2013 Haunt Awards

Season In Review: Demon Baby and the Talking Raccoon

By Noah Wullkotte

2013 marks the 10th year City Blood has been online and it’s also one of the strangest haunt seasons we’ve ever experienced. Our season officially kicked off with a visit to The Land of Illusion in Middletown, Ohio. Their Zombie Sniper Patrol was a blast and there were many changes made to the outside of the scream park. I can’t say that this haunt season went as planned though. It was a very physical year. I luckily didn’t get assaulted much this season. Last year I was tackled and head butted. This year I was kissed on the lips by an actor. I hope it was a woman, but who really knows when you’re in a pitch black room.

Russ didn’t fair too well though. He was hit by an actor coming out of a drop window and he even got his foot stuck in a tire. A tire was right in the middle of a dark trail which boggles my mind. Kings Island Halloween Haunt was a wash out this year. It rained the most we’ve ever seen. We were foot deep in water and quite a few of the outdoor haunts and rides were closed that night. Luckily, we purchased some ponchos just in case. It was a fun experience riding Congo Falls during a thunder storm. That weekend it rained over 3 inches and it affected many local haunts.

Nearly every week we dealt with traffic, road construction, deer, cars on fire and exits that were closed. We made it to the Caufield’s Halloween Parade by the skin of our teeth. This year Butch Patrick (aka Eddie Munster) was the grand marshal. He made a couple appearances at Baxter Avenue Morgue that weekend. That night we toured Literally, a Haunted House and Fear Fair. They were great as usual.

It was unseasonably warm early in the season, but it got colder the closer it got to Halloween. The crowds were incredible the weekend of Friday the 13th. We visited Scare Fair in Waynesfield, Ohio that night and it was packed. We were surprised by how many customers were discussing The Haunted Hospital and thought the urban legend was actually real.

The crowds seemed to die down the later it got in the season. Charity haunts like Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall, Dungeons of Delhi and Fear Fair seemed to have larger crowds than usual. We even noticed record crowds for Hauntville (Elyria, OH) and Spooky Ranch (Columbia Station, OH). This year Fear Fair was named one of the best haunts in the nation by Forbes Magazine and we couldn’t agree more. There’s a reason why they were City Blood’s 2011 and 2012 Haunt of the Year.

The Dent Schoolhouse was featured in the America Haunts edition of Fangoria Magazine and they made some big changes to their haunt. This year everything was schoolhouse themed for the most part and clowns were eliminated. The vortex tunnel was also scrapped. The new Queen City Slaughter Yard replaced Detention Hall and was an intense experience. I still can’t get the image of a woman with her breasts covered in blood out of my mind.

The Scareatorium moved from Dublin, Ohio to Columbus. The new location is great and their nun is one of the best queue line actors we’ve seen all year. We toured a handful of new haunts including Horror Hike, Scream Acres Ct, Grim Trails, Corpse Manor, The Creep, WJAA Haunted Woods, Horror Acres and Dreadland Haunted Woods. Grim Trails is the first haunt we’ve been to that’s loosely based on Grim Fairy Tales. Their lighting is beautiful as well. They use tea light candles inside mason jars.

Scream Acres Ct has a very promising future and has some talented people behind the scenes. The Creep Haunted House Festival in London, Ohio had one of the best outside setups we’ve ever seen for a haunted screampark. The outside features pumpkins, bales of hay, food trucks, performers, movies and more. It truly felt like some type of twisted carnival.

We were quite impressed with a very unique haunt in Sardinia, Ohio known as Dreadland Haunted Woods. It was created by the same people who brought you Buford Haunted School. We were pleasantly surprised at how good it was and we really enjoyed their homemade effects like the sparking lawnmower and the crazy cage entrapment. It’s one of the most interactive haunts we’ve been to in a while. It seemed like every haunted trail had an actor firing a shotgun. It can be startling and ear shattering at the same time.

Scaredown in Waynesville, OH had The Devil House open to the general public who was dying to get in. Throughout the year paranormal activity was documented and recorded. A chair moved by itself and customers swore they saw faces in the windows. The Devil House is a great addition and Scaredown seems to add new and exciting things every season.

