2005 Haunt Reviews
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An old school house can be seen off in the distance with crowds and cars all around it. The sign says The Haunted School House. Well, is it haunted or just your average haunt? Lets go and see.
Length-8: You will walk down 4 stories with Hollywood type sets and amazing props around every corner. But the problem with this is that the wait between some of the major scenes can be up to 3 minutes due to the large crowds. This will really take you away from the experience. It lasts around 15-20 minutes to walk through depending on the lines.
Design-10: Some of the most intricate and detailed sets can be found at The Haunted School House. Some of the scenes include an expansive downstairs mansion with chandeliers, winding staircases and portraits all around. You’ll experience a pumpkin patch, haunted bathroom, laboratory, graveyard, forest, mineshaft and so much more. You won’t find more detailed rooms this season.
Props/Animatronics-10: Some of these props you won’t see anywhere else since the majority are homemade. Flying ghouls, running cars, talking creatures and more can be found. My personal favorite is the monster who suddenly bursts from underneath a bed.
Acting-9: The majority of the actors don’t have dialogue, but are interesting with great masks and prosthetics complimenting their character. You’ll meet Frankenstein who magically comes alive and follows you from his laboratory. Most of the actors bust out of well-hidden doors that are part of the sets.
Scare Affect-9: You’ll experience something around every corner you walk. Rather it is a car bursting out of the wall or an actor mysteriously coming out of door. If the animatronics don’t get you, the actors will.
Fright Value: At $11 The Haunted School House is not worth price of admission if you have to wait a couple minutes between scenes. This is not acceptable at any haunt and you ‘de be better off visiting on Sunday when it’s not as crowded.
Final Stab-9.2: Here is a professional haunt in every aspect except for crowd control. The scenes and rooms are expansive and detailed, but they loose there impact when having to wait minutes between scenes. Here is a perfect 10 haunt that has been greatly affected due overcrowding of people.
In the early 80’s Akron gave life to a laboratory, which is home to creatures and ghouls alike and is known as one of Cleveland’s best haunts. Will it live up to the hype?
Length-9: Your journey through the laboratory will last around 15-20 minutes as you walk down 3 frightening stories.
Design-10: The Haunted Laboratory is mostly themed after an experiment gone wrong. Evil inventions, dark mazes, a haunted living room, alien caves and even an air tunnel with lasers shooting up at you only cover some of what you’ll witness. The amazing amount of detail and work put into the different themed rooms is just incredible.
Props/Animatronics-10: Most of the props you’ll find are centered around aliens or scientific experiments. Alien pods and creatures can be seen in many of the rooms. While various props and animatronics will pop up when you least expect it. Watch out for those lasers in the air tunnel. Unfortunately, the test coils could not be used the night we visited.
Acting-9: Most of the acting consists of characters jumping out of doors or small and dark spaces. Most don’t speak, but are convincing in their rules. One scene has an evil doctor prop who speaks while he pushes his rotting wife in her wheel chair. It’s very creepy. Other characters are just as convincing such as the girl who is missing half her body while chewing on part of her spinal cord.
Scare Affect-9: The Haunted Laboratory is a creepy place in is own right with or without actors or props. The scenes of agony and amazement will either creep you out or get a second look.
Fright Value: Here is one of the best haunts that focus around evil experiments and creations throughout. It’s well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-9.4: The amount of detail and creative scenes put you into the experience of being in a real haunted laboratory. This is one of the more imaginative haunts out there.
Mad doctors and crazed zombies walk outside a creepy building while screams from patrons echo off its walls. It’s Bloodview Haunted House and it’s simply hard to believe that this is a non-profit haunt.
Length-8: Bloodview is designed in a way that makes you feel like you are part of the scenes and is nonstop horror from beginning to end. It seems longer than it actually is. It will take you 12-15 minutes to flee to the exit.
Design-10: This haunt resembles a broken down house with crazed creatures and people trying to escape. Much of the house consists of actors behind cages who warn you of what’s to come. You’ll come across a hillbilly shack, padded insane asylum, doll room and so much more.
Props/Animatronics-7: Bloodview isn’t really known for having impressive props or animatronics, but the acting more than makes up for it.
Acting-10: This haunt uses an acting troupe known as The Legion of Terror who specifically works at Bloodview. Right when you show up you’ll be greeted by mad doctors who try to confuse you in making your way through the maze like line. You’ll also meet an undead girl who shows you some intestines as she shoves them near your face. It’s very creepy. The actors inside are just as good. They range from hillbillies, a hunchback, crazed lunatics and many other frightening foes.
Scare Affect-9: Bloodview resembles Baxter Avenue Morgue in how it maintains the same theme throughout. The majority of actors don’t really jump out at you, but rather get in your face and scare the hell out of you with great acting.
Fright Value: $13 is a little steep for a haunt that uses very little in the way of props and ends way too quickly. With a $3 off coupon, it’s worth your time and money.
Final Stab-8.8: Bloodview relies more on its creepy characters to scare you rather than expensive props. It’s a haunt that is more realistic in the way it uses its actors while still having a scary charm to it.
It was a rainy night for visiting haunts that Saturday and if it was a trail, it was definitely closed. We arrived at a place by the name of The Hudson Haunted House. They pride themselves as being the mother of haunted houses and make it out like there is no competition. Well, we’ll see about that.
Length-6: Hudson ends way too quickly and has you wanting more at the end. It lasted about 10 minutes at best.
Design-7: You start off navigating through a dark maze that may have you running into walls. It then leads into different themed rooms throughout the tour. These include a boiler room, bloody cafeteria, gothic sanctuary, Psycho shower scene and much more. The highlight off the night is an area that has many mannequin heads, which camouflage actors beside it. It may catch you off guard if your not expecting it.
Props/Animatronics-6: The majority of props aren’t worth mentioning. You will walk across a spinning vortex tunnel that rivals the best though. But really that’s about it.
Acting-6: This is a charity haunt and it uses many child actors to fill its rooms. It’s obvious that most of the actors really enjoy trying to scare people, but ultimately fail in doing so. My favorite actor of the night goes to a guy dressed as the Devil who suddenly appears from nowhere at the sound of hard rock music and bright lights.
Scare Affect-6: For the most part I didn’t have that uneasy feeling that I do at other haunts. The biggest problem Hudson Haunted House has is unconvincing characters that yell rather than act.
Fright Value: Well, as of now I still can’t find a price for this haunt on their site. So I really don’t know how much they charge. A good price for a haunt of this caliber would be $6 a person. It costs $10 to enter, but who knows.
Final Stab-6.2: Here’s another haunt that comes along that has great potential to improve, but is wasted away due to poor acting and short length. Hudson Haunted House could be one of the better haunts out there if drastic changes were made.
Lightning strikes a creepy building off in the distance in the middle of nowhere. It seems to be abandoned or is it? Well, of course it isn’t as frightful creatures and deranged characters roam its hallways. Our 2004 haunt of the year returns with a summer preview to give a taste of what’s to come this haunt season and it will make you blood boil. Whatever that means.
Length-9: There was a pretty decent length of about 30 minutes, but there were some dead spots such as the dark maze without actors and props and the empty graveyard.
Design-10: A haunted house is supposed to look haunted and that’s exactly what The House of Nightmares does. From the buildings creepy appearance to its classic horror design, you will feel like you’re in an old horror movie from top to bottom. Some of its rooms include a walk through library, meat locker, insane asylum, creepy graveyard and others. Unfortunately the torture museum won’t be returning this year as they are using another floor.
Props/Animatronics-10: You won’t be disappointed with the array of eye candy you’ll see on your tour. Torches illuminate stone walls, spiders fall from ceilings, elevators shake and even floors drop from underneath you. They might not be the most high tech, but they’re classic and give the customer a more realistic experience and scare.
Acting-9: The acting this year seems to be much more professional than others. Right from the start a snarling werewolf greets you from behind and as you enter a bloodied zombie takes your tickets as he sniffs and bites down on them. But the best acting had to be the from the crazed hillbillies. They were just in your face and as authentic as possible. Actor’s costumes, masks and makeup were more realistic and scarier than ever before. The only problem I had was that there were a couple of child actors that didn’t really do much but jump out at you. A Freddy Krueger the same size as me doesn’t cut it since I’m under 5 “9. You shouldn’t be able to intimidate the actor that’s trying to scare you. But overall all the characters from the twitching nurse (AKA Loopy Lucy) to the crazed butcher were great.
Scare Affect-10: What can I say? If the building itself creeps you out, you know there’s something scary waiting inside. Many of the actors caught me off guard but the biggest scares came from props, mainly the falling floor, the haunted elevator and the torture chamber. At one point I was shot in the ear by an air cannon. Crap, my ear is still ringing.
Fright Value: Is The House of Nightmares really worth $15? As of now I would say no since little has changed from last year. But who knows since they are adding a new floor, but getting rid of the torture museum.
Final Stab-9.6: The House of Nightmares will haunt your very being with all the ingredients for a classic haunt.
Note: This is a pre season review and is only a preview of what the haunt has to offer up to this point. It may be better or worse this October.
A large building is illuminated in the distance as flames shoot out from its top. The screams of patrons and sounds of excitement can be heard all around. People come from all over to experience this frightening and wicked place. It’s Dead Acres of course and one of the best haunts you can find.
