The Season of Horror

New and old haunted attractions open to thrill seekers everywhere

The Season of Horror

Michaela Grund, Staff Writer

The wind softly blows leaves around the feet of campers in the cool night. Scary stories are read by the dim glow of the campfire and the shadows of the tree branches loom over like hands, threatening to reach out and grab whomever is near the forest’s edge.  

It is the season of horror again.

Every year at the end of harvest season, some people believe the walls between our world and the spirit world become thin, giving spirits the ability to cross over. For over 2,000 years, Halloween has been celebrated.

In honor of Halloween, haunted houses all over the world open their doors to thousands of thrill seekers. This year I went to three of the most popular attractions in Omaha: Camp Fear, Mystery Manor and Scary Acres to find out which one is the best.  

To begin with, I attended Camp Fear, a relatively new haunted house located off West Maple Road in Elkhorn.

Photo Credits: Camp Fear

Camp Fear offers scary movies for 5 dollars in their nightmare theater. Z-Bunker is a game all about shooting zombies with paint ball guns. Bloodrush, the forest of terror, claims to be the longest and most intense haunted attraction. And if you dare to spend the night, Camp Fear offers a campsite where creatures may crawl out of the shadows to make sure it’s visitors do not receive a good night’s sleep.

My group and I decided to go through Bloodrush. The wait was roughly 30 minutes, however, I did go on Friday the 13th. I expected it to be busy. The whole attraction lasted a little over a half an hour.

The best part of the attraction was the last section: a clown’s tent. Eerie circus music could be heard faintly in the background as I made my way through the twists and turns. From the recent clown scare, and the remake of the “IT” movie, the section instantly became more intimidating.

The actors make-up stood out to me because it was remarkably precise down to every last mark, giving the realistic look others attempt, but cannot master.

They only took cash and not credit, which was problematic for me because I only carried a card with me. The fee for the ATM was 4 dollars. Consequently, in total I was spending 24 dollars for just one attraction.

In addition, Camp Fear was a little harder to find because of construction work along the road, and there were not any signs advertising where to turn.

Overall, Camp Fear was beyond thrilling and had an abundance to offer from movies to over night camping. However, the price for one attraction made it hard to want to pay more for anything else they had.

The second haunted house on the list was Mystery Manor located at 16 N 18th St, North Downtown.

Photo Credits: Mystery Manor

The decrepit manor was built in 1887, with a chilling background story of murderous fallout between husband and wife William and Greta Hall. It is said that his spirit still haunts the attraction with intent to attain his next victim.

Comparatively, the line was a little longer than Camp Fear’s. General admission was 12 dollars.

One part of the haunted house led me through an elaborate maze. Strobe lights were strung up everywhere, blinding me as I tried to make my way through. The attraction kept weaving me in every which direction.

A little later, once I got higher up in the house, there was a slide or stairs to go back down, but the stairs were blocked off. The situation would have been complicated if I did not want to go down the slide.

The actors did an unbelievable job with becoming their character. They did not just read lines from a script, and actually seemed to improvise at sometimes which gave more of a thrill and an actual feeling like it was real.

On the whole, Mystery Manor was well-priced. The overall attraction and performance from the actors was outstanding.

The last attraction was Scary Acres located off of Giles Road. It was the closest one to me which made it convenient. I have been to Scary Acres several times in the past years, and I enjoy how they change each attraction enough, making it worth coming back.

Photo Credits: Scary Acres

Scary Acres offers three attractions and all of them for 25 dollars. Only one more dollar than Camp Fear for two more attractions.

The Haunted Woods is a trail walk through a forest with various jump scares around every bend in the trail. The Master’s Castle set was the best set up out of the three, weaving me through various dingy rooms. The House on the Hill was another take on the Master’s Castle, with dark hallways and a chainsaw actor at the end to chase victims out at the end.

There were not as many characters as Camp Fear and Mystery Manor. Countless times I found myself alone with no one trying to scare me. Moreover, they could have split the groups up better because we kept running into the group ahead of us.

In all, Scary Acres was affordable, local, but some of their attractions lacked the thrill I went in looking for.

All of the attractions were experiences I hope to never forget, but the most memorable one that put up the best performance was the one that was both scary and affordable: Mystery Manor. Nevertheless, I will be returning to all three when the Halloween season comes again next year.