The Haunted Schoolhouse in Akron, OH celebrated their 40th anniversary. They’re one of the oldest haunts in the nation and one of the best. 2013 was one of their best seasons to date. The Haunted Schoolhouse had more detail, some amazing scenes and great actors. We are proud to say that it’s City Blood’s 2013 Haunt of the Year. This is the second time they’ve been ranked the best out of haunts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

It was a tight race for Haunt of the Year. Fear Fair in Seymour, Indiana made some major changes with their new Silent Hill area and even payed tribute to The Exorcist. The Haunted Hotel was very close to being named Haunt of the Year as well. They made some big renovations to their outside section. Clowns were eliminated from the haunt and the actors were more intense than ever. Hell, I was shoved up against the wall and grabbed by the throat. You can’t get more physical than that. The Dent Schoolhouse came in 5th place and USS Nightmare came in 4th.

Most of the haunts were as good as ever. There were a few that featured some scenes and actors that had us questioning our sanity. How can we forget the demon birth at Dungeons of Delhi or the creepy Ice Cream Man at Bloodview Haunted House? The Devil’s Attic pre show was also very interesting and satanic. Do-Wayne Hazzard played by Scott Tater Lynd stood head and shoulders above other queue line actors we encountered this season. His improvisational skills are some of the best and his insults will either piss you off or put a smile on your face. He made our experience at Fear Fair even better.

Unfortunately, it rained cats and dogs on Halloween and many communities postponed trick or treating. We didn’t have one trick or treater, but we still had an enjoyable time. We ate plenty of candy and even checked out a local home haunt called Wardenclyffe Manor. Brandon Whitaker of Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog creates a haunted wonderland at his home in Reading, Ohio. They had over 100 people walk through their doors.

We officially ended our review season with a trip to Horror Acres in Springfield, Ohio. We heard some great things over the years and had to check it out ourselves. We loved the haunt and we plan on going back in 2014. It was close to 40 minutes long and one of the best this year. Their Beetlejuice is one of the most entertaining characters you’ll meet.

As I look back at the 2013 haunt season, I remember all the haunts we toured and the great people we met. We weren’t able to review haunts like Dead Acres, Terror Town and Wicked World Scaregrounds because of time constraints, but we plan on doing so in 2014. We traveled thousands of miles and spent many hours on the road. Our restaurant of choice was Steak ‘N Shake and our convenient store of choice was Circle K. Nothing is better than Ape Energy. I still can’t believe how many Circle Ks Seymour, Indiana has.

A few haunts we toured last year weren’t open this season. This included Screampark in Lexington, Kentucky and Wayne Ave. Haunted Butcher House in Dayton, OH. Hopefully they will open their doors for the 2014 season. We are happy to say that The Chambers of Horror in Middletown, OH will be open next year. It’s one of our favorite haunts and it would be a shame if they had to call it quits because of low attendance.

This was definitely a wild and crazy year. Just ask the homeless guy we saw talking to a raccoon. He’s a very wise man. We look forward to 2014 and we hope haunts across the country had a great season. City Blood will be back on the road in December touring a few haunts that are having Christmas events.

I would like to sincerely thank all of the haunts that open their doors for customers during the Halloween season. Without you, Halloween wouldn’t be the same. I hope everyone has an incredible year and we’ll see you in 2014.

Spooky Wishes,

Haunt of the Year: The Haunted Schoolhouse (Akron, OH)
The Haunted Schoolhouse celebrates their 40th anniversary in 2013. Nearly all of the sets and props are built from the ground up and the detail is off the charts. Many changes were made this year including the brand new classroom featuring the evil headmaster. The Haunted Schoolhouse is 3 floors of terror and features classic scenes like Dracula’s Castle, the haunted bathroom, a dusty dungeon and the storm attic. A tree has crashed through the ceiling of a creepy attic and you must find your way out. Don’t mind that demon hiding in the tree.

The Haunted Schoolhouse is unlike any haunt in Ohio. The scenes are awe inspiring and feature some great effects. The country cabin is one of the best tilting rooms you’ll experience and their endless hallway is incredible. Watch out for the mutant worm that rises from the water in the dungeon and beware of the killer giant who wants to eat you.

We are proud to say that The Haunted Schoolhouse in Akron, OH is City Blood’s 2013 Haunt of the Year. This legendary haunt never ceases to amaze us.

