“Have you ever heard strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you have feelings of dread in your basement or attic?” If so, maybe you should call the ghostbusters, or make a trip to one of the best local Halloween attractions around.
Curious to know where the fear factor ranks highest this Halloween season? Look no further. America’s Best Haunts, the leading authority on haunted attractions, is unveiling its annual list of the nation’s best haunts.
Now in its fourth year, this popular ranking has quickly gained a national reputation for showcasing America’s scariest and most innovative haunts, distinguishing them as the most sought-after Halloween attractions.
Carefully selected by a judging panel with over 100 years of combined industry experience, the list honors haunted houses that showcase the best in special effects, the most chilling and hair-raising themes, the most innovative design and the best overall scare factor value.
The 2010 Winners of the prestigious “America’s Best Haunts” title are:
Thrillvania Thrill Park
Location: Terrell, TX Website: www.Thrillvania.com
Location: Baltimore, MD Website: www.BennettsCurse.com
Location: Houston, TX Website: www.Screamworld.com
Eastern State Penitentiary, Terror Behind the Walls
Location: Philadelphia, PA Website: www.TerrorBehindtheWalls.com
Nightmare New England, SpookyWorld
Location: Litchfield, NH Website: www.NightmareNewEngland.com
Location: Lexington, KY Website: www.ScaryLexington.com
Woods of Terror
Location: Greensboro, NC Website: www.WoodsofTerror.com
Location: Sandusky, OH Website: www.GhostlyManor.com
Location: Waukesha, WI Website: www.WisconsinFeargrounds.com
Location: Aurora, CO Website: www.13door.com
The Nest Haunted House
Location: Chandler, AZ Website: www.Frightened.com
Location: Columbus, OH Website: www.TheTerrorFest.com
Indy ScreamPark – Newcomer of the Year Title
Location: Anderson, IN Website: www.IndyScreamPark.com
Each winner will be awarded a place on the America’s Best Haunts website, along with the honor of using the official seal identifying them as one of “America’s Best Haunts.”
Headed by Steve Kopelman, veteran of the haunted attractions industry, America’s Best Haunts was created in 2006 to become the premier source of credible information and resources for the haunted house industry. “Our industry is evolving and changing each year,” said Kopelman. “Our team at America’s Best Haunts puts tremendous effort into staying on top of all trends and therefore we are able to objectively review and compare haunted attractions around the country.”
The haunts are selected based on their scores across several categories including: safety, special effects, marketing, consumer appeal, attention to detail, and long-term commitment to the community.
Kopelman has dedicated his career to creating the best haunted attractions. With decades of industry experience, Kopelman has built and operated more haunted houses in the United States than any other individual.
“Only the top experts are invited to sit on my panel to review haunted houses across country and select the finest,” added Kopelman. “There are more than 24 million fans and thrill seekers that enjoy haunted houses each year. We wanted to make sure they know where to find the best scares and unforgettable chills for the best value.”
While a large number of attractions are nominated each year to be considered in the ranking, only select few are awarded the prestigious seal of ‘America’s Best Haunts.’
“Today’s haunted attractions are very different from those built a decade ago,” added Kopelman. “All of the winners in our 2010 list stand out above the competition. They boast the most innovative design, created by some of the most imaginative individuals, including former Disney producers. Integrating the best traditional scares and talented actors with high-tech design, they beautifully execute the use of animatronics and special effects including 3-D imagery. I encourage all Halloween enthusiasts to experience the top haunts and see why we call them America’s Best.”
For complete list of the winners and further information please visit online at: www.AmericasBestHaunts.com
Though the list does not include the major Palm Beach County attractions, it probably should. For those of you out there who either can’t afford, or don’t want to travel to the major corporate haunts in Central Florida, (Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom), there are two big events going on in our area that may just scare you enough to make you scream for more!
XScream Halloween takes place at the G-Star School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, and has it’s remaining showings on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd, and next weekend Friday the 29th, Saturday the 30th, and Sunday the 31st. Keep an eye out for additional information about XScream Halloween, including backstage pictures, interviews with some of the scareactors, and more!
Fright Nights takes place at the South Florida Fairgrounds, and features three haunted houses, plus the Midway of the Macabre. It’s remaining showings are on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd, and next weekend Friday the 29th, Saturday the 30th, and Sunday the 31st. I hope to do a review of this event as well. (Keeping undead fingers crossed!)
Remember that Halloween is a time to have fun, and to bring out the dark side of yourself. Some HOAs in Palm Beach County sponsor trick or treating events, as well as costume contests. Others offer prizes for house decorations. If your HOA has any of these sort of programs, please email me and let me know the details.
If you want to be kept abreast of issues facing individuals living in HOAs in the West Palm Beach area, be sure to subscribe. If you’ve had any issues with your HOA that you’d like me to try and delve into, and possibly write about later, please let me know.