OUT & ABOUT: Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce opens Friday

OUT & ABOUT: Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce opens Friday

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BRISTOL — If you’re not terrified in one spooky-themed house in the Haunted Graveyard, chances are you will be frightened in another.

The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce, 185 Enterprise Drive., has been scaring people for 29 years. The attraction includes a half dozen themed haunted “houses” that take visitors through different  scary scenarios. 

The mile-long walk, which takes about 45 minutes, starts in the catacombs and takes you through a butcher shop, vampire house, a jungle and more.

“We do classic horror. We don’t do a lot of blood and gore, that’s too simple,” Haunted Graveyard owner Ernie Romegialli said.

Romegialli said they try to touch on wholesome human fears, like fear of the dark. 

The trail ends with a walk-through 80 feet of pure darkness. At first, some thought the ending wasn’t going to work, but Romegialli said “my attitude was everybody’s petrified of the dark.”

About 150 professional actors bring the scenes to life each night. 

Erika Allen, of Thomaston, has been working as an actor and with set design for the last five years. As an avid Halloween-lover, she jumped at the opportunity to scare people on the weekends. 

“I love Halloween, I love to be able to bring it to life,” Allen said. “(The Haunted Graveyard) here is amazing for doing that.” 

Allen is part of a woodsy witches scene, a part she feels connected to as a lover of nature and history. She said it’s getting harder and harder to scare people, so getting deep into character is important. 

Romegialli is thankful for each actor and crew member. 

“Without everybody behind me ... it just wouldn’t be possible,” he said. “I really appreciate what they do.”

The Haunted Graveyard opens Friday and runs through Nov. 2. Romegialli said big plans are in store already for next year’s 30th anniversary. 

The attraction will also be offering a “Behind the Screams” look at how the graveyard is put together on Oct. 5. The special ticket includes an afternoon of seminars and demonstrations, plus unlimited graveyard walk-throughs and a free Sky Coaster ride. 

Twitter: @baileyfaywright

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