Courtesy Indy Scream Park
- The fear starts as soon as you walk in. Actors dressed as terrifying versions of clowns, dolls, and ringmasters parade around and “warm you up” before the main attractions.
- Arrive before sunset. To kick off the night, a small show is performed right as the sun sinks below the horizon. What’s the show? Go see for yourself. Hint: Just when you think it’s over, it’s not.
- The actors can smell fear. Whatever you do: Don’t. Show. Fear. “Malaki,” a hillbilly covered in blood from head to toe, runs the woods at Indy Scream Park, and he assured us: He can sniff you out and give you a show.
- Pick a suitable leader for your group. As one of our staffers can tell you—or show you with the bump on his head—it’s not easy leading people through the dark. The sharp turns of Indy Scream Park’s newest blackout experience are sure to make you question each step.
- Get “marked” for an added thrill to the experience. Being marked means the actors can touch you and even separate you from your group (creepy!). You never know which person is going to pull you away and make you beg for mercy. Putting on a glow-in-the-dark necklace here does not necessarily mean it’s time to party.
- Hold on to your belongings. The people working each attraction will tell you that even if you drop something like your phone or your wallet, they “will not stop the haunt” until the park closes that night. So to the group in front of us, we hope you found your phone and got home before your bedtime.
- The actors love their job, so don’t ruin it for everyone by being mean. As a zombie passed by, we asked her if kids were rude when they went through the attractions and she quickly responded, “more often than not.” Actor Mike Wable said that coming to work at the Scream Park is his vacation. General manager Todd Harmeson said he has to actually make employees take a day off.
- Every night is different. Yes, the attractions remain the same, but you never know which characters will be there on any given night. Harmeson said the Scream Park has 200 to 300 people on payroll on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Shhh—they’re listening. The actors will sometimes eavesdrop while you’re waiting in line to get names—or find out which person in your group is the most easily scared. So don’t be surprised when they know your name, and that you’re scared to death.
- Had your fill of frights? Get some food at the Monster Midway.
Unlike most other haunted attractions where you go through it and you’re done, at Indy Scream Park you can pace yourself and grab a bite to eat between screams. They also have adult beverages for those over 21 to enjoy. Be careful though, just as you’re about to sink your teeth into a cheeseburger, a hungry beast might be gearing up to do the same to you.
- As it gets further into October, be prepared to wait in line.
Some wait times can be well into 45 minutes to an hour the closer it gets to Halloween. This is especially true on Friday and Saturday nights. The park does offer VIP and super VIP passes for purchase that allow you to speed through the lines and get to your doom—er, destination—faster.
- While you may be afraid for your life, Indy Scream Park is a very safe place.
The general manager is a former police officer and always has uniforms on site. Along with several officers, he also has several firefighters as well. On a slow night, they have five cops and two firefighters. On busy weekends, there will be between 10 to 12 officers and two to three firefighters.
- Above all, let loose and have fun.
Indy Scream Park is a place where you can be whoever you want to be, actor and spectator alike. Pay them a visit between now and November 2. They open at seven pm and close at midnight. Letting yourself be scared by talented actors and enjoying the company of others will make your visit here a fright to remember.
Indy Scream Park (5211 S. New Columbus Rd, Anderson, 317-218-9515) features five attractions and is open daily until November 2.
(Additional reporting by Dylan Hughes and Samantha Gieseking)