NJ haunted tours bring horror, fun to Halloween plans


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Photo by Nicole Lagos |

It’s the best time of the year — October, where we pay others to scare the life out of us. Haunted attractions are a great outing for any group of friends willing to spend a good 30 minutes being terrorized by people in costumes. For many, the go-to is Six Flags' "Fright Fest," which is arguably a classic. But if you’re in the mood for some more local scary fun, here are some haunted attractions near Rutgers.

The Haunted-Woods of Old Bridge

Old Bridge, New Jersey

Imagine: it’s 10 p.m., cold and dark. You start to walk into a dark forest, trails only slightly illuminated with lights running through the grass. A few steps down the trail, you hear a child’s voice: “Fresh limbs, only 50 cents!”

Photo: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

This is the Haunted-Woods of Old Bridge. The 3-acre Jersey haunt has been going strong for 16 years, and this year Boy Scout Troop 167 and Cub Scout Pack 67 are bringing the scares.

The idea to create a haunted attraction started in 2001 when a Halloween party was planned for Girl Scout Troop 1293 in Old Bridge, according to their website. The girls were pulled in a wagon while friends jumped out from behind the trees to scare them.

Over the years, the haunt changed locations and continued to grow larger and larger, and in 2003, they began to collect donations for the Old Bridge Food Bank as their admission fee.

The entry fee is one non-perishable food item per person, per walkthrough. If you forget to bring a donation, you can offer a small donation.

The Haunted-Woods of Old Bridge is open weekends beginning at 7 p.m. The full list of hours is online.

Cheesequake Farms

Old Bridge, New Jersey

If you’re looking for something more than simply being chased by actors, Cheesequake Farms may be the place for you. While Cheesequake Farms does offer a “haunted corn labyrinth” at its Route 9 location, its main attraction is “Zombie Zone Paintball.”

You will ride into the woods armed with paintball guns that are mounted onto their “Zombie Zapper” wagons, according to their website. Sure, being chased by zombies is terrifying, but at least you have the opportunity to fight back. It’s also a great way to blow off some steam from midterms.

Entry for the “Zombie Zone” is $25 per person, while entry to the corn maze is $12 per person. The attractions are open on weekends through the rest of October. Friday hours are 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday hours are 4 to 10:30 p.m.

House of Horrors Presents: Enter Your Own Nightmare

East Brunswick, New Jersey

This Central Jersey haunt is operated by the Middlesex County Teen Council, and the theme changes every year.

This year’s theme is “Face Your Nightmares” and offers either a haunted house or hayride attraction. Many of the actors are children, offering what many consider to be an added scare factor. It's definitely scarier than the Haunted-Woods of Old Bridge and could arguably be scarier than Cheesequake Farms since you have to walk through the attraction. Get ready to see (fake) mutilated corpses, zombie nurses and maybe even some scary clowns.

All of the proceeds from the event go into a project called “Project Gift,” which provides gifts and toys to families in need during the holidays, according to their website.

Single haunted house tickets or single hayride tickers are $5, and you can gain entry to both for $8.

The House of Horrors is open Fridays and Saturdays in October from 7 to 10:30 p.m.


Alexandra DeMatos is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in journalism and media studies and women's and gender studies. She is the editor-in-chief of The Daily Targum. Follow her on Twitter @dematosaa for more.


Alexandra DeMatos

ad1049@scarletmail.rutgers.edu
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