It is almost that time of year when children, teenagers and adults alike dress up in their best costumes with the hopes of obtaining a bag full of candy ― all while being chased and frightened by zombies, vampires and goblins as they rise from their slumber. You can almost sense the doom in the air. That’s right folks, Hallow’s Eve is approaching.
During the Halloween season, it’s always fun to try and scare your family and friends. While practical jokes may suffice, one great way to spook your loved ones is to attend a haunted house. I had the great opportunity to preview a new, truly frightening park that is sure to deliver on shrills and chills ― Panic Park.
Legend has it that Panic Park used to be a lovely community pool and park. Things were going well for the owner, until one day he faced financial troubles. In order to solve this problem, he decided to start storing toxic sludge for nuclear companies in order to earn more money. What he didn’t anticipate, however, was that the sludge would change his employees into flesh-eating zombies. The zombies overran the park and to this day, they live there with the hopes of finding new flesh to eat.
As I toured the zombie-filled park, I had the chance to enter three terrifying main attractions. The first was the Toxic Waste 4D maze, where guests are required to wear 3D glasses as zombies and deformed “employees” jump out at you from almost every corner. I was truly afraid during this tour because the 3D glasses make the zombies seem farther than they really are, until you realize it is too late to run as they descend on you for your brain. The second was the Hollywood Back Lot Tour. In this fun maze, guests are able to walk through old movie sets and watch as the actors and directors become manic as they obsess over their murderous roles and try to make you stay for a starring role in their horror films. Beware of this maze because you just may become a victim of their movie!
The last, and most certainly not least (scary, that is), is the Hellbilly Hideout. This was my least favorite only because it was the one that made me the most nervous, scared, jumpy ― and the one that truly made me scream out loud. Upon entering this maze, you walk in-between these large wooden fences and all you hear … is silence. You can’t see anything and already begin expecting the worst. Then you are brought into the maze, where all you see are bushes, small homes and a skinny, black pathway leading you into the darkness. Then “hellbillies” pop-out of nowhere and try to convince you to stay for dinner ― or more like stay and become dinner. The characters and visual settings were eerie and disturbing, providing me with chills, goosebumps and many high-pitched screams.
After finally escaping the “hellbillies” as they tried to chase me down, I was able to tour the rest of the grounds safely. Some other fun attractions include a small Kid’s Zone haunted house, a zombie shoot-out game, where guests can try and fight zombies with a paintball gun, and a “How To Train Your Zombie” show, which teaches guests how to fool a zombie into not chasing you.
The haunted attraction proved to be fun and spooky for people of all ages, and I’m happy to say that I survived the nigh
Panic Park will open for tours starting Friday, September 28 and last until Halloween night. Attend this spine-tingling event with the family if you think you stand a chance against zombies, but beware because you may just lose your brain!
For more information about Panic Park, please visit thepanicpark.com.
8800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Tickets: $5, general admission; $27, all access pass; $35 super pass