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Be prepared to be scared: Long Island's best Halloween Attractions

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One of the reasons Halloween is so popular is that people love to be scared. From spooky campfire tales to vampire movies and all the creepy crawly things that go bump in the night, there's something about having the wits scared out of you that's just plain fun. Halloween is a time for ghosts and goblins, vampires and werewolves, chainsaw-carrying freaks wearing hockey masks and more, and they're all out in full force this month ready to scare the daylights out of unsuspecting people.

One of the most popular Halloween activities to come out in recent years is visiting haunted houses or taking haunted hayrides where visitors can revel in the frightening spirit of the season. Long Island is a great setting for such marvelous mayhem and there are plenty of great spook fests to go around. Check out some of the best:

Spooky Walk, Center Moriches, NY

One of the originals and still one of the best is back at Camp Paquatuck in Center Moriches this Halloween and this year it is celebrating its 25th year of scaring the wits out of unsuspecting visitors. The Spooky Walk is a 45 minute experience of frights in the perfect setting. Located on a campground full of wooded areas, a lake, and small buildings, this attraction is full of monsters, zombies and chainsaw wielding fiends at every turn. This year’s Spooky Walk takes place the last two weekends of October, on the 18th, 19th, the 25th and 26th. The cost of admission is $15 and it's worth every penny.

Schmitt Farms Haunted Mansion and Haunted Corn Maze, Melville, NY

Schmitt’s Family Farms on Pinelawn Road in Melville has been serving up chills and frights geared for just about anyone, and once again the farm is offering up several attractions for a frighteningly good time. Be it in the dark of night or the light of day, The Haunted Mansion, Haunted Corn Maze and The Experiment each offer up their own unique brand of dreadful fun, and a Children's Haunted Mansion serves up a less frightening brand of Halloween havoc. Schmitts’ Halloween attractions are open various times throughout the month of October. Click the link within for more info.

The Dark Side Haunted House, Calverton, NY

“Be prepared to be scared! The greatest show unearthed.”

One of Long Island's most popular Halloween attractions is located on a 100 year-old potato farm in Calverton. Since 1998, The Dark Side Haunted House has been scaring people nearly to death, and they’re back, bigger and better than ever! Calling itself Long Island’s #1 Halloween attraction, The Dark Side is always serving up exciting special events, so check out their website for more info, dates, times and directions.

Bayville Scream Park, Bayville

The Bayville Scream Park is a combination of five separate and thrilling attractions, including "Evil in the Woods," "Curse of the Zombie Pirates," "Temple of Terror," Bloodworth Haunted Mansion," and "Uncle Needle's Funhouse of Fear." The park's website boasts of its stature as one of Long Island’s “Scariest Haunted Houses” as voted by thrill seekers and has already been scaring early Halloween revelers since September 13th. Check out the link within to learn more.

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a visit to any of these haunted Halloween attractions:

- Generally, these haunted houses are a little too scary for children under the age of 12, so please keep this in mind. Several of these locales run special daytime frights geared for young ones, so check out the websites for more.

- The actors in these attractions are usually unpaid volunteers, and touching visitors is never allowed. The same decorum is expected of patrons.

- With the immense popularity of these attractions, expect lines of up to an hour to get in.

For a more complete listing of the many Halloween spook fests being offered throughout Long Island and beyond this Halloween season, check out the Long Island Exchange.

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