2014 Haunt Awards

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2014 Season In Review: The Night He Came Home
By Noah Wullkotte

The 2014 Haunt Awards are in memory of John and Jean Hubbard.

Another Halloween has come and gone. There’s not much I can say about the weather this haunt season except that it was unpredictable. It rained several Fridays in a row and on Halloween, some areas got snow. Hey, that rhymed. The annual Caufields Halloween Parade was only 30 minutes instead of an hour because of the bad weather. Our season officially kicked off with a trip to Land of Illusion in Middletown, OH and came to an end with Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It was a very physical haunt season. I was slammed onto a table at Nightmare on Edgewood and I was poked, pulled and prodded at Haunted Hoochie. At The Haunted Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky I had my face licked clean and an actor tongued my eyeball at Scare Fair in Lima, Ohio. Hell, I even avoided getting eaten alive by zombies at Fear Fair in Seymour, Indiana. We toured a couple newer haunts like Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror in Springfield, OH. Not only was it a great haunt, but their facade was downright gorgeous. It just shows that you don’t have to spend a million bucks to make the outside of your haunt look like a living nightmare.

On Halloween, we spent our night at the Drive-In. We went to Holiday Auto Theatre in Hamilton, Ohio for their Terror at the Drive-In event. There’s nothing better than seeing John Carpenter’s Halloween on All Hallows’ Eve. Please don’t ask me how Annabelle was.  There was rain, wind, thunder and we even encountered a couple masked characters. It’s an experience I won’t soon forget.

Unfortunately, it was the final season for The Chambers of Horror in Middletown, Ohio. We’ve been touring this haunt since 2000 and it’ll be sad to see them go. Too much competition has caused them to shut their doors forever and sell everything. Hopefully down the road, we see The Chambers of Horror in a new location. Only time will tell.

Spooky Ranch in Columbia Station, Ohio introduced their brand new haunt, Bloody Mary’s Revenge. Spooky Ranch is is the only place in the United States to obtain a license for this haunt that used to be at Universal Studios. There were a lot of startling props and some scary scenes. It was like a new and improved version of their Extreme Nightmares attraction.

There were quite a few haunts that brought unique ideas to the table. Hanna Haunted Acres’ brand new haunt Hooded was interesting to say the least. A sack was placed over your head as you walked around in various rooms. The new Skeleton Key rooms at Kings Island Halloween Haunt in Mason, Ohio took strange to another level. I was forced to eat mealworms and they were a little spicy. Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio was crowned the longest walk through haunted attraction for the third time by Guinness World Records. They had a few new haunts with The House of Nightmares being the best addition. There were a few haunts we never toured before like The Haunted Town Hall in Lafayette, Ohio. We were pleasantly surprised by how unique it was. Their hidden passageways are very mysterious.

Most haunts were as good as ever. Some were improved like The Devil’s Attic in Louisville, Kentucky and Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride in Petersburg, Kentucky. USS Nightmare was a more dark and intense experience and even featured impressive CGI. This year, a few haunts celebrated their 25th anniversary. This included Springboro Haunted Hayride and Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall. Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio payed tribute to horror movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more. Haunted Culbertson Mansion in New Albany, Indiana celebrated 30 years of terror by featuring its best scenes over the years and new scares. Boy, has the haunt industry changed in 30 years.

We’ll never forget the haunt season of 2014. There was great acting across the board. The acting troupe known as MAUL invaded Dungeons of Delhi in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was nice seeing characters like Damien Reaper, Fatso the Clown, Calliope, Bludzo T Clown and others scaring customers. They worked at many different haunts throughout the season such as The ScareAtorium, Indy Scream Park, Scream Acres Ct and more. We luckily got to see Lucian Tomes Jr. in his role as Ricky Mann, proprietor of the Midnight Sideshow at The 7th Street Haunt in Louisville, Kentucky. He’s a huge asset to this growing haunt.

I seemed to get startled more than usual. I still can’t believe that an animatronic skeleton shaking a cage made me jump at Fright Manor in Indianapolis, Indiana. Some characters stood out while Remus at Haverford’s Hollow Trail was one of the best actors we’ve seen in years. No one does hillbillies better than Haverford’s Hollow Trail in Morning View, Kentucky. I can still taste the Apple Pie Moonshine.

Haunts like Fear Fair, The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory, Hauntville, The ScareAtorium, The Black Bog and Bloodview Haunted House were great. Fear Fair built an entire prison full of zombies while The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory in Akron, Ohio was a more immersive experience. Their throwback T-Shirts were a big hit as well. We made a return to Asylum Haunted Scream Park in Louisville, KY and we walked away impressed. There was better acting, some great scares and tons of entertainment. The Blue Moon Circus entertained the crowd with fire breathing, a contortionist and more. Their Zombie City attraction featured incredible acting and a great storyline.

