Haunted Maze Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory
In 2011, the DeadLand scream park came out with its third attraction, the Maze of Screams. The Maze was built using wooden using pallets and was centered on the theme of–what else?–psychotic killer clowns. Imagine the most horrifying “funhouse” you’ve ever heard of, then set it in the middle of a haunted wood, miles from help. Yeah…you see that guy to the left? That’s the sort of friendly, benevolent clown you could look forward to meeting in the Maze of Screams.
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Over the next four years, we created a trove of good memories in and around that maze. Lots of scares, but lots of laughter too, each intensified by the presence of the other. But time and weather took a toll on the wood, and eventually the pallets began to fall apart.
The Maze wasn’t dangerous yet, but it was headed down that path–and you know how it is with scream parks. The fun is in imaginary perils. Real danger is not fun.
Haunt owners Dana and Gerald Chapman decided it was time to lay the Maze to rest and replace it with in a new attraction. But how to end it with the dignity and drama it deserved? After weeks of brainstorming with the DeadLand team, they decided to let the Lascassas Volunteer Fire Department use it as a training exercise.
Yes, the Maze of Screams would go out in a blaze of glory. Literally.
On a clear winter evening in February, the Maze was demolished, the wood gathered into a massive pyre. With a crowd of subdued and already-nostalgic spectators to witness the event. the Lascassas fire fighters set the wood ablaze.
It was a controlled burn, but spectacular nonetheless. The crowd shared memories as they watched it burn. Haunt owner Dana Chapman says of the event, “It was not a celebration, but kinda sad.”
The sadness didn’t last long, though, because in short order, the DeadLand team was hard at work designing two new attractions: the Crypt, which will take the haunt to a whole new level of terror, and the Freak Out Escape Games, in which participants solve clues in order to escape a locked room. R.I.P., Maze of Screams. Long Live the Thrills.