Ten Years of Fear: Haunted Overload opens Friday the 13th

Your heart’s beating so fast you can hear the blood pulsing through your body. Gripping your friend’s arm tightly, you inch your way around corners and through dark corridors, always afraid something will jump out at you. The leaves rustle behind you, and nervously you look over your shoulder. You scream at the top of your lungs at the creature that is lurking  directly behind you glaring into your eyes.

One of the top 13 haunted attractions in the country is in our backyards. Located on DeMeritt Hill Farm off Route 155 in Lee NH, Haunted Overload will open today, Friday October 13th for it’s 10th season!

Haunted Overload is loved by many for it’s unique and entertaining environment. Tom Sadowski, the stage manager for the haunt, says, “it feels so much like Halloween, and people enjoy that and want to return to experience it. We have many people that have made it a tradition to come to the haunt because of it.” The haunt is able bring you deep into a world of Halloween, and can make you really believe that what you’re seeing is real.

The first thing you’ll notice upon arrival is that the team of volunteers and staff really go all out. The spectacular set, props, and costumes will amaze anyone. The haunt takes you on a walking trail through the woods and buildings, with creatures lurking around every corner.

There are three “levels of fear” offered. A Day Haunt, where you get to walk around in broad daylight without any of the actors. This is recomended for those who want to admire the set or for very young children.

The next “level of fear” is Fright Night Lite. These are their only scare free nighttime events, and it’s only offered on October 19th and 30th. Here you still won’t have to worry about the actors jumping out at you, but you’ll still get the to experience all of the lighting, sound effects and costumes. This is recommended for children and adults who aren’t quite ready for a full scare show.

If you want to be fully immersed in a Halloween world, you’ll have to go for the third “level of fear.” The only events with actors are the regular night events, and believe me they aren’t shy. They will follow you and stand right in front of you staring into your eyes. However, it is a rule that the actors can only touch you if you touch them, so don’t worry about being grabbed. This isn’t recommended for children.

During the other 11 months of the year, the Haunted Overload team doesn’t rest. The off season is spent building new structures and coming up with fresh costume ideas, so each October can be a whole new experience. It helps to “keep a sense of excitement that encourages people to return,” says Sadowski.

Audrey Ammann (‘19) is returning to the haunt for her 5th year of volunteering, and has been working on her new costume for months. “I’m really excited to see the crowd’s reaction,” says Ammann.

Ammann’s classmate and friend, Gabbe Albert (‘19), is returning for her 2nd year as a volunteer. “The group energy that comes out of clown tent feels like a family because everyone is working together to make this experience the scariest and most fun haunted walk-through for the customers,” says Albert.

The community’s passion for a good scare and the volunteer’s dedication really brings everything together. “People like how believable the setup and actors are… [Everyone is] always putting their best foot forward to make the experience a scary and fun one!” says Albert.

This year Haunted Overload has added several new features to the haunt, including a castle and a 50 foot monster (one of their tallest creations yet). “We have some gigantic surprises coming this year. They’re going to be totally over the top, literally!” says Ammann.

The haunt will be open until October 31st. A ticket to a regular night show costs $25 in advance or $29 at the door. It is recommended that you get your tickets online because the shows sell out quickly. Reserve your tickets here!

Photo Credit: Haunted Overload