Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Halloween New England's Top Picks for October 1st - 7th, 2014

We've waited 334 days for the return of October but it was well worth it! Halloween New England has you covered all month long with upcoming events and we'll help you stay on top of new Halloween Attractions opening up.


Top event picks for the upcoming week:

Salem's Haunted Happenings kicks off today but the popular Grand Parade is Thursday, Oct. 2nd. Details here.

The Salem Witch Museum is also hosting The Penguin Book of Witches Book Party on Thursday, Oct. 2nd at 7:00pm. The event is free but RSVP is required.  Details here.

This Thursday, Oct. 2nd also marks the return of the month-long Jack-o'-lantern Spectacular at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI.

This evening festival is open every night in October through Nov. 2nd. You'll be treated to a breathtaking display of carved pumpkins and a perfect way to spend a crisp fall evening. Details here.

Stay tuned for more contests to win tickets to the Jack-o'-lantern Spectacular.


One of our very favorite daytime pumpkin festivals is coming up Saturday Oct 4th (rain date: Oct 5th)--check out Milford, CT's Pumpkins on the Pier Festival. Read up on why it's a memorable event worth your time, festival tips included. Details here.

If you're up north this weekend, swing by the Pumpkin Festival at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee, NH on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 4th & 5th. Details here.

We've got a contest running right now to WIN a pair of tickets to see Haunted Acres in Candia, NH. Visit Halloween New England to enter the contest (ends Friday 10/3).

Congrats to Eric Grenier who won the tickets to see The Amity Road Horror!


Where is Halloween New England headed this weekend?
Halloween New England is swinging down to Connecticut to check out The Only Scream in Town in North Haven, CT and The Amity Road Horror in Bethany, CT. If we can, we'll try to make it to Trail of Terror in Wallingford, CT as well. Dare us to fit in three haunts in an evening? We'll let you know if we managed to do it! 

We're looking to pop over to Fright Fest at Six Flags New England on Sunday. We had a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour there last weekend to see how they've adapted their park to their Halloween festivities. With all the extra attractions, performances, and new twists on the rides we couldn't fit in everything we wanted to see so we're headed back for more!


The following haunted houses, trails, haunted hayrides
and haunted corn mazes open this Friday, October 3rd:


The Amity Road Horror  (CT)

Haunted Acres  (NH)

Haunted Hill   (RI)

Dark Manor   (CT)

Nightmare on Wolcott Street  (CT)

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (CT)

Trail of Terror  (CT)

Haunted Maze at Sherman Farm (NH)

Fright Kingdom  (NH)

The Dark Crop Haunted Corn Maze (NH)

Fear Town  (MA)

Witch's Woods (MA)

Vengeance in the Valley Haunted Maze & Hayride  (VT)

Dead North - Farmland of Terror Maze (VT)

The Gauntlet at Harvest Hill Farms Haunted Hayride and Flashlight Maze (ME)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

UPDATED Opening Night Guide for 2014 - Haunted Houses, Haunted Hayrides, Haunted Mazes

Halloween New England has updated the Opening Night schedule to
include confirmed haunted hayrides and haunted corn mazes.

You can find non-scary hayrides and flashlight mazes on our Night/Haunted Hayride and Night/Haunted Corn Maze guides on Halloween New England as this list is limited to haunted attractions.

Click on the attraction name to go directly to their page 
on our website for maps, contact info, and a list of features. 

As new pro attractions open every year, if you see something we've overlooked let us know.  Add your attraction.

Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK

Already open for 2014

Barrett's Haunted Mansion  (MA)

Scary Acres Haunted Hayride and Corn Maze (RI)

FrightFest at Six Flags New England (MA)





Opening Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Only Scream in Town (CT)

The Haunted Isle  (CT)
Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK

Ghoulie Manor  (MA)

SpookyWorld's Nightmare New England  (NH)

The Ghoullog  (NH)

Devil’s Playground (NH)

Trails to Terror Haunted Hayride (RI)

Field of Screams Haunted Hayride (RI)

Factory of Terror West Warwick   (RI)

Field of Screams   (RI)

13 Nights at Jiminy Peak (MA)

Factory of Terror Fall River (MA)

Factory of Terror  Worcester  (MA)

Haunted Labyrinth  (RI)

SpookyWorld's Terror in Rhode Island  (RI)

Trails to Terror    (RI)


Opening Saturday, September 27th, 2014


Screeemfest at Canobie Lake Park   (NH)

Hysteria Trail and Maze at Connors Farm (MA)

DementedFX (MA)



Opening Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 

House of the Dead / Morbid Productions    (ME)




Opening Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK
The Amity Road Horror  (CT)

Haunted Acres  (NH)

Haunted Hill   (RI)

Dark Manor   (CT)

Nightmare on Wolcott Street  (CT)

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (CT)

Trail of Terror  (CT)

Haunted Maze at Sherman Farm (NH)

Fright Kingdom  (NH)

The Dark Crop Haunted Corn Maze (NH)

Fear Town  (MA)

Witch's Woods (MA)

Vengeance in the Valley Haunted Maze & Hayride  (VT)

Dead North - Farmland of Terror Maze (VT)

The Gauntlet at Harvest Hill Farms Haunted Hayride and Flashlight Maze (ME)


Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK
Opening Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Beelzebub's CarnEvil  (MA)


Opening Friday, October 10th, 2014

The Haunting of Barrett Park (MA)

Lakeville Haunted House (MA)

Hicks Family Farm Haunted Corn Maze (MA)

Davis Farmland Haunted Mega Maze (MA)

Fear at Fort Adams   (RI)

Destination Haunt     (ME)

Harvest of Haunts Hayride & Corn Maze (NH)



Opening Saturday, October 11th, 2014
Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK

Dark Walk Haunted Camp Tour   (CT)

Harvest of Horrors Haunted Hayride (MA)


Opening Friday, October 17th,  2014

Haunted Overload (NH)

Fright at the Fort     (ME)


Opening Friday, October 24th, 2014

Armory of Horrors (MA)

Throckmorton Manor    (VT)

The Haunted Forest     (VT)



Find complete guides to Haunted Houses and Trails, Night/Haunted Hayrides, and Night/Haunted Corn Mazes across New England with our complete state guides for ConnecticutMaineMassachusettsNew HampshireRhode Island, and Vermont.


The featured photos in this guide are shared courtesy of The Pixel Perfection:: AFTER Dark. Check them out, and follow them on Facebook to see more incredible photos.
Remember, they may not be borrowed or reproduced without expressed permission.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guide to Haunted Houses and Trails Opening Nights 2014

We know you want it. We know you NEED it. 
We know you feel it in your bones. 
The wait is over: The New England haunt season is finally here!

Halloween New England is your best guide to Haunted Houses and Trails in every New England state. We make it EASY to find what you are looking for with well-organized guides to all the professional haunted attractions and trails, haunt features, maps, directions, and much more.

Because we are excited as you are to get this haunting season started, we've distilled everything into a list of the 2014 Opening Nights for New England Haunted Houses and Trails.

Click on the attraction name to go directly to their page
on our website for maps, contact info, and a list of features.
 

As new attractions open every year, if you see something we've overlooked let us know. In some cases we've held off on including some attractions as their dates could not be verified yet for 2014.
We'll be compiling a separate list for Haunted and Night Hayrides and Night Mazes. Stay tuned!

Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK

Opening Friday, September 19th, 2014

Barrett's Haunted Mansion  (MA)

Opening Saturday, September 20th, 2014

FrightFest at Six Flags New England (MA)




Opening Friday, September 26th, 2014

The Only Scream in Town (CT)

Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK
The Haunted Isle  (CT)

Ghoulie Manor  (MA)

SpookyWorld's Nightmare New England  (NH)

The Ghoullog  (NH)

Devil’s Playground (NH)

Factory of Terror West Warwick   (RI)

Field of Screams   (RI)

13 Nights at Jiminy Peak (MA)

Factory of Terror Fall River (MA)

Factory of Terror  Worcester  (MA)

Haunted Labyrinth  (RI)

SpookyWorld's Terror in Rhode Island  (RI)

Trails to Terror    (RI)


Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK
Opening Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Screeemfest at Canobie Lake Park   (NH)

Hysteria at Connors Farm (MA)

DementedFX (MA)





Opening Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 

House of the Dead / Morbid Productions    (ME)


Opening Friday, October 3rd, 2014
Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK

The Amity Road Horror  (CT)

Haunted Acres  (NH)

Haunted Hill   (RI)

Dark Manor   (CT)

Nightmare on Wolcott Street  (CT)

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce (CT)

Trail of Terror  (CT)

Fright Kingdom  (NH)

Fear Town  (MA)

Witch's Woods (MA)



Photo by The Pixel Perfection: AFTER DARK
Opening Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Beelzebub's CarnEvil  (MA)


Opening Friday, October 10th, 2014

The Haunting of Barrett Park (MA)

Lakeville Haunted House (MA)

Fear at Fort Adams   (RI)

Destination Haunt     (ME)


Opening Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Dark Walk Haunted Camp Tour   (CT)




Photo by Halloween New England
Opening Friday, October 17th,  2014

Haunted Overload (NH)

Fright at the Fort     (ME)


Opening Friday, October 24th, 2014

Armory of Horrors (MA)

Throckmorton Manor    (VT)

The Haunted Forest     (VT)


Find complete guides to Haunted Houses and Trails across New England with our complete state guides for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


The featured photos in this guide are shared courtesy of The Pixel Perfection:: AFTER Dark. Check them out, and follow them on Facebook to see more incredible photos.
Remember, they may not be borrowed or reproduced without expressed permission.

Salem's Gallows Hill Witchcraft and Ghost Experience Offers Thrills this October

Halloween New England recently took a jaunt up to Salem, MA for dinner and a show. Our trip was an impromptu one and really, we never need much of an excuse to pop in to one of our favorite cities in Massachusetts.

Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New England_Lobby
Gallows Hill Museum in Salem, MA
After a wonderful meal at Tavern on the Square we took a short 3 minute walk up the street to Gallows Hill for the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience.

We met up with owner Erik Rodenhiser, a Salem native, owner of the theatre space, and creative mind behind the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience.
He welcomed us and shared a bit about the history of the theatre as we waited for a large group to arrive. The theatre is the home base for the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience as well as a number of tours and special events including the Ghosts and Legends Trolley (October only). 

Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New England_Gift Shop
The gift shop with Gallows Hill tees
The main lobby doubles as a small gift shop and a visual display of different memorabilia related to Salem’s history and traditions. Set between two open rooms, the museum features photos, short videos, and a number of plaques showcasing the important people and timeline of Salem’s Witch Trials.

There was plenty of posted material explaining aspects of the Witch Trials and debunking myths about witchcraft, especially as it is practiced in modern day Salem.

The museum, which is only open before and after scheduled shows, was a nice, clearly presented educational diversion while we waited to take our seats. We both noticed how spotlessly clean and well-taken care of the whole theatre was—a testament to the care Erik gives to the space and attention paid to the complete customer experience.

Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New England_Witch Trials
Nine women who figure prominently
in the Witch Trial history timeline
Outside of October, the theatre opens just for booked groups. The night we attended there was a large group that was kind enough to allow us to tag along.

Being the end of summer, it was no surprise that the group turned out to be about sixty middle-school aged campers! The moment they arrived en masse the level of energy in the lobby reached a buzz of epic levels—it was truly something to behold! We could overhear some of the preteens who were nervous about seeing the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience—they didn’t know what to expect and were anxious about what was to come.
The counselors were very reassuring to the kids but we knew that there were a number of audience members who were headed in already feeling jumpy. As it happened, you couldn’t ask for a better audience.  