Length-9: The wait in line to get tickets had to of been at least 2 hours while the wait for the haunt can be 3 or more. It’s well worth the wait, but the scares end too quickly. You can’t turn a corner and not witness some type of animatronic or actor that will gladly attack you. Even though an outside area has been added this year, it only adds a little in the way of length. It will take you about 15 minutes to go all the way through, but the huge amount of actors and props make up for its short length.
Design-10: There are so many props and animatronics, that it is hard to notice all the detail put into this place. The outside is decorated with graffiti while the inside is littered with amazing eye candy.
Props/Animatronics-10: From top to bottom, this place is decorated with some type of prop or hidden animatronic. It’s incredible to see all these amazing sights in one place. Flying ghouls, creepy skeletons, possessed creatures, high-powered air cannons, a moving car are just a fraction of what you’ll see. Some of the animatronics come so close that you’ll be standing underneath them.
Acting-9: These actors are in your face and up close and personal. They’ll grab your clothes, run chainsaws against your legs and even breathe on you. When you least expect it an actor comes out from a dark corner with a gas powered chainsaw and doesn’t let up. While most of the actors don’t really have dialogue, they are non-stop from every inch of the place.
Scare Affect-10: If you want non-stop scares, you’ve got it. You will not have a moment of peace once you enter and the incredible animatronics and detailed props pop up when you least expect it.
Fright Value: $15 is a reasonable price for a haunt of this caliber, but isn’t worth as much if you have to wait in line for 2 hours just to get tickets. You can opt for the VIP line, but that will run you $25. Either way, show up early so you can avoid the lines and it will be well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-9.6: While the new outdoor section hasn’t added much new besides a dark maze and wooded area, this is one of the best haunts in the country and is consistently impressive every year.
A large venue in Columbus reads Cooper Stadium. By the look of it you would expect a baseball game to be going on and would be deadly wrong. During the fall season, it is home to Terror Park, a baseball themed haunt that has a different take on what is scary.
Length-8: Most of the stadium is full of props and actors while some dark mazes will take up time here and there. Overall it lasted around 20 minutes.
Design-8: You would expect much of Terror Park to be themed around baseball, but the majority of rooms have a wide range of scenes that differ greatly. You’ll first enter into the fun house, which of course contains many clowns, and freaks every which way you go. Other rooms include a dentist room, hall of horror; walk through hearse, wooden slat maze and much more. My personal favorite is the batters dug out with corpses all dressed in baseball uniforms. While many of the rooms are unique, the various mazes leave a lot to desire.
Props/Animatronics-8: There aren’t that many animated props, but the ones you’ll come across compliment the stadium perfectly. Large rats, spiders, baseball player corpses, drop panel portraits and more awaits you. Watch out for the dirty toilet that has sprung a leak.
Acting-10: Some of the best acting can be found at Terror Park. Unlike most haunts that have volunteers or auditions for actors, this haunt uses an acting troupe called Feature Creatures, which can be seen nightly, at the park. Some of the makeup and prosthetics is just incredible and gives the characters a more realistic feel. I can’t think of one actor who wasn’t in character. For me to describe some of the characters is hard to do since the majority were all-unique in there own right. One point you’ll think your looking at a large prop and then suddenly it comes to life.
Scare Affect-8: While the only room that will give you major creeps is the walk through hearse. Much of the characters found in the park will give you an uneasy feeling as they stalk you.
Fright Value: $13 is a little steep for a haunt that uses cheap black plastic to cover the walls of many mazes. You’ll also be paying $3 to park and it is just not worth the time and money at that price. $9 would be a more reasonable price to pay.
Final Stab-8.4: Here is a unique haunt that has its creepy moments. The actors are scary to be around and frightening to look at. It’s a traditional haunt with modern scares.
Kings Island FearFest (6 Haunts and More)
Tonight was Kings Island FearFest media event where review sites and select public were invited to the park. As you enter the park you are given a pass that goes around your neck so you can skip the long lines. Then before you enter you are checked through the medal detector. After that we were off. Many actors walk the paths of the park targeting those who are bound to be frightened. Much of the actors wore skates that were attached to there knees allowing them to glide across the road right up beside you. That was a neat affect and catches your attention. Fog fills the streets of Kings Island while tombstones litter some of the scenery. As an added bonus, all media was treated to food and drinks in the Happy Days Diner decorated for Halloween. All of the haunts were open that night and we walked to the attractions.
This haunt is settled inside one of the large eateries in the park. You are given 3D glasses before you enter as a large painting of a clown illuminates the entrance.
Length-6: There are a little to no dead spots in this haunt, but it only lasts around 8 minutes. This could be one of the better clown themed haunts if it was extended.
Design-9: This is by far the best designed haunt that focuses on clowns. The walls are painted with bright colors as the paintings pop out at you thanks to your 3D glasses. There are many interesting rooms you’ll encounter such as the dot room, hall of mirrors and more.
Acting-7: Clowns will be clowns and there really isn’t much that the actors do, but honk there horns or make giggling noises as you pass by. But the best acting goes to the clown at the beginning who talks about how this isn’t the circus you remember when you were a kid.
Props/Animatronics-7: There really isn’t that large amount of impressive props in the circus of Horrors. Static clowns, drop panel paintings, vortex tunnel, animated clown props and your usual findings.
Scare Affect-6: If you are afraid of clowns in any way, you’ll be petrified as you walk through The Circus of Horrors.
Fright Value: This is a neat haunt, but this should be one you save for last to make room for the better haunts in the park.
Final Stab-7.0: Unfortunately this one scores low due to its short length, but if you like carnival or clown themed haunts, you’ll have a fun time.
As you walk up towards the entrance, a crazed actor with blood all over its face while holding a puppet screams at the line waiting to get in. He even changes his voice as he talks through the creepy rabbit head.
Length-7: This can be a long haunt depending on how good you are at mazes. There are some dead spots, but the scenes you encounter make up for it. It lasted around 12 minutes.
Design-7: This maze is made mostly of tough medal and can be confusing at times. There aren’t that many scenes or rooms, but there are some unique sights. The highlight of the maze is a man that sits on table while he seems to be sawed in half.
Props/Animatronics-7: If you like some blood and gore you’ll enjoy most of the eye candy in the maze. Body parts, corpses and more are found. But some props are more impressive than others like the corpse who squirts blood as you walk by or even the man who screams in agony as he is sawed in half.
Acting-8: Actors pop out from nowhere while trying to find your way out and most of them play their parts well. Unfortunately, the best acting goes to the crazed ghoul who talks to his puppet before you enter the maze.
Scare Affect-7: The large amounts of fog and strobes add to the intensity of this haunt, but unless you get lost or are petrified of mental patients you won’t be caught off guard.
Fright Value: This is the only true haunted maze in the park and will confuse most people who walk through it. It’s worth your time if you want a challenge and like intense lighting and effects.
Final Stab-7.2: While it may be the only maze you can go to at night in the park, it’s not up to par with some of the other haunts you may want to visit.
While on your way to Headless Hollow, you’ll go through a part of the park called “Corn Stalkers”. It’s basically a short cornfield with actors who blend in with the scenery. After you’ve exited that area you’ll encounter a train called Halloween Express that you must get on to get to Headless Hollow. A short history of Sleepy Hollow is told before you are off to the haunt.
Length-7: This is pretty long haunt if you include the train ride, but it is also a cheap way to add length to an average sized trail.
Design-6: While there isn’t much in the way of rooms, there is hay and boxes where actors cleverly hide and pop up out of. The only room worth mentioning is a small shack type area with body parts hanging from the ceiling.
Props/Animatronics-5: I can’t say much about the props or animatronics since most of it was just boxes and bales of hay. But most of it complemented the era it was supposed to be taking place in.
Acting-8: The actors are very convincing and it shows, but unfortunately most of them can be seen in plain site. Towards the end you are confronted by an actor who wears a costume resembling Big Foot. He doesn’t do much, but it is still entertaining.
Scare Affect-5: As I said above, most of the creatures and characters along the trail act rather than try to scare you.
Fright Value: While, this is a newer haunt it pales in comparison to the other attractions in the park. You’ll waste a lot of time due to the unnecessary train ride and the mediocre Headless Hollow that is more of a history lesson than a scare.
Final Stab-6.2: Headless Hollow has potential, but due to poor actor placement is sadly falls short in being scary.
A wooden sign says Psycho Path as your lead down a gravel road with semi trucks on the other side of you. Strangely there is no line and you enter the trail with ease.
Length-7: As you may have guessed this is a haunted trail and unlike some, there are virtually no dead spots along Psycho Path. There are scares around every corner you take.
Design-7: There aren’t really any rooms, but most of the trail is designed with some unique scenes such as a hillbilly ho down, murder scene, chainsaw attack and much more. While on the trail you’ll come across a sewer drain/tunnel where you’re given the choice of rather to crawl inside or not. Well, of course I crawled in and to my surprise an actor pops out.
Props/Amimatronics-6: The props that are present won’t really catch your eye, but do go along with the theme of a trail taken over by maniacs. Ripped torsos, dead bodies, crashed cars and even tunnels cover the trail.
Acting-8: There are many kid actors you’ll come face to face with, but they’re actually convincing and play their parts well. At one point I was face to face with a crazed girl with blood oozing from her head that commented on how she likes gadgets too as I took some pictures.
Scare Affect-8: This is a very dark trail with well-hidden actors that jump at you when you least expect it. Watch out for the hillbillies who splash you with water.
