The Overlord, who has ruled Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt, lo these many years, will meet his doom at the hands of Her Evil Queen Majesty this year.
“He starts off summoning the monsters, but the Evil Queen Majesty has grown tired of his tactics, so she’s ready to overthrow him. There’s some theatrics involved, and by the end of the night, he is no more,” said Kings Dominion spokeswoman Maggie Sellers.
Some of the Overlord’s followers who array themselves against Her Evil Queen Majesty don’t last the night, either.
The minions meet their doom during “Blood Reign” and “Heads will Roll,” two French Revolution-themed scare zone shows tied into “Masquerade,” which are all a part of Halloween Haunt.
“The Overlord’s minions who don’t want to conform to Queen Majesty’s rule, get pulled out and beheaded,” Sellers said. “We have a great illusionist team. The guests get involved with chanting, and it’s a lot of fun.”
Other attractions at Halloween Haunt, which runs through Nov. 2, include “The Coven,” a roving show of witches in search of mischief, and the “Cornstalkers,” where pumpkin-themed monsters haunt a maze of decaying cornstalks.
“There’s a lot of glowing pumpkins. It’s very thrilling and very interesting,” Sellers said.
Scare zones at the park include “IronWorx,” “Cleaver Brothers Carnival” and “Pumpkin Eater.”
“Pumpkin Eater” is set in the American Revolution era and revolves around pumpkin farmer Peter Armstrong, who murdered his wife and hid her body in a large pumpkin. He soon starts seeing apparitions and goes about murdering others. Jack-o’-lantern-faced monsters will roam and frighten visitors, Sellers said.
“IronWorx,” along Center Street near the Eiffel Tower, depicts a future where creatures of nightmares have declared war on man and man has taken up the challenge.
“The costuming is very intricate and very neat. It’s kind of a steam punk-themed scare zone where these characters, through the use of prosthetics and special effects, have electronics on their faces and body parts. It’s just a very visual experience,” Sellers said.
More than 400 monsters, including zombies, scarecrows, clowns, witches, ghosts and the undead, will also roam the park with the sole aim of scaring people.
“There’s monsters everywhere you turn,” Sellers said.
During the day, the Peanuts crew will be at the park to entertain children between noon and 5 p.m. with pumpkin decorating, hay mazes and other activities.
“The Peanuts gang has dressed up for Halloween so kids can trick or treat with them. There’s a new puppet show and some other shows,” Sellers said.
A DATE WITH DRACULA
Fright Fest at Six Flags America will include the show “CURS3D! After Dark,” featuring two vampire hunters who find more terror and blood than they bargained for when they go to Dracula’s castle.
“They go to Dracula’s lab because they want to kill Dracula, but once people see the show, they’ll see Dracula in a whole new light,” said Six Flags spokeswoman Denise Stokes.
“CURS3D!” includes strong language, however, shows during the day are more suited to younger audiences, Stokes said.
The park will also be home to “FLESH,” the naughty, burlesque-style show that is unexpected on the stage at Six Flags.
“It’s very risqué and has very sultry dance moves,” she said.
Another show, “The Doctor’s Revenge,” centers on the battle between Van Helsing and Frankenstein, as Frankenstein strives to bring his dead wife back to life.
Other events at the park, open weekends through Nov. 3, will include Halloween Hop and access to all the rides that are especially thrilling in the dark, Stokes said.
“They love to be able to ride our coasters in the dark,” Stokes said of visitors who come to Fright Fest. “You can’t really see what’s coming before you in the dark, so that element adds to the scare factor.”
The “Monster Stomp” offers children a music bash with family-friendly monsters get into the groove on the Looney Tunes Spooky Town Stage.
During the Kids Halloween Costume Contest, children 10 and younger are encouraged to dress up as cowboys, princesses, ghouls, ghosts or anything they want to be for the daily 5 p.m. contest at the Chesapeake Stunt Area. Participants should be at the stage by 4:45 p.m.
Stokes said Fright Fest beats any horror movie.
“People can come in for Fright by Night and stay the three or four hours that we’re open. You don’t get many three- to four-hour movies, so it’s better than any horror movie experience,” she said.
WELCOME BACK, JACK
Offerings at Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Howl-O-Scream include “Night Beats: Revamped,” “The Vault: Overtaken” and “Jack is Back.”
“Night Beats: Revamped” is performed in a cemetery-like setting at Das Festhaus in the park’s Germany area.
“Dancers and singers perform to several genres of music from the ’70s to today, and all the music is performed by a live band,” said Busch Gardens Williamsburg spokeswoman Cindy Sarko.
“The Vault: Overtaken” is the newest haunted house at the park and features “new creature favorites from past Howl-O-Scream experiences, like Igor, Freakenstein and the famous Fiends nurses who will now take over some of the haunts,” Sarko said.
“Jack is Back” returns after a nearly 10-year hiatus and will be performed several times at night in the town square in the Ireland Village. Visitors can also join Jack in the street-style performance.
“Guests can join in the fun by dancing with stilt-walker pumpkins, scarecrows and Jack himself during this disco dancing celebration,” Sarko said.
Howl-O-Scream, which runs through Oct. 27, will also offer two escape rooms called “Grave Obsession” and “Jack’s Twisted Terror,” where a maximum of six players try to get out of locked rooms full of terrors in 30 minutes.
“The experience also includes one complimentary digital photo to take home as a scary keepsake,” said Sarko, who added that it’s best to book a room for the popular attractions in advance onthe park’s website.
There will also be frights around the rides at the park as the Coaster Creepers make appearances.
“They lurk around the park’s roller coasters and shock unsuspecting riders as they board the coasters. No one knows who may be sitting near them until it’s too late,” Sarko said.
Howl-O-Scream will also be a fun place for children during the day, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., before things get too scary, Sarko said.
Children 9 and younger can dress up for a dance party during “The Count’s Spooktacular” at the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. Here, families will find trick-or-treat stations, mazes and the “Countdown to Halloween” show, an interactive performance with the Count and all of his friends.
Other “Sesame Street” characters who will visit the park decked out in their Halloween best include Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Super Grover and Bert and Ernie.