Autumn is kicking in with the arrival of cooler weather this week and families across northeast Florida are looking forward to all that comes with the season, including Halloween-themed festivities.

No need to drive all the way to Orlando for a little family fun, when a stop at the Shantytown Village on US 1 next door to the Florida Agricultural Museum, will do the trick.

Ready for a good family scare, Nina Guiglotto (Sabrina, Tryston Jackson) and Lora Fickett (David Fickett, Marli Rose) rounded up the kids and headed to Shantytown Village for the opening night of The Undead Cemetery.

Among nearly 300 through the door in the evening, the moms were giggling like school girls as they described walking through the haunted attraction.

“We did it with my friend Nina and she screamed like a little, little girl. It was really scary because people were jumping out at you from all over the place,” she said. “Super fun, for ten bucks.”

Glad to have a local Halloween event to attend, Fickett gave it a thumbs up.

“I think it’s excellent. There’s nothing really around in this area so it’s awesome.”

Heart pounding and enjoying the holiday horror moment, Guiglotto was surrounded by daughter Sabrina Guiglotto and friend Tryston Jackson as the trio made their way back to the main shop.

“It was so scary. It was so awesome to come back this year. Last year my daughter was part of the attraction and this year, coming as a guest on opening night was very awesome,” said Nina Guiglotto. “The street was packed the place was crowded, very worth the ten dollars.”

“They added more stuff too,” noted Sabrina Guiglotto.

Live scares, ghoulish scenes and spooky sounds greeted families as they walked through the haunted trail. Friendly witch Debi Grabowski at the ticket counter offered some free advice for little ones on how to handle the undead.

“It’s been marvelous,” said Grabowski. “We’ve had so many people. This is the second year. Joe is the owner and he does all the work on the trail. He’s been working on it for two months.”

“It’s a lot of fun. I love watching the kids and telling the kids that they have to scare the people that are scaring them so that they won’t get scared,” she said.

Opening night was so popular with visitors ready for some seasonal entertainment, chocolatier Diane Wasney owner of The Chocolate Biz sold out of more than two dozen white chocolate, hot apple cider bombs within the first hour.

“The response has been awesome, everybody’s loved it,” said Wasney. “Most people have been scared, so if they like to be scared come on over. It’s too scary for me.”

Vendors of the Shantytown Village (10270 US 1, St. Augustine) will feature holiday treats for purchase during The Undead Cemetery attraction.

The Undead Cemetery is open to visitors October 21, 22, 28, 29 & 30th. Admission is $10, and the Shantytown Village shops are open to shoppers visiting the attraction.