2006 Haunt Reviews
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Reviews by Noah
The Haunted House-“Bringing Back Terror”
The sky was dark and luminous as clouds slowly moved. It began to drizzle and this Fall night was a wet and frightful one in deed. Fog could be seen moving across the ground and almost felt like a sign for good haunting that night. We got in the car and drove to the first location that night, The Haunted House in Dent, OH. A haunted school bus could be seen near the entrance as the small crowd moved up in line. We were pumped and were not let down.
Length-10: Rather you marvel at the great detail that’s in many of its rooms or get somewhat lost in the winding corridors, it will take 20-25 minutes. There are very few dead spots where you can take a pause and breathe.
Design-10: The Haunted House is themed almost perfectly in the way it resembles an actual school. You’ll travel through the boy’s locker room, the library, detention and many things that bring back the old school feeling. A large spooky graveyard is this year’s intro. It’s aged tombstones and numerous zombies are impressive as are most of the rooms at The Haunted House. Evil clown dens, insane asylum, werewolf forest and many others only name a few of the rooms you’ll venture into. It’s impressive and the work put into this year’s haunt is apparent throughout.
Props/Animatroincs-9: If you hadn’t guessed, many of this year’s props are what you’d see at a schoolhouse. But the abundance of the props and animatronics shows. Rising zombies, propelling creatures, convulsing mummies and there’s much more. Everything goes well with the theming of the rooms.
Acting-9: This year’s boo crew is at its best. Many of the actors come from area haunts like Dungeons of Delhi and Nightmare Estates. You’ll see Bludzo The Clown Who is the ringmaster in his demented circus. Damien welcomes you to his ghastly chamber. Many other characters from some haunt classics are scattered throughout the schoolhouse, but the new actors at the old dent schoolhouse are sure not to be missed. Crazed creatures roam the tight spaces as librarians and evil teachers try to get your attention. The acting this year is impressive and one of the best groups of actors in Ohio.
Scare Affect-9: The Haunted House is similar to Baxter Avenue Morgue in the way it follows one theme in the haunt and does it almost perfectly. If the detailed rooms and new batch of actors don’t get you, you must be dead.
Fright Value: Although this is a great Cincinnati haunt, $12 is a little pricey. I would suggest using a $2 off coupon that can be found on their site. You get a lot of scare for your buck and you’re left wanting more.
Final Stab-9.2: The owners of the home haunts Nightmare Manor and Majestic Nightmare took ownership of The Haunted House this year. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was extremely surprised. This decent haunt has taken a 360 turn and has become better than its ever been. Instead of using the typical themed rooms seen in many haunts, they went with the haunted school theme and it paid off. Everything from the synchronized music with the dynamic lighting is appreciated along with the little details that make the rooms stick out. Schools in session at The Haunted House.
Kings Island FearFest (6 Haunts In One Location)
The night was silent, but the crickets were chirping and something in the air just wasn’t right. Tonight is FearFest’s media event and ghouls and ghastly creatures roam the streets looking for their next victim. The fog was thick and the crowd was small, but the fall Season was in full swing on this frightful night. Nothing has changed much for FearFest with the exception of a new haunt and a couple of Fear Zones such as Holiday Horrors, The Work Site and CornStalkers. There are more actors on the street because of these new Fear Zones, but they don’t do much for FearFest overall. Please don’t forget to visit Heckle & Howl, FearFest Hauntcert Series, Monster Bash and Elvira’s Superstition. They’re are an alternative to those who can’t handle haunts or just prefer a show. Now on with the review!
Massacre Manor-“Fear Has a Homecoming”
Emily is waiting for you and her memories of the prom night gone wrong won’t leave her sick and twisted mind. This is your typical haunt for the most part and not many changes have been made to improve this average haunt.
Length-7: Your journey through this old and decrepit haunted house will take around 12 minutes to complete with too many dead spots in-between rooms and scenes.
Design-7: The majority of this haunt resembles an old boarded up haunted house. Everything from paint peeling to cracks in the walls only adds to the haunting experience. There are many different themed rooms such as a haunted bedroom with a ghoul who magically comes to life with the glow of a black light. A doll room, creepy cafeteria, granny’s kitchen and Emily’s room is some of what you’ll walk through. The scenes have nice little details here and there, but there aren’t enough stand out scenes that deserve another look.
Props/Animatroincs-6: As far as eye candy goes this haunt does well with lighting, but falls short of great props that enhance certain rooms. Nothing really stood out in the way of props.
Acting-8: FearFest is known for their great acting and Massacre Manor is no exception. Actors pop out of crates or are in your face with incredible makeup to look at. My personal favorite is the countess who introduces you to the haunt as she cracks jokes and recites the rules of the house. Many actors pop out of pictures on the walls while many emerge from boxes.
Scare Affect-7: Personally I wasn’t caught off guard due to the predictable scares throughout the house. There are moments here and there where you’re expecting something or someone to sneak up behind you out of the darkness, but overall it’s a peaceful walk through detailed scenes and sets.
Fright Value: This haunt is worth your time, but isn’t drastically different from last year’s version. Save this one towards the end as there are better haunts throughout the park you should hit first.
Final Stab-7.0: Last year this was an innovative and spooky haunt, but it’s become and dull and forgettable because of a lack of change. It has great theming and convincing acting, but there’s no substance behind the story line that is repeated throughout.
Circus of Horrors 3D-The Ringmaster Invites You”
Everyone loves the circus rather your young or old and you’ll be dying to get into this one. The stage is set and the clowns are waiting. Are you ready for the Circus of Horrors? I was and we walked in this clown classic.
Length-6: This is one of those haunts that if extended it could become a classic, but unfortunately it ends too quickly at less than 10 minutes. More scenes need to be added in order for this last years, but unfortunately I don’t see that happening in the near future.
Design-8: From the start to finish, this haunt follows the theme of a circus. The 3D glasses you’re given before you enter only enhance the fluorescent lights and colors throughout the haunt. The majority of the walls are detailed with poke a dot colors, circus drawings and crazy colors all around. You’ll go through a poke a dot room where actors blend in with their surroundings and many of the rooms throughout this haunt will draw you in.
Props/Animatroincs-7: As you may have guessed this haunt has a lot of clowns that are part of the sets and scenery. Nothing has drastically changed from last year, but the placement of this year’s props has been improved to create a better overall scare. You’ll venture across a spinning vortex tunnel or even have clowns coming out of the walls straight at your face. Static clown dummies decorate the walls while you guess which one is actually real.
Acting-6: There’s not much to say concerning the actors since the majority of them are less than 5 feet tall. As I’ve sad numerous times before, child actors aren’t scary and the only actor that is convincing is the one that can stare you in the face. Clowns pop out of dark corners, colorful paintings or emerge from seamlessly empty boxes. It’s entertaining, but not scary in the least bit.
Scare Affect-6: If you have a pent up fear of clowns this haunt will get to you, but for the most part it has no affect on the senses and comes up short in the scare department.
Fright Value: Sadly this is one of the better haunts at FearFest and is a fan favorite. Clown theme haunts usually fail miserably, but this is one of the best. It’s worth the time waiting in line.
Final Stab-6.6: Here is one of the original FearFest haunts that haven’t drastically changed over the years. There needs to be a soon overhauling of Circus pf Horrors 3D before it attempts to survive another year at the park.
Cowboy Carnage-“The Wild West Comes To life”
The old west is reborn with this new addition to Kings Island FearFest. It’s Cowboy Carnage and whatever you do don’t drink the whisky. An old ranch style house welcomes you to this Wild West themed haunt. Are you ready for the west? We were and for the most part were left with a bad taste in our mouths and it wasn’t from the whisky.
Length-7: The majority of FearFest’s haunts don’t last long longer than 10 minutes at the most. Right when you are getting into a haunt, it brings you back to reality by ending to abruptly.
Design-7: Your adventure into the west will involve navigating around large barrels and journeying into the darkness. The rooms and scenes are molded after the west of course and much more could have been done with its theme. The majority of the rooms have little to no originality with the exception of a few. One particular room involves a prostitute who lies on her bed tempting you with a good offer. Yes, that is a scene. The majority of this haunt is forgettable at best.
Props/Animatronics-6: If you consider large barrels and boxes props than yes there was a wide variety of props. When you think of Kings Island you would expect large and expensive animatronics and larger than life props, but nothing like that is found throughout Cowboy Carnage. It’s body parts galore with this average haunt.
Acting-7: Before you enter into the west, you are told the rules by an actor dressed as a cowboy. The acting for the most part is convincing, but many of the characters repeat the same lines over and over. The best actress of the night goes to the prostitute who is up close and in your face while tempting you with an offer you can’t refuse. Rotting zombie cowboys walk the paths while sharing some body parts as they walk closer. There are many actors throughout, but they don’t leave a lasting impression that stays in your mind for days.
Scare Affect-7: Cowboy Carnage carries the theme of the Wild West well into the haunt. The intricate sets and decent design help in giving you that creepy vibe. Unsuspecting actors lurk in the shadows and unexpectedly burst out of walls, but in the end it isn’t enough.
Fright Value: It’s worth the time and effort to experience a haunt that has the potential to eventually become a FearFest classic.
Final Stab-6.8: This is a nice addition to the FearFest lineup and with more improvements this could become a better haunt over time and a haunt people will expect from year to year. This is an interesting haunt, but much more could have been done with it. A ghost town, saloon or anything cowboy related could have been added to enhance the overall experience.
The Asylum-“Madness Behind Every Corner”
The lunatics are out tonight and they roam the halls of The Asylum. What used to be known as The Maze of Madness has changed names and become The Asylum. Unfortunately the lack of changes will be the thing that makes you go mad.
Length-8: The time it takes to navigate through this confusing maze really depends on you. It may take anywhere from 10-25 minutes depending on how the bright strobes and numerous mirrors affect your perception.
Design-7: As far as design goes, there’s not much to say as far as The Asylum goes. If you visited The Maze of Madness last year you pretty much know what to expect with The Asylum. It’s essentially a long maze made of chain link fence with various mirrors trying to confuse you as you try to escape.
Props/Animatronics-6: When Kings Island has a haunt you expect more in the way of eye candy and sadly The Asylum disappoints. Except for a few body parts and torsos here and there nothing really stands out. The only thing that will have you stop and say wow is the victim who gets his body sawed in half by a buzz saw. It’s a little disturbing.
Acting-7: The characters in the maze are great acting like crazed lunatics, but acting like an insane asylum patient doesn’t involve complicated lines or anything that is memorable in the way of a performance. The stand out actor goes to the guy who is missing half his body as he stairs down at you to be recognized.
Scare Affect-6: The blinding strobes and reflecting mirrors really disorient you and make this long maze more confusing than it should be and with some people that may cause panic, but for most it gets old and stale.
Fright Value: Sadly this is one of the more popular haunts at the park and has survived year after year. If you love mazes, it’s worth your time.
Final Stab-6.8: If you’ve been to FearFest in the past you will be disappointed by The Asylum. With the exception of a name change this haunt hasn’t improved over the years and has become more of a task than something scary.
Headless Hollow-“All Aboard The Haunted Express”
A slow moving train moves through thick fog as it blows its faint horn. Crickets can be heard in the bushes as the crowd waits to get on board The Haunted Express. The train starts to move and we’re off on our way to Headless Hollow.
Length-7: This is the longest haunt at FearFest, but the train ride that drops you off to Headless Hollow is completely unnecessary and takes up way too much time that could be used visiting other haunts at the park. It will take anywhere from 25-30 minutes depending on the speed of the train and the time it takes to board the train.
Design-6: Headless Hollow really lacks in the way of design since much of it takes place outside and most of it is just bails of hay and boxes from which the actors pop out of. It’s nothing to go home and brag about.
Props/Animatronics-6: There’s nothing impressive in the way of props as far as this haunt goes unless you count the Haunted Express train as a prop. There are bails of hay, boxes, severed heads and really not much more. Are you getting excited yet? I’m sure not.
Acting-7: FearFest pays their actors and they obviously work for every penny they get. They’re rarely out of character and are really convincing in the rules the play. While many of the characters along the trail talk about how you’ll lose your head, they wear period clothing and are as authentic as possible. Even the train conductor plays as a tour guide telling of years past.
Scare Affect-6: I’m still confused as to why this haunt is still part of the FearFest lineup. It’s way too long for its own good, has little substance and has you walking away wanting more. The scariest part of the whole haunt is the train ride dropping you off to Headless Hollow. I expect more from Kings Island.
Fright Value: Headless Hollow should be the haunt you save for last due to its long lines and pointless train ride. It’s not worth your time and effort.
Final Stab-6.2: Year after year I dread going to this haunt because it seems like more of a task than anything. Headless Hollow needs a major face-lift or it may become extinct.
Psycho Path-“Screams Can’t Be Heard In The Fog”
At night Kings Island is seamlessly dark and menacing as you wait for someone or something to jump out of the corner. The fog is heavy and the air is cold. Will this be the last cold breath you take or will you just run with panic in the heart? We’ll see.
Length-7: The trail is full of actors and scenes, but there are a few dead spots where high-powered fog machines make up for dead air. It will take about 12 minutes to complete.
