Bingeman’s Screampark incites fright and delight

On Oct. 25, a few of my friends came up for the weekend, and for some unknown reason, I agreed to go to Bingeman’s Screampark (and I say “some unknown reason” because I am very scared of a lot of horror-related things).

Screampark is an event put on at Bingeman’s in Waterloo each year that resembles something like Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland.

They have actors dressed in costumes watching you while you are waiting in line and prepping you to be scared.

The grounds of Bingeman’s are turned into four separate haunted houses that are included in the initial ticket, and include Carney Carnage; a haunted house focused on clowns, Zombie Wasteland; which dealt with zombies on an abandoned military camp, Prisoners Playground; a hospital and asylum of sorts, and lastly, The Darkness; a haunted house that’s completely in the dark.

After waiting in line, my friends and I began our adventure by being led through the forest to get to two of the houses (Zombie Wasteland and Prisoners Playground). While walking, actors were jumping out at us, and I am going to be completely honest in saying that I was pretty scared.

The chainsaw sounds truly made it seem real, and the guy who was holding the saw stayed in character — even when we had to ask what direction to walk in since some people were going off the path.

The first house  we entered was Zombie Wasteland — this house was well executed. They had people staggered around waiting to pop out and scare us but there was still room to breathe.

I think I provided my friends with a moment of comic relief as I screamed at moments I really shouldn’t have been scared (for example. when a piece of caution tape touched me).

The second and last house we went through was the Prisoners Playground, which I was not very impressed by. When you first enter, it becomes hard to tell where to go because of the strobe lights.

The house was less scary, in my opinion, because there were fewer actors and more things placed to distort your vision and reality — I also started to feel very claustrophobic because of how small the spaces you had to maneuver through were.

Once we started exiting, one of my friends felt like she was going to throw up, and I’ve got to say that the feeling was very mutual.

After that incident, the girls and I were done with our time at the park, and I can honestly say that I don’t think — even if time permitted it — I would be able to do another house.

My thoughts on the experience were that it was a fun time for the most part. The actors were pretty good at knowing when to jump out and who to scare. The chainsaw dude really was the MVP for our experience.

I think the only thing that would need to be improved is letting people be more aware of the things they will be going through — not giving away the houses, but making note that if you have epilepsy or extreme claustrophobia that maybe some of the houses are not for you. I just don’t think that having it in fine print on the website is enough.

Now the big question: should you go? If you are like me and get scared very easily and do not love tight spaces then maybe this is not something that you should spend your money on.

But If you like haunted houses and scary stuff, then yes — you absolutely should go! Maybe have a competition of who gets scared the fastest with your friends.

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