Merry, Scary: Fright Kingdom’s The Fright Before Christmas

December 18, 2019 — No, you haven’t accidentally entered the OTIS Halloween archives. It’s just that these days, the holidays are always crossing the streams. Especially Halloween and Christmas. If Halloween is becoming more like Christmas in its increasing consumerism, Christmas is becoming more like Halloween in developing its dark side. I see more articles on Krampus every year than Saint Nick. Christmas-themed horror movies are about as common as Hallmark Christmas movies. And we’re all living in a post-Nightmare Before Christmas society anyway.

If you’ve read my annual OTIS Halloween Season, you know about Fright Kingdom. It’s my local haunt here in Nashua and a great one. It’s an indoor multi-haunt that’s also a non-stop Halloween party on October weekends, with bands and photo ops and horror movie prop exhibits and food and activities. It’s such a good time that, throughout the year, the owner, Tim Dunne, has to find reasons outside the Halloween Season to open it up for one-off themed weekends. Like Christmas, where for a single weekend, the haunt becomes The Fright Before Christmas.

And I fiiiiiinally got to go this season.

It’s the same haunt…you enter a giant castle façade, go through a tunnel of live tarantulas, and then party on the midway until it’s your group’s turn to head under the giant jack-o-lantern and into the haunt complex itself.

Except this time, they deck those haunted halls with a corroded form of Christmas. Christmas lights wrapped around corpses, Santa hats on serial killers. Red noses on werewolf snouts. Instead of the usual “zombies, freaks, and maniacs” wandering the midway, the costumed characters include deranged Santas, wicked Jack Frosts, evil elves, crazy carolers, ghastly treetopper angels. Oh, and Krampuses. Lots and lots of Krampuses.

It was a blast, and I’m hoping to visit Fright Kingdom during its other non-Halloween holidays, as well, like its Forever Mine Valentine’s Day event in February and the Zombie Prom in May. Eventually, I hope Tim finally just gives in and opens it year-round as a creepy coffee shop so that I can hang out there anytime of the year.