Oct. 21, 2004

Fright Fest Takes Over Six Flags Great America

By Randy J. Klodz

Six Flags Great America’s annual Halloween extravaganza continues this fall with Fright Fest turning the popular theme park, located in north-suburban Gurnee, Ill., into a haunted fun park.

With plenty of ghouls and goblins roaming the park, the King Kong-like Gorilla atop the Sky Trek attraction, large spiders climbing the American Eagle and even one of the shops being renamed “AberZombie and Witch,” the main attractions during each year of Fright Fest are the theme park’s haunted houses. And this year, there are two of them.

“The Curse of Sleepy Hollow,” in the park’s Southwest Territory, is one of the two haunted houses this season, but this attraction gives patrons a unique visual experience. Special 3-D glasses are provided to each guest of this haunted house that seems more like a Rob Zombie art project than it does a spook house as there aren’t many scary creatures roaming amok. Each of the house’s walls are covered in black-light reactant paint, with painted zombies and other scary creatures depicted, that appear to jump off the wall toward each patron.

The “Mausoleum of Terror” haunted house, located inside “Necropolis: Haunted City of the Dead,” part of the park’s regular-season picnic grove area near the park’s Yankee Harbor section, is the scarier of the two haunted houses.

With a combination of dim lighting, mirrors, a spinning tunnel bridge room and other special effects, Great America pulls out all the stops to create the prospects for one of Illinois best haunted houses. While this attraction is entertaining, it fails to scare the post-teen crowd in that there aren’t many human ghouls hiding around corners. But, patrons can expect to be inside the “Mausoleum of Terror” for much longer than they can expect to walk through many of the other haunted attractions throughout the state. Expect long lines after sundown.

There is no additional fee to walk through “Necropolis Haunted City of the Dead,” but park officials warn that entrants should be over the age of 12. Be sure to check out “P.T. Scarum’s Freaks and Geeks Sideshow” as there are plenty of freaky performers that turn this attraction into an entertaining freak show. Definitely not recommended for the timid.

Six Flags Great America is at 542 N. Route 21, in Gurnee. An additional admission fee is required for both haunted house attractions. Parking is $10. Fright Fest is a popular event, and with the current cold weather closing down some of the popular attractions such as Deju Vu and all of the water rides, lines may be long for many rides and shows. Please dress accordingly, as most of Great America is outdoors. Remaining Fright Fest dates include Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 29-31. For detailed information including admission prices, directions, discount opportunities and attractions log on to www.sixflags.com.
Fright Fest Six Flags Great America c/o Six Flags