Dark history, plenty of screams usher Halloween into York area
Whether it's haunted houses, beautifully decorated displays, tours, scavenger hunts or unpleasant surprises in complete darkness, the York area has Halloween covered. Check out these spirited attractions for the 2017 season:
Situated on 64½ acres of farm, Kim's Krypt Haunted Mill's fear factor is based on the legend of a German man and his son who settled in the mill and were violently attacked by a pirate at the chime of 8 o' clock. This ominous energy is paired with six attractions, such as Kim’s Krazy Maze, which has scary creatures swinging from the rafters of a haunted house. Special events include the Lights Out Tour on Oct. 13 and Anything Goes Tour on Oct. 30. Admission: $12-18 for single attractions; $40-95 for combos Season: Through Nov. 5 Hours:6-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6-10 p.m. Sundays and Oct. 30-31. Location: 5932 Colonial Valley Road, Jackson Township. Website: kimskrypt.com.
In Jason's Woods' Horrifying Hayride, the earth will shake beneath the carriage and passengers will be thrown side to side with integrated motion technology, which promises to "overwhelm the senses" for a more extreme experience. Explore the hayride and four other haunted attractions, including an outdoor walking experience that allows the brave to get "Lost in Jason's Woods." Admission: $25-50 Season: Through Nov. 4 Hours: Fri. - Sat. 7-10 p.m., Sundays 7-9 p.m. Location: 9 Stehman Road, Conestoga Township, Lancaster County. Website: jasonswoods.com
Field of Screams celebrates 25 years with scarier additions to its four attractions. Nocturnal Wasteland is back with a never-before-tried stunt — a catwalk balancing act in which terror unfolds below. An attic full of porcelain dolls will come to life in the Den of Darkness — a three-story, 170-year-old barn — and Electroshock Therapy awaits at a new facility in the Frightmare Asylum.
All attractions have been modified to be darker and more isolated during Extreme Blackout on Nov. 10, and runners can play the zombie or be chased by one at the fifth annual Zombie Fun Run on Nov. 11. Admission: $16-34; up to $40 on select dates in October. Extreme Blackout or Zombie Fun Run: $45-80 Season: Through Nov.11; hours vary. Location: 191 College Ave., Mountville, Lancaster County. Website: fieldofscreams.com.
Halloween Park doesn't claim to be the most frightening attraction in the business, but it does claim to be haunted. "Each year we receive compliments on how realistic our actor is that stands on the stairway to the attic, even though we don’t have an actor in that area," the website states. Its six attractions include an “unsolvable maze” called Terror Behind the Doors, which exists completely in the dark and has moving walls, and Creekside Manor, a new attraction said to have a dark history of "flooding," a method intended to have patients overcome their darkest phobias and fears by facing them in a controlled setting. Admission: $35 Season: Sept. 30 - Oct. 31. Hours: 6:30-10 p.m. Fridays, 6:30-11 p.m. Saturdays, 6:30-9 p.m. Sundays. Location: 100 Hykes Mill Road, York Haven. Website: halloweenpark.com.
Guides in Victorian clothing will highlight the history of Crystal Cave from the 1870s in Halloween "Ghost" Lantern Tours at Crystal Cave, including unexplained incidents that occurred in and around the cave. Walk through the cave by lantern light and hear stories never before heard on the tour. Admission: $12-20 Dates: Oct. 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 Times: 6 p.m. Fridays, 5:30 p.m. Saturdays. Location: 963 Crystal Cave Road, Kutztown, Berks County. Not recommended for children under 8. Website: crystalcavepa.com.
The Spooky York Downtown Dark History Tour follows Scott Butcher's book, "Spooky York," and former Gettysburg ghost tour guide Megan Feeser through downtown York's creepiest sites. Starting at Continental Square, Feeser will give some background York history followed by a 90-minute excursion to places such as the old York County courthouse on Market Street, where the hex murders were tried, and the former Lafayette Club, which Stuart, the caretaker, continues to haunt, according to accounts from York College employees. Admission: $20, $25 for Saturdays Dates: Oct. 18, 21, 25, 29 and 30. Kristen Dempwolf, from Downtown Inc, was trained under Feeser and will lead the Oct. 29 and 30 tours.Time: 6:30 p.m. Each tour will admit 30 guests. Website: downtownyorkpa.com/spookyyork.
The Hanover YWCA Halloween Scavenger Hunt gathers teams of three or more to solve riddles, clues and team challenges as they search downtown Hanover. Costumes are encouraged, and participants will return from their scavenging for prizes and spirits. Admission: $25. Date and Time: 5:25-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19. Location: 23 W. Chestnut St., Hanover. Website: ywcahanover.org
The Belmont Theatre presents Victor Gialanella’s "Frankenstein," adapted from the novel by Mary Shelley. In the popular story set in 19th-century Switzerland, Dr. Frankenstein reanimates the dead and grapples with the challenge of a creation that is both terrifying and sympathetic. Tickets: $15-27 Dates: Oct. 20-22 and 26-29. Times: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Location: 27 S Belmont St, York. Website: thebelmont.org
Halloween in the Park at Codorus State Park, hosted by Spring Grove Regional Parks and Recreation Center, lets kids trick or treat from campsite to campsite, each donned with festive Halloween decor. Families can enjoy vendors, hayrides, displays, a pet parade and a fun run as they spend Halloween season in the park. Admission: $12 donation per car. Dates: Oct. 20-21. Times: Trick or treating 6-8:30 p.m., Hayrides 6-10 p.m., Pet parade 11 a.m. Saturday, 5K run 9 a.m. Saturday. Website: halloweeninthepark.org.
Hersheypark in the Dark may be capitalizing on Friday the 13th terror with 13 coasters — some of which can be ridden with lights out! — and 13 candy locations on Trick-or-Treat Trail. Kids 12 and under are encouraged to dress in costume for free treat bags and candy. The park will have festive pumpkin treats such as pumpkin funnel cakes and king-sized pumpkin milkshakes, and the Screaming Mummies band will perform classic Halloween tunes.
Other Halloween in Hershey events include ZooAmerica, which will be open to show the nocturnal activities of more than 200 animals, pumpkin-themed spa treatments at The Spa at Hotel Hershey, and The Hershey Story Museum, where kids can learn how to make Halloween-themed treats in the chocolate lab. Halloween films "Hocus Pocus" and "The Rocky Horror Picture" are showing in Hershey Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 21. Admission: $28-64.50, free for kids age 2 and under. Season: Oct. 13-15, 20-22 and 27-29. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, noon-9 p.m. Sundays. Website: hersheypark.com