The Hippo


Apr 18, 2019








Courtesy of Fright Kingdom.

Scared senseless
Head to one of NH’s haunted attractions

By Ryan Lessard

 If you like to be scared, immerse yourself in these haunted attractions that frighten nearly all of your senses — even your sense of smell.

Tim Dunne, the owner of Fright Kingdom (12 Simon St., Nashua,, uses artificial scents to lend his haunted attractions even more realism than the make-up and set design already accomplish. In Apocalypse Z, for example, where visitors are survivors in one of the few supposed “safe havens” of a zombie apocalypse, Dunne uses a scent that replicates the smell of decaying flesh. 
He said this attraction is inspired by The Walking Dead.
“We get inspiration from what’s hot and trending from the horror movie industry,” Dunne said.
In the Castle of Corpses, where a plague has overtaken an old castle in the late 1800s, Dunne uses a similar scent called “the dead” and another scent called “gothic,” which smells like moldy old stone. At Bloodmere Manor, a “quintessential haunted house,” as Dunne puts it, the smell of stinking cheese has been added to prop up the story of an old Victorian mansion occupied by a family of cannibals. And in Psycho Circus, where visitors are thrown into a dream-like, psychedelic madhouse with fluorescent paints, 3-D illusions and clowns, they experience a sensory overload, complete with the smell of popcorn and cotton candy.
For a tactile experience, the attraction called Grim throws visitors into a completely dark set, forcing them to feel their way around. 
“There’s many things on these walls that you really don’t want to feel,” Dunne said.
Fright Kingdom also features an area called Monster Midway, which is a central area that provides access to things like an escape room, a $5 coffin ride simulator (which simulates the experience of being buried alive), a fortune teller, snack shack and a collection of Hollywood memorabilia. 
Tickets for general admission are $24 and VIP tickets, which allow entry into any attraction without waiting in line, plus free use of the coffin simulator, are $34.  
There have also been a number of improvements for this year’s Haunted Acres (446 Raymond Road, Candia,, such as a dual nighttime zipline and a roped obstacle course high up in the trees that’s open for use during the day, according to co-owner John Tracy. 
The theme of the 60-acre park this year will be Area 52. The story goes that it’s the site of an abandoned military base where the government performed illegal and gruesome experiments on people. Attractions include the Quarter Mile Nightmare Walk, which forces visitors to wander through gloomy woods that some say are infested with real ghosts.
“The actors are afraid to go out there during the day,” Tracy said.
There’s also the 3-D Nuclear Accident House, Cell Block 13, Graveyard of the Damned and Maze from Hell, a 3,000-square-foot indoor maze.
Tickets are $28 per person or $39 for a speed pass for cutting lines. Oct. 20 and Oct. 27 are Date Nights where the second person pays half price. On Nov. 5, there will be a Lights Out night, where each attraction will be pitch black and visitors will be equipped with a glow stick.
Spooky World presents Nightmare New England and The Haunted Hayride (454 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, is celebrating its 25th year, with five attractions and 180 actors deployed to make you scream in terror. 
The Haunted Hayride is now in its second year and brings visitors through various scenes like a spider-infested campground, a carnival of clowns, a plane crash and human butchers. One section looks like the Ewok village from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Spokesperson Margot O’Riordan said, where actors dressed as tribal warriors jump onto the hayride from their treehouses.
Other mainstay attractions such as Brigham Manor are designed after the classic haunted house motif.
“The story behind it is there’s a family that was causing issues for the town of Litchfield and the police killed them,” O’Riordan said.
Carnage is a pyrotechnic-filled junkyard with scenes reminiscent of any gory film. In The Colony, visitors run through the woods being chased by actors. The 3D Festival of Fear will make you feel like you are walking sideways at times, with glow-in-the-dark effects and clowns getting in your face.
A special Lights Out event with only glowsticks will take place on Nov. 5.
Tickets start at $34.99 for general admission, which allows visitors to go through each attraction once. VIP tickets for $59.99 allow unlimited park access and one hayride, and Super VIP tickets for $74.99 allow unlimited access to everything. Prices vary on special evenings. Check their website for more details.
Haunted Overload (DeMeritt Hill Farm, 66 Lee Road, Lee, was awarded the No. 2 spot in the USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2016 in the haunted attraction category. The backstory of the park tells of a stranger who came to visit a small farming village. The villagers were inhospitable to the stranger, which was unlucky since the stranger turned out to be a demon who promptly cursed each villager to remain there as “undying and undead,” according to the park’s website.
The park is open to the public during the day on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for $5 per person. For night visits, people are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance for $25 since shows may be sold out. If tickets are available at the time of the show, they are $29. Friday Night Light events, where visitors can see all the sets without the scares, on Oct. 20 and Oct. 31, are $13.
At Screeemfest at Canobie Lake Park (85 N. Policy St., Salem, 893-3506,, there are five terrifying haunted houses, including the carnival-themed Carnivus, the new Virus Quarantine, the Canobie Lake Hotel, Black Pirate’s Cove and The Village. Screeemfest will also offer games such as Black Light Monster Paintball, Autopsy (a life-like game of Operation) and The Last Ride, a coffin simulator.
Tickets are free for ages 3 and younger, $23 for under 48 inches or 60 and older. General admission costs $34 on Fridays, $38 on Saturdays and Sundays. After 5 p.m. on Sunday is $30. Visit the website for more details.
Check out Harvest of Haunts (Charmingfare Farm, 774 High St., Candia,, which includes four attractions: Horse-Drawn Ride, Bard of the Dead, Tractor Bog Ride and Infested Corn Maze. It’s open on Friday, Oct. 21, Saturday Oct. 22, Friday, Oct. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 29. Tickets are $25 per person and include access to all attractions. 

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