Halloween is just around the corner, and if you’re craving a good scare, Binghamton’s newly opened Slaughterland Screampark has you covered. Located at 666 Barrier Road, the “100 acres of terror” hosts four major attractions, each with its own theme, characters and aesthetics, diversifying and enriching the haunting experience.

I visited the park last weekend and was already in the mood when entering the area. Thick, white fog was blasted by nearby props while I ventured through the pitch-black forest. A pathway leads up to a large common area featuring a massive central campfire, merchandise shops, snack booths, breweries, music and lively, unholy performances of the dead that involved juggling with fire and impressive Hula-Hoop tricks.

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The partial owner and instigator of Slaughterhouse, Todd Fedyshyn of Johnson City, has been learning and tuning his craft for 11 years and said he decided to create something special for the community.

“I worked hard and educated myself on every aspect I could of running and building a haunted house,” he said. “I have now been a pro haunter and make my living each year working all year long to prepare for about a six-week period of entertaining our guests through the Halloween season.”

Each attraction has its own distinct flair. “Dark Magic” is an extensive, terrifying wooden house filled with twists and turns. Here, you’ll encounter elaborately dressed sorcerers, butchers and animalistic deities that jump from the shadows. Perfectly timed animatronics operated by pulleys from the sides will petrify you as you scurry along with your friends.

“Wendigo Woods” is a mostly outdoor attraction that utilizes the sheer darkness of the night and eeriness of the still forest to its advantage. Since it’s dark and the attraction is in the woods, there is an extra element of fear because you feel like you are being watched and you naturally anticipate every bush and tree you pass by, hoping that someone isn’t there. You will be surprised by a series of characters that are still and look like props, but begin to approach you from behind or pounce when you get near them.

“Frightmares 3D” is a dynamic visual experience where you get to wear 3D glasses and admire fluorescent graffiti artwork as you navigate your way out of the building. There are frequent jump scares and pop-up animatronics in the maze-like rooms. The way the artwork pops collectively is almost surreal.

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Have a fear of clowns? You are in for a real treat. “Fallen Fairgrounds” is a circus-themed attraction with clowns galore. Circling around the colorful circus tent, you will be immersed in an environment full of ambushing clowns and freaky props that spring up when you least expect it. If you manage to survive the four major attractions, cool down at the common area, as there are plenty of fun activities going around.

Ariel Kachuro/Photography Editor

Fedyshyn said there is a lot of time and effort behind setting up the haunted house experience that guests aren’t usually aware of.

“We like to refer to the park as a city of its own,” he said. “Behind the scenes, we have road and infrastructure that allows us to build and make everything appear spooky to the customers. We have to treat this like a business and look at all aspects in development, as it is not as easy as just jumping out and saying ‘Boo.’ Actor training is key, as well as designing scenes that can bring their characters to life. Every year things get enhanced, rebuilt or changed.”

Co-owner Bob Kuzel of Johnson City has plans for the future and will be seeking to improve and build upon the successes of this inaugural season, aiming to drive a stake through the hearts and souls of the community for many frightening seasons to come.

“Over the next year, we are going to double the size of what’s here today,” Kuzel said. “It’s an enormous amount of work to prepare, take down and store the attraction, but it’s a labor of love and we will make it even bigger and better.”

Slaughterland Screampark is open on Oct. 25, 26 and 27 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth near the entrance of the park.