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From mild to wild: A scariness ranking of NoCo Halloween activities

October is full of fall celebrations. With so many things going on, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Some love the thrill of dressing up in the scariest costume possible, watching horror flicks every weekend and lining up for haunted houses that are nationally recognized for being terrifying. Others like the more simple side of apple picking in the orchard, carnival games with kids and carefully carving the perfect jack-o-lantern.

Whether you’re a horror junky or admittedly kind of a wimp, Northern Colorado has a fall festival for you. Here is a list of popular actives ranked from mild to wild:

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Bartel’s Farm (Very Mild):

Bartel’s Farm is the safest bet for those who hate horror. It’s family friendly and hosts birthday parties and school field trips. It has an awesome pumpkin patch with pumpkins for purchase starting at only $1. There are also gourds, indian corn, straw bales and corn stalk bundles available for all your decorating needs. Bartel’s also has a corn maze, but nothing haunts it, so you’re in the clear. There are also farm animals to pet, games to play and a hay ride. This is the perfect location for picturesque fall celebrations with none of the adrenaline rush. Luckily, it’s only a 20 minute drive from campus, making for easily accessible fun.

Anderson Farms (Mild):

Anderson Farms is a good next step from complete restriction of scariness. They provide the same feel with their corn maze, pumpkin patch and farm animals. The difference here is the after dark events. They named their maze “Terror in the Corn,” which only gets scary after the sun goes down. They also provide a haunted hayride and ghost town experience. The scares are a little middle school, but it’s perfect for easing into things. It’s a bit further away, near Erie, Colorado, but it is still only about a 45 minute drive.

Fritzler’s Corn Maze (Mild):

Fritzler’s and Anderson’s are very similar in terms of scare factor. Fritzler’s is a great choice for those looking to get their feet wet in scariness or for those looking to completely jump in. They offer the same fun daytime activities, but they really ease into the after dark scary stuff. Their maze gets haunted in phases. During the day, it’s never haunted. Then, comes Phase 1 after dark, which gives the option of wandering through the maze in the creepiness of the dark, but without anything jumping out or lurking in the corners. Phase 2 goes all in with the haunting. This is the perfect place to test the waters before moving on to anything more intense. They’re located in La Salle, Colorado, which is about 45 minutes from campus.

Jack Lantern’s Northern Colorado Corn Maze (Mild)

Along the same lines as the previous two, Jack Lantern’s offers the best of both worlds. Their maze, “The Corn Maze of Carnage,” is a tad spookier as the moon is the only light source. They have also added a Haunted Hayride recently. This is a popular Fort Collins location. It’s just on the other side of I-25 about 18 minutes from campus.

Haunted Field of Screams (Wild)

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This one is not for the faint of heart. It’s a step toward the big gigs in Denver, but it is still a corn maze. They offer three scares at one location. The Haunted Field of Screams is the main attraction that hopes to scare even the biggest horror buffs in the group. The Dead Man’s Night Maze is a more classic take on the haunted corn maze, meaning it hopes to get you lost and then scare you. They also offer interactive Zombie Paintball for those who wish to fight back. This one is a bit further, located in Thornton, Colorado. The hour drive provides plenty of time to prepare to be scared. Just don’t chicken out.

If these attractions don’t completely brake your bank, you can head further into metro Denver for some serious special effects. But be warned, the scarier things get, the more expensive they become. And, that is the true college horror story.

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