Scare lair steps up the thrills in Altamont

Halloween chills and thrills have been taken to a new level this year at the Altamont Scaregrounds, home of Ultimate Terrors, a popular multi-attraction haunted event.

The fright fest premiered last year and has some new talent, making the event "the scariest place in Upstate New York," said owner Mike Maybee.

"It's nothing like last year. All three haunts are completely painted, we have 10 times as many props, moveable walls and a professional rigger that makes people fly," said Ultimate Terrors manager Peggy Were, who brought 12 years of haunted house experience to the attraction this year.

Maybee, a project manager for the state, is an amusement park afficionado who decided the Capital District was in need of bigger and better Halloween entertainment.

Before the grand opening last October, Maybee spent a good deal of time searching for the perfect location, and he said he struggled a bit to make the unique attractions a reality.

For this year, he decided to bring Were into the picture, and together, they spent an entire year planning the enhanced attraction, which includes three themed haunted houses: 3-D Chaos, a twisted clown maze where visitors use 3-D glasses; Skull Manor, a traditional 18-room "haunted mansion;" and Code Blue, a haunted chemical factory.

To add a little humor and realism, Were held auditions for actors and developed a script for them to perform in each of the houses.

In addition to the houses, Ultimate Terrors includes Professor Morgan's Dark Museum, which is filled with strange artifacts, a spray-on tattoo parlor, and four live "freakish" stage shows.

Jason Ford, an actor in Albany, attended Ultimate Terror's opening night Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Ford, who participated in "Colleen the Side Show Queen's Creepy World Show," said the stage entertainment is a nice addition to the haunted houses at Ultimate Terrors.

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