Fright Value: Even though, it’s not the longest haunted trail around it gets the job done in scaring the ba Jesus out of you. Psycho Path should be one of the first haunts you visit when you come to FearFest.
Final Stab-7.2: It doesn’t make any sense that this is one of the haunts in the park with no line at all. It’s a decent trail that relies on acting more than props or mechanical scares.
What used to be known as The House of Darkness is now Fear Street Nights and it shows. This place is dark and very menacing.
Length-7: While there are actors every which way you go it ends way too quickly in about 10 minutes at the most.
Design-8: Most of Fear Street is supposed to resemble an old Victorian mansion and it achieves that for the most part. Spooky paintings, evil writings cover the walls as you escape this place. Some memorable scenes are the doll room where an adult woman plays with her hairless dolls in her bedroom while she tries to creep you out as you pass by. Don’t piss granny off while she’s cooking in her bloody kitchen.
Props/Animatronics-8: There really aren’t many memorable animatronics to speak of, but most of it is supposed to have the feel of a haunted mansion. Creepy paintings, corpses, evil writings, doll babies litter this haunt while you’ll find your typical static props along the way.
Acting-9: All I can say is that the acting is quite impressive in this brand new haunt and the characters and creatures don’t hold back.
Scare Affect-8: This place is dark and the actors are well hidden. There are some scenes that highlight the haunt such as granny’s kitchen and the doll room, but they are affective and you will be startled due to the darkness and great lighting when needed.
Fright Value: This is the most impressive haunt in the park and it should be the first one you visit when touring FearFest.
Final Stab-8.0: Fear Street is affective in what it does and that’s recreate the feel of an old haunted mansion full of creatures and ghouls.
Here is a haunt that you should most likely visit before Headless Hollow since it carries out the theme of Sleepy Hollow in a way.
Length-7: The downfall of many FearFest haunts is its short length and Massacre Manor is no different. While there are actors everywhere in the house, it’s not that pretty of a haunt and it doesn’t last long. It took about 10 minutes to go through the whole house.
Design-8: Maybe it was me, but this place didn’t look like it had ceilings. It could have looked like that since it was so dark inside, but who knows. Most of Massacre Manor is darkness with no real memorable rooms. But it was well designed in the sense of being a haunted house with ghouls hiding inside. It’s hard to explain, but you’ll know when you visit.
Props/Animatronics-7: Massacre Manor is so dark that it is hard to see many of the props. But much of its design and props are similar to Fear Street Nights with corpses, old bookcases and dressers, creepy paintings and so on.
Acting-8: Like I said at the beginning of this review, this is a great haunt to visit before Headless Hollow. The actors are well hidden behind wooden crates and boards and constantly worn you of the Headless Horseman coming. But unfortunately he doesn’t show.
Scare Affect-7: While Massacre Manor isn’t the most impressive in the way of high-end props and animatronics, it does well in placing its actors in well-hidden spots you’d least expect them to be at.
Fright Value: Make sure this is one of the first haunts you visit at FearFest since it has the most actors of any of the haunts in the park. It’s well worth your time.
Final Stab-7.4: Some of the best acting is found in Massacre Manor while some of the worst scenery is to follow. The large amount of actors makes up for the lack or props and animatronics
This year’s FearFest is the best in recent memories, but falls short of my expectations. While the acting in most of the haunts was some of the best so far this year, I was expecting to see more animatronics and better design being that it is Kings Island. The lines were short, but I didn’t have to wait in line. If I did most of the haunts would have been scored much lower. But overall, I recommend this Years FearFest to anyone who wants a night full of scares.
A large spooky schoolhouse stands on haunted grounds with creatures and ghouls inside. Strobe lights can be seen flashing behind its windows while tombstones decorate the paths. It’s The Haunted House of course. Cincinnati’s frightful favorite returns for its 27th year with some new twists and scares.
Length-8: The majority of the schoolhouse is decorated with pneumatic props and some great lighting that compliments the many rooms throughout. It will last between 15-20 minutes depending on how fast the group in front of you moves.
Design-9: There isn’t a specific theme this haunt models after, but there are many different and creative rooms that will catch your eye. You will first start off into a dark maze with many lunatics behind Plexiglas glass, but it gets much better from there. You’ll encounter a graveyard, fun house, Michael Myers room, wooded forest, corn stalking and much more. The lighting is perfect and goes off and on at the perfect times. The only problem is that some of the mazes are bare while some rooms’ areas are empty before you venture into different parts of the house.
Props/Animatronics-9: There are many spooky and interesting props in the house. I have a feeling that many are homemade, but they are very detailed and unexpectedly pop up. Some of these include a vortex tunnel, flying ghouls, a classic electric chair and so much more. My personal favorite is the swaying bridge, which moves back and forth while coffins, and skeletons come to life.
Acting-8: There are many actors throughout the house, but many don’t pay attention to you unless you are the screaming girl in front. There are classic characters such as Norman Bates, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, crazed mental patients and your usual cast of characters. Makeup and prosthetics could be improved while some actors have no masks or makeup what so ever.
Scare Affect-8: The old school house is a scary looking building from the outside and the rooms and scenes inside more than make up for poor makeup and some unenthusiastic actors.
Fright Value: 97.3 The Haunted House is better than ever and is well worth the price of admission. Make sure to park somewhere else to avoid paying for parking.
Final Stab-8.4: Here is an old school haunt that has become better with age. Its creepy appearance from the outside is a great indication of what awaits you in this classic scare.
One of the classic Cincinnati haunts returns for its 30th year of spooky fun. While St. Rita has been around since the 70’s its popularity has gone down due to newer haunts in the area and loss of interest because it is a charity haunt. The building itself is very creepy and in ways it is a very unique haunt.
Length-6: St. Rita has never utilized the many floors in the house and this is one of its biggest downfalls. It ends too quickly at about 8 minutes and you are left wanting more.
Design-7: St. Rita is designed to resemble a spooky old house with creatures all around. The majority of the rooms focus around one thing, ghosts and ghouls. Rooms include a cave, funeral home, haunted living room and much more. There is a downside to this and it’s that many of the rooms actors hide in are mistaken for rooms you could go through.
Props/Animatronics-7: The majority of the props are homemade, but it is hard to tell. Projecting corpses, moving objects, lanterns, creepy old paintings and more take up most of the space in the house. While St. Rita has a vortex tunnel it is one of the worst around due to its loud noises it makes and it’s generic appearance. All of the props and animatronics suite the theme of the house well.
Acting-6: Most of the actors are kids, but for the most part they perform well, but aren’t too memorable.
Scare Affect-6: The hidden steps and objects in the middle of nowhere are the scariest part of this haunt. While the actors try hard in scaring you, it just doesn’t work when they’re shorter than me and I’m aobut 5 “7.
Fright Value: St. Rita use to be $5, but in the last 2 years it’s raised its price while being virtually the same as it has been for years. $8 is a little steep, but if you use their $2 off coupon it’s well worth admission.
Final Stab-6.4: Don’t let this score fool you into thinking that St. Rita is just your usual haunt because it isn’t. It’s one of the classic haunts that have produced scares over many years. It’s one you shouldn’t miss when visiting haunts this fall season.
Dungeons of Delhi- “Damien Awaits You”
Length-7: There is something creepy around every corner. Either it’s a scary actor or a classic prop. It will take you about 12 minutes to go all the way through.
Design-9: Dungeons of Delhi has the best lighting that complements their props perfectly. The majority of rooms and scenes revolve around classic movie monsters and villains such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason, Frankenstein and even the wolf man. You’ll enter into Frankenstein’s electrifying lab, the monster garage, foggy cemetery and so much more. It seems that Dungeons covers a room that anyone will enjoy.
Props/Animatronics-8: As I said before, Dungeons of Delhi uses some great lighting and it shows throughout. Most of the props you’ll find aren’t mechanical, but are great for the theme of an old haunted house. Tombstones, copses, motorcycles, hanging ghouls and even a classic animated electric chair await you.
Acting-7: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Child actors don’t go well with a haunt unless they are playing victims and this is Dungeons downfall. While, it’s obvious that most of the kids in the house are really into trying to scare people, it’s more screaming than acting. Dungeons does have some of the best clowns in a haunt though that will hysterically laugh and crack jokes as you walk by. Damien Reaper is also good as he welcomes you to the funeral parlor. You’ll find just about everyone’s favorite movie monster and for the most part play there parts well.
Scare Affect-7: Personally I wasn’t caught off guard for a moment through this haunt, but if movie monsters or the walking dead instill fear into you, you’ll be scared throughout.
Fright Value: Dungeons of Delhi is a classic themed haunt in every sense and is worth the price of admission. Bring a canned good and get a dollar off admission.
Final Stab-7.6: One of the best haunts in Cincinnati returns with a few new scares and is a whole lot of fun.
One of Cincinnati’s favorite haunts returns for another year of frightful fun. So, enjoy some hot cocoa, a tasty hot dog and a few scares at Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall.
Length-7: There are some dead spots in-between tents and buildings, but most of the haunt is full of entertaining scenes and props. It lasts around 12-15 minutes depending on if you get lost in the dark maze.
Design-7: While the majority of this charity haunt is inside small tents and buildings, the rooms are pretty neat and are worth another look. You’ll enter into the elevator of hell, the gallery, Bates Motel and much more.
