As another Halloween season draws near, an annually terrifying opportunity opens its gates. Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest began on Sept. 15 with an always surprising display of how easy it is to get absolutely spooked in seconds.
With the new haunted theme maze, Hell Fest, the park takes jump scares to a whole new level. Based off of its namesake movie arriving in theatres Sept. 28, its crowded rooms contain an extensive array of butchered manicans, a seemingly unending supply of blood under staring faces and lurking shadows that emerge only to chase you, screaming, to the next room.
“It was a blast and a horror,” said Alethea Pritchard, a Naperville Central sophomore who attended the maze on its opening night.
Alongside the “Hell Fest” is Six Flags’ five other haunted attractions including fan favorites: “Gates of Hell” and “Manslaughter Mansion.” The two attractions are considered more frightening by many attendees of the fest than the other four available, with new surprises despite their duration.
The staff seems to find their assignments at these locations a “great opportunity to have fun” among the crowds of stalking monsters and their victims, according to Natalie Smith, a first year staff member. When asked about her experience as a newer addition to the “Manslaughter Mansion,” Smith explained that despite the role she plays behind the scenes she still finds the fest “very loud and frightening.”
Unfortunately, there are many eager to have a go at the haunted attractions, so there tend to be long lines hours in advance to the Uprising at 6:30 p.m.
However, with the many undead actors roaming the streets of the park, there is still fun to be had in just navigating from ride to ride or strolling through the park.