Niles Scream Park raises more than $100K for charities

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Members of the Make A Wish Foundation, pictured, raised $14,400 for their cause by volunteering at the Niles Scream Park this year. (Submitted photo)

Members of the Make A Wish Foundation, pictured, raised $14,400 for their cause by volunteering at the Niles Scream Park this year. (Submitted photo)

The Niles Scream Park, one of Michiana’s most popular autumn attractions, recently completed another successful season at its always changing 44-acre site on Mayflower Road, between Niles and Buchanan.

This year, the 42nd consecutive year for running the project, the Scream Park raised more than $106,000 for around 65 area children’s organizations, civic groups and other charities. Proceeds benefitted local school and service organizations including groups such as the Make a Wish Foundation, Boy Scouts, Pets Connect, Haunters for Hope (American Cancer Society Relay for Life team) and Positively Dance.

This year also set a record donation to a single group, when $14,400 was donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. The funds raised also will be used for four local college scholarships.

The project included six haunted attractions and provided volunteer opportunities both in construction and operation of the Scream Park. Plans are underway for even more frightening additions in the coming year. Over 21,600 hours were volunteered by over 630 different people before and during its 23 nights of operation to prepare and operate the seasonal attraction.

The year also marked the 1 millionth visitor to the Niles Haunted House attraction. Lori Keller of LaPorte, Indiana, was the special milestone visitor. She received a gift pack when she visited the Scream Park on Oct. 11 with her husband and two college-age children.

The Scream Park also broke a Sunday attendance record on Oct. 25 when it welcomed 5,620 interior attraction visitors. The previous yearly attendance record was smashed this year as 100,186 interior attraction visitors enjoyed the shows.

Highlights of the season included a visit from Kane Hodder, the actor who portrayed the psychotic killer Jason Voorhees in four of the “Friday the 13th” movies and the Hatchett triology, and a more popular than ever Black Out! event at the Park on Nov. 7. The event was so popular that the park is considering expanding it to two nights next year.

The Scream Park is recognized nationally in the haunted attraction industry. This year the Scream Park was ranked as number 13 in this region by Haunted House Chicago. The Park was chosen as the number one Halloween Activity in the South Bend Tribune’s Readers Choice Awards and was selected as one of the 31 Must See Attractions by the national publication, Haunted Attraction Magazine, for the third consecutive year.

The Scream Park was voted number one Haunted Attraction in the nation by voters on the Coaster Nation website. The Scare Factor Review team awarded the Ashes to Ashes show the “Most Original Haunt” and recognized two actors–Emmaleigh Smith and Travis Flemming–with “Actor Shout Out” awards.