Fall is finally upon us. The leaves are starting to brown, and the wind is picking up with brisk breezes. Summer is officially over, school is in full swing, and the first celebrated holiday that gets kids jumping (or running!) with excitement is around the corner – Halloween. Growing up, Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. Nothing beats putting on a costume, getting into character, and receiving free candy as a reward for your ghoulish antics. It’s the only time to tap into your deepest fears and playfully terrorize each other with scary faces and situations you only see in your nightmares and movies.

After building up enough courage and excitement, I found myself at this year’s Six Flags Fright Fest for the very first time. Once the sun set and dusk was upon me, the park completely transformed. Every inch of Six Flags was covered in Halloween decorations, like spooky cobwebbed columns, freaky figurines, eerie music playing throughout the speaker system, a new blood-red water fountain, and of course, the zombies and ghouls! Walking and hiding throughout the park, these guys will find and scare you, whether you like it or not.


Total Darkness

Starting our terror trail experience, we went for Total Darkness, which is an indoor, not-your-average haunted house. Before entering you are teamed up with a group and instructed to hold onto a rope that has a small red-dimmed flashlight tied to the front end. As you go through the completely pitch-black maze, everyone will need to work together to reach the exit. This one definitely got my heart pumping because you are completely relying on your teammates, forced to feel out the walls for direction. As for sound? You’re pretty much vulnerable to everything that is scary in the world – loud screams and noises, creepy laughter and spine-chilling whispers. However, the tight corners and losing all control of sight and direction, Total Darkness wasn’t a winner in my book.

Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival 3-D

Whether you love or hate clowns, this one is a must-go. Before heading inside, everyone is given 3-D glasses. First thought? What the hell is going to pop in front of my face! Decked out in bright neon colors and 3-D effects, this entire indoor maze is a freaky, yet fun trip. The holographic design is a new, interesting take on scary clowns and their demonic smiles. Big Top Terror: Forgotten Carnival takes the cake on scary visuals. At one point, I even had to use the person in front of me as a human shield.


VooDoo Island

Set on an outdoor tribal maze, we were greeted with voodoo heads on spikes (yikes!) This was another visually appealing terror trail, packed with evil spirit-chanting voodoo priests and lost, terrorized ghouls. Without spoiling the trail further, I can say that I did leave the maze running, not walking.

The Manor

Are you curious to know what goes on inside the walls of an abandoned haunted manor? You’ll find your answer here. Decked out with dusty décor, The Manor is an indoor maze that houses ghosts and ghouls, ready to attack you from every corner. Maybe because it was pretty well lit, this one wasn’t so high on the fright scale – but it will at least get a jump or two out of you.



You would think sane people would want to stay out of an asylum, but this terror trail is one you can’t avoid. Blood-covered walls, rotting rooms, blood hungry deranged patients running towards you, zombie nurses, soulless police officers and other unspeakable terrors have taken over this asylum. If you come to Fright Fest looking to get scared, Asylum is your answer.

Alas, the clock was approaching midnight and it was ultimately time to leave. I didn’t get to experience all of the terror trails, but overall I was pleasantly pleased with the amount of scare I had in one night. This being my first experience, I am already looking forward to attending again. It truly captures the essence of Halloween and all the fun that goes behind it. I can only imagine the great lengths the costume and different theme park teams go through to transform the park into something new. I give this year’s Six Flags Fright Fest two thumbs up!

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Kim Manuel