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Published September 30 2012

Spooky spots: F-M area offers plenty of scares for Halloween season

Let the season of scares commence.

The month of October can be fully dedicated to visiting each of our local haunted hot spots, all located within a short drive from Fargo-Moorhead.

Whether you like demons, chainsaw-wielding maniacs or all that goes bump in the night, there’s a fright waiting for you.

For parents and children who are worried the attractions might be too scary, have no fear. Most places either offer some family-friendly activities or have ways to tone down the scares a bit.

Haunted Corn Maze

Where: 12747 3rd St. S., rural Moorhead

Hours: Open 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, as well the last two Thursdays in October

Info: Tickets are $15 per person; (218) 585-4529, www.hauntedcornmaze.com.

This is the 13th year of the Haunted Corn Maze, and owner Deb Livdahl says this year’s maze is extremely difficult, taking people as long as two hours to get through.

And, be forewarned, Livdahl says there are plenty of frights hidden throughout the twists and turns of the maze.

“It is scary,” she says. “There are at least three different chain saws out there at different points.”

Because Livdahl says it’s hard to pinpoint an exact age recommendation for the maze, she says she always tells parents that if their kids are watching scary movies, then they can probably handle the attraction.

And if they’re not, then the Haunted Corn Maze offers plenty of family-friendly options as well. Check the website for more information.

A special $33 ticket to the Haunted Corn Maze also gets you into the Haunted Farm and Extreme Scream.

Haunted Farm

Where: 1947 130th Ave., Moorhead

Hours: Open 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday

Info: $15 per person; (218) 585-4302; www.hauntedfarm.com

Extreme Scream

Where: Five miles east of Moorhead on Highway 10

Hours: Open 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and the last two Sundays in October.

Info: Cost is $16 per person. All ages are allowed, but Extreme Scream offers less intense and less scary tours if parents or children feel the tour is going to be too scary for them; (218) 233-3025; rgilberso@earthlink.net.

Acres of Terror

Where: 108 State Highway 18, Leonard, N.D.

Hours: Open Fridays and Saturdays and the last two Sundays in October from dusk until midnight.

Info: Admission costs $20; although it’s not recommended, kids 10 and under may attend, and admission costs $12; (701) 491-2587

This is the ninth year of Acres of Terror in Leonard, and owner Tony Plante says this time around, the scares are going to be different than in the past.

“Everything’s different,” he says. “We’ve changed it all up. It’s all different and bigger.”

For scary attractions such as his, Plante thinks there’s a certain appeal that keeps customers coming back year after year to be scared out of their mind.

“I think it’s the adrenaline rush and the fear factor,” Plante says. “It gets them laughing and screaming. It just makes them happy when they’re gasping and excited – it gives them some excitement in life.”

Plante says they don’t turn any ages away, but he doesn’t recommend the attraction for kids 10 and under.

Nightmares on Elm Street

Where: 491 Elm Street, Kindred, N.D.

Hours: Open every Friday and Saturday in October from 7-11:30 p.m.

Info: All-ages admission costs $20; (701) 730-0425; www.nightmaresonelmstreet.com

The new horror on the block, this is the first year for the Nightmares on Elm Street attraction in Kindred, which made its grand opening last weekend.

Housed inside a 16,000-square-foot building (the former Cass County Electric Headquarters), owner John Shields says the attraction emphasizes a nightmare theme during the 25- to 30-minute self-guided tour.

“We’re kind of picking on everybody’s nightmares,” he says. “We’ve got quite a few different ones, and each room has its own different theme.”

In particular, Shields says that friends and family who’ve gone through the tour have been especially scared by the clowns and maze room. (“Everyone’s scared of clowns,” he says).

Nightmares on Elm Street is also using 3-D technology for part of the tour, which Shields thinks is pretty unique.

“We’re kind of keying on the 3-D technology because that’s something that hasn’t been done much around here,” he says. “We have a 3-D vortex that our friends have said is the craziest thing they’ve ever seen.”

In addition to the tour, Shield says a lounge will be opening soon where guests, or those unable to handle the scares, can enjoy food and drinks and possibly watch closed-circuit television of video happening in the rest of the building.

Shields plans to transform the themed attraction during the rest of the year, including a Charles Dickens Christmas Carol-type set up.

But for adrenaline junkies hoping for frights during those other seasonal attractions, they’re out of luck.

“That type of thing won’t be scary,” Shields says. “We’re just trying to be a lot more original and do something that really hasn’t been done around here.”