In the summer, guests may enjoy lazily floating down the Adventure River attraction at Raging Waters Waterpark in Wildwood, completely unaware of the evil that is lurking beneath them.
But this month, Adventure River is drained - and the undead can have their revenge.
"During construction (of Adventure River), we uncovered a toxic trench," explains Dino Fazio, director of operations at Morey's Piers, which owns Raging Waters. "That trench had workers left over from decades ago that had built the original Lazy River attraction."
Those undead workers, Fazio says, will be patiently waiting in the drained riverbed, greeting guests brave enough to enter what has been temporarily re-named the Terror Trench. It is one of two new attractions being unveiled this Halloween season as Morey's Piers kicks off its second year of Morey's Fears - Terror on the Boardwalk.
Through Saturday, Oct. 27, Mariner's Landing will once again transform from a family-friendly theme park into a Halloween nightmare, complete with haunted versions of the Sea Serpent, Tea Cups, Moby Dick, Rollie's Coaster and the Musik Express.
Guests also can expect what is only being described as an "amped-up" version of the popular, already-haunted attraction, Ghost Ship.
This year, organizers worked hard to up the suspense and the scares.
"We had great reviews (last year) and we thought it was important to grow the event and grow the offering for our guests," Fazio says. "So, we decided that we would use our Adventure River in Raging Waters and turn that into an attraction for Morey's Fears."
Also adding to the scares this year will be a few new characters who have taken over the Pirates of the Wildwoods attractions - now re-named The Other Side.
"There are undead spirits inside the attraction that have taken over the building and are waiting for our guests to ride through," Fazio says. "It's something completely different from what we've done before."
Even the food and drink offerings will keep with the spooky theme. Guests can order pumpkin funnel cake, Belgian waffle and pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, or hot clam chowder from the Soup Caldron, or get some goblin juice from what has been temporarily re-named Frightening Fritz's. Jumbo's will serve fall favorites as well as seasonal craft beers on their heated outdoor patio.
For the actors and designers behind Morey's Fears, creating the stories behind the re-themed attractions is part of the fun of the job, Fazio says.
"It is fun," Fazio says. "We spend a good 9 to 12 months (planning), depending on the specific attraction and the planning of the event … the sound, the music, the number of actors, their locations, specifically what they're going to be doing on the property."
"We go to other parks, we go to other haunts, and we see what works and what doesn't work," he adds. "First step is to make sure we keep what worked well and everything else we can improve upon and add a couple new pieces to the mix."
Popular attractions from last year's Morey's Fears - such as the "Corn Stalkers" corn maze on the beach and the "Carnevil" attraction - will return this year with new twists and surprises, Fazio says.
"Obviously you can't do an event like this and be completely different every single year," Fazio says. "But when (guests) walk through any portion of the property … they will not be having the same experience that they had last year. We're really excited. We will be working on it through opening night. We're the type of organization that will open and make changes the next day, and we'll keep tweaking things as we go along. We're all into it 100 percent. It's just fun to scare people."