollywood horror movies such as Jeepers Creepers, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Friday the 13th, Saw, and many others. Previous versions of this maze had received rave reviews for it’s detailed movie quality sets and talented monsters.
Finally, for an even more intense experience you can try Nyctophobia Total Darkness. On limited nights you’ll be able to experience Fear Fair in a completely new way, in complete darkness. You’ll have to navigate through the corridors of their haunts with only the illumination of a glow stick. Keep in mind all the monsters and scareactors will still be there and they’ll be able to easily see you coming!
All of these attractions at Fear Fair sound ‘terrORific’ we’re certain they’ll keep people screaming for more, or less, depending on how much terror they can endure.
For more information call or text 812-567-FEAR or visit their Website.
The Pirates of Emerson are getting ready to set sail for another season of bloody terror, beginning Friday, September 30th. This pirate-inspired haunted theme park makes its home at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, CA and consists of five haunted houses. The authentically frightening location is set with pirates (of course), belly dancers and fire breathers. There’s also the extensive use of special effects, robotics, animation and of course scareactor interaction which provide an intense hair-raising experience.
Scare Zone will be making a trip this year to sail with this rowdy crew of Bloody Buccaneers. So, keep checking back to follow our upcoming 2011 Haunt Sacreventures!
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of Phantom Fright Nights, which has grown into a wildly successful addition for one of the nation’s oldest amusement parks. Phantom Fright Nights started just as a way to extend their season, but it quickly grew in popularity and was even named “One of the Best Halloween Events” by the annual Golden Ticket Awards readers’ poll. This year boasts 7 mazes, scare zones, and pitch-dark rides on their impressive roller coasters. There will be on new house, named BIOFEAR.
Here’s the rundown of the Phantom Fright Nights houses.
Brave a warehouse of science experiments gone terribly wrong. Biofear is sure to be unlike anything you’ve experienced at Phantom Fright Nights.
Experience Swampland Canoe And Raft Excursions (SCARE) for the adventure of a lifetime through the Voodoo Bayou. The Bayou includes numerous surprises, including a long forgotten cemetery loaded with tombstones, coffins, and anything but a peaceful rest for its inhabitants. Broken, discarded coffins and disrupted graves leave the undead restless and angry. Granny Granger’s old house in the swamp appears less than welcoming. The Voodoo King and his collection of shrunken heads find a fitting home in the swamp, as do far too many spiders.
Enter a world of Vampires under the backdrop of an Ancient Gothic Castle. Beware the Mausoleum where bloodsuckers are waiting behind every coffin. Pass through catacombs and werewolf infested hallways. No matter where you turn, they’ll be waiting………….
Witness the final Manifestation of Mortem’s Manor. Awarded Haunt of the Year for the last 2 years among the Kennywood staff. Come see for yourself why guests can’t get enough of the raw energy behind this frightful mansion!
Zombies rise from graves old and new. Cloaked figures hide in the nearby woods chanting your name.Statues seem to watch your every move. The rotting hands of the dead are reaching for you from every direction. Come brave the gates of the Kennyville Cemetery!
When darkness falls over the park, and the streets begin to calm, the occupants of “Gory Park” begin to emerge from the alleys and sewers of Lost Kennywood. Mutant rats come out to feed and toxic fog fills the streets… Even the most unassuming of characters can’t be trusted. Watch your back when entering Gory Park, you may end up a permanent fixture…. in pieces!
This Ghost Town has it all: including zombies and undead horses that stop for no one!
Dates & Times
OCTOBER 8, 15, 22 are expected to be the busiest nights.
It’s recommended that Haunt Stalkers try to schedule their visits on less busy nights, such as:
SEPTEMBER 30, October 1, 9, 28, 29.
TICKETS Tickets can be purchased online for $27.99
VIP Coaster Tour Pass is also available for an additional charge
We’re glad to share that today is the one year anniversary of Scare Zone!
