October 1, 2019 – Six Flags Great Adventure put out the call for those who would dare to spend 30 hours in a coffin during the Northeast’s largest Halloween party, Fright Fest. When the registration deadline ended, nearly 6,000 people from all over the country had entered to be a Coffin Dweller. The Six Flags 30-Hour Coffin Challenge will take place Oct. 13 and 14 with a variety of frightful, new rules, ghastly games for the six unlucky coffin dwellers and a guest emcee — The Munsters star Butch Patrick.
The six participants will lay in a fully-covered wooden coffin for 30 hours, receive brief bathroom and phone breaks every three hours, eat their meals in their coffins, endure creepy challenges and receive unannounced visits from Fright Fest freaks and live critters like snakes, spiders and skunks. A new point system will tabulate one grand prize winner and runners up. Challenges will offer coffin dwellers the chance to earn points, and penalize them if they waive a challenge.
The six Coffin Dwellers were chosen based on the creativity of their essays. This year’s contestants are:
- Amanda Roberts, Hopatcong, NJ – This 31-year-old Halloween fanatic eats, sleeps and breaths all things creepy. She’s a makeup artist for haunts, plays in a horror-themed punk band, works at a Halloween store and suspends herself from hooks through her flesh (known as body suspension). “Who WOULDN’T want to spend time in a coffin?! I’m so excited,” she said.
- Michael Markawicz of Ridley Park, PA – Markawicz was inspired by a strange happening in his youth – while attending a family viewing and paying respect to his loved one, the body sat up. Death fascinated him and for the last 13 years he has been fighting to saving lives as a paramedic. The 32-year-old Halloween fanatic also survived being lost in the woods in freezing temperatures, so can he survive the cold, lonely coffin?
- Deborah “Cricket” Alanis, Bayshore, NY – This 53-year-old mom of three wants to prove she’s got what it takes. She has survived cancer and worked as a funeral director for many years. “I’m not scared of premature entombment – bring it on,” Alanis said.
- Kerri Platt, Forked River, NJ – Platt has stared death in the face. This 47-year-old mom nearly died in childbirth, and last year donated a kidney to save her mother’s life. This is her second year applying for the challenge and she is ready to show she is “the coolest mom ever.”
- LynnAnn Joyce and Alairra Craven of Seaside Heights, NJ – This dynamic mother/daughter duo can’t wait for some unusual family bonding time. 44-year-old Joyce is “petrified of death” and coffins but wants to prove that she can confront her fears like her daughter, 18-year-old Craven. Craven just completed Army basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and was most nervous about training in the gas chamber. The determined Joyce also has Lupus and wants to show others that “I have it, but it will never have me.”
If a contestant cannot fill his or her place in the coffin, an alternate has been selected:
- Ashley Allen, Willingboro, NJ – The Halloween-obsessed 26-year-old is currently studying to become a mortician. She is a huge fan of Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe and horror movies, and says that her personality resembles that of Morticia Addams of The Addams Family.
Highlights of this year’s Coffin Challenge include:
- Fully-covered coffin lid with just a small mesh hole for that ultra-claustrophobic feeling;
- Games that include live bugs, pungent food items and trivia to earn points, penalties and a “Get Out of the Coffin” card;
- Fewer bathroom, stretch and phone breaks – coffin dwellers will only be permitted to leave the coffin once for 13 minutes every three hours to use the restroom or their phones;
- Sleep deprivation with Yacht Rock and songs like “Baby Shark” on repeat during overnight hours;
- Applications accepted from individuals and pairs who want to conquer the event together;
- Guest emcee Butch Patrick, who starred as Eddie in The Munsters, will host challenges, The Munsters trivia and the Raising from the Dead Ceremony for any survivors on Oct. 14; and
- Scores will be tabulated throughout the event, and the grand prize winner will receive $600, two Six Flags Gold Passes and two Fright Fest Haunted Maze Passes. Runners up will receive items ranging from Fright Fest day passes to season passes.
Begins Sunday, October 13 at 2:30 pm with a Laying to Rest Ceremony
Concludes Monday, October 14 at 8:30 pm with a Raising from the Dead Ceremony
Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ – Demon District