So how will you spend it this year? Dressing up in costume? Trick or treating with the kids? Pumpkin carving? Or maybe a Spooky driving tour through Palm Beach County? Decorating your home to try and scare the little beasties away? Perhaps curling up inside your house, with your doors and windows locked, trembling with fear, and drinking the night away?
Let’s see what is in store for you!
Storytime for Grownups: Books to Keep You Up at Night – With Halloween less than 90 days away, our thoughts here at Palm Beach Happening have turned to haunted houses, scary movies, and all the things that go bump in the night. That being said, we figured that this month’s book list should focus more on the spooky side of life.
Story Time for Grownups: Pick a classic Halloween Tale – Fun stories of hauntings, witches and black magic are relatively new in the literary world, mainly because up until about 100 years ago people believed these things existed and they were genuinely afraid of them. But, when Edgar Allen Poe’s tales of the macabre hit the scene it signaled a new age when it was okay to be scared for entertainment.
Story Time for Grownups: Halfway to Halloween– I love horror films. L-O-V-E. Can’t get enough of them. What I love even more is watching them for free. With your Palm Beach County Library System card, you can access all of the horror films listed herein for free through hoopla digital media service on our website, www.pbclibrary.org.
Story Time for Grownups: Halfway to Halloween Horror Movie Rundown – Two confessions: 1) I forget to dress up for Halloween every year, and 2) I buy candy to give out, but I actually just eat it at home. Since I’m preparing a list of astonishingly scary books in honor of the halfway point to All Hallow’s Eve, I have no excuses for October 31st. And you, the reader, have no excuses not to read these titles… unless, of course, you’re too scared.
Story Time for The Dead?- Horror Films are not just for All Hallow’s Eve. A healthy interest in the unknown and the undead never hurt anyone, so sit back, but don’t relax, and enjoy these thirteen horror flicks based on books that are equally as scary!
Indie Book Fans: Yvonne Masons’ Latest – With Halloween just around the corner, it seems only appropriate that best selling Indie author, Yvonne Mason, should release another one of her incredible true crime stories.
Storytime for Grownups: Haunted Florida – Halloween has come and gone, but ghosts are forever. At least according to these books, the world is rife with paranormal activity… especially in Florida! Take a road trip down to the Keys or across the U.S. to see for yourself. Or, to be on the safe side, you may just want to read these books to know where you should stay away from. Either way, happy haunting!
HAUNTED HOUSES (Palm Beaches):
FRIGHT NIGHTS AT THE SOUTH FLORIDA FAIRGROUNDS – (9067 Southern Blvd., West Palm Beach) Often mentioned in the same breath as some of the major attractions in Central Florida, and their unique layout, large staff, and creative designers make it one of the top attractions in the county, the state, and perhaps even the country. For the creative team behind Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds, led by the immortal, insane clown known simply as Eggman, every day is Halloween. They begin thinking of new ways to scare people out of their wits as soon as the previous year’s event is underway, and only slow down enough to perfect the art of the scare.
This year, they are going all out with four new haunted houses.
HAUNT #1! DAS KRAKENHAUS
Legend has it, Das Krankenhaus was once a foundation of healing. During the war it became a foundation of horrific torture and terrifying phenomenon. Once the patients were brought in, most of the victims never came out. Now abandoned for more than 60 years, its history can’t be erased and memories can’t be forgotten. What will you find in Das Krankenhaus? Or will you just become another part of its horrid history?
HAUNT # 2! TWISTED TALES
As children, some of our earliest memories are of bedtime stories and nursery rhymes that were passed down through the ages. Some of these tales were pure and light hearted while others have a dark and macabre truth to them, told only to play tricks with your psyche. “During the day we laugh and play and enjoy the stories told, but by night a dark veil shrouds the light and reveals the grim reality of old”. Take the Sandman’s hand and travel to the nightmare land, never forget…. it’s only a dream or a terrifying, nightmare from which you will never wake.
