October is a Haunting time and you can get your spooky thrills at many excellent Halloween attractions around the Twin Cities. Most are open selected dates throughout October and into November. Visit one, visit them all. Many parks offer V.I.P. and fast track passes. Check their websites for features, dates, times, and watch out for a plethora of ghouls.
The Nightmare Hollow Scream Park at Running Aces
The Nightmare Hollow Scream Park at Running Aces is now in its 22nd year of bringing a frightfully good time to visitors. It was the first park of its kind in the Metro and is run by Jean Sockness, a woman who loves Halloween so much she even drives a 1960’s hearse. Jean loved the experience of Halloween since she was little. “I was out til after ten and my parents were freaking out.”
Jean says, “Halloween is not supposed to be just gross-out type scary, it should be fun and tailored to families so everyone can enjoy it.” She has trained her people to approach kids right. Yet, teens find the Hallow Scream Park terrifyingly spooky.
There is a huge haunted house that takes about 20-25 minutes to enjoy the oddities and crazy sensations. The Hay ride is another feature that takes brave riders through 22 spooky and creepy scenes. The uncanny scenes are set under tall trees, and the riders experience crazy sets that include fog, animatronics, music, special effects, and live monster and ghouls. The hayride has lots of detail and many people say it is the best haunted hayride in the country.
An artist brainstormed along with the developer to come up with the various wild and crazy ideas. Then the artist worked to bring realism and a surreal feel with the use of unusual lighting and effects. One example is the Hillbilly Hut complete with rundown shack, an old stove, still, and even raccoons hanging on the front porch. Across the road is an outhouse and you do not want the hayride to stop between those buildings. Two live actors work it and give the riders a good scare for their money.
A Graveyard scene has a real Trout Lake Cemetery sign that they obtained from the old yard. There are animatronics and more than 40 real tombstones many of them are marble tombstones. Jean let us in on the secret that the stones came from a tombstone maker and these were rejects because they had the wrong dates chiseled into them. This is a fantastic scene with lots of actors creeping around and crypts opening to have ghouls step out.
The most amazing new attraction this year is the Zombie Hunt paint ball ride. You get on a trailer and have 100 glow in the dark paintballs to fire at LIVE Zombie actors and other props and targets in the forest. No one else in MN has glow in the dark pellets. You have a blast during this 25 minute hayride. You can get a combo ticket that includes this special added attraction. You can even purchase extra paintballs if you have an itchy trigger finger.
Beware as you never know when the Cornstalker or other live haunted actors will creep up on you. Other features include D.J. every Friday and Sunday night, the White Hot Fire Experts will be there every Friday and Saturday doing amazing fire shows and fire juggling throughout the night. A fun attraction is the Creepy Feature Show with millipedes, rats, live raven and a fox. Watch for KDWB host Dave Ryan giving away Pink tickets one weekend.
NightmareHallowScreamPark.com at Running Aces