As much as we tried to read up on the Experience, we couldn’t quite get a handle on what exactly we were about to see. We had imagined it would be somewhat like Disney’s The Hall of Presidents show—interesting, but more about sitting in your seat listen to a historical presentation.

Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New England
Some audience members are seated
right in the center of the action.
It turns out “Experience” is really the right way to describe this evening—and it is nothing like the Hall of Presidents which frankly I think is a good thing. 

With only two performers handling all responsibilities onstage and backstage, it is a non-stop ride of storytelling, startling surprises, interactive props, costumes, smells, sensations, (did I feel something on the back of my neck or did I imagine it? I still honestly don’t know…), scares, and laughs from start to finish.

It is the kind of performance that you cannot help but become a part of -- yet not in get-up-on-stage kind of participatory way which will certainly come as a relief to some. It would be impossible at any age to simply sit back aloofly during a show like this. From the moment the lights turned down for the show it was a whirlwind of fun right to the end.

The show is a careful choreography of special effects, costumes, story-telling, diversions, exhilarating surprises/scares (depending on your perspective) with historical facts and local legends presented in a way to keep the story moving along at a swift pace. 

A creature in the Witchcraft and
Ghost Experience at Gallows Hill
The campers, we can’t resist mentioning, were completely hilarious. They weren’t obnoxious in the least (which I’ll admit we’d secretly feared being that the adults that night were roundly outnumbered) but instead the kids were just the right age to still get legitimately spooked.

They were the right mix of jumpy and fun. They clutched onto their friends at the slightest surprise and spontaneously shrieking—every single one of them—at a sudden special effect or unexpected noise.

It really was a treat to have enjoyed the show in their company and it added to the wonderful time we were already having. Their energy established the atmosphere right from the get go and made for a really memorable time.

There was a brief post-show Q&A which was equally fun, entertaining, and interesting. The length of the show typically runs just under 25 minutes and it felt like we’d only been there for 5—the time simply flew by.

So, you ask, what IS the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience?
Was a performance? Yes. Was it historical? Yes, mostly fact-based to move the story along, not as a re-enactment.
Was it scary? Yes, but in more of a surprising, thrilling way (see my notes below about age). Was it funny? Absolutely.
Was it predictable or cheesy? Not in the least!  Was it original? It definitely felt like we’d never seen a show like this before.
Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New England Theatre
The spooky setting for the Experience 

The closest way to describe the performance is that it was interactive, exciting, surprising, and immersive in the way going to a haunted house would be yet this was NOT anything like a haunted house nor is it intended to be frightening. However, it will surprise you and make you jump—at any age. Just to be clear, you are not walking through anything. The only “conventional” part of this show is that you enjoy it as a proper audience member in a seat taking in the show on the stage.

Nothing about this show feels like it is catering to the lowest common denominator of tourist activities. It would be wholly unfair to lump it as “just another” way to spend your time in Salem. Instead, we’d like to emphasize how much we appreciated the effort to give the audience an original, fun, and memorable experience in a clean, well-kept space.

Gallows Hill Museum Salem Attraction_Halloween New EnglandIf you are headed to Salem this fall, book your tickets early to lock in a chance to see the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience at Gallows Hill. They also offer an opportunity for the nighttime Ghosts and Legends Trolley during October –with special combo ticket prices for attending the two events in the same evening.

Gallows Hill offers a Tales and Ales Tour and a "Grave Hopper Pass" which is a combo ticket to the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience and the Nightmare Gallery.

Tips for your visit to Gallows Hill
  • Book your tickets EARLY for the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience and the Ghosts and Legends Trolley. These events are offered to the public in Salem in October only (and to booked groups year round). As you are not going to be the only one in the city looking for something memorable to do, don’t even think about taking your chances…just book in advance and early. 
  • There’s a small gift shop where you can buy t-shirts and other small items.
  • Arrive early so you can take in the museum portion of the lobby.
  • There are two individual bathrooms so we could see there being a line at the last minute—arrive early if you need them.
  • This show is a thrilling 25-minute sensory adventure without an intermission.
  • Tickets available online.

