Niles Scream Park opens Friday for 50th season

Published 5:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

NILES — One of Niles’ most popular fall attractions is celebrating five decades of fun and fear this season.

The Niles Scream Park, 855 Mayflower Road, Niles, opens for its 50th season Friday and organizers and volunteers are ready to scare the “yell” out of guests. For the remainder of September, the park will be open from 8 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in September. In October, the park will be open from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays. A “black-out” night will be hosted from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3.

According to owner Pete Karlowicz, the Niles Scream Park is the second-oldest haunt in the country.

“It’s beyond words,” he said. “It’s not like in this area or in the state of Michigan, it’s the entire country. For us, that’s a really big deal to have survived that long, we’re very honored.”

The park boasts 44-acres filled with frightful sights that are rebuilt each year. The park is recognized both regionally and nationally as a top haunted house, having been recognized by Haunted Attraction Magazine as a “Top 31 Must-See Haunted Attraction.”

  • Niles Haunted House — The park’s largest and most popular attraction takes guests on a tour filled with themed rooms and a variety of scares.
  • Blackbeard’s Revenge — This attraction imagines guests as shipmates aboard the abandoned Queen Anne’s Revenge searching for treasure that doomed the ship and its crew to a dark and unforgiving curse.
  • Ghostly Hollow — One couple’s get-rich-quick scheme led to the untimely demise of an entire frontier town. 
  • Field of Screams — If you scream it, they will come. One of the park’s most popular attractions, the Field of Screams guides guests through a maze featuring cannibals, a cemetery, a ghost town and more.
  • Dark Terror-tory Haunted Hayride — This mile-long hayride journeys through more than 40 unique sets.
  • Hooded — For adults 18 and over only, guests are blindfolded and actors can touch them as they move through a scary attraction.
  • Mini Escape Rooms — Four five-minute escape rooms will be available to give guests a fast-paced experience.

The midway features several food concessions that provide enough variety to satisfy everyone’s cravings. The Gift Shop will let guests shop for the latest Halloween items while the park’s new photo-op system will provide guests with several options of pictures to purchase to commemorate their night. There will also be the Dead Man’s Axe throwing game too for those that like adventure and a challenge.

The Niles Haunted House is the original attraction at the Niles Scream Park – once known as the Niles Haunted House Scream Park. Originally opened in 1973 by the Niles Jaycees, the Niles Haunted House has been located at several locations, including the Carnegie Library in downtown Niles, in a couple of semi-trailers on a vacant lot, in “Barbara Jeans Restaurant,” in the “mushroom factory” and in the Old Bell School building.

In 1998, the Niles Haunted House relocated to its present location on Mayflower Road. A hayride was added the first year at that location and in the next couple years, other side attractions were added that have developed into the two interior haunted houses and Field of Screams currently operating on the site. The Niles Haunted House, however, remains the feature attraction of the Scream Park.

The Niles Scream Park is a non-profit community project that uses approximately 200 volunteers per night to staff its various attractions. These volunteers represent over 65 Michiana area community and school organizations. Since 1996, more than $2.4 million have been donated to local and nation non- profit organizations and to the Niles Scream Park funded college scholarships for students at Niles, Brandywine, Dowagiac, Cassopolis, Edwardsburg and Penn High Schools The Niles Scream Park is located on Mayflower Road, south of Niles-Buchanan Road just off Exit 5 of the US 31 Bypass. 

Karlowicz praised his staff of volunteers for making the Scream Park a destination for both community members and haunt enthusiasts alike for generations.

“We have a really dedicated group of people that staff this. It’s an honor to be here 50 years. I haven’t been here quite that long but the project has and that’s really cool.”

For more information on prices, times and dates of operation can be obtained by visiting the Niles Scream Park web site at www.haunted.org or calling 269-687-FEAR.