Indy Scream Park begins upon passing the ticket booth and entering the Monster Midway, which acts as both a central resting hub for weary travelers and a dark carnival of horrors. Our group discovered fairly priced concession items such as beer, elephant ears and water, picnic tables, fire spinners, a zombie-infested paint ball shooting range, games and friendly staff conveniently located on the Monster Midway. Patrons gathered around several large fire pits in the center of it all while monsters like this gigantic clown inconspicuously roamed the grounds to catch distracted haunted-housers off guard.
Looming to the left was a dark, gigantic barn erupting with screams. To the right, a backcountry woods flanked a cornfield featuring the silhouette of an eerily placed farmhouse centerpiece surrounded by bellowing fire blasts.
Indoors: Bedlam, Kurayami & Nachtmahr
The VIP fast pass provided exactly what Indy Scream Park promises: front of the line access- at least it did for us on opening weekend. However, if you opt to wait in line between attractions (five total), you may be thankful for the opportunity to catch your breath and strategize with your party before entering the next haunt.
Except strategizing is a wasted effort when each consecutive portion of the park hinders a different sense and provokes a different fear. After a trippy, glowing romp with Bedlam’s cackling clowns, hold on tight to your buddy as you navigate Kurayami’s shockingly dark maze where you must utilize sound, smell and touch to find your way out. The newly redesigned Nachtmahr is a mixed bag of original scenes and effects where you’re certain to be separated from your group by butchers and besieged by psychopaths armed with authentic medical equipment- all in the same haunt.
Outdoors: Infected & Backwoods
Indy Scream Park’s showcase attraction is unquestionably Infected, a gruesome twist on the traditional corn maze. Surrounded by distant gunshots while passing through tent stations filled with wounded soldiers and diseased locals, it’s easy to believe you’re really in the middle of a violent battle. When the trail empties into the front yard of the ominous farm house towering over the cornfield, take a deep breath as you approach the porch because- yes- you are about go inside of it.
If you make it out of the farm house virus-free, you’ll enter the Backwoods next. Along what could be a peaceful hike on a beautifully moonlit trail, hillbillies taunt their unwanted visitors and harass their unfortunate captives. It’s a socially awkward frolic through the forest and an effective cool-down from Infected’s blood-pumping adrenaline rush.
Here’s what my partner-in-crime, IndyMojo.com intern Gwen Wilson, had to say about some of her favorite moments:
Provided with a pair of snazzy 3D glasses, we entered Bedlam to meet walls painted in multiple medias of neon and blacklight. With a few scares here and there, the greater purpose of the attraction was to present attendees with something visually innovative, creative, and unique. My favorite was the revolving room that threw off my balance completely. Walking across a metal grate as a cylindrical wall rotates around it is a new way to scare your brain by messing with your senses. Overall, I loved Bedlam the most, especially for the artistry and craft behind its development.
My next favored attraction, Kurayami, was also the most intense for me. Heading into a dark room, the IndyMojo Staff quickly and instinctively clenched our sweaty palms together. We entered the attraction waiting for our first scare, but quickly realized this haunt relied on feeling your way through instead. Without a light in sight, we repetitively found ourselves mingling in a corner- unsure of where to lead the group next- until a spurt of air interrupted our confusion and reminded us that someone could be right behind me whispering in my ear.
Grab a carload of people and head up to Anderson for one the best haunts in the Indianapolis area. It’s absolutely worth the short drive and the price is totally right for the quality of entertainment.
5211 S New Columbus Rd
Anderson, IN 46013
Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Halloween 7 pm-midnight (general admission $27)
Open Thursdays and Sundays 7-10 pm (general admission $22)
Special thanks to Indy Mojo mofo Brandon “Puck” Connolly for his contributions to this review.