Many people have a fascination with being scared, and it’s only weird because it doesn’t make sense, not because it’s out of the ordinary.
Groups of families and friends pack haunted houses every October, turn on scary movie marathons and dress up as demons, ghosts and goblins.
There’s some science involved here. Our brains — which go into fight, flight or freeze mode in scary situations — can figure out that if you’re watching “Friday the 13th,” or even roaming through a dark haunted house, there’s no real risk. It’s a safety net. Plus, sudden fear can create a rush of adrenaline, releasing endorphins and dopamine, which alleviate anxiety and create motivation.
Here’s a guide to some of the Halloween fun around Indianapolis.
If you don’t have younger kids, or you find a way to ditch them for the evening, this is some of the stuff you might enjoy.
Indy Scream Park is a staple for Halloween. There are five attractions, including the new Nightmare Factory Blackout. If you’re over 18 and feeling wild, you can wear a glow-in-the-dark necklace to let actors know you’re OK with being touched, grabbed and even pulled away from your group.
My favorite attraction when I went was Killgores Circus, which is in 3D.
• Where: Indy Scream Park, 5211 S. New Columbus Road, Anderson
• When: Now through Nov. 2. Opens 7 p.m. every night and closes 1 a.m. Fridays and 1:30 a.m. Saturdays. Closes 10:30 p.m. every other night, except for the last two days when it closes at midnight.
• Tickets: Prices vary each night online, $5 more at the box office
The Thirteenth Hour has three attractions, including two that are new this year: Mine No. 13 and Reapers Hollow. All of the attractions are connected and tell the story of Heinrich Chapel, who thought he could remove the souls from the dead.
For the last two nights, Nov. 1 and 2, all of the lights are off for a new experience.
• Where: The Thirteenth Hour, 850 S. Keystone Ave.
• When: Hours vary from 7 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday through Nov. 2
• Tickets: $17-$22 general admission online, cash only on site
Haunted Angelus House has three attractions — Haunted House, 3-D Haunt and Hell Town — for one price. The attraction raises funds for The Angelus, a cerebral palsy group home in Florida.
• Where: Haunted Angelus House, 8829 E. Washington St.
• When: Most nights Oct. 18-Nov. 2. Gates open at 7 p.m., closing time varies from 10 p.m. to midnight
• Tickets: $22 general admission online or on site
Six attractions, including a haunted Hayride, make Hanna Haunted Acres one of the scariest Halloween destinations in the city. One of the attractions, Freakshow, is the story of a mad makeup artist whose toxins turned everyone into “wide-eyed laughing psychopaths,” according to the description.
• Where: Hanna Haunted Acres, 7323 E. Hanna Ave.
• When: Hours vary from 7 p.m. to midnight on most nights through Nov. 2
• Tickets: $23.95 for Sunday through Thursday, $27.95 for Friday, $31.95 for Saturday online. $5.05 more at the box office.
Dark Armies Necropolis features five attractions over 45,000 square feet and virtual reality for a unique haunted house experience. Necropolis also has a “misfortune” teller and escape rooms. Guests can purchase single-attraction tickets or a combo ticket for all attractions.
• Where: Necropolis Haunted Attraction, 7130 Western Select Drive
• When: 7:30-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 2, 7:30-10 p.m. select weekdays, 7:30-10 p.m. Oct. 31
• Tickets: Prices vary $14-$32 online
FOR THE KIDS
There’s a long list of fall activities at Conner Prairie, including bounce houses, mini golf, pumpkin bowling and multiple corn mazes.
The headliner is a haunted hayride featuring a headless horseman and other characters in the woods. I went on this hayride with a 3-year-old and other younger kids and can attest that it wasn’t too scary for them.
• Where: Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers
• When: Oct. 17-20 and 24-27. Gates open 6-9 p.m., but hayrides and other activities may stay open until 10 p.m. or later.
• Tickets: $17-$21 online or at the box office. Children under 2 get in free.
Kids can dress up in their costumes and enjoy free goblin games, treats and crafts. There is an admission charge for the Haunted Conservatory.
• Where: Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive
• When: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24. The Haunted Conservatory is open 5:30-7 p.m. (less scary) and 7-8:30 p.m. (recommended for ages 8 and up)
• Tickets: $2 for the Haunted Conservatory, everything else is free
Families can enjoy discounted concessions, locker room tours, a costume contest, parade and more. There will also be trick-or-treating, and the first 1,000 kids get a free cape with the horseshoe logo.
• Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, 500 S. Capitol Ave.
• When: 4:30-8 p.m. Oct. 23
• Tickets: Free tickets required online
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.