Props/Animatronics-7:This year Mt. Healthy has improved the use of props with some new additions such as well-placed air cannons, a hanging corpse and more. At one point you’ll walk into a room and suddenly be greeted by a large truck that proceeds to lay on its horn. But don’t forget some returning favorites such as a homemade vortex tunnel that rivals any that can be bought for thousands. Also, the haunted elevator returns and is as good as ever with the addition of a well-placed actor in a glowing mask. You can also expect moving floors, drop panel windows and your usual props.
Acting-6: Unfortunately most charity haunts have poor acting due to the use of many child actors. Most of the scenes are great to look at, but the performances from the characters are sub par at best. The highlight is having to bow down to Satan as you crawl underneath his thrown.
Scare Affect-6: The scariest part of Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall is some of the unexpected air cannons and the somewhat confusing maze towards the end.
Fright Value: Here is a haunt that is well worth $6 and is one you can bring the whole family to. Don’t forget to bring a canned good to get a dollar of admission.
Final Stab-6.6: One of my personal favorite haunts over the years hasn’t changed much and has lost much of its charm. But, if it’s your first or second year visiting, you’ll more than likely be impressed.
Middletown’s Land of Illusion (4 Haunts In One Location)
Middletown Haunted Trail-“Fright By Moonlight”
The air was quiet, but fear could be felt throughout these evil grounds of Middletown. As we parked the car screams could be heard off in the distance as neon lit the railings of this menacing place. We walked in to get tickets for all four promising haunts and we weren’t left disappointed for the most part.
This brings us to Middletown Haunted Trail.
Length-8: This is a long trail and takes around 20-25 minutes to walk through, but unfortunately there are many dead spots at the start where you wonder when you’ll be caught off guard. But overall it has a good pace and everything evens out.
Design-8: For the most part this trail is designed well, but once again the beginning has a lot to be desired. For the first 5 minutes there is little to nothing there besides some illuminated props or so. Most of the rooms are pretty unique such as the haunted school bus that is inhabited by ghouls and Freddy Krueger. Other rooms include a predator lake, cornfield, hillbilly shack, flamethrower hut, skeleton prison and others.
Props/Animatronics-9: If you’ve visited the trail before you know what to expect. Caged skeletons, static scarecrows, falling ceilings, horn blasting cars, vortex tunnels, and for the most part what you would usually see in most well designed trails. There were some new additions such as a walk through school bus that mimics the one found at Nightmare Estates, but does it so much better.
Acting-7: I cannot stress this enough. You can have the best animatronics and props possible, but if an actor cannot sell a scene it won’t be convincing. Some of the best acting goes to the ranting hillbillies you confront as you pass by some old shacks. To be honest most of the acting was replaced with gas powered chainsaws and way too many at that. After you are attacked by a fifth chainsaw wielding maniac you start expecting it and it looses its intensity. But things did heat up once you were confronted by crazed freaks with real blowtorches firing towards your feet.
Scare Affect-7: Can I say that I was truly caught off guard? No, I can’t and I won’t. There were some creepy moments, but far and too little in-between. If it’s your first time at the trail you are in for a treat.
Fright Value: For the amount of fright and fun you get in over a mile it is definitely worth $12, or $7.50 with a combo ticket.
Final Stab-7.8: I’m personally not a huge fan of haunted trails, but when done right I am. Other haunted trails trail in comparison.
The air was quiet, but fear could be felt throughout these evil grounds of Middletown. As we parked the car screams could be heard off in the distance as neon lit the railings of this menacing place. We walked in to get tickets for all four promising haunts and we weren’t left disappointed for the most part.
This brings us to Killer Klowns.
Length-7: The action was well paced with few dead spots, but the chain link maze took up most of your time. All in all it lasted around 12 minutes.
Design-7: Most of Killer Klowns was well designed. But when you can’t remember most of it that isn’t a good sign. The majority of the rooms consisted of bright colors and poke a dots. What you would usually expect in a clown themed haunt. Not everything was expected such as a chain link maze with strobe lights all around. It was very confusing and very intense.
Props/Animatronics-7: Most of this haunt was themed around clowns and many of the props were just static clowns that you would expect to jump out at you. Some other props included a guy puking over a toilet bowl, a confusing as hell maze, flashing tunnel, ear piercing air cannons and so much more.
Acting-7: A lot of the actors just didn’t seem like they wanted to bother in scaring people that night with the exception of a few. One of my favorite actors I came across that night was the living dead girl that roamed the chain link maze. She would follow you around while she sang and laughed as her voice changed. Many of the actors seemed to follow the same routine as other haunts do by following you through out the haunt and yelling in your face. It’s more annoying than scary.
Scare Affect-7: Some people have phobias for clowns and I’m not one of them. But if you’re unlike me and have a fear of clowns, you’ll be petrified. The chain link maze will disorient anyone while some of the pneumatic props will catch you off guard.
Fright Value: If the site of a clown puts you in therapy, it’s definitely worth the $10. For everyone else, you’re better off visiting all four haunts at Land of Illusion for a total price of $30. You’ll end up only paying $7.50 for each haunt.
Final Stab-7.0: Good God this is a sensory overload from flashing strobes, projecting props to winding mazes that confuse you to no end. You’re sure to find something that will get your heart pounding. Considering this is a first year haunt, it’s quite impressive and has great potential in becoming an Ohio favorite.
The air was quiet, but fear could be felt throughout these evil grounds of Middletown. As we parked the car screams could be heard off in the distance as neon lit the railings of this menacing place. We walked in to get tickets for all four promising haunts and we weren’t left disappointed for the most part.
This brings us to Temple of Terror.
Length-8: It took around 12 minutes to travel through the entire temple with eye candy around every corner and scares in every direction you turned.
Design-9: The majority of this haunt is in door and follows the theme of an ancient temple of course. The place is decorated with stonewalls, skulls, skeletons bursting through the walls and ancient scribe abound.
Props/Animatronics-10: There’s not much to say, but wow. When you first enter you are greeted by a voice warning you about the temple as the floor violently moves and you hold on for your dear life. The variety and scale of some of these props is amazing. From the 14 foot Impaler whole dangles his victim in one hand while holding a spear in another to the ceiling that seems to fall on you. At one point I was confronted by a huge creature that resembled a Resident Evil Character that lunged straight at me. Watch out for those natives that seem to always get you with water.
Acting-8: The majority of the temple consisted of high-end animatronics and at that point rubber masks on actors don’t cut it. The majority of the acting was mostly actors jumping out from dark corners and basically yelling boo.
Scare Affect-9: Here is a haunt where the props actually catch you off guard more than the actors and that’s not a bad thing. When there’s every kind of prop and animatronic around every corner you’re bound to get startled. Those damn moving corpse walls always get me.
Fright Value: The money spent on this whole operation has got to be up there with all the props, animatronics, detailed scenes and pop up devices. It’s well worth your time and well worth the money.
Final Stab-8.8: If you want know how it feels to experience a cursed temple than visit the Temple of Terror and may your dreams be cursed with fear.
This brings us to Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate.
Length-8: This is an action packed haunt with scares around every corner. You can’t stop without having some actor or prop jump out at you. The terror lasted around 15 minutes.
Design-10: Wow, there is eye candy everywhere you go from moving floors, creepy cemeteries, falling ceilings and so much more. It’s hard to describe some of the rooms without giving away some of the surprises and I won’t.
Props/Animatronics-10: Flying ghosts, screaming corpses, spinning tunnels, puking zombies only describe some of the things you’ll see in this haunt. At one point you walk pass a shaking bed while a girl thrashes back and fourth in it. Many of the props and animatronics will get your attention.
Acting-8: Here is haunt that relies more on animatronics than acting and for the most part succeeds. Just about every inch of this place is decorated with some type of pneumatic prop or high tech animatronic that is sure to catch you off guard. Considering the detail and money that has been put into this, you would expect professional makeup instead of cheap rubber masks. Watch out for the guy in the cowboy outfit. He’s a beast of a man and you’ll have a hard time getting around him.
Scare Affect-8: Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate resembles an old broken down haunted house with sights that shouldn’t be seen by human eyes. Well, you get my point. It’s hard not to jump in this haunt as animated creatures pop out from every direction you turn.
Fright Value: Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate stays true to its theme and follows through with some frightening moments that make it well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-8.8: Here is a traditional haunt taken to the extreme with incredible sets and an amazing amount of props and animatronics.
This place is home to over 26,000 bats while ghost roam its dark paths. Loud rumbles and screams can be heard within. What am I talking about? Lewisburg Haunted Cave of course. Ohio’s only haunted cave returns for another year of fright and fun and brings a piece of the circus with it. This year’s theme is Circus of The Dead. Is it another lame haunt that focuses on clowns, or refreshing and new. Lets find out.
Length-8: This is a huge a cave and miles and miles of it isn’t used. While you’ll encounter many scenes, the guide who frequently stops and explains various skits takes up a lot of time. There are some dead spots that are filled with strobe lights and props, but not enough.
Design-8: Much of the appeal of this haunt is that it’s an actual cave in the middle of nowhere. The stonewalls roar, water drips and bats can frequently be seen hanging from the caves walls. While this place is unique and quite creepy, it can’t make up for poorly executed scenes and rooms. You’ll encounter a pet cemetery, graveyard, train station, carnival games, lion’s den and more.
