On Friday, the 13th of October, the doors of fear swung open at yet another South Florida haunt, as X-Scream Halloween at the G-Star School opened their 13th season. In front of a small crowd, the students (yes, this haunt is student run) performed a medley of songs on stage, and then just before 8pm, they took their places inside the haunts for their first night of scares for 2017.

This year, the event features two houses. Their food offerings are limited to one concession tent, and there was no merchandise noticeable. There was what looked like a small photo opportunity, and we were unable to find the advertised hayride.

Below, each haunt is rated based on its level of theming, and general scare factor. The ranking is based on a scale of 1-10.

Haunts (descriptions courtesy of  https://xscreamhauntedhouse.com)

  • Tale of the Dragon Witch –  Dreams. Most of us don’t remember them upon waking – except the bad ones! Where do they come from? Why do we have them? We’ve all heard tales of the Sandman. A myth, a children’s story or something more? Something darker, something more evil than we can imagine lurks in our dreams. Born with the powers of darkness, a witch rules the dream realm and instills the most wicked of nightmares in the unsuspecting. But are they just dreams? Is there a world of evil we aren’t aware exists? A world where the creatures of myth and magic dwell? A world where only terror exists. A world created by the most horrid of witches. A world from which escape is not possible.

    Enter if you dare but whatever you do – DON’T FALL ASLEEP!

Theming: 9
Scare Factor: 6.5
Now, the theming in this haunt was very good. They don’t have the budget of the other local haunts, but they are very creative. The sets were cool, and the slow pace of the group gives you a chance to take everything in. The scares were hit or miss, as it seems their main technique was to come out of the shadows and scream. That works sometimes, but not always.

  • The Void – No light, no hope, no escape! Enter The Void and leave behind any hope of salvation. This is a maze you enter at your own peril – can you find your way out? There is no path, there is no pattern, there is just the dark. Oh, and did I forget to mention the inhabitants? Nevermind, you’ll meet them soon enough!

Theming: 7
Scare Factor: 4
Let’s start by saying that we aren’t a huge fan of dark mazes in the first place. They are something you can do maybe once every few years, and then you’re ready to move on. This house is just that. It is a maze, but lacks some of the boo holes and other scare techniques that make other similar designs work. The characters outside, who represent doctors of the plague era (why are they there?) are very well outfitted, and their mannerisms fit the timeframe. However, they are very underrepresented in the house itself, and all you’re left with is the occasional annoying strobe light and screams. 

Now, we have to admit that this haunt used to be our favorite one in the area, because what group of the human species is scarier than teenagers? However, this year it seemed to fall a bit flat as compared to previous years. Some of that might be due to a lack of institutional memory, as students come and go through the doors, taking their expertise with them. Another part could be the fact that their faculty adviser tends to take a back seat role, and perhaps this year he was a bit too hands off. Either way, it didn’t seem to be as fun as it once was.

Ticket prices for this event are very low compared to most (Adults: $13.00, Children: $10.00 (ages 5-11,) Children under 5 free.) Running on Friday and Saturday nights from now until October 28, you have plenty of time to see what you think. The gates open at 7:00pm, with the haunts opening at 8pm.

For more information on X-Scream Halloween,  visit the event’s website, https://www.xscreamhauntedhouse.com/.

Palm Beach Happening looks forward to bringing you highlights from many of the spookiest spots in South Florida.  So far, we have experienced Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Enigma HauntFright Nights at the South Florida FairgroundsHowl-O-Scream, and  X-Scream Halloween at G-Star.  We might also be heading up to the Orlando area to experience the Shallow Grave! If we survive, we’ll let you know all the gory details!

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 this column for news on other spooky events and more. If you know of another local event that needs additional undead light shone upon it, please let us know!

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