Since 1991, The Haunted Graveyard has been providing chills and thrills to adults and children alike in Connecticut. Though it partnered with Lake Compounce in 2001, the attraction began in the Middletown backyard of Ernie and Carol Romegialli as a way to keep the mind of their daughter Johanna, who had been diagnosed with diabetes, off of the candy she couldn’t enjoy. Today it is billed as the largest Halloween attraction in all of New England.
Without further ado, here are the top 7 reasons you should visit The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce this October.
1) It’s held at Lake Compounce, which may have a haunted history of its own.
I did mention that, right? Let’s just say it again: The Haunted Graveyard is held at Lake Compounce, the Connecticut establishment and oldest continuously-operated amusement park in the U.S. The land that the park is built on was purchased from the chief of the Mattatuck Native Americans in 1684 (the chief’s name, John Compound, is actually where the park gets its name). According to legend, the Chief later drowned in the waters of the lake. Add to that the history of 5 deaths that have occurred at the park since 1981 and it’s easy to see why some believe the park itself is haunted.
In addition to getting into the Halloween spirit with the graveyard, for a little more money you can enjoy some of Lake Compounce’s famous rides (though the Kiddieland rides and the Crocodile Cove Water Park are closed). The 17 rides that are open during The Haunted Graveyard event are: Boulder Dash, Zoomerang, Ghost Hunt, Twister, American Flyers, Bumper Cars, Wipe Out, Thunder N’ Lightning, Rev-O-Lution, Wave Swinger, Carousel, Down Time, Giant Wheel, Pirate Ship, Sky Coaster (at an extra cost), Zoomers Gas N’ Go, and Phobia.
The one downside to Halloween (besides the subsequent cavities) is the fact that you can only wear one costume, and on one day. Well, mope around no more—you can wear your costume on the premises of The Haunted Graveyard as well!
So if you can’t figure out which costume you love more, don’t worry about it; you can wear one at the park and one on Halloween. Just be aware that you can’t wear capes (there’s a danger they might get stuck in a machine), masks (for security reasons), or have weapons (because, duh).
4) It’s never the same.
If you went to The Haunted Graveyard 3 years ago, I can understand that you might not want to go again. Been there, done that, right? Wrong. The Haunted Graveyard is different every single year, with new scares, innovations, costumes, and more, making it the perfect Halloween event to go see year after year.
5) It’s got 14 differently-themed haunted houses and over 200 costumed actors.
It’ called the “largest Halloween attraction in New England” for a reason: It really is huge. The houses range in theme from a catacombs to an eerie graveyard, to a vampire’s haunt, to a witch’s lair, to a misty lake, an ancient temple, and more. Outside the houses, more than 200 costumed actors will do their best to spook you as you traverse a cemetery full of the undead and a cornfield that hosts a chainsaw-wielding madman.
6) It’s open all month long.
One of the great things about The Haunted Graveyard is the fact that it’s open every weekend in October (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, dependent on weather), meaning that you don’t have to choose between this and the other spooky goings-on that all seem to cluster into the last few weeks of the month. According to the Lake Compounce website, the first two weekends of the month are the slowest, meaning you’ll have the easiest time getting in, while the last three weekends are busier and will seem more crowded. The park opens at 5pm, and The Haunted Graveyard begins at dusk each day.
7) A portion of every ticket sale goes to an amazing cause.
As is fitting of an event created to help their diabetic daughter keep her mind off of candy around Halloween, a portion of all of the ticket sales each year is donated to various diabetes organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Since 2001, The Haunted Graveyard has raised $1 million for diabetes research. So go have yourself a good scare and feel good knowing that you’re helping to fund diabetes research all at the same time!