Props/Animatronics-7: You wouldn’t expect much in the way of props in an underground cave, but you’d be surprised. Clown dummies are scattered throughout while some interesting sights can be seen. Undead dogs, shooting flames, loud horns, moving corpses and more are what to expect. Some new additions this year are a simulated train and a small homemade vortex tunnel.
Acting-6: Like many, I can’t stand child actors. They aren’t affective and don’t draw you into the experience. Lewisburg Haunted Cave has many volunteers, but unfortunately most of them seem unprepared and are lazy in trying to scare you. There is more screaming than acting. There are various scenes acted out along your way, but nothing that will stick with you at the end of the night. It’s sad when a computerized mannequin who explains the premise of this year’s theme has the best performance.
Scare Affect-7: The dark and damp cave gives you a chilling feeling that you’re being watched. It’s quite a unique experience, but is scary due to the atmosphere rather than the actors. Unless you are in the front of the group you will miss much of the action and scares. The only time I was caught off guard was when a shotgun was fired from one of the actors. My ears are still ringing. Not really, but you get the point.
Fright Value: It’s well worth $9 just to experience the cave for all its dark and creepy glory. A $2 off coupon is also available.
Final Stab-7.2: One of my favorite haunts to visit has sadly fallen short of expectations. This year Circus of The dead theme was introduced, but wasn’t executed well. When will haunts learn that most people aren’t afraid of clowns and that the circus theme has run its course?
The Haunted Swamp-“The Deep Dark Woods”
A dimly lit building is off in the distance while evil awaits your arrival. The Haunted Swamp returns for its 5th year as one of Lewisburg’s haunted trails.
Length-6: The majority of the trail consists of some creative scenes and props along the way with many dead spots that you’ll encounter. It will take around 12 minutes to make it all the way through.
Design-6: While walking on the trail you’ll come across various skits and scenes such as a caged gorilla that is stopped from being released by the zookeeper. Some of the sights include a church of the damned with large flames shooting in front of an old building with unmarked tombstones in front of it. Other scenes include a typical fun house, which of course has many clowns, which inhabit it.
Props/Animatronics-5: Some of the props on the trail are hanging spiders, rubber skeletons and more. The highlight is large shooting flames that illuminate the coffins and tombstones, which are behind it.
Acting-6: It’s obvious that the actors are volunteers and many of them can be seen wearing hooded sweatshirts while having a mask or makeup on. The clowns are convincing as they chase you with their spark flying chainsaws and so is the werewolf who asks you to join him in his coffin.
Scare Affect-5: The trail itself is unnerving while some of the actors are convincing in there own right. But for the most part I wasn’t caught off guard while at The Haunted Swamp.
Fright Value: At $7, this haunt isn’t worth the price of admission. If some of the dead spots were filled up or the acting was improved, it would be well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab–5.6: Here is a trail that has great potential, but sadly doesn’t follow through with many of its scares.
Middletown is a quiet place by day, but once the sun goes down all Hell breaks loose. The Old Cambridge Inn stood empty for over 20 years, but for the last 2 has been home to The Chambers of Horror.
Length-8: It will take around 15 minutes to travel through many of the dark and twisting corridors of the house. There are intense actors and scares around just about every corner.
Design-8: Chambers is well designed for the most part, but many of the walls are bare and uninspiring. Some of the rooms you’ll experience are the Michael Myers victim room, walk through freezer, shrinking hall way and much more.
Props/Animatronics-8: Most of the props you’ll come across are pretty standard like drop panel portraits, haunted paintings and more. But there are some creative scares like a vibrating elevator, which takes you down to the next floor. There are also hidden doors, a falling ceiling and even a wall that seems to close in on you.
Acting-8: The actors are up close and in your face. While, most of the horror movie icons like Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers are used, they are pretty accurate in their rules. Leather Face fires up his chainsaw as grandpa cheers him on and Freddy can be found in his boiler room waiting for his next victim. The majority of characters have been seen time and time again in most of your haunts.
Scare Affect-8: The Chambers of Horror is a dark and creepy place and the scenes and actors just add to the frightening affect.
Fright Value: $9 is reasonable price for this old school haunt that has been taken into a new era.
Final Stab-8.0: Here is a haunt that is consistently good every year with little changes here and there. The actors are convincing while the rooms and props speak for themselves.
Jamestown Haunted Woods-“The Creepy Castle Awaits Your Arrival.
A large castle stands in the distance as brightly lit torches illuminate its walls. Do creatures live within its premise or do strange beings wait for you on the outside. Lets go and find out.
Length-8: These haunted woods easy take 20 minutes to make it all the way through, but along many of its paths there is just dead air without an actor in sight.
Design-7: The highlight of Jamestown Haunted Woods is the large castle you must enter in the beginning, but all it’s used for is a dark maze. It seems like a waste of space to me. As you venture into the dark woods, you’ll come across a haunted school bus, cornfield, and various huts and scenes along the way.
Props/Animatronics-7: You won’t find any mechanical props at this trail, but the ones they have suit the haunt just fine. There are toxic barrels, crashed cars, a walk through bus and much more. There’s nothing too impressive, but this haunt is limited due to being mostly outdoors.
Actors-7: Most of the characters try to be convincing and intimidating, but fail in doing so. Some of the actors throw barrels, chase you with chainsaws, grab at your clothes or just stand in your way. At one point while I was walking in the cornfield, I could hear a loud growl and suddenly a werewolf jumped right out in front of me.
Scare Affect-7: This is a spooky haunted trail at night with creepy music playing in the background, but ultimately seems amateurish and won’t have you jumping much.
Fright Value: This is a long trail indeed, but isn’t worth the $10 invested in paying to enter. There are too may dead spots and not enough convincing actors.
Final Stab-7.2: Here is another haunted trail that has so much potential that it makes me sick. It may be legendary in some people’s eye, but it just seems unprofessional and doesn’t follow through in scaring people.
A sign from above reads enter if you dare while an animatronic ghoul can been seen puking beside you.
Length-9: It will take around 20 minutes with little to no dead spots along the trail. The majority of this haunt is packed full of actors and scenery everywhere you turn.
Design-8: It’s hard to judge a haunted trail since many of them don’t have any rooms to speak of. But some of the scenes that you come in contact with may startle you. These include a graveyard, chainsaw attack, Jason Voorhees gallery, scarecrow field, and much more.
Props/Animatronics-8: Crashed cars, running motorcycles, corpses, glowing ghosts, static monster props, tombstones and more are what to expect. At one point you’ll see an open path to the side and suddenly a running motorcycle emerges as it chases after you.
Acting-7: The majority of the actors are kids while some of the more professional actors are adults. You’ll come across stilt wearing reapers who walk and lunge towards you. Scarecrows inhabit a field as they come alive when you least expect it. Creatures spring to life in the graveyard while prisoners try to escape from there cages.
Scare Affect-8: Walking in the dark woods at night can make your imagination run wild while the actors and running vehicles will startle anyone.
Fright Value: $10 is pretty high for a haunted trail that for the most part isn’t consistently scary. It has its moments, but not enough. It’s well worth the price of admission when you use a $2 off coupon.
Final Stab-8.0: Here is a spooky trail that has its moments and many enthusiastic actors to fill up spaces. It’s one you shouldn’t miss when visiting haunts this season.
Crickets chirp as the sun goes down while the moon glows a bright green. It’s a perfect night for ride in the woods, but will you survive?
Length-9: There is hardly ever a dull moment. But in between some scenes, there is darkness and you waiting for something to happen. The ride lasts 25 minutes, give or take.
Design-9: Most of the hayride has you going through some classic and creative scenes. At one point you’ll even drive over a small creek. Some of the rooms include an out door funhouse with rope light illuminating the scene. You’ll even go into a garage, which has bright fluorescent paint, which covers the walls.
Props/Animatronics-9: A flame shooting hearse, forklift, a galloping horse, homemade eclectic chair only name some of the sights you’ll see. At one point, the tractor is actually pushed by a forklift from behind.
Acting-9: Actors will jump onto the tractor and intimidate the guests and vehicle and farm equipment constantly chase you. My favorite scene is the headless horseman who rides along the tractor while holding a glowing pumpkin in his hand. The actors are intense and in your face.
Scare Affect-9: This is an intense hayride anyway you look at. Actors jump onto the tractor with running chainsaws. You are pushed from behind by forklifts. You’re chased by the headless horseman and even followed by an undead driver and his hearse. The tractor alone is very bumpy and you wonder if this thing will tip over or not.
Fright Value: $10 is a reasonable price for a dark trip into the spooky woods. It’s worth every dollar spent.
Final Stab-9.0: Here is a haunt you can take your whole family to and still be scared for your life. The tractor never seems safe while many of the rooms and scenes will have your heart pounding. You’ll have a frightening good time while seeing the reactions of the people on the hayride and getting spooked yourself.
Fog can be seen off in the distance as the moon moves between large clouds. An entrance says The Black Bog and of course you must enter. This year’s Black Bog has been drastically changed rather it is for the better or worse.
Length-8: Rather it is a spooky building you enter or walking on a foggy trail, there are little to no pauses and something to experience just about every minute. It will take around 15 minutes to finish the trail.
Design-9: You’ll first enter into small building which as various scenes. One is a doll room where a woman cries at for her baby. You’ll eventually go into an elevator which takes you to the next floor that leads to outside. Much of the trail consists of actors hiding behind cars and coming from small shacks. At one time I looked up and the whole sky was enveloped in fog. It’s a neat and unexpected effect.
