Written by: Katelyn Freil
Despite a little rain and wind, Sunday was a great day for riding roller coasters at Cedar Point. But for haunted house fans, October weekends at “America’s roller coast” are not about the rides.
They’re more about HalloWeekends: Cedar Point’s Halloween celebration. In addition to putting up Halloween decorations throughout the park, Cedar Point has brought in four haunted houses and six “Scare Zones,” or walk-throughs designed to frighten and entertain guests.
Days like this past Sunday are perfect for HalloWeekends. There seemed to be relatively few people at the park, which meant shorter lines and more attractions.
The four haunted houses, which open at 3 p.m. on Sundays, are Club Blood, Eerie Estate, Eternity Infirmary and this year’s new addition, Eden Musee. While many may have thought that a new haunted house meant new scares, there was nothing that seemed to stick out from Eden Musee. The house, which was designed as a wax museum, involved people popping out from behind body bags and from around corners, and seemed to last for under two minutes.
More frightening was the G.A. Boeckling’s Eerie Estate, a mansion involving banging on a piano and a feast of manwich, or fingers and blood. As guests enter the house, they are immediately targeted by the son of the mansion’s owner, who asks his father for permission to go “make friends” while pointing at particular people in the group and then following them through parts of the house.
As the sun went down, more ghosts and frights came out, and at 7 p.m. the Scare Zones opened. Several things separate the Scare Zones from the haunted houses. Not only are the Scare Zones outside, they are also more informal, allowing guests to usually walk right through with shorter wait times or, in some cases, no wait at all. The six Scare Zones include Blood on the Bayou, Carnevil, Cornstalkers, Fear Faire, Maniacal Mechanical Screamworks and, also new this year, Cut Throat Cove.
Cut Throat Cove is a destination for pirates, and those pirates aren’t necessarily happy to have guests around. In the walk-through, customers are entertained as lights and fog blind them from seeing the pirates who are creeping up towards them. While some pirates took a scary approach, others entertained by telling jokes and teasing the frightened victims.
Cornstalkers is just as entertaining. In the Scare Zone, the actors startle people as they walk through the area designed to be a corn maze. While it wasn’t an actual corn maze, people were still frightened as they passed the actors dressed in rags and blending perfectly with the cornstalks.
For Sarah Beery, junior biology major at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, the best part of HalloWeekends is the Scare Zones.
“It’s fun to get scared and watch people get scared,” she said. “I always jump at the people in the corn rags.”
Cedar Point also does not necessarily keep the monsters confined to their own houses and Scare Zones. While walking past Eternity Infirmary, an alarm sounded, and what was presumably an escaped infected human ran wildly through the crowds of people. Though not necessarily scary — unless he snuck up on you — it did seem like an interesting way to excite people and to entice them to enter the Infirmary.
While certain parts of these attractions scared guests, there were also some that had park-goers in fits of giggles, whether from monsters’ jokes or after-the-scare laughs. Nobody seemed to mind, though, because the attractions were extremely entertaining. An overwhelming sense of excitement emanated from those in the park.
Overall, HalloWeekends at Cedar Point are frighteningly good and lead people to jump, gasp, and often laugh their way through different haunted houses and Scare Zones. For those who are too scared to enter any of these houses or haunts, there are many family-friendly attractions during the day, like the HalloWeekends parade and a series of shows throughout the park.
But be careful. Cedar Point unleashes the monsters at night.
Through Oct. 28, Cedar Point will be open on Fridays from 6 p.m. to midnight, on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to midnight, and on Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. For a full list of event and attraction times, visit cedarpoint.com.