For Milford residents, a good scare is a mere 20 minutes away at Georgetown's Screams at the Beach.
With an expanse of farmland and lonely back roads, southern Delaware has plenty of prime properties with a high creep-out factor. And, while many people are willing to travel long distances just to have the wits scared out of them, Milford residents are just a short 20 minute drive away from a good, haunting experience.
Screams at the Beach, located on the outskirts of the Sports at the Beach property in Georgetown, creaked open the gates at the end of September, keeping weekend hours until the week prior to Halloween, when the gates will be thrown open every evening from Tuesday, Oct. 24 through Tuesday, Oct. 30.
The facility actually features two components, one geared towards squeals of delight (All Hallows Farm) and the other towards shrieks of terror (Screams at the Beach).
The Shrieks of Terror
The Screams at the Beach experience includes five separate attractions: The Haunted Hayride, a cornfield maze, a cemetery trail, Asylum and House of Hallows. Oh, and an eight-foot tall clown, capable of running with a chainsaw.
Manager Mike Milliken said that due to the intensity of it, he recommends not bringing children younger than 12 years old.
"It's very in your face," Milliken said. "There's a lot of noise and a lot of smells, from back alley decay to the slaughterhouse."
As an employee of the company, Millikan speaks from experience, of course. However, the facility now has an official rating from Haunt Rater, a three-year old outfit out of Pennsylvania, whose main mission is visiting and rating as many haunted houses, spooky trails and scary experiences as possible.
For the most part, Haunt Rater has kept close to the Philadelphia area. However, this year, for the first time, the team decided to make the trek to southern Delaware to rate and review the experience. A rating can be as high as "five scares" or as low as "one scare," depending on the intensity of the experience. The rating system includes theme, originality, special effects and scare factor.
Friday night, the team trekked through each exhibit and by the weekend's close, had posted a "five scare" rating for Georgetown's Halloween attraction.
On Haunt Rater's website, www.hauntrater.com the review included a brief description of each part of the tour, including the attraction's pièce de résistance, the House of Hallows.
"Last, if your heart can still beat after the many horrors which you have faced, finish the experience of a lifetime by entering the "House of Hallows". Now, you must realize, "The Hallow" is an unforgiving soul who is out there to collect yours. He will not rest until you are his, forever. Run as you might, for this could truly be your last night! Don't let him get you. Hide, hide, hide, but I assure you, he will find you! He can hear you breathing! He can see the fear in your eyes!"
Squeals of Delight
Not everyone likes trembling with fear, even in a controlled environment and some are just too young to survive Halloween hauntings without nightmares. Screams at the Beach took this into consideration and created All Hallows Farm, which features less intense daytime activities for the kiddies. Through Sunday, Nov. 4, children can enjoy the wonders of the petting zoo, a giant jumping pillow, the playground, carnival games, gem mining and air cannons. There's even a dunk tank in the evenings and pig races on the weekends.
Admission prices vary. Expect to pay anywhere from $8 to $35, depending on how much you want to experience and how many people are in your group.
Celebrating a birthday this month? Milliken said they have party packages available that offers a customized experience. But, he also admits it's a bit worse when the actors know your name. Also, there are coupons floating around at Spirit Halloween stores that will take $5 off admission prices.
22518 Lewes Georgetown Highway, Georgetown(302) 856-7400Facebook-Screams at the BeachFacebook-All Hallows Farm