From haunted adventures to elaborate yard displays, the Milwaukee area still has Halloween-themed attractions going on this year (with increased coronavirus precautions).
Here’s a list of what’s still happening, and when, along with what additional safety measures are being taken. The list includes events as varied as a virtual paranormal conference and haunted houses.
1. Wisconsin Feargrounds
What: When guests enter, they’ll find themselves trapped inside The Compound, where monsters have taken over and now reside, according to the Wisconsin Feargrounds website. If attendees are able to escape, they’ll enter Sketchy’s Chambers, the home of the Feargrounds’ new leader.
Address: 1000 Northview Road, Waukesha
Hours: 7 to 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October, and 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 18 and 25. Reservations required.
Price: $25. Tickets must be purchased online and will be reservation-based to limit attendance and shorten lines.
COVID-19 precautions: Guests will be required to wear a facial covering inside all areas of the attraction. Hand sanitizer stations will be placed throughout. Actors will wear PPE masks under theatrical masks and makeup. Staff members are temperature screened and confirmed to be symptom-free at the beginning of every evening. The attraction is deeply sanitized at the end of every evening. Guests are asked to stick with their own household group. Social distancing will be enforced. For a full list of safety measures, visit wisconsinfeargrounds.com/covid-guidelines.
2. Horror film-inspired pop-up bar
What: City Lounge is putting on “A Nightmare on Layton Avenue,” a horror pop-up bar experience. There will be horror film-inspired rooms and passages, including a room featuring an indoor lake with hundreds of gallons of water, and a creepy forest. The bar will host horror movie trivia nights at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 and 22, and a Halloween bash and costume contest Oct. 31. There will also be a themed drink menu, including a cocktail served in a blood bag.
Address: 3455 E. Layton Ave., Cudahy
Hours: 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Oct. 9-Nov. 7.
Price: Free admission
COVID-19 precautions: Owner Alex Ahmad said the bar is following current coronavirus regulations. He said the bar is cleaned with “high-grade” sanitizers and solutions throughout the day, and UV light is used to disinfect after close and again before open. There will also be large outdoor areas for customers, including a heated gazebo.
3. The Hill Has Eyes
What: The Hill Has Eyes features four attractions spanning 45 acres, including Failed Escape, Hunger Hollow, Carnivore and Containment. There will be snacks, refreshments, nightly music and a bonfire. Four “Not So Scary Halloween Parties” will be held for ages 6-12 from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m. Oct. 11, 18, 25, and Nov. 1.
Address: 7005 S. Ballpark Drive, Franklin
Hours: 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 9-31. The box office is open from 5:30 to 11 p.m.
Price: Price depends on the chosen time slot: 6 to 8 p.m. time slots cost $35 for general admission online, $40 for general admission cash and $45 for a VIP speed pass. 8 to 10 p.m. time slots cost $37 for general admission online, $42 for general admission cash and $47 for a VIP speed pass. 10 p.m. to midnight time slots cost $39 for general admission online, $44 for general admission cash, $49 for a VIP speed pass.
COVID-19 precautions: Customers are highly encouraged to use contactless tickets by purchasing online. Face coverings will be required for all customers and employees. Nightly capacity will be reduced to about 50%. All staff will undergo nightly temperature checks and symptom-screening protocols. Actors will come show ready with costume and makeup done at home. There are two staff members at the entrance of each attraction to control group entry. People will enter the haunt in groups of four to six people, or the group they arrived with. Groups will be allowed into each attraction no faster than every one minute, which will provide at least 50 feet between groups. Each attraction will be sprayed and cleaned with The SmartTouch disinfectant and the BIOPROTECT Antimicrobial Surface Protectant. Each attraction and the event area will be sanitized regularly throughout each operating night. Management will meet weekly with the Franklin Health Department to discuss continued improvement protocols.
4. The Dark Side Haunted Adventure
What: The Darkside Haunted Adventure spans more than 40 acres and has seven haunts: The Descent, Twilight Nightmare, Backwoods Revenge, Mephistopheles Lair, Schizophrenia, Foxglove Nursery, and the new Grimm Reaper Railway, along with Zombie Expedition paintball, according to its website and Facebook page.
Address: N1255 Hoard Road, Ixonia
Hours: 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 3, 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 and 30-31. Ticket sales start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. for Zombie Expedition and end at 10 p.m. for The Dark Side Haunted Adventure. The Dark Side Haunted Adventure and Zombie Expedition start at 7 p.m. and run until all guests are finished.
Price: $25 for an early-season ticket for The Dark Side Haunted Adventure ticket (only good on select dates), $30 for a regular ticket for The Dark Side Haunted Adventure. Zombie Expedition can be added for $10 per ticket. Additional ticket options can be found at bit.ly/darksidetix.
COVID-19 precautions: Guests are encouraged to buy tickets online for specific time slots with no additional ticket fees. With “timed tickets,” guests can sit in their cars while in a virtual queue and get a text or email 15 minutes before their time slot, or they can wait in the midway. Guests will go through the indoor haunts with only their group. Hand sanitation stations are located after indoor haunts. Actors’ costuming has been changed to include more masks. Hayrides will be at 50% capacity to allow for 6-foot social distancing. The Grimm Reaper Railway has private compartments for groups. Both the hayride and railway will be sprayed with disinfectant between rides.
