Fright Night In KC
By Darren Mark
“You’re real pretty. But if you don’t get out of here, I’m gonna cut off your head and eat your teeth!” Taken out of context, exchanges between the half-mutilated mouth-breathers in The Beast and their shrieking victims might call into question the Heart of America’s…heart. But this time of year, context is everything. It’s fall, it’s Kansas City, and nighttime lingers just a little later and a little longer. Wave goodbye to the City of Fountains and open your arms to the City of Frights.
Kansas City: Capital of Halloween Haunts?
As shocking to out-of-towners as the electric chair is to the poorly behaved, Kansas City is haunted house heaven. Or hell, depending on your perspective. Chalk that up to the attractions’ sprawling real estate, concepts capitalizing on phobias and vulnerabilities, and characters with Hollywood-grade prosthetics..
History of Haunted Hysteria
Credit The Edge of Hell for birthing the buzz. Like an old-school mummy, it rose to life in 1975 at 7th and Wyandotte. These days, the since-relocated The Edge is the daddy of the haunted house boom. Its success inspired a string of haunted house attractions, and by the early 80s, more than a dozen other thrillers (sorry Michael, but we were first) terrorized hordes of corn-fed Cowtowners.
The bloody core of Kansas City horror is the West Bottoms. But horror havens exist in all corners of the metro. What follows is a list of highlights:
- The Concept: The Midwest’s largest Halloween event with over 500 gruesome monsters and 10 extreme haunts all set in the region’s premier 235 acre theme park with over 60 rides, activities, and shows. Extreme Haunts: Zombie High, Miss Lizzie's Chamber of Horrors, Corn Stalkers, Asylum Island, London Terror, The Fright Zone, BloodShed, Outlaw’s Revenge, CarnEvil, and Lore of the Vampire featuring Club Blood.
- The Coolest Part: Using over 90 fog machines, watch as darkness falls, and you bear witness to Overlord’s Awakening as he calls his army to rise and transform the park into Halloween Haunt.
- The Facts: Fright Night runs Friday and Saturday nights through October 27, 2013 (plus Sunday October 27). Extreme haunts are not recommended for guests younger than 14 years of age. For the best deals go to WorldsofFun.com.
- Storyline: Ascend to heaven, sink to purgatory, then slide into hell.
Why you’ll wet yourself: Features one of the continent’s largest anacondas in captivity and electric shocking.
Coolest part: 5-story spiral slide.
- Special Offers: Buy a combo ticket for The Edge of Hell and The Beast and save..
- Storyline: Walk through a Louisiana mansion on your way to a bayou swamp. Slide back in time to Jack Ripper’s London. Transition indoors to a medieval castle, ascend to its tower, then slide down four stories back to the present day.
- Who you’ll meet: A live alligator, Jack the Ripper, werewolves, and a chainsaw murderer who grazes the innocent with his real, working chainsaw.
- Why you might cry: A haunted, quarter acre-large forest has only one exit, and it’s up to you to find it.
- Why you should go: One of the Nation’s best haunted house according to HauntedHouseRatings.com.
- Special Offers: Buy a combo ticket for The Beast and The Edge of Hell and save.
- The Concept: The stories of Edgar Allen Poe come alive.
- Why you’ll scream: House of horror promotes extreme claustrophobia, suffocation, and sensation of being buried alive.
- Who you’ll wish you didn’t meet: Poe, the raven, a black cat, and Roderick from The House of Usher.
- Special Offers: Buy a combo ticket for The Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe and Macabre Cinema and save.
- The concept: Visitors enter a 1930s movie theater, then walk through the screen into a world of horror inspired by classic and contemporary cinema.
- Old friends you’ll see: Mummies, clowns, hotel caretakers, aliens.
- Special Offers: Buy a combo ticket Macabre Cinema and The Chambers of Edgar Allen Poe save.
As a footnote, the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, Mo., isn’t a haunted house, but it’s scarier than any contrived attraction. This former State Lunatic Asylum No. 2 preserves the institution’s history, as well as the history of “therapy devices”. Delicious eye candy like Bath of Surprise and Hollow Wheel accompanies exhibits like “Stomach Contents”. The latter features the hundreds of objects one patient swallowed during her stay, including yummy thimbles, seductive nails, and mouth-watering safety pins. South Beach dieters, take note.
- Recession Friendly: Only $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for students.