Haunted houses convert Valley Fair into a plethora of terrifying activities in tune with the fall season
During the fall, Valleyfair turns into a night of chilling (weather-wise and fright-wise) fun. For a relatively low price of $25 you can squeeze up to 13 hours of enjoyment out of the park at ValleySCARE, with their extended hours going until midnight for the special attractions. After 7 p.m, some rides, human butcheries, and five different haunted houses are open. The streets of Valleyfair become flooded with zombies, tree monsters, skeletons, and other various creatures of the night as the moon comes up and the park lights dim.
The energy was great and anyone who is not completely void of imagination would have a thrilling time.
Some of the haunted houses are inundating with ghouls at every corner and repetitive scare tactics, but that’s not to say that their set designs and costumes did not compensate and keep people engaged enough to wait 5-20 minutes in line for the next five minute bliss of a haunted house. The themes of each house were well crafted and the electronic effects in the scenery raised my arm hairs with windows shuttering and doors creaking.
The actors in the haunted houses are not allowed to physically touch customers, but their undead stare causes participants to find themselves running and dodging from the mere sight of the house staff. Luckily, the houses are so distant from reality — a zombie high school, a cannibal butchery, and a goblin corn maze — that almost instantly after leaving the house almost everyone is laughing off their nerves. The houses are unrealistic in the sense that psychologically they do not seem to be affecting participants long term.
The best haunted house was the Chateau, a Victorian-styled home that had something to hide under its heavy velvet drapes. The actors were spaced out so it was not as stressful as some of the other houses and the scenery was spooktacular. There were eerily beautiful indoor and outdoor scenes, and the actors worked organically with their environment with some of the lame “boo” tactics of other houses.
The houses were not the only engaging aspect of the theme park after ten. Walking around were more well-costumed spooky actors and allocated parts of the park had visuals that looked as though you were on scene of a Scooby Doo episode mid-case.
Overall, the park seemed to have an understanding of what was a healthy kind of frightening folklore, but the hourly show in the food court had a tacky satanic summoning that provoked young kids to cheer on a Satan figure to slit his wrist and gauge the throat of his henchman. After a positive attitude to all of the other aspects, this show was
a tacky display of discernment and was distasteful for a family friendly environment. More than the rides shutting down occasionally and the long lines to some of the attractions, this was the only negative element that depreciated an enjoyable day at ValleySCARE.
Valleyfair’s special attraction is worth the money. The attraction is closed for the season, but plan to go out next year. The initial price might be garish to most students, but online ticket pricing is significantly cheaper and helps you skip the entry lines. The theme park is less full than summer attendance and makes it more enjoyable for both ride thrill seekers and spooky thrill seekers.