MASON, Ohio -- Dead-eyed zombies, demonic clowns, gargantuan-sized spiders or chainsaw-wielding butchers -- no matter what you fear, Kings Island wants to scare the pants off you.
The Mason amusement park's annual screamfest returns Friday with 11 haunted mazes, four outdoor scare zones and more than 600 "scare-actors." That's in addition to more than 20 popular rides, including its scream-inducing roller coasters Banshee, Beast and Diamondback.
New this year is the Blackout haunted maze, which replaces Club Blood in the park's Action Zone. The new maze represents a departure from the park's traditional haunted attractions in which tortured characters jump out from behind every corner.
What this maze lacks in its minimalism, it makes up for in its blinding psychological horrors. In this pitch-black, twisty maze, intrepid thrill-seekers must feel their way through a maze filled with tactile terrors and whispers in the dark.
"The fear is in the dark," said park spokesman Don Helbig. "It takes people maybe six to eight minutes to find your way out, which is a long time when you're freaked."
Blackout joins 10 other returning mazes, including Board to Death, CarnEvil, Cornstalkers, Delta Delta Die, Kill Mart, Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror, Slaughter House, Tombstone Terror-Tory, Urgent Scare and Wolf Pack.
The fall live entertainment lineup returns "Blood Drums," a percussive rhythm and music show, and "Hot Blooded," a music revue, for their fourth and sixth seasons, respectively.
A new show, "Monster Rock," features the music of Journey, Foreigner, Bon Jovi and Aerosmith, among other popular bands.
Halloween Haunt is offered between 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31, except for Saturday, when the park operates from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
On Saturdays beginning Oct. 3, the park opens at 11 a.m. for its family-friendly attraction, Snoopy's Halloween Party. The Halloween transformation begins at 5 p.m. and is recommended for mature audiences.
Tickets start at $29.99 online. For more information, call 513-754-5700 or go to www.visitkingsisland.com/haunt.