Niles Scream Park Review


The Niles Scream Park has been in operation since 1974, so this marks the 46th consecutive year. The gates for this season opened on Friday, September 13th. Through the month of September the park will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, then starting in October, the park will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Of course, October 31st, Halloween, will be a night of operation. The last chance events for the scare fest, also known as the Black Out event, will be the first weekend of November, November 1st and 2nd. 

The Scream Park has been nationally recognized as one of the top haunted attractions in the country. For the past six years the Haunted Attraction Magazine said the Niles Scream Park in one of the “Top 31 Must-See Haunted Attractions”. Also the park is known for its donations to various organizations. Niles Scream Park is a non-profit community project, which means that all of the works are volunteers, about 200 volunteers are needed per night to keep the show going. Since 1996 more than $1.9 million have been donated, that includes donations to the Niles Scream Park funded college scholarships for students at Niles, Brandywine, Dowagiac, Cassopolis, and Edwardsburg High School. 

This year there are five main attractions, the Niles Haunted House, N’awlins Nightmare, Deadwood, The Field of Screams, and the Dark Terror-tory Haunted Hayride. The haunted house is the main attraction, there are over 100 different paths through it, each one just as scary as the last. Each year the room, theme, and sound effects are changed to provide a new and unique experience. N’awlins Nightmare is a New Orleans experience, where the patron journeys through the dark streets with the Queen of Voodoo. Deadwood is an experience with the Gold Rush with unsavory vistors who brought murder to the town of Deadwood. The Field of Screams is one of the parks most popular attractions with mazes in the Bayou and a brand new cemetery. The Dark Terror-tory Haunted Hayride is a break from the rest of the attractions, which includes a mile long trail filled with more than 30 sets that combines horror and comedy. In addition to the above mentioned attractions there are two others, Hooded which requires patrons to be 18 years of age and sign a waiver before entering, and Mini Escape Rooms on the midway where patrons have only 5 minutes to solve the puzzle to escape. The midway also offers many food options and games for the patrons. 

The attractions range in price from $9 to $14, but there are also combination tickets: the Frightful Nightful includes all the 5 main attractions for $35 ($40 starting in October), the Adrenaline Package is a $5 upgrade to the Frightful Nightful that includes a ticket to Hooded, and the Triple Dog Dare includes the three indoor attractions (Niles Haunted House, N’awlins Nightmare, and Deadwood) for $28. 

I was given the opportunity to have a run through the attractions before the park officially opened on September 13th. All of the lights were on in the park, but that does not discount the scare factor. Lights or no lights and motion sensors or not, the props in the attractions come to life and send chills down your spine. The park tries to use pop culture in their attractions, but that just adds to the scare. Some pop culture that appears in the Haunted House includes Treasure Ship, Stephen King’s IT, Stranger Things, Jack the Ripper, Silent Hill, and many more. The purpose of this is somewhat ease the fright but showing the patron something they will recognize and consider it safe, but then to pop out and put a twist on it. Walking through the attractions on a normal night, you may not notice the same details that go into everything, but with a closer look there is an outstanding amount of details in every inch of the 44 acre park. Take a look at the slide show attached to see a sneak peak of the Niles Scream Park before you go and check out the park yourself. Just make sure you are ready to say “Ahhhh”.