Hopped Up on Halloween: A Fright Fest Memory

frightfestmemoryNJ
When reflecting on the Halloween season, the act of simply stepping outside and taking in a breath of fresh air could bring a flood of fall memories to rushing back into your mind.

One memory that came to my mind was the time I headed down to Great Adventure during Fright Fest when I first got my license. I was actually still on my learner’s permit (shhh, don’t tell anyone). It was probably the first trip I ever took there on my own, so I felt pretty badass. Well, I wasn’t really on my own. I took my girlfriend at the time, Beth. At least, she was the equivalent of what teenagers considered a girlfriend at the time. We went to the mall and kissed in public. We thought we were cool. Taking her to Fright Fest though – that was the shit. If you asked me at the time, going there was my ultimate date night. Let’s pretend you’re Chuck Woolery and I’m the contestant on Love Connection. Here’s how the date went.

On the way down the New Jersey Turnpike I had the windows cracked and I remember there being a nice October chill in the air. Just cool enough for a light jacket, but still mild enough not to freeze our asses off. It was the mid ’90s, (I know, I’m old – fuck off) and the only entertainment in my car back then was the radio and a cassette player. Naturally, some people had CD players, but they were lucky bastards. Dopey teenagers hopped up on young love and Mountain Dew didn’t have the means for a CD player in the car, unless they were savvy enough to hook up a DiscMan to their car stereo, an enhancement that was still another year down the road for me. The stations get a little fuzzy as we get further south, so the only thing we had to listen to aside from the drone of the LeBaron and the awkward moments of silence on the 40 minute drive down was the cassette player.

If Beth had it her way she wanted to listen to Hot 97 the whole way down. To appease her and show her that I’m open to all kinds of music, including blazing hip-hop and R&B, we listened to it until Exit 9 and then I was called upon by the Gods of Rock themselves. There was no choice in the matter. It was time for the Holy Grail of mixtapes. THE ULTIMATE KISS MIXTAPE. Sure, back then it was fun to listen to The Misfits, Alice Cooper and White Zombie during October, but there was always something just as fitting about listening to KISS during Halloween time too.

At the time, Beth had absolutely zero clue who KISS was. What was even funnier was that she had less of a clue that the title of one of their biggest songs bared her name. She didn’t care either. She really, really, really didn’t care. Every girl I seemed to like had no interest in the music that I listened to, which made my heart sink to the depth of the murky Arthur Kill. As I shoved the tape into the deck, I vividly remember the tape started playing in the middle of “Got To Choose” from Hotter Than Hell. I can hear that grungy riff and that funky bassline in my mind right now. In fact I’m going to pull it up on my iTunes right now. It’s amazing, this whole technology thing, isn’t it? Ha. You should put it on too (if you have it), to get the full effect of this story!

To a non-KISS fan not only was “Got To Choose” one of the least interesting tracks on my mix tape, but to make matters worse, side one of the cassette always cut off about three quarters into it. Just as soon as my mind is rocking out and vibing to the tune, it clicked off and the awkward silence returned. I knew she wanted Hot 97 on, but I didn’t care. I was being selfish, I felt like it was my turn to really enjoy this drive. It was a cool October night, my favorite time of the year, and we were racing down to Six Flags for one of the most fun things to do in Jersey during Halloween. I was feeling pretty awesome needless to say. I turned the cassette over and popped it back in. “Beth I hear you callin’…”

BLANK. _______. Beth was completely blank when I told her about the KISS song that was playing called, “Beth.” In the back of my mind I thought “Didn’t your father or your uncle tell you about this?” I was shocked that another person wasn’t as obsessed with KISS as I was. I had a hard time remembering that this was the mid-90s, not 1977 mind you.

As we got closer and closer to Exit 7, our conversation began to pick up and I lowered the volume to a reasonable level (except when “Parasite” came on, of course).

On a normal basis she pretty much laughed at everything I said, which gave me a little boost, but truthfully, she just laughed at everything that was remotely amusing in general. I could act like an obnoxious ass and she would just eat it up. I appreciated it because she genuinely found me funny. From there, we started trading anecdotes about our favorite rides in the park. Although both of us had been going down to Great Adventure since we were kids, we both felt the level of excitement building up. We were getting a rush before we even went on any rides.

Our time was running out. By the time we arrived, found parking, walked a mile to the ticket booth, and then bought tickets, we had about 2 hours in the park if we were lucky. And as I said, I didn’t have a CD player in my car so I wasn’t necessarily the luckiest guy in the world. This lack of time definitely weighed on my mind because when it comes to theme parks and vacations I’m like Clark Griswold, always trying to maximize the fun.