Design-7: This is your typical haunted trail with a lack of any true standout scenes. You’ll venture near a graveyard, come across some hillbilly shacks while crazed lunatics roam the trail.
Props/Animatronics-5: There truly is a lack of props throughout the trail and the theming could use a lot of work. The eye candy throughout the trail isn’t worth mentioning.
Acting-7: The biggest thing Psycho Path has going for it is its wide variety of actors on the trail. At one point you’ll be walking onto a seamlessly empty path when an actor comes out of the darkness attached to a bungee cord. The rest of the characters include rotting zombies, haunted doll girl and of course your loony locals.
Scare Affect-7: This is a very dark and spooky trail with plenty of fog to disorient. If you are afraid of the unknown that may be hiding in the darkness, than you’ll be caught off guard. But for the most part this is your standard haunted trail.
Fright Value: Here is one of the more entertaining haunts at the park and it’s worth the time to visit. Make sure to make room for Psycho Path in your schedule.
Final Stab-6.6: Psycho Path truly has potential, but sadly it isn’t being used to its fullest. This always seems to be a crowd favorite, but over the years it has become very predictable. Maybe next this haunt could be a trail leading into another haunt at the park. Now that would be interesting.
Dungeons of Delhi-“Fear The Reaper”
The town of Delhi is peaceful during the day, but fear and fright stirs up full force when the sun goes down. When the sun goes down, the ghouls come out at Dungeons of Delhi. For many years this Cincinnati classic has become the standard for Cincinnati fright and lets see if it’s stuck to that standard in ’06.
Length-8: Your journey through the dungeons will take around 15 minutes to complete. Fortunately there are little to no dead spots throughout the haunt and the amount of actors present is pretty amazing.
Design-9: Once again Dungeons of Delhi has some of the best room lighting around and its only gotten better over time. There aren’t that many new rooms to mention with the exception of the new Saw room, but they all have been improved in some way. Classics return such as the foggy graveyard with the creepy gravedigger or the laboratory with a huge Frankenstein brought to life. A large percentage of the scenes and rooms are modeled after horror movie classics such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween while many follow classic themes. They are all intricately designed and are incredible to look at.
Props/Animatronics-8: Dungeons of Delhi isn’t known for having high-end animatronics or Hollywood set pieces, but the props available blend perfectly with many of the rooms. Body bags, laboratory equipment, a rising corpse and even a classic electric chair have been thrown into the mix. The props suit the rooms well and you aren’t missing animatronics since this haunt doesn’t really need them. Overall the props really add to the overall appearance of the room thanks to the incredible lighting.
Acting-8: As with many charity haunts, child actors are very easy to get and while they are enthusiastic in their rules they tend to overact in trying to scare you. This year Dungeons of Delhi has used many of its child actors in a different way and that’s using them as victims. This works very well and it’s a little fun seeing these pint-sized actors being thrown around for a change instead of them trying to stare you down. It may just be me, but it seems as if there are more actors roaming around the house this year and it really helps in putting you into the experience. Character favorites return such as Damien Reaper, Michael Myers and many more you’ve come to know and love. The rooms are pretty much the same this year with a few added twists and for the most part the performances aren’t any better, but have a better flow to them.
Scare Affect-7: While many of the rooms can be dark and scary, the actors seem to overact some of the time in trying to get your attention. There are points where you will be caught off guard, but there needs to be more scenes and characters that are out of the ordinary instead of ones that are used in every other haunt you go through. It’s a chilling experience through Dungeons of Delhi, but for the most part your heart won’t be skipping a beat and you won’t be jumping out of your skin.
Fright Value: Unfortunately they have raised the admission price this year from $8 to $10. At $8 it would have been worth the price of admission, but something needs to be done before anyone would think of paying $10 to enter.
Final Stab-8.0: This is a classic haunt in every sense of the word. Classic characters, classic rooms and classic scenes. But this is also Dungeons of Delhi’s greatest downfall. There isn’t enough originality throughout the haunt to have you talking for days. With more original ideas and better acting this could be a haunt that’s hard to beat.
St.Rita Haunted House-“A Fearful Tradition”
The chills could be felt in the air as the October breeze blew. St.Rita Haunted House was on our agenda that evening and we were in for some good old scares. For 31 years this haunt has stood the test of time and has thrilled friends and families alike. Will the tradition of fright and fun stand strong? Lets find out!!
Length-6: St.Rita Haunted House has little to no dead spots, but unfortunately its ends to abruptly. If 5 or 10 minutes were added to this haunt it could become one people would drive miles and miles to visit.
Design-8: One of St.Rita’s strong points is its classic haunted house design. Right from the start before you even enter into the haunt you’re treated to an intricately designed ticket entrance that resembles an ancient temple with skeletons, torches and more. Once inside the house classic scenes can be experienced. You’ll venture into a creepy dark cave, forest, outside bridge area, haunted dining room and much more. The house really follows the theme of a classic haunted house all the way through.
Props/Animatronics-7: St.Rita uses traditional homemade props instead of high-end commercial animatronics found at many big budget haunts. Flying creatures, collapsing floors, moving corpses and much more can be seen while in the house. If some of the props were perfected better such as the vortex tunnel and a few overhead props, it would add that much more to the experience.
Acting-7: As you may have guessed by now, St. Rita Haunted House is a charity haunt and the majority of the actors are volunteer kids or related to the staff in some way. The characters inside are very enthusiastic, but many of the child actors aren’t very convincing in the rules they play. More adult actors need to be added into the rooms instead of them being just empty. The outside area before you re enter into the house has no actors what so ever when that area could be great if more time was put into it.
Scare Affect-7: The old farmhouse is very menacing before you even venture inside and the great theming of many of the rooms adds to the creepiness of the place. Unfortunately due to some poor performances by many actors the only people that are going to be scared are ones not used to a typical haunt.
Fright Value: Over the years St.Rita Haunted House has raised its admission price from being reasonable to quite pricey considering its length. It’s worth your time and money if you use a $2 off coupon found on their site.
Final Stab-7.0: It’s amazing that this haunt has stood the test of time for over 30 years. It truly is one of those haunts that you can bring the whole family to and not worry about your kids having nightmares that night. It’s a well-designed haunt with a creepy atmosphere and if you’re down in Cincinnati you should visit.
Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall-“Ghouls Roam Its Halls”
One of the most enjoyable haunts of the year returns to infect people with fear. It’s the Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall and one of those haunts that brings back child hood memories of haunts from the past. Make sure to check this haunt out and bring the family and a couple of friends. It’s going to be a scream!!
Length-7: Your experience at the Haunted Hall will last a couple minutes longer due to the addition of some new ghoulish scenes and a spooky outdoor area. Depending on how long it takes you to free yourself from the dark maze, it may take up to 15 minutes to complete.
Design-7: Right from the start you’ll notice the changes that have been made for this haunt. The waiting line is decorated like an old cemetery while new scenes and rooms have been thrown in for good measure. Some of the rooms include a walk through coffin, Frankenstein’s Laboratory, Satan’s Lair and much more. The outside area has been expanded and it adds to the overall experience.
Props/Animatronics-7: While Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall isn’t known for its incredible use of high-end animatronics, it does incorporate some homemade that are sure to have you taking another glance. The highlights of the haunt are The Hellevator and the homemade vortex tunnel. This haunt is known for its incredible vortex tunnel and it’s as good if not better than the big production haunts.
Acting-7: Unfortunately this haunt uses many child actors and while many of the rooms are interesting to look at, they aren’t too scary. More adult actors need to be added into the scenes to leave a better lasting impression. The actors are enthusiastic, but not very convincing.
Scare Affect-7: This is a more of family oriented haunt, but it does have plenty of scares along the way. While many of the scenes are littered with child actors it doesn’t distract that much from the experience. If you’re afraid of getting lost in the dark or coming face to face with Satan, than you’ll be petrified.
Fright Value: $8 is a little steep for a small charity haunt like Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall, but it’s well worth the $6 if you bring a canned good. Make sure to buy a cup of 50-cent hot chocolate or a $1 hot dog.
Final Stab-7.0: One of the most enjoyable haunts around returns with a few new scenes and an extended path. Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall is just one of those haunts that you can bring the whole family to and not spend a fortune.
The Chambers of Horror- “Don’t Get Lost In The Creepy Corridors”
The Night was young and the weather was cool. The leaves had not yet fallen, but fear within the heart of the City Blood staff had taken shape. The first haunt to visit for the season is The Chambers of Horror. In the eyes of many haunt enthusiasts this is one of the haunts that truly bring back old school flare while injecting it with a little modern scare. We were ready to be frightened and slowly entered into the old Cambridge Inn building. The anticipation was high and the Halloween spirit could be felt throughout. Here we go!!
Length-9: While the Chambers of Horror isn’t one of the longest haunts around, there are few to no dead spots while on your tour. It’s non-stop terror from beginning to end and to be able to take a breath would be a welcome change. Depending on your pace it will take 20 or more minutes to walk through.
Design-8: Great time and effort has been put into revamping this creepy little haunt and it quickly shows from the start. From the first moments of your journey, you will start off in a mystic graveyard full of rotting tombstones and ravenous creatures. There are many new additions to The Chambers of Horror, but to give away the new changes would ruin it for all. Scene favorites return like the bloody freezer where you are locked in a cold and damp room where there is no way escaping until your confronted by a large chainsaw from one of the crazy butchers. Old classic horror favorites live well at The Chambers such as Freddy’s boiler room or Michael Myers victim scene. Everything you loved about The Chambers of Horrors returns and takes a bite out of your senses.
Props/Animatronics-8: Here is a haunt that obviously isn’t in to using just props to showcase its haunt. Instead it incorporates old school animatronics originally created by The Chambers of Horror that you now see at many haunts throughout Ohio. While they aren’t as original as they once were, the techniques used are safer and overall more intense. A falling ceiling, moving wall or my personal favorite, The Hellevator can be experienced while on your journey. While they aren’t the most technically advanced, these versions of animatronics that are used are much better than the ones the more popular haunts use.
Acting-8: Ed, the owner of The Chambers of Horror has acquired a new scream team and there enthusiasm for scaring the daylights out of you is greatly appreciated. As always they are intense, in your face and don’t let up for a second. My personal favorite is the doctor who roams throughout the operating room while showing you some of his bloody parts he’s taken from his current victim. The horror icons return such as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface and Michael Myers. These roles are pulled off greatly, but sometimes it’s just a little too much. Bloody butchers, crazed clowns, the walking dead welcome you to the menacing chambers.
Scare Affect-8: The new and returning batch of actors are relentless and the spooky atmosphere at The Chambers of Horror is great in bringing in the Fall Season. It’s scary; it’s intense and just plain creepy at this haunt.
Fright Value: $9 is a great value for this haunt and don’t forget to bring in a canned good for a dollar off discount.
Final Stab-8.2: The Chambers of Horror hasn’t resorted to using high-end animatronics or Hollywood lighting, but it doesn’t need to. The people that put this haunt together love to scare and that is exactly what they do. Old school haunting is at its best at The Chambers of Horror.
Middletown’s Land of Illusion (4 Haunts in One Location)
Deep in the darkness of Middletown lies a haunt that is hidden in the shadows, but many flock to every year. It’s Middletown’s Land of Illusion. What started out as a simple haunted trail has grown into some what of a Halloween Theme Park for the masses. Has it progressed since last year or failed to improve?
Middletown’s Haunted Trail-“Walking On Haunted Grounds”
It was crowded this time of the year for the best known of the haunts. While the crowd was a little out of control, the anticipation was as high as ever. The queue line was very rocky and the line moved very slowly, but it was well worth the wait.
Length-10: As always this is one of the longest haunts around with over a mile of walking. It will take 30 – 40 minutes to walk the trail, but ten of that involves dead space where little to nothing happens. But, there really isn’t much to complain about since it does last a very long time.
Design-8: When it comes to haunted trails, it’s hard to judge design since the majority of it takes place outside. Many of the rooms are in small huts with intricate sets to look at. There are hill billy shacks, straw fields, haunted buses and much more to please the eyes. My personal favorite is the graveyard where zombies roam searching for a human to feast on. Not much has drastically changed from last year, but small improvements here and there have been made.
Props/Animatronics-7: There were many animated props along the trail that night, but many were not working right. Scare Factory’s now famous headless horseman animatronic was static while others such as a swamp crocodile, buzz saw victim and many more seemed to not want to move. Skeletons, winged bats, jumping spiders and props that you would expect blended very well into the rooms.
Acting-7: Middletown Haunted Trail isn’t known for acting and it wasn’t any different that night. Most of the actors either wear cheap masks or are shirtless to make up for a lack of costume. I enjoyed some of the performances, but much of it was for sheer shock value. There were blowtorch-wielding maniacs and fire breathing fiends that blew fire so close that you could smell the fumes and feel the heat. Another shocking moment had a guy with just a thong on cheering and dancing to techno music. Nothing stood out.
Scare Affect-7: Being in the deep and dark woods does something to the senses and creates an unnerving feeling throughout the body. In the end the actors are just actors and not convincing ones. The major problem that this trail has is that it lets too many people in at a time. By the time you enter into another room you’re behind another group and the scare is already over.
Fright Value: $14 is a little pricey for a haunt of this caliber, but it does last long. It’s well worth admission when part of a combo. It will only cost you $7.50 if you decide to go through all four haunts.