We launched as a blog on January 7th, 2010 and expanded to this site on August 20th, 2010. In our first year we’ve already reached over over 44,000 unique Haunt Stalkers in 134 different countries. We also have published over 300 articles about news, rumors, and reviews of theme park and other commercial haunted attractions throughout the United States and the world. In addition, we’ve conducted haunt surveys and covered stories about horror movies, haunt industry conventions and other scary things.
Here are links to our top 5 stories read over the past year:
Most importantly, a huge scream out to all our Haunt Stalkers! Keep visiting us frequently at Scare-Zone.com and tell your friends too. Be sure to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter too. We’re planning more site upgrades and features in the coming year!
We’re having a great time sharing our love for haunts and look forward to sharing even more scary adventures with you all during the 2011 Haunt Season… and beyond.
One of our favorite vacation destinations is Hawaii. However, in this tropical island paradise it’s hard to get scared (unless you count seeing half naked mainland tourist on Waikiki beach). For years we’ve looked for a noteworthy haunt in the Hawaiian islands. With legendary island gods, isolated locations and haunted history, we’ve always thought Hawaii has the ideal setting for an unique haunt experience.
So finally, after searching for years, we’ve discovered that the Polynesian Cultural Center now transforms into the Haunted Lagoon during October. The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC), on the island of Oahu, is the closest thing to a theme park in the Hawaiian islands and it provides the perfect tropical haunt setting with walking trails and watery canals lined with grass huts and dense tropical foliage.
The featured attraction of the Haunted Lagoon is a nighttime canoe ride through foggy canals where you’ll encounter zombies, ghosts, and the legendary Lā‘ie lady stalking the dark waters. The waters are also filled with monsters who are actually swimming around your canoe and jump out of the water at unsuspecting guest! These could the most dedicated ”scareactors” in the industry. The monsters also stalk the grounds of the Cultural Center, scaring guest as they wait to cruise through the dark haunted waters.
The Haunted Lagoon is reportedly not for the faint of heart, which we also like, so the PCC offers milder “keiki canoes” for family members of all ages. Aboard each keiki canoe is a “lost warrior” who carries a mystical light staff that “repels” monsters or creatures, including the ghostly Lady. We won’t won’t ever be on one of those but it’s nice of them to offer it for young Haunt Stalkers so they can start their haunting at a young age. In addition, PCC also offers a special feature film presentation, contests, and activities while waiting for the Haunted Lagoon Ride.
We definitely will be going to Hawaii one year to check out this very unique and interesting haunt experience. For more information about this year’s event, coupons and specials visit www.HauntedLagoon.com.
Legend of the La’ie Lady
In the spring of 1962, a labor missionary from Tonga was working late, digging out the lagoon for the Polynesian Cultural Center. It was growing dark, and he looked up to see a girl walking towards him. Thinking that it was his sister bringing him some dinner, he turned around to put down his tools. But, when he looked up again, he saw no one there. Since that time, there have been several sightings of this lady in and around the villages of the Polynesian Cultural Center.
History has led us to believe that this “lady in white,” or the “La’ie Lady” as she has come to be known, is the spirit of a young girl who lived here many years ago.
Nalani was born on the west side of Oahu around the year 1780. As a beautiful teenager living in Honolulu, she quickly caught the attention of many young men, and fell in love with a visiting sailor. Against the wishes of her family, Nalani secretly married the boy. Only a few short weeks later, her family was outraged to discover their secret. They hunted the boy down and beat him severely.
The young couple fled up the windward coast to a sanctuary settlement located in the town of La’ie. Shortly after arriving, Nalani discovered that she was pregnant. Sadly, the young husband didn’t live long enough to see his child. The beating he had received had mangled him so severely that he could no longer hold on to life.
The young husband was buried next to the river, and a coconut tree was planted to mark his grave… a symbol of how he had floated across the ocean to plant his own seed. When she was not working in the Taro fields, Nalani would sit by the river next to the coconut tree, sometimes overcome by tears.
She gave birth to a baby boy a few months later, and became very reclusive. Eventually, she stopped talking with anyone else in the community. Her eyes and ears were only for her little boy.
