Fright Night thrills visitors throughout October

Photo courtesy of

Shayna Hume

Every year in October, pumpkins emerge on front porches and costumes fly off the shelves of party stores. However, despite the merriment that is typical to the month, there is also a darker side that emerges at night, even among the suburban housing of Northern Virginia.

Fright Night, a Halloween-themed experience based out of Ashburn, Virginia, is a fundraiser created by the Fire Escape Student Ministry of the Community Church. But don’t let that fool you. Its Friday-night escapades are far more bloodcurdling than any traditional haunted house.

Tickets to the event are only $20, but if visitors are willing to pay an extra $10, they get bumped into a “SpeedPass” lane, from which they get added to groups of regular guests with uneven numbers.

While the path itself is short—a mere 30 minutes to walk—it took almost two hours to wait in line, get tickets and wait for our numbers to be called. However, during those two hours the staff made sure to entertain visitors with multiple bonfires, a refreshment tent and a dance floor.

The ride for the attraction is almost as unnerving as the path itself, beginning with the waiver forms every guest is required to sign and ending with the 10-minute hold-up in a pitch black tent while ghoulish bodyguards wait for the next tractor to arrive.

Those tractors aren’t the end destination, however. After a brief ride into the backwoods of Ashburn, they drop the group off with their “tour guides” for the evening.

Some of the highlights from the path that follows included the traditional revolving tube and the participating characters. Staff members are allowed to touch guests, and they take full advantage of that fact to terrify individuals lagging behind by grabbing hold of their legs and startling them from the back.

One of the most appealing facts about Fright Night is their status as a non-profit. All proceeds from the terrifying evening go to Community Church youth outreach, Messiah’s Market food pantry and the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter.

As shown by the turnout, Fright Night is a perfect event for both children and adults. It may not be something I would return to annually, but as a first-time visitor, I was delighted by both the thrills and the terrors that the night presented.