Alone, in a pitch-black room. No where to turn, no one to help. The air is cold and stale. There’s only the sound of breathing. Someone else’s breathing. It’s right there. Coming from the corner. Then out reaches the pale, bloody hand. All that can be heard is screaming in the dark night.
From frights to haunts to trick-or-treat, there are endless ways to spend the spookiest, creepiest and one of the most celebrated holidays in America, Halloween.
Whether it is a long standing tradition to dress-up in the most outrageous costume ever and try to beg candy from innocent neighbors or check out the haunted mansions and corn fields, there is a little something for everyone of all ages this All-Hallows Eve.
“This is your free ticket to go out, dress-up and have a good time,” said Megan Trotter, a senior real estate finance major. “It’s a time where you can act like a little kid again, and plus you can eat a lot of candy.”
The days before are spent carving pumpkins, visiting haunted houses and getting lost in the numerous corn mazes. Whether these activities are new or old, there is always something for everyone.
Some new traditions of Halloween are corn mazes. Constructed in acres and acres of corn fields, there are numerous mazes that have creative paths and hold mysteries and terrors.
Corn mazes are the new attractions for local communities. Something from the Farm has everything from a cheery pumpkin patch to a petting zoo, and of course, three huge mazes.
“This corn maze is all about families and friends having fun,” said Katie Hodges, a senior agricultural, animal and equine sciences major and the manager at Something from the Farm. “Halloween is all about having a good time.”
Although there are many other corn maze attractions, there is not one as close as the Something from the Farm, which has catered to entertaining those of all ages. Hodges explained some of the misconceptions about these picturesque mazes; instead of the mazes being constructed after the corn is fully grown, the paths are created when the corn is still young, thus the paths are actually dead corn.
And once the corn is tall enough, the frightening fun begins in what Hodges refers to as the busy time of year.
“Halloween is a busier time because it is a very fall-like activity,” Hodges said. “Going through these mazes in the dark can be quite creepy.”
Whether maze goers are looking for a fright or fun, there are many things to do at the local farm. One special event that Hodges has planned is the musical concert by the up and rising band Set Forth, on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Although this is farm country, there are not as many local maze venues. Within a 30 minute drive, there are only one or two other mazes, but they are ensured to bring fun and fear to any maze-goers.
Although there are many new attractions, the ever-popular haunted house is still around to instill fear and develop phobias in everyone.
From creatures, ghouls and dead people popping out from behind corners and walls to a pitch black room where all a person can hear is the heavy breathing of something standing behind them, the only haunted house in the area offers fears and adrenaline rushes for anyone.
“People love getting scared because it causes thrills to get the adrenaline pumping,” said Kay Lambert, a sophomore art major. “I personally don’t like getting surprised, but other people do.”
No more are there days of being scared by “cold spaghetti and peeled grapes” said Chris Corman, the owner and creator of Scream Theme Studios.
“People hate it and love it at the same time,” said Corman, who created Scream Theme Studios 18 years ago and is the creator of the Battle of the Haunted Houses. “We just hope everyone survives.”
Corman and his large team of workers have created the sole haunted house attraction in Fort Collins, the Battle of Haunted Houses. Placed in an old department store location in the Foothills Fashion Mall, there is a scare for everyone.
This year, the themes of the two houses are Destination Terror and Dark Space; the first is more of the “traditional” scare fest according to Corman, while Dark Space in a black out experience where Corman wanted to focus on emphasizing people’s phobias. Corman jokes about this event and the dumping of buckets of live spiders on the patrons, which might, occasionally, included a brown recluse or a tarantula.
But through the screams and terror, Corman just hopes that the houses attract people to want to experience a different experience, but still come back.
“It’s not about blood and guts and chainsaws,” Corman said. “I’m inspired by the traditional Halloween. There’s already enough garbage out there without me adding to it.”
No longer are the days of dressing as princesses and Power Rangers, but costumes and trick-or-treating are still ever present of this day of dressing up in fantasy or mystery. Although there are only few places that allow older dress-up goers, the tradition is what remains.
For Lambert, the costume is what makes the holiday. She said that even though she has gotten older, there is still fun in creating the most “outrageous costume,” and seeing what different character she can be this year.
“My favorite part about Halloween is getting to be someone else for a while,” Hodges agreed. “It is about spending time with my family and friends, too.”
From scaring away the dead to unearthing skeletons in who-knows-who’s closest, Halloween in a part of most children’s life and can still be celebrated by the “much-older” students.
“You don’t need your parents anymore, so certain things are easier,” Trotter said. “But a lot of people think that the older kids are just out for the free stuff, and really, we just want to have fun, too.”
Whether the scare-goer is doing the scaring or getting scared at one of the many different venues, many have come to use Halloween as a time to socialize more with family and friends.
“Halloween is one of the most social holidays or the year,” Corman said. “You go to your neighbors, you see your family and friends, but it’s about coming together. At times, it’s all about these people just being goofy and getting scared.”
Verve reporter Valerie Hisam can be reached at email@example.com.
*Scream Theme Studios’ Battle of the Haunted Houses
Where: old Mervyn’s location in the Foothills Mall at 215 E. Foothills Parkway
Dates: Now until Oct. 31
Hours: 6:30-10 or 11 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. on Sunday
Attractions: Destination Terror and Dark Space haunted houses, and Unit 13 Laser challenge course
Special Events: Family Night this Sunday and cost is $50 for four tickets
Cost: All ages $17 for both haunted houses and
Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches
(To find more, go to http://www.pumpkinpatchesandmore.org/COpumpkins.php)
*Something from the Farm
Where: 7755 Greenstone Trail, Fort Collins
Dates: Now until Nov. 4
Hours: Monday-Friday: 3-10 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday: 1-9 p.m.
Attractions: Three corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides and special events
Special Events: Set Forth band performance this Saturday
Cost: Adults 13 and up: $10, kids 5 to 12 and seniors: $8 and groups of 12 or more get $2 off per person
Where: 4240 E. County Road 66, Wellington, CO
Dates: Now to Oct. 28 and Oct. 31
Hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday- 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday: 1-8 p.m. and Halloween Night- 4-10 p.m.
Attractions: Corn maze, petting zoo, hay rides, pumpkin patch and much more
Cost: Adults 13 and up: $9, kids 4 to 12 and seniors: $7 and groups of 15: $7 each
*Fritler’s Corn Maize
Where: 20861 Highway 85, LaSalle, CO
Dates: Now through Sunday, and Oct. 30 and 31
Hours: Thursday, Oct. 30 and 31: 5-9 p.m., Friday 5-10 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 12-8 p.m. with Scream Acres closed.
Attractions: corn maize and Scream Acres plus a variety of other challenge courses
Cost: Non-Scary attractions: adult 12 and up: $12, kids 6-11: $10 and kids 5 and under: $4; Haunted attractions: adult 12 and up: $18, kids 6-11: $15 and kids 5 and under: $9
Halloween Parties and Costume Contests
*Dusk til Dawn
Where: Suite 152
Who: 21 and up from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and 18 and up from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Contest: Best costume with $1,000 in prizes
Where: Sundance Steak House and Saloon
When: Saturday Oct. 27 and Wednesday Oct. 30
Who: All, but Oct. 30 is 18 and up night
Contest: Best costume, balloon drop, bobbing for beer and much more