Open every afternoon until Oct. 31, Frightmares brings 11 new attractions to Lagoon.
“Every day at 3 p.m. werewolves and Frankenstein and witches wander around the park in character,” said Lance Eastman, marketing representative at Lagoon. “They also put on performances on two separate stages throughout the night.”
The amusement park quickly shifts gears into Halloween mode.
“Frightmares manages to shorten the lines of all other rides here, including the big ones like Wicked, said Lauryn Schwebke, Lagoon worker. “People just love the haunted houses.”
Lagoon created a rating system for park-goers to know how scary rides are.
“Each Halloween attraction is rated on a spider-rating system in order to help people understand what they’re getting themselves into,” Eastman said. “A one-spider ride would not be very scary and is perfect for kids; whereas rides that are four-spiders, like the Hackenslash, you would not want to take kids into. In four-spider attractions there are chainsaws and hidden things that may be disturbing.”
Aimee Dyer of Kaysville has worked in Funhouse of Fear for four years.
“Mostly, I am a polka dot,” Dyer said. “The art of hiding in the wall to startle people. The people that are coming in come with expectations of getting scared, so that’s already that built in to the equation. It tends to make for a whole lot of energy in the Funhouse. It’s a good mix of screams and smiles.”
On each of the performing stages, Lagoon runs five to seven shows every night on the weekend. One stage is for kids and the other is for adults. Each show lasts about 20-30 minutes. The bride of Frankenstein, Wolfman, Elphaba and Catwoman are a few of the performers.
“It’s pretty exhausting doing so many shows but watching kids sing along and dance around make it all worth it,” Catwoman said. “And after every other show there are 15 minute opportunities where audience members can come up on stage and take pictures with members of the cast. People love that.”
Lagoon opened in 1886 with only one ride called Shoot the Shoots.
“It was a primitive version of the log ride,” Eastman said. “It was called Lake Park and was more of a dance hall with one ride. And it just progressed from there.”
Famous musicians who have performed at Lagoon include Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, Louis Armstrong, the Beach Boys, Ray Charles, Peter, Paul and Mary and many more.
“Frightmares has haunted the halls of Lagoon for 15 years now,” Eastman said. And it continues to bring in people looking to get scared by the droves.
“I love Halloween. I love to celebrate it all month long, and here at Lagoon you can really do that,” Dyer said.