Our spirits were so uplifted, among other things, that our dumbasses wasted even more time before actually heading into the park. After the long trek from the car to the entrance, we stopped at one of the planters and parked half of our butts for a minute to take in the night…and of course make out. So dumb, so simple, soo had nothing to do with romance. This was about HALLOWEEN. I wanted the bejesus scared out of me and my endorphins were runnin’ wild. Like I said, high spirits, otherwise HOT 97 and KISS MIXTAPE wouldn’t have been lip locked to each other the whole night as if we were the only two people left on the planet.

What was the attraction with Beth? I wondered to myself as I stood staring a hole through a nearby tree shedding frail pale orange leaves. She was a natural blonde, she had a cute smile with dimples, and had big boobs. At the time, coincidentally, as stereotypical as it sounds, that was all I wanted out of life. What can I say? I was a product of the times. Baywatch was a highly rated show, OK? So, back at Six Flags, Beth and I managed to detach our mouths from each others and we walked briskly inside with a little bounce in our step.

It was dark, breezy, the trees were bare, and Fright Fest was in full effect. Zombies and ghastly characters roamed about trying to scare us. Beth genuinely got scared a few times and grabbed a hold of me, then we just got overly hysterical about it as if we just heard the funniest joke of all time delivered by the most smart mouthed comedian of all time. Despite what many people might think of the lines, the atmosphere takes center stage and it’s easy to forget the rest.

The macabre elements such as the fog, the bloody fountain, and the costumed actors jumping out at you when you least expect it, help to far outweigh any of the typical theme park complaints. Being there is the fun. In fact, Fright Fest is such a part of my Halloween celebration every year that it actually makes me get that nostalgic fuzzy feeling. I didn’t get paid for that so let me get back to my story.

Beth and I went on every ride we possibly could, stopping at any chance we could to hug, hold hands, or take part in some other cheesy public display of affection. It was the spirit of the season that was getting us all charged up. And yes, we even went on the freakin’ ferris wheel. Remember when Mikey from The Goonies said ‘It’s our time down here!” well October is our time and I’ve always felt that way. Just hearing the Misfits lyric “Bonfires Burning Bright, Pumpkin Faces in the Night, I remember Halloween,” DUH, of course I remember! I remember Halloween and all the memories come rushing back every time I walk outside and breath in the fall air or gaze into the colorful fall foliage.

Halloween moments are the most memorable ones in my life. I can’t help but think that each of those moments wouldn’t still resonate today if they took place during any other time of the year. Intertwined in the calm and colorful fall backdrop are so many memories waiting to be conjured up. Be inspired. Go outside, close your eyes, and let yourself recall all that is spooky and sentimental to you.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 110: Great Adventure’s Fright Fest

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This year’s edition of Six Flags Fright Fest T-Shirt and Hoodie offerings
Amusement Parks and Halloween always make a great combination. Thrill rides in the chilled night air, and goofing around with your friends usually leads me to feel like there’s a horror movie plot being created in there somewhere. Whether there’s a killer lurking in the park or some supernatural entity is haunting one of the attractions, the Halloween season is prime time to head to your nearest amusement park and experience the fun of the season. We’re spoiled in Jersey because every year Six Flags Great Adventure becomes infested with ghosts, zombies, crazy clowns, and vampires for their annual Fright Fest celebration. Just remember to get there early. We didn’t.

Fright Fest is an annual thing for us, but we usually wind up getting on one ride if we’re lucky. The lines are super insane during Fright Fest, and the park is probably even more packed than it would be in the middle of the summer. Difference is, that it’s nicer to wait in lines and get on rides when it’s not a sweltering 97 degrees in the shade and over one hundred percent humidity.

Weather-wise, Saturday night was perfect. I was with a bunch of great people and even though we only made it on one ride, we had a blast. I’m sure it would’ve been more fun if the lines for the actual Fright Fest attractions weren’t as long. Even the average wait time for a roller coaster was an hour. While waiting in excruciatingly long lines, it helps to cling to the hope that the ride actually doesn’t break down before you make it to the last section of the line queue.

Fortunately, the ride we did decide to wait for went smoothly. Skull Mountain didn’t take that long to get through the line, probably because it’s one of the tamer rides, so we were patient. It fit into the Fright Fest theme as well. For an older, less face melting type of ride, this one still holds up after all these years. Think of it as Six Flag’s answer to Space Mountain only with a theme on the exterior that brings to mind The Goonies, King Kong, or a pirate movie.