Props/Animatronics-8: Most of the props are either crashed cars along the path or small shacks. The highlights of the trail are a vibrating elevator and a spinning vortex tunnel, which will most likely disorient you.
Acting-8: The performances are decent for the most part, but there are some kid actors who will stalk you rather than act. You’ll come across a crazed elevator operator who takes you to the next floor as he yells out. Michael Myers will try to block your path while Freddy holds one of his victim’s head in his hand. There are various characters you’ll encounter like hillbillies who warn city slickers to stay off the property, but for the most part the acting is decent.
Scare Affect-8: The trail itself is unnerving and the characters and scenes add to the effect. Many of the characters are intimidating while some actors I could do without.
Fright Value: This is one of the most unique haunted trails around and is well worth the time and money spent.
Final Stab-8.2: It’s hard to believe that this is the same haunt as last year. The improvements have been drastic and have brought new life to The Black Bog.
Torches reflect off a huge chicken coop in the middle of nowhere. Is this place empty or full of fear? Lets find out.
Length-8: This place is stock full of eye candy at just about every corner you take. There are some empty dark mazes that fill up time, but for the most part you’ll have something too look at or experience throughout your tour. It takes around 15 minutes to go through.
Props/Animatronics-9: Flying corpses, heavy body bags, a vortex tunnel only names some of what you’ll encounter. At one point you’ll come across 2 electric chairs. One is a high-powered animatronic and the other has a live actor strapped down. While the props are impressive, some of them weren’t running or went off too late.
Design-9: The majority of this haunt is broken up into detailed sets, which have actors, and props that try to frighten you. Stonewalls are illuminated by torches and decorated with creepy portraits while many of its rooms will have you step back and stare. A clown ball pit, confusing dark mazes, glowing Jason mask room are some of what you’ll see. But once again some of the lighting wasn’t working properly. While walking through the graveyard, it was completely dark until I walked out and they decided to turn on the black lights.
Acting-8: The actors obviously love what they are doing and it shows in their dedication in trying to scare people. You’ll come across an undead bride who offers you her rose and watch out for those crazy clowns in the ball pit. The characters fit the scenes well.
Scare Affect-8: The Haunted Spook Coop has some great props and classic scenes that will tug at your nerves. But for the most part, it’s one of those haunts that you love to look at, but doesn’t leave a lasting affect on you.
Fright Value: Here is a haunt that is well worth $10. While it hasn’t changed much from year to year, it’s still one of the best that many people have never heard of. If it’s your first time, you’re in for a treat.
Final Stab-8.4: One of my favorite haunts returns for its 4th year of frightening fun. It’s a classic haunt in every sense and it’s hard to believe that they do little to no advertising.
Directly across the street from Panic Box SpookHouse is the haunt known as Terror Maze. It’s amazing to find out that the whole place was set up in less than 2 weeks and is better than many in the same area.
Length-9: There are hardly any dead spots throughout the haunt and barley a moment to hold your breath. It’s going to take you 20 minutes or more to get through the house depending on how well you navigate through mazes.
Design-9: If you haven’t realized yet, Terror Maze consists of many mazes and trap doors incorporated into the haunt with various rooms along the way. At the beginning of the haunt, you’ll be introduced to the serial killer who runs the place and I won’t give away its creative surprise. Some of the rooms include a glowing Jason Mask area, walk through hearse, nuclear waste dump and much more inside and as you venture outdoors.
Props/Animatronics-8: While the majority of the props are either static and very few animated, there are tons of them everywhere you look.
Acting-8: There are a lot of characters that fill up many rooms along the way. They’ll either jump out of dark corners or blend themselves into a scene. At one point I was trapped into a dark room where suddenly Leather Face and other horror icons came from nowhere with gas powered chainsaws.
Scare Affect-8: The hidden doors and confusing mazes will have you feeling uneasy while the many actors who jump out from nowhere will put anyone on guard.
Fright Value: You get a lot of fright for your buck at $10. It’s well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-8.4: Terror Maze is one of those haunts that you either love or hate. The huge amount of actors and scenes are great, but aren’t as high tech or as professional as others. There’s a lot of variety at this haunt and it’s sure to please many.
Next to The Panic Box Spookhouse is a large maze made of corn. It could be promising, but unfortunately it’s a disaster in every way you look at it.
Length-6: It could take some time trying to find the exit in this large corn maze, but where are the props or actors. It can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to find your way out.
Design-2: Well, you’ve got corn and plenty of it. It’s a tough maze to navigate through, but is pretty much empty all the way through.
Props/Animatronics-1: Do motion detectors count as props? Well, if they do you’re in for a treat. Along many of its paths you’ll come across illuminated skulls and there’s not much else to really mention.
Acting-1: Everything that’s bad about actors in haunts can be found at Kruegers Korn Maze. Most of the characters can be seen wearing hooded sweaters and don’t even try to scare you. At one point an actor walked up to me without a mask on and yelled boo. Yes, it’s that bad.
Scare Affect-1: The scariest part of this maze is wishing you could find your way out. It’s basically an empty cornfield that relies on nothing more than you getting lost.
Fright Value: $9 is way too high for a haunt of this caliber and is an insult to impressive attractions out there that charge the same price.
Final Stab-2.2: This is an example of a haunt that is out there to just make money off of people who are willing to waste it.
The sign says Panic Box SpookHouse. It glows a bright blue as screams can be heard off in the distance. A large movie screen can be seen playing scenes from old horror movies while loud rock music plays in the background. This haunt seems promising, but has it really changed much in a year?
Length-6: It will take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to complete Panic Box SpookHouse. There are some interesting things here and there, but much of it isn’t memorable.
Design-5: Most of Panic Box consists of small huts or buildings that you enter. Some of the rooms include a fun house; walk through UFO, radioactive dump and of course The Panic Box. Basically The Panic Box is a small tunnel you crawl through which have empty cages on both sides of you. It’s very tight and the ceiling is very low to the ground.
Acting-5: I’ve said this time and time again. The only way a child actor is convincing is when they play a victim or hostage. The majority of the actors are young and inexperienced while there are a few adults here and there. The highlight is an actor who propels himself off a bed of spikes at you.
Scare Affect-5: The only unnerving part of this haunt belongs to The Panic Box. It’s extremely tight and anyone who is claustrophobic may have a hard time making there way out.
Fright Value: It should be considered a sin to charge $9 for this haunt. If Kruegers Korn Maze was included in the price of admission, it may be worth it. But as of now, it’s worth $5 at best.
Final Stab-5.2: Here’s another haunt that has potential, but is sadly wasted away due to little change from year to year. If the acting was drastically improved and many of the rooms were changed, it could be worth checking out.
This building used to be a place of learning by day and is now terrifying by night. Here is haunt that many people ignore since they haven’t really heard of it. It’s one that shouldn’t be missed and should be experienced by those who want a good scare.
Length-9: Much of the building used to be just dark and winding hallways, but that has been greatly improved this year. You’ll experience new and creative things you’ve never seen before. It will take you anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes to complete.
Design-9: This year’s budget is obviously higher since the majority of the rooms include many props instead of just being bare. Some of the rooms include a cornfield, aluminum maze, Ring well, doll house, medusa’s lair, rotating cage and much more. I won’t give away some of the shocking surprises.
Props/Animatronics-8: The props that are part of the haunt compliment the scenes and rooms perfectly. The ones that are present aren’t extremely impressive, but shouldn’t be missed.
Acting-9: This is an intense place by any means. You will be touched, grabbed, screamed at and will have to hold on to your dear life at the end. The actors come in close contact with you and are hard to forget. My favorite actor of the night goes to Medusa who screams at the top of her lungs as you exit her lair.
Scare Affect-10: This is the most intense haunt in Ohio by far. You’ll be touched and grabbed at just about every corner you take. Even as you first enter, hands are grabbing at your legs as you walk up the steps.
Fright Value: While some haunts are overpriced at $10.00. Buford Haunted School delivers genuine scares by actors who really love what they’re doing. It’s well worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-9.2: Buford Haunted School is the real deal and it will do no good to miss this haunt. It’s intense, creative and will have you shaking in your boots.
Kentucky’s favorite haunted ship returns for it’s 14th season with some new tricks up its bloody sleeves. Fear has taken form in the shape of a rustic old ship that haunts the waters of the Ohio River. Of course I’m talking about USS Nightmare, a Kentucky favorite for years that many have come to know and fear.
Length-10: USS Nightmare really takes you into the experience of being in a haunted ship and helps you forget that it is a haunted attraction for the most part. There are scares and realistic scenery throughout, while some of its dead spots are full of impressive animatronics that will catch your attention. Your journey through this haunt will last around 25 minutes depending on your pace.
Design-10: Looking at the outside of the ship you would expect the inside to be themed around pirates or ghosts, but you’re sadly mistaken. There are so many different themed rooms that it is hard to explain in just one review. There are Cemeteries, ancient Egyptian tombs, a bloody cafeteria, a clown fun house and much more that you’ll encounter while on your tour. Watch out for some new surprises such as a pantry room with walls littered with large cockroaches. The majority of the scenes and rooms has not changed drastically, but has been much improved with some surprises here and there that I wouldn’t give away.