Final Stab-7.8: Middletown Haunted Trail is one of the best-known haunts in Ohio, but hasn’t changed enough over the years. Haunted Trails are always limited in what they can do due to being outside. But for a haunted trail this is one of the best and is sure to become a classic one-day.
Killer Klowns-“You’ll Be Dying With Laughter”
Many people have a fear of clowns that comes from bad child hood memories of the circus. While I find clowns to be simply annoying, many people are petrified of them. Good clown themed haunts are a dime in dozen and Killer Klowns is average at best.
Length-7: Depending on how slowly you walk or if you’re able to escape the chain link fence maze, it will take about 15 minutes to walk through.
Design-7: If you hadn’t guessed, this haunt is themed after a circus. There are really no standout rooms since they are all pretty much the same when it comes down to it. You will come across a chain link fence maze that you must navigate through. I had a hard time, but some might not. The rest of the scenes and rooms are splattered with poke a dots and fluorescent colors. It’s your standard clown themed haunt.
Props/Animatroincs-6: There aren’t many props to speak of except for the clown dummies scattered through out the place. You will walk through a ball pit, vortex tunnel and come across numerous props here and there. There aren’t many animatronics and the ones there are have nothing to do with clowns.
Acting-6: The acting has really suffered this year. While it’s fun trying to pick out the live actor from the dummies, it gets boring after a while and it goes on like this for 15 minutes.
Scare Affect-7: It’s a little unnerving walking pass all the clown dummies trying to anticipate when one will jump out at you. But ultimately this haunt doesn’t immerse you into a frightening experience like it should. If you have a fear of clowns, you’ll shiver with fear.
Fright Value: $10 is pricey for this haunt since there are many other haunts at Land of Illusion that are much better. You’d be better off buying a combo ticket and saving $16.
Final Stab-6.6: Last year Killer Klowns was fresh and new. But since it hasn’t changed much at all, it’s hard to give it a high score when every other haunt nearby is that much better.
Temple of Terror- “The Curse Is Still Alive”
Don’t be afraid of the temple’s curse because what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Temple of Terror is known as a prop showcase and it doesn’t fall short of that. Once the doors magically open for you to enter, will you?
Length-7: Your adventure in the temple lasts less than 15 minutes and you are wanting more.
Design-9: This is how a temple should look like. Ancient writings decorate the walls while the lights from torches highlight the detailing. There aren’t specific rooms, but everything in the temple seamlessly blends together.
Props/Animatronics-10: If you love eye candy, you’re in for a treat. There are so many different animatronics that it’s hard to not just stop and stare. Everything from the incredible Impaler to pesky natives blowing air at you from their blow darts can be experienced. While many haunts have a variety of animatronics, they don’t go well with the theming of the haunt. This is not the case with Temple of Terror. Every prop and animatronic has something to do with an ancient temple and it has your forgetting that this is a haunt. Bandaged mummies, rotting corpses and giant creatures welcome you to the temple. Watch out for the falling ceiling and the close up animatronics. My hat almost blew off just from the large amount of air coming from some of the props.
Acting-6: Temple of Terror relies solely on its animated scares. You will rarely see an actor in the temple and when you do, they are out of place. The impressive animatronics make up for the lack of actors.
Scare Affect-8: Actors are usually preferred over anything that is plugged in, but that’s not the case with this haunt. The props and animatronics blend in so well with the detailing of the temple that they actually catch you off guard and you really don’t miss the actors.
Fright Value: Temple of Terror is the highlight of Land of Illusion. With one of the shortest lines and a reasonable admission, it’s well worth your time and money.
Final Stab-8.2: This is one of the most realistic haunts around when it comes to theme and is a true showcase for eye candy.
Dr.Psycho’s Haunted Estate-“It Will Paralyze You With Fear”
Fog rolls across the grassy grounds near a spooky old haunted house. Before you enter creatures roam the grounds and dark and evil things occur. Enter at your own risk or you will be the house’s next victim. Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate returns for its third year of bringing fright and fun to those who dare enter.
Length-8: There is little time to be bored while you walk through this impressively designed haunt. It will take 15 or more minutes depending on your pace.
Design-9: This is a well-designed haunt and really captures the feeling of being in a haunted manor or estate. There are different scenes and rooms through out that will impress you. Walls are covered with skulls, skeletons, corpses, creatures and much more. You’ll venture into the Exorcist room where Regan thrashes around on her possessed bed. Don’t forget to watch your step at the haunted animal shelter where evil pets are at every corner of the room. Rooms are intricately detailed and the sets are nice to look at. Nothing has changed that much from previous years, but everything has improved in detail. A cemetery, autopsy room, insane asylum and more are only a fraction of what you’ll encounter.
Props/Animatronics-8: What can I say that hasn’t been said before about this haunt? The amount and types of props and animatronics is down right mind boggling. It never stops and never lets up. Evil giants, impaled victims, vomiting foes and more can be seen. The sheer force from the air coming from some of the air cannons almost blew my hat off. They are that powerful and up close and personal.
Acting-6: There aren’t any stand out performances since there is a real lack of actors available. The animated scares make up for that though.
Scare Affect-8: As I said previously, this haunt really captures the feeling of being in a haunted manor or estate. The props and animatronics don’t let up, but the lack of actors affects the realism.
Fright Value: Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate is worth the money invested in entering into this haunted building.
Final Stab-7.8: If this is your first time going to Dr.Psycho’s Haunted Estate, than you will most likely love it. But without change a haunt becomes stale and that’s what has happened here. It’s a great haunt when it comes to design, props and animatronics, but it falls short of scares. If the right changes were made, this could become a classic.
Haunted Spook Coop-“Welcome To Ghoulish Hell”
The dark and menacing night was quickly upon us as we traveled up to Waynesville, OH for the Haunted Spook Coop. One of the best haunts around that not enough people know about is this gem of a haunt. It was cold, the air was thick and the fear and fright could be felt in the air. We were ready and prepared for The Haunted Spook Coop.
Length-9: It will take you anywhere from 20-25 minutes to travel through the Haunted Spook Coop. There are a few dark mazes throughout the chicken coops, but dead spots are few and rare. There is always something scary to catch you off guard.
Design-9: By the looks of the outside of the chicken coop you wouldn’t expect this haunt to have intricate sets and detailed scenes, but it does. Your journey begins by navigating yourself through a confusing dark maze that eventually leads to the different rooms in the house. New additions this year include a detailed house where a little girl slowly moves in her swing. It’s creepy and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Other rooms include a graveyard with rotting tombstones lit by the glow of a black light. A dungeon, ball pit, a spider’s lair and much more only names a fraction of what you’ll encounter. The lighting for some of the scenes could be improved to help bring out some more details that are found in the intricate sets.
Props/Animatronics-9: The Haunted Spook Coop is one of those haunts that has props you’ve never seen at any haunt before. Propelling corpses, manic creatures, falling spiders, flying bats infest the house and only add to the creepiness. Favorites return such as the spinning vortex tunnel and a huge glowing skull, which follows you with its glowing eyes. The house is full of eye candy and you won’t get bored with these original props not found at any other haunt around.
Acting-9: This place is downright nerve wrecking. From the dark mazes which drown you with darkness and instill fear of the unknown to the actors who seem to pop out of nowhere. The acting is good and for the most part they are perfectly timed. Clowns inhabit the circus of horrors where you’ll walk through a ball pit from Hell. Don’t forget to say hi to the nun and priest who fry in 2 separate electric chairs as they beg for their lives. Overall the actors are convincing and somewhat intimidating with the exception of a few here and there.
Scare Affect-9: The Haunted Spook Coop is one of the creepiest haunts around with actors and props flying at you from every direction possible. You will jump and this will soon become one of your haunt favorites.
Fright Value: $10 is a good deal for a haunt of this caliber and make sure to print out some of the coupons and discounts that are available on the internet.
Final Stab-9.0: Year after year The Haunted Spook Coop doesn’t disappoint. Considering it’s the opening night for this haunt, it’s bound to get better by the week. Make sure to visit The Haunted Spook and have it become a tradition.
Springboro Haunted Hayride-“Fright and Fun On Wheels”
The best time of the year is fall and the best holiday is Halloween. There’s just something about how the leaves fall from the trees and create those beautiful colors. The weather is just right and people seem like there in a better mood. Whether your young or old people love to get scared and the residents of Springboro come to one place to just do that. It’s the annual Springboro Haunted Hayride and it’s always a fun experience, but sometimes it just disappoints.
Length-9: Your ride on the old wagon will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes depending on the speed of the tractor and the preciseness of the actors.
Design-8: It’s a little difficult to judge a hayride or haunted trail on design because they are very limited being outside. Scene favorites return like the psycho circus, witch’s lair, the spooky graveyard, haunted barn and others you won’t soon forget. Little details have been added here and new paintings for inside the barns and projected images to help with some of the scenes. Nothing drastic has been done to raise the level of fear in the passengers.
Props/Animatronics-9: Hayrides can have props that regular haunted houses would never be able to pull off and Springboro Haunted Hayride takes full advantage of that. Towards the beginning of the hayride you’ll come in contact with a galloping headless horseman who rides near the side of the wagon as he holds a glowing pumpkin in his hand. Further into the hayride you’ll come across car and farm equipment chases and you’re part of the chase. Everything else is pretty much bare bone in the way of props, but the chasing vehicles and farm equipment make up for the lack of animated scares.
Acting-6: The acting this year is pretty mediocre compared to years past. The majority of the actors are under the age of 18 and aren’t convincing at all. While there are some standout performances such as the characters in the haunted barn and the actor who climbs out of the moving hearse, it isn’t enough to leave an impact.
Scare Affect-7: As always there is some type of car or farm equipment chasing the hayride and it sure is nerve wrecking. They get so close that you can feel the hayride move from the impact of the cars hitting the back of the wagon. But that night, the actors just didn’t seem like they had any enthusiasm to scare the passengers on the hayride. Nothing has changed enough from last year in the way of characters and it isn’t worth mentioning.
Fright Value: Bring your family and friends because this is a hayride that’s worth the price for an evening of fright and fun. While it may not be as good as last year, it’s still one of the best around.
Final Stab-7.6: I hate to give one of my all time haunt favorites this low of a score, but I have to be honest with my reviews and this year Springboro Haunted Hayride didn’t measure up compared to years past. This is a great hayride to bring friends and family, but it’s not the intense and scary hayride I once remembered.
The Black Bog-“Let The Fog Roll In”
A shadow slowly passes over an illuminated moon. The clouds are clear and rain isn’t in the forecast. This is a great night for haunts and it only gets better. Tonight we visited The Black Bog. It’s Springboro Haunted Hayride’s separate attraction. So if you’re in the mood for a hayride in the dark woods or a walk on a murky haunted trail, you’re in for a treat. This is The Black Bog and for the most part it’s one of the better-haunted trails in Ohio.
Length-8: There are far and few dead spots along the trail and inside the barns and buildings. The terror lasts about 15 minutes.
Design-8: Your frightful trip begins inside a dark basement where you come across a demented girl’s playroom. You’ll then take a ride on the hellevator where it’s down from there. Along the trail there are various scenes such as a junkyard with ghouls hiding behind cars and ready to find their next victim. Hillbilly shacks, a haunted bus, a candle lit graveyard and there’s much more you’ll experience at The Black Bog.
Props/Animatronics-8: Your cliché props are all there like the graveyard tombstones, severed body parts and of course your vortex tunnel. As experienced at many other haunts, you’ll ride in a simulated elevator that seamlessly takes you down to the 13th floor. Nothing really stands out in the way of props, but the ones there go great with the haunt.
Acting-8: Most of the characters are right on track on scaring you. Horror icons are found throughout the trail such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and more. Watch out for the lunatic in the hellevator who slams his hands so close to your face that he almost hits you. Other classic characters is the hillbilly who plays the song from Deliverance as you pass by. The actors are creepy and go well with the theming of a backwoods trail.
Scare Affect-8: If you fear those late nights walking alone in the woods, than The Black Bog will surely get to. It seems as if this trail is in the middle of nowhere, but in fact it’s right next the hayride and very safe. Many of the actors are convincing and not too over the top and there are many scary moments that will startle you.
Fright Value: $8 is an incredible deal for a haunted trail this good and you should definitely buy a combo ticket for $15 to visit both haunts at the farm.
Final Stab-8.0: The Black Bog hasn’t changed much from last year, but hasn’t gone down hill in any way. It may possibly be the best-haunted trail in Ohio and one that should be on your list to visit.
Buford Haunted School-“School Was Never This Intense”
A spooky old school house lies in the middle of nowhere hidden in the outskirts of Buford Ohio and the fear within the town’s people rises every Halloween Season. It’s the Buford Haunted School House and even though it now has sponsors and has generated a rather big crowd, it’s still one of the scariest haunts you will ever visit.
Length-10: While venturing into this decrepit old school you will be grabbed and pulled at. If the ghouls don’t hold you hostage it will take anywhere from 20-25 minutes to complete your tour.