HAUNT # 3! THE CUCKOO’S NEST 2
The gloomy hallways erupted in wailing and maniacal cheers when Misfit was freed from her padded prison cell. The light in the eyes of the patients filled to the brim with happiness as they knew mayhem and chaos would soon reign again. Santa’s Helpers, a pathologically dedicated group of criminally insane patients, staged a bloody coup in order to free their fearless leader. Just in time for the holidays too! Now that chaos has resumed, there is a magical presence in the air. That old familiar darkness is now imbued with a sense of deranged cheer. Misfit is back with her jolly army for round two. The time is nigh. ‘Tis the season. Let the games begin!
HAUNT #4! THE MANSION ON MEADOW LANE
Tell your Uber driver to turn back, weary traveler, or this Air B&B will be the last place you Snap.
Down a dark, foggy road in the middle of a dense forest, lies the forgotten mansion on Meadow Lane. Located on the edge of town, this once elegant and loving home was left to rot after a terrifying virus doomed the city’s residents. If you listen closely, you can hear some thing scraping and scratching inside, desperate for extrication. It is not the wind. Soft moans and shuffling echo down every hallway. This house is infested. It’s filled with the living blood and bones of rotten putrid corpses trying to claw their way out. Do not seek shelter here, dear traveler. Move on. Because this home belongs to the dead. And if you enter, their fate will become your own!
They will once again have scarezones scattered outside as well as the ever popular roaming characters marauding through the midway. This year, they will also be introducing a host of brand new characters, in addition to their signature characters we’ve come to know and love! There will also be live entertainment, the return of the ever-popular VIP Lounge, as well as other freakishly fun stuff too gruesome to mention.
The attraction opens on Thursday, October 11, with a special “behind the scenes” tour on Wednesday, October 10. For more information, call 561-790-5225, or visit myfrightnights.com. Before you go, be sure to check out our review of the 2017 event here!
X-SCREAM HALLOWEEN AT G-STAR – (2030 South Congress Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33406) This house proves that you don’t have to travel to a theme park owned by a movie studio for Hollywood quality effects. X-Scream Halloween at G-Star Studios offers up more thrills per square foot than any other haunted house in South Florida. Celebrating their 14th year, the event features 2 all new haunted houses; “The Curse of the Cat Goddess” and “Last Laugh!” They also feature a stage show at 7:45 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Fear, food, fun and fabulous entertainment await you at South Florida’s largest Haunted House Event! Open October 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27. Gates open at 8:00 p.m., with ticket sales starting at 7:00 p.m. til the last body is dragged out!
PHOBIAS HAUNT – (11590 Anhinga Drive, Wellington, FL 33414) Home is, of course, where the haunt is! For fans of home haunts gone wild, you might want to check out Phobias Haunt. The haunt is run by a mother/son team, and has some great volunteers that come out year after year to help them bring their imagination to life! Every year is a whole new experience! 2018 marks their third year in the current location, but the 7th year overall.
They’ve grown from a small scary “room” with about 20 guests, to well over 200 guests in 2017 who experienced roughly 20 minutes of unbridled horror! As with Enigma and other attractions, they collect donations and do a 50/50 split with a local charity. In 2017, the charity was The Watchful Eye Program, 2016 was a charity for at risk youth, and 2015 was Little Smiles.
Like many other haunts, Phobias offers “front of the line” access for an additional fee ($5 per person,) as the line does average more than 45 minutes during peak days. Unlike other attractions, they are only open on Halloween night, from 7 p.m. until the last demon is exorcised!
For more information, visit Phobias Haunt on Facebook.
ENIGMA HAUNT – (1751 N. Military Trail, Boca Raton, FL 33486) Deep Florida swamplands, where night never ends, creatures are restless, anxiously counting down the days for fresh human prey to come through…Soon, Enigma Haunt will open to its most intense and thrilling season, featuring new attractions, creating three separate haunts under one roof.
Celebrating its 7th year, Enigma Haunt, 1751 N. Military Trail, was just ranked #1 in Top Haunts in Florida and voted as #2 nationally in The Scare Factor’s 31 Must See Haunt List, the only other Florida haunt making that national list came in at #17. Enigma Haunt is also currently ranked in the top 10 haunted attractions by USA Today’s “10 Best” feature.
Open for 15 days in October, including Halloween night, Enigma Haunt features three attractions under one roof – Cursed, Twisted Mayhem and Realms of Terror.