Props/Animatronics-10: Over the years USS Nightmare has been known for some impressive animatronics and eye candy and this year it is more of the same. But with so many animated scares it is hard to not stop and stare at your surroundings. The most impressive animatronic on the ship is the towering creature known as the Impaler. He’s a 13-foot monster who holds a large spear in one hand while holding half of his victim’s body in the other. Many of the high dollar haunts have The Imapler, but don’t showcase him well due to poor lighting. This is not the case here. Other props include the classic electric chair, moving corpses, breathing aliens, bloody body bags, a vomiting ghoul and much much more.
Acting-9: This year’s crew of actors is hidden well within the ship and pop up from who knows where. Towards the beginning of the tour you are welcomed by a masked actor who looks like the captain of the ship. His mask is very creepy and realistic. Other characters include the returning rat lady who pets her furry friends as she grins at you through the glass. While most of the characters are spot on in acting, there are a few that do little but stare and make noise. This is the case with some of the clowns near the ball pit who just stare and giggle at you after you’ve gotten free from the plastic balls. But for the most part the actors stay well within character.
Scare Affect-8: As I mentioned before the characters are spot on and there are some new rooms that will give you a scare. My personal favorite is the pantry room with roaches all over the dirty wall. While going past the body bags, you wouldn’t expect one of the actors to be hidden in one of the them, but more than once they are and it will catch you off guard. Unfortunately when there are some dead spots, animated props fill up those spaces and most of them are nice to look at, but aren’t surprising or scary.
Fright Value: This is the best haunted ship around period and one of the most unique haunts you’ll find. It’s well worth $15 with discounts and coupons all over USS Nightmare’s website.
Final Stab-9.4: While I try to find faults in haunts, USS Nightmare really has none that stand out. It’s a great blend of high startle props with well-hidden actors inside a haunted ship.
In the downtown of Louisville stands an evil that’s been living for over a 100 years. The darkness and fear can be felt inside. Is it a morgue or a living nightmare? You be the judge.
Length-9: There is something that will jolt your nerves or make you take a step back while you’re in the basement of the morgue. There are literally no dead spots unless you count the corpses. It lasted around 15-20 minutes depending on how long it takes to stare at all the wonders.
Design-10: This is a creepy place for sure and from top to bottom there are scenes and rooms that will have you take a second look. Some of what you’ll encounter are a doll room, autopsy scene, spider cave and my personal favorite being the pepper’s ghost effect used perfectly with the use of props and actors. It’s hard not to talk about some of its creepy moments, but you’ll have to go and see for yourself.
Props/Animatronics-10: This bloody morgue is full of great props that perfectly compliment the theme of the haunt. Tombstones, skeletons, coffins, cobwebs and more decorate the walls and that’s just the start of it. You’ll experience heavy body bags, evil puppets, apparitions, corpses and more. At one point a nude corpse will come alive and point as you walk by.
Acting-10: You can tell that the actors really love what they are doing and are never out of character. There are some stand out moments that you won’t soon forget. As you first enter, you’re greeted by a scene of a woman sawing into a girl as the blood hits your face. Other memorable moments include the girl who feeds her sister her own intestines. Watch out for the crazed girls in doll outfits who want to play and you will. The characters you will encounter are just creepy and are great in many of the creative scenes.
Scare Affect-9: The thought of being in a place that housed thousands of corpses just hits a nerve and follows you throughout the place. Things will pop out of dark corners or fly over your head while many of the things you see are freaky plain and simple. It’s a more theatrical scare than a high startle.
Fright Value: Here is one of the best haunts in the country and is well worth $15 and the wait in line.
Final Stab-9.6: What else can I say, but wow. Baxter Avenue Morgue is not your typical haunt. Instead of throwing kids into a room with rubber masks, they create creepy moments with actors who love to creep you out in the first place and it shows. If the idea of a haunted morgue doesn’t get to you, the characters inside will.
Louisville’s longest running haunt returns for another year of terror. It’s bright neon letters read “The Haunted Hotel”. You may check in, but you won’t check out.
Length-10: It’s going to take you about 20 minutes walking through the intense scenes and going up the winding stares. When there are no actors, there are incredible animatronics or pneumatic props that will definitely impress.
Design-9: The inside of this old hotel is simply incredible. You’ll begin your frightening journey with an elevator ride straight to hell. Other sights you’ll come across is a shower scene complete with the nude woman and water running. There are cages that hold crazed creatures, a fun house, zombie feeding, bloody cafeteria and more and this is only the inside. The outside is a different matter though since much of the ceiling is uncovered with light shining on you. It’s distracting, but the props and scenes will help you forget all about it.
Props/Animatronics-10: When you think of animatronics, think of The Haunted Hotel as having some of the best. An Electric chair, lunging zombies, a puking ghoul, rampaging dog, spinning vortex tunnel only name some of the spectacles you’ll see in this creepy place. Many of The Haunted Hotel’s props are different from other places though since they use what is called a boo box which activates music or sounds when you come across them.
Acting-10: Every actor stays in character and the majority are returning workers from years past. They are intense and don’t let up for a second. Most actors at haunts just move towards you with chainsaws, well that’s not the way it is here. They will chase you out of the place until you’re screaming with terror.
Scare Affect-10: The Haunted Hotel really draws you into the experience and helps you forget that these are actors inside. While you know none of them will hurt or attack you, they are in your face and won’t let you forget it. Rather it’s the startling props or actors, you’ll have a hard time in not getting a rush.
Fright Value: Here is a haunt that is worth every penny spent. $14 is a reasonable price for all the fright and fun included.
Final Stab-9.8: Kentucky is littered with haunts around every corner. Some are good and some are bad, but The Haunted Hotel is one of the best in the state and one of the scariest in the country.
Down a long and narrow street are haunting decorations for the eyes to see. Past these pleasing displays lies a stonewall for the entrance to Majestic Nightmare, one of Kentucky’s premier home haunts.
Length-5: There are many dead spots in the house, but with all the different decorations and props gathered over the years, it’s hard not to stop and stare. It will take 8-10 minutes to complete this haunt.
Design-7: The yards beside this haunt is full of incredible Halloween Decorations, while the inside is separated into different parts with eye-catching scenes. You’ll first venture indoors where it’s designed more like a traditional haunted house with many spooky decorations that litter the rooms. Some rooms include an aluminum maze, hall of mirrors, fun house and a small outdoor trail type area. It’s pretty impressive considering that this is a non-profit haunt that runs only a few days.
Props/Animatronics-7: Right when you first arrive you’ll have your sights on many Halloween decorations in the yard. Everything from 8-foot tall blow-ups to coffins with rotting corpses. It’s pretty impressive and hard not to notice. Inside the house, all the props and decorations have been gathered over 23 years and it’s pretty cool. Fountains, shaking mummies, tombstones, corpses and so much more can be found in this Halloween haunt.
Acting-4: The biggest downfall of Majestic Nightmare is its acting. The majority of the actors are wearing cheap rubber masks and most of them just stare or bang on the wall.
Scare Affect-5: This is a spooky haunt you can bring the whole family to. The decorations that fill the yards will bring back Halloween memories while the inside haunt is neat to walk through and look at.
Fright Value: You won’t have to pay a single cent to enter this haunt, but donations are accepted.
Final Stab-5.6: It’s obvious that the people who put this haunt together truly love Halloween and what the spirit of the season is all about. Visit Majestic Nightmare and bring the family.
A creepy house in Kentucky is home to zombies, ghosts and creatures of the unknown that lurk on its creepy land. What am I talking about? Nightmare Manor of course. One of Kentucky’s premier home haunts returns for another year of creepy fall fun.
Length-4: Here is a place that has many rooms that rival those found at a lot of Charity haunts, but is just way too short. It lasts about 6 minutes and you’re wanting more after it’s over.
Design-6: The outside of this haunt is decorated with spooky Halloween decorations and fog, while the inside boasts some quite impressive looking rooms. You’ll encounter a meat locker with some of the best body bags I’ve seen. You will also come across a laboratory with flashing lights and science equipment. The majority of the other rooms are typical, but well put together.
Props/Animatronics-7: I am quite impressed with the props that are in this home haunt. Body bags, electrifying equipment, autopsy victims and even some pneumatic props are along the way.
Acting-4: Well, this is a haunt that only runs 4 days in October and obviously uses volunteers. You can tell that they love what they’re doing and some may catch you off guard.
Scare Affect-5: Some of the scenes and props are just down right creepy from the bloody corpses and body bags to the corpses that lie in the yard.
Fright Value: What are you waiting for? Nightmare Manor is absolutely free and will bring out the Halloween spirit in anyone.
Final Stab-5.2: If you love Halloween or Horror as much I do, you’ll love this traditional haunt and will want to go back again and again.
Note: Majestic Nightmare and Nightmare Manor are professional home haunts, not your run of the mill yard displays. This is why they’ve been reviewed and considered the same as other places.
What used to be a T-Shirt factory back in the early 1900s has had many drastic changes. First it was Industrial Nightmare and now it is home to 3 different haunts. Some are more impressive than others and this brings us to Fear Factory.
Length-7: There is impressive scenery and sets throughout, but some rooms lack enough actors and have you waiting to be scared. It will take you 13 minutes at the most to go all the way through.
