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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Halloween horror hotspots [w/ VIDEO]

    Ginny Polin Arizona Daily Wildcat

    Ginny Polin
    Ginny Polin Arizona Daily Wildcat Slaughterhouse

    Nightfall: an eerie theme park

    Nightfall is the largest Halloween theme park in the Southwest — and believe me, it’s big. If you enjoy any aspect of Halloween whatsoever, Nightfall definitely needs to be on the top of your to-do list this season.

    It takes place at Old Tucson Studios, which is quite a bit of a drive. In fact, the dark, winding road through the middle of nowhere is one of the scariest parts of the whole adventure. Still, it’s worth it once you get there. Old Tucson Studios is basically a film set, so the whole theme park looks and feels like an old Wild West haunted town.

    There’s a little bit of something for everyone. First of all, there’s food (including kettle corn and other great snack items) and shopping. There’s also a Hollywood train ride that takes a tour of horror films through the ages, and other rides like mini-cars and a carousel.

    If you like horror, there are some haunted house opportunities. You can explore the levels of hell in Dante’s Inferno, pick your last meal at the Death Row horror chamber, and don’t be fooled by the “”mine adventure.”” The Iron Door Mine is filled with motion sensors that set off startling noises, and force you to run through the terror chambers while looking for the way out.

    There are well-costumed actors wandering the premises, and they are pretty creepy. Look out for a man with a chainsaw and lots of people covered in blood. They do jump out of dark corners and startle you sometimes, so consider this fair warning.

    Still, the scare tactics of Nightfall are not as extreme as other horror hotspots that are made for the sole purpose of scaring the guests. So if you’re not easily scared or you’re a big terror fan, you probably won’t find Nightfall’s options that scary.

    But Nightfall focuses more on entertainment than fear. They also feature a nightly “”Magic of the Macabre”” illusionist, and stunts and pyrotechnics in the “”Twenty Years of Terror — Final Judgment”” show. Likewise, there are lots of fun opportunities for couples or groups of friends, such as old-fashioned photos. So if it sounds like fun, get some people together and take a trip. Everyone is sure to find something they enjoy.

    Slaughterhouse: gore and horror

    So you’ve driven past the mural near Grant and the I-10. It’s that painting on the side of the wall that depicts farmers and cows in a field of little bushes. But did you know that behind that wall lies an abandoned meat packing plant?

    What better venue is there for a gory haunted house? The Slaughter House is inspired by its location, using its facility to house a gore and horror fest that’s rumored to be Tucson’s scariest Halloween destination. The experience is set up as a tour through the “”slaughterhouse”” that’s filled with all the blood and guts you can stomach.

    There are zombies, undead creatures, horrifyingly bloody puppets, props and enough live actors to keep your adrenaline constantly flowing. If you’re at all squeamish, avoid the Slaughterhouse at all costs. There’s darkness and mist, illusions and strobe lights, and lots and lots of screaming.

    If you need a little more incentive to attend, The Slaughter House is put on by a non-profit group called the Tucson Screamers. This year’s proceeds will benefit the Community Food Bank and Marana High Dance Team, just to name a few.

    So, if you’re a fan of slasher films and gratuitous gore, this is a great destination for you and your friends. You’ll even benefit charity while you’re at it. As long as you let yourself get wrapped in the terror of the venue and The Slaughter House’s storyline, it’s pretty hard not to get scared — or at least slightly disturbed.


    If you want something even scarier

    If you’ve ever seen “”Signs,”” “”Children of the Corn,”” or “”Jeepers Creepers,”” you may understand that there’s just something scary about corn fields. In many famous horror films, protagonists end up in thrilling chase scenes, running for their lives through the rows of corn stalks.

    Now imagine you’re the one in the movie. Every Halloween season, Buckelew Farm offers a horrifying event called “”Terror in the Corn.”” This atypical haunted house experience begins as an adventure through a corn maze, but eventually turns into something more sinister.

    Suddenly, you’re surrounded by live actors, blood and gore, with no exit in sight. You’re lost in a maze where zombies and death lurk around every corner, and the only way to escape is to find your way out. Apart from the terror of bloody actors and people jumping out at you unexpectedly, this experience offers a psychological thrill: the aspect of being trapped in a place where you’re also being hunted.

    “”Terror in the Corn”” was delayed this year because of the recent rain and mud, but it will open on the weekend of Oct. 15. Future dates include every Friday and Saturday night from Oct. 15 until Halloween. Several Tucson locals that I spoke with said that “”Terror in the Corn”” was the most horrifying haunted house in town, so this is the place for you if you really, really want a good scare.

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