Family Tips for your visit to Gallows Hill 
As we didn’t attend with children on that night, we debated over what the youngest age would be for a child to find this fun and at what age a child would be too scared to enjoy himself.

On every level the show is entertaining, well-paced, and full of historical facts and fun so a 6 or 7 year old wouldn’t be bored in in the least—neither would your middle schooler, as we witnessed first-hand. The content was suitable for kids but some kids are going to be upset by the sudden darkness while others will find everything exciting. We’ve seen older teens standing outside a haunted attraction and cry and this is not intended to be frightening in the way a haunted attraction is. It’s pure entertainment. One person’s scare is another person’s thrill so it really comes down to your child.

Our consensus is that 6-8 years old is probably about the youngest that would be ready for this show. Mostly it will depend on how sensitive your child is for your younger or older child is game. Will getting surprised be scary or fun for them? You decide.
  • This is not designed as a “kids show” per se but it is certainly is intended to be a family-friendly one. The adults will enjoy it and, if you have kids in tow, they will have fun too.
  • We think 7-8 years old is a suitable age to start bringing your child to the Witchcraft and Ghost Experience. If your child is frightened by surprises or even brief moments in the dark, they may not be ready for this yet. See our notes about age earlier.
  • It’s a swift show that will hold your child’s attention the entire time. Even older kids and teens have a blast, as we witnessed. 
  • There are two individual unisex bathrooms—they are large enough to comfortably fit more than one person if you are accompanying your child.
  • If you are concerned about your child being too afraid to stay through the show, we suggest sitting at the very back of the theatre and leaving during an illuminated moment. If you sense your child is very nervous, perhaps hold off for now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 10 Tips for Visiting a Haunted House this October


Haunted Attractions are not one size fits all and Halloween New England has come to the rescue with ten useful tips to make sure your haunted house experience is a memorable one!

1. Surrender 
Haunted houses are all about immersing you in a totally unexpected, unpredictable, thrilling environment and the more you can surrender to the evening you are about to have (and we mean this in a good way) the more memorable the experience.

2. Make a Night Out of It 
If your plan is to drive up, park, buy a ticket, go inside, walk through, get back in the car and go home then you are totally cheating yourself out of a crazy fun evening. Instead, show up, have a drink, mingle and watch the crowds, soak up the action that is going on around you and the people who are already shaking in their boots. Enjoy the atmosphere of the attraction before you even go in. When you enter the event, take your time enjoying the scenes and having fun getting scared, spooked, or shocked. Why rush the experience? Better yet, if there is only a single haunted house at the attraction you picked, see if there is a 2nd one within driving distance and hit up two in an evening! The Halloween season is over a month long--challenge yourself to see how many you can rack up every weekend.

3. Only Go With Fun People
You would think this is a no-brainer but it is not. Frankly, nothing can kill your fun evening like bringing along your obnoxious cousin who thinks he's too tough to be scared and makes sneering comments to the actors, gripes about the scenes, and ruins the surprises. Of course everyone knows that the characters and scenes aren't real but you've paid good money for a ticket to have a great time, why go through with anyone who only wants to belittle or make fun of the experience? Seriously, leave the frat boy buddies at home--they'll only drag you down and ruin your night.

4. Dress for Success 
Do a little research to find out what you are getting into. Some haunted attractions are in a warehouse, others are in houses, many are outdoors under tents, and some are in the woods. Others may have a combination of haunted trails with a hayride or haunted corn maze added in so do a little research about what you're in for. Depending on where you're headed, you may be walking through the woods the night after a downpour and you will be glad you wore your not-so-stylish but hyper-practical boots to navigate your way. Even more, dress warmly and comfortably. The haunt may be under a tent but the queue line could be outdoors and you might be standing outside for 45 minutes or more.