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We were required to buy separate tickets for the haunted attractions, so we did that online at home to save a couple of bucks. Next we had to wait on another long line just to show them our print-outs to get a wristband for the haunts. This was just becoming an abysmal LINE FEST. Then we would have to wait on more laughable lines for each individual haunt. Fed up by this point, I started asking the lady a few questions about the attractions.

I was disappointed to learn that all of the attractions were walk through trails featuring live actors. I wasn’t hoping for dead actors, I was just hoping for a good old fashioned haunted house or dark ride type situation. They should mix it up and offer half walk throughs and at least one or two haunted houses that remind you of an old dark ride. I can’t tell you how many times Six Flags has sent me e-mails asking for feedback regarding my last visit to Fright Fest and I wrote them a hundred times that Fright Fest needs a good old fashioned, boardwalk style haunted house. It shouldn’t only be for Fright Fest either, it should be open year round for all of us psychos to enjoy.

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We played the boardwalk and carnival games they have in the Psycho Circus area.
Miss Sexy Armpit won me a Slimer plush! Dinosaur Dracula and Freddy in Space also won
Slimers as well only Dino Drac’s is darker shade of green than this one. I opted for the brighter one since it seemed like it was glowing like the real Slimer. The vintage melted plastic pumpkin decoration has absolutely nothing to do with Six Flags Great Adventure. Slimer is petrified of him though, and he should be, since he’s creepy as hell.

In the late ’70s, Great Adventure’s Haunted Castle was the type of attraction we needed until arsonists supposedly burned it down in ’84, killing eight teenagers trapped inside. Maybe they feel like it’s a curse if they build another one? I can’t say for sure, but maybe they fell that they aren’t experts at subtly, they prefer spending millions to create the fastest, most cheek rippling coasters the world has ever seen. Nothing wrong with that. The thing is, Great Adventure is already fully stocked with thrill rides and there’s a new one on the way for next season. Another thrill ride is superfluous, again, we need a damn haunted DARK RIDE. Attention to detail is preferred.

Keeping with the resoundingly positive note I am on, the graphic on this year’s Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest shirts and hoodies are AWESOME. They did get this part of the celebration correct. Apparel graphics are always a big part of the experience. You must be able to properly commemorate your visit and this year Six Flags came up with a couple of really cool looking designs. I couldn’t exit the park without snapping a few shots. America loves zombies…and paying lots of money to wait on never-ending lines apparently.

Halloween 2011 Events in New Jersey

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I’ve been complaining that it seems like there aren’t enough Halloween events going on this year in the Garden State, but as the month of October continues, I’m obviously dead wrong. There’s events popping up like zombies out of the ground. So, if you’re into some doing spooky stuff in honor of Halloween, Jersey is definitely the place to do it. I don’t know what I was thinking because we probably have more cool frightful events than most other states. Read on for the best ways to celebrate Halloween for the rest of the month. If you have an event that you would like to submit for the list, please send to sexyarmpit@comcast.net.

You may remember me mentioning The Home of Happiness before. They are New Jersey’s own Rocky Horror Troupe located in Montclair, New Jersey. Tonight, 10/15 they are having a Pre-Halloween costume contest and next Saturday is college night! If you miss it this week, be sure to get there on a Saturday night soon, it’s “truly beautiful to behold!”
WHEN: EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT!
WHERE: Bellevue Theater, Montclair NJ
And of course, we’ve got ZOMBIES! We’ll have enough ghastly zombies in Asbury Park’s UNDEAD FESTIVAL to take over Rhode Island. We broke a Guinness record at the last NJ Zombie Walk and I’m sure this year will be just as insane. Get your tickets to the Undead Festival which is going on all next weekend!
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UNDEAD FESTIVAL AND NJ ZOMBIE WALK

WHEN: OCTOBER 21st, 22nd, and 23rd! (Zombie Walk is 10/22!)
WHERE: Asbury Park Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
FEATURING: vendors, costume contests, fashion shows, screenings, meet and greets with horror film stars
HALLOWEEN HORROR DOUBLE FEATURE
FILMS: Frankenhooker and Basket Case
WHEN: 10/22 7:30 PM
WHERE: FORUM THEATRE, Metuchen NJ
I often write posts about The Landmark Loews Jersey Theater and their excellent film festivals. The theater is a gorgeous classic movie house which has been restored by volunteers who pour their heart and soul into the old movie palace. The theater is easily accessible, located in Journal Square in Jersey City. If you don’t have plans for Halloween weekend, there’s nothing better than watching a horror film in this theater while munching on popcorn.
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HORRORS, LAUGHS, AND CHILLS CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL 

