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2023 Question and Answer With Niles Scream Park

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MichiganHauntedHouses.com recently sat down with Peter Karlowicz of Niles Scream Park, to discuss what's new at Niles Scream Park for the 2023 Halloween Season!

What's new at Niles Scream Park for 2023? Do you have any new rides, attractions, or special features that Haunt Seekers should know about?

The real question here is, what is old? No really. Our business model and the philosophy of the Park always has and always will be never-ending change. We have year-round staff made up of Construction, Design and Special Effects teams that work through the brutally cold winter months to the blistering summers to make the magic happen. Sure, there are a few iconic sets that remain year-after-year, but approximately 70% of the entire Park has something new to offer. That is unheard of with most haunted attractions you visit.

What are you most excited about for the 2023 Halloween Season?

It’s our 50th Consecutive Season in operation. A huge statement and milestone in the haunted attraction industry. We are one of the grand daddies of haunted houses and when you visit, it’s easily noticed. During the planning stages of the 2023 Season, we didn’t want to open our gates like it was just another year. We did the best we could to make it a year to remember by packing our Midway Entertainment Schedule with many live performances such as fire dancers, DJ’s, special guests, a celebrity appearance and so much more. We didn’t stop there either! We hosted a 50th Year Gold Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, opened a free museum for those to feel nostalgic and take a step back in time reviewing decades worth of the Park’s history and we are providing a free gift (that is different each weekend) as you exit the Park.

In short, we are excited for people to participate in this historic milestone and all the hard work that we poured into the Park this season to help celebrate!

What differentiates Niles Scream Park from other local haunts in Michigan?

Well, not to beat a dead horse, but we feel the changes made to the Park on an annual basis provide enough justification to visit us. There are very few haunted attractions in the country that are blessed to have a full-time staff to make massive amounts of change happen so that you have something new to look forward to each year. We also are a true Scream Park and when you visit us to do everything the Park has to offer (i.e. a “Frightful Nightful”), you are on the property for hours. Yes, hours! The Midway offers SIX major attractions, four 5-minute escape rooms, three unique gift shops, concessions, games, live entertainment, covered waiting areas, an outdoor movie screen, roaming creatures, selfie stations and so much more!

How long has Niles Scream Park been in business? Can you tell us a bit more about Niles Scream Park's history?

The project was once known as the Greater Niles Jaycees Haunted House when it started back in 1974 in a location once known as the old Carnegie Library in downtown Niles. Throughout the course of time, the project quickly grew in popularity, and it migrated all over the community from two-semi trailers back up to one another, Barbara Jeans Restaurant, a Mushroom Factory, the Bell Road School House and now the Niles Scream Park on 44-acres on Mayflower Rd. Since 1974, the project continues to be run as a non-profit with the same model as the Jaycess with a primary focus on leadership and business development through acts of social service. One of our most basic beliefs is that in order to create positive social change, you must not only take collective action to benefit the community, but also continuously develop your skills as an individual leader.

Since records began in 1996, the project has donated over $2.4 million dollars back to the community. Last year alone, the project raised over $135,000 to over 50 nonprofit organizations.

What's your favorite experience since opening Niles Scream Park?

This one is easy! How many people in the ENTIRE WORLD get to say that they scare people for a living? We get the opportunity to meticulously create sets that are designed to “Scare the YELL out of you” and when the gates open for the first time each season, we get to see our twisted minds in action!

How long is a typical haunt experience at Niles Scream Park from start to finish?

This is entirely subjective as to what you want to experience. For the sake of thinking you want to experience everything the Park has to offer, you better arrive when the Park opens so that you do not feel rushed and have time to take everything in. Without wait times for each attraction you can expect the following: Niles Haunted House (20-25 minutes), Haunted Duplex (20-25 minutes), the Field of Screams (40-50 minutes), the Dark TERROR-tory Haunted Hayride (20 minutes) and Hooded (10 minutes).

On a scale from 1 to 10, how scary would you say Niles Scream Park is? Why?

Honestly, a solid 8. We know that we aren’t the “scariest haunted attraction” in Michigan or the country because there are methods to scare you that we do not use because we want it to be family friendly.

Does Niles Scream Park's property have any real haunted history? Do you have a spooky encounter you'd like to share?

The Park itself does not have a real haunted history; however, there have been very questionable occurrences. During the off-season, a member of our Design Team was casually walking down a hallway inside of the Niles Haunted House. He stopped dead in his tracks because someone was blocking his path that was unfamiliar to him. Keep in mind, when you work at the Park during the off-season, you know everyone that is on the property working with you. When you encounter anyone who is unfamiliar, it makes you uncomfortable and nervous. Well, this “person” continued to walk towards our team member, and he placed his hands up to stop them, but to no avail. This figure walked straight through him. We now know that we are never alone at the Park.

What inspired you to open up a haunted attraction? What's your favorite part of the business?

Believe it or not, the project proceeded me, but my involvement surrounded the need for doing good in the community through volunteering. The rest is history. Based on our legacy, my favorite part is seeing how much of an impact this project makes and hearing the stories told through three generations worth of families that have attended.

How has new technology (i.e. animatronics, special props, etc) helped you to enhance Niles Scream Park?

We would be foolish to say it hasn’t helped at all, right? Technology exists to make our life easier and that equally applies to haunted attractions. Nothing is better than a “real breathing creature,” but there are things that our beloved creatures simply cannot do. Well, some could, but we are very keen on safety! Technology in our haunted attractions exists to compliment the scare tactic and desired outcome with each set.

Can Niles Scream Park accommodate large groups? How many people can experience Niles Scream Park together as a group?

Located on 44-acres opens up pandoras box with this question. We can literally accommodate thousands on the property at any given time! As for a particular attraction, regardless of your size, we will break it down to no more than 6 people per group. That way we can provide a balanced experience for each member of the group.

Does Niles Scream Park offer any special deals, discounts, or coupons?

Yes, but you need to know where to look. Many coupons are provided by our partners and sponsors listed on our website. To guarantee a discount on a week-to-week basis during operation, we always recommend signing up for our newsletter (on our website). However, the absolute BEST deal the Park has to offer is known as the Sunday Super Slasher Special. When you purchased four or more Frightful Nightful packages, we cut the price almost in half per person. Read more on our website.

Anything else you'd like to let us know about Niles Scream Park?

If you love the essence of Halloween, this is the place for you!




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