With Halloween less than a week away, I wanted to highlight one of the best Halloween activities in the region – the Niles Haunted House Scream Park. As someone who grew up going to haunted houses (and loving them), I’m consistently impressed by the Scream Park’s size, quality of attractions, and overall level of fun.
As Jane mentioned in a previous Halloween-inspired post, the Niles Haunted House Scream Park in Niles, Michigan, offers 44 acres of haunted attractions. The five main 2015 attractions are the Haunted House, the Field of Screams, Dark TERRORtory Haunted Hayride, House of Horror 3D, and Ashes to Ashes haunted house. There’s also a carnival-themed midway with a movie screen playing a horror classic, various kitschy activities like “Fry Your Friend,” food, roaming monsters, and Zendor Presents, a small theatre where Zendor performs illusions or tries to read body language.
My parents were in town this past weekend, so I had the opportunity to introduce my dad, an avid fan of haunted houses and scary movies, to the Scream Park. We started by getting in line for the Niles Haunted House, the largest haunted house in the complex. The coolest part about the Haunted House is that there are 100 possible routes through the building – so if you go multiple times, you’ll likely never take the same route twice. This year’s theme was Kingdom’s End – the sets were inspired by Stephen King’s books. The line was a bit long – it took us about 40 minutes to get to the entrance – but we got a few scares along the way, like the killer clown at right (photo credit goes to my dad). The Haunted House is huge – and has both indoor and outdoor components – so the wait was definitely worth it.
We decided to take a bit of a scare break after the Haunted House and jumped on the Haunted Hayride. The Haunted Hayride, as the name suggests, takes you through various sets in a corn field. The hayride is pretty campy, but it’s a good break from some of the bigger scares in the park.
My favorite attraction is the Field of Screams – a haunted labyrinth. Not only do you get the standard scares by roaming monsters and other spooky illusions such as strobe lights and loud noises, but you have to find your way out of the maze. There’s plenty of dead ends to keep you disoriented, which adds an extra layer of creepiness.
The last two haunted houses – Ashes to Ashes and House of Horror 3D – are smaller than the other three attractions, but are still fun. Ashes to Ashes is decorated like a female boarding school and House of Horror uses the monsters under your bed to scare you.
The great thing about the Scream Park, which is located on Mayflower Road, just north of 12 in Niles, is that the attraction themes change every year, so you always see something new. If you like to be scared – the Niles Haunted House Scream Park is for you. I suggest going at least two weeks before Halloween, so you don’t have to wait in long lines. The Scream Park costs $30 for all five attractions. You can also buy individual attraction tickets.