JACKSON – The winners have been selected for Six Flags Great Adventure’s 30-Hour Coffin Challenge. Six coffin dwellers – including three from Ocean County – will compete for the chance to win $600, Six Flags passes, and the title of reigning champion.
When Six Flags put out the call for potential candidates to spend 30 hours in a coffin during their annual Fright Fest event, the applications came flooding in. When the deadline ended, nearly 6,000 people from all over the country had entered to be a “Coffin Dweller.”
Only six lucky individuals were chosen out of thousands to partake in the creepy coffin challenge.
On October 13 and 14, participants will lay in a fully-covered wooden coffin for 30 hours, receive brief bathroom and phone breaks every three hours, eat their meals in their coffins, endure creepy challenges and receive unannounced visits from Fright Fest freaks and live critters like snakes, spiders and skunks.
Featuring guest emcee, The Munsters star Butch Patrick, contestants will compete to win points and challenges in order to become the champion.
Chosen based on the creativity of their essays, this year’s contestants are:
- Kerri Platt, 47, of Forked River: This self-proclaimed “coolest mom ever” is more than prepared for the challenge. Platt has had her fair share of scary encounters, having nearly died in childbirth, and last year donated a kidney to save her mother’s life. This is her second year applying for the challenge.
- LynnAnn Joyce and Alairra Craven of Seaside Heights: This dynamic mother/daughter duo can’t wait for some unusual family bonding time. Joyce, 44, is “petrified of death” and coffins but wants to prove that she can confront her fears like her 18-year-old daughter Craven. Craven just completed Army basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina and was most nervous about training in the gas chamber. The determined Joyce also has Lupus and wants to show others that “I have it, but it will never have me.”
- Amanda Roberts, 31, of Hopatcong: A Halloween fanatic, Roberts eats, sleeps and breaths all things creepy. Roberts is a makeup artist for haunts, plays in a horror-themed punk band, works at a Halloween store and suspends herself from hooks through her flesh (known as body suspension). “Who WOULDN’T want to spend time in a coffin?! I’m so excited,” she said.
- Michael Markawicz, 32, of Ridley Park, PA: Markawicz was inspired by a strange happening in his youth – while attending a family viewing and paying respect to his loved one, the body sat up. Death fascinated him and for the last 13 years he has been fighting to saving lives as a paramedic. Markawicz also survived being lost in the woods in freezing temperatures, so perhaps he is equipped to survive the cold, lonely coffin.
- Deborah “Cricket” Alanis, 53, of Bayshore, NY: This mom of three has survived cancer and worked as a funeral director for many years. “I’m not scared of premature entombment – bring it on,” Alanis said.
Should a contestant not be able to fill his or her place in the coffin, Ashley Allen, 26, of Willingboro, NJ has been selected as an alternate. Allen is Halloween-obsessed, currently studying to become a mortician. She is a huge fan of Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe and horror movies, and says that her personality resembles that of Morticia Addams of The Addams Family.
The 30-Hour Coffin Challenge will begin Sunday, October 13 at 2:30 p.m. with a Laying to Rest Ceremony and conclude Monday, October 14 at 8:30 p.m. with a Raising from the Dead Ceremony.
Scores will be tabulated throughout the event, and the grand prize winner will receive $600, two Six Flags Gold Passes and two Fright Fest Haunted Maze Passes. Runners up will receive items ranging from Fright Fest day passes to season passes.