Kings Island Halloween Haunt 2008 Review

Kings Island Halloween Haunt
In 2000 Kings Island debuted it’s Halloween event known as Fear Fest. Over the years more haunts were added while others changed names. In 2007 Cedar Fairs purchased Paramount’s Kings Island and the event changed to Halloween Haunt at Kings Island (Kings Island Halloween Haunt). More live shows were added to the haunted event and a few new haunts thrown into the mix. Fast forward to 2008 and Halloween Haunt has made a few changes to its event. A new haunt named Urgent Scare has been added while a live music show called Ghouls Gone wild has been brought to life. More decorations fill the theme park while there are many more creatures who walk the streets and fill the haunts. But has Halloween Haunt made enough improvements to make your visit worth while or is it more of the same?

Death Row-“Dead Man Walking”
Welcome to Death row where life is Hell and death is just around the corner. Are you brave enough to escape and free yourself from the madness?

Length-7: It will take you around 12 minutes to escape the demented halls of Death Row unless you get lost in the mind bending maze.

Design-7: Death Row is pretty much the same haunt as last year when it was named “Maze of Madness” The path has changed a bit, but not dramatic enough that you’ll notice. It’s essentially a dark maze made up of a chain link fence and several mirrors that have strobe lights reflecting off of them. It’s not very difficult to find the exit since there is one set path with very few dead ends along the way.

Props/Animatronics-7: You would expect more props and animatronics that center around the prison theme, but unfortunately there are only a few props that will impress. These include a electric chair animatronic and a man being sawed in half.

Acting-7: Just like every haunt at Kings Island Halloween Haunt, the actors are what makes the haunt come alive. Throughout Death Row you’ll encounter inmates pointing you in the wrong direction or getting so close to your face that you can feel their breath. Overall the acting is decent, but needs improvement.

Scare Effect-7: Walking through a dimly lit maze constructed to look like prison can be a frightening experience for many. But if you’ve been through Maze of Madness in 2007 or The Asylum in 2006 you’ll know exactly what to expect.

Fright Value: There’s not much to Death Row. It’s your typical haunted maze with actors thrown in to get you off course. There are other haunts at Kings Island that you should visit first.

Final Stab-7.0: Years ago when this haunt first debuted at Kings Island it was scary, confusing and very creative. But over the years the only thing that has really changed is its name. This haunt is starting to become stale, boring and very predictable.

Tombstone Terror-tory-“Welcome to The Wild West”
The wild west is in town and there’s a price on your head. Will you be able to escape the haunted ghost before it’s too late? This is our review of Tombstone Terror-tory.
Length-7: Your journey through the old decrepit tombstone town will take anywhere from 7-10 minutes. If you include the train ride it’s 15 minutes or more.
Design-6: You’ll begin your tour of Tombstone Territory with a train that explains how the ghost town became haunted in the first place. The train will then break down and you’ll need to walk back from where you were dropped off. Most of this haunt is essentially one long path that contains scenes here and there. But the scenes you’ll experience mostly involve actors hidden in wooden crates. More time and effort needs to be put into rooms so this haunt feels more complete instead of being put together at the last minute.
Props/Animatronics-6: There truly is a lack of props at Tombstone Terror-tory. Most of this haunt consists of severed heads, wooden crates and nothing that is truly memorable. The addition of more props that co inside with the ghost town theme would take this haunt to another level.
Acting-7: The only saving grace for Tombstone Terror-tory is it’s dedicated actors. The characters you’ll face look as if they are straight out of the wild west due to their elaborate costumes and makeup. But unless an actor has a scene to play off their performance will fall short and this is the case with Tombstone Terror-Tory. Fortunately more actors have been added to this haunt to fill the gap between scenes.
Scare Effect-7: The Most frightening part of this haunt is the old folklore that is told on the haunted train ride. But once you’re off the train this haunt goes down hill from there. Most haunted trails have people put together in small groups and the feeling of being isolated kicks in once you’re alone in the darkness. But unfortunately with this haunt you are grouped together with so many people that you must walk pretty quickly so the people behind you don’t run it you. This is a creepy haunt, but isn’t the least bit scary.
Fright Value: Tombstone Terror-tory is one of the worst haunts at Kings Island Halloween Haunt. If you have time feel free and visit, but if you are on a strict schedule there isn’t a need to tour this haunt.
Final Stab-6.6Trail of Terror hasn’t changed much this year with the exception of a safer path and a few new scenes. 
Club Blood-“Where Blood Runs Dry”
There’s a new night club in town called Club Blood. But the price to enter is your life. Don’t let the blood thirsty vampires or Go Go dancing ghouls intimidate you. It’s just part of the frightening experience.

