NILES, MICH.-- Do you enjoy a good scare? On Wed., Sept. 12, the Niles Scream Park hosted an ice cream social as a media night event. Several media outlets from the surrounding area were there to get the inside scoop on the newest haunted park attractions. As a writer for the Beacon, I got an exclusive tour and was able to experience the haunted park with the lights on.
The tour started in the main and oldest attraction, the “Niles Haunted House.” There are eight different sections in the haunted house and all are based on books. However, individuals only get to go in four sections per ticket. Inside the house, people are separated into groups and sent to a room where they wait their turn. During the tour, our guide took us through four of the sections; the most notable were the Harry Potter, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Alice in Wonderland rooms. In all of their attractions, the park uses both actors and props to scare its customers. Due to the park’s use of automated props there were several times that I jumped. Unfortunately, during our experience, the actors were not present, just the props. The park still lived up to its reputation as one scary haunted house. From there we went on to the second haunted house.The second haunted house has two sections to choose from, the “Doll Factory” or “Grimm’s Funeral Home.” Here, you only get to select one section per ticket. However, during our visit, we were able to walk through both sections of the house. I was very excited about the dollhouse portion of the park because I am extremely afraid of puppets and dolls. We were able to walk through this house with the lights on for safety and video reasons -- I was extremely happy about that. Even though the lights were on, I was still pretty nervous. After we got to experience some of the older attractions, we were introduced to a new feature. One of the newest attractions is called “Hooded.” This is an attraction in which you walk through the haunted house, completely blindfolded, and the actors are allowed to touch you. However, I decided not to go in there; it was too scary for me. The last thing we did was return to the haunted house for an above-the-scenes tour. Included in this was the balcony where the cast dropped props, shined lights, and controlled the noise. We could see everyone who was walking through the haunted house. It was incredible! It was one of the coolest experiences I have had in my life. After the tour, our guide walked us through the house and we met up in the cast room. This is where we enjoyed ice cream and asked our final questions. If you're interested in a really good scare, I suggest you visit the Niles Haunted House. If the attractions are scary in the light, then they must be even scarier in the dark. However, even if you're not a huge horror fan you can still come out to the park. The park has a no scare zone that everyone is welcome to enjoy where they have games, food and movies. Admission for the main part of the park is even free. The Niles Scream Park is open this month for its 45th year of scares. The park is open every Friday and Saturday from 7-11 p.m., and on Sundays from 7-10 p.m. Including special hours on Halloween, Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 7-10 p.m. The park is located on Mayflower Road just off Exit 5 of the US 31 Bypass. For more information about the park's events, you can contact them at www.haunted.org or call (269) 687-FEAR.