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Fright Nights

“We need to scare the **** out of people. And make them laugh!”

Does that sound like a tall order? Not for The Fright Nights. With high ceilings, an old brick facade, lots of room to create maze-filled houses, a ship, creatures that soar overhead and dark, creepy corners, the place seemed designed to be what its creators had in mind: the scare of the century.

The tradition of a “haunted house” goes back all the way to ancient times, and hauntings, especially of specific houses or locations, have been recorded in such varied places as Rome, Japan, and certainly central to the British Isles, where Madame Tussaud’s London Wax Museum opened in the early 1800’s capitalized on the idea that ghosts and ghouls could be entertaining as well as frightening.

Under owner/operator Grazzi Zazzara, Fright Nights has been in the business of getting a scream or a laugh out of Central New Yorkers for over 20 years, but up until a couple of years ago, that meant setting up and breaking down an enormous number of features each year at a seasonal Fairgrounds venue. Now, with its permanent location and over 80K square feet at its disposal, there’s no limit but the imagination of Zazzara’s team of fiendishly frightful actors, designers, costumers, builders, and sound people. 

Ranked in the Top 15 Haunted Houses in the country, Zazzara explains that The Fright Nights, while the names of the Houses don’t change, don’t expect to find that they’ll be identical to last year – nor will they be the same next season. “We keep finding ways to improve and innovate. Our goal this year was to add movement.”

Calling upon the extraordinarily rich and deep talents of John Thomas, who brings years of experience as an ironworker, welder, electrician, and all-round magician with things mechanical, Zazzara drops a hint that this year, making things move is the goal. 

And Zazzara stresses that this year’s emphasis on “movement” extends to just about every nook and cranny in the place. It’s a rat, a snake, a doll, a spectre. But it’s a running rat, a slithering snake, a dancing doll, and a shimmering spectre. And they’re never quite where – or when – you expect them.

Also new is that this year Penny’s Playhouse, which featured those evil clowns that are a guaranteed terror, will showcase Cage Fighting Clowns – Buddy, representing the younger generation, and Psycho, a new generation of clown, and they’re fighting it out to scare you.

One of my favorite things about The Fright Nights is that in that time-honored way of great entertainment – “there’s something for everybody!”

We’ve told you about the clowns, but if it’s monstrous creatures that you favor, Jurassic Dark invites you to explore the world of ancient dinosaurs and wandering zombies; Lady Lamson would love to take you for a sail on her cursed voyage of horror; or if you like your terror with a taste of the kinetic, how about a slide into the gates of Hell to see what the Devil is up to when you…drop in? My favorite is always the haunted house, and Burgen Manor is a maze of room and halls and dolls and dreams and even a cute little torture chamber.

Your entrance fee gets you into all 5 houses, and you can guarantee a specific entrance time for yourself and a few of your fiends – that would be friends – by reserving online.

So join us for a devilishly great Halloween season scare. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Fright Nights

1 LePage Place off James St.

September 30 – October 30 2022

Friday and Saturday 7pm – 12am; Sunday 7pm – 11pm



Take a peek behind the scenes:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=302120815216329


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Nancy Roberts