Design-9: They don’t have the most detail in their rooms, but the little touches here and there make this haunt what it is. Many of the room’s entrances are hidden within other scenes and hopefully you’ll find your way out by finding the hidden doors and passages. The rooms are tight and confining, but are great at what they’re trying to pull off. My favorite new addition this year is the fenced in dark maze where various actors’ strike objects on the fence producing large sparks. It’s extremely close to your face and scary at that. There aren’t that many new standout rooms, but they’re all well put together.
Props/Animatronics-8: Buford Haunted School doesn’t rely solely on expensive props or animated scares, but the props it has goes great with the theming of the rooms. Torches line walls, bloody body parts decorate old walls, cornfields engulf you with fear and that’s just the beginning.
Acting-9: There’s not enough I can say about the actors at this haunt. Even though they don’t have scripted lines or say anything that really catches you off guard, they are intense. Actions speak louder than words and Buford Haunted School is a prime example of this. Various characters in mostly creepy masks pull at your legs or even brush a chainsaw across your legs. They are in your face and convincing at that. On your journey you’ll come across crazed lunatics who thrash around in their straight jackets and various creatures looking for a bite to eat. To describe the various actors throughout the haunt would ruin many of the surprises. But whatever you do, don’t wake the sleeping giant.
Fright Value: $10 is a great deal for a haunt this intense. It’s a shame that more people don’t know about Buford Haunted School, as it’s one of the best around.
Scare Affect-10: Hands down, this is the most intense haunt in Ohio. If you don’t like to be touched, Buford Haunted School will truly frighten you. The actors will grab, pull, bite and even massage your shoulders. It’s downright creepy and so is the dark and menacing school. The spaces are tight and dark with hidden doors throughout many of its rooms. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you. This haunt is unlike any other in Ohio.
Final Stab-9.2: Buford Haunted School returns with a vengeance and unleashes terror upon Ohio. This is a haunt that doesn’t follow the typical rules at most haunts. The actors will touch, grab and even pull and it only adds to the intensity of this old school haunt. Make sure to travel up to Buford Ohio this season for Buford Haunted School.
Haunted Cave At Lewisburg-“Bats Roam The Cave’s Walls”
100 feet below the earth’s surface lies a cave that’s home to over 30,000 bats. Its limestone walls shake from vibration while voices from beyond can be heard. Are you ready to enter into the darkness, which is The Haunted Cave, or will the spirits, which lie within get to you? This year’s Haunted Cave At Lewisburg has been drastically redesigned and has made this haunt one of the most unique around.
Length-9: It will take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to venture inside the dark and spooky cave. Depending on how long it will take to navigate through many of the haunted mazes, it may take 10-20 minutes extra to escape this menacing. Unfortunately there are some dead spots where little to nothing is going on and after you exit the haunt you’re wanting more.
Design-8: When you think of a haunt taking place in an underground cave, it’s hard to imagine many scenes or rooms that could be implemented, but you’d be sadly mistaken. There are graveyards a plenty while many scenes and rooms take place throughout. There aren’t many new standout rooms, but the ones that have been added make a huge impact on your overall experience. This year Lucifer’s demented maze has been added into the mix and is a perfect way to finish the haunt. You’ll eventually venture into one scene where you’re confronted by Satan himself as he tries to intimidate you while you tirelessly try to escape. The only way out of Hell is choosing the right path and there are many. Doors are lined up with letters on them and you have to choose the right one in order to free yourself from the cave. From there you’ll walk through a chained fence maze as you come across creepy actors. The new addition really has an impact on this haunt. Other rooms include a psycho circus, pet cemetery, cornfield and much more. There just needs to be more actors implemented into the mazes to fill up dead space.
Props/Animatronics-8:The Haunted Cave doesn’t go heavy on expensive props or animatronics, but the few that you come across really add to the haunting experience in many of the scenes and rooms. At one point you’ll seamlessly walk into a pet cemetery when suddenly various dogs and cats burst out of gravestones. It’s effective and creepy. Some other memorable props include a horn blowing truck, a large shooting flame, a ghoul riding a horse, spooky tombstones and so much more.
Acting-8: For the most part the acting does well at what it’s trying to accomplish and that’s bringing you into The Haunted Cave experience. From the start of your journey you’ll be guided into different scary areas of the cave by a ghoul with a black robe and lantern as he tells the history of the cave. The acting has been improved this year, but unfortunately child actors are still incorporated into some of the scenes. Some new scenes this year include a hillbilly ho down with the famous shotgun fire that Lewisburg is known for. The biggest addition to this year’s lineup of characters is Satan himself. You’ll eventually come face to face with Satan in his pit of Hell as his voice is amplified and his minions try to distract you as you navigate through the many doors of the maze. There aren’t that many new scenes that have been added this year, but everything has been turned up a notch in intensity. Watch out for the ghouls who hide in the water.
Scare Affect-9: The atmosphere of the old cave is just perfect and makes for a really unique experience. The darkness of the cave will really get to you while the various creatures and scenes are likely to catch you off guard.
Fright Value: The cave itself is worth the price of admission alone and the frightful experience you’ll endure is an added bonus. It’s well worth $9. Make sure to print out the $1 off coupon available on their site.
Final Stab-8.4: If you’re wanting a truly unique experience that you can bring the whole family to than the Haunted Cave At Lewisburg is your ticket to fear. Bring the family. Bring your friends. Bring someone with a fear of the dark.
Dungeon of Doom-“Escape The Doors of Madness”
In the small town of Xenia, OH there is a warehouse where few enter and many never escape. The locals call it Dungeon of Doom and will you be able to escape the doors of madness? I hope for your sake.
Length-7: The madness doesn’t stop until you free yourself from the dark maze. Depending on your navigating skills, it will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to exit the haunt.
Design-7: There aren’t that many stand out rooms on display, but the ones you come across are creative, but need some work. You’ll venture into a graveyard, jail cell, poke a dot room and more. The highlight of the tour is the dark maze before you exit. Unlike many mazes found at traditional haunts, this maze consists of doors, which you must close in order to enter into the next area of the maze. Only 1 person is allowed at a time into each room of the tight and confusing dark maze. The only downfall is that it lacks any props or scares besides the feeling of being trapped in the dark. Added fog and strobe lights would take the intensity of this maze to a new level.
Props/Animatronics-6: As far as props go Dungeon of Doom doesn’t hold up in this area. The only standout props you’ll come across is a unique electric chair, a horn-blowing car and of course the maze made up of many mind-bending doors.
Acting-6: More adult actors need to be implemented into this haunt and many need to fill the dark maze. The only standout performance goes to the dungeon guard who has you witness the execution of one of the cellmates through electrocution. Your typical horror movie icons are present such as Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees, but unfortunately they are in rooms that aren’t themed after their character. More adult actors with dialogue need to be added in order for this haunt to have an impact.
Scare Affect-7: This is a typical haunt with a few unique touches including an incredible dark maze. If you are claustrophobic or have an overwhelming fear of the dark Dungeon of Doom will surely get to you in more ways than one.
Fright Value: $10 is a little steep for a haunt that relies a lot on its classic dark maze. More adult actors need to be added into the mix for this haunt to be worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-6.6: Here is a haunt that has so much potential it’s not funny. From its creepy atmosphere to its daunting dark maze this is one that will affect your senses. Unfortunately when you exit Dungeon of Doom you’re wanting more. If the right changes are made this could become one of the better haunts in Xenia.
Dead Acres-“Bringing The Pain”
A large and scary building lies off in the distance as large flames shoot up from its roof. Are you curious to what’s in this evil structure and are you ready for Dead Acres? This haunt classic returns and is bringing the pain.
Length-9: It’s non-stop terror from the moment you walk into this menacing place. There’s rarely a moment where nothing is happening and it will take anywhere from 20-25 minutes to escape Dead Acres.
Design-10: Almost every inch of this haunt is intricately detailed with amazing lighting and effects. Due to popular demand Dead Acres has brought back some of the gory skits that have made Haunted Hoochie famous. At a certain point in the haunt you’ll be told to get up against a chain link fence. Suddenly the door closes and blaring rock music immediately turns on. Out of nowhere quickly moving strobes come on and an actor appears. He takes out a machete as an evil clown sits in a chair waiting for his fait as he thrashes around. The killer quickly pulls back the machete and decapitates his victim as blood spays everywhere and the on looking crowd screams. There are only 2 Haunted Hoochie scenes that have been implemented into Dead Acres, but they are the highlight of the haunt. There are many detailed rooms throughout Dead Acres such as an authentic looking town in the outside area. Old huts stand still as ivy covers their windows and the old paint peels off. As you venture between the detailed and decaying town you’ll walk near ponds full of various creatures and actors. Dead Acres is full of detailed sets, which will surprise and shock.
Props/Animatronics-10: This hauntis shock full of Scare Factory props and original animatronics created by the haunt’s owner Tim May. There’s not a moment when you’re not safe from creatures and ghouls coming at you from every direction. It’s quite nerve wrecking and the amount of high-end props and animatronics in this place is simply amazing. Large beasts, a headless horseman, moving furniture, impaled creatures only covers a small amount of what you’ll see.
Acting-10: This year The Haunted Hoochie has made its presence at Dead Acres. A few of the classic and gory skits that made The Haunted Hoochie famous have been added into the mix and from the crowd’s reaction, it’s been a huge hit. Actors grab at you from every corner of the place while chainsaw freaks run their gas-powered weapons across your legs. There are some new scenes this year that will surely get to you, but you’ll have to visit Dead Acres to experience them yourself.
Scare Affect-10: If Dead Acres doesn’t catch you off guard at least once than you must be made of stone. Animatronics bust out of walls while actors come out of the darkest corners and spaces. It’s a frightening experience and doesn’t stop till you walk out of this evil place.
Fright Value: $15 is a reasonable price for one of the best haunts in the country and make sure to arrive early. The wait for just tickets can be over 2 hours long and the $25 VIP entrance really comes in handy.
Final Stab-9.8: There are far and few haunts around that pull at the senses like Dead Acres does. The amazing attention to detail and off the wall actors helps this haunt in being one of the best around. You would be a fool to miss out on this intensely scary haunt.
Terror Park-“Terror Lives In The Ball Park”
A large ballpark is home to ghastly creatures and ghouls alike. They’re waiting for your arrival, but do you dare enter Terror Park. This isn’t your ordinary night watching baseball. It’s a night of terror you’ll be dying to escape.
Length-8: This year the whole stadium has been utilized with different scenes and rooms to fill the entire ballpark. Unfortunately there are moments where you’ll be waiting in line to enter different sections of the haunt. It takes 15-20 minutes to free yourself from Terror Park plus 10 waiting in line between buildings.
Design-8: It’s amazing that the people who organize this haunt put it together in a 3-week’s time. The shear amount of scenes and rooms is impressive. Your tour starts with entering into an old hearse where suddenly a glass panel lights up as an actor violently thrashes and screams. It’s one of the best intros for any haunt around. This year groups will wait in different themed areas before they enter into the haunt. This helps groups to not get bunched up, but unfortunately it still happens. Waiting in line before scenes really takes you out of the experience, but luckily creepy sounds fill the ballpark’s speakers as you wait. Many of the bone chilling rooms include a haunted bathroom, a pirate’s cove, insane asylum, a witch’s hut and much more. Due to the short time this haunt is put together black plastic is used to separate rooms and create walls, but it doesn’t distract from the experience too much.
Props/Animatronics-8: Terror Park doesn’t go heavy on using lots of animatronics or high-end props, but it doesn’t really need to. The props that are present help bring the details of the rooms out in full force. The props available go great with the theme of a haunted ballpark. You’ll eventually enter into an actual bathroom where the toilets are full of waste and eventually you are sprayed with a blast of water. Another scene has you entering into an old pirate’s cove with a large detailed pirate ship while ghosts and ghouls of pirates past decorate the walls. There’s not much to complain about in way of decorations.
Acting-10: Terror Park is known for having the best acting around and it’s no different this year. Unlike many haunts Terror Park uses a traveling acting troupe known as Feature Creatures. The detailed makeup and prosthetics that cover these character’s faces is amazing and they never break character. Some of the actors you’ll come across are a wicked witch, crazed lunatics, demented clowns and even a zombified grandma who wants to share her bloody underwear with you. You won’t find better acting in a haunt this year.
Scare Affect-9: Terror Park is one of the most unique haunts around. Being able to walk around a haunted baseball stadium at night really affects the senses. The actors are incredible and the scenes put you in the mood for a spooky night of fun.
Fright Value: $13 is a little steep for any haunt and the $3 for parking doesn’t help either. $10 would be a reasonable price for what this haunt has to offer.
Final Stab-8.6: One of Columbus’s best haunts returns better than ever. From its great acting to its incredible ambiance, this is one you shouldn’t miss while you’re in the area.
The House of Nightmares-“Horror Has A New Home”
A large brewery building stands still as the night becomes evil. This year’s House of Nightmares has changed locations, but will it change this classic haunt? We entered into the building where it was intricately decorated like a spooky haunted forest. We got our tickets and were ready for our journey into fear.
Length-8: It will take about 20 minutes for your journey into fear, but much of that consists of a dark maze or nothing happening at all. More scenes need to be implemented.
