Spooky Spots

zombieWhat scares you? A bump in the night? Passe. A blood-curdling scream? Please, I grew up in Brooklyn. A cold hand on your leg in the middle of the night? Married. Used to it. We all have our little triggers of fear, something unique in all of us, that makes our skin crawl and raises the hairs on the back of our necks. For me, personally, it’s the utility meter readers. Those guys just freak me out. But universally, to a man or woman, we like the sensation of fright once in awhile. It gives us a jolt and gets the blood flowing. Unless we scream like a little girl. Then we have to live with the shame, the name-calling, the looks…but I digress…

Every October, the fields are full of ghouls, the mansions become haunted and the zombies hang out at 7-11. Who can resist a good frightfest this time of year? Aside from Chas Bono and Nancy Grace dancing (now that’s scary!) there are many ways to raise the old blood pressure in the Ghoulish State. Some are down home productions that involve local kids dressing up in a cornfield, some are elaborately staged events that occupy old buildings you always wondered about, and some are international showplaces of entertainment gore like Great Adventure’s Fright Fest in Jackson. No matter what you poison is, you can find it here. To paraphrase an old song…”If you can get scared here, you’ll get scared anywhere…”

The New Jersey Zombie Walk, Asbury Park Boardwalk, New JerseyField of Terror, East Windsor
(609) 209-4032
The largest Haunted Attraction Farm in New Jersey. Large. The scarecrows are Kirstie Alley, Mike and Molly and the cast of Biggest Loser.

Halloween Experience at Tomahawk Lake, Sparta
Haunted wagon ride through Tomahawk Lake, Indian burial grounds and a new casino featuring no holds poker tables.

Real Ghost Tours, Ocean City (609) 814-0199
A candlelight walking tour featuring the poor unfortunate lost souls of the kids who auditioned for “Jersey Shore” but didn’t get in.

Nightmare’s Haunted Attraction, Montvale
A frightening jaunt through the woods featuring ghosts, goblins and “celebrity appearances.” Anyone seen Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan working lately?

The Prison, Mount Holly
This historic prison has been reduced to a twisted mesh of haunted halls, “The Hole” and the place O.J. Simpson calls home.

State Scare Factory, Belleville (973) 450-1070
Two brothers running a successful food processing plant. The good brother takes mysteriously ill, leaving the workplace in charge of the sadistic, maniacal, homicidal brother. In Belleville… “Hey Tony, bring the sausage ova here or I’ll break ya freakin’ face.” Scary.

Oct 22-23 Haunted Seaport, Tuckerton   (609) 296-8868
Long dead sea captains and pirates that don’t look like Johnny Depp stalk the boardwalk and seek out the lousy filmmakers that remade “The Fog.”

Oct 21-23 New Jersey Zombie Walk, Asbury Park Boardwalk  (908) 656-0378
Or as we like to call it…buffet time aboard any Holland America ship. Officially in the Guinness Book for the world’s largest gathering of zombies. Yes, more than Constitution Avenue on a Tuesday afternoon.  There will be blood! And live music, costume pageants, jello brain-eating contests and actors from TV’s “The Walking Dead” or as we like to call it…”CSI Sea Girt.”

And the reigning, undisputed champion of them all, the biggie, the most spectacular, the New York Yankees of Terror…

Great Adventure Fright Fest, Jackson
I go just to see the whole Michael Jackson Thriller Dance number every year. The shows are professionally produced, the ghouls are the most realistic incarnations this side of Hollywood, the scenery and special effects are mesmerizingly terrifying and the cast and crew are incredible. Of course the real scary moment comes on November 1st when the jobless numbers are released in Central Jersey.

So…what scares you?

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