Could there be a better way to savor a crisp autumn night than with a haunted hayride through the Minnesota countryside? Imagine snuggling up with a loved one in an open wagon, gazing up at the starry sky, and inhaling the agrestic aromas, all while grotesque ghouls emerge from the enveloping darkness, uttering abominable howls as they swarm the path. While Halloween thrills are ubiquitous throughout October, few options can match the macabre variety of Shakopee's enduring Trail of Terror. Billed as the "largest Halloween event in the Midwest," the ongoing festival entices intrepid visitors with over 15 fright-filled attractions, including the aforementioned hayride, five fear-themed Halls of Horror, and the titular trail, a three-quarter-mile indoor labyrinth that leads guests through an assortment of ghastly monstrosities. But what really distinguishes this happening from other Halloween attractions is the carnivalesque atmosphere that hangs over the gathering, offering psychics, hypnotists, and terrifying rounds of karaoke. Families can sip warm cocoa while listening to ghost stories around the bonfire or, for those adults needing an added shot of courage, stronger libations can be found in Club Scream. Whether trekking through a corn maze or shambling along with a Zombie Pub Crawl, revelers will find that Trail of Terror offers scares for every taste, bloodcurdling or not.
Thursdays-Sundays, 7-11 p.m.; Mon., Oct. 31. Starts: Oct. 13. Continues through Oct. 31, 2011