Length-7: It will take you 10 minutes or less to walk through the vampire invested club known as Club Blood.

Design-8: This is one of the better designed haunts at Kings Island Halloween Haunt. Every room seamlessly blends together to resemble an actual night club. You’ll tour the DJ’s Spin room, the crack whore alley and even get your ID checked by the bouncer.

Props/Animatronics-7: Club Blood doesn’t rely much on impressive props or amazing effects, but its diverse group of actors more than makes up for it. The props that fill the rooms are what you would expect in a night club or strip club. Go Go dancers dance the night away while crack addicts can be seen shooting up in the alley.

Acting-8: Club Blood is the most mature haunt at Kings Island Halloween Haunt and that’s what makes it so attractive to haunt goers. The actors play as drug dealers, DJs, bouncers and more. You’ll even encounter zombie Go Go dancers who dance in scantily clad clothing.

Scare Effect-8: This haunt is scary because it uses mature themes not usually seen in haunts. Where else can you see a vampire prostitute or zombie Go Go dancer in the same place? Some may see Club Blood as a novelty haunt built to just create controversy, but I see it as a haunt that is both scary and proactive at the same time.

Fright Value: Club Blood is one of the most unusual and entertaining haunts that has ever been at Kings Island. If you only visit a few haunts make sure one of them is Club Blood.

Final Stab-7.6: There’s something intriguing and haunting about Club Blood besides its use of mature themes. It’s just one of those haunts that grabs a hold of you and never lets go. It will be interesting to see how this haunt is overhauled as time goes by.

Urgent Scare-“We’re Losing Him”
A near by hospital has been infected by a deadly virus that turns its patients into monsters, madmen and the living dead. Is your emergency worth the risk?

Length-7: It will take about 10 minutes to walk through the infected area that is Urgent Scare.

Design-7: Urgent Scare is modeled after a hospital that has been infected by a deadly disease that transforms its patients into ghouls and creatures of the night. The various scenes involve patients going through surgery, giving birth and infected areas being quarantined. The rooms are gruesome, but lack a bit of creativity. The in door areas are great, but the haunt starts to lose some of its impact as you venture out doors. The out door area seems as if it was built to just add length to the haunt since there is a real lack of scenes outside of the building.

Props/Animatronics-8: Halloween Haunt’s best props can be seen at Urgent Scare. The majority are made by Unit 70 Studios and these include bloody victims, grotesque zombies and any bloody beast or bits you can think of. The props are great, but aren’t well lit to showcase all the bloody detail.

Acting-7: The actors stay in character the entire time no matter what the situation. You’ll encounter infected victims, medical personnel and live patients being operated on. My favorite scene includes a woman lying on a hospital table while she screams in terror as she gives birth to a demon spawn.

Scare Effect-7: This is a grotesque, dark and creepy haunt. But this haunt seems to be out to shock people instead of startle or scare. Just imagine having the worst nightmare possible about a twisted hospital that has been infected by a deadly disease and you’ll understand what Urgent Scare is all about.

Fright Value: One of the longest lines at Halloween Haunt tends to be at Urgent Scare. It is one of the most unique haunts at the park so please make sure and make it one of the first haunts you visit.

