Frightworld is for the lighthearted, fails to strike fear in customers

Benjamin Joe, Online Editor

Everyone knows they would rather play Russian roulette with only one bullet in the gun, but for a true believer in the Halloween Spirit, I would’ve rather had it loaded to full capacity.

What I’m talking about is Frightworld in Tonawanda on Young Street, right off the Twin City Memorial Highway, north of Colvin Avenue. The most haunted place in the area is a large warehouse painted red with two supermarket-like doors. One leading in. The other leading out. It’s a classic example of how big-box stores have taken everything and turned it into Best Buy.

Frankly, I’m a proud native of Massachusetts. That’s right, a few towns over from where Salem once held its famous trials. I grew up with haunted houses, playgrounds, hayrides. They were all crazy scary with Mike Meyers and ghouls with chainsaws, and really slow moving tractors so the actors could get right up in your face and actually take a kid or two off the ride. These trips required forms that stated you wouldn’t sue no matter how scared you got or how many injuries you sustained trying to escape these goblins. It was the real deal.

So with memories like this, you can understand that I was a bit reticent in taking my son to what was supposed to be the third scariest haunted attraction in the United States. Because I am a coward. Because as a kid, I practically held onto my dad’s coat the entire time while strobe lights and high pitched laughing pierced my sense organs. Because I didn’t want to look like I was “easy-scare” and forever embarrassed in front of my offspring.

But it was not that bad.

We only got to go into two houses, but really, it wasn’t that bad. There were a lot of jump scares, which is when an actor jumps out in front of you. Sure, you scream, but you’re not really scared. My son was behind me so he never caught the full brunt of it and he’d say things like “How are you?” and “Nice makeup!” Probably the scariest thing about that first haunted house was the chainsaw wielding giant at the end. I ran along the wall, but I didn’t lose my mind like I would’ve as a kid at a much better haunted house.

The second one… I’ll admit, the novelty of having a flashlight that got turned on and off by actors… I felt I could be pretty reasonably scared this time. And it was scary, but it wasn’t the actors. It was the presence of a fog machine gone crazy. Even with the flashlight on it was impossible to see two feet in front of you. Alas, they didn’t have the full power that tour or something was the matter. Faces poked out of holes in the wall, but no huge scare factor.

Unless you’re afraid of the dark.

So, maybe I’ve just gotten too old, or there were things you could do to kids in the olden days that you can’t do now, or maybe I just didn’t choose the right houses. Whatever the case, I suggest finding a nice piece of land in the country now while the price is low and create your own haunted house for next Halloween. I want to sign waver forms. I want to be scared, and I believe you can do it.

Happy belated-Halloween, folks.

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