By Angel Perkins
This week I wanted to share my experience at a local haunt and by that I do mean haunt. I took my two youngest children (15 and 18) to Legend Park's Fear Itself on U.S. 20 in Mishawaka. Because I was raised in the area and have forever been a fan of the creepy I can honestly and positively say it was the best haunted house St. Joseph County has ever offered.
For about $30 a person, one can visit all four attractions, 13th Hour Amazement, Cuckoo's Nest, Rock Monkey Caves and Sinister Circus weekdays, and for about $40 a person, on high-traffic days (Fridays, Saturdays and Halloween). Individually attractions are $15 each during the week and $18 on the weekend and holiday, so the combo ticket is worth the price. I've been to several haunted house attractions in my time … all over the area. The Haunted Castle in Walt Disney World is better as a ride but the special affects are just that. At Fear Itself, the people are real and while you go in knowing you paid to be scared, at points you may find you're reminding yourself that it isn't real. There may be moments that make it seems like you're at Disney, with the lines of teenagers and all the screaming, but all-in-all, the artwork, effort, put in and visual intensity is very entertaining.
The second closest scream park, in Niles, I would rate in a second place comparison, but the money visitors pay there does in part go to support several non-profits. Also, in Michigan, food and drink are available for sale as well as a "midway" with bizarre "games" to play like electrocuting a zombie guy for example.
Fear Itself needs to update its website for accuracy about what exactly is offered, but when it says it offers attractions that are "incredible," "bone chilling," "freaky," and "amazing," it hits the nails right on (and through) the head.
I witnessed some of the most unique, eerie and often disturbing sights and sounds I've ever been privy to and I've personally trained, studied for and hunt real ghosts. Sword eating, some skill involving nasal cavities and balloons, two headed oddities, and 3D spectacles that if they don't turn your stomach, will literally blow the minds of the strong-hearted.
Get dizzy easily? Afraid of the dark, tight spaces, clowns, sickos or blood? Then, Fear Itself is NOT the place for you. Like the feel of your skin crawling and don't mind warm brains? First rate. Both FI and Niles Haunted Scream Park attractions can be found online at www.fearitself.tv  or www.haunted.org . FI is open into November.