Design-8: There are few haunts out there that follow the theme of a nuclear power plant or factory, but this is one of them and does it well. Halls grow smaller to the point of almost crawling while barrels covered with nuclear waste litter the floors. There really aren’t many different themed areas that you’ll find, but much of it is impressive to the eyes.
Props/Animatronics-7: This haunted factory is great looking, but there aren’t many props or animatronics that are out of the ordinary. You will come across a few and there are some impressive highlights. While walking you’ll come across a bunch of huge barrels with busted pips pouring nuclear waste below you that gives off an eerie glow. The only animatronic worth mentioning is a corpse that continuously pukes green fluid. Most of the eye candy you’ll find goes great with the factory theme.
Acting-6: I can’t say much about acting since most of it was performed by the same people, but jumping out from different rooms.
Scare Affect-7: Many of the startles are due to air cannons or actors banging on barrels. Some characters will catch you off guard as they jump at you from one dark room to the next. But most of the scares are average at best.
Fright Value: This is a way overpriced haunt for what it has to offer. $7 would be a fair price instead of almost $13.
Final Stab-7.0: Fear Factory has great potential, but due to poor acting and its short length it may never be realized.
Length-5: It may take $10 minutes to free yourself from this maze. Unfortunately, there are many dead spots and little to nothing to get in your way.
Design-4: As the name implies, it’s pitch black. But that’s no excuse to not have any rooms or scenes while you navigate your way out. It’s pretty easy to find your way if you feel around.
Props/Animatronics-0: This is the first 0 I’ve given out in a ratings category and it’s well deserved. It would be wrong for me to give it any higher since there is nothing in the way of pneumatic or static props what so ever.
Acting-1: I understand that this is a maze, but there is no excuse in having actors out of costume with no lines at all except for shouting at you.
Scare Affect-2: There’s not much to be scared of when the maze is basically empty and actors guiding you in which way to go.
Fright Value: $12.95 is incredibly high for a haunt like this and it seems that this one was built just to make extra money. $5 would be a reasonable price for a large dark maze.
Final Stab-2.4: I understand that Pitch Black was supposed to be completely dark, but where are the actors and props. This would be a great maze if it was priced way lower, but to have it as the same price as much better haunts inside the same building doesn’t seem right and to give it a good review would be wrong.
Inside The Fear Factory complex is a third haunt that resembles an abandoned house haunted by ghouls and freaks. Was it spine tingling or disappointing. Lets go and see.
Length-7: There are many dead spots through this well designed house with props along the way, but no actors. It will take you about 10 minutes to escape the madness.
Design-7: Like I said before, this is a well-designed house, but the problem is that there aren’t many rooms that follow a theme what so ever. Most of Dementions consists of boarded up walls with light randomly flashing on scenery and props.
Props/Animatronics-6: Much of what you’ll find is just static props and dummies or corpses laid out on tables. It goes good with the theme of an abandoned house, but you need more variety to have it make an effect.
Acting-6: There are actors, but most of them are the same, but pop up from different spots of the house. The majority just yells and tells you to get out.
Scare Affect-6: Dementions has great potential in being scary since its design resembles a classic haunted house. But there aren’t enough actors to do any damage on your senses.
Fright Value: It would be hard for me to recommend spending $12.95 on this haunt since it’s not worth more than $8 at best.
Final Stab-6.4: I see so much potential in Dementions that it’s scary. It’s use of well-placed lights and somewhat creative design is great, but due to poor acting and props this one falls short of being affective.
A large mansion lies on the street between Kentucky and Indiana. It’s known for it ghostly history and grisly past. Zombies walk the premise searching for brains of its next victim.
Length-8: There are many creative scenes throughout and no real pauses between rooms. There are some moments here and there that have you waiting for actors to prepare in-between scenes.
Design-9: This is a very different kind of haunt and many of the scenes are refreshing and new. When you arrive, you’ll first enter into a séance room where a hooded character will ask one of the visitors to come to the table and pray with them. It’s a good beginning to get things started, but the end result is disappointing. Other rooms include a photo lineup where you’ll be asked to lineup with the group of people to get a picture taken and when everyone says cheese a loud bang is heard. The walls are decorated with images of evil, but many of the rooms aren’t very interesting. Most of Culbertson is creative but not very affective.
Props/Animatronics-7: There aren’t many impressive props or animatronics, but some will catch your eye. You’ll experience severed body parts, floating ghosts, creepy portraits and more. Much of the mansion isn’t too impressive, but if flows well.
Acting-8: When you arrive, much of the line entertainment is the walking dead. They’ll burst into walls and even interact with you. Inside the mansion is a different story though. There are some new things I haven’t personally seen in a haunt, but most of the characters try to be more intimidating than scary. You’ll encounter a huge winged bat that looks down at you, but is more fun to look at than it is scary. Some things I won’t give away though since they are new and unexpected.
Scare Affect-6: Like I said before. Culbertson Mansion tries too hard in being intimidating and forgets to be scary. There are more creepy moments than ones that will make you jump.
Fright Value: $10 is a little high for a haunt that really isn’t full of scares, but more of interesting skits. It’s not worth the price of admission unless it was three dollars cheaper.
Final Stab-7.6: I can’t say that this place has potential since the haunted mansion has been around for 20 years. It’s more hair raising than high startle and overall disappointing.
A building off in the darkness is painted with evil skulls and creatures while a graveyard litters its path. People line up to see what this menacing place has to offer, but is it worth the time and effort. Lets journey into the darkness and see.
Length-9: Fright Manor is full of creative scenes and props everywhere you go. But unfortunately a couple minutes were taken up at the end with just actors using chainsaws. It takes around 20 minutes to make it through.
Design-9: This haunt is separated into 3 different parts, which are Fright Manor, Psychomanthium and Fear of The Dark. It’s hard to distinguish which is which, but in any case they all flow together into one big haunt. The outside line is decorated with tombstones and coffins all scattered every which way and venturing inside is sure to impress. Dark mazes, fun house, Martha Stewart kitchen, Charlie Brown TV Room, butcher shop, bloody BBQ, chainsaw alley only name some of the rooms and scenes you’ll enter. A lot of time and detail were obviously put into this place. The only downfall is the outside area, which is lit by cheap Christmas lights with uncovered ceilings.
Props/Animatronics-10: Every room has something that will have you stop and stare. The amount of animatronics and props used at this haunt is just incredible. Flying ghouls, screaming banshees, twitching corpses, shaking skeletons, chained victims, static ghouls, moving crates, a hanged man, attacking dog and much more is what you have to look forward to. At one point I was walking through a room and the floor started to violently shake. That was a neat effect.
Acting-9: For the most part the acting is solid in just about every room, but there are a few actors who weren’t taking there job seriously at all. But, lets start with the good. Fright Manor uses hardly any child actors and truly brings you into the experience. Demented clowns, freaks with power drills, mad butchers, chained prisoner, stilt wearing clowns and more roam the hallways waiting to scare their next victim. The best performance of the night goes to the actor playing Martha Stewart. She’s very creepy in showing her chained corpses and nasty things she has cooked up. But, the performances aren’t all good in this haunt. More than once I came across actors who were either on their cell phone or out of character. There is no excuse for that.
Scare Affect-9: This is a very entertaining haunt at about every turn you take. Scary animatronics and creepy scenes await you while its spooky design will have your heat racing up to the next room.
Fright Value: $15 is a good price for all you get at this haunt. There is one entertaining and scary moment after the other and it’s hard to get bored at a haunt that brings so much to the table.
Final Stab-9.2: Fright manor has everything from good actors, great scenes, spooky line decorations and great props. You can’t go wrong with this haunt and it’s one you shouldn’t miss out on.
Funeral of Fear-“Death Is Near“
Across from a large prison is a haunted house that takes place in an old funeral home. It breathes atom sphere and is a great place to have a haunt. But was it used to its potential or wasted away with tired ideas. Why don’t we find out?
Length-8: Every which way you go there is some type of strange scene or room that you’ll encounter. It takes about 15 minutes to escape the horror.
Design-7: You’ll first venture into a chapel with church pews and plenty of fog to mask the bare surroundings. Other rooms include a boiler room, insane asylum, embalming room, Saw victims area and much more. The place is alone is extremely creepy and how can you go wrong with a funeral parlor. I won’t give way some of the unique rooms.
Props/Animatronics-5: The Funeral Parlor is pretty empty when it comes to eye candy. The only thing worth mentioning is a real moving elevator that you must enter to travel down to the next floor. The rest of the props go well with the theme of the haunt, but aren’t necessarily out of the ordinary.
Acting-8: Kid actors aren’t scary at any haunt you visit and it’s no different here. But the adult actors are very convincing and will catch you off guard. Crazed mental patients roam the hallways while evil torturers lash out at their victims. At one point I was given the option by a masked character to sing my soul away to the Devil and well I did. I was curious of what would have happened next and nothing really did. There are certain scenes I won’t give away, but they’re very interesting and different.
Scare Affect-8: There are some good performances among some of the adult actors while a funeral parlor alone will give anyone the creeps.
Fright Value: Funeral of Fear could be worth the $12 admission price if the building was used to its full potential with better scares and actors along the way. As of right now, it’s worth a little more than half the asking price.
Final Stab-7.2: An old funeral home is an incredible place to hold a haunt, but unfortunately it’s not used to its full potential. If more adult actors were used and some of the more intense scenes filled more than just a few rooms, the score would be much higher. I see a great future for this haunt.