Final Stab-7.2: One of the most anticipated haunts at Kings Island falls short due to all the hype it’s had to live up to. While it may be the largest haunt at Halloween Haunt to date, the lighting is terrible, the scenes are unimaginative and overall it just doesn’t have the impact that the creators intended it to. But either way it is one of the better haunt at Halloween Haunt.

Carnevil-“The Cotton Candy Tastes Funny”
The circus is in town and it goes by name of Carnevil. Twisted clowns and carnival freaks welcome you to one of the longest running haunts at Kings Island. Are you ready for the haunted circus of creeps? This is Carnevil.

Length-7: It will take about 10 minutes to finish your tour of Carnevil. There is always something frightening lurking around the corner and very few spots where nothing is happening.
Design-7: There isn’t much to say as far as design goes. This is pretty much the same haunt from last with the exception of slight changes here and there. The haunt consists of walls splattered with 3D fluorescent paint that can be seen with the help of 3D glasses. Although there has been a lack of change, Carnevil is still one of the better designed carnival style haunts in Ohio.
Props/Animatronics-7: As you may have guessed the majority of props you’ll encounter in Carnevil are clown or carnival themed. This includes a vortex tunnel, animated clowns who burst out of walls and much more. A few more high tech scares would help this haunt greatly.
Acting-7: The cast at Carnevil isn’t the greatest group of actors around. The vast majority of actors in clown themed haunts try to be funny rather than scary and in the end it isn’t effective. Also the use of more makeup and prosthetics would help the characters be more realistic and more frightening at the same time.
Scare Effect-7: If you have a deep seeded fear of clowns then you’ll be scared out of your wits when going through Carnevil. But most people will be entertained rather than frightened. This haunt either needs to be completely overhauled or replaced with a haunt that is fresh and new.
Fright Value: Carnevil is a haunt that should be saved for last. There are other haunts at Kings Island Halloween Haunt that are just as good or better.
Final Stab-7.0: There’s nothing I can really say about Carnevil that hasn’t been said before. It’s essentially the exact haunt it was years ago when it was Carnival of Horrors 3D. If you enjoyed it then you will enjoy it now.

Trail of Terror-“No Walk In The Park”
It’s a perfect night for a peaceful walk in the woods. But please don’t take the wrong turn or you may end up on the Trail of Terror.

Length-7: It will take about 10 minutes to escape the haunted back woods known as Trail of Terror. They aren’t too fond of city folks here.

Design-6: Nothing has drastically changed this year except for the way the path is constructed. Now it’s easier to navigate thanks to orange rope lights that show you the way. Once again the majority of the scenes revolve around demented hillbillies with the exception of a few scenes here and there. But the puzzling part is that every year a scene involving Freddy Krueger is thrown into the mix. I never knew that Freddy Krueger lived in the woods among his hillbilly family. It’s some what of an annoyance, but doesn’t really take away from the other scenes on the trail.

Props/Animatronics-6: The only prop that will catch your attention is the exploding toilet in the hillbilly out house scene. You would expect more high tech props considering this is Kings Island, but unfortunately you’ll be left disappointed. Many low budget haunted trails in Ohio that make less than 10% of the profits Halloween Haunt does have more animatronics.

Acting-7: The actors are well hidden from the start and stay in character no matter what the situation. Like with most haunts at Halloween Haunt, the actors wear impressive costumes and wear realistic makeup or prosthetics.

Scare Effect-7: It’s always a bit frightening venturing into the dark woods alone with the only source of light being from the moon. If you’re a fan of haunted trails you’ll thoroughly enjoy Trail of Terror

Fright Value: Trail of Terror is a decent haunted trail, but over the years it really hasn’t improved enough. Make sure Trail of Terror is one of the last haunts you visit at the park.

Final Stab-6.6: Trail of Terror is one of the scarier haunts at Halloween Haunt, but falls short in many areas. Years ago this haunt would have been impressive, but sadly it doesn’t get better with age.

Massacre Manor-“Your Tour of Terror Beings Here”
Massacre Manor returns for another year of haunted fun. Every year this popular haunts improves in some aspect and new scenes and rooms are added into the mix.

