Every fall at Six Flags, the park goes all out with their Fright Fest, a celebration of Halloween from September 15-October 31. While the park operates as normal during the day, nighttime brings haunted mazes and “scare zones,” where actors dressed in costumes are given free reign to scare guests. This year, every Six Flags location is offering the 30-Hour Coffin Challenge. Would you spend that much time closed up in a coffin for prizes?
Over 25,000 people are up for the challenge in St. Louis alone. During the day, participants can bring a friend, but once night falls, it’s just you, the coffin, and the costumed park workers. You are allowed a six-minute bathroom break every hour and the park feeds you, so all you have to do is stay very still and brace yourself for random appearances by “Fright Fest Freaks.” Once 30 houris up, winners get $300, Express Haunted House passes, and 2019 Gold Season passes.
Being buried alive is a very common fear and there’s reason for that. There are countless stories of people accidentally getting stuck in a coffin while they were still alive. In 1822, a German shoemaker was buried in a coffin, despite the fact that his “corpse” didn’t exhibit the usual signs of death, like rigor mortis. His family went ahead anyway and while the gravedigger worked, he heard the worst sound imaginable in that situation: knocking from inside the coffin. The shoemaker had moved; his arms were upward, but he wasn’t responding. After three days of attempting to raise him back, he was buried again.
In 1915, a 30-year old woman died of an epileptic attack and was placed in a coffin. When her sister arrived late to the funeral, Essie Dunbar was already nearly buried, but her sister insisted the coffin be dug up so she could see her sister’s face one last time. When the lid opened, Essie immediately sat up, very much alive. She lived another 47 years.
If you want to participate in Six Flags’ coffin challenge, you have to be at least 18-years old. You’ll be asked to sign a waiver and not have any medical issues that would make lying down for 30 hours a problem.