Design-8: Many of the rooms are eye pleasers, but much of the first half is a dark maze with cheaply painted walls. You’ll eventually enter into a library book maze, but once again it’s void of actors or props. Once you get past those uninspiring areas, you’ll venture into some very detailed rooms. Some of theses scenes include an insane asylum, a bloody nurse’s room, graveyard and even Freddy Krueger’s Boiler room. Much time and effort has been put into many of these haunting scenes, but there aren’t enough of them to make up for the dark areas with little to nothing happening.
Props/Animatronics-8: This year’s batch of props really suits this haunt well. While there aren’t many animatronics to speak of, there isn’t a need for them. Tombstones stand tall while you slowly walk through the spooky graveyard while the Phantom of The Opera turns his head while looking for his next victim. Menacing creatures, large caskets, bleeding bodies and much more only covers a few of the static props you’ll encounter. The props compliment the rooms well, but there aren’t enough to fill the scenes that have a lot to desire.
Actors-6: Unfortunately the actors didn’t compliment the great eye candy seen that night. A large percentage of the characters just stood there and stared as you passed them by. It’s a shame because with great acting this could have been a suspenseful haunt indeed. Some memorable characters include the bloody zombies. While you seamlessly walk into one room you’ll cross paths with some zombies munching on their unlucky victims. One is removing brains from someone’s skull while another chews on some intestines. It’s disgusting and creepy. Some interesting characters include the gravedigger, Freddy Krueger, the deceased librarian and more.
Scare Affect-7: This is a down right creepy place after you pass all of the unnecessary darkness. The many scenes throughout the haunt are eye catching and really suit the characters well, but a large majority of the actors just stand there and stare. More interaction with patrons could really help this haunt in becoming one of the scariest around.
Fright Value: $15 is a steep price for any haunt, but due to the lack of enthusiasm from many of the actors I could only see paying $10 at the most for a haunt of this caliber.
Final Stab-7.4: The House of Nightmares transition from Mt.Vernon to Columbus has drastically altered the effect this haunt once had. It’s amazing that they were able to organize a detailed haunt like this in a short period of time. If the acting is improved and many of the dark spaces are filled with scenes, this could be a highly rated haunt. The House of Nightmares has a bright future in Downtown Columbus.
The Haunted Schoolhouse- “Detention Turned Deadly”
For over 30 years The Haunted School House has been instilling fear into those willing to enter into its deadly hallways. School has never been this scary and will you make it out of detention alive. One of Ohio’s most impressive haunts returns and brings horror back to Ohio where it belongs.
Length-9: There are four floors of terror you must escape in order to free yourself from The Haunted School House. Depending on how fast you run or stop and stare at the incredible decor it may take up to 20 minutes to exit.
Design-10: The detail that’s put into the Hollywood style sets is breathe taking and you’ll have a hard time finding a better designed haunt in Ohio. Everything from the staircase in a spooky old mansion to the old wood on the rustic huts is simply amazing. You’ll venture into various rooms such a realistic Jason woods, a witch’s lair, a haunting dark maze and much more. The wide variety of themed rooms is impressive.
Props/Animatronics-10: If you are impressed by high end animatronics or mind blowing static props than you’ll be in heaven at The Haunted School House. Flying ghouls, a reckless car, giant creatures and much more can be seen in the school. My personal favorite is the winged creature that busts out from underneath a bed. It’s surprising and scary. Unlike many haunts, The Haunted School House creates many of its props that you won’t see at any other haunt around.
Acting-9: The actors at this haunt are timed almost perfectly in scaring patrons. Many will bust out of doors while some creep out of the darkest corners. Ghouls roam the school’s haunting rooms while creatures can be seen complimenting many of the scenes. There aren’t specific actors that stood out since the majority had some memorable performances.
Scare Affect-9: From the authenticity of the school to the amazing amount of time put into the sets, it’s hard not to get a little startled at The Haunted School House. The actors are almost perfectly timed while the high-end animatronics come out of nowhere.
Fright Value: $11 is a reasonable price for a haunt of this caliber. It’s well worth your time and money. Have a fun and frightful time!
Final Stab-9.4: Ohio is full of haunts and this is one of the best around. It’s a classic haunt in every sense with amazing detail and creative scares. This is one you shouldn’t miss if you truly love haunts.
The Haunted Laboratory-“It’s Alive, It’s Alive”
Evil scientists roam the rooms of this old laboratory while evil experiments are performed on helpless victims. The Haunted Laboratory has been scaring Akron for nearly 30 years and it only gets better with age. Are you ready for The Haunted Laboratory?
Length-9: It will take nearly 20 minutes to survive the 3 deadly floors of The Haunted Laboratory. There are very few dead spots and there’s always something amazing that will catch your attention.
Design-10: This haunt uses the haunted laboratory theme to its advantage while incorporating other classic themes that draw you into the haunting experience. Just like The Haunted School House, The Haunted Laboratory has some amazing sets that have to be seen to believe. The little details here and there are really appreciated. A haunted bathroom is home to a ghoul in a wheelchair while many of the rooms are littered with Frankenstein type scenery or alien life form. It’s very impressive. Some rooms include a laser light air tunnel, haunted office, decrepit buildings, light activated dark maze and much more.
Props/Animatronics-10: There’s no denying that The Haunted Laboratory has some amazing props and you have to be there to truly appreciate them. One particular piece that this haunt is famous for is their large tesla coil. Few haunts have them, but The Haunted Laboratory really showcases it. Instead of a couple thousand volts, this tesla coil is over 50 million and loud is an understatement. It’s really something to be appreciated and right out of Frankenstein. Props you’ll come across are flying ghouls, large creatures, a wheel chair sitting ghoul and everything in between.
Acting-10: The actors at The Haunted Laboratory are intense and in your face. They seamlessly come from the tightest and darkest corners of the laboratory. You’ll have a hard time keeping your cool since the majority of the characters are timed perfectly. My personal favorite is Frankenstein who appears to be a prop on a table, but suddenly jumps up. It got me and it will get you.
Scare Affect-9: This place is incredible. Once you think it’s over you walk down a flight of stairs to the next part of the haunt. Actors come out of nowhere while the amazing amount of animatronics is sure to have you jumping.
Fright Value: $11 is a deal for a haunt that raises the bar in detailed sets and is sure to be one of the most frightfully fun nights you’ve had at a haunt. Save time in your schedule for The Haunted Laboratory and hopefully you’ll survive.
Final Stab-9.6: Here is a haunt with classic scenes and amazing scenery. It’s no wonder it’s been around for nearly 30 years and seems to bring something new every year.
The Factory of Terror (2 Haunts in One Location)
The Factory of Terror is a massive factory in Canton, OH. It’s amazing how large this place actually is and its potential is limitless. The two haunts that are at the factory are The Haunted Halls of Hercules and The Labyrinth of Darkness. For the most part they are impressive in their own ways.
The Haunted Halls of Hercules- “A Factory Full of Fiends”
A massive factory is home to thousands of lost souls and evil beings. But for some reason it attracts people’s attention and they must enter its deadly doors. It’s known as Factory of Terror and includes to haunts that will run chills up and down your spine. The first haunt at Factory of Terror is The Haunted Halls of Hercules. Will it leave a haunting impression?
Length-8: This is a highly detailed haunt with something happening at every corner you take. Your trip through the factory will last about 15 minutes. There are a few dead spots, but nothing that distracts too much from the action.
Design-9: The wide array of different themes this haunt uses is amazing. Some of the haunting rooms you’ll walk through are a haunted bathroom, nuclear dump, bloody kitchen, coffin lair, psycho circus and much much more. While I would have like to have seen a haunted factory theme implemented into the haunt, its wide variety of rooms suits this haunt well. Its only downfall is a few dark spots in between some impressive scenes. Those areas need to be filled with actors.
Props/Animatronics-9: The Haunted Halls of Hercules has a perfect blend of static and animated props that seamlessly go with the themed rooms. Ghouls bust out of coffins, creatures hit bloody glass, zombies shake and everything in-between can be seen in the way of animatronics. My favorite prop is a long tunnel that you must walk through when suddenly lights turn on and loud music follows.
Acting-8: Most of the characters at the factory are spot on, but could use some more dialog to enhance the experience. This haunt relies more on animated scares than anything and while it affects how startled you get, it’s not a deal breaker.
Scare Affect-8: This is a highly detailed haunt from every aspect and it ultimately draws you into the experience of The Haunted Halls of Hercules. More actors need to be added to many of the rooms for it to startle the avid haunt goer.
Fright Value: $10 is a reasonable price for a haunt this extravagant and detailed. Make sure to buy a $16 combo ticket so you can enter both haunts.
Final Stab-8.4: This is a haunt that has some much potential with the building it’s using. If the acting was improved and the number of animatronics and characters were balanced out this could easily be a 9.
The Labyrinth of Darkness– “A Crypt Full of Terror”
Darkness fills the rooms of The Labyrinth of Darkness. Step back into time where Pharos ruled and Egyptian curses were in full force. This is the second haunt at The Factory of Terror and is a welcome addition to the frightful lineup.
Length-8: It will take you 15 minutes to walk through the dark rooms and corridors of this creepy haunt. While there are some dead spots in-between a few scenes, the darkness adds to the experience rather than distract.
Design-9: The Labyrinth of Darkness uses the theme of an old crypt with dark and winding rooms. It’s as if you stepped into a cursed temple and are trying to free yourself. The detail found in many of the rooms is great while a more consistent use of the ancient crypt theme is welcomed. Scenes include a graveyard, carnival of horrors, a foggy graveyard, ancient temple and other scenes and rooms you’ll fall in love with.
Props/Animatronics-9: This haunt is shock full of props that will catch anyone off guard. Creatures pop out of crates, coffins violently shake, monsters fly out of the darkness and even at one point the whole haunt shakes with a loud vibration. The props compliment this haunt well, but some could be timed better.
Acting-8: Similar to The Haunted Halls of Hercules, this haunt relies more on animatronics than anything else. While the majority of the actors are good, they aren’t the highpoint of the haunt. The actors that you’ll come across are well timed and stay in character while some just growl as you pass by.
Scare Affect-8: If you don’t get startled at least once in The Labyrinth of Darkness you must be dead like the zombies walking its ancient halls. Props come from every which way while actors are hidden well within each scene. More actors need to be added to some rooms to enhance the scares and raise the overall score.
Fright Value: You get your money’s worth with this haunt. It’s well worth the $10 admission price. Make sure to purchase a combo ticket for $16 so you can go through both frightful haunts.
Final Stab-8.4: Here is haunt that has a lot of potential in becoming one of Ohio’s best. If more actors are incorporated into the scenes and a more consistent theme is followed, than The Labyrinth of Darkness could score well above a 9.
Carnival of Horrors( 4 Haunts In One location)
Deep in the back of the Blossom Music Center is a frightful haunt known as Carnival of Horrors. It has gotten rave reviewers in the past by various media, but will it get a good review this time? The chill in the air was incredible while the sky was full of menacing clouds. We were ready and we purchased the tickets. Here’s our journey into the Carnival of Horrors.
The Fun House- “They’re Not Clowning Around”
Your trip into fear will begin with The Fun House. This is your standard clown themed haunt that for the most part has nothing that makes you take another glance.
Length-7: Depending on how long it takes to exit the confusing dark maze it will take anywhere from 10-15 minutes to finish your tour.
Design-6: This haunt has a lot of potential, but sadly it isn’t being utilized to its fullest potential. A large percentage of The Fun House is mostly bright colors and flashing lights while the rooms and scenes that are present aren’t worth mentioning. Unfortunately many of the rooms are empty without an actor in sight. You’ll venture into a doll room, psycho circus and more. The scenes are very uneventful. The only saving grace of this haunt is the confusing dark maze where you must choose the correct path that eventually leads into another room.
Props/Animatronics-4: With all the hype surrounding this haunt I was expecting more in the way of eye candy, but I was let down. There truly is a lack of props and the ones present aren’t anything to run home and talk about. It’s mostly static clown dummies or severed body parts.
Acting-5: The acting was mediocre at best. As you may have guessed a large amount of the actors are clowns and chainsaw wielding clowns at that. There is truly a lack of dialog with many of the characters with the exception of the actors who entertain the crowds before you enter.
Scare Affect-4: Sadly this haunt has a lot of potential, but is being wasted around with poorly designed rooms and scenes. There needs to be more originality in The Fun House for this haunt to ever think of startling someone.
Fright Value: This haunt is worth the $4 admission price, but it could be so much better. $16 is a decent deal for the scares at Carnival of Horrors.
Final Stab-5.2: I was expecting so much more from this haunt, but in the end I was wanting more. The Fun House needs to be overhauled in the future for it to be worth the price of admission. It has so much potential that isn’t being used and that’s really a shame.
The Wicked Woods-“Bring A Flashlight”
The woods are a creepy place to be at night. The fear of the unknown is hidden in the dark while your senses are on high alert. The next haunt at Carnival of Horrors is known as Wicked Woods and unfortunately it was wickedly bad.
Length-5: It will take you 7 minutes to walk through these dark and empty woods. Thank God for the flashlight they give you.
Design-1: As far as design goes, there is none. It’s just empty woods that eventually leads you to the next haunt.
Props/Animatronics-1: If there were any, I surely didn’t see them. It’s your typical nature walk except this time you’re holding a flashlight.
