When October arrives and the weather begins to feel like fall, my family is always ready for Halloween. We (not so patiently) wait until October 1st and then the tombstones go up and the ghouls make their appearance in the yard. Fog machines are tested and costumes are selected. It’s the most frightening time of year at the Hill House of Horror.
Our friends and neighbors understand that we are really into Halloween. We don’t have cutesy decorations. We tend to exhibit the scarier side of the holiday season which to us includes Halloween as well as The Day of the Dead. Our kids have been known to comment that princess costumes are really just dress up outfits that can be worn year round, while witch and skeleton costumes are reserved exclusively for Halloween.
So this year we decided to take the kids to their first haunted house and see if they’re old enough to enjoy being scared. We decided to go to Field of Screams in Olney, Maryland. My husband and I first heard about it through a loan officer I work with, Ramez Fahmy, who donates his time to this event that supports the Olney Boys and Girls Club. We went there last year with some adult friends and it was really fun. We decided to attend Family Night this year, which is billed as a bit toned down for younger kids.
We began our evening by trying the newly added event, the Zombie Paintball Apocalypse where you can shoot approaching zombies from a mobile two-level paint gun cart. I was surprised how much the girls enjoyed shooting zombies. Then we went to Lusion Manor, which is their haunted house. The living dead tried to have conversations with us, but I was physically dragging one daughter through it as she screamed and covered her face.
After that we needed a little snack so we went to the concessions area and grabbed some hot chocolate and s’mores kits and went to one of the many fires to warm up and roast the marshmallows. Luckily, the girls calmed down a bit and we were able to convince them to go on Hades’ Hayride. Our ride had only 4 families aboard so the ghouls, zombies and deranged clowns were able to jump on board and scare everyone, including several teenage boys, up close and personal. That was all my girls could handle.
My husband knew I didn’t want to miss my favorite attraction – the Trail of Terror. So after realizing there was no convincing the girls to join us, he agreed to sit with them while I walked the trail. The man at the trail entrance asked if I was sure I wanted to go alone and I have to admit I was pretty excited. So many of the local fright attractions are so popular that it is difficult not to hear the people in front of you screaming and alerting you of the upcoming surprises.
Going alone made it a lot scarier. I LOVED IT! The clowns made a freaky clown cage around me and wouldn’t let me easily escape and the four guys at the deliverance shack were definitely surprised to see a woman all alone in the woods. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that my husband let me go it alone. It was the perfect Halloween Treat.
The girls want me to recommend the Zombie Paintball Apocalypse as the best part of the night, but I think you need to try all of the events. If you are in the Washington DC metropolitan area and looking for a good scream, I recommend Field of Screams in Olney. Check out their site for days and times.
If you are looking for other less frightening things to do this Fall, call me for a copy of our Fall Checklist at 202-271-5301.