Happening now in wilds of New Jersey: Fright Fest


Put down the knitting, the book and grab your broom, because life is a cabaret of witches, ghosts and goblins at Six Flags Great Adventure's Fright Fest, this weekend and next in Jackson, N.J.

You head into the dark and mysterious wilds of the Jersey Pine Barrens to find a be-ghouling assortment of horrors. Set as it is among October's blood-red birches, the park itself has been dressed up for Halloween. As you drive in, to the greetings of Bugs and Wile E. Coyote, the tone suddenly changes with a row of sinister-looking gargoyles at the entrance gate. (No, not the people who take your money.)

The Fright Fest's main attraction is a Haunted Hay Ride, a sort of narrative adventure featuring an ax-wielding, Jason-like character, complete with hockey mask and teen camp victims, a graveyard with George E. Romero-inspired creatures dining a la corpse, Honest John's coffin lot ("only used once") and a toxic-waste dump.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, stop by the "daily execution," performed on the guillotine by Dracky (magician John Bundy) -- who looks like a cross between Grandpa Munster and Rodney Dangerfield.

Kids may enjoy the "Special FX" presentation, which shows audience members the nuts and bolts of monster-building, while a witch will tell ghost stories in front of her caldron in Bugs Bunny Land (the park guarantees bad children won't be eaten).

For more information, call Six Flags at (908) 928-1821.

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