WHERE: Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, Jersey City, NJ
FILM SCHEDULE: 
Friday 10/28 8:00PM The House on Haunted Hill
Saturday 10/29 6:00PM Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein
Sunday 10/29 8:15 PM The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
CHILLER THEATRE TOY, MODEL, and FILM EXPO
WHEN: 10/28 – 10/20
WHERE: Hilton, Parsipanny NJ
TICKETS: http://www.chillertheatre.com/c4tickets.htm

THE MISFITS
WHEN: 10/28 Doors at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Starland Ballroom, Sayreville
TICKETS: via this link at Ticketmaster

FRIGHT FEST AT SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE
WHERE: Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, NJ
WHEN: Weekends until 10/30
PARANORMAL NJ’s NIGHTMARE BALL
WHEN: 10/29 8 PM
WHERE: Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park NJ
http://www.paranormalbooksNJ.com and http://www.asburylanes.com/

ELAINE’S DINNER THEATER AND HAUNTED MANSION
Now Presenting “Gone With The Werewolves”
WHEN: Make Reservations at (609) 884-4358
WHERE: Cape May, NJ
http://www.elainesdinnertheater.com/dinner.html

WHERE: Willowbrook Mall, Wayne NJ
WHEN: Until 10/30

Six Flags Great Adventure: Fright Fest 20th Anniversary

Six Flags Fright Fest

Amusement parks are generally associated with summer, but for me they are more of a fall tradition. The crisp, cool air in October makes it a perfect time for rides and roller coasters while strolling leisurely around the park with your special someone. What’s also good is that you won’t get swamp ass or heat stroke from walking around in mid summer in the blazing Jersey heat. But those aren’t the only reasons of course, the main attraction for many of us in New Jersey is FRIGHT FEST at Six Flags Great Adventure.

Fright Fest is celebrating it’s 20th year and as old as it makes me sound, I’ve been going there way longer than Fright Fest existed! So I’m not a kid anymore, but as I was saying, amusement parks, especially haunted ones, have always been a part of Halloween time for me. Nothing beats the ability to go on thrill rides on a cool, starry autumn night. Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest captures this feeling perfectly thanks to their team of actors adorned with amazing masks, makeup, and costumes who go lurking around the park creeping everyone out. While this sounds like a blast to me, it’s not for everyone. It’s simple, if you don’t like being scared then don’t go. For families worried about their kids being scared there are plenty of Ghoul-Free zones designated for the faint of heart.

We kicked off October with a trip to Fright Fest. Miss Sexy Armpit gets scared when I start clapping abruptly when the Giants score, so naturally she wouldn’t be able to handle actual scares in something called a TERROR TRAIL. “Which hayride do you want to go on?” I asked her. Of course she replied with “the least scary one.” She got her wish because we wound up on Haunted Wagon Tales, the children’s haunted hayride, listening to songs like “The Addams Family” and “The Flying Purple People Eater,” while waving like dorks to friendly versions of Frankenstein, Dracula, and a so not scary swamp monster. When we answered riddles correctly such as “Who did Frankenstein take to the prom? His GHOUL friend,” then our hayride guide tossed us free candy. Would I have preferred to walk through one of the scarier terror trails? Yes, but it was one of those October nights that I love so much that it didn’t even bother me.

Fright Fest 2011 Six Flags Great Adventure 

This year’s Fright Fest attractions include terror trails, haunted hayrides, and live shows. Here’s the list: The Haunted Heist, Project XI Mortuary Manor, The Demented Forest, Dead Man’s Party, Escape from the Asylum, Hypnosteria, Fright Fest Freakshow, and The Ghoulmaster’s Ghosts and more. One of the coolest and possibly most underrated part of Fright Fest is the Dead and Local Music Showcase where local rock bands take the stage throughout the night. A couple of years back we had the chance to see an awesome KISS tribute band, and last year Sludgey’s favorite band SCARLET CARSON played as well!

The iconic fountain that you see when you first walk into the park is spraying red water indicating that you’ll have a bloody good time. If you’re planning your Halloween related events, then make sure you round up your friends or significant other and feel the thrills and chills of Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure!

Visit the Official Six Flags Great Adventure FRIGHT FEST website:

Ad Jerseum 10: Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest

Ad Jerseum: So much Jersey advertising it’ll make you vomit!

