In October of 1995 I started a 4+ year relationship with Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. I would become an Annual Passholder and isit the park about once a month starting in 1996. But 1995 was the year the Great Adventure won me over, because that was the first year I went to Fright Fest.
Fright Fest had been running in Six Flags Parks since the eighties, but it did not come to Great Adventure until 1992. I had heard good things about it before 1995, but could never make it down there during October. I was also always a bit nervous about going.
In the eighties, some violence and injuries had hit the park and it was a place my Mom warned me that I should not visit. Fortunately, a friend assured me that it was safe and suggested we go during Fright Fest. I am glad they did.
The park was done up with spooky theming and monsters and maniacs roamed around trying to scare patrons. As the sun set and the air got colder, things got spookier. It was Halloween heaven and I caught Fright Fest Fever.
Besides great decorations, they had weird funny shows by the lake, a mock Execution by the Character Cafe, a Hayride to the Unknown, a Masquerade Ball, and my favorite. a stage show featuring the Cryptkeeper from the Tales from the Crypt.
Here is a schedule from that year. Love the clip art and of course the Taz Fright Fest logo.
While I would enjoy the other shows, it was the Tales from the Crypt show that I enjoyed the most. It had a puppet of the Cryptkeeper and these wonderful “Tales from the Crypt Dancers.” The show was silly and yet professionally done. I must have gone to at least 3 showings in one day.
This all might be very common at theme parks nowadays, but this was all new to me in 1995 and I would wander from show to show and spooky character to spooky character, eating pumpkin shaped sugar cookies and drinking hot chocolate. At the end of the night they had a Fright themed Fireworks show. I don’t remember it being all too well themed, but I seem to remember a good amount of orange being used.
Fright Fest is still running at Great Adventure and it looks like it has grown a lot since 1995. Hopefully one day I will get back to New Jersey and I can see how it has evolved. In the meantime I will have to be satisfied with my memories and the ephemera that I have held onto.
Here is a map of the park from that year.
My Mom was right, it was dangerous! This is a safety card and a schedule of events they gave out when you entered the park.
Shame I missed some of these musical acts. I would catch a lot of these older ones in later years, but I never got to see Chubby Checker or the Beach Boys.