THRILLS AND CHILLS FOR ALL AGES
At the beginning of every October, the Halloween season begins to musk the air. People start seeking out different thrills and pumpkin-related activities to try out, and Elitch Garden’s annual Fright Fest is right on the top of the list.
Fright Fest is a month-long event where Elitches completely turns their grounds from friendly and fun to chilling and, well, frightening.
Fog consumes the grounds, while several actors who dressed in blood-stained clothes and wield chainsaws hide in the mist. Their tactic is to wait until someone gets too close, and then they’ll start to rev their machines and pop out, an act that can easily scare anyone. The chainsaws are fake, but the screams are definitely not.
Fright Fest not only includes a night of boos and brief panic attacks, but all roller coasters and rides are open, and some have a thrilling twist. The tea cup ride gets a makeover during October, and people get to experience a twirl in complete darkness with fog and strobe lights included.
Several haunted houses pop up on site to offer those who don’t scare easily another option to be spooked.
There are four haunted houses that each tap into a different fear like clowns, demons and a haunted hotel where an exit doesn’t exist. The most immersive and frightening house on the block is Séance, one that could described as more of a theatrical performance. People are seated on bleachers looking into a room with a couple chairs. Audience members are invited on stage and help contact the dead. The participation by the audience paired with the actors’ commitment makes the experience all the more scary.
Fright Fest is only opened on the weekends, and children can participate in Fright by Day on Saturday and Sunday, which is a family-friendly option with costume contests, a screaming competition, and a trick-or-treat trail.
On Oct. 13, the Peer Advocate Leaders (PALS) offered 100 tickets for $10 to students for Fright Fest and made it a memorable night for many.
For students like Tsiona Gedamu and Siyi Wang, this was their first time experiencing Fright Fest. “I had a great time,” Gedamu, a marketing student, said. “Seeing people get scared by the actors dressed up in scary costumes running around the park was kind of funny.”
For Wang, an economics student, even though she enjoyed riding the roller coasters, the haunted house was the best part. “I was afraid of experiencing the haunted house,” Wang said. “I was very scared and screamed.”
Location: Elitch Gardens 2000 Elitch Cir. Denver, CO. 80204
Buy your tickets: Freight Fest Tickets