On a morning, a few years later, Nalani woke to find her little boy missing. She ran around frantically the entire morning and eventually found one of his small toys lying on the riverside, across from her husband’s grave. She searched in vain for the child, walking up and down the river banks, and even diving into the river, searching for her child. However, he was never found.
Even more eccentric in her life, and more reclusive in her community, Nalani spent her days walking up and down the river, nurturing the coconut tree and calling out for her family. One day, she too, disappeared just like her son. Some believed that they had both been taken to the other side by the spirit of her dead husband.
The coconut tree still grows next to the river, which is now the lagoon at the Polynesian Cultural Center. The tree, like the owner of the grave it marks, has grown twisted and mangled. We call it the Kapakahi tree, and it grows next to the bridge connecting the Tongan village and Rapa Nui, standing as a reminder of the tragedy of this forbidden love.
School may be out for the summer but strange happenings have been reported again at the Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. According to their site, several local residents heard the old school bell at Dent ringing around 3:15am/3:22am on June 13th, 2011. Staff and security were all gone from the building but someone or something has stayed after class. Could it be Charlie the Janitor tidying up before the kiddies return to school?
Looking back, in 1894 the Dent Public School was opened. Teaching all grades kindergarten through 12th grade, the school was seen as the ideal establishment to send the local school children. The school was equipped with the finest teachers, cafeteria workers, and janitorial staff for miles.
The school was very successful and thought highly upon. But in 1942 several students, known for their “disruption in the class room”, mysteriously vanished. They were last seen at the Dent Public School. The Dent police began an investigation and came to the conclusion that they must be runaways. Two years later, 1945, four students went missing in October. Local police were baffled as to what was happening to the students. Rumors started to spread that the local children disappearing had something to do with the school.
School remained as normal but rumors kept coming out about the missing kids. It wasn’t until 1952 when three more students were not seen after school. Students at the public school began to complain about a strange smell that was coming from the basement. When Charlie, the head of janitorial services, was asked about the smell he said it was the pipes clogging up. After a couple weeks the smell subsided, but new rumors spread that Charlie the janitor had something to do about the local kids disappearances.
In October of 1955, more than seven students vanished with out a trace. The local kids complained about a smell that was coming from the basement that was actually causing some children to pass out. Community members of Dent rallied together and stormed up to the Dent Public School. The angry mob bust down the large doors of the school house and proceeded to go into the basement of the school. The local rioters were shocked at the grizzly sight that was strung throughout the janitor’s basement.
The basement was covered with the decaying remains of the missing students. Bodies had been sealed in barrels, wedged behind the brick walls of the basement, and left in sanitary tubs to decay forever. A search for the Janitor went over two weeks, but he was never found. The school was closed shortly after the discovery.
The old school house is now said to be haunted with the roaming spirits of the children that were “taken care of” by the Janitor. Rumors are that the Janitor came back after several years of the school house being closed. His body was never found, but his spirit is still said to clean the old building. The spirit is also said to have “taken care of” local trespassers that try sneak a peak at his home in the basement.
This coming fall it’s back to Scares for the faculty of Dent and they’re promising to have an even more intense curriculum and, for those troublemakers, the Detention Hall will also be open. The Scare Zone has heard nothing but great things about this award winning haunt. It’s considered one of the scariest haunted attractions in the nation and is known for its movie like quality and detail. We’ll have to get our permission slips signed so we can a take field trip to visit this killer campus but for our fellow Haunt Stalkers in the Cincinnati, Ohio area here’s the details for the 2011 fall ‘Slashmester’.
For prices and more information check out the school’s site HERE.
“New York’s most horrifying Haunted House” will have a new theme for 2011 and they’re looking for you to share your repressed childhood memories to make it even scarier.
