It’s the final countdown to Halloween and if you’re still looking for ways to get in the spirit, look no farther Decimation Scream Park – a haunted attraction right over the town line at The Only Game in Town in North Haven.
The website for Decimation Scream Park explains the back-story to their Gaslight Sanatorium as having a staff that contracted a virus in the 1800s and “just cannot die…If you are brave enough to enter the sanatorium, you will encounter heart stopping scenes, scents, and screams.”
And who’s behind the scenes of this Scream Park? Two college students – Anthony Wolfgang Reckart and Bobby Arel – who live in East Haven. Arel, who is studying nursing at Southern Connecticut State University, is a lifelong East Haven resident. Reckart moved to East Haven from Florida and is now studying business at Gateway Community College.
Arel has been involved in haunted attractions since 2008 – and he’s only 20 now – when he began volunteering with Fright Haven in West Haven.
“We had run Decimation Haunted House in Colorado since 2010 but my friends opened another business so we shipped the entire attraction here in a giant trailer,” said Arel.
Though Arel was excited to open the attraction close to his hometown, it wasn’t an easy road. The pair had a New Haven location ready to go and just two weeks before it was set to open, they had to move due to issues with their landlord.
Luckily Arel and Reckart found people who “love Halloween as much as we do” at The Only Game in Town in North Haven. They moved the entire set to the new location and opened on schedule.
“The owners are great people and were total life-savers,” said Arel.
The owners of the facility aren’t the only ones who are helping to make this possible as the entire cast of ghouls, goblins and more are volunteers, too. Arel said he works year-round between the planning, designing and creating of his “extreme hobby.”
“This isn’t something you do for the money, it’s because you love it,” said Arel. “Everyone there is a volunteer and they are all incredible. They love to act, love Halloween and want to help out a great cause.”
Proceeds from Decimation Scream Park benefit the American Cancer Society, a cause Arel has helped in the past by creating a one-day haunted house at past Relay for Life events. In the future, he plans on giving back to more local organizations, as well.
“We already have plans on expanding for next year,” said Arel. “We want to keep this alive as long as we possibly can because everyone has an ungodly amount of fun doing it.”
There are seven more nights to enjoy the horror in 2012. Hours are 7 to 11 p.m. on Oct. 26 and 27 and Nov. 2 and 3; 7 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 1 and 7 to 10 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31. Cost is $10 or $15 for the VIP package.