We went to Ghost Lake at Conneaut Lake Park this week. What a drive. I was under the impression that it was near Conneaut, Ohio. Which, if I had just looked at a map I would have realized that this was a false interpretation of it's proximal location. It's not really close to Conneaut, Ohio. It's much closer to Conneaut Lake, PA. Meaning that it's in Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania. Either way, after our 1 hour and 45 minute drive into the middle of nowhere PA, we get there and park in the largest mud pit in which you might have the pleasure to park your vehicle. I was gonnna drive this week, and it's probably a good thing I didn't cause I think the mud would have sucked my car into it's dark depths, but I had a flat tire.
My aunt gave us coupons, so that was rock on awesome. The park boasts 9 haunted houses which take you more than 1.5 hours to complete, if you dare... We dared. So we pay and enter and...walk around without much idea of where we are going. I kind of thought that the park would be operating rides, since it's an amusement park. I guess I kind of figured it'd be like it was when we went to Geauga Lake when it was still around, you know, amusement park is operating and haunted houses are going. No biggie, honestly, I was just saying. And apparently there was some type of fall festival going on in the daytime, all the tents were up and covered from the rain in the main concourse.
We walk around kind of aimlessly for a few until we see a booth selling tickets to the dodgem cars turned into Karney horror freak show ($2 extra) and ask and she points us in the right direction. Which we might not have found otherwise, because as we walked in the indicated direction, we were kind of leaving the park. Or so it seemed. As we walked by the Kiddie Park (which they really missed out on the scare factor, the giant bulbous clown head mounted above kiddie park is purely the stuff horror movies dream of recreating) we were slowly entering into a residential block. And then, there it was, the first condemned building, I mean the first house. I think I was more afraid I would fall through the floor or down the steps or off the bannister than of anything else in the house. My fears of tetanus and caving floors would become a common theme throughout the night. Since I didn't actually fall through the floor or get tetanus (that I know of, I did get splinter), it was good for the pump of adrenaline.
We finished the first house and it was pretty fun. Found out really quickly that Pennsylvania haunted houses are very touchy-feely. I got grabbed, touched, chainsawed, punched in the head (accidentally?) once and generally haunted house groped. It was cool with me, it makes things creepier and fun. Hopefully no one tries to punch out an actor, though, I think there's a reason that they don't allow that kind of stuff in haunted houses...Needless, to say, that shit wouldn't fly in Cleveland. But, I liked it. I think it's fun. We dump out on the same street and...follow the block, passing houses where people are living, a Halloween/fall bonfire in the back yard of one, some guy sitting in his patio, people watching TV. It really felt like we were trick or treating, which made the whole thing kind of surreal in a way.
It was a nice change of pace from the normal haunted house recipe that seems to be commonly followed. We proceeded to go into Conneaut Hotel, under the beach house/boardwalk, into another condemned house, a maze in a barn made of hay, into an arcade and a storehouse. All the houses were inside, which was nice, since it was raining off and on, so we only had to be in the rain while waiting in line or walking to the next house.
The last "house" was just riding the blue streak "ghouler" coaster in the dark. Which was pretty awesome. I really like riding a new roller coaster for the first time in the dark, you don't know what's coming and it makes it even more awesome. Also, I am a sucker for wooden roller coasters, maybe it's my nostalgia from the Big Dipper. I don't know. Either way...it was awesome.
I really liked this house, even though it was really far away from our base of operations. The whole night (all 9 haunted houses) cost only $20.00, if you find the coupon, available at Arbys in the Youngstown market, you get 2 bucks off. It was an awesome deal.
I give this house 8.5 out of 10 crazy chainsaw guys.
I'm giving it such a high score because of the 'trick or treat' feel it had, the value, and the overall charisma of the place and the actors. I'm not saying the actors were great, but some of them were, and most all of them were having fun. You can tell these things. And it makes a difference.