EERIE NIGHTS IN THE SWAMP – ( 30000 Gator Tail Trl, Clewiston, FL 33440) A 50 minute night ride full of Seminole legends, mythological creatures of the night and spooky tales aboard a swamp buggy. It takes place on Oct 19, 20, 26, 27 &31, hourly 7pm-10pm, and costs $30.
They also have the Safari Harvest Festival on Oct 20,21,27, 28 and 31, from 1pm-7pm, featuring a pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, crafts, bounce house, hay maze, corn box and family photo opp in our Native Village for only a $5 admission fee!
HAUNTED HOUSES (Road Trip Edition):
We all know that Palm Beach County doesn’t have the market cornered on scary places. In fact, only a few hours up the road are some of the most intense Halloween attractions ever created.
Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa (10165 N Malcolm McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612) Howl-O-Scream®, Florida’s premier Halloween event, is back select nights from Sept. 21 through Oct. 28 with tormenting surprises around every corner and unexpected terrors. Returning houses include Death Water Bayou, Motel Hell, Unearthed and The Black Spot! New houses include Insomnia and Simon’s Slaughterhouse! Plus, there are five all new scarezones!
The streets will be swarmed with hundreds of roaming creatures, making escape nearly impossible. Chilling live shows and the chance to challenge Florida’s top thrill rides in the dark will keep the screams coming all night.
Howl-O-Scream starts at 7:30 p.m. each event night, but your ticket allows access to the park starting at 5 p.m. Arrive early to challenge thrills rides, including North America’s tallest freestanding drop tower Falcon’s Fury™ and Florida’s first triple-launch coaster Cheetah Hunt®, and have time to dine before being one of the first to experience the horror of Howl-O-Scream.
Check out our review of last year’s event here! Visit https://buschgardens.com/tampa/events/howl-o-scream/ for more details.
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando – (6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819) On select nights from September 14 to November 3, guests will face an era of evil as Halloween Horror Nights 2018 is unleashed at Universal Studios Florida. This year’s event will be the most intense yet, bringing some of the most terrifying names in horror – both from the past and the present – to life in nine all-new haunted houses and five sinister scare zones throughout the park. Guests brave enough to enter the event will encounter everything from iconic horror films to cult classics to terrifying hit TV shows to disturbing-original stories that only the twisted minds of Universal’s award-winning Entertainment team could imagine (such as Stranger Things , Carnival Graveyard, Chucky, Killer Clowns from Outer Space, Slaughter Sinema, Trick ‘R Treat, Dead Exposure, Poltergeist, Seeds of Extinction and more) .
And when they need a break from the screams, guests can enjoy Universal Studios’ exciting rides and attractions. The nation’s premier Halloween event puts you right into some of the most pulse pounding moments in horror history.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom – (1180 Seven Seas Dr, Orlando, FL 32830) Taking place select nights from August 17 – October 31, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special event featuring trick-or-treating, Disney Characters, live entertainment and more in Magic Kingdom park.
As the name suggests, it focuses less on the fear and more on the fun associated with the holiday. It is the only time of the year when everyone is encouraged to dress up, so dig out your Halloween finery and enjoy the Magic Kingdom at night.
Check out our top reasons to attend #MNSSHP here!
For more information, visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/events-tours/magic-kingdom/mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party/.
Brick-Or-Treat at LEGOLAND Florida – (1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884) This October, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is hosting its sixth annual Brick-or-Treat celebration, which features the Brick-or-Treat trail, costume contest, scavenger hunt, LEGO® building contests, LEGO characters and a new LEGO Hearse photo opportunity.
The event is included with park admission and is filled with Halloween festivities, including photo opportunities with the largest LEGO pumpkin in the world, a giant LEGO ghost build, Scavenger Hunt in Miniland USA, meet and greet with new LEGO Halloween characters and new nightly fireworks over Lake Eloise. Also, guests can explore Vladmir’s Castle takeover in LEGO Kingdoms, take photos with the new 13-foot long LEGO brick hearse and giant LEGO Vampire, and collect a new exclusive commemorative LEGO Brick each weekend!
For more information, visit http://florida.legoland.com, and stay tuned for our review of the event.
SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular – (7007 Sea World Drive, Orlando, FL 32821) – It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular®. During this daytime event, families are immersed in an underwater “fantasea” including trick-or-treating, whimsical pumpkin fish, sea-themed arts and crafts and up-close animal encounters in a family-friendly event that could only come from SeaWorld. SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular® is included with park admission and runs weekends in October.
For more information, please visit SeaWorldOrlando.com.
A Nightmare on Franklin Street – (711 North Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602) Tampa’s most historic, and most haunted grand movie palace will present 9 nights of petrifying programming, with enough variety to haunt everyone from the average Halloween enthusiast to the hard-core horror fan. For more details, visit TampaTheatre.org.
FREAKS AND FESTS:
Bedner’s Fall Festival – Weekends from October 1 to November 5 – Enjoy a traditional pumpkin patch open every day but Tuesday, hayrides around their beautiful 80 acres of working farm, a bigger and better corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides, bounce house, slides, rides & games, as well as fun foods such as homemade ice cream and roasted fresh corn on the cob, award winning BBQ, cider doughnuts, pizza, french fries, popcorn, a hot dog cart, and fresh lemonade. The event will also feature face painting, balloon artists, air cannons, as well as local handmade craft vendors. For more information, visit www.bedners.com or call (561) 733-5490.
CLEMATIS BY FRIGHT – West Palm Beach Waterfront – October 2; 6-9 p.m. – Creep, crawl or float down to Clematis by Fright for a FREE frightfully fantastic time! Thousands of dollars in prizes will be awarded in the annual costume contest in categories for kids, adults, families and pets. Lots of spookily, spectacular family fun awaits you at the best place to celebrate Halloween in West Palm Beach!
Halloween is a time that conjures up images of ghosts. Thankfully Florida is home to some of the best tours of the spookiest homes, hotels, and cemeteries guaranteed to give you a fright or at least leave you questioning. So if you’re in the mood to do a little “ghostbusting” or maybe have a paranormal experience of your own, try this chilling tour.
You may be followed by orbs as you walk near the haunted locations where ghosts are said to lurk. The stories will entertain and the sights will not be forgotten. Call for reservations. Weekend bookings may be made on line at www.wickeddelrayghosttours.com. Special group rates and days available upon request.
FOR THE LITTLE ZOMBIES:
Boo at the Palm Beach Zoo – Grab your ghosts and ghoulies and head to the wildest Halloween celebration in Palm Beach County! Now in its 20th year, Boo at the Zoo offers a safe and fun environment for children of all ages to trick-or-treat. Additional activities include: costume contests, dance parties, games, crafts, pumpkin patch, bounce house, hay stack hunt, face painting, character meet ‘n’ greets, local vendors, giveaways, wildlife shows and presentations, roaming animal encounters, and much more! More information available at palmbeachzoo.org/.
Halloween Play & Party – Families with pre-school kids can join us as the Mandel Public Library staff performs an original, “not-so-spooky” Halloween play, plus enjoy Trick-or-Treating inside the library. Come dressed in costume. For more information, visit wpbcitylibrary.org or call 561-868-7703.
14th ANNUAL SHRIEK WEEK – Sugar Sand Park Community Center’s Shriek Week celebrates its 14th year of sharing scares with two weekends of hair raising Halloween family fun. Attractions include their themed haunted house, trackless train rides, an LED Giant Robot show, a second haunted attraction, magic acts, and food vendors.
Shriek Week “Lite Nite” is geared for kids ages 5-12 and will be a less intense version of the haunted house. Reserve your space early…time slots do sell out. Reservations can be booked in person, online, or by calling the Box Office at 561-347-3948.
Please visit their website (www.sugarsandpark.org) for details.
Dates: October 19, 20, 25, 26, and 27
Last but not least – don’t forget to enter our PUMPKIN CONTEST! Entry deadline is at midnight on November 5th!
Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following Palm Beach Happening for news on other spooky events in the Palm Beaches. If you know of another local event that would appreciate the undead light shone upon it, please let us know!
Also, be sure to check out some of our Faces Behind the Fear interviews, featuring the people behind Howl-O-Scream, Enigma Haunt, Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds, and more.
From PALM BEACH HAPPENING – HAVE A SAFE AND SPOOKY HALLOWEEN!