Acting-3: The actors that can be found do little to nothing. This haunt has a good concept with using a flashlight to help you walk through the dark woods, but it’s poorly executed.
Scare Affect-2: You won’t be scared the slightest bit. It’s your typical walk through dark and murky woods. Did I mention that they give you a flashlight?
Fright Value: As part of the $16 admission price, this isn’t worth the time and money. But unfortunately you have to enter into The Wicked Woods in order to get to the next haunt.
Final Stab-2.2: I’m just shocked at how bad this haunt was. With all the money Carnival of Horrors makes you would expect a better haunted trail. To count this as a stand-alone haunt is a sin.
Oblivion Cage Maze”Get Lost In The Clouds of Fog”
A spooky old building can be seen in the distance as fog seeps through the cracks of the haunt. Unfortunately once inside you realize that this is your typical maze with the exception of a muddy path.
Length-5: It will take about 7 minutes to find your way out of the Oblivion Cage Maze. This indoor/outdoor maze is way to easy to navigate through.
Design-4: There’s not much I can say about design since all this haunt is is a cage that is meant to confuse you. There is plenty of fog and strobes to affect your senses, but you’ll be finding the exit within 5-8 minutes.
Props/Animatronics-1: There aren’t any what so ever. Some props or animatronics need to be incorporated into this haunt for it to be worth the time invested.
Acting-1: There are a few actors inside the maze, but all they do is stand there and stare. I understand that this is primarily a maze, but can the actors put a little effort into it?
Scare Affect-3: If you have a hard time dealing with the intensity of strobe lights or the thickness of fog, than you’ll be running in terror. But unfortunately Oblivion Cage Maze seems more like a task than something you’ll enjoy.
Fright Value: I have no clue why this haunt has been added to the Carnival of Horrors lineup. There’s nothing it offers in the way of scares due to it being a poorly designed cage maze. So much more could be done with this haunt.
Final Stab-2.8: Here is another disappointing haunt that can be found at Carnival of Horrors. Unfortunately you have to enter it in order to get to the final haunt of the night.
The Freak Show-“Where Are The Freaks?”
When you think of a Freak show some twisted thoughts come to mind, but once again Carnival of Horrors sadly disappoints. There’s nothing memorable about this haunt and at the end of the night you have a bad feeling in the pit of you stomach. It’s another haunt you wasted your money on and you’ll never see that money again. The final haunt of Carnival of Horrors is The Freak Show. It’s said to be the highlight of your Carnival of Horrors Experience and sadly it is.
Length-7: It will take around 10 minutes to exit this clown themed haunt.
Design-6: Before you enter into the Freak Show you are given a pair of 3D glasses, which help bring the 3D effects into full force. This could be a well-designed haunt if more props were added into the mix. The majority of The Freak Show is wild colors and flashing lights with a few scenes here and there. The most memorable room is the maze of doors where you must choose the correct door in order to enter into the next scene.
Props/Animatronics-5: There is truly a lack of props in this haunt with the exception of a few static clown dummies. While the ones present blend in well with the clown theme, there’s nothing that will have you saying wow. Towards the end of your tour you’ll come across a wildly moving vortex tunnel, but the loud screeches it makes ruins that experience all together.
Acting-3: I would love to see some of these actors get into their rules, but it was as if they were half asleep that night. The only memorable character we came across was a clown who blew air on you from an odd suction cup. I was expecting more from a haunt that calls itself The Freak Show.
Scare Affect-4: If you have a fear of clowns you’ll be petrified as you walk through the freak show. But for most this is a standard haunt that has little to not effect.
Final Stab-5.0: I’m still confused as to why this haunt is called The Freak Show. It was more clown themed without a freak in site. If Carnival of Horrors thinks this cuts it as a great haunt, they are sadly mistaken. There is so much potential in Carnival of Horrors, but it’s sadly wasted away.
USS Nightmare-“Ghastly Creatures Inhabit This Boat”
The down pour that night was amazing in itself. I haven’t seen it rain that hard in a while. Large currents hit the sides of the rustic old boat as fog could be seen crawling through the doors of the haunt. Large bolts of lightning came down with fury as the water lit up with mysterious colors. It was a perfect night for haunting and we were ready.
Length-9: USS Nightmare is one of those haunts that when you think it’s over it’s not. Over 35 minutes of terror can be experienced in the rusting boat. There are a few dark and dull dead spots throughout areas, but it doesn’t leave a bad lasting impression.
Design-9: As you first start your trip through the boat you can tell that this year’s haunt has been drastically changed. The paths and rooms are tighter and more menacing while new scenes have made their debut. One particular room really gave me the creeps and it’s just a dark hallway. At one point you’ll come across a dark and tight path where nothing can be seen and the only thing you can hear are the voices of the actors. It’s strange and freaky. Classic scenes and rooms return such as Anna’s playroom, clown ball pit, experimental laboratory, roach room and many many more. The biggest problem I see with this year’s design is that it can be somewhat confusing as to which way to go. You either go the right path or enter where the actors are hiding.
Props/Animatronics-9: USS Nightmare has a wide variety of classic and cutting edge animatronics and props. Anything you can imagine is present in this old boat. Crazed creatures, flying ghouls, demented feins are some of what you’ll encounter. Old favorites return like the classic electric chair and the 13-foot Impaler. There are tons of animated scares throughout the boat, but some of them that night weren’t timed correctly and by the time they went off it was too late. But it’s hard not to be impressed by the shear amount of animation in USS Nightmare.
Acting-9: A complaint that some people have of USS Nightmare is that the actors don’t just jump out and scare you. While this may be true, it doesn’t affect your experience in any shape. This haunt is more theatrical and puts a lot of effort in what the actors are saying. This year the makeup and prosthetics have improved along with the timing of the actors. At one point you’re walking through a creepy and rustic room when suddenly an actor shoots you with a high-powered air gun out of nowhere. As with many of the actors you’ll get creeped out and the feeling doesn’t leave until the next day.
Scare Affect-8: The storm that night was amazing with large flashes of lightning and long down pours. It added to the experience and the classic old boat didn’t let us down. While there were a few moments that caught us off guard, there weren’t enough. Nothing has drastically changed from last year except for the path and some lighting. It’s hard to beat the creepiness of a rustic boat and the setting is almost perfect. Moments of startle are here and there, but we were wanting more.
Fright Value: $15 dollars is a little steep for any haunt, but with numerous discounts and coupons available there’s no reason not to visit USS Nightmare this season.
Final Stab-8.8: USS Nightmare is a classic haunt in every sense of the word. It’s always been a fall tradition for us for many years and always seems to bring something new to the senses. Don’t forget to visit this year’s USS Nightmare and don’t let the captain catch you.
Pickled Brothers Sideshow Attraction-“The Freaks Come Out At Night”
An added attraction outside of USS Nightmare this year is Pickled Brothers Sideshow Attraction. Inside you will find different oddities such as a two headed turtle, a demon creature, animal skulls and much more to wet your sick appetite. Inside actors perform various stunts like sword swallowing, fire breathing and even the hammering of a nail into someone’s nose. While we were inside the tent the electric went off and this only added to the effect of the fire breathing. The storm that night greatly affected the performances and the length. Even with that in effect one of the performers was still able to juggle swords with the help of lighting from torches. It was entertaining and you should check them out while up at USS Nightmare. It just adds to the night of fright and fun.
Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride-“A Hayride To Hell”
Deep in the back woods of Petersburg Kentucky lies a farm that has been cursed for years. The locals fear its past and hope for a better future. Its Sandyland Acres and this year the locals have organized a hayride to scare off the spirit of the urban legend of Pumpkin Seed. His presence is felt throughout the hayride and the deadly curse may just grab a hold of you. We were ready to have some Halloween fun and fun we had.
Length-9: Your ride on the wagon from Hell will take between 20-30 minutes to complete depending on how frightened you get. There are some dead spots here and there, but that is due to some of the scenes not working properly or were not included that night.
Design-9: 70% of the hayride has been modeled after famous horror classics such as the original Friday The 13th, Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and more. You’ll venture into a cornfield inhabited by various ghouls or come across a graveyard where zombies roam its haunted grounds. There are many creative scenes throughout, but I won’t give away too many of the surprises.
Props/Animatroincs-9: Like many hayrides farm equipment comes into play and that’s no different at Sandyland Acres. You’ll eventually be chased by a large forklift, which gets so close that its lights blind you. Watch out for the headless horseman as he gallops beside the wagon. There are many props throughout that go well with the theming of many of the scenes that involve horror classics. Much time has been put into perfecting those scenes and it pays off.
Acting-8: While there are child actors here and there they really catch many of the hayride’s passengers off guard and try to play off their fears. The actors found in the horror themed rooms are very realistic of the characters they are portraying and stay in character the whole time. While some actors have little dialog their enthusiasm to scare really pays off and at the end of the hayride you’ve truly had a great time. Say hi to the actor who plays the girl from The Grudge. She’s a real cutely.
Scare Affect-9: This is a traditional hayride with modern scares thrown into the mix. You’ll venture into the deep and dark woods and soon become worried of your surroundings. Actors come from every direction while many play parts in horror themed scenes. While it may stick to classic themes and use traditional techniques, they pull off the scares well and you’ll walk away with a smile on your face.
Fright Value: $10 is reasonable price for haunt that is this fun. Bring your family and friends because they’ll have a great time.
Final Stab-8.8: Sandyland Acres does not have the most detail or high-end props and animatronics. But what it does well is entertain and really gets you in the mood for the Halloween season. The potential this hayride has is incredible and if used properly they’ll be around for many years to come.
Baxter Avenue Morgue”Rotting Corpses Come Alive”
A light breeze casts a shadow over the spooky downtown of Louisville Kentucky. The cool fall weather can be felt throughout and the chill of fear and fright crawls up your skin. People far and wide come to a haunt that instills fear in many and stirs up painful nightmares in most. It’s the Baxter Avenue Morgue and is simply one of the most unique haunts around.
Length-9: This year the morgue has been lengthened with a larger graveyard and a more open environment. Your journey through fear will last anywhere between 15-20 minutes if you make it out alive.
Design-10: While much of the morgue hasn’t drastically changed since last year, it’s still as good as ever with little changes here and there. This year’s graveyard has been expanded and many of the rooms have been designed for actors to be able to step outside of their scenes. Almost 100% of the morgue’s space has been utilized this year and it shows. Spooky graveyards, an autopsy room, bloody kitchen and there are many more frightful rooms to experience. Unlike many haunts Baxter Avenue Morgue consistently follows the same theme throughout their haunt and it truly brings you into the experience.
Props/Animatronics-9: Baxter doesn’t rely heavily on animatronics, but the ones they have blend well into the morgue. You’ll come across shaking coffins, bloody corpses, dancing puppets, body bags, cocoons and everything you could imagine in the basement of an old morgue. At one point as I walked across a dark path a bloody corpse rose and I was sprayed straight in the face with a blast of water.
Acting-9: There’s not much to complain about when it comes to the performances at the morgue. Before you even enter into the haunt you are entertained by a thriller skit performed by an impressive acting troupe. Once inside the morgue the freaks really come out. The actors are intense and in your face and for the most part stay in character. Unfortunately there are a few child actors that scream and rattle cages and that doesn’t really take much effort in the way of acting. All your favorite characters return such as the crazy doll girl and spider boy who glides across the ceiling. For the most part the performances are the same with some new scenes added into the mix.
Scare Affect-9: An old morgue is a perfect setting for a haunt and for the most part the morgue theme is utilized very well. This place is truly creepy and the actors raise the level of suspense. While much hasn’t been changed this year, it’s still as nerve wrecking as ever. If this is your first year out to Baxter Avenue Morgue, you’ll be scared out of your wits.
Fright Value: $15 is a little steep for any haunt, but you really get your moneys worth with this truly unique haunt.
Final Stab-9.2: Baxter Avenue Morgue is one of the most underrated haunts in the country. From its amazing design and incredible acting, it’s no wonder why people travel miles and miles to experience this frightening place. Visit the morgue and experience fear first hand.
The Haunted Hotel-“Will You Survive Your Stay?”
A creepy looking building rests in the heart of Louisville and has brought new life to nightmares for nearly 20 years. It’s The Haunted Hotel and year after year this haunt classic gets better and better. Will you survive your stay at this ghastly hotel or will you be dying to get out after a couple seconds inside?
Length-10: Your trip through the hotel will take 20 minutes to get through depending on how fast you run. There is rarely a dead spot without something happening that will catch you off guard.
Design-9: From the moments you walk into the hotel, you know you’re in for a ride. You’ll first enter into an elevator from hell with realistic sounds and movements and the vibration from the elevator will have you almost falling over. Various rooms include a bloody cafeteria, psycho circus, experimental lab and so much more to please your appetite for fear. The detailing in the rooms is off the chart, but unfortunately there is a downfall. After exiting the hotel you’ll walk outside and this takes away from some of the experience. The outside area has been extended with more props and actors, but it just doesn’t do The Hotel justice. Overall this is an incredibly designed haunt from start to finish.
Props/Animatronics-10: There’s not much to say, but wow. Every prop inside and out is perfectly timed to get you at your weakest moments. Ghouls hide under bed sheets, while many come from different directions. There is the classic electric, spinning vortex tunnel, high-powered air cannons, ghouls flying overhead, a malfunctioning elevator and much more. The sound equipment in the elevator alone cost $10,000 and many of the props are sure to become classics, but I won’t give away all the surprises.
