Today we have a great update from Scott who headed out to Lake Compounce to check out their always amazing Haunted Graveyard event.
Unlike other park events that have random mazes throughout the park, Haunted Graveyard is essentially one long 45 minute maze, and is something that shouldn't be missed.
If you are in the area and would like to attend, be sure to use our Discount Code.
Written by Scott Mayfield
While not a huge park, Lake Compounce has been one of my all-time favourite parks since my first visit in 2003. Having never experienced the attraction during its fall festivities, I was more than up for the trip, and enjoyed one of the greatest nights I have ever enjoyed at any theme park since I started going to them in the mid-1970s. Seriously.
For those who haven't been to the park, you have to enter a tunnel to get to the main area, which was themed outrageously. The 'nightmare tunnel' is just a foretaste of the park's theming and feel, though. I don't think I have EVER seen that much dry ice and liquid smoke in my life. The hazy indistinctness created by layer upon layer of mist and smoke gave the park a wonderful ghoulish feel, highlighted by theming and specially-tricked out visual enhancements throughout the park.
Haunted Graveyard, in its 26th year, is simply one of the best haunted walkthroughs I have ever been to. Forty-five minutes long (and probably over a mile in length), the attraction has serpentine and doubled-back mazes, simulated gore, amazing lighting and sound effects, a full-on optical disorientation section that nearly gave me vintage rave flashbacks, a genuinely claustrophobic hallway in complete darkness, a well-designed graveyard and haunted mansion, and so much more. In short, it blows away nearly every haunted attraction I have ever been to. The actors ranged from very competent to outright scary, and judging from the deafening shrieks of the two 10-year-old girls behind me (and their terrified mother), at least one person would go to bed that night, scared out of their mind. Total win!
I also had the rare opportunity to talk with HG's creator, Ernie Romegialli, who first began tricking out Halloween-style when his daughter was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes more than 25 years ago. Since then, and the inception of the Graveyard, the attraction has raised millions of dollars in the cause of diabetes research. I got to speak with him very briefly and you can tell that the attraction is truly one very close to his heart, as well as all else involved with it.
From there, it was off to Phobia Phear Coaster, the park's newest addition. Having never ridden a Premier Sky Rocket (nor any LIM, really), the ride intimidated the hell out of me, especially in the dark. It's definitely one of the stranger rides I have been on, but glass-smooth and the ride's non-inverting loop is awesome but REALLY weird. Side note: the ride now occupies the space where the park's Huss Enterprise sat. I get why it's in its place..I guess. Enterprises are a disappearing breed, and my all-time fave flat ride, so...okay, enough whining.
LC's Boomerang (imaginatively named "Zoomerang") is one of the smoother Boomerangs I have ridden, and having the back lifts in darkness really added a fear element the ride has never had.
Wildcat, as in years' past, was not operating during the Halloween festivites for a reason I could not track down. I can guess as to why but that's pure speculation, and largely irrelevant. Still, the aged coaster looked great in the mist and murk. It was about this time that actual fog rolled in, making the park truly scary in parts.
Boulder Dash during the day is nothing short of amazing, but if you haven't ridden it at night, you have no idea just how mindboggling this classic woodie is. I had never done the Dash at night, and out of the seven times I rode it that night, not one disappointed and all but one scared the crap out of me. Its age is starting to show in all the right places, and while the hills just after the double-up are jarring, the rest of the course is classic out-of-control-down-the-mountain brilliant. All of this was heightened by no lights at all. Easily my all-time fave woodie out there.
I can't say enough about this park or Haunted Graveyard. Lake Compounce is one of America's best family-oriented parks, hands down. The food is awesome, well-priced (Six Flags, take notice....PLEASE!!) and the drinks are FREE. In this day and age, that in itself is worth notice. I simply cannot wait until next year!