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Post What Halloween Event You've Been To!


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I've been to Howl-o-Scream and Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Haunt at Kings Dominion; in fact, I've been back more times to both events than usual due to friends blowing into town who want to do Halloween stuff.

 

HOS (review here) is fun, but, frankly, KD is doing a better job with Haunt this year (theri mazes are better, even though their shows aren't as good as BGW's).

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Howl-o-Scream.

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Haunt

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In 2010 I have been to:

 

Headless Horseman in Ulster Park, NY (A hayride and multiple haunted houses)

 

Halloween Haunt at Canada's Wonderland (I got startled / scared the most here. The actors were really into it!)

 

Trail of Terror in Wallingford, CT ( A long walkthrough; interesting sets but not much else)

 

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (Most elaborate set-up I have encountered. A 45 minute walkthrough that looks more like a movie set than a haunted house)

 

I did not take these pictures. Just wanted the share the level of detail at The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce

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Slaughter House @ The Haunted Graveyard

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Manor Facade @ The Haunted Graveyard

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The Mayan Temple Facade @ The Haunted Graveyard

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The Mayan Temple @ The Haunted Graveyard

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The Mayan Temple @ The Haunted Graveyard

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The Mayan Temple @ The Haunted Graveyard

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I've been to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando and Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom, as well as Luna Park in Coney Island, and the Nightmare: Superstitions haunted house in NYC. I'm going to another haunted house in NYC, Blood Manor, this week, and the events at Universal Hollywood, Disneyland, and possibly Knott's over Halloween weekend. I just love this time of year!!

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HHN at Universal Orlando.

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MNSSHP at the Magic Kingdom.

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Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt is usually a yearly stop for me. However, this year I changed things up a bit and went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time. They sure do an awesome job. Not only are the sets more elaborate, the talent is also better. On quite a few occasions I was startled, something that never happens to me at Knott's. As a haunter myself, it's always nice to see how others do things. And at Universal, they sure have their own way of doing things. I'll be back for sure.

 

There is a long list of places I'd like to visit this year, but given money and time, I don't think I'll be going anywhere else. That is, aside from "Higgins Manor," a home haunt I do every year.

 

Back in '94 when I was 12 years old I started decorating the house for Halloween. Living on a cul-de-sac, we didn't get a lot of tick-or-treaters coming down our way. I thought that by doing better decorations, I could change that. It was nothing much, but it was beyond general store bought decorations. I'd gather scrap lumber from around the neighborhood and build a haunted shack of sorts. It was just a cool little peek-in sitting in the front surrounded by a little cemetery. Over the years it grew and took over more of the front yard. Eventually it moved into the garage for a small walk through scene. In '99 I did my first maze. But do to a lack of help and being away with the Navy for four years, it would be the last time I did a maze until the 2007 Halloween season.

 

In 2007 I started "Higgins Manor." This time I'd go all out. It was time to build a maze similar to what you would see at Knotts. Well, a poor mans version at least. Gone were the plastic walls. In place were 4X8 flats constructed of 2X3's and plywood. Better lighting, sound and talent was incorporated. What was already a hit around the neighborhood became even more well known around the area.

 

Last year after exposure from the OC Register, my little home haunt became something I never imagined: a popular maze. I had people coming from Los Angeles, Riverside, etc. Back as a 12-year-old boy, I never thought what I was starting would turn out to be what it is today.

 

Like every year, in '10 we are stepping up the game again. A longer maze with more detail and more scares. I do hope that you come check it out if you are in the area. It's free. I'm only doing it for the love of Halloween.

 

 

Pictures from 2009

 

 

 

 

 

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1) Halloween Haunt @ Kings Dominion

2) Howl-O-Scream @ Busch Gardens Williamsburg

 

KD's Halloween Haunt IMO is MUCH better than BGW's Howl-O-Scream this year. By my experiences ALL 5 of KD's scare-zones were GREAT, 3 mazes were awesome, 3 mazes were good, and 3 mazes were average, but none were bad by any means. BGW needs to bring back "scare-zones" instead of doing "the scare is everywhere" because there were hardly any scares in the midways and all of the mazes were good but weren't very scary, just lots of nicely done details when it came to the decorations.

jesters.bmp

Jesters welcome guests at the famous "Kings Dominion" sign near the entrance.

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So far this season I have stayed faithful to HHN here in SoCal. I've gone four times so far and I'm going to my fifth on Thursday. That means House of 1000 Corpses 5 times (lost my phone once, thanks for helping to look for it Joey!) and Terror Tram 6 times. Still hasn't gotten old.

