For eleven months out of the year Karts Indoor Raceway furnishes Ronkonkoma with a pair of sleek go-kart tracks ideal for driving at top speeds, arcade games, and a laser tag arena. The go-karts are still up and running during the month of October, but Lazer Warz has been taken over by the ghosts and ghouls who come out of the woodwork when Halloween draws near.
This is the third season as a haunted house for Karts, but despite the attraction’s youth and some damage incurred at the hands of Hurricane Sandy last year, haunt-owner Lenny ensured our party that his was a truly terrifying production, and Fright Night did not disappoint. Though it was not quite as large as some of the other houses on the Island, my group found the scares more densely packed here than at most other haunts; Fright Night makes terrific use of the space it has.
Before being permitted to enter the haunt itself, visitors are brought into a foggy holding room centered on a faceless bust. As the group approaches the bust comes to life and, in an unsettling voice warns of the terrors which lie ahead. With the possessed statue’s cautions finished, the crowd is let into the chamber ahead where dim black-lights illuminate one creepy scene after another.
There are screamers here; though you may not see them all and they do a fantastic job of trying to catch your party off guard, wrenching up the fear factor at Fright Night. The spine-chilling shrieks are well spaced, acting to actually surprise guests where some haunts instead opt for a constant barrage of sound. A narrow passage early in the house obscures all light, blinding visitors to what waits outside the corridor and twisting their equilibrium as they try to squeeze through the tight, moving hall.
A few rooms later, guests will find themselves trying to flee from the inmates of an insane asylum at the center of the house. Patrons, however, should pause to examine this room closely, as there is a sly nod to Long Island hanging from the ceiling which locals will likely get a kick out of (my party certainly did).
There are plenty more horrors which wait past the asylum—a funeral parlor houses the recently departed, and the morgue is home to more than one creepy corpse. A small circus toward the haunt’s center houses a clown who is disturbed more deeply than even the sanitarium patients, and quite energetic in his madness.
Perhaps the scariest resident of Fright Night dwells in the doll room, which places uncanny children’s toys alongside a brilliant actor. The best animatronics of the night are reserved for the end; visitors should certainly keep an eye out for them, though we won’t spoil everything that lurks in the dark.
Fright Night at Karts is one of the best hidden gems of Halloween on Long Island. 13 rooms of terror are filled with loud, frightening noises, unexpected bursts of cold air, ingeniously used props, and actors who have mastered the art of the scare. Enraged lunatics, contorted bodies, deranged clowns, and the undead all await those brave enough to enter, and if any members of your party chicken out there is still an excellent go-kart track on which to race the night away.
This review was made possible by our partners at LIHauntedHouses.com!