Can’t wait for Halloween to experience scares and thrills? Have the months of staying home dulled the scares and thrills you get from watching horror movies? It’s time to get of the couch and get up close and personal with spooks and the unknown, and Minnesota has everything you want.
Go Trekking in the Dark
Head to the trails one late afternoon with a pair of flashlights and see what it’s like to go out of your comfort zone. Even with friends along for the trek, venturing into unknown territory in the dark can put you on edge. The Blair Witch Project and Slenderman (the game) are popular for these reasons. Darkness will give you a dose of claustrophobia, and nature sounds will seem more sinister.
Of course, make sure to keep things scary and not dangerous. Avoid places known for cougars and snakes and learn to spot poison oak and poison ivy to avoid itchy runs. Opt for hills that aren’t too steep, and make sure to bring a flare or a radio just in case you encounter problems or something really spooky.
Get Lost in a Corn Maze
There are dozens of corn mazes in Minnesota, some of them scarier than others. Head to a farm and test your memory, navigation skills, and intestinal fortitude as you walk through paths of gore and horror in your search for the exit. Corn mazes are very visual attractions.
The scenery will put you on edge, and jump scares will get your adrenaline pumping. Corn mazes trigger your fight or flight response, affecting you at a physical level. Of course, don’t invite friends with medical issues or heart problems. Get a bit of exercise a few days before your maze attempt, as it might take an hour or two of walking before you can find your way out.
Get Chased by Psychos and Monsters
Haunted hayrides are some of the most cinematic scares you can get. Sets are prepared meticulously, and most attractions follow well-thought-out scripts. Costumes may not be as intricate as ones in movies, but the darkness and being up close and personal gives them more realism. Haunted hayrides make good use of darkness and lighting to highlight scenes as well as limit your field of vision.
The rustling of corn and the sounds of crickets create an eerie atmosphere in moments of silence. Scenes of gore and horror are depicted, and the monsters and psychos present will sometimes turn to their viewers in their thirst for blood and mayhem. Feelings of dread will kick in as your mind begins to doubt if everything is merely staged. Expect lots of scares and screams on your hayride and come out of it appreciating life all the more. That is, if you live through it.
Join a Ghost Tour
Minnesota has a rich history of ghosts and hauntings. Take a guided tour and learn a bit of history as you search for troubled spirits. Go full ghost hunter with EMF (electromagnetic frequency) and EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) devices. Head to the Palmer House hotel and see why it is the most popular spot for ghost hunters. Room 17 and 22 are particularly active, and visitors can find out their tragic history.
Head to the soap factory for a more interactive experience. The ghosts and spooks you encounter might be fake, but the place has a rich history of hauntings. You might even spot a real ghost or two among the actors. For a more authentic experience, head to the riverfront and into St. Anthony Main. It is one of the city’s oldest streets, and it is home to numerous spooks and spirits.
Enter the Depths of Darkness
More adventurous types can try their hand at spelunking. Watch movies like Descent or The Cave (both released in 2005) and get your imagination running on what could be waiting for you in the depths. If your group is experienced, opt for flashlights with moonlight modes to limit visibility. Prompt the guide to tell stories, or prepare a few to tell your group. Once in the depths, take a break and tell stories in the dark.
The total darkness of a cave is unlike being under the stars outside. Phantom images will appear as your mind struggles with the absence of visual stimuli. Noises and echoes become more sinister, and even the sound of dripping water can evoke feelings of dread.
Horror is best experienced up close. Get out of the house and get your scares and thrills on a more personal level. Make them as real as they come by putting yourself right in the action.