Feeding the Need for Frightful Fun

By Kathy Knotts 

It only took 48 hours for every ticket to the family-friendly Fright Nights at Annapolis Town Center to sell out. It seems we are all hungry for COVID-safe Halloween fun. 

“The response was incredible,” says Anthony Henry, general manager for Annapolis Town Center. “We knew we wanted to incorporate the fun of Halloween in a safe environment, but we had no idea how successful the overall outcome would be.” 

The multi-use center announced its plans for five nights of “chills, thrills, and fun” with a haunted drive-thru and feature film on October 1. Within a week, all the 300+ tickets were sold. Two evenings are reserved for families and three are adults-only. But don’t worry, there’s still a chance to win tickets. Read on. 

Fright Nights are drawing guests from all over the region, much like ATC’s popular summer concert series, which were presented virtually for two weeks this spring due to the pandemic. “I was very surprised on the amount of different zip codes that were pulled up (in ticket reports), some as far as Virginia. The reach is pretty extensive,” adds Henry. 

For those who were fast enough to snag tickets, their evening begins at a haunted house (near P.F. Chang’s) on the newly installed Green. Guests check in with their vehicle and receive concessions—popcorn and a branded bag full of candy for the families—before continuing down the haunted alleyway full of fog, spooky décor, costumed actors and ambient music via radio and continuing down the boulevard. Guests will then be escorted to their designated space for the drive-in movie.  

On adults-only night a beer garden will be set up hosted by Vintage Views: A Wandering Bar prior to the start of the movie and live music provided by DJ Crawdads. Adults receive two complimentary drink tickets. 

ATC restaurants will also be open for curbside pick-up. Photo stations behind the big screen will also be set up for guests to capture the memory. 

“We really challenged ourselves on coming up with an idea that will keep our tenants engaged and our community engaged,” says Henry. “And we wanted to provide people a chance to get out of the house, enjoy some time with one another.” 

If you didn’t get to the ticket booth in time, ATC is hosting a social media campaign over the next two weeks, encouraging followers to share photos of yourself or family members in costume to win one of six tickets to the sold-out events. Find them on Facebook and Instagram.