Where: 6402 W. Highway 40 When: Every Thursday-Sunday until the end of October
Greg Allen is a man that sees the importance in making the Halloween season a fright-tacular time. The creator, owner and head operator of FearFest Haunted House, has made it his mission to provide a chilling yet fun environment for any crowd of people looking to be spooked.
“We’re not trying to scare people to death,” Allen says. “Our main goal is that everybody who comes leaves with a smile on their face. If that means they are getting scared or they’re laughing at the people in their group who got scared, it’s always in good fun.”
Starting as a simple, non-profit organization run in Allen’s house, FearFest has flourished into one of Columbia’s best options for haunted houses with four separate attractions on the property, each with equally terrifying value.
“FearFest has expanded an unbelievable amount since our first year in 2003,” Allen says. “My wife and I run the entire business. She does all the makeup and handles everything regarding the actors.”
Including four options for bloodcurdling activity, FearFest offers numerous routes of terror. The first spot is “Cursed,” an ancient-looking farmhouse with distorted faces and blood splattered weapons inhibiting the establishment. A truly petrifying branch of FearFest, “Cursed” provides spectators plenty of pop-out scares, with actors freaking out each customer.
“‘Cursed’ is a more traditional type of a haunted house,” Allen says. “This year we rebuilt the entire facility, and it’s better than ever.”
Second comes the creatively intense “Zombie Safari,” where patrons are given paintball guns that are mounted on wagons and are directed to open fire on the zombies that run throughout the field ahead of you. Innovative and exhilarating, while also showing the supreme makeup skills FearFest provides for its actors, “Zombie Safari” is the undeniable elite branch of all the attractions.
Once done mowing down the undead, attendees are brought to the woods part of the property called “The Forgotten.” Here, you must find your way through a dimly lit path littered with beasts and mutants that leads to the final portion, “The Maze of Terror.”
FearFest incorporates all the required features of a great haunted house into their production with realistic costumes, unique attractions and excellent performances by actors.
“Above all, we are an entertainment facility,” Allen says. “Our actors are taught that you’re not going to scare everybody, so make them laugh. We just want everyone to have a great time.”
In addition to the already scary setting, there will be extra element of fear for customers.
“We’re going to be doing a lights-out theme for Halloween night,” Allen says. “Each attendee will be given a glow stick, and they’ll have to find their way through in the dark.”