KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s the busiest time of the year for those in the business of spooks.
In Little Suamico, Commando Paintball Sports has something very unique going on during the Halloween season.
“You ride a school bus and shoot paintballs at zombies, what can be more fun than that?,” said Commando Paintball Sports owner Randall Wolff.
The Zombie Shoot isn’t the only Halloween-themed activity Wolff offers each year. He has several haunted houses, a haunted trail, and a zombie mechanical bull. He said it takes about a month and a half to set everything up.
Saturday was the final night of the Halloween-themed fun. Wolff said it’s been a pretty good year and that last weekend there were 1500 people who did the Zombie Shoot.
“We’re doing pretty good, close to last year’s numbers,” he said. “Despite unlike last year we’ve had rain pretty much every weekend going on. Apparently, people don’t mind getting scared in the rain.”
Over at ‘The Realm of Darkness Haunted House’ in Kaukauna, the owners said they prepare all year long for the 19 days they’re open in the fall. This is their first year at a new, bigger location. They’ve been around for 10 years and started by transforming their garages into a Halloween-themed walk-through for families in the neighborhood.
Naturally, they say the closer to Halloween they get the more people come out.
“People enjoy haunted houses, people want to go out to haunted houses,” said co-owner Dalton Polomis. “People want to be scared. People are getting more excited and aware of the season.”
They said 2023 has been a good year for them. They attribute some of this to their new location and their effort to make the haunted house experience bigger and better each year.
“Comparison to last year I would say growth is an additional 25 percent or so,” said Polomis.
The last day for the ‘The Realm of Darkness Haunted House’ is Nov. 4.
“We’re heavily interactive and intense and phobia-based, so you’re going to experience things that you might not be able to at other haunted houses,” said Polomis.
Unfortunately, the 2023 Halloween season report card hasn’t been a treat for everyone. Local Five News spoke with a haunted house owner in the Fox Valley who said they’ve seen about a 20 percent decrease in customers this year compared to last.
He attributed this trend to people having less spending money now that COVID-19 relief payments have ended. He also said the colder and rainier weather this year hasn’t helped things.