Length-7: It will take you 10 minutes to tour the estate known as Massacre Manor. Hopefully you’ll be able to escape in one piece.

Design-8: Massacre Manor is one of the few haunts at Halloween Haunt that actually feels like a real haunted house instead of a haunted maze with sets put together at the last minute. Once you enter the estate you’re host for the night will introduce himself and explain some of the features the house has. After that you are off to tour the haunted estate. You’ll walk through a bloody kitchen, haunted closet and my person favorite, the Exorcist levitation room. Most of the rooms you’ll walk through are detailed and look as if they are part of an actual house.

Props/Animatronics-8: There are a wide variety of props you’ll walk by at Massacre Manor. These include a smoking electric chair, a refrigerator full of body parts, a running power saw and the levitating Exorcist bed. Massacre Manor and Urgent scare have the most impressive animatronics found at Halloween Haunt.

Acting-8: The actors are great at Massacre Manor. Their makeup is spot on while their costumes are perfect for the roles they’re playing. This year Kings Island seems to be using more adult actors for the major rules at their haunt. The standout characters at Massacre Manor are the flamboyant host and the demented grandma who is sure to cook something nice and nasty for you.

Scare Effect-8: This truly is the scariest haunt at Kings Island by far. The realistic sets are convincing enough that you believe that it’s an actual haunted house while the lighting perfectly highlights the detail in the sets.

Fright Value: Massacre Manor is one of the more popular haunts at Halloween Haunt. Make sure and visit this one first since it is the most impressive at the park.

Final Stab-7.8: No matter what the new haunt is added to Kings Island Halloween Haunt, Massacre Manor seems to always stand in a class of its own. Every year this realistic haunt gets better and better with age.

Red Beards Revenge-“Stay Away From The Pirate’s Booty”
A pirate ship has been taken over by ghouls, ghosts and zombies. Are you ready to come face to face with fear?

Length-6: Unfortunately it will only take you 7 minutes to tour the ghost ship known as Red Beards Revenge.

Design-6: Every couple of years this haunt gets a new name and the theme is changed slightly. But while the outside facade is great it doesn’t resemble a ghost ship of any sort. It still looks the same as it did when it was Cowboy Carnage in 2006. And unfortunately the inside isn’t much different. None of the sets really give you a sense that this is a haunted boat and you end up feeling that this is just another recycled haunt with a new name.

Props/Animatronics-6: You would expect tons of props centering around the theme of a haunted pirate ship, but most of the rooms are full of mediocre props.

Acting-6: The actors are pretty wretched at Red Beard’s Revenge, but it’s not entirely their fault. For some reason or the other about half of the characters at this haunt wear cheap rubber masks while wearing impressive costumes at the same time. It feels as if the least bit of effort was put into Red Beard’s Revenge compared to the rest of the haunts at the park. The actors are enthusiastic, but aren’t the least bit scary.

Scare Effect-6: This haunt is more amusing than scary. This is what I like to call a novelty haunt. People are intrigued by Red Beards Revenge because it’s one of the few haunts that has a pirate theme. But once they enter, they can see that this is just your typical low budget haunt.

Fright Value: There really isn’t much value to this haunt besides its unique theme. Please make sure to visit bigger and better haunts at Kings Island Halloween Haunt first.

Final Stab-6.0: Once again I walk away disappointed. There is no reason why this haunt shouldn’t have been drastically better in a years time since I last visited. Next year a brand new haunt needs to take its place.

Final Impressions
Every year Kings Island Halloween Haunt doesn’t live up to my expectations. But this year is slightly different. There were more haunts, shows, decorations, actors and the whole event seemed to be more organized. Yes, Kings Island doesn’t have the greatest haunts, but you’ll have a difficult time finding a better value anywhere. You’re in for a night of fright.

Please don’t forget to visit Halloween Haunt’s entertaining shows “Dead Awakening” and “Ghouls Gone Wild”. You’ll surely be impressed. There are also the 3 scare zones Cemetery Drive, The Worksite and Cornstalkers.