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Fright Fest is back at Six Flags Great America

Are you ready for Halloween?

Me neither, but apparently the ghouls who run Fright Fest at Great America don’t care if we’re ready to be scared silly or not.

The theme park in Gurnee, Ill., has undergone its spooky season extreme makeover and emerged as a dark world populated by zombies, werewolves, vampires and all manner of things that definitely go bump in the night.

The theme park’s 31st annual Fright Fest opened Sept. 17 and continues through Oct. 31, which means you have plenty of opportunities to come face to face with the undead.

Fright Fest each year features “scare zones,” haunted houses and spooky shows, all populated by a cast who go all out in the creepy makeup department.

Not into being scared? Have young children to entertain?

Before the sun sets, Fright Fest is a kinder, gentler Halloween experience, with new family-friendly shows and fun adventures like the Trick or Treat Trail. There are also plenty of chances to take selfies with the theme park's cuddly mascots, decked out in their finest Halloween season costumes.

Once the sun sets, however, "terror comes alive," according to theme park officials. "Only the bravest souls can withstand our haunted houses, scare zones and ghouls."

Scary highlights include:

  • The Uprising: As the sun sets each day of Fright Fest, an army of ghouls emerges ... and that’s the end of the much tamer during daylight hours.
  • Scare Zones: You’re never totally safe when wandering through Fright Fest. Be aware of ghouls lurking in these ghoul-populated areas.
  • Not our usual carousel: The park’s signature carousel near the entrance is surrounded by dark waters during Fright Fest.
  • "Love at First Fright": The musical in the Grand Music Hall is a Fright Fest tradition, with a few current events jokes added each season to update the show. Jack and Katie try to spend the night in a cemetery, and assorted ghouls, werewolves and vampires are out to get them. Be prepared for singing, dancing, corny jokes and a good time to be had by all.
  • "The Ringmaster's Cabaret," a show that promises "illusions, music and freakish acts." (As if a circus isn't scary enough without adding Halloween horror.)
  • "The Nightmare Rhythm Machine," a new "rhythmic drum experience."

Fright Fest also features haunted houses (extra fee required, or a bundled ticket package) and, at the end of each night, visitors face The Witching Hour. During the final hour, the various Fright Fest creatures will gather at the front of the theme park, meaning you’ll have to run through a mob of the undead to escape to the safety of your vehicle. Good luck!

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