Halloween Haunt Rises Again for Its 13th Season at Kings Island

CityBeat's Sean M. Peters visited Kings Island's Halloween Haunt — here's his verdict on the park's most scream-worthy mazes

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click to enlarge Halloween Haunt - Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Halloween Haunt

Kings Island's Halloween Haunt is back for its 13th spooky season of slobbering zombies, werewolves and killer clowns that could have crawled straight out of Stephen King's night terrors. Named the “Best Theme Park Halloween Event” in the country by readers of USA Today, the haunt transforms the family-friendly park into a fear fest after dark with nine haunted mazes, seven scare zones a few "sinister shows" and access to some roller coasters and rides. 

The attention to detail and craftsmanship throughout KI is grisly, awe inspiring and otherworldly, featuring enough thrills to strike fear into even the most hard-hearted of monster movie fanatics with indoor and outdoor themed mazes. Snaked in-between are costumed actors stalking the park grounds, and their only job is to make you scream with fright. 

Horror, much like comedy, is subjective. What spooks one group of people may be humdrum to others but, after some terrifying research (aka a press invite), CityBeat is ready to recommend the top mazes you should prioritize during your visit to Halloween Haunt. If you're dying to hit all nine of the park's mazes in one night without spending half your time in line, the "Fright Lane" badge is well worth the extra $45.

If you're not vying to get scared to death, there's still so much to do at Kings Island this season with the new Miami River Brewhouse — the perfect place to hunker down with a pint if you're REALLY not looking for a scare — plus video arcades, carnival games, all your favorite rollercoasters, shopping and dining. If you don't want to be spooked, KI offers a "No Boo" necklace for $13, a glowing protective charm that acts as a visual indicator to the park's actors that you don't want to be scared. Don't want to buy one? Make friends with someone wearing one and stick close. 

 Here are our five fave haunts rated via "spookies" — with five skulls being the scariest. Read on... if you're not too scared.

Wolf Pack — 💀💀💀💀

A howling horror-filled hike through a building overtaken by rabid werewolves. There's some A+ animatronic work here and the costumes, set design and gore are consistently on point. Wait until after sundown to enjoy this maze the most.

Kill Mart — 💀💀💀💀💀

Call me Rick: Is this The Walking Dead? Survive a trek through a post-zombie apocalypse grocery store. Lumbering between canned goods and produce are cannibal corpses ready to eat you and your whole crew. This maze has great adherence to the theme as each room you pass through is a different grocery department with a gory twist. 

Urgent Scare — 💀💀💀💀💀

You know this is a great maze even before you enter — the set dressing for the wait is top notch. A hospital has gone mad with ghouls on gurneys, an alien monster bursting from a cadaver's stomach and mutated surgeons eager for a new victim, er, patient. Plus, the sound design is fantastic. 

Madame Fatale's Cavern of Terror: Lights Out! —💀💀💀💀💀

This haunt was the most unique maze experience of the night. Before descending into darkness, you are given a luminous glow stick that serves as your primary light source throughout this underground wax museum horror hike. The animatronic devilish beast you encounter in the line is impressive and it's also definitely the best air-conditioned attraction, perfect for beating the heat (climate change is truly the most terrifying aspect of this autumn).

Field of Screams — 💀💀💀

This is a traditional corn maze with butchered farmhands looking for some company in the afterlife. Navigate from claustrophobic rows of cornstalks splattered with blood to bales of hay hiding hideous ghouls ready to startle you. Save this maze for after dark for the best result.

Other haunted mazes include Backwoods Bayou, C.H.A.O.S and Slaughter House. 

For more info/tickets: https://www.visitkingsisland.com/play/haunt

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