Did you know Western Michigan is teeming with haunted houses, corn mazes, hayrides, pumpkin patches, cider mills, fall festivals and Halloween parties? It’s simply a matter of finding them. While some are near and many are far, visiting a few of these creepy attractions can help you find your Halloween spirit.
Haunted Hatchery (Paris)
Get scared for a good cause. The Haunted Hatchery is hosted by Circle K International of Ferris State and all proceeds will be donated to local charities. This event also provides an opportunity for RSOs to gain volunteer hours by haunting the hatchery and all who enter. Two floors of fright are available and attendees can save a dollar on their ticket price by bringing a canned good.
•Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7 – 10:30 p.m.
•$5 for the main floor, $10 for both
Forest of Fear (Grand Rapids)
Five acres of woods, with nary a guide to navigate, this forest could be even creepier than your average corn maze, haunted house or nosy neighbor. Tread carefully.
•Thursdays and Sundays, dusk – 10 p.m.
•Fridays and Saturdays, dusk – 11 p.m.
The Haunt (Grand Rapids)
Bringing fright to the mitten for 13 years now, The Haunt is the place in Western Michigan for fans of chills and thrills. According to its website, “The Haunt was named the best haunted house in West Michigan and second best in the state in 2012 by mlive.com.” The site promises high quality scares and experienced people behind them. If an hour is an acceptable drive for a true Halloween experience, the highly reviewed Haunt awaits and also offers group discounts.
•7 – 11 p.m. weekends
•7 – 9 p.m. most weekdays
•7 – 10 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2
•$20 – $30
Witches’ Walk (Grand Rapids)
No maps and no phones. It’s only your friends, you and a dark, 7-foot-tall corn maze. While in Grand Rapids for one haunt, you might as well swing over to another. This rather impressive half-mile corn maze was reportedly built upon unmarked graves of unspecified origin, and now weird shapes and sounds can be seen and heard in the corn.
•Haunted evenings: dark – 11 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, $11
Big Rapids Fall Festival
The weekend of Oct. 25 and 26 will see Big Rapids’ downtown abuzz with fall events. These events include, but are not limited to: a chili cookoff, pumpkin carving, “Trunk or Treat” and “The Putting Dead.” There is also a celebrity pumpkin roll. Who qualifies as a Big Rapids celebrity? I don’t know. We’ll have to swing by to find out.
•Oct. 25: Chili Cookoff 5 – 7 p.m.
•Oct. 26: everything else, starting at 10:30 a.m.
Four Green Fields (Rodney)
Four Green Fields is about 10 minutes away and offers a number of seasonal options for all ages. With a pumpkin patch for browsing, leisurely, reserved beforehand wagon rides and a corn maze that comes with a daytime and a nighttime, haunted-by-volunteers option, there’s no lack of activities. The maze is ever-improving based on customer feedback, with three levels of difficulty.
•Haunted corn maze: 8 – 10:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturday, $4
•Corn Maze: Noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 – 5 p.m. Sunday, $4
Movies in the Park (Grand Rapids)
For some, haunted houses are a step too far. The movies are a love most people can share, though, especially the two showing in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids: “Hocus Pocus” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Costumes, chairs and refreshments are encouraged, and the screenings are free.
•Friday, October 25, 5:50 p.m.