Last year they terrified guest with Superstitions. For this year’s theme we’ll have to endure the terror of Children’s Stories, the dark, twisted ones of course. Or the original tales of what you know as family friendly ones that actually started out scary and murderous. According to Timothy Haskell, Creative Director for NYC Nightmare, the haunt won’t actually be called CHILDREN’S STORIES, but he is thinking either NIGHTMARE: FABLES or NIGHTMARE: FAIRY TALES. Which do you like?
He’s also offering haunt stalkers a chance to participate in deciding which stories will be incorporated into the haunt. So break out those old Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Aesop’s Fables, etc. and let Tim know which fairy tales you would like to see turned into rooms at their haunted house. He wants to know “the creepiest, ickiest, scariest children’s story you have ever read”. He’ll also consider the sweetest and perhaps flip it so that it’s dark and scary instead.
Children are creepy, and children’s stories are creepier. We can’t wait to return to NYC this October to check out what Nightmares Tim and his team will churn out.
Given that these haunts aren’t usually open during this time of year, we felt it wouldn’t be fair to give them actual ratings. However, we’ll share our comments on their staging, effective scares, and overall potential.
It was very cool for both of these haunts to open their doors and host the NHC tour. We very much appreciate the managers and the scareactors for committing to be open during an evening in the middle of the year. As mentioned in our review of NHC, the tour was very OVERPRICED at $175 per person (even though it included transportation and “dinner”), but that won’t be a consideration for our commentary. We just hope that with the steep tour prices we paid, these haunt folks were well taken care of for their night of work.
The main thing we found to be bizarre was the fact that both of these competing haunts operate inside the same place. They’re located in the basement level of the same building/warehouse, and it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. If you live in the area, it’s great for a one-stop “chop,” but from a business perspective, it’s rather odd. What we did learn on the tour is that Scare Bros. is actually up for sale and for our tour, volunteers from the SouthEastern PA Home Haunters operated the haunt.
It should be obvious to the Fright Factory’s owners that buying up the entire space would be a great opportunity for them to expand and to become the largest haunt in Philadelphia. In addition, some of the most compelling and expertly executed effects we saw were in their mazes, which would be a big benefit for the Scare Bros. mazes.
Both haunts are composed of 4 differently themed mazes, offering a total of 8 mazes in one location (that’s even more than Universal Hollywood’s HHN). Given it was the off season, the venue seemed to be very dark and dusty. There also were a ton of props being stored in the open waiting areas and not much theming given to the entrances of the respective mazes. We could imagine this place being transformed into a nicely themed and clean central area with a snack bar, entertainment, maze queues, and functioning restrooms. Given the space, we also think it would be most effective to allow people to choose the order of the mazes they go into rather than having them all wait in a single line that feeds them through the mazes in a chronological order. It wasn’t too bad of a wait for the 200 of us in the NHC tour, but it did go slow and we can only imagine the line chaos when the haunts are open during Halloween season.
We’ll take a look at the haunts in the order in which we experienced them. We were fortunate to go through all the mazes twice: once in “show mode” and a second time with the lights on. The lights-on tour allowed for us to take some cool pictures and video, which you’ll also see in the following profiles.
SCARE BROTHERS HAUNTED NIGHTMARE
We first entered The House of 1,000 Zombies, featuring Claustrophobia. This maze has a good amount of detailing in the sets, providing the scareactors with some great hiding places including a wall that slams down next to guests as they walk past it. The maze’s story didn’t seem to be fully coherent, as during the course of the maze we went from an abandoned house to a prison, back into the house, and finally outside. The maze also featured non-zombie characters such as Hannibal Lector. Nonetheless, this seemed to be the scariest of the Scare Bros. mazes to go through.
Without notice, you then walk from the last room of “1,000 Zombies” into the second maze called Dungeon of Darkness. This maze was actually very creepy, being the longest and most effective “in total darkness” mazes we’ve experienced. It also included some very nasty surprises such as triggered air blasts and a shockpad placed onto the wall. If you use your hands to feel your way through the darkness, this maze will give you some literally spine-tingling shocks. Seeing this maze with the lights on actually made it even scarier!
