Niles Scream Park: Behind the Screams


Melanie Kibler

NILES, MICHIGAN – Many people come and visit the Niles Scream Park every year, but what they don’t realize is how much care and effort is being put into scaring people out of their wits.  Not only is this park a fun place to hang out, though, it also donates almost all of its profits to more than 70 different charities.

The park is made up of six attractions, three of which change themes every year.  To be able to get the park up and running on schedule, volunteers spend countless hours helping build and design all year round.  

The themes change  starts as soon as the final night ends.  The workers start to tear down the set as soon as the last patrons leave the park and the following day is when the building of next year’s freight sets begin.

Once the park is up and running the work is hardly over since it takes up to some 250 volunteers a night to achieve terror.  Each of the volunteers log hours which in turn become funds donated to their individual charities.

Along with “scaring the yell out of you” volunteers also know exactly what to do in case of any sort of emergency.  All the rooms are equipped with phones and fire extinguishers that are accessible to workers. Volunteers are also able to clear the large haunted house in 45 seconds (two years ago the alarm was triggered so this was put to the test and they passed).

The park attendance can range anywhere from 2,000 people on a slow night to 13,000 on a busy night.  All this traffic has raised over $1.8 million for various charities since the park first opened at this location in 1996.

The busiest and most frightful nights are traditionally the “Black Out” nights, which is when all the light in the houses are turned off.  These “Black Out” nights are the last two nights of the season and this year they fall on November 2nd and 3rd.

If you want to experience some frightful fun, but also want to feel good about yourself for donating to a charity the Nile Scream Park is your place.  And when the characters jump out at you or creep up from behind, just remember “they scare cause they care.”

To learn more about the attractions themselves and when all the different dates are go to: