“Stadium of Screams” opened at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Thursday night, and the Newark Bears invited me to come and check it out.
With most of the lights out, Halloween music playing, and assorted Halloween decorations in place, the ballpark had a spooky vibe. That was before the high school student volunteers appeared in their makeup to play their part in the ribbon cutting ceremony.
Afterwards, there was a bit of a delay while Bears owner Danielle Dronet checked to make sure everything was in place for all of the haunted attractions. But by 8:30 p.m., we were ready to go.
First, we were ushered into the old team shop, which had been emptied out and turned into a screening room for a short video warning us of the “dangers” that awaited in the Stadium of Screams. In a nice touch, a team employee raised the metal security shutter in front of the store to let us in… then lowered it behind the group so no one could leave.
After the video, we were led down to the Bears’ clubhouse, which had been made over into a scene that would have felt at home in a survival-horror video game. We emerged onto the field, behind home plate, and walked down to the bullpen area – which is now home to werewolves and other things.
Then it was back inside the maze of horrors in the behind-the-scenes areas of the stadium. We finished up on the Party Deck, where a “Star-Ledger reporter” (one of the student volunteers) prematurely decided that nothing was happening at the stadium — until some ghouls came and got her.
I had fun, and it was clear that all of the student volunteers and Bears interns and employees had put in a lot of hard work to make sure that patrons had a good time at the Stadium of Screams.
Unfortunately, I did not see a big crowd of people at the ballpark, but I only stayed for an hour after the gates opened and it was a Thursday night. Hopefully more will come out this weekend – the people that worked on this deserve to have their efforts appreciated.
One warning – if you’re easily frightened, might be prone to claustrophobia or have reason to avoid smoke machines or strobe lights, Stadium of Screams may not be for you.
Stadium of Screams is open Oct. 20th-21st, 25th-28th and 31st from 8 p.m. – midnight. (It was originally scheduled to be open tonight, too, but it’s been rained out on Oct. 19th.) While admission to the stadium is free, it costs $20 to get into three of the haunted attractions. (It took about a half-hour for me to get through the full tour of the haunts.)
[Disclosure: I received free admission to the “Stadium of Screams” haunts from the Newark Bears on Thursday night.]