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OH, THE HORROR
Halloween 2012 Preview

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Date published: 10/4/2012

BY JESSE SCOTT

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

If you've opted out of Halloween festivities in years past, now is the time to get with it.

Halloween is a time to let go of reality, let your hair down and have a legitimate reason to scare that neighbor who always plays his music too loud.

The frightful yet playful holiday can serve as wonderful motivation for the entire family to celebrate, together, for days and weeks on end. Think of it as the birthday month you've always wanted or the Christmas that spanned the course of weeks.

Halloween is what you make it. So, get moving and get in on the action!

Fortunately for families in the Fredericksburg area, there is plenty to do this Halloween season.

From scary forests to horror-themed roller coasters, you're bound to get your spook on without having to travel a frightful distance.

Here are four options to celebrate Halloween the right way this October:

HAUNTED HILL

Haunted Hill, in Partlow, has grown into quite the spine-tingling attraction over the years. It's so scary, in fact, that there is a disclaimer on its website.

The Haunted Hill experience is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 to 11 p.m. throughout October and will close on Sunday, Oct. 28. Haunted Hill will also host select Kids Days during daylight hours to accommodate the younger demographic.

Nearly 10 years ago, the idea of Haunted Hill grew out of the basement of Spotsylvania resident Allison Mastin. The Partlow resident used to host a haunted house in her basement for her children and their friends. The basement became too crowded, so Mastin moved the haunted house to the family's expansive barn.

After jam-packing the barn nearly six years ago, Mastin decided to expand Haunted Hill to nearly 100 acres down the road and open it to the public. Ever since, it has been an absolute hit, attracting upwards of 350 visitors per night.

Haunted Hill features a hay wagon ride and a terrifying, mile-long trail that boasts tunnels, mazes and nearly 40 gruesome-looking actors that always pop out at just the right time to scare you senseless.

"Our trail is definitely not recommended for children under 12," said Mastin. "This isn't Fun-Land. We are here to scare you."

WICKED WOODS


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What: Haunted Hill Where: 10400 Edenton Road, Partlow When: Fridays and Saturday in October, 7 to 11 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 28, 7 to 10 p.m.; Kids Day, Saturday, Oct. 20 and 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 21 and 28, 1 to 5 p.m. Cost: $18; $5 per person for Kids Day; $2 off admission for military Info: 540/582-9536; thehauntedhill.com What: Wicked Woods Where: 6220 Massey Road, Spotsylvania When: Fridays and Saturdays in October, 7 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 28, 7 to 10 p.m. Cost: Haunted Forest, $15; Murder Manor, $7; Insanitarium Asylum, $7; Combo Pass (all three attractions), $25 Info: 540/895-5786; wicked-woods.com What: The 38th Annual Fredericksburg Jaycees Haunted House Where: 1380 Central Park Blvd. When: Fridays and Saturdays in October, starting Oct. 12; doors open at 7:30 p.m. Cost: $10 Info: 540/371-6005; jayceehauntedhouse .eventbrite.com What: Halloween Haunt 2012 Where: Kings Dominion, 16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell When: Select dates in October Cost: Free with park admission Info: 804/876-5000; kingsdominion.com