Let’s face it, the dark is a lot scarier when zombies, monsters, boogeymen, goblins and poltergeists are lurking.
In the case of The Ungrounded Thriller Escape, groups armed with water bead rifles walk through the Trail of Darkness where creatures called Zumans want to take over the world. Your group must fight its way to four riddle boxes, solve the riddles and get a number that will unlock the fifth riddle box. Along the way, the Zumans try to eliminate the opposition by grabbing “life flags” attached to the guests’ clothing. Inside the final riddle box is the cure that will stop the world’s population from turning into Zumans.
“It’s not about high-cost productions. You are 100% scared. People wear ‘life flags’ like football flags and if the Zumans pull it off, well you can still help save the world, but you’re dead,” he said.
“The whole process of being scared is complex,” said Ben Armstrong, co-owner of Netherworld Haunted House. Now in its 27th season, the grand dame of fright offers two walk-through horrifying haunts, dubbed Primordial and Cryptid Chaos, featuring live actors, special effects and morbid monsters.
“It’s like a roller coaster with each click going up,” he said. “The fear builds and then you start screaming.”
But it’s a fun scare, apparently. “You scream, have an immediate relief and then laugh. It’s awesome. It’s a different kind of afraid than real-world trauma,” he said.
Halloween is a great time to check in with supernatural neighbors. There are several haunted tours that dish about the ghosts roaming the region.
Apparently, there are a lot of friendly, or not-so-friendly, ghosts in Lawrenceville.
Lawrenceville Ghost Tours and Aurora Theatre have conjured up a 90-minute stroll where Aurora’s professional storytellers recount paranormal sightings. Those needing liquid courage can take the Brews & Boos: Lawrenceville Haunted Pub Crawl, while the Haunted Cemetery Tour takes place at the Historic Lawrenceville Cemetery, one of the Southeast’s oldest places of final rest.
Fright at the Museum in Marietta features a paranormal investigation and tour around the city and the first two floors of the Kennesaw House. The building, which was a Civil War hospital, has been claimed to have more than 700 ghosts wandering the premises.
If you’re looking for the undead, why not go to the source? Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery hosts “Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween” tours that tells the stories of the site’s most notable and notorious residents.
Get your freak on
Once again the eccentric Little Five Points neighborhood will go all out to transform itself into “Halloween TerrorTown” for spine-tingling fun on Oct. 21 and 22.
For starters, Shane Morton’s Silver Scream FX Lab, which creates scares for television shows and movies, has designed a 3D Haunted House. In addition to a skate ramp, live music, food and artists, there will be L5P Ghost Tours, a Booooo Ghost Pub Crawl and Spooky Movie Night.
But of course, the highlight is the L5P parade on Oct. 22 with 80 groups including bands, dance troupes, anime characters and … just about anything you can imagine, even a Clifford the Big Red Dog body with a monster’s head.
“It’s a very creative parade with everyone expressing themselves. We have activists, several queer groups … and very strange local artists putting together very odd parade units and marching,” said Laurie Hardy, co-parade wrangler.
The Seed and Feed Marching Abominables, a parade favorite, will serve as grand marshal and the Stayin’ Alive Crew, an over-50 dance group, will perform everything from hip-hop to line dancing along the parade route.
“I love the fact that it’s ... escaping from reality,” Hollingsworth said. “Part of the satisfaction is the unreal becoming real.”
Capturing the Spirit of Oakland 2023. 5-11 p.m. Oct. 19-22 and Oct. 26-29. $30-$45. Oct. 31, VIP Night with three-course meal, $190. 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-688-2107, oaklandcemetery.com.
Fright at the Museum. 8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 13- 28. $100. Marietta History Center, 1 Depot St., Marietta. 770-726-2892, toursofmarietta.com/ghost-tours.
The Undergrounded Thriller Escape. 7-11 p.m. Oct. 7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Oct. 31 and Nov. 3-4. 7-10 p.m. Oct. 15, 22, 26, 29 and 30. $40. Emma Millican Park, 473 Deckner Ave. SW, Atlanta. 678-400-2591, atlcampcore.ticketspice.com/thrillerescape.
Paranoia Haunted House. 8 p.m.-midnight Fridays-Saturdays Oct. 6-28. 8-10:30 p.m. Oct. 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 25, 26, 29 and 30, Nov. 3-4. 8-11 p.m. Oct. 31. $28-35. 2075 Marietta Highway, Canton. 404-387-3203, paranoiahaunt.com.
Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade. All day and night Oct. 21-22. Parade at 2 p.m. Oct. 22. Free. Moreland and Euclid avenues, Atlanta. 404-735-4924, l5phalloween.com.
Netherworld Haunted House. Various times, Oct. 5-8, 10-15, 17-31 and Nov. 3-5 and 10-11. $25-$65. 1313 Netherworld Way, Stone Mountain. 404-999-3327, fearworld.com.
Lawrenceville Ghost Tours. Various times and dates, nights through Oct. 31. $20, $15 for children. 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, auroratheatre.com.
Fright Fest. Various hours through Oct. 31. Bundled Haunted House Attraction tickets and park admission start at $80. Oct. 31 Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell. 770-739-3400, sixflags.com/overgeorgia/events/fright-fest-2023.
Folklore Haunted House. 7:30-11 p.m. Oct. 19, 28 and Nov. 3, 4; 7:30 p.m.-midnight, Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28 and 31. $28-33. 5389 N. Main St., Acworth. folklorehauntedhouse.com.