5. The Nightmare on East Vogel
What: Dave Sweeney has spent more than 80 hours creating props and setting up his annual Halloween display, The Nightmare on East Vogel. This year, it has expanded to his neighbor’s yard. The haunt features a mausoleum, cemetery, a huge animated hearse driven by a skeleton, a big spider, a scary clown section with animatronics, a zombie dinner party, an orphanage with scary babies, Freddy Krueger, lost souls, tree creatures, witches and a 12-foot skeleton with additional skeletons climbing up the front of the house. The haunt also has a Snapchat filter available through October, so selfies are encouraged by the homeowners.
Address: 2615 East Vogel Ave., Cudahy
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. Owners advise those planning to visit to check the Facebook page in advance.
Price: A wooden casket container is set up for monetary donations for Second Hand Purrs, a no-kill cat shelter in Milwaukee, along with a wish list of the shelter’s highly needed items and a barrel to put them in.
COVID-19 precautions: A sign on the front fence asks guests to social distance, wear face masks, avoid touching objects or surfaces and to clean their hands often (hand sanitizers are placed near the haunt). If someone has COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive in the past 14 days, or has symptoms, the sign says they are not to enter the property. There are “enter” and “exit” signs directing guests. The owners said they will disinfect touch pads and common areas nightly.
6. Milwaukee Bloody Third Ward Ghost Walk
What: Attendees will hear tales of haunted history, ghost stories, Fortean folklore, and recent reports of paranormal activity (all documented through historical research, archival newspaper reports and firsthand accounts), according to its website. The tour lasts 1.5 to two hours and spans about 1.5 miles.
Address: Tours depart from St. Paul Avenue and Water Street (in front of the Milwaukee Public Market, 400 N. Water St., Milwaukee).
Hours: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, 9, 16, 23, 24, 30 and 31
Price: $25. Tickets are to be booked online at bit.ly/mkeghostwalk or by calling 844-910-1379.
COVID-19 precautions: The ghost walk will follow all Wisconsin-recommended guidelines for outdoor activities, the website said. Tours will be limited, and 6-foot social distancing between groups will be required. Guests are to bring masks.
7. 2020 Milwaukee Paracon
What: American Ghost Walks is putting on a virtual Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. 2020 Milwaukee Paracon will be a celebration of all things paranormal, including ghosts, UFOs, cryptozoology, urban legends, weird history and art, according to its website. The event will feature speakers, panels, entertainment, trivia and virtual tours.
Hours: Oct. 9-11. The full schedule is available at bit.ly/paraschedule.
COVID-19 precautions: The whole event is online.
8. The Sick to Death of It Gothic History Tour
What: The Cedarburg Cultural Center is putting on a mile-long 90-minute walking tour, revisiting past plagues, smallpox, cholera, polio, and what goes along with them, according to its website. The tour will visit old venues and a cemetery.
Address: The tour starts at the Cedarburg Cultural Center, W62 N546 Washington Ave., Cedarburg
Hours: Tours start between 6:30 and 7:50 p.m. Oct. 23-24 and 30-31.
Price: $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the tour
COVID-19 precautions: Tour sizes are limited to 10 people per group to ensure social distancing. Masks will be required by all tour-goers.
9. 3-D Haunted House and Museum
What: This year’s 3-D Haunted House and Museum will feature three levels of horror, including rooms dedicated to Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees. There are walk-through and story mode options.
Address: 3124 N. Seventh St., Milwaukee
Hours: By reservation only, 3 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 1-31.
Price: Walk-through admission is $7 for level easy, $9 for level medium, and $12 for level hard. There are three story modes for one to multiple players, which cost $15 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 414-391-0891.
Covid-19 precautions: The attraction will adhere to all COVID-19 guidelines, according to its website. The house used to permit groups of 20 to 25 people inside. This year, only groups of three will be allowed in at one time. Visits are by appointment only; walk-ins will not be accepted.
10. Riverside Theater Ghost Tours
What: Guests will get a 60-minute tour of hot spots for paranormal activity at the Riverside Theater, and learn about the behind-the-scenes paranormal activity encountered by staff, patrons and professional ghost hunters, according to its website. There’s also a Late Night Ghost Hunt that features a three-hour investigation, starting with a stage seance, access to ghost-hunting equipment, exploration of hot spots with paranormal investigators and a souvenir gift commemorative Riverside Theater Ghost Tour “all access” laminated pass.
Address: 116 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
Hours: The Ghost Tours are held Fridays and Saturdays from Oct. 9-31, and Thursday, Oct. 29, with multiple times available. Ghost Hunts are held from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Oct. 17, 24 30 and 31.
Price: Ghost Tours tickets are $25 to $30 each. The Late Night Ghost Hunt tickets are $150 each, and are extremely limited. Tickets can be purchased at pabsttheater.org/event/riverside-ghost-tours-2020.
COVID-19 precautions: Masks required. Groups are limited to 10 or fewer to maintain social distancing. Heightened cleaning and sanitation standards are in place.
Please check each attraction’s website before visiting in case plans have changed due to coronavirus, and for age restrictions/warnings.
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