The Rest of The Top 10:
#2 Fear Fair (Seymour, IN)
#3 The Haunted Hotel (Louisville, KY)
#4 USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)
#5 The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH)
#6 The Haunted Laboratory (Akron, OH)
#7 The Black Bog (Lebanon, OH)
#8 Horror Acres (Springfield, OH)
#9 Spooky Ranch’s Famous Haunted Hayride (Columbia Station, OH)
#10 Hauntville (Elyria, OH)

Congratulations to all of the winners!
very year City Blood tours as many haunts as possible and we award certain haunts in different categories. We award haunts in everything from best props to scariest scene. Only Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana haunts we reviewed in 2013 are considered for The Haunt Awards and these are the results. We congratulate all the haunts who won.

Haunt of the Year
The Haunted Schoolhouse

Best Ohio Haunt
The Haunted Schoolhouse

Best Kentucky Haunt
The Haunted Hotel

Best Indiana Haunt
Fear Fair

Best Haunted Hayride
Spooky Ranch’s Famous Haunted Hayride

Scariest Haunted Trail
The Black Bog

Scariest Scream Park
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Most Mind Numbing 3D Haunt
Hauntville’s Wicked Clowns In 4-D 

Best Maze
Toxic Trauma at Scare Fair

Most Extreme Haunt
Fear Fair

Most Interactive Haunt
Dreadland Haunted Woods

Best Charity Haunt
Fear Fair

Best Old School Haunt
Mayhem Mansion

Best Zombie Hunting Experience
Zombie Sniper Patrol at Land of Illusion

Most Entertaining Side Attraction (not a haunt)
The Devil House at Scaredown

Best Halloween Event (not a haunt)
Caufield’s Halloween Parade

Best Bang For Your Buck
Scare Fair: 3 Haunts and Haunted Cornfield for $15

Most Improved
7th Street Haunt

Best Acting
USS Nightmare 

Best Actor
General Store Owner at Haverford’s Hollow Trail 

Best Actress
Kathleen Horrigan as Servant at Corpse Manor

Most Aggressive Actor
Noah Heath as Concierge at The Haunted Hotel

Best Queue Line Actors
Bloodview Haunted House

Best Queue Line Actor
Scott Tater Lynd as Do-Wayne Hazzard at Fear Fair

Best New Character
Daniel Ruwan as Detective Damien Walker at The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Haunt Mascot
Lucian Tomes Jr. as Warren Vanderdark at Baxter Avenue Morgue

Best Makeup & Costumes
Bloodview Haunted House 

Best Costume
Dungeons of Delhi’s Zendar 

Most Horrifying Masks
The Haunted Schoolhouse

Best Mask
Killer Scarecrow at The Black Bog

Best Theming
The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Lighting
The Devil’s Attic

Most Authentic Horror Movie Scenes
Fear Fair

Scariest Scene
The Haunted Hotel’s Hellevator 

Most Bone Chilling Scene
Playground Memorial at The Dent Schoolhouse

Most Interactive Scene
Dreadzone at Dreadland Haunted Woods 

Funniest Scene
Outhouse Surprise at Spooky Ranch’s Famous Haunted Hayride

Most Original Opening Scene
Scareatorium’s Prison Frisk

Most Jaw Dropping Set
Dracula’s Castle at The Haunted Schoolhouse 

Most Realistic Graveyard
The Factory of Terror

Best Use of Darkness
Mayhem Mansion

Best Use of Fog
Kings Island Halloween Haunt 

Best Use of Chainsaws
Horror Acres

Best Chainsaw Chase
The Haunted Hotel

Craziest Hillbillies
Haverford’s Hollow Trail

Most Frightening Vehicle Chase
Hanna Haunted Hayride’s Combine Chase

Most Frightening Back-story
Mayhem Mansion

Creepiest Setting
USS Nightmare’s Haunted Steamboat

Most Impressive Facade/Facades
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Best Props
The Dent Schoolhouse

Most Jaw Dropping Prop
Tesla Coil at The Haunted Laboratory

Best Vortex Tunnel
The Haunted Laboratory

Best Sound Design
The Dent Schoolhouse

Best Signage
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Best Concessions
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park 

Cheapest Concessions
Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall

Most Impressive Photo Op Station/Stations
The Factory of Terror

Coolest Apparel
Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park

Best Parking (Safest)
Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride

Cheapest Admission
$5 Ticket at 13 Rooms of Doom

Most Cleavage In One Haunt
Club Blood at Kings Island Halloween Haunt

The What The Hell Award
Live Demon Birth at Dungeons of Delhi 

Most Impressive Website
The Dent Schoolhouse

Most Professional Haunt Trailer
The Dent Schoolhouse

*Click Here For The Audio Version of The Haunt Awards!*