Dead Acres & Bad Trip in 3D (Pataskala, OH)
“Born To Make You Sick”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Dead Acres will be celebrating its 21st year of extreme blood and gore this haunt season. Our annual trip to the Columbus area is never complete without making a stop at this cult classic. The first year I had ever been to Dead Acres was when it was just known as The Haunted Hoochie. It was a rainy and cold night and the ground was so muddy that you couldn’t help, but get your feet stuck in the sludge. The crowd was massive, but the more than 2 hour wait was well worth it. A large fire breathing dragon provided much needed light.
Back then the majority of the Haunted Hoochie took place inside small wooden huts where around 30 people were shoved in a dark room and the door would be slammed shut. You were then told to get as close as possible to the fence or railing in front of you. This is when all hell would break lose. Suddenly loud rock music plays and a chainsaw maniac or killer is right in front of your face. A gory skit would then be performed as the crowd cheers and goes pale from shock. Scenes involved demons breathing fire, a man being hanged from a rope, a clown getting decapitated and some pretty twisted stuff that you never see at haunts. After you were done exiting the haunt, you would proceed to the outside area that was just like a haunted trail, but with some amazing actors and effects you’ve never seen before.
I can remember walking on one of the small trails when suddenly the sound of a chainsaw could be heard above me. To my surprise, it was a man flying across a zip-line with a gas powered chainsaw in his hand. It was amazing and innovative for its time. The Haunted Hoochie was known for raising the bar and stepping outside of the box. Haunted Hoochie was also well known for its large corpse puppet that emerged from the woods. You would walk near dark woods where nothing was happening when out of nowhere a massive corpse rises and attacks the crowd as he yells and has the crowd cheer “Hell Yeah”. Hell Yeah was Haunted Hoochie’s vocabulary and whenever a scene or skit was about to start, you were supposed to shout it at the top of your lungs.
Dead Acres originally started out as a small haunted hayride, but over the years it has evolved into one of the most celebrated haunts in America. This year Hauntworld.com has ranked Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie as the most outrageous haunt in America and I tend to agree. This is a no holds barred haunt in just about every way. We arrived at Dead Acres around 12:30 AM and there were still flocks of cars entering the parking lot. This is one of those attractions that has a party atmosphere and people really get excited about what the haunt has to offer.
We entered the ticket barn and picked up our VIP tickets. There was no way I was going to wait in line for close to 2 hours when I could pay the additional $10 to skip the regular line. My time is more valuable to me than ten dollars. Surprisingly, we waited in line around 20 minutes before we were let in. I’m not sure if something was being repaired or the actors were on a break. Either way, it was a little frustrating.
Thankfully, there were a couple actors roaming the grounds of Dead Acres and interacting with customers. The mad doctor in the Demon Birth skit was relentless in his pursuit to freak out the girl behind me. He kept stalking her and would hold his hand out so they could hold hands. It was pretty unnerving and her boyfriend seemed a little bothered. But who cares? It was entertaining and some people need to lighten up. After about 20 minutes of waiting, it was our turn to enter Dead Acres, better known as The Haunted Hoochie.
The first scene involves a backwoods freak who wants to taste death. He gets a little comfortable, sits back and places a shot gun in his mouth. He cocks back the trigger as a bullet hits the back of his skull as a large amount of blood hits the window behind him. An audio clip saying “I thought guns were good” plays as people exit the scene. Dead Acres is world renowned for its shocking and disgusting skits. There are few places where you can watch a man get anally probed by a large drill or witness a live demon birth. You won’t want to kiss this demon baby; that’s for sure. Some of the skits take a few minutes to begin and there’s no way to exit because the door has been closed. So, there’s no way to escape the bloody madness which is Dead Acres.
Dead Acres has some brand new scenes this year, but the best is always the last. It’s the grand finale and is always the most complex and gory scene in the entire haunt. Nate Bolen, who is one of Dead Acres veteran actors has been working at the haunt since the days of the original Haunted Hoochie. He gets a thrill out of making people lose their lunch. You’ll get an up close view of how he likes to bring a little pain to his suffering victims.
This year’s finale involves a man who is strapped to a chair as he thrashes back and forth as if he’s being electrified. Saw’s Jigsaw can be heard in the background before this unfortunate soul meets his untimely death. A chainsaw maniac appears out of the darkness with a gas powered weapon in his hand. With glee and happiness, he places the chainsaw on the screaming man’s neck as the victim’s head slowly comes off. The chainsaw maniac holds the head in the air as a trophy and displays it to the crowd that is both shocked and disgusted.
Dead Acres features a lot of intense and elaborate scenes like a psychotic doctor who takes a powerful electric saw to his patients mouth as blood sprays everywhere. Where else can you witness a man being sliced in half by an axe or play part in a prison breakout? But just because Dead Acres has a lot of gore, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have detail. This is a very elaborate and detailed haunt with countless hours that have been invested into making it as real and authentic as possible.
The most impressive area of Dead Acres is the outside ghost town. It features real huts, running water, plants and some demented souls that like to rub their chainsaws against your body. Feeling the vibration of a gas powered chainsaw against your leg is both invigorating and heart pounding. The actors at Dead Acres take their job seriously. They grab, they pull and will even get right up in your face. This is one of the most intense haunts in America. If you can’t handle actors touching you, then maybe you shouldn’t visit Dead Acres.
Dead Acres is full of the latest and greatest animatronics the industry has to offer. Everywhere you go, you’ll get a chance to see some type of mechanical scare. The murky swamp is full of deadly creatures like a hissing snake, a violent vine creature, poisonous spiders and more. Dead Acres dungeon is full of massive props like a flying dragon, the 13 foot Impaler and some show stopping props that few places have. One of the first rooms you’ll enter mimics a house that’s been set on fire. Fog fills the room as tvs with flames hang on the wall and electric firecrackers pop to simulate wires popping and the electric malfunctioning.
After you exit you might think it’s over, but it’s not. The outside area has been revamped and resembles a home with a bad foundation. It’s unique and unexpected just like the rest of Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie. For only $20 you can experience both Dead Acres/Haunted Hoochie and Bad Trip in 3D. Bad Trip in 3D is an over the top funhouse with the most animatronics I’ve seen in one single haunt. The place is flooded with clown themed animatronics and effects. You’ll see mutant aliens, a zombie holding her baby, slaughtered pigs, bubbles, a vortex tunnel and more. Bad Trip in 3D doesn’t have many actors, but it’s still a great attraction.
There are very few haunts that are as intense as Dead Acres and few that have just about everything you look for in a 5 star haunt. If you can handle the gore and intense scenes of torture and murder, then this is your haunt. It’s one of the best haunted attractions in the US and takes everything to the edge of insanity. This is Dead Acres and the price of therapy is going to be much more than the price of admission.
Final Stab For Each Haunt
Dead Acres: Length-9 Design-10 Props/Animatronics-10 Acting-9 Scare Effect-10 Final Stab: 9.6
Bad Trip in 3D: Length-6 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-6 Scare Effect-6 Final Stab: 6.8