What if your favorite Christmas song took a more sinister twist so instead of “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, it went something like, “He sees you when you’re screaming, he knows when you’re afraid”? Well, this is exactly what I wanted to find out when checking out the Fright Haven haunted house for the holidays.


Fright Haven

Frightmare Before Christmas

For those looking for an alternative way to celebrate Christmas, “Frightmare Before Christmas” explored Santa’s ominous side.

Decked out for the holidays, the Fright Haven indoor maze at Barnum Avenue Cutoff in Stratford combined the joys of Christmas with the horrors of Halloween.

Upside down Christmas trees, wooden coffins, ornate chandeliers full of skulls and artificial snow transformed the impressive 20,000 square feet facility into an eerie winter wonderland. While the non-traditional Christmas music blared overhead, I couldn’t help but cower behind my date – hey someone had to take the lead and it wasn’t going to be me!


Spaz the Clown

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As we waited to enter the haunted house, we met a variety of creepy characters like disgruntled elves and deranged toys but Spaz the Clown was my favorite. His wrinkled face, wide grin and piercing eyes frightened me. I can honestly say that during our brief encounter, I was too frightened to open my eyes.


Related: True Ghost Stories That Haunt Connecticut


Deck The Hall With Smashed Ornaments

Walking through the wooden doors of “Dead End Manor” we entered a 200-year-old Victorian house at the end of a dead-end street. The torn Christmas stockings, smashed ornaments and blood-splattered walls made this abandoned house unwelcoming. Next, we toured “The Factory” where Santa’s overworked elves and rejected toys were losing their minds.

(Photo by Fright Haven)


Tapping Into Your Senses

One of the unique things about the Fright Haven holiday-themed haunted house is its emphasis on sensory experiences. Not only were there close quarters and low ceilings which required the sense of touch but there were also false floors which visually altered reality.

I also appreciated the kids who played various spooky characters throughout the haunted house. My favorites were the two sisters who fought over which way our party of three (we picked up a straggler along the way) should go. We ended up getting caught up in their drama and had a blast watching it unfold.

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Lastly, Fright Haven had incredible animatronics and special effects that kept us entertained throughout the entire walk-through. The haunted house featured colorful 3D artwork which glowed in the dark. Remember to keep your 3D glasses on because some of the monsters blend in.


Final Thoughts

Although the scares weren’t nonstop at Fright Haven, I can see why the other groups we met that night were repeat customers who visit Fright Haven’s haunted houses throughout the year. Fright Haven is a special effects masterpiece!

If you’re like me and can’t wait a full year to experience Halloween, I have some good news for you. For Valentine’s Day, Fright Haven is hosting a three-night soiree at the Valentines Day Massacre (February 9, 10 and 11) where Cupid intends to tear out his angelic wings and take deadly aim with his bow – see you there for a bloody date night!


I was a guest of Fright Haven, of course, all opinions are my own. 

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