Review: Spooky World presents Nightmare New England, Litchfield, NH (4 stars)

Last year, the team from Events INSIDER went on a 10-day Halloween blitz! In October 2013, I visited 28 attractions to bring you reviews and information on everything Halloween in New England. We went indoors and outdoors as far north as New Hampshire, as far south as Rhode Island, and as far west as Connecticut. Don’t forget to visit, where we list more creative October events than anyplace else!

Spooky World presents Nightmare New England takes place in a small outdoor amusement park, where you can show up early, eat dinner, and try attractions including an arcade and batting cage. How fun! My favorite was the go cart track. Vroom! It’s just an hour’s drive from Boston and has a carnival atmosphere. You can stoll up and down the walkway, play carnival games, and listen to party music. They have a giant bonfire and plenty of staff to help you find your way. Alcohol is available. You can buy VIP tickets bringing you quickly to the front of the line.

Our favorite attraction at Spooky World was the Raven’s Claw, a woods walk with the highest production value and the best actors. It’s wonderful to spend some time outdoors. The other outdoor attraction, The Colony, and the indoor attractions were fun but did not reach high for theatrical quality. I have found that many commercial attractions, such as Witches Woods, perhaps with their eyes on the bottom line, have difficulty finding artistic excellence. The actors often seemed to be lacking in motivation, and there were few of them. The decorations, well, it’s hard to make a lot of plywood seem scary, and I would have wished for higher production value in the dummies and more animatronics. More thought should be put into lighting, by someone with stage experience, because sometimes it was too dark to see and be scared by the props and decorations. At other times we could see too much what was coming.

Still, it’s impossible not to have a great time when you get to walk through the woods, and we had so much with the go carts and carnival atmosphere that I cannot give Spooky World a low rating. It was great to pay one price (plus $5 for parking) to find five attractions — that is plenty to do. But the way to enjoy Spooky World is to think of it as a carnival night with friends. You go there to see the sights more than to be spooked, perhaps, but it’s a good time and lasts all night.

Upon leaving Spooky World, we found a Zombie Paintball event (2 stars) that costs $4 and is run by different management. Wow, Zombie Paintball! It is exactly what it sounds like: you are given a paintball gun and get to shoot zombies. This concept is amazing and there is definitely a floor to how bad any attraction called Zombie Paintball can be. Unfortunately, that being said, there was little to recommend about the attraction. The sets were basic and the actors playing zombies were not dressed in costume. Of course my heart goes out to the two poor people whose job it was to get shot all night! But their acting was not in the least theatrical or scary, I am sorry to say. They did not seem to react to being shot, nor could I tell in the low lighting whether any of my shots were connecting. Finally, call me a wimp, but I just did not see the fun in shooting a couple of people who presumably were not getting paid much and had been working a long, cold night. I hope that we’ll see this attraction return with some more thought given to acting, staging, and with glow-in-the-dark paintballs.

This review was from Events INSIDER’s 2013 10-day Halloween blitz, where we visited 28 attractions across New England. Visit, where you’ll find more fun Halloween and October events than anywhere else!