5. Prepare to Wait...And Love Every Minute of It
Depending on the time of the season you go, prepare to wait in line. Weekends are busiest, especially mid-October through Halloween. We can't stress this enough--waiting is truly part of the experience. Not only does waiting in line give you time to get acclimated to the creepy vibe of the place but many attractions have different characters that roam and interact with the crowds. The time you spend waiting is time spent priming you for the main attraction. Change your perspective from impatience to embracing the wait as a very cool and important part of the experience.

6Go Early in the Season
Amity Road Horror CT Pumpkins _ Halloween New EnglandMany haunted houses open up in late September or early October. Many attractions have special deals like Buy One-Get-One Free options early in the season or on off-peak nights like a Thursday or Sunday. Going early in the season can help you avoid some of the long waits and crowds and you can usually linger longer to enjoy each scene (not always the case on busy nights). On lighter volume nights, the attractions can space out the groups to give you a different kind of experience. With more elbow room, you won't end up shuffling through in a crowd seeing the scare happening to the group 10 feet ahead of you ruining the surprise. You won't be rushed through the rooms that you really want to take your time in.

7. Pony Up for the Express Ticket
On a busy night late in the season, it's going to take a while to get through the attraction(s)--that is a plain fact of hitting up a popular attraction so close to Halloween. Not everybody wants to wait in line (after all, someone has to relieve the babysitter!) so it might be worth your while to spring for an Express Ticket or a VIP Pass. It's not uncommon to pay up to double the general admission price but you are diverted to a speedier line and there may be other perks included. Some VIP tickets may permit you to go through the attraction unlimited times or have other freebies thrown in. Not every attraction has this so you'll need to look into it.

8. Be Good to the Actors The various characters you see inside and outside the haunted attraction are there to give you a great time. There's a saying "don't touch the actors and they won't touch you" and generally there is a rule that none of the actors will ever physically interact with you--which isn't to say they won't be blowing on the back of your neck to freak you out! But hey, most attractions are dark and a little confusing so you may bump into one another from time to time by accident. Acting in a haunted house is a very physical, demanding, and challenging job. Remember, they are there to try to give you a great experience.

9. Not Every Attraction is Suitable for Everyone
Just like going to a PG-13 or R movie, not every haunted house is appropriate for every age. Some haunts might be suitable for your thrill-seeking preteens while other attractions may be too visceral, and graphic for even a sensitive adult to handle. 
If you are planning to bring your preteens or teens in tow, read up on the haunt to see if the themes and content are right for your older kids. Know your kids and use your best judgment with the information you have--ask others who may have been there for their opinion. Unless it is a designated Kids Day, haunted attractions are not a good fit for young children.

If you are afraid to continue (or are with someone who is), just speak in a loud clear voice that you want to exit the event and ask an actor to show you the way out. Professional attractions train their actors to help you exit and regroup. If you are unsure whether you will be able to brave the event, it's always a good idea to inquire ahead of time to find out how you can exit an event if you need to.

10. Appreciate the Artistry 
You might be surprised to learn that designing and building haunted attractions is a thriving industry filled with super creative people who are tremendously dedicated to their craft. Whether you are visiting one of the largest attractions in your area or a local yard haunt, you will see the culmination of months of planning, creating, building, and decorating by artists who put their heart and soul into delivering a memorable and thrilling time for their visitors. In those rare moments when you aren't getting the daylights scared out of you, look around you to appreciate all the work that has gone into the event. You will not be disappointed!

Halloween New England Logo - Guide to Haunted Attractions in MA NH CT ME VT and RI
Looking for Haunted Attractions in New England? Halloween New England's guides to CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, and VT Haunted Houses and Trails will give you a complete list of attractions, maps, contact info, haunted house features, and much more.

Special thanks to The Pixel Perfection: After Dark for contributing most of the photos for this article.