Last season, we got the chance to attend a media day for Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure. Located in Jackson, we’ve been to this theme park many times before but had never had the chance to experience the scary after-dark fun of Fright Fest until now.

Since my twins had just turned 11, we thought we were ready to graduate from Boo Fest (the fun daytime Halloween festival at Six Flags) to the much scarier Fright Fest that happens starting each day at 5:30 pm. To be honest, even I was a little nervous about the “Scare Zones” that were advertised as spots in the amusement park where ghouls may taunt you. While the zombies and ghouls can’t touch you (and as a rule, visitors cannot touch them) their job is to sneak up on you and scare the living daylights out of you. And that they certainly did!

When I heard the shrieks of a younger girl after encountering one of these scare actors I wondered if we had made a mistake. The actors’ professional makeup made them look truly creepy, and they were totally committed to their tasks of scaring passerbys in the park.  The eerie sound of them dragging shovels across the pavement was enough to send shivers down our spines.


Even more terrifying were the haunted houses and mazes that we walked through (or in some cases, ran through). Inside a house called Fears, we walked through rooms that brought people’s greatest fears to life and were scared out of our pants every time we turned a corner to encounter a scare actor. My son gripped my hand tightly as we made our way through another haunted house called The Manor. I could tell he was delighted by the very scary and realistic looking haunted rooms that were created with movie set quality artistry. He was having fun, but his twin sister, who normally goes right up to those creepy animatronics at the Spirit Halloween store, spent most of her time hiding behind my husband’s leg.

Thankfully, the actors know when to back off of little kids and she wasn’t traumatized by the experience, but I would definitely suggest that parents take heed of the 13 and up recommendation for these attractions!

This year’s haunted houses – which celebrate the 30th anniversary of Fright Fest- include themes from Saw X, The Conjuring, Aftermath, Bloodshed and Reflections of the Dead. The Scare Zones will be based on The Conjuring, Clown Town, Pirates, Bloody Foundation and Diamond District.

Monster-tainment spooky fun includes The Awakening, Unleashed and the Dead Man’s Party.

Fright Fest is a wonderful way to celebrate the Halloween season and to experience your favorite roller coasters after dark in an atmosphere that you’ll be dying to check out (they even pump fog into the park to add to the creepy factor).

The teenagers who I saw at Fright Fest delighted in their encounters with the attractions and the actors, while the adults I noticed often laughed nervously, perhaps a little uncomfortable with the idea of appearing too afraid. Overall, it is a unique and heart-racing experience to have with your family (with older kids) or a group of friends.

Fright Fest is happening on select days from September 8 through October 31 at Six Flags. To enter the haunted houses and mazes, you’ll need the Haunted Attractions pass.

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