Next up is Chuckle’s Circus of Fear. This place is loaded with demented acts and some really evil clowns. The killer clowns in here really were top-notch performers, bringing a great deal of silly fun to their scares. The downside was the fact that the maze was rather short, and even in show mode it seemed to be a little bright inside the maze. We weren’t sure if it was designed to be in 3D, but it looked like some of the set pieces would have been even more stunning and disorienting had we been wearing 3D glasses.
Finally, we went through The Haunted Nightmare, which took us through a bouquet of different scenes from some famous and some not-so-recognizable horror movies. The sets in this maze were by far the best of the four. We can imagine this one to be very terrifying when it’s fully staffed. While we’re not real fans of mazes that go through random scenes without a cohesive story line, the theme of being in a horror movie–type nightmare helped us to suspended our preferences, and we were throughly entertained by the design and monsters in here.
Scare Bros is a fun haunt. It isn’t necessarily the most sophisticated nor scariest haunt we’ve been in, but it isn’t close to being one of the worst, either. If they do indeed get bought by the Fright Factory, with some more TLC we can see this haunt get upgraded and grow to become a first-class haunt on the East Coast.
The Fright Factory uses some of the industry’s latest and greatest scare tactics along with definitive story lines and themes for their mazes, which creates more submersible environments and a truly foreboding atmosFEAR. All of these elements are big plusses, and we can see why the Fright Factory was featured as one of ”America’s Scariest Haunted Attractions” by the Travel Channel.
The first maze inside the factory was iChem Industries. This maze takes a lot of its cues from Biohazard aka Resident Evil. They story here is that sometimes trying to make the world a better place can have evil consequences. This maze takes victims through iChem’s subterranean laboratories, where scientists claiming to be detoxifying the planet are actually using those toxins for genetic modification experiments (GO GREEN). We encountered some startling scares in in this maze, along with a few interesting effects such as projected shadows. We would have liked to have seen more scareactors in this maze, but the few we encountered were rather vicious. It was also nice that this maze started with a “tour guide” who helped establish the storyline before we were abandoned inside the darkness of the iChem facilities.
The next maze we ventured into was Philadelphia Haunted Asylum Tours. This was by far the best maze of the night. The opening pre-show builds up a great amount of suspense that is then carried throughout the rest of the maze. Throughout, it has all of the best elements in place, including high-end special effects, elaborate set designs, and very talented scareactors. The story here is that we’ve “volunteered” to explore the sinister past of one of Philadelphia’s most infamous asylums. The “guided tour” takes visitors deep into the asylum, where Dr. Robert T. Brash, the hospital’s chief of psychiatry, experimented and tortured his patients. That is, until the day when the patients took over the asylum, killing the entire staff and eventually turning on each other. The scares kept coming in this place, and many of the effects seemed to be trying to play with our minds as if an attempt was being made to get us to check ourselves into this sinister asylum.
After our experience in the asylum, it was going to be hard to top those scares. The next maze was Undercroft Cemetery. This is far more simplistic than the previous two as far as the storyline goes. It does have a few good sets and enthusiastically screaming scareactors, but it isn’t much more than a typical haunted graveyard-themed maze. They story is simple: you’re walking through the woods and encounter an old cemetery with a strange stone mausoleum, which you—of course—have to go inside. While the theme was rather simple, the finale of this maze was memorable with a triple attack by two large animatronics and a scareactor who could break glass (or your eardrum) with her screaming abilities.
The final maze at the factory was Amygdala. The name means an almond-shaped part, such as a tonsil or a lobe, of the cerebellum, which is involved in emotions of fear and aggression. We didn’t get this maze at all. Most of it was very dark, but it wasn’t nearly as effective as the Dungeon of Darkness over at Scare Bros. Again, being that this wasn’t the regular haunt season, we don’t want to be overly critical, but we did see some notes backstage about some work they need to do to this maze. They must also be aware of the fact that this maze is not scary. Our suggestion is they scrap it and establish a new theme to better complement the other three mazes.