Halloween horror spots

Natalie Moses

One of the best October pastimes is paying to be scared shitless. Nothing beats the thrill of being chased by a chainsaw-thrashing mad man, knowing that he can’t actually kill you or else he’ll get fired. Or maybe you’re more into actual haunted sites where people have previously been brutally murdered.

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Either way, Kent is in a geographically desirable location for fear seekers. Some of the best scares in Ohio are right around the bend.

So guys, put your big boy pants on, and ladies, grab a large male to shield you from the spooky stuff and check out these places for a good-old terrifying time.

Halloweekends at Cedar Point

Location: Cedar Point, 1 hour and 41 minutes from Kent

In case you needed an excuse to round up your friends and head to Cedar Point, this year there’s a new attraction for Halloweekends. The theme is “Blood on the Bayou.” Expect “gruesome terrors” and the walking dead lurking along what’s described as “the dark, fetid waters of the bayou.” There are also four different haunted houses and six frightening mazes. On Saturdays and Sundays all rides are open (weather permitting). On Friday nights, only a selection of rides will be open. So if you want the full experience, don’t plan for Friday night. Keep in mind that groups of 15 or more get discount rates.

Mansfield Reformatory

Location: Mansfield, 1 hour and 23 minutes from Kent

This haunted prison, notorious for its appearance in “The Shawshank Redemption,” won the title of “Most Authentic Haunt” in 2010. The former prison was reopened to host ghost hunts and quickly became a hot spot for paranormal enthusiasts

The history of this massive compound is littered with tales of torture, violence, suicide, murder and basically anything else that makes your blood run cold. Formal paranormal investigations have yielded countless pieces of evidence suggesting not only restless but aggressive spirits. Overnight ghost hunts are sold out for the year, but the Haunted Prison Experience, a theatrical haunted house with bone-chilling special effects, is open from Thursday-Saturday through October. Tickets are $17.

Nightmare in the Wilderness

Location: Medina, 49 minutes From Kent

First, you’re taken on a haunted hayride. Then they leave you to find your way back along a mile long “psycho path.” Along the journey, be prepared to encounter mazes, a variety of monsters, and worst of all—demented clowns.

After you’ve been scared out of your mind by more than 80 actors and cried like a little girl, you’re kindly gathered up and taken back to the Apple Cabin for apple cider on yet another haunted hayride. Tickets are $15.

The Nightmare in the Wilderness is open on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month, but if it’s a rainy night call ahead to make sure it’s open.

Seven Floors of Hell

Location: Berea, 51 minutes from Kent

Did you ever watch one of the “Saw” movies and thank your lucky stars that you are not the one being manipulated by Jigsaw? Well, this year you can pay to have exactly that done. Seven Floors of Hell is stepping up the fear factor this year by challenging you to make it out of Jigsaw’s “twisted maze of murder” alive with “Jigsaw’s Revenge.” Also new this year is the “Reaper’s Revenge,” but they are bringing back previous attractions as well. The 3D Evil Visions house will mess with your mind, as well as the haunted House of Nightmares, the Mausoleum, the Blood Barn and Camp Nightmare. Tickets are $23 for all seven floors, but try to beat the crowds and get there close to the opening time at 7 p.m.

Contact Natalie Moses at [email protected].