Fright Nights at Playland has been a favourite October event for me for years and last night I had the opportunity to return to check out eight Haunted Houses and some of Playland’s most popular rides. I brought my boyfriend, who had never been, and my 15 year old daughter and her friend. We hit all eight Haunted houses and few rides too.
Here are our ranking of the eight Haunted Houses and why…
8. Hollywood Horrors.
This one is great for lovers of horror flicks. It has scenes from some of the all-time best horror movies including Child’s Play, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Silence of the Lambs and more. It ranks last of the eight Haunted Houses only because it is less scary than nostalgic. It is enjoyable for any horror flick lover to walk through and come face to face with favourites like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Hannibal Lecter.
This creepy Haunted house replicates scenes from an insane asylum complete with gurneys, body parts and other props and characters to spook you. Deranged patient that haven’t moved on haunt the rooms. If you are claustrophobic, you may want to take the side hall because pushing through the dark tunnel is not for the faint at heart.
This one is less scary than cool but ranks sixth for us because of it’s unique features. Before entering you put on some special 3D glasses and enter the brightly decorated haunted house. Neon colours against black walls creates three dimensional mind tricks and hologram visuals as you navigate the rooms. Creepy clowns and side show freaks are ready to greet you through your travels.
5. The Bloodshed.
If you were a fan of Rob Zombie’s The Hills Have Eyes, you will appreciate the attention to detail in this haunted house. Mismatched body parts, mutations and cannibalistic tendencies are themes of this attraction. Some gruesome scenes created via mannequin tableau, it is definitely creepy and even a bit disturbing, though that was obviously the intention of this haunted house.
4. Haunted Mansion.
An oldie, but a goodie. This is the haunted house that is open throughout Playland but often at an additional cost ($5 typically). They jazz it up a bit for October with some actors and special effects, but this one definitely leaves your heart racing. The line to get in also includes some cool features so be sure to check out the images on the walls and the characters outside this attraction were especially animated and interactive scaring many passerbys and entertaining us as we waited our turn to enter. Old Faithful does not disappoint.
You enter into complete darkness and are quickly faced with human’s most common fears. Snakes, Wild Animals, Confined Spaces, Dentists, Germs, Spiders, and all your worst fears will be encountered as you walk from room to room. There is creepy, crawlie, spooky features that had me jumping and anxiously anticipating what the next turn might bring.
2. Keeper’s Doll Factory.
While waiting in line you hear about the recent news of missing people and cult activity in town. This sets the backstory to the doll factory you are about to explore. You enter via a mock elevator which not surprisingly encounters some trouble as you simulate falling several floors into what is set up as a doll factory. From room to room you are faced with creepy dolls and cult rituals that for me was absolutely terrifying. The intricacies of this house make it a top ranked haunted house this year.
Entering this Haunted House you are immediately disoriented as the tunnel bridge confuses your senses. This feature sets the tone for the entire house which ranked number one for us. Guests are faced with another dark tunnel hall like Asylum but tighter and darker and scarier. This is one of the older Haunted Houses at Fright Nights but it is still a favourite for us.
Overall, all eight Haunted Houses offer some good spooks and is a fun way to get the heart pumping. I especially enjoyed the attractions that my 15 year old daughter joined us on; She is far more dramatic and therefore more enjoyable to watch get scared by the jump-effects and loud noises that are intended to frighten guests. Another highlight was when we caught up to the group before us who faced a giant scare when their friend who has been in front of them jumped out to scare them. Too good.
I will say the lines can be long, but Playland offers Rapid Passes to pass the lines for near express entry. They also have good back stories on the website to read while you wait and interactive actors dressed up to entertain you as you wait. These actors will pose for photos and are very entertaining. Another potential downside is the number of pre-teens and teenagers screaming and running around the park. They are just having fun, but it can be irritating for some.
Of course, there are mini donuts and all your favourite games and snacks to enjoy. We rode the wooden roller coaster and swings to complete our adventure. They have over 20 attractions available and I say, what is scarier than the old wooden roller coaster on a dark night? A complete list of rides open can be found on their website here.
Fright Nights is on now until October 31 opening at 7pm on select nights including weekends.
See their calendar for full dates and hours as well as prices and ways to save on tickets. It is a must do this October!
Grab your friends and plan for a night out at Fright Nights!