BY MARYSSA MCFADDEN
Halloween has a different meaning for everyone. For some it means trick-or-treating, candy and costumes. For others it signifies the beginning of fall, pumpkins and colourful leaves. However, for the staff of Bingemans it means blood-curdling screams and a haunting experience for any guest planning to visit their park this month.
Bingemans opened the doors to Screampark for the ninth year on Sept. 26. This marked the start of screaming season and, just like the ones in the past, this year will have new attractions to frighten every customer who walks through the gates.
“Every year we build three brand-new themed houses (The Morgue, Devils Rejects and Hotel Kalifornia) all with their own unique, terrifying theme, actors and scare tactics. To help people either pump themselves up before going through the houses or help them feel like they can get a little payback after, we added the Undead Target Range where you have the rare opportunity to shoot paintball guns at live zombies,” said Andrea Conyers, Screampark manager.
With this being Bingemans ninth year running the Screampark attraction, some might wonder how they gain and keep customers, but they say it is the variety of their products that continually attract people to Bingemans.
“We do get a ton of returning customers, not only because they had a great experience their first visit, but they are always curious to try some of the other products they missed. We had such tremendous growth in recent years that people really don’t know how many products we offer now until they’re here and see it first-hand,” said Alison Rath, Bingemans marketing co-ordinator.
Bingemans has a current “chicken count” of people who were too scared to complete the Screampark. That number is now over 1,200 and, although plenty of people have visited Screampark before, there is nothing they can do to get ready for what lies in wait this year.
Rath said Screampark is not for the faint of heart.
“Our team does everything in its power to make sure it is the ultimate in horror and all things Halloween. Although, everyone leaves Screampark laughing and talking about how much fun they had,” she said.
Rath advised people to come early in the evening to get the most out of the experience.
“We draw large numbers from the region each year and lines can get a little long especially the closer we get to Halloween,” she said. “We do go out of our way to make sure everyone gets the full Screampark experience though, even when you’re waiting in line.”
Tickets for Screampark range from $12 to $28 and are available at Bingemans and on their website. The haunted village is open for the next two weekends, Oct. 10 to 12 and 17 to 19, before they open full-time from Oct. 23 to Nov. 2. For more information visit www.screampark.ca/.