Fulton, N.Y. (NCC News) – For the past decade, Frightmare Farms has scared Central New York to its core. What started as a mere haunted house has blossomed into a multi-attraction estate. In 2011, “Dr. Fear” set out to “put on a show” of his own. Well, it’s safe to say, he’s done just that. Last year, Frightmare Farms was named the best haunted scream park in Central New York, according to CNY Central. Dr. Fear has since hired 155 scare actors to fulfill his dream. On a given night, 25-28 scare actors occupy each attraction.
But it all started with an idea. To General Manager and Scare Actor Ryan McDermott, “you get a chance to be creative and anything you can conceive, you can create. You can use it to scare people, have fun, or be completely terrifying.”
This year’s special theme is the Winter Harvest. Bedecked with calls for folklore character Goat Man, the Western Village is an amalgamation of the theme. Upon entering the forest, Dr. Fear’s creations come to life.
“Usually I toy with the senses of people and distract them,” Dr. Fear stated. “I use fog machines and sight-altering objects to pull [this] off.” After a slew of fog machines, the haunter is greeted by hanging animal flesh in a sensationalized butchery. Eventually, haunters receive a guttural scare in what appeared to be a reconstruction of Chernobyl.
Still, the Haunted House is the main bread-winner of the estate. To McDermott, the Haunted House emboldens him to unleash his versatile scaring profile. “There’s a lot of different types of great scares,” states McDermott. “There’s a simple startle scare where you can bang something next to someone very closely and it scares them, or there’s more theatrical scares.”
Included in the Haunted House are clowns, fake human body parts, tombstones, mystery boxes, and more. But none of these props are remotely as effective as the scare staff. With an increase in staffing every year, Dr. Fear places his “high energy” fear-inducers into a litany of different positions- all with the goal of invoking a response. “You really want to pick your target,” McDermott stated on Dr. Fear’s behalf. “Get ’em in your view and wait for the perfect timing. The element of surprise is going to be the most effective when you’re trying to scare somebody.”
With only two more open dates at Frightmare Farms, the clock is ticking for you to sign up for the SAFE scare of your lifetime.