Matt Dunn loved Halloween when he was a kid, but not because it meant going door to door to requisition candy from strangers. “I was a born magician, and I always loved creating illusions,” said Matt. “Whenever Halloween was coming up, I’d stay home to rig up the entire house with strings and pulleys so I could move bushes and fly bats around when trick or treaters came to the door. I was like a deranged Macaulay Culkin.”Matt didn’t lose an ounce of his enthusiasm for spooking people when he grew up, so now he runs Scream Town. One of Minnesota’s biggest haunted attractions, Scream Town comprises more than 125 costumed actors, an absolute arsenal of Hollywood-grade props and animatronics, and the vision of a man who has taken delight in terrifying his visitors over the course of a lifetime. The entire farm Scream Town occupies is split up into eight zones, each a horrifying imagining of an environment you’d absolutely never want set foot in otherwise.
Oak Blood Forest is Scream Town’s premier attraction, a walk through over a dozen macabre set pieces strewn about 200 year old Tim Burton-esque trees. The Zombie Apocalypse simulates what it would be like if your childhood friends, coworkers, and family all wanted to turn you into pâté, complete with writhing arms bursting out of walls to senselessly grab at you. Santa’s Slay takes another beloved holiday and twists it into something indescribable, a nightmare of gore-soaked snow and misanthropic elves. The Circus Asylum is fraught with evil clowns — as though there were any other kind. (The abundance of clowns in haunted attractions reminds me of the words of Dan Avidan: “I’m convinced that 98% of the population hates clowns, and the remaining 2% are clowns.”)
If you get a Scream Town VIP pass, you can enjoy additional attractions that are so unsettling you first have to sign a waiver! Abandoned Down the Rabbit Hole gives attendees nothing but a pathetic lantern as they try to fumble helplessly through a Lewis Carroll inspired fever dream, beset on all sides by beasts and isolation. The Phobia House is a series of five rooms, each designed to pit you against your worst fears — snakes, home invasion, and even being buried alive are all on the menu here. Matt won’t reveal too much about Scream Town’s VIP attractions, but they’re nothing for the faint of heart. Bring your blankie.
“The reactions we get from our guests alone make it all worthwhile,” said Matt. “Scream Town provides an emotional experience that you could never get from a scary movie. The authenticity of our actors, the perfect placement of our lights and special effects, just the feel of being out of your comfort zone is something everyone should experience at least once. Even if you think you don’t like scary stuff, I challenge you to come give this a try. If we have to rescue you because you’re crying alone in the woods, we’ll be more than happy to.”
Scream Town is located at 7410 US-212 in Chaska. For more information about them and all of their attractions visit screamtown.com. As part of a special offer, bring your copy of Shop.Dine.Live. with you and receive $5 off the price of admission! It will be good to have a copy of Shop.Dine.Live. with you in any event, as our lovingly written articles and attractive advertisements may be just the thing to set your mind at ease after an exceptionally unsettling scare.
By David Scheller