They’re heeere… By Michelle Kaplan

It’s that time again when the Netherworld creeps into the here and now to scare the bejesus out of us all – and we love it.

Halloween is here and with it, Fright Nights at the South Florida Fairgrounds. Over the course of four weekends – Oct. 10-11, Oct. 16-18, Oct. 23-25 and Oct. 30 thru Nov. 1 – the midway gives way to, carnival rides, of course, but more importantly an outlet for all the things that go bump in the night. There will be not one, not two, but three haunted houses.

Up to 50,000 victims, err…attendees are expected to brave it out through the three houses of horror: New World Order, Vile and the Flamingo Hotel. There also will be the unavoidable scare zones where unsuspecting guests will encounter strange and creepy characters.

My advice? Wear your Depends!

“If it feels real, it should,” said Creative Director Craig McInnis, who frequently visits a lot of local haunts, and not just of the funhouse variety. He also checks out the real deal – actual haunted places.

In addition there’ll be Behind the Scenes tours for $10. There’s also a Monster Bash Costume Party on Oct. 26 from 6 p.m. until midnight. Admission is $10. Prizes from $100 to $500 will be awarded in a costume contest.

So what scares the scare master?

“First of all I don’t like heights,” McInnis said. “But referring to Halloween scares and walking through haunted houses – real or otherwise –  I think the feeling of solitude and quiet builds tension and gets my mind racing with the horrible possibilities of what could happen.”

Admission is $25 for three haunted houses and unlimited carnival rides, $15 for three haunted houses and no rides, or $10 for an unlimited rides wristband. An “R.I.P. Pass” (a fast pass to skip to the front of the line) is an additional $5.

Too scary? For parents of children under 12 years old (or just scaredy-cat parents) there’s Spookyville, an old-fashioned Halloween event on Halloween, Oct. 17-19, Oct. 24-26 and Oct. 31.

To purchase tickets, or for more information, visit www.southfloridafair.com or www.myfrightnights.com, or call (561) 793-0333.

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