Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

When my sister picked me up last Thursday night, I was so excited. That night we were just going back to her apartment in Kutztown, but we had some big plans for the weekend.

Before I continue, I have to warn my readers of something. I am what someone might call haunted-attraction-obsessed, and I make it a point to go to as many as I possibly can before Halloween arrives. I will not hesitate to go to haunted attractions on my own- which I actually did over the weekend, as you will read shortly.

On Friday night, my sister and I, along with a handful of her friends, made the 20-minute drive from Kutztown to Sinking Spring, where the Halloween attraction Shocktoberfest is. For those who have never visited, Shocktoberfest has three different attractions: a haunted hayride, a haunted house, and a 3-D walkthrough called “The Unknown.”

Once we got to Shock, we had to buy our tickets. In order to get to the ticket booth, we had to walk through what is known as the Monster Midway. The Midway is lined with concessions, games, and even a swamp zombie to take a picture with! There were a ton of people milling around, including quite a few zombies who were trying to scare people.

After we got tickets, the first thing we did was get in the line for the Zombie Revenge Haunted Hayride. We only had to wait for about 15 minutes, which, if you have ever been to a haunted attraction, you know that is not long at all (I once waited over two hours for a haunted hayride, but I digress). The best part of this was that the lines for both the hayride and the haunted house snaked through what is known as Club Shock. The club was basically a tent with a DJ and a huge open floor in the middle for people to dance. I definitely was not the only person dancing while I was in line, and I definitely succeeded in embarrassing my sister, which was a huge bonus. After we got to the front of the line, we went into a little shed where they had a short clip set up to tell us about the hayride that we were going on. They gave the pretense that we were going on a zombie safari to see real live zombies! However, something had gone wrong with the security (not that we were supposed to know this), and we were not likely to make it out of the safari alive. It was really clever, and a great way to get us into the spirit of being scared. Then we got on the hayride, and I want to take this time to compliment Shocktoberfest immensely on their special effects. There were pyrotechnics, lasers, and more than one falling object that stopped just shy of crushing us all to pancakes. The actors, too, were totally into it and flung themselves onto the hayride and groaned in a most terrifying and zombie-esque way. Not to mention, the ride was really long- probably half an hour- and well-worth the wait and the ticket price- $15 for one attraction.

Next, I went to the haunted house, or the Prison of the Dead, on my own. My comrades were too scared to go through a walk-through attraction, so I boarded the bus to the prison alone. More props to Shock because the bus acted as a great way to pretend we were prisoners on our way to a real prison. I really enjoyed it. I have to say that this haunted house was pretty amazing. Short of something like the Eastern State Penitentiary, this was the biggest haunted house I have ever been to. Shock boasts about the “50,000 sq. ft. indoor and outdoor, multi-level, prison themed Mega Haunt compound” on their website, and I can see why. There was a part when I was climbing and descending stairs; we were walking through what looked like sewer pipes; we were taking secret passages and weaving inside and outside like nothing I have ever been to. It was great, to say the least.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit the Unknown, so I cannot include a review of that attraction. But my overall experience at Shocktoberfest was absolutely a positive one, and I would love to go back next year.

But the review does not end at Shocktoberfest. The following night, my sister and I went to the one and only Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom – although, being that it was around 45 degrees and the month of October, we could not have visited Wildwater even if we wanted to. Since both of us are roller coaster junkies, we got what we went for. We visited Dorney during their annual Halloween Haunt weekends, in which the whole park is turned into a haunted attraction. To say that this was fun would be a serious understatement. The combination of thrill rides and the scare factor was nearly enough to make me burst from excitement. My poor sister probably wanted to kill me. Anyway, we went on four of the six big coasters (Talon, Hydra, Steel Force, and Stinger, for those of you who are interested) and a handful of the smaller rides as well.

It was so much fun to wander through the park at night, especially when they had creepy music coming out of all of the speakers, and the whole park was bathed in colored lights, which made it darker than usual. Not to mention, everywhere we turned was decorated with skeletons and cobwebs and other spooky sights. And of course, we cannot forget about the fog. Dorney has dry ice down to a science.

My favorite part of the night, however, was walking through the Scare Zones. There were three different zones dedicated to having people leap out and scare you: Age of Darkness, Cutthroat Island, and Head Hunters. We walked through all three of them in order to get to other rides. Being with my sister, a jumpy person by nature, was simply hilarious. There were also quite a few haunted attractions within the park, including some haunted mazes. I do not doubt that they must be a huge amount of fun, but as I said earlier, my sister and I are both thrill-ride obsessed, so the thought of careening through the darkness at 70 miles per hour was more exciting than I can put in words. We left after four and a half hours of pure bliss, tired but extremely happy about the outcome of the evening.

 Our weekend of haunted attractions was  a success, and I hope I can do  it again next October.

Clare Haggerty is a second-year student majoring in English. She can be reached at

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