Fright Fest


Steed, Nicholas

“Once 7 (p.m.) hits, the entire park goes dark, and it’s scares galore,” Sue Carpenter, the Six Flags communications manager, told the SCV Signal. “There’s no place to hide and no place to run.”
As the sun goes down on select days from September 14 to November 3, hundreds of zombies and ghouls are let loose to roam Six Flags: Magic Mountain.
The annual Six Flags: Fright Fest remains open as late as 1 AM in the morning so until that hour gruesome mazes, scare zones, and shows located around the park can terrorize and shock guests. Rides that visitors know and love, such as Full Throttle, Goliath, and X2 are transformed into much more terrifying experiences.
Once visitors enter the park gate, there’s nowhere to hide – not even behind a mask or costume. Masks and makeup are not allowed within the park. The Six Flags Website warns, “If you wear a costume or mask into the park our monsters will get confused and might accidentally start eating each other instead of you.”
“I went to Fright Fest at Six Flags and I had so much fun,” Jadyn Gonzalez, a junior, commented. “The scares through the mazes were obviously scary, but I loved the adrenaline rush.”
While the event is going on, students from GV and other surrounding schools come with their friends to experience a night of terror they will never forget. This year, students can experience the updated maze: Vault 666 Unlocked, which tells the story of a dark and sinister antique shop that was once owned and operated by a lovely couple before people started disappearing after buying their items. Mazes like Red’s Revenge and Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising will also be back this year. Each maze tells a haunting story filled with blood and gore. Be wary; as the Six Flags website warns, “Some have tried their hardest to get out, but it always was too late.”
Despite how horrifying it can be, many have found Fright Fest to be very enjoyable. Gonzales went on to say, “I got to experience it with my friends – they made it a good time. Seeing them all react to the scary things made me laugh so much.”
While laughter makes Fright Fest a better experience for Jadyn Gonzales, for some students, simply staying away from this horrifying event seems like a safer way to go.
“I don’t like being scared,” Gabby Higgs, also a junior, confessed as she shook her head. “It would be too traumatic.”
The park advises that Fright Fest may be too intense for people age 13 years or younger. However, some shows and attractions go as far as to recommend that minors do not participate. On the park website, the description for the High Sierra Hypnotist event warns, “Some material may not be suitable for minors. This show is customized for Fright Fest and is not for the faint of heart. This is not smoke and mirrors. This is the real deal.”
Despite what the website says, Six Flags: Fright Fest is only made possible by the hundreds of actors, makeup artists, prosthetic designers, and decorators responsible for creating the event. Emily Alvarenga from The Signal met with some of these people and asked them some questions about the process they go through to put Fright Fest together.
Designer Scott Ramp explained his process for creating the prosthetics used in Fright Fest. “I have to make all of these by hand,” he told Alvarenga. “ — every single prosthetic … No matter how big it is, if it’s a little wound or a full face, it takes about seven hours’ worth of work. There’s about 3,000 prosthetics for (each) night … which means I’m working all year, making those.”
Every year, makeup artists also work for hours preparing for Fright Fest. They spend about 45 minutes applying the makeup for each of the 500 characters, Alvarenga reports. “It’s crazy, and it’s messy, but once you get used to the chaos, it becomes a lot of fun.” Ashley Aldridge, a makeup artist, told The Signal about the makeup application process.
The same could be said about Fright Fest as a whole. With monsters and blood and other creepy things covering the park, the event is definitely crazy and messy. But once visitors embrace the chaos, they could have a lot of fun – and maybe even conquer some of their fears.
Six Flags Magic Mountain invites visitors to come to Fright Fest and find their fright … before their fright finds them.