Across Delaware each fall, an assortment of seemingly innocuous places are transformed into what might best be called “fright centers,” full of scary moments and fearful fun. Most are not recommended for the youngins – for Halloween fun more suited to kids, visit these Family-Friendly Halloween events.
This former farm field is transformed each Halloween into a sprawling complex of haunted houses, complete with amusement rides and concession stand. Plan on a 3- or 4-hour stay for Maximum Halloween fun, especially as the lines grow longer approaching Halloween day itself (consider buying a VIP Speed Pass). The 411: Operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October. 309 Port Penn Rd Middletown, DE 19709. (302) 838-0256.
Screams at the Beach
This land of terror centers around the fictional “Town of All Hallows,” where for the past 200 years unsuspecting visitors wander in and discover (too late) that there’s no escape. A cast of frightful actors keeps the scare-factor maximized, and less-frightful attractions are designed with younger visitors in mind. Returns October 3 for its 2014 season. The 411: Open Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. till “late.” 22518 Lewes Georgetown Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947. (302) 856-7400.
In the Civil War, this fort located in the center of the Delaware River was home to prisoners from the Confederate Army, who endured harsh conditions as they awaited release. Today, Fort Delaware has become a center of paranormal excitement, featuring “ghost-hunting” tours that have been featured on national TV. Through the month of October, a variety of tours are available, including an extended 5-hour “recreational paranormal investigation on Oct. 31. The 411: You get to Fort Delaware by way of a ferry that leaves from Delaware City.
The Haunted Forest at Roxana
Resurrected from the dead after a hiatus, this haunted forest is known for its eerie buildings and dark wooded recesses of start terror. Sooth your nerves with a hot chocolate, or sit by the bonfire until the blood pressure returns to normal. The 411: Dates in 2014 are Oct. 17, 18, 24, 30, 31 and Nov. 1. Opens at dusk; no tickets sold after 10 p.m. 35943 Zion Church Rd, Roxana, Delaware 19945. (302) 436-2300.
Hockessin Haunted House
At this deceptively suburban scare center, guests are greeted by the resident ghoul and then escorted through passageways to more than 11 secret chambers, where they will encounter the spirits and creatures that reside within. Stops include The Parlor, The Witches' Den, The Operating Room, and The Circus. View a séance in progress as well as an electrocution, meet a mad scientist, and return to the scene of a ghastly murder. As you leave, beware of what lurks in the graveyards. Proceeds benefit Comp Animals Pet Rescue. The 411: Open Oct. 24, 25, 31 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. 19 Nathalie Drive, Village of Manley, Hockessin, DE 19707. (302) 547-1257.