Tis the Season to be Spooky: Surviving Monsters, Mayhem and Renegade Pumpkins at Six Flags’ Fright Fest

By Spookie Susie
Contributing Blogger

Thrills! Chills! Roller coasters! Renegade pumpkins? Yes, it’s true. You will experience all this and more at Six Flags Over Georgia’s annual Fright Fest, Atlanta’s largest Halloween event, every Saturday and Sunday in October, and Friday evenings on October 21 and 28. Come with me as Kellyn Willey, proprietress of Atlanta’s PinUpGirl! Cosmetics (and recent Kool Kat), and I step into the haunted realm and hope to return in one piece.

 

Kellyn Willey and Spookie Susie meet a few dead spirits at Six Flags' Fright Fest.

Six Flags Over Georgia opened its doors back in 1967. It has seen plenty of changes throughout the years, but on this night in particular the entire park has been transformed from summer carnival to crypt, crawling with corpses, tombstones and enough cobwebs to choke the world’s largest tarantula.

The candy-colored creatures of Monster Mansion. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia.

Our very first stop once we got in the park was Monster Mansion, the ride formerly known as Monster Plantation. I have loved this ride since I was a little kid—and, amazingly, I remembered right where it was. Monster Plantation opened back in 1981 and was revamped in 2009. While we were standing in line, flat screens played popular music videos and interviews with park attendees. Once we got in our boat and entered the Plantation, it was almost exactly as I remembered it, but everything looked brighter and refurbished. There was definitely more water and even some bubbles, but all the old favorites were in attendance, including the Sheriff, Missy Scarlett and Busby, the little monster mascot named after Georgia’s Governor at the time the ride opened, George Busbee.

Near the end of the ride, we suddenly came to stop behind another boat. Steadily, other boats lined up behind ours, and some of the younger guests started getting antsy. Several staff members arrived, and the mystery of the stuck boats was solved. The culprit? A pumpkin had fallen onto the track out of the scenery! That was one tough squash!

Every haunted house needs at least one creepy child. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia.

After we survived Monster Plantation, we headed off to the USA Section to check out the Terror Train. According to Six Flags, the Terror Train is “no ordinary railroad, as it takes riders to an old gold mining town that was the scene of a gruesome murder in the early 1800s, known today as Bloodtown.” We enjoyed the ride through the park that was peppered with leering animatronics, live actors and plenty of spooky scenery.

From there, we headed over to Dr. Fright’s Frightorium, Six Flags’ haunted house. The story goes that it was once home to Dr. Fright, a deranged doc who took to experimenting on his patients in an attempt to re-animate his deceased wife and daughter. Filled with live actors, winding hallways, gruesome scenes and even the occasional chainsaw, I admit, I got spooked more than once! Standing outside afterwards, listening to the sound of shrieks mingled with pneumatics firing, the pounding of running feet mingled with the roar of chainsaws and laughter…made me really miss the haunt industry!

Chainsaws slash at Fright Fest. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia.

The spooky residents of Fright Fest are more along the lines of your TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE slasher-types. There are creepy kids à la THE EXORCIST, too, and a tribute to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (my first introduction to horror as child—the Lon Chaney Sr. silent version!) in the front of the park. Of course, there are also a few mad scientists skulking about as well. Overall, I’d say there is a good mix of old and new horror stylings.

To round out the evening, we rode Dare Devil Dive (twice!) and Goliath. Both coasters were new to me—I highly recommend Dare Devil Dive! Goliath had a few too many air-between-my-bum-and-the-seat moments for me, but for all you adrenaline junkies out there, have at it! I can definitely say both of these coasters are a far cry from the good old Great American Scream Machine, the first real roller coaster I ever rode at Six Flags!

Even Bugs Bunny has a Halloween costume in more kid-friendly Spookytown. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia.

All in all, plenty of good haunted fun was to be had at Six Flags Over Georgia’s Fright Fest, including lots of scary-free Halloween activities for wee ones under 13 ranging from costume contests to a goblin dance party, all located in Bugs Bunny’s Spooky Town. For the grown-ups and brave at heart, the attractions take a frightful turn after nightfall, including live performances, rides and even spooktacular bumper cars.

ATLRetro Terrifying Trivia: Back in the 1970s, Six Flags Over Georgia used to have a permanent haunted attraction called the Horror Cave. Located in the Spanish Fortress, it featured animatronic vampires, giant spiders, and several classic Universal Monster characters, and had a slide for an exit!

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