 

EDIT: forgot to add, my friends and I will be putting on a display on halloween night! Come see it if you're in the Toluca Lake area

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I went to Lake Compounce for their haunted graveyard which was amazing as usual. They also have the park set up wonderfully with stuff everywhere, random fog, and random people.

 

I was at SFNE for the night, but saw maybe 1 scare actor, and didn't pay to do the house stuff.

 

I was at Darien Lake the other night, and did their haunted house for the first time, and only because I got a free ticket for renewing my season pass. It was alright, like a 10-15 minute walk through. After doing Lake Compounce's every year it's tough to beat it.

 

I'm also going to Canada's Wonderland on Sunday so I guess I'll see what that's like!

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This was the first year I participated in a theme park halloween event since I was working shows at Astroworld's Fright Fest-good times indeed.

 

Anyways, this weekend my son and I did Haunt at Worlds of Fun and Six Fkags St Louis Fright Fest.

 

Haunt at Worlds of Fun was PACKED!!! But Awesome! We stayed until nearly 1:00 am and got to all of the Haunts including the "opening ceremonies". We used tickets my son "won" at Coaster Mayhem and certainly made the most of them

 

Fright Fest at Six Flags St Louis was a little different as we only got to stay until the park closed at 8 (Sunday) and the "haunts" were an extra $7 per person per haunt. Overall we had a good time but the 5-6 scareacters we encountered were anemic compared to WOF. And I would hate to be the person responsible for getting their wasp problem in the back of the park under control. Pretty scary!!!

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The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (Most elaborate set-up I have encountered. A 45 minute walkthrough that looks more like a movie set than a haunted house)

 

I did not take these pictures. Just wanted the share the level of detail at The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce

 

WOW! Now I NEED to get there. That is way, way much more involved than Scared by the Sound.

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Halloween Horror Nights XX @ Universal Orlando (only got through 4 houses as it was pretty crowded...)

 

Howl-O-Scream @ Busch Gardens Tampa (going again Thursday 10/21)... and braved Alone which was great...

 

...and was hoping that Gatorland was doing "GatorHallow" like they did last year... it was awesome... and for only $10... but doesn't seem like they are doing it again... too bad, it was a lot of fun...

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Last Saturday I attended Fright Nights at PNE Playland, which is open nightly through October 31. Although I went solely to ride the coasters, I really appreciated how the park was all decked out for Halloween. The decorations and the darkness created the perfect atmosphere for night rides on Coaster.

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Entry facade

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Haunted Mansion, one of several Halloween attractions. Don't tell Disney about this one.

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Talking animatronic that frequently spewed fog

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I've been going to Howl-O-Scream Tampa for the past 7 or so years. Still don't feel like the hour trip at 2a.m home from HHN so I'll be sticking to Howl-O-Scream this year. I'm actually switching it up a bit and going this Thursday the lines on a Saturday just got plain ridiculous. Hoping this years Howl-O-Scream doesn't disappoint I'd love to make it it all the houses and not just 2 :/

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Made it to Dorney Park's Haunt and Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest.

 

Dorney's Haunt jumped out of the gate big time two years ago, and in its third season has 9 pretty decently staffed mazes and two scare zones with good theming. The only complaints I have is that there aren't enough actors and decorations outside of the haunts themselves to give that full park haunted feel like HHN at Orlando does so well, and the sheer number of haunts sometimes ends up with lots of dead space during shift changes/breaks and more teamwork scares would help a lot. Considering it is still free with the day admission, it's hard to complain. The crowds on Saturdays do make me wonder if they will have to do a VIP line for the mazes, and the new Mansion House Hotel is very well done.

 

Great Adventure was a nice step up this year after a couple of years of incremental improvements (and a whole lot of years of just plain bad), but is severely outclassed by Dorney's Haunt. The cloth covered fencing for walls for the two upcharge mazes needs to be really upgraded to something more permanent, or at least make the walls appear to be themed. The Asylum was nicely done with the props and the signs, but without the appearance of a real building, it loses that immersiveness. The outdoor mazes still suffer greatly from the really wide paths. They really need to narrow the pathways to help the feel of the mazes and make it easier on the actors.

 

I must look into Lake Compounce now. It does look nearly as impressive as HHN!

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Been spending much of my time at HHN orlando lately when it comes to halloween!

 

ran into one of the guys (t.j.) behind all the thrills, or should I say scares.

 

my idol lol lol...

 

She got scared so bad she fell backwards lol lol...yeah she spilled her drink and all lol.

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