How Screamfest Will Change Your Idea of Fun

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

Nina Gordon, Writer

When the leaves start changing colors and the air starts getting brisk, Pentucket students know that spooky season has begun. One thing that the majority of Pentucket students do when fall comes around is go to the popular event, Screamfest, at Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire. But, what is it that makes this event so popular?

Unlike the regular attractions and festivities that occur at Canobie Lake, Screamfest includes haunted houses, scare actors, along with the original amusement park rides. To see the appeal of Screamfest, my friends and I went to try and uncover it.

Screamfest takes place on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the whole month of October. Both prices and times vary depending on the day you decide to go. I went on Friday, the 22nd, and the total price for a ticket was $49 and the event lasted from 5pm – 11pm. In addition, the regular park is open all day.


When we arrived, we immediately were greeted with lights that filled up the sky, neon signs that said “Screamfest”, and other creative spooky decorations. I was shocked by the short amount of time it took from getting into the parking lot to getting into the park. 

We ordered the tickets online, which helped the process move faster, but overall, it took only 5 minutes from the time we got into the parking lot to the time we got into the park. The time was 6 P.M., so that meant we only had 5 hours of festivities. Before we went on anything scary, we decided to go on some rides. 


The first ride we went on was the Pirate Ship. The wait took about 15 minutes, but I feel like it went by fast. The next ride we went on was the Xtreme frisbee. This wait took about 20 minutes, not including the time it took to walk to the ride. After this ride, you felt as if you had pure adrenaline coursing through your body, making you think you could go on 100 more rides!

Lastly, we went to the Psychodrome, which took about 30 minutes. This ride was very fascinating. It had very bright and lively colors that made every minute feel like a party.

(Photo Source:PEXELS)


After we finished with some rides, the time was about 7:40 pm. Canobie offers many food options, but the closest one to us was the Be-Bop Diner. The price for the chicken finger basket was $14.75, which, at first, seemed really pricey. Also, this price did not include the price of a drink.

Though the food was pricey, it was very enjoyable. The amount of food was almost too much to handle. It included 6 large and crispy chicken fingers and about three handfuls of salty steak fries. After we were done, we left full, with plenty of leftovers, and ready to go to a haunted house.

The Haunted Houses

At Canobie, there is a total of 5 haunted houses, all with different themes and different scares. The first haunted house we went into was a double, meaning after you finished one, you went straight into the next one. The wait time for this was an hour, which to us seemed a little extreme, until we went in. Being in both of them took about 10 minutes (for me who ran through the whole thing out of fear). 

It was filled with scary characters, such as clowns and nuns, who fed off your fear as you went through it. They could follow you, scare you, but they could not touch you! If haunted houses are out of your comfort zone, believe me, you will feel safe. Everyone who enters is reassured that the actors can’t touch them and all exit signs are visible for those who need it.

At the end of all the mirror mazes and the moving floors, me and my friends had a good laugh and continued talking about the events that happened in the haunted house all night. The only thing it cost us was the strain in our voices from all the screaming.

At 9:30 P.M. we decided to take a ride on the Antique-Cars  to take a break from the scares. The cars allowed us to have a really relaxing ride.During the ride, we cooled down and got to see some of the other ongoing parts of the park around us. 

Following the cars, we decided to go to the final haunted houses. The wait for them was a total of 10 minutes, which included going in all 3 back to back. All of them combined took a total of 15 minutes. 

Some technical aspects of these haunted houses include electric chairs, dead bodies, and mad scientists. While in the haunted house, an actor decided to follow us and scare us throughout the entire attraction!

At the end of the house, along with the repetitive screams and laughs, we noticed another thing that made the experience so fun: getting to know the people in line who were either in front of us or behind us. It was interesting to see how they reacted to the events that happened in the haunted house and why they came to screamfest in the first place. 

(Photo Source: PEXELS)

The Final Moments

After the final house, we knew that our experience at Screamfest was almost over. The time was 10:13 P.M, however, lines for rides close at 10:30 P.M, so luckily we could find one last ride to fit on. We decided to go on the Twist & Shout. It made us let out a good laugh and, just like that, the night came to an end.

Before we left, we treated ourselves to some Dippin Dots ice cream. It was $5.50 for a small, and it was delicious. It stuck to your tongue and tasted icy and refreshing.

Overall, I think what makes Screamfest so popular is the memories you can make while you’re there. When you’re there, you don’t think about the long lines or the time you have left, all you can think about is what you are doing in the moment. It’s like the saying, “time flies when you’re having fun”. 

Going to Screamfest was an experience that I will never forget, and I will cherish the memories we created. Spooky season is truly made special with the addition of Screamfest. I recommend you go next October to see how much fun you can have.