Haunted Graveyard is Scary Good

Haunted Graveyard is Scary Good

Jane Schutte and Talia Hendel

Part 1:
The horrors began even before buying our tickets.

Our anticipation built as we stood in the dark, unsure of the nightmares that awaited. Looking inside the Lake Compounce Amusement Park, we saw the bright Halloween-orange outline of the ferris-wheel and tower of terror, surrounded by a dense fog.

Ferris Wheel (Orange)Focusing solely on the extensive line of people awaiting acceptance into the park, we didn’t notice the six foot clown standing right behind us, until he tapped us on the shoulder and stared us right in the eyes with his extravagant makeup and costume. Our shrill screams caught the attention of everyone within a 50 foot radius, all with nerves running high.

After the initial scare, we broke into hysterical laughter at how we were already screaming at a person dressed in costume and weren’t even in the park yet.

This first encounter set our expectations for the rest of the night, but little did we know, it was about to get 1000 times worse.

After what felt like endless waiting, we reached the ticket office and entered Halloween Town.

We navigated our way through spookily decorated amusement park attractions, with numbingly-tight linked arms and nervous giggles. Volunteers were scattered throughout the park dressed in monster masks and other incredibly made costumes, scaring people as they walked from ride to ride.

As we approached the main attraction, The Haunted Graveyard, a growling werewolf dove by, provoking a chorus of shocked filled screams that generated heightened nerves and cold feet. The only thing remaining between us and the line to the entrance was a warning sign, about the utterly un-orienting effects, inevitably causing even more nagging thoughts of “Maybe I don’t want to do this.” But we were big girls, and it was time to face our fears.

Part 2
The glowing eyes of the gargoyle and the opening of the two story cathedral doors made what we were about to do a reality.

A voice, over loudspeaker, dictated instructions for graveyard participants and informed us that we were in for 45 minutes of terror. Oh GOD… Second thoughts begun, but were realized too late, as within a few seconds, tour guides directed us to our first scare.

A pope in a long white robe stood at the end of the hallway warding off participants, telling them to beware of what lay ahead. In what seemed like a mile long tunnel, there were black corners with people behind each one. We were unable to make the distinction between the living and the dead.

Decorations in ParkThe end of the long black hallway led us out into a full moonlit graveyard. Seemingly inebriated zombies limped toward us with glazed eyes under the blue tinted spotlights. Sneaking up from behind, they whispered snarls, growls, oinks and gurgling sounds in our ears, which sent shivers down our spines and resulted in nail marks in each other’s arms. But they didn’t stop there. Many of the scare-actors continued to pursue us for what felt like a bad dream where we were being chased but couldn’t run away. Warning: telling the scare-actors that you are not afraid of them does not make them go away, but instead results in the polar-opposite reaction. They chased us until they made sure that we were truly terrified and we told them that they were doing their job exceptionally well.

Suddenly, a warm fall night felt like the dead of winter.

Next stop was the corn maze.

A typical corn maze is a fun family-friendly activity where you scavenger down many paths to seek your way out. Not this one.

Try finding your way out of an endless field of corn, where werewolves, ghouls, and goblins are constantly popping out of nowhere in the continuously flashing strobe light, basically making you blind. Let me tell you, it is no easy task. Walking straight became truly difficult, and the quick flashes of light added yet another level of speed to our pulses.

If we weren’t young, there’s no guarantee that we wouldn’t have had a heart-attack when the few scare-actors hiding among the likely 12 foot “pieces of corn” in the corn-maze popped out at us. One girl did however, trip over the one of the many fallen pieces of corn on the ground that were barely visible under the minimal light of the corn maze, creating a domino effect among the people in front of her.

Just when we thought it had to be ending soon, the haunted house continued onto yet another section of the graveyard. The strobe lights continued on into the jail, where bloody prisoners came face to face with you, coming closer than it seemed due to the intermittent lights. At one instance, we turned around and were greeted by a pale faced scare-actor in a black and white jump-suit. Nose to nose, they let loose a blood-curdling scream that pounded our eardrums, made our bodies jolt and initiated our loudest, most fearful scream yet.

Little did we know, we had yet to reach the halfway mark of the 45 minute journey. Eager to move forward, we pushed ahead, ramming into the elderly women in front of us and accidentally stepping on the back of each other’s feet, taking off our sneakers. It was a mix of excitement and anticipation of what the end would bring, but also knowing that the faster we moved, the sooner this “horror-movie” would be over.

The grinding sounds of a rusty machine led us through the human butchery, where odors of human blood and corpses lurked, “human” ribs that hung from the ceiling crashed into our faces as we walked, and the smell of rotting flesh was potent, making the whole scene more realistic. Then, we continued on and came to an eery forest where men dressed as lumberjacks and grizzly bears antagonized us with the threat of cutting us up with chainsaws.

A father struggled to hang onto his son, a little boy around 8-years-old, who was flailing in an attempt to run away, straight into the woods. But that didn’t stop one of the lumberjacks from running at full speed blaring the sound of the chainsaw right at him. It made us shiver with fear just watching.

We were so terrified and excited to get out of there, that we happily ran right into the next portion (and the people in front of us). I’d be willing to stake my life on the fact that they were ready to throw us into the chainsaw by the end of it all.

A pitch black cave awaited us.

From every corner of the cave screams came from overhead, in front, behind, and right out of the mouths of people next to us. We became unaware of our own screaming considering how much of it we had done. It became hard to distinguish the actors from the people.

With our legs quaking, our feet sore, arms numb, voices strained, and hearts racing, our bodies and minds were breaking down and ready to collapse. To top it all off we were shuffling slowly and tiredly (all that screaming really wears a person out!) through the last few minutes in the pitch black. The room appeared to be growing smaller as everyone pushed to get through; the claustrophobia was just about unbearable. It felt as if we were in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory walking to the small door at the end of the hall. Careful to watch out for any last actors or surprises, we made our way through the door and emerged into the park.

Our eyes adjusted to the light and we somewhat jokingly hugged each other that we had all made it through alive and in one piece.

Of course, seeing as it was a 45 minute adventure, there were many more exciting and unnerving portions, but we want to leave you with some surprises that you’ll have to go check out yourself. Trust us, it’s worth it.

Part 3
Before getting back in the car we cooled our nerves by rewarding ourselves with hot apple cider, Breyer’s caramel cookie dough ice cream, fries, onion rings, and lots and lots of water (which was some-what hard to open due to how shaky we still were, and the pins and needles raging in our wrists).

The ride home began with recalling everything that had scared us the most and brushing off our previous fear like it was nothing and calling each other out on it. But before we even got onto the highway, we fell fast asleep for the rest of ride home, with nightmares of chainsaws, ghosts and, as if we were little kids again, darkness.

Overall it was, an incredibly fun must-do Halloween thriller if you’re up for a scare or just want to challenge yourself against your friends to test each other’s bravery. But, don’t bring your little sibling or they’ll be scarred for life every time they look at a chainsaw! We had such a fun time bonding over fear, along with everyone that came with us… and we’re sure that night everyone slept with their night light on.

We know we did. 😉