Local Halloween attractions to provide more events and opportunities for scares

graphic: Elizabeth Teng

graphic: Elizabeth Teng

 

Although it may feel like the school year just began, Halloween is just around the corner. With the dawn of October comes the beginning of Halloween-related activities—pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and haunted houses all open around the outset of this orange-and-black month. Both haunted and spook-free, attractions offer a break from schoolwork, which can become difficult during a month with practically no days off. So make it a point to visit one of the following locations—regardless of whether or not they are haunted, it is good to get some fresh air and enjoy yourself, especially during the busy school year.


 

Corner Copia/Corner of Chaos

299 Princeton-Hightstown Road
East Windsor, NJ 08520
http://www.corner-copia.com
http://www.cornerofchaos.com
Admission for one attraction: $15

A small farm by day, Corner Copia is a great place for you to go and pick pumpkins and gourds, ride a non-haunted hayride, and partake in a family-friendly structured corn maze on Saturdays and Sundays through November 3. For those seeking a scarier experience, however, wait until sunset on Fridays and Saturdays from 7–11 p.m. and Sunday nights from 7–10 p.m. through November 1, at which time the farm becomes Corner of Chaos—a haunted labyrinth of both indoor and outdoor frights. Unfortunately, the more attractions that you want to see, the more money you have to pay, with the full four-attraction costing over $40. Even if you only buy one pass, you will be challenged to navigate droves of monsters and the undead to make it through your choice of corn maze, haunted house, or forest, and with your heart still intact.


Six Flags’ Fright Fest

1 Six Flags Blvd
Jackson, NJ 08527
http://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/special-events/festival/fright-fest
Admission starting at: $47

If you have a high budget and seek intense Halloween thrills, Six Flags is the place to go. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through November 2, the amusement park transforms at 6 p.m. from a haven for roller coaster lovers to a land of the undead. During this time, nearly 200 zombies and other ghouls enter the park, looking to terrorize every innocent victim that crosses their path. (As per request, “ghoul repellent whistles,” or whistles that prevent characters from tormenting you, are no longer available.) Haunted houses, shows, and other unique attractions are also added to the park experience during this time. Unfortunately, both your soul and your wallet will be preyed upon, as the food, even at night, is overpriced. Regardless, the park provides genuine and unforgettable scares.


Windsor Farm & Market

1202 Windsor Road
West Windsor, NJ 08550
http://www.windsorfarmandmarket.com
Admission: $16

The name may sound friendly, but don’t be deceived. On Friday and Saturday evenings of October (starting on October 10), Windsor Farm & Market will transform into a spooky venue with a thrilling haunted hayride. Taking you deep into the woods, the 45-minute ride will entail a variety of scenes acted out by eerie characters who come right up to the hayride to terrorize you. However, there’s no way to engage in a chase with them, as they will stay outside of the wagon.


 

Camp Evans Base of Terror

2201 Marconi Road
Wall Township, NJ 07719
http://www.campevansbaseofterror.com
General admission: $15

Formerly an  army base built 100 years ago, this landmark is now operated by the National Park Service. About an hour from Princeton, the camp’s history is shrouded in mystery. It houses a terrifying, half-mile trek on Friday and Saturday nights in October that takes you through the compound. Experience the fear of the unknown as you walk through laboratories used for secret experimentation during the World Wars and Cold War.. As you make your way through the creature-filled base, you will be mesmerized by—and possibly terrified—of the long and complicated history of the old fort and its former roles in wars.


 

Terror Behind the Walls

2027 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
http://www.easternstate.org/halloween
Admission starting at: $19

This location is the real deal. About an hour away, The Eastern State Penitentiary, designed and constructed in the 1820s, was the first facility of its kind in the United States. The revolutionary idea of the jail was that inmates would be subject to solitary confinement, a treatment that was intended to help them connect with God. Unfortunately the system drove many to insanity, and horrible deaths occurred within the very walls that still stand today. Experience all the fear that comes with a typical haunted attraction, only with an increased sense of authenticity and the possibility of lingering souls left behind. The attraction will be open most nights in October.


 

Von Thun’s Country Farm Market

519 Ridge Road
Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852
http://www.vonthunfarms.com/fall/
General admission: $12

If you’re looking for a completely haunt-free attraction, Von Thun’s is the attraction for you. Even when the sun sets, this family-run farm offers pumpkin patches, hayrides, and corn mazes—all spook-free. The interactive corn maze is open by both day and night, offering a unique and challenging experience for those who enjoy solving puzzles without being haunted by the undead. All throughout the fall, the farm offers educational tours of its orchards and livestock. In addition, anyone can go and handpick apples and pumpkins. Its 28th annual Fall Festival will be held on October 11 and 12, and will include live music, pedal karts, pumpkin bowling, and shows.

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