City Blood toured over 80 haunts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. We encountered chainsaw maniacs, creepy clowns, possessed killers and some twisted madmen. Some haunts were good while others were incredible. When it came down to the nitty gritty, only one haunt could be crowned the best. City Blood’s 2014 Haunt of the Year is none other than The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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#1 The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, Ohio
It was a tight race for Haunt of the Year. One haunt came out ahead because of its incredible design, amazing props and great actors. The Dent Schoolhouse is truly one of the best haunts in the nation that seems to get better as the years go on. There’s a reason why people line up to enter this haunted schoolhouse. It’s a frightening experience that will give you nightmares. School is in session at The Dent Schoolhouse.

The Rest of The Top 10:
#2 Fear Fair (Seymour, IN)
#3 Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie (Pataskala, OH)
#4 The Haunted Schoolhouse (Akron, OH)
#5 USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)
#6 The Haunted Hotel (Louisville, KY)
#7 The Haunted Laboratory (Akron, OH)
#8 The Black Bog (Lebanon, OH)
#9 The ScareAtorium (Columbus, OH)
#10 Zombie City at Asylum Haunted Scream Park (Louisville, KY)

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Congratulations to all the winners!

E
very year City Blood tours as many haunts as possible and we award certain haunts in different categories. We award haunts in everything from best props to scariest scene. Only Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana haunts we reviewed in 2014 are considered for The Haunt Awards and these are the results. We congratulate all the haunts that won.

Haunt of the Year
The Dent Schoolhouse 

Best Ohio Haunt
The Dent Schoolhouse 

Best Kentucky Haunt
USS Nightmare

Best Indiana Haunt
Fear Fair

Best Haunted Hayride
Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride

Scariest Haunted Trail
The Black Bog

Scariest Scream Park
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Most Mind Numbing 3D Haunt
Hauntville’s Wicked Clowns in 4-D 

Best Maze
Toxic Trauma at Scare Fair

Most Extreme Haunt
Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie

Most Interactive Haunt
Hauntville

Best Charity Haunt
Fear Fair

Best Old School Haunt
Nightmare on Edgewood

Best Zombie Hunting Experience
Fright Manor’s Zombie Alley

Most Entertaining Side Attraction (not a haunt)
Ghouls Gone Wild at Kings Island Halloween Haunt

Best Halloween Event (not a haunt)
Terror at the Drive-In

Best Bang For Your Buck
Spooky Ranch: 5 Attractions For $20

Most Improved
The Devil’s Attic 

Best Acting
Zombie City at Asylum Haunted Scream Park 

Best Actor
Remus at Haverford’s Hollow Trail 

Most Aggressive Actor
Noah Heath as Concierge at The Haunted Hotel

Most Spooktacular Queue Line
The ScareAtorium

Best Queue Line Actors
Bloodview Haunted House

Best Haunt Mascot
Charlie the Janitor at The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Makeup & Costumes
USS Nightmare

Most Horrifying Masks
The Haunted Schoolhouse

Most Unique Character 
Dungeons of Delhi’s Wild Child

Best New Character
Ricky Mann played by Lucian Tomes Jr. at The 7th Street Haunt

Best Theming
The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Lighting
The Devil’s Attic

Most Authentic Horror Movie Scenes
Fear Fair

Scariest Scene
Michael Myers Floor Collapse at Nightmare on Edgewood

Most Bone Chilling Scene
Witch’s Ancient Evil at Haunted Culbertson Mansion
Most Blood Soaked Scene
Shotgun Suicide at Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie

Most Interactive Scene
Spinning Jack in the Box at Hauntville

Funniest Scene
Outhouse Surprise at Spooky Ranch

Most Original Opening Scene
Bloody Mary’s Revenge at Spooky Ranch

Most Jaw Dropping Set
Monster Busting Through Brick Wall at The Dent Schoolhouse 

Most Realistic Graveyard
Factory of Terror

Best Use of Darkness
Nightmare on Edgewood

Best Use of Fog
Kings Island Halloween Haunt 

Best Use of Chainsaws
Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie

Best Chainsaw Chase
The Haunted Hotel

Best Hillbillies
Haverford’s Hollow Trail

Hungriest Zombies
Fear Fair
Craziest Clowns
Haunville’s Wicked Clowns in 4D

Most Frightening Vehicle Chases
Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride

Most Frightening Back-story
The Mayhem Mansion

Spookiest Setting
USS Nightmare’s Haunted Steamboat

Most Impressive Facade
Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror

Best Props
The Dent Schoolhouse

Most Jaw Dropping Prop
1.5 Million Volts Tesla Coil at The Haunted Laboratory

Best Vortex Tunnel
Tilting Vortex Tunnel at Factory of Terror

Best Sound Design
The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Signage
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Best Concessions
The Chambers of Horror 

Cheapest Concessions
Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall

Most Impressive Photo Op Station/Stations
Factory of Terror

Coolest Apparel
The Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory

Cheapest Admission
$5 W/ 2 Cans of Soup on Sundays at Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall

Most Cleavage In One Haunt
Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie

The What The Hell Award
Pus Spewing Freak at The Dent Schoolhouse 

Most Impressive Website
The Dent Schoolhouse

Most Professional Haunt Trailer
Factory of Terror

City Blood would like to sincerely thank the owners, management, construction crew, makeup artists, actors, security and everyone else who played a part in the haunts we toured this season. Without you, there wouldn’t be a City Blood and the Halloween season wouldn’t be the same.