Acting-10: It’s obvious that these actors really love what they’re doing. There’s not a moment when they’re not in character and intense doesn’t come close to describing them. Many of the actors have been working at The Haunted Hotel for years and their dedication to perfecting their character is greatly appreciated. One of the most intense rooms in a haunt this year goes to The Haunted Hotel for their outdoor chainsaw maze. The Actors get so close that you can smell the fumes from the chainsaw and barely hear from the sounds of the motors. The acting is incredible and will be hard to match.
Scare Affect-10: There isn’t a moment of ease while at that The Haunted Hotel. The Actors are perfectly timed to music and the animatronics get you when you least expect them. It truly is a frightening experience.
Fright Value: Many haunts charge $14 or more dollars to enter and aren’t worth it, but that’s not the case with The Haunted Hotel. You get your money’s worth with one of the best haunts in the country that seems to get better and better with time. It’s definitely worth your time and money.
Final Stab-9.8: Whatever you do this season; drive out to Louisville, KY for The Haunted Hotel. This is how haunts are supposed to be. It’s intense, fear inducing and just a hell of a good time. Will you survive your visit at The Haunted Hotel? I don’t think so.
Hustonville Haunted House-“Creepy Dark Corridors”
An old brick building is in middle of downtown Hustonville and is famous for its variety of scares. It’s Hustonville Haunted House and while it’s not the greatest haunt around, it’s a creepy one that is sure to affect you one way or the other.
Length-7: Your walk through the darkness will take 10-15 minutes to complete depending on how long you take navigating through the dark mazes.
Design-7: Right from the start you’ll be walking up a rickety fire escape in order to enter the Hustonville Haunted House. From there you start off in an uneventful dark maze, which eventually leads to a series of scenes and rooms. There are three floors of fear you must be able to walk through, but honestly nothing was that impressive in the way of design. You have your typical rooms such as a bloody kitchen, outside graveyard, haunted dining room and more. Throughout the haunt you’ll have to hang on to a rope as you slide down to the next floor. Most of the scenes and rooms are standard with the exception of a few. One of the most fear inducing rooms can be experienced at the Hustonville Haunted House. At one point you’ll need to navigate through a tight and dark crawl maze, which is sure to cause panic for those that are claustrophobic.
Props/Animatronics-6: In terms of props there isn’t anything that will really catch your eye. While many rooms are littered with various stuffed dummies, it’s not impressive and very forgettable. You’ll come across corpses, a sawed in half man, horn blowing car and possibly the worst haunted elevator you’ll come across.
Acting-6: The lack of actors Hustonville has is very apparent in the empty rooms. The actors act as more of a tour guide in directing you to where you should go and dangers that may lie ahead. No one stood out except for a few. The actor who played Freddy Krueger was possibly the most authentic I’ve seen, but all he did was tap his steel claws together as he followed from behind. With added actors the whole experience could be much more enjoyable.
Scare Affect-8: There is something about this place that gives me the creeps. From its rickety boards that hold together the floors to its fear inducing dark maze, it’s hard not to have a little fear put into you at Hustonville.
Fright Value: $10 is steep for a haunt that quotes itself as being world famous, but doesn’t deliver in the way of scares. $6 would be a more reasonable price to pay.
Final Stab-6.8: Unfortunately I walked away disappointed with Hustonville Haunted House. I was expecting great acting, highly detailed scenes and unique scares, but I what I got was an average haunt in every sense of the word. With all the great reviews its received and all the hype surrounding this place, I expected more and it didn’t deliver.
Industrial Nightmare Complex (3 Haunts In One Location)
Large gargoyles pear down on a frightening old factory in the heart of Jeffersonville, IN. A large banner reads “America’s Number 1 Haunted Factory”. Is this the best-haunted factory around or is Industrial Nightmare and its other haunts forgettable at best. Luckily they aren’t forgettable and with new ownership they’re a thousand times better than before.
Industrial Nightmare-“The Glowing Ghouls Welcome You”
What awaits you in this menacing building known as Industrial Nightmare? Are this factory’s workers out for revenge or hungry for human flesh? Many things have changed in the haunt industry this year and that includes Industrial Nightmare. The Haunted Hotel has taken ownership of this once mediocre haunt and is taking it in the right direction.
Length-8: Your trip through this factory of fear will take around 15 minutes if you don’t stop and stare at all the eye candy around you.
Design-9: Obviously this haunt follows the theme of a haunted factory and for the most part pulls it off without a hitch. Right from the start before you even enter into the haunt you’ll be treated with detailed horror movie sets that decorate the walls. There’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The Thirteenth, Frankenstein and lots more. It’s very impressive and eye catching. Inside of Industrial Nightmare many of its walls glow as if they were covered with nuclear acid. You’ll go through a junkyard, laboratory, nuclear spill and much more. There are some incredible surprises that you’ll have to see for yourself.
Props/Animatroincs-10: Industrial Nightmare has an amazing amount of incredible animatronics and detailed props. This year they have really taken this haunt to a new level of detail with there animated scares. Giant creatures, flying ghouls, a vomiting zombie, rising Frankenstein, falling ceiling and much more only describes a small percentage of what you’ll see. Even the queue line is decorated to the max with detailed horror movie sets and memorabilia.
Acting-7: This is where this haunt falls short. Many of its actors are convincing, but there aren’t enough to fill the haunt. Many of them will show up more than once and it’s hard not to notice that.
Scare Affect-8: 2006 is the year Industrial Nightmare has turned itself around from being a mediocre haunt to one you shouldn’t miss. The detailing in the rooms and the improved acting helps this haunt in being scarier than it’s ever been before.
Fright Value: $17 is a little steep for a haunt this short. Even though Dementions is included in the price, it’s still a little too pricey for my blood.
Final Stab-8.4: The new owners have really put a lot of time and effort in revamping Industrial Nightmare and it shows. I can only see this getting better over time.
Dementions-“Demented Demons Walk The Halls”
After escaping the madness of Industrial Nightmare, you are treated to a demented treat called Dementions. Included as a combo, you’ll first enter a spooky building after you walk down some winding stairs. That’s when your fearful journey begins.
Length-7: Much of this years effort has been made to Industrial Nightmare and it shows. While Dementions is included in the price of Industrial Nightmare it’s way too short and needs to become longer if it wants to grow over time. It will take about 10 minutes to free yourself from Dementions.
Design-7: Much of the design is similar to last year’s version, but new rooms and scenes have helped this haunt along. Originally at The Haunted Hotel years ago was a killer Santa scene and that scene returns this year with a few alterations. Now there is a snow machine, various decorations and Santa holds a knife instead of a chainsaw. Other rooms include a shower scene similar to The Haunted Hotel, but with an added twist. Now you can see the girl in full view through the glass of the shower as blow drips down on her. It’s very creepy. There are numerous surprises that you won’t expect, but you’ll definitely enjoy.
Props/Animatronics-7: Since The Haunted Hotel took over ownership of Industrial Nightmare the eye candy has definitely improved, but this haunt needs more props to fill up many of its rooms. Due to the basement being flooded thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of props, sound equipment and more was destroyed. It’s shocking that they were even able to bounce back after that, but they did and with a bang.
Acting-7: This years acting is a little improved from last year, but unfortunately many of the same actors pop up in different places of the haunt. The Haunted Hotel’s Santa makes a home at Dementions while bloody butchers, crazed ghouls and bloody foes roam its halls.
Scare Affect-7: This haunt has so much potential, but it isn’t being used due to poor acting and ultimately it fails in putting chills down your back. If more actors are implemented this could be one of the scariest haunts around.
Fright Value: How can you go wrong with this haunt when it’s absolutely free with Industrial Nightmare? It’s well worth your time.
Final Stab-7.0: Dementions is improved this year and is a great combo with Industrial Nightmare. I just hope that the acting improves and if it does, it will be right on track of becoming a great haunt.
Pitch Black-“A Mind Boggling Maze of Terror”
People’s fear of the dark stems from their childhood and while many get over it, as they grow older, the fear is still alive in many people’s hearts. Pitch Black is a dark maze with many surprises along the way. Hopefully you’ll find your way out
Length-8: As far as length goes it depends on how well you can navigate through dark mazes. At times it can be very confusing and at other times you are wishing for it to end. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour depending on you.
Design-7: This is a well-designed maze, but due to it being pitch black inside, there really is a lack of design. Fortunately there is an area that is made of metal that you must navigate through to find your way out.
Props/Animatroincs-5: There aren’t many props or animatronics at all. Unfortunately this is a downfall of many dark and corn mazes. If some props and animatronics were thrown into the mix, it would be much more enjoyable.
Acting-4: There are maybe 7 actors throughout the haunt and the majority you can’t see because it’s pitch black inside. More actors need to be added into the mix for this haunt to improve.
Scare Affect-7: Pitch Black is a confusing and fear-inducing maze. If you have a fear of the dark, than this haunt will affect you big time. I won’t give away some of the surprises that lurk in the dark.
Fright Value: $12 is a high price for a dark maze. If this was added to another one of the haunts or expanded with detailed rooms similar to Industrial Nightmare and Dementions, it would be worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-6.2: As far as dark mazes go, this is one of the best around. It still needs work for it to be worth admission. It has a lot of potential, but it isn’t being used. I see a bright future for this haunt.
Fright Manor-“This Manor Will Consume You”
There was a chill in the air that night unlike any other this Halloween season. The moon was full and bright while crickets and animals could be heard off in the distance. A creepy old building can be seen across the street. Do we dare enter? We do in deed. The first haunt of the night to tour is Fright Manor and the feeling of fright is present all around us.
Length-9: This year Fright Manor has been extended with additional scenes and rooms. It will take anywhere from 20-25 minutes depending on how frightened you are while trying to free yourself from the terror.
Design-9: Fright Manor has one of the best designs of any haunt around. There are so many different intricately designed rooms, that it is downright jaw dropping. The amount of detail and amazing props integrated into the scenes really helps you forget that this is a haunt. You’ll venture into a psycho circus, haunted playroom, nuclear wasteland, torture chamber and many more rooms await your arrival. My favorite new room this year is the crawl through tunnel that leads to the psycho circus. At one point you’ll crawl through a tight space while on top of a plexiglass box and to your surprise there’s a corpse lit up below. The majority of the rooms are very impressive. The only downfall is that at some points you’ll walk outside and it somewhat distracts from the rest of the haunt.
Props/Animatronics-10: When it comes to props Fright Manor is one of the best. It’s incredible how many different static props and animated scares can be found in this place. Chained creatures, a vomiting ghoul, large beasts, tortured souls, a classic electric chair and much much more fill the rooms and scenes at Fright Manor. Some rooms are almost completely full of props and sometimes it can become overwhelming to the senses.
Acting-9: The way this haunt is set up is between scenes actors will jump out of various doors and holes before you enter into a themed room. Once you enter into a haunted room the many actors throughout Fright Manor have lines and interact with the patrons. The actors are very effective and the masks and makeup are great. Classic characters include Captain Spaulding, Grinner, Wolfie, Living Dead Girl and Hell’s Angel.
Scare Affect-9: You will be startled when you go through Fright Manor. The actors are intense and many of them use chainsaws, air powered tools and even bars which cause sparks to fly off fences. Just about every room has at least 1 or 2 actors that hide and wait to jump out when you least expect it. The most effective scares come from the chained actors who jump out from the darkness when a red light is activated. All of the characters are somewhat intimidating.
Fright Value: $15 is a deal for one of Indiana’s best haunts. You really get your money’s worth of scares at Fright manor. Make sure to check dates for discount nights.
Final Stab-9.2: Indiana’s masters of terror return for another year of pure fright and fun. This is one of the best haunts in Indiana and a good way to experience an all around great scare.
Hanna Haunted Acres (5 Haunts In One Location)
A large piece of farmland is home to 5 evil attractions. Evil can be felt throughout these grounds and people can’t get enough of it. It’s Hanna Haunted Acres and has been a standard for Indianapolis haunts for years. Will it measure up to its hype or drop dead as a fly? Lets find out.
Hanna Haunted Hayride-“Watch Your Bloody Head”
The most popular haunt at Hanna Haunted Acres is their famous hayride. The lines grow long and the wait can be over an hour. For the most part it’s your classic hayride with a few twists of its own.
Length-8: The majority of hayrides that I’ve been to have been well over 20 minutes long, but unfortunately it only lasts around 17 minutes. There are some dead spots here and there where nothing happens at all and when it’s over it takes about 3 minutes for the hayride to return to its start and that ultimately takes you out of the haunting experience.
Design-6: This isn’t a high point for Hanna’s version of a hayride as the majority of the scenes are out in the open and are limited since most of the scares come from overhead props and animatronics. You’ll venture inside a barn with crazed clowns, but that’s about it when it comes to indoor scenes.
Props/Animatronics-8: Hanna Haunted Hayride has some of the best props you can find in a hayride. You wouldn’t expect some animatronics to be operated outside, but they are and are effective in scaring most of the passengers on the trailer. Many of the props nearly fall on the passengers such as a Michael Myers dummy, large glowing tarantula, hanging corpse and much more. You’ll also come across rising zombies, a large combine, flying zombies and even a smaller version of the impressive Impaler animatronic. This hayride has a wide variety of eye candy and is very enjoyable to look at.
