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Haunted houses, haunted trails, parties and fall festivals: a comprehensive guide
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The Haunted Forest at the Buford Corn Maze.

From frights to festivals, October in North Georgia is stuffed full of things to do for adults, couples, kids and whole families.

Hell's Gates

When: Weekends from Oct. 19 through Nov. 4

Where: 329 Harmony Church Road, Dawsonville

How much: $12

Looking for something a little less pagan this Halloween? Hell’s Gates is a haunted house alternative in Dawson County that uses biblical inspiration to create an apocalypse scenario. Guests will walk through an outdoor trail depicting live scenes of what life could be like in a catastrophe.

“It’s not as much as a biblical story as it is just the reality of what life would be like in a cataclysmic world event — an apocalypse, so to speak” said Charles Blackstock, preacher at Lighthouse Baptist Church, which organizes the Halloween event.

Live actors, videos, special effects, simulations, explosions, fires and more are all used to create a realistic experience that is sure to shock the hardiest souls. Operators of the event call it a “reality drama” because of its immersive nature.

“As you go through these scene, it's like you are a part of a drama. It's not something you just sit and watch, you actually walk through it,” Blackstock said.

There are simulations of gunfire, explosions and death, so it is not recommended for kids younger than 12. Tickets can be bought online and time slots can be reserved, so don’t worry about waiting in any long lines.

Buford Corn Maze and Haunted Forest

When: Mondays, Wednesdays and weekends in October and November

Where: 4470 Bennett Road, Buford

How much: $15 corn maze, $15 Haunted Forest, $25 combo

This year, the Buford Corn Maze is celebrating its 10th season of hayrides, jumping pillows, pony rides, fall photo ops, and the Haunted Forest (intended for kids 10 and older).

One of their biggest attractions is the haunted forest, where patrons will trek through a labyrinthian maze as explorers with their group leader, who plays a miner. As they travel through the underground mine shafts, they will cross into another universe filled with monsters, frights and fun.

It is a family-friendly venue, but kids under 12 should probably be accompanied by an adult.

Buford Trail of Terror

When: Weekends in October, every day the week of Halloween

Where: 3760 Friendship Road, Buford

How much: $20 trail, $5 hayride

Explore a terrifying backwoods trail based on historical events at the Buford Trail of Terror. The attraction is located on a 30 acre field on Friendship Road in Buford. While voyaging through the trail, you’ll spot a more than a few corpses and even a couple of cannibals. Can’t take the fright? They also offer a haunted hay ride for the little ones and the faint of heart. Refreshments and drinks will be available after the trail.

Assuming you survive the cannibals, of course.

The Dark Rows Haunted Corn Maze

When: Fridays and Saturdays in October, Halloween night

Where: Uncle Shuck's, 4520 Hwy. 53 E Dawsonville

How much: Prices vary depending on event

Once the sun goes down, the journey begins at The Dark Rows Haunted Corn Maze. After dark, brave souls can experience a corn maze, wagon ride, haunted trail and bonfire, all while being guided by moonlight alone. Although it is family friendly, children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Monsters on Main

When: 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26

Where: Flowery Branch Depot, 5302 Railroad Ave. Flowery Branch

How much: Free

Flowery Branch’s third Friday Block Party gives you the chance to experience the Halloween classic “Hocus Pocus” in a whole new way. Main Street will undergo a Halloween transformation with a few surprises. Come dressed up in your best costume (bring the little ones too) to take part in the costume parade and trick or treat on Main Street. In addition to carnival foods such as Dan’s Cotton Candy, Baby Bell Candy Apples, Dee-licious Ice Cream Truck, and Paw Paw’s Peanuts, there will be food trucks, including Biggum's Bar-B-Que, Bill’s Grills on Wheels, Jeannie’s Weenies, and Mr. Hibachi. Guests can enjoy live music from The Stage Fright Band, a trunk or treat, street games, and a dragon's castle bounce house.

Adult Halloween Party

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 26

Where: Downtown Drafts, 115 Bradford St. S, Gainesville

How much: Free

Gainesville’s Adult Halloween party is the perfect place to let out the little kid in you. All monsters and ghouls alike over the age of 18 are invited to take part in all the Halloween fun. Go all out and come adorned in your best costumes for the costume contest. The night will be full of music, dancing, drinks and more.

Trick or Treat on the Trail

When: 3-5 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: Midtown Greenway, 683 Grove St., Gainesville

How much: Free

The little ones will go crazy for the Trick or Treat on the Trail. There will be over 150,000 pieces of candy and kid-friendly activities, including games, a petting zoo, bounce houses and face painting. Make sure to bring in canned goods for the Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

Harvest Balloon Festival

When: 3-8 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: Sterling on the Lake

How much: $10 adults and children over 5, $5 children under 5

The Harvest Balloon Festival is back for another year of fall fun. They will have tethered balloon rides, ziplining, rock wall climbing, food and more. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Hall County Animal Shelter and Family Promise of Hall County.

Trunk or Treat for Halloween  

When: 5:30-7 p.m., Oct. 31

Where: Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive Tallulah Falls

How much: $5

Deck out your trunks with Halloween-inspired decor and give out treats to the little ghouls and goblins. Kids will walk car to car building up their candy stashes and the prizes will be available for the best costumes and best trunks. Visitors, make sure you arrive on time so there won’t be cars driving where the kids are walking.

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