Hundreds of monsters, ghouls and creatures of the night will take over Kings Island when Halloween Haunt opens to the public on Friday, Sept. 21.
If you are looking to have a run-in with the stuff of nightmares, the Mason park has plenty to offer including some haunted attractions that are new this year.
The 12th annual Halloween Haunt will feature nine haunted mazes, four outdoor scare zones and three live stage shows.
In between, you can get your screams on the Beast, Banshee, Diamondback, Mystic Timbers and other thrill-inducing attractions will be open for business. More than 20 rides will be open.
This production is a far cry from its humble beginnings in 2000, when it launched as FearFest with just 75 monsters.
There are three sinister shows guests can take in — Blood Drums, Monster Rock and the new Haunted Homecoming show. But it’s the scares that are sure to be the heavy draw.
Halloween Haunt is open Friday and Saturday nights through Oct. 27. Tickets are available online at visitkingsisland.com for as low as $31.99 when purchased in advance.
New for this season are two new Scare Zones: Pumpkin Eater and Coney Maul; new indoor maze, C.H.A.O.S.; and new show, Haunted Homecoming. Plus, experience hundreds of sinister clowns, ghouls, vampires, werewolves and zombies lurking in the shadows throughout the park.
Nine haunted mazes will be open for screams, including a new attraction — CHAOS — named after this backstory:
“With the looming deterioration of our planet, C.H.A.O.S. Labs INC. (Cerebral Health Association and Operational Sciences) has been hired by the federal government to develop a sedative that will allow safer space travel by humans to distant planets. The injected drug is intended to put the passengers in stasis while they make the long journey to the far off planet. Though the drug is still in its infancy, the lab has been authorized to test it on living patients. During the testing phase, one of the pipes carrying the vapor form of the drug accidentally burst open, creating a massive cloud that intoxicated the queue of participants. The participants are urged to follow evacuation route signs up the ramps and out of the building. However, the drug in its vapor form is extremely aggressive and side effects, including chaotic hallucinations, have taken over.”
In addition, four scare zones will be open including Dance of the Macabre (where you are invited to crash a Royal Masquerade Ball that has some surprises up its sleeve) and Wasteland (where victims of toxic sludge may not want you to leave.) Coney Maul and Pumpkin Eater are both new and have back stories as detailed and terrifying as CHAOS.
Pumpkin Eater sounds particularly scream-inducing:
“In the late 1700’s, Peter Armstrong was a pumpkin farmer living off a winding dirt road in the quaint woods of Rivertown. One night, after learning of his wife’s indiscretions, he became so enraged that he accidentally killed her. In a panic, he hid her body inside one of his largest pumpkins, leaving her there to rot. In his grief, he started seeing apparitions of his wife with the face of a jack-o-lantern. This image haunted him, but also fascinated him and he began fantasizing about murdering other people and removing their faces and replacing them with jack-o-lanterns to recreate the vision of his dead wife. Having indulged his fantasy and experiencing that satisfaction, there was no stopping him now. Peter went on to murder other victims, to the point where it was obvious Peter had become possessed by an evil demon, eventually morphing into a grotesque pumpkin-like figure. His victims are reanimated by other demons, whom roam the woods with their jack-o-lantern faces.”
IF YOU’RE TAKING THE KIDS...
On Saturdays, parents should be advised that rides in Planet Snoopy begin to close at 5 p.m. when the transformation into Halloween Haunt begins. Halloween Haunt does not take place on Sundays, but the park is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For guests who may be a little hesitant to experience Halloween Haunt, Kings Island offers a “No-Boo” necklace. The monsters may still interact with the wearer of a No-Boo necklace, but won’t attempt to scare them. A No-Boo necklace can be purchased at select locations throughout the park or online for $12.15.