Acting-6: The characters throughout the hayride aren’t very effective at all and many resort to running chainsaws up against the trailer. More actors need to be added to the hayride to offset the large amount of props used.
Scare Affect-7: This is a traditional hayride, which uses props to pull off most of its scares and for the most part succeeds in doing so. Overhead props will come down at you when you least expect it while the combine chase at the end will get your heart racing. It’s a creepy little hayride with some old school scares.
Fright Value: When included with the combo, it’s well worth the price of admission. It ends up being less than $6.
Final Stab-7.0: Here is a hayride that relies heavily on props and if more actors were added into the mix this could be better over time. In any case this is a haunt that you can bring the whole family to and have a night full of scares.
Phantazmagoria-“A Phantom’s Evil Hideaway”
Phantasmagoria means stepping over ‘the safety line’ into a different and unpredictable world that offers up a wild ride. This holds true to this haunt with a slightly different spelling and for the most part we were impressed, but somewhat let down.
Length-7: You’ll first enter into a creepy old building and then enter outside which leads into another building that eventually you exit out of it. It only takes around 11 minutes to tour this haunt.
Design-7: Many of the rooms are intricately designed, but the themes for many of the scenes are all over the place and inconsistent. You’ll enter into a glowing wasteland, insane asylum, outdoor forest and much more. A lot could be done in the outside area before you enter into the other building, but sadly its potential isn’t fully realized.
Props/Animatronics-8: The best part of Phantazmagoria is its variety of amazing props. A moving grim reaper welcomes you into the second building as an alligator, propelling corpse, a vomiting ghoul and more fill both sections of the haunt. Watch out for the car that crashes through the wall or the sign that flies down from nowhere.
Acting-6: Sadly as with many of the haunts at Hanna Haunted Acres, there aren’t many actors at all and the high-end props take there place. With more actors added to the scenes Phantazmagoria could be a highly rated haunt. Actors jump out of dark spaces while many bust out of doors. There weren’t enough characters that made that big of an impact.
Scare Affect-7: This haunt really has a lot of potential in being very scary, but unfortunately the animatronics steel the show. If you don’t hear any of the props go off before you enter into the scene than you will definitely get startled, but the lack of actors really hurts the level of suspense in Phantazmagoria.
Fright Value: It will only end up costing you less than $6 if you buy a 5-haunt combo for $27. That’s a great deal that won’t leave you broke at the end of the night.
Final Stab-7.0: Phantazmagoria is a very interesting haunt. Its use of high-end animatronics is impressive, but the lack of actors is disappointing. If both Phantazmagoria and Devil’s 1/2 Acre were combined, it would become haunt well worth the price of admission.
Devil’s 1/2 Acre-“It’s A Demon’s Delight”
A menacing looking building is home to this year’s new addition to Hanna Haunted Acres lineup. It’s the Devil’s 1/2 Acre and you’ll be dying to get in and you’ll be crying to get out. Will you survive the madness?
Length-6: It will take you around 10 minutes to complete this haunt. The majority of the rooms are full of animatronics while the highlight is the séance room towards the end.
Design-7: As you first venture into the building you’ll notice that your surroundings resemble a cave and most of rooms follow that theme throughout. Some of the rooms include hell’s lair, insane asylum, dark hallway and a séance scene. Most of the rooms are standard, but the séance scene sticks out as one of the most unique rooms around. This dynamic room includes satanic glowing pentagrams on the floor and evil drawings covering the walls. The Devil sits up her thrown as her minions do her biddings. It’s very unique and worth entry into Devil’s 1/2 Acre.
Props/Animatronics-7: Propelling corpses, chained victims, frozen zombies and propelling beasts only name a few of the props and animatronics that will affect the senses. As I said before the highlight of the haunt is the séance room in the last building that depicts the pit of Hell all with dynamic lighting and synchronized music. It’s impressive to say the least and something you rarely see in a haunt.
Acting-7: For the most part the acting is standard in this haunt since the animated scares replace the need for actors. Unfortunately this is also the haunt’s downfall and in the end it’s not very scare in the least bit. The only saving grace is the actor who plays the Devil in the last scene. She uses a microphone attached to the front of her costume that changes her voice to resemble Satan while lights flash and the floor violently shakes.
Scare Affect-7: A large percentage of the scares come from the final scene as stated above and it really makes this haunt worth entering. With added length and more actors thrown into the mix this could become one of the scariest haunts at Hanna Haunted Acres.
Fright Value: Devil’s 1/2 Acre, Phantazmagoria and Hanna Haunted Hayride are the best haunts at the farm and should be visited first if you buy a five-haunt combo. Devil’s 1/2 Acre is a nice addition the Hanna Haunted Acres line up.
Final Stab-6.8: Fortunately there is a lot of potential for this haunt if the right things are improved for next year. Another building needs to be added in order to lengthen the experience and more actors need to fill many of the rooms. I see a bright future for Devil’s 1/2 Acre if the right changes are made.
Entanglement Corn Maze-“A Monsterous Maze”
A mysterious corn maze can be seen out in the distance. Is it inhabited by evil ghouls or is empty with you trying to find your way out? This haunted corn maze is called Entanglement and will you will survive?
Length-7: The length of time you are in the maze really depends on how good you are at navigating through tall heads of corn. It will take anywhere from 15 minutes to well over an hour to escape this maze.
Design-6: This is a tough corn maze, but corn is pretty much all there is. As far as rooms and scenes, there’s nothing that will impress you at all. It’s your standard corn maze.
Props/Animatroincs-4: There aren’t any props at all, so I can’t really comment on what caught my eye. Overhead falling props similar to ones found in the hayride could really help this corn maze in becoming a classic haunt.
Acting-4: Entanglement really needs to add more actors to the cornfield in order for it to compete with the other haunts that are on the same ground. A haunted cornfield can really be open year round due to their lack of props and actors.
Scare Affect-7: If you are a master at finding your way out of mazes than your experience won’t be a suspenseful one. But if you’re like many your nerves will kick in after minutes of not finding your way out.
Fright Value: As part of a combo, it’s worth the price of admission, but alone it’s not worth your time.
Final Stab-5.4: I would love to see a haunted corn maze that incorporates dynamic props, lighting and sound while having plenty of actors to catch you off guard. But sadly the majority of mazes are empty and leave the scares up to you.
Acres Manor-“A House of Damnation”
A spooky white trailer has large wooden letters on its side that read “Acres Manor”. This family oriented haunt had one of the larger lines of the night and while it didn’t chill the bone, we had a frightful time.
Length-5: Unfortunately this one lasts around 7 minutes and while there are some interesting rooms, there aren’t enough actors to fill many of the scenes.
Design-6: Like I said before, this is a family oriented haunt. When you first step inside you are surrounded by haunted portraits that first start out as normal paintings, but as you walk further by them they change into ghastly creatures. Much of Acres Manor resembles an old and decrepit house, but the lack of actors really hurts in drawing you into the experience. The only stand out room is a Christmas/South Park themed scene with Mr. Hanky and a toilet full of poo. Yes, you heard me right.
Props/Animatronics-5: There aren’t any stand out animatronics in this haunt as there are in Phantazmagoria and Devil’s 1/2 Acre. The decor goes well with the rooms, but isn’t jaw dropping or a high point of the haunt.
Acting-4: There are a couple actors here and there, but due to it being targeted toward a younger audience the actors available aren’t convincing and yell rather than act. More actors need to be added to this haunt for it to be worth the time and day.
Scare Affect-4: If you are young child, Acres Manor will surely startle you, but for the most part you’ll be walking through this haunt just fine.
Fright Value: If you are getting a combo ticket with all 5 haunts included you should probably save Acres Manor for last since this is the weakest of the haunts at the farm. It’s more geared toward a family audience.
Final Stab-4.8: It was a great idea to have a haunt geared towards a younger audience, but unfortunately it wasn’t executed well. If you are typically frightened at most haunts than Acres Manor is perfect for you. If you’re bringing younger children along than this will be a perfect addition to your night of fright.
Fear Fair-“Welcome To The Wild West”
Large wooden shacks stand still as wind slowly rolls by. It sure is a ghost town in the old Wild West and if you’re not careful you’ll be next. Fear Fair in Seymour, Indiana is not your typical haunt. It’s themed after the Wild West and for the most part succeeds in doing so.
Length-7: Unfortunately your tour through this creepy ghost town will take 10-12 minutes to complete. There are some stunning sets, but without actors it’s not affective.
Design-9: Right from the start as you enter into the Fear Fair building you’ll be blown away by the decor around you. It’s as if you just stepped into the Wild West with saloons, old wooden shacks and detailed buildings that would be around in that era. It’s quite impressive. Once you venture inside this haunt it doesn’t stop there. The first few minutes of your tour is modeled after a ghost town, but slowly breaks off into several set pieces that mimic famous horror movies. Now unlike many haunts Fear Fair succeeds in being very affective in the way it’s modeled after many famous horror movie scenes. You’ll venture into Camp Crystal Lake before you seamlessly walk into a campsite shack inhabited by creatures. It doesn’t stop there. It’s hard to impress me, but I was by the amount of time and effort put into perfecting these scenes. Other scenes include Freddy Krueger’s Elm Street, Michael Myers ghastly home and much much more. I only wish that more of Fear Fair was centered around a ghost town theme. It would add much more to the effectiveness of the haunt.
Props/Animatroincs-9: Fear Fair doesn’t go heavy on the animated scares and that’s a good thing. The props it has goes perfectly with the rest of the decor that seamlessly blends in with many of the sets. Street signs cover Elm Street while an authentic sign saying Camp Crystal can be seen before you enter the Friday The Thirteenth rooms. The props seen go perfectly with the theming of the rooms. Some more memorable props include a hanging man, projecting corpses, a running tesla coil and much more to please your sick appetite.
Acting-8: With every great haunt there must be a downfall and Fear Fair’s biggest negative is its acting. The majority of the actors are well timed and stay in character, but there aren’t enough of them to fill many of the detailed rooms. If more characters were incorporated into the rooms, more time would be spent touring the haunt. Memorable characters include creepy Freddy Krueger, intimidating Jason Voorhees, the evil Michael Myers and other classic characters.
Scare Affect-9: From the authentic looking sets and well-timed actors, it’s hard not to have a chill go down your spine. I would love to see the western theme be used more often throughout this haunt though. It would really add to the haunting experience and take you back to the Wild West.
Fright Value: $10 is a reasonable price for a haunt of the caliber, but please make sure to cut out the $1 off coupon available on their site.
Final Stab-8.6: Here is one of the few haunts around that follows the theme of the old west and for the most part does it with ease. While I would like to see more of the rooms resemble a ghost town, the authentic horror movie rooms make up for that shortcoming. Fear Fair has a lot of potential and it has a bright future ahead of it.
The Coffins-“Get Buried Up To Your Neck”
Seymour Indiana is a strange and wicked place. It seems as if it’s in the middle of nowhere without a human in site. But in the desolate backfields of this dark and evil town is The Coffins. It’s a place known for hauntings and will your dreams be haunted once you escape this ghastly haunt?
Length-8: It can take 15 or minutes to find your way out of the coffins. With something happening around every corner there are few spots where you’ll be asking for more.
Design-7: Right from the start before even entering into The Coffins you can tell that this is a low budget haunt, but it doesn’t have that large of an impact on the overall experience. The coffins is separated into two sections. The first half of the haunt takes place indoors with various haunting scenes while the second half has you walking through a spooky cemetery inhabited by ghouls. The inside area of The Coffins has many memorable scenes. You’ll walk through a glowing nuclear wasteland, a demented circus, Michael Myers victim room and more. The highlight of The Coffins is the outside cemetery. It’s really authentic looking and will creep you out. More of this haunt needs to take place outside in order for it to be more affective.
Props/Animatronics-7: As I said previously this is a low budget haunt that doesn’t rely on expensive animated scares. But it does well with what it has. There are many homemade animatronics throughout a lot of the rooms and it adds to the atmosphere of the scenes. There are many ghoulish creatures and flying pneumatic props that while aren’t that incredible to look at, they add to the effectiveness of the rooms.
Acting-7: The actors at The Coffins really put their heart and soul into the characters they play and it’s really appreciated. At many haunts actors will stop scaring you after a particular scene is over, but that’s not the case with The Coffins. Right after you think you’re done walking through the cemetery every single actor that you came across before comes out of nowhere to scare and follow you. It’s quite impressive and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen that in haunt. Clowns, Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, zombified monsters and many more make their presence at The Coffins. These people truly love scaring their visitors.
Scare Affect-7: This is an old school haunt with dedicated people behind the scares. From its creepy atmosphere to its classic scenes, it’s no wonder the people who work here love what they’re doing.
Fright Value: $10 is a little steep for a haunt this short. Make sure to use the coupon available on the haunt’s site to make it worth the price of admission.
Final Stab-7.2: The Coffins is one of those haunts that isn’t technically sound, but one you will really enjoy. It’s classic scares the whole family can enjoy. Come out to The Coffins and have a frightful night full of startling moments.