Behind-the-Scenes, Events

Behind-the-Screams | Twisted Tradition from Halloween Horror Nights 2018

May 28, 2020
Twisted Tradition at Halloween Horror Nights 2018

We’re all looking forward to when we can walk the streets of Halloween Horror Nights with the fog swirling around us and screams in the air. But for now, join me from the comfort of your home in reading the next chapter of our HHN storybook. We’re going way back to the 1800s in Carey, OH, where an ancient evil has transformed rotting pumpkins into living abominations.

Twisted Tradition

After centuries of being hidden in the woods, a forgotten old farm on the rural outskirts of what would become the town of Carey, Ohio, has stirred back to life. The land, cleared and settled by German immigrants in the late 1700s, was once home to a thriving farm known throughout the region for its large pumpkins. One day, the crops all dried up, and no one could make anything grow. Those that tended the land moved on, and the nearby town forgot about the farm as the forest crept in, reclaiming it for its own.

Twisted Tradition at Halloween Horror Nights

In the late 1800s, an older man by the name of Ernst Meier wandered into the area and began to tend the forgotten farm. Citizens of the nearby town of Carey were astounded that he managed to once again grow large pumpkins and corn again. They were even more astounded that he didn’t clear the land, but instead grew his crops in the forest that had taken over the farm.

On All Hallows’ Eve, the kindly Ernst wandered into town, saying his pumpkins were ready to be harvested, but he needed help due to how well things had grown. Many families happily sent their children of teenage years off with Ernst to help for the day. Several of the young ones were dressed for Halloween home parties, a new celebration in these parts that had recently become popular across the United States.

Halloween Horror Nights Twisted Tradition

Ernst promised the youth of Carey they could each pick their own pumpkins after helping him with the harvest. It would be a new tradition they could take part in with each Halloween celebration. There was much excitement, for they knew that Ernst grew the largest pumpkins; however, as evening began to fall, the small village of Carey began to worry. It was getting late and their youth had yet to return.

A group of the townsfolk, torches and lanterns in hand ventured to Ernst’s farm in the woods. As they approached, each of them stood speechless as they saw the work of Ernst Meier. Huge pumpkins, each the size of a young man kneeling on the ground, stood in a circle surrounding a large bonfire. The enormous pumpkins had their tops removed, with some of the seeds spilling onto the ground. From the top of each gourd, a mixture of blood and pumpkin guts sloshed as Ernst ran to each one  and stirred the horrid brew. He chanted a language unrecognized by the search party as he went about his ghastly task. Ernst stopped abruptly and turned to the gathered crowd disturbing his ritual. His eyes burned with an inhuman wildness. He screamed out that it was almost time for the harvest, that they were here too soon, and must go away or the master will be angry.

The townsfolk, shaken from their horror and now filled with rage at what they were witnessing, rushed violently at Ernst. Ernst screamed and shrieked in the unearthly language, and thrashed about as they wrestled him to the ground. His voice no longer sounded like it belonged to him, for surely no human could make these noises. One of the townsfolk yelled to throw him into the bonfire, so that he may burn for his wickedness. At that suggestion, the group stopped cold as Ernst ceased talking, and instead began a slow laugh.

Ernst was now smiling as he looked up at the villagers saying his master would be so pleased if they would finish the rites. He began to take up his unholy chant once more, and thrashed about. Fearing he was trying to escape, the search party, in a fit of vengeance, grabbed hold of Ernst and threw him in the bonfire. They stood horrified as Ernst let out no screams, but instead continued his chanting. The chanting finally turned to laughter as the flames seemed to grow higher and higher, until he finally let out a blood-curdling scream, just as the flames reached their zenith before suddenly extinguishing.

Twisted Tradition at HHN

When the last of the embers faded away, the dozen or so grotesque pumpkins were buried where they stood, and the search party made their trek back to tell everyone of the gruesome scene they had witnessed. It was the only time the events were discussed. The whole town refused to speak of it so that the recollection of the night’s events would be extinguished, just as Ernst had been. No one set foot in those woods for years until the story of Ernst Meier became a faded memory and was forgotten.

It is said, when the harvest time approaches, and the world moves closer to All Hallows’ Eve, that creatures born of pumpkin, vine, and blood walk those woods. Their victims do not die, but are reborn as part of Ernst’s Twisted Tradition.

Twisted Tradition Scare Zone

You got them. We want them. Let us know your best memories from Halloween Horror Nights in the comments and stay up to date on all things HHN by signing up to receive email updates.

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  • Reply Kaitlyn May 29, 2020 at 12:31 pm

    I’m loving the backstories! Will Vanity Ball be next?

  • Reply Alyssa L Reed June 22, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Twisted Traditions was my favorite scare zone in 2018!!! I can’t wait to see what this year holds. It is going to be amazing!!! Halloween Horror Nights 30 is going to be to remember since I am turning 30 the same time HHN is going on.

  • Reply Kandy C June 22, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    This too was one of my favorite zones ♥
    You guys are amazing.
    Thank you for making Halloween so much for for all of us, each and every year!

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