Halloween Haunt 2017 Review

Halloween Haunt at Kings Island (Mason, OH)
“Fiendish Freaks and Ghoulish Ghouls”

By Noah Wullkotte: jollypumpkin@aol.com

Welcome to Halloween Haunt where monsters are waiting to eat you and the dead will rise from their graves. This is City Blood’s 2017 review of Halloween Haunt at Kings Island.

Halloween Haunt does a fantastic job with how it decorates the outside of the park. The park is full of amusing decorations and superb lighting. Skeletons hug trees, a grim reaper pops out of a hearse and there’s a sleeping giant that awakens. The Eiffel Tower is lit up and the top has glowing eyes and razor sharp teeth. There’s even a graveyard with tombstones that have the names of staff members, old rides and attractions. There’s plenty of fog that you’ll get lost in while trying to find the next haunt.

The haunts are a mixed bag. Some are good while others need a little work. Wolf Pack is a werewolf themed haunt that relies too much on werewolves that growl. The majority of the actors wear werewolf masks instead of realistic makeup. This attraction also opens way too early. This is an issue because it doesn’t have a roof. This means that the sun will peek through making scenes way too bright. Rooms are more intense when the sun goes down. The set design could also be improved.

Blackout is Halloween Haunt’s dark maze. Grab a hold of a rope and don’t let go as you try to make it out of the darkness. There’s not much to say about Blackout since you won’t be seeing much. There are moments where you’ll hear scary sounds and see flashes of light revealing a prop or two. But overall it’s not very memorable when you compare it to the rest of what Halloween Haunt has to offer.

Obviously Kill Mart is a take on the name K Mart. A super store has been taken over by the living dead. Explore areas like pet supplies, camping, sporting goods, the clothing section and just about any area that you would expect to see in your local big box store. The actors do a convincing job playing zombies. This is a pretty unique haunt, but doesn’t last long. Most haunts at Halloween Haunt are under 5 minutes. They can be slightly longer if you purchase a Fright Lane pass that includes a skeleton key. This key will grant you access to special rooms where you’ll need to complete a task to get out.

One skeleton key room features a foggy swamp while another will have you trying to find a key in the stomach of a corpse. Spaghetti is used for his intestines. Other haunts include Backwoods Bayou, Board to Death, Carnevil, Slaughter House, Field of Screams, Urgent Scare and Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror. Carnevil was much different this year. Instead of being bright and cheery, it was dark and scary. If you have a fear of clowns then you’ll definitely want to check out Carnevil. I wasn’t surprised that the line was huge considering how popular this year’s It remake was. If you want to see all the mind bending effects that jump out at you then you should purchase a pair of 3D Glasses for $1. Board to Death is themed after popular board games like Monopoly, Trouble, Chess, Risk and even Operation. This attraction isn’t drastically different from previous years, but it’s very unique. My favorite area is the Candyland scene.

Madame Fatale’s Cavern of Terror is the most detailed haunt at Halloween Haunt. It’s like stepping foot into a haunted wax museum. There are themed areas such as an Egyptian room, Jack the Ripper, the wax factory and more. Their skeleton key room is also very entertaining especially if you have a fear of snakes. The names of the haunts or what Kings Island calls Mazes give you a good idea of what to expect. Urgent Scare is a haunted hospital while Slaughter House is a slaughter house that’s quite gory.

You’ll be able to skip the regular line if you purchase a Fright Lane Pass and you’ll also be able to experience the unique skeleton key rooms. Kings Island even has its own Escape Room called The Viewing that’s only available to those who have a skeleton key. There are various Scare Zones where actors roam. This includes Freak Street, Wasteland and the new Dance of the Macabre. It’s located next to the Eiffel Tower and you’re going to feel like you’ve stepped foot into the Victorian era. The fountain drink machines next to the Victorian themed sections helped bring me back to reality. There are different live shows such as Blood Drums, Monster Rock and Hot Blooded. We always make it a tradition to close out the night with a viewing of Hot Blooded. It’s a 25 minute stage show featuring hot girls, rock music from bands like Foreigner, singing, pyro and blood. Hot Blooded is our favorite part of Halloween Haunt and we wouldn’t miss it for the world.

(Flames and a light up sign welcome you to Halloween Haunt.)

The majority of rides are open including the new Mystic Timbers. Find out what’s hiding in the shed. There are plenty of concessions available on-site including Chic-fil-a, the Juke Box Diner, Potato Works, funnel cakes and more. Some of the prices can be a little high like $4 for a 20 ounce bottle of pop. But that’s to be expected at theme parks. Tickets can be purchased online as low as $31.99 and $83 for a Fright Lane Pass which includes admission to the park. Parking is $20 at the gate or $15 online. I don’t want to bore you with pricing, so please visit www.visitkingsiland.com/haunt for more information. Winter Fest returns this holiday season for those who enjoy dazzling Christmas lights and more.

Halloween Haunt is a good deal for how much entertainment is included. The haunts are too short and it can be frustrating to wait an hour or more in line to find out that the haunt is less than 5 minutes long. Halloween Haunt is very popular and the park is usually packed with people. This causes the haunts to be packed as well. It’s unfortunate that you will more than likely be bunched together with many other people. On the other hand, the actors are good and so are the soundtracks for many of the haunts.

We recommend that you purchase a Fright Lane Pass since it’s very hard to experience all the haunts in one night unless you can skip the regular lines. There’s a large interactive map at the park and plenty of paper maps available. The Fright Lane is very easy to find since there’s a large light up spider at each haunt. What impresses me the most about Halloween Haunt is the way the park is decorated. I loved the skeletons, the way the lights made the fog glow and the scary music they played. We’ve been visiting Halloween Haunt since it was called Fearfest. The stage shows are great, the haunts are fun for the most part and you get a lot of bang for your buck.

Please Note: Halloween Haunt is a lengthy experience if you’re able to experience everything at the park. Most people won’t unless they purchase a Fright Lane Pass and arrive early. The Skeleton Key rooms add to the length of the haunts. It’s very tough to rate the length of Halloween Haunt, but you are going to be there for a long time. There are a lot of variables that affect the length score for Halloween Haunt.

Length-8  Design-7  Props/Animatronics-7  Acting-7  Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 7.2