Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily [Halloween] Spin 10.13.09

The Halloween season rages on, and so do my cravings for all things sugary and non-nutritious. I have now moved on to the "harvest mix" candy corn. The pumpkins are still my favorite, but when it comes to making fake fangs, only the traditional triangular shape will do. [Did I seriously just admit that I do that? Move along, people...nothing to see here.]

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. Jack O. Lantern? He be downright spooky! Jack and his pals have returned to Busch Gardens Williamsburg to entertain you during the park's annual Howl-O-Scream event in a dance number appropriately titled "Jack Is Back". They are in good company, as numerous other entertainers, seven scare zones, and six haunted houses/mazes combine to scare you out of your wits. In true Busch Gardens style, these attractions are themed not only to Halloween, but also to their respective areas within the park. Read their sordid stories on the Howl-O-Scream web site and gird your loins for the tests that await! Still can't get enough? Follow Jack on Facebook. He even has his own e-mail address!

Magic Springs had its share of operational difficulties during the high season this year, but they're not about to let that stop them from putting their best foot forward (attached or not, as the case may be) for Halloween. The fifth annual Magic Screams event is in full effect with plenty of very operational fun for children and adults alike. Featured during the day (among other things) is a tour of Spooky Springs, a mildly haunted town with a cranky librarian. At night the park comes alive with four not-so-mildly haunted houses, including the all new House of Fears, which brings you face-to-face with all that sends a chill down your spine.

Nothing spells Halloween like scarecrows, zombies, and snow. Wait...SNOW?? It seems Elitch Gardens had an unwanted guest at Fright Fest this past weekend, but it wasn't your typical "undead" variety. It was the variety that forces you to close the park! But not to worry: All ghosts, goblins and ghouls were back to business as usual by Sunday, serving up "family by day" and "fright by night". Elitch's Fright Fest features some truly unique events for children, including a "Scream-It-Out" challenge where the best set of lungs wins a front-of-the-line pass for Ghost Blasters, and a lights-on, guided tour of one of the park's haunted houses during which all of its tricks are revealed. If you dare to visit at night, you'll be screaming it out on your own in one of the park's many haunted houses and scare zones, including Bloodlust: The Immortal Crave, which sounds an awful lot like the Club Blood attraction featured at many of the Cedar Fair parks.

Pittsburgh hasn't seen any snow yet. Mother Nature wouldn't dare, what with that Phantom running loose at Kennywood! Wouldn't want to make him angry, now would we? This Phantom knows nothing of trick-or-treat, "friendly" hauntings, or mercy. The annual event named in his honor, Phantom Fright Nights, runs only on Friday and Saturday evenings and is not recommended for young'uns or the faint of heart. It features three haunted mazes as well as scare zones and other frightfully tricked out areas, including Voodoo Bayou and Gory Park. Don't forget to say hello to Lord Kenneth Ghostwood and the Phantom himself while you're there--Numerous rides will be open for your screaming pleasure.

Amazingly, it is already October 13th. This begs the question: Is our Halloween glass half empty or half full? And more importantly, is my bag of candy corn half empty or half full? Savor both while you can, because we all know what the answer will be by the time the next Halloween spin rolls around. Time flies when you're fleeing from vampires!