Fright Fest Experience


­Located in the town of Gurnee lies Six Flags Great America, known for many attractions and thrilling roller coasters.

The amusement park celebrates its 27th year of the annual Fright Fest with haunting attractions and horror-themed rides.

In the spirit of Halloween, we staff writers for East Side News arrived at the park in order to test out those attractions.

Rayne, a veteran to horror, skillfully guided Mikaela through the ins and outs of Fright Fest.

Unfortunately, the rain came in and shut many of the rides down.

However, some rides were still in working order, including MaxxForce; a new ride said to reach speeds of 78 mph in two seconds. What follows is a dialogue of our experience.


Mikaela Ramirez/M: Honestly, I don’t know what compelled me to join you on that ride.


Rayne Branch/R: I forced you get on, and it was raining. So, you had no choice.


M: Yeah, that’s probably it. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I was cold, hungry, and lacking my sense of survival. I sat there regretting all my life choices, Rayne.


R: I was so excited for the ride and thinking about churros.


M: So, I was standing over there dying inside, and you were thinking about churros? Nice to know you understand my suffering.


R: Yeah, pretty much.


M: Well, at least it was fun.


Out of all the horror-themed rides, we were only able to ride the Revolution, Hometown Fun Machine, and the Condor which all spun in increasing speeds and extreme heights.

The rides were not decorated to fit the theme of horror, but still looked eerie at night as the fog filled the park.

But before the fog and Fright Fest actors start running rampant around the park. Six Flags started the haunting with their show “Uprising: Nightly Call of the Dead,” which featured actors dressed as zombies performing a ritual to summon their demon lord, Nox.


[Actor slips]

M: Whoopsie doopsie. Looks like someone lost their footing.


R: Really? I thought that was part of the performance.


M: No, I don’t think it was. But hey, if his mess up was enough to fool you, then it was probably enough to fool the audience.


When the performance ended, the actors dispersed from the stage and took their places behind a giant door to start the parade. The doors opened and the ‘zombies’ stumbled out accompanied by other actors in different costumes in accordance to assigned scare zones. The costumes were put together beautifully, and the makeup fit each character well.


M: You know, I think there was a guy wearing a toilet lid around his shoulders.


R: Uh, I don’t think so. It looked more like a reverse bear trap from the movie Saw.


M: No. No. The reverse bear trap is bulkier. It was a toilet seat.


Afterwards, the actors were free to roam the park and scare visitors while others tended to the haunted attractions.

Of the seven haunted attractions, two were accessible on this night: The Gates of Hell and 13th Order. Both have reputations as the scariest of all.

Thanks to the help of the fast pass, we sped through the lines of both haunted houses.


M: I think what happened was that you absorbed all my fear because I gained the confidence I never thought I had. Also, if I remember correctly, weren’t you talking about how you would handle the houses just fine while I would be cowering in a corner with the little experience I have with haunted houses?


R: Well, I was scared. To be fair, only crazy people say “hi” to the monsters.


M: Excusez-moi, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I was being a decent human being and saying “hi” to people doing a great job scaring you.


R: There was blood and gore everywhere in the 13th Order and cult members sitting around a table eating guts and stuff. Also, if you remember, the actors were whispering in my ear saying, “What’s wrong my child?” I don’t mess with that stuff.


M: It wasn’t that bad. I must admit. It was impressive with how realistic the gore looked. Also, it was kind of funny how the actors ignored me and went straight to you after greeting me. You were like a magnet attracting all the horror.


The day came to an end as we left Six Flags with our lives (mostly Rayne’s) barely intact. On that day, we learned that Fright Fest is not for the faint of heart, but overall the night was a fun experience.