Six Flags Great Adventure Fright Fest 2010
Here’s Six Flags Great Adventure’s latest online advertisement for their yearly Halloween celebration running through the end of October. The graphic really gets me in the Halloween spirit while the colors and outline of the coaster in the background truly captures the atmosphere of the season. 
There’s nothing better than riding roller coasters on a crisp Fall night. That’s exactly what I did on Saturday October 9th, 2010 at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJFright Fest kicks off at Six Flags every October and it’s always my favorite time to visit the park. I’ve been going there since I was a kid and I always try to make it part of my Halloween festivities.
There are Halloween themed shows going on while ghouls and zombies roam around scaring people. If you can get passed the crowds taking pictures of the creepy costumed stalkers, you might be able to get to an actual ride. We only had time to ride one coaster but that was enough for me. The line for Nitro stretched beyond the typical line and into the park itself, but we decided to tough it out. Nitro is the smoothest coaster in the park and gives you the most thrills of any coaster I’ve ever been on.
The other reason we wanted to go on such a busy Saturday night was that the Dirty Jersey Rock and Rollers Scarlet Carson would be performing at the Loud and Local stage (renamed Dead and Local for Fright Fest). It didn’t get any better than this! A perfectly spooky night at Fright Fest, my favorite roller coaster, and a concert from the best rockers from Jersey Scarlet Carson! The band also provided a song for Fright Fest’s Ghoulmaster’s Ghosts show which should be available on iTunes very soon. So, despite the throngs of people and the crazy amount of traffic getting out of there, it was an awesome night. Make sure you get out to Six Flags Great Adventure for Fright Fest if you’re in the area!

Elvira’s Superstition Ride

A BIG thank you to Jamdin at Moongem Comics for keeping me entertained this Halloween season with his killer Elvira posts all throughout the month! For me Elvira always =’s good times.

I’m a yearly Six Flags season pass holder and this season I made it to Great Adventure only a handful of times. Every time I go it seems like there’s over an hour wait on all of my favorite rides! What the hell is that crap? There’s only one way around that and I refuse to give them MORE money to buy a Flash Pass. If they are free at Disney World, they should be free in Jackson, N.J. Despite those disappointments, I still get a season pass and try to make it to Fright Fest even though it doesn’t feel half as fun as it used to. I wonder if it’s just that I’m getting older or if it’s actually getting suckier?

One attraction that I still refer to as the Mach 1 Adventure (cause I’m old school) transforms into the Elvira Superstition ride during Fright Fest. Every time I pass the big Elvira banner I get excited and it’s the one attraction I hope Great Adventure will offer during Fright Fest each year. Elvira is the one true icon of Halloween aside from all the classic movie monsters and killers and the thought of her fills me with the Halloween spirit. Elvira to Halloween is basically what Santa Claus is to Christmas, or better yet…some really hot playboy playmate dressed as one of Santa’s sexy helpers.

Superstition is a fun attraction, although I wish your coaster car wound up rolling into the Haunted House at the end and getting to see the interior more in depth. This You Tube video features Elvira’s ride in its entirety. First you’ll see the pre-show video, and then the ride! Buckle up.

Want a Savior But Don’t Need a Fake? Elect Alice Cooper!

This just in from the Sexy Armpit News Desk:

The U.S Treasury is presently in discussions to officially remove George Washington from the dollar bill and replace him with the macabre rocker Alice Cooper. The country nervoulsy anticipates the outcome of such a monumental decision. When contacted for a comment Cooper just started yelling “I want to be elected.” Coming to you live from Washington D.C, I’m Jay Amabile for The Sexy Armpit.com

Here you can sign the petition that will hopefully get Alice Cooper elected president which will hopefully lead to him getting his face on the one dollar bill. Let’s take a look at his resume and see why he’s more qualified than both of our candidates in this presidential election:

As it turns out, much like Wayne and Garth, we’re not worthy! Not only has Alice partied with the Muppets, Jason Voorhees, and Slash but he’s also got himself a mean golf swing. I’m sure he’s trying to forget his moment accompanying Jake “The Snake” Roberts to the ring at Wrestlemania 3 so we won’t make him re-live that one.

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Before we get to the videos, I actually caught this Alice Cooper One Dollar Bill at his Brutal Planet concert 9 years ago today. Alice kicked off Fright Fest at Six Flags Great Adventure on October 1st 1999. It wasn’t the only time I saw Alice but seeing his show on a cool, eerie October night in the middle of an amusement park didn’t get much better! I caught the dollar bill and Ryan Roxie’s guitar pick; could the night get any more memorable? Just after that thought ran through my head I saw Alice come over to us (we were in the front) pointing his cane at my then girlfriend as he sang to her “…You’re Poison runnin’ through my veins!” I chuckled to myself as if he knew my pain! Thanks for relating Alice! Now onto the videos!