Halloween 2012: Haunted Forests and Ghost Houses
Where to Pay Others to Terrify You
Face it, this is WAY cooler than YOUR house.
- Nightmare Screamplex at the Maryland Soccerplex (18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds, Md.) features three terrifying attractions plus live magic, paintball, and smores. A Nightmare Forest, Maize of Terror (a corn maze), and a Lost Asylum are open the next few weekends. Planners claim that the area surrounding the event actually has ghost activity, since many criminals roamed the woods in the area back in the 1700s and attacked unsuspecting Colonials. One legend states that the spectral murderer still roams the woods, so watch out! Oct. 26-28 and Nov. 2-3; 7-11 p.m. $20-25.
- In 1954, residents of the Marshall Islands were exposed to radioactive fallout, and things haven’t been right since. The Warehouse: Project 4.1(11840 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Md.) isn’t your typical haunted house, but there are still enough zombies and dead bodies to get your skin crawling with fear. Oct. 26-27; Oct. 31; 7 p.m.-midnight; $30.
- Selected as one of America’s Best Haunts, Bennett’s Curse at Blobs Park (8024 Max Blobs Park Road, Jessup, Md.) offers two separate scare houses -- House of the Vampyres and Sanctuary of Insanity -- plus a new attraction this year, the 3D Zombie Kingdom. Keep in mind that some areas are completely dark and strobe lights are used; this one is not for kids! Oct. 26-27, 7-11 p.m. Oct. 28-30, 7-10 p.m. Oct. 31, 7-11 p.m. $30; $10 extra for speed pass to skip queue.
- A recurring fave beloved (and often packed) Markoff’s Haunted Forest (Calleva Farm, 19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson, Md.). They’re selling a limited amount of tickets per night to cut back on crowds, so be sure to order online to ensure entrance, or go early to pick up a fast-pass ticket for $5 extra if you get dinner at a participating restaurant in Poolesville. Besides multiple haunted trails, Markoff’s will have a zip line and food tents. Oct. 26; Oct. 27-28; $25-$30. Opens at dusk.
- Scream City at OBGC Community Park (4501 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Olney, Md.) features a trail of terror, haunted mansion and hayride. With a carnival atmosphere, this event has some attractions even the scaredy cats can enjoy, including face painting and a pumpkin patch. Snacks -- including deep-fried Twinkies and s’mores -- will be available. Weekdays 6:30-9 p.m.; weekends 6:30-10 p.m. $10-$20; combo packs $40-$55.
- Take a spooky hayride through a haunted farm at The Haunt at Sunrise Farm (100 Dairy Lane, Gambrills, Md.). If you bring a canned good or pet food item to donate, you’ll get $2 off admission. Food will go to the Capital Area Food Bank and Anne Arundel ASPCA shelter. Reservations required; email email@example.com with your name, contact number, an approximate time and number of people. Arrive at lesat 30 minutes in advance to pick up your tickets. All reservations must be made by noon the day prior to your expected reservation. Fridays and Saturdays in Oct.; dusk-11 p.m.; $15.
- During the day, Cox Farm (15621 Braddock Road, Centreville, Va.) will host a family-friendly festival, but once the sun sets, prepare for Fields of Fear! Firegrounds with games, food and bonfires will also offer haunted hayrides and the terrifying Cornightmare attraction. Cornightmare will take you to the crypt, the haunted library and the bug room (kids under 14 must have adult supervision). Oct. 26-27, 7:30-11 p.m. (last admission at 10 p.m.); $13-$19.
- Wicked Woods (6220 Massey Road, Spotslyvania, Va.) features a new "Insanitarium" haunted asylum. Oct. 26-28 7-10 p.m. Asylum $7; forest walk $15; combo ticket $20.
- Darkwood Manor (104 N. Hawksbill St., Luray, Va.) is a theatrical haunted mansion experience. Actors take you into the lives of the infamous Darkwood family who lived and died in the house... and are maybe still there! Oct. 26-27, 7-11 p.m.; Oct. 31, 7-10 p.m. $12; fastpass tickets $22.
- This one’s not for the faint of heart -- the tale that haunts this house follows one of America's worst serial killers. Dun dun dun! At Jim Barnett Park (1001 East Cork St., Winchester, Va.), the Devil's Den Haunted Attraction will tell you the tale of the serial killer who hunted in that area of Virginia back in the 1970s, but watch out -- the line between fiction and fact will be blurred. Open Friday - Sundays in October; 7-11 p.m.; $11- $13.
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