Behind the scenes at Phantom Fall Fest

Bristol, Connecticut, USA

September 16, 2023 – Who doesn’t love a good haunt? With Phantom Fall Fest at Lake Compounce right around the corner, we were thrilled when the park invited us to a behind-the-scenes look at the work going on as they prepare for their second annual Halloween celebration. The six-week-long event runs from September 23 to October 29 on weekends and on Friday nights beginning October 6.

This year the park added an additional 50 scare actors, doubled the number of scare zones and a completely re-imagined one of the four haunted houses – mAlice in Wonderland 3D – which will transport unsuspecting guests down the rabbit hole through the vortex and into a three-dimensional world where evil inhabits a twisted wonderland.

“We have cranked the scare level up 10 notches this season,” said General Manager Doug Hemphill. “Phantom Fall Fest returns to the park with more scares across all of our haunted attractions, more food and beverage offerings and more theming throughout the park. We can’t wait for our guests to see what we have in store for them within our re-imagined and fully immersive Halloween experience.”

That includes Deadsville: where the once quaint Main Street has now been overtaken by an unforgiving zombie virus and as day turns to night, unsuspecting park-goers must pass through this nightmarish realm and meet the undead awaiting them. And then there’s Sinister Circus: the newly transformed bar where unsuspecting party guests are greeted by horrifying jesters and visitors 21 plus can indulge in blood bag cocktails, Jell-O shot syringes and cranium cocktails so long as they can brave the evil jokers awaiting them.



Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins are only part of the offerings. Frightful bites including dirt cups, poisoned candy apples and zombie funnel cakes, as well as pumpkin flavored ice cream, will be part of the Phantom Fall Fest celebration.



We also spoke with Hemphill, who took over the park leadership last May and has over a decade experience as an executive at SeaWorld and over 25 years at Six Flags, about Wildcat, the park’s classic wooden coaster that’s been out of operation for the entire season.

“We are aiming for the coaster to be ready on opening day (of 2024),” Hemphill said.

Gravity Group, the company that also re-tracked Grizzly at Kings Dominion, Racer at Kings Island and Megafobia at Oakwood, will be replacing most of the current track with their new vertical layered prefab track during the offseason, which will provide a much smoother ride experience.

“Last year was a lesson for us, to get through the season and see where we were as a park,” Hemphill said. “Even though ’23 is still with us and we have some exciting things happening, we’re starting to plan for 2024 and all the great things we can do to grow and improve the park and preserve the history simultaneously.”

Lake Compounce opened in 1846 and is the oldest amusement park in the United States. For more information about Phantom Fall Fest click here.