I grew up in a small town where there was one haunted house attraction around Halloween. The Haunted Barn, I think it was called. And I remember it being a good time. Some of my friends had family who worked there; there was a guy at the end who chased you around with a fake chainsaw. The stuff you expect to get spooky with.
I’d never been to a major scare show before going to Indy Scream Park last week. There are five attractions with different themes, and I’m not sure how anyone has it in them to do all five. I did two — Pandemic Mutation and Killgores Circus — with my girlfriend.
I’m not a screamer, but here’s how it went: Someone would jump out at us, which would make us both jump. But my girlfriend would also scream, basically scaring me a second time. For me, the scariest part was actually the props that are built into the walls throughout the dark maze of hallways.
The circus one is pretty cool because it’s in 3D. Sometimes you can see someone move just a little before they jump out at you, but the 3D experience distracts your attention.
The other three attractions — Zombieland Unchained, Back Woods and the new Nightmare Factory Blackout — are there, and I’m sure they’re good. I enjoy sleeping at night.
If you’re over 18 and are OK with being touched, grabbed and even pulled away from your group, you can wear a glow-in-the-dark necklace. No way I was wearing that, but you can.
I met one of the actors from Pandemic Mutation to see what’s it like to scare people all night. Dakota Lightfoot, a doctor covered in blood, is in his sixth year at Indy Scream Park.
“It’s fun. You get a lot of enjoyment out of it, working with these fellows,” he said just as someone sneaked up on me and yelled in my ear.
Lightfoot, 21, said he scared a girl — probably 12 or 13 years old — so bad in his third year that she had a panic attack and emergency medical technicians had to take her out through the back door.
Did he feel bad?
“I did, but I didn’t feel bad. I tell people all the time, ‘You can bring your kids here if you want, but I’m gonna send them home in nightmares.”
Indy Scream Park, 5211 S. New Columbus Road, Anderson, opens Oct. 4 and goes through Nov. 2. It opens at 7 p.m. every night and closes at 1 a.m. on Fridays and 1:30 a.m. on Saturdays. Every other night it closes at 10:30 p.m., except for the last two days when it closes at midnight. Ticket prices vary each night. Go to indyscreampark.com to learn more. Tickets are $5 more at the box office.
Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.