Haunted Cave at Lewisburg 2010 Review

Haunted Cave at Lewisburg-“You’ll Go Batty”
Genre: Haunted Cave
Location: 4392 Swisher Mills Rd
Lewisburg, OH 45338
Runtime: 60 minutes
Website: www.hauntedcaveatlewisburg.com

What dwells in this mysterious cave full of bats, disembodied voices and strange unexplainable things? Will you come in contact with restless souls from beyond or fall into a dark abyss?

This is City Blood’s 2010 review of The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg.

What’s Good About The Haunt?
You’ll begin your journey into fear by walking down a steep path before entering the dark and mysterious cave. The Haunted Cave is one of the spookiest settings for a haunt in the United States. There’s nothing more bone chilling than walking slowly inside a pitch black cave 80 feet underground. The cave alone is worth the trip out to Lewisburg and the haunted portion of the tour is an added bonus.

The haunt begins as you walk across a bridge in almost compete darkness while lights slowly dim on and off. You would think that this might be a peaceful part of the haunt, but you would be dead wrong. Hands grab your legs while creatures hide in the murky water. Sounds of thunder can be heard all around you and you question yourself if it’s ok to proceed. Do you have the courage to experience the rest of The Haunted Cave or will you become one of the dead in the graveyard inhabited by twisted and tormented souls from beyond the grave? This is The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg. Getting in is easy…getting out may kill you.

The Haunted Cave has many twisted and diabolical scenes as well as some traditionally scary scenes like their expansive graveyard. It’s very unique because it uses real candles to illuminate tombstones and various props. This is a section of the haunt that features snakes that attack, men digging graves, a frightening ghost flying overhead, shaking coffins, shooting flames and much more. The Haunted Cave is a very unique haunt that has rooms that will appeal to a wide range of people. One of the more shocking scenes this year is a gory hospital that include as tortured victim strung up and a nude corpse that’s been cut to pieces who has a scary surprise for those that dare to get close. You will get wet!

Returning for 2010 is the classic swamp. You’ll walk down a small slope that quickly transitions into a dark and twisted swamp. This scene has been created using a large custom claustrophobia tunnel that simulates drowning in deep water as a green laser light blinds you. It’s a nightmarish experience that is both startling and nerve wrecking at the same time. There are many scenes at The Haunted Cave that are quite nerve wrecking like a walk through torture chamber/jail or a brief meeting with Satan. His scantilly clad minions and princess of darkness really know how to heat things up. One of my favorite scenes at The Haunted Cave is the dramatic finale that has you coming face to face with ghosts that rise from the lake while spitting water at you. It’s unexpected and a perfect end to a great haunt.

The Haunted Cave may be have a few traditional scenes, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t feature some amazing decor. New this year is a rising vampire bat and a gargoyle type creature that propells from a rope. These animatronics are from the company “Scarefactory” and are placed perfectly inside the cave. Other props inlcude a spinning vortex tunnel, various claustrophobia tunnels, a tilting bridge, cars, Pale Night Productions Asylum Door and everything you could imagine. This is a state of the art haunt!

The actors at The Haunted Cave are up close and personal and you will definitely get touched? Characters will stroke your hair, grab at your arms and legs and even try to snatch you up. Actors wear great costumes like Gore Galore’s “The Creeper” and a few wear wet suits whille hiding in the water. Overall The Haunted Cave has a great mix of actors, bone chilling ambiance and some unique scenes.

What’s Bad About The Haunt?
The Haunted Cave is a very long haunt lasting at least 60 minutes, but some of  this is due to the different mazes you’ll enter. The first maze is a typical chain maze that includes actors trying to misdirect you and get in your way. You’ll experience lots of fog and bright strobe lights which makes the maze very disorienting. There is a lot of congestion in this maze because of how many people are let in at a time inside the haunt. Instead of a straight forward maze, it ends up being quite confusing because of all the people who you end up walking into. You could easily be inside the chain maze for 20 minutes and up. It’s fun at first, but it ends up becoming quite frustrating and you begin to forget about all of the other great stuff you experienced previously in the cave.

The other maze you’ll enter gives you a choice of what path you’ll pick. You can choose, anguish, torment, exit ?, etc. This is a pretty simple maze that isn’t half as confusing as the chain maze. It’s a little fun, but doesn’t enhance The Haunted Cave in any way. I would much rather experience some scary scenes instead of typical mazes you see at just about every haunt.

There are some great new scenes this year, but then there are a few that just don’t seem to have that big of an impact. The new haunted bus has nothing that makes it different from what you would experience at another haunt and there are a few areas of the cave that seem to have been an after thought. One section of the haunt has you walk inside a dark room where there are barrels and nothing else. It eventually leads to the entrance door for the next area of the haunt, but this area is very ineffective.

The classic graveyard has some great realistic decor, but then there are props that look cheap like a large tarantula with purple lighting. This is a decoration you could buy at your local Walgreens and adds nothing to the graveyard. The ghost that flies overhead could also be improved and look less store bought. There are brand new animatronics from Scarefactory that have been incorporated into the haunt, but the large Vampire Bat that rises from the darkness, uses an electronic lift to lower it. This prop is dramatic, but loses its effectiveness when you can hear it lowered. But this isn’t the only showcase prop that has a few problems. The vortex tunnel near the end of your journey is too slow and the fabric is poorly constructed.

I understand that a dark cave is going to be naturally dangerous, but there are some safety measures that should be taken in a few areas of the haunt. Having wood stick out on the side of a one sided claustrapobia tunnel is a little dangers. The hill leading into the swamp is also very slippery and difficult to walk down without almost falling. There were numerous times where I had to stop from not walking into large rocks or stumbling over wood.

As previously mentioned, The Haunted Cave has some startling props, but this haunt overdoes it with the claustrophobia tunnels. The Haunted Swamp uses large custom claustrophoiba tunnels, but when you have so many of the same prop in one place, their showcase “swamp scene” starts losing its uniqueness. The swamp scene should be the only area of the haunt that uses the claustrophobia tunnels, period.

Customer Service:
The price of admission is $13. It’s increased a bit over the years, but it’s still worth every penny. Your experience is going to last at least 60 minutes making The Haunted Cave possibly the longest haunt in Ohio. The lines can be quite long for tickets, but it shouldn’t take more than an hour of waiting until you are able to enter the cave. Letting customers buy their tickets online would help with the large ticket line since people would already have their tickets ready.

While I walked through the line I noticed something a bit peculiar. Before walking under The Haunted Cave arch you’ll walk passed a sign. The sign says that you must be 53 inches or taller to enter the cave. Now what they’re telling me is that people are going to wait nearly an hour in line to find out that their small children won’t be able to go through the attraction and they’re now going to need to walk back to the parking lot. On the website children 10 and under get in for only $5, but the average height for a boy or girl 10 years old is 51 inches according to www.disabled-world.com. I’m sure the staff didn’t intend for this problem with height to happen, but the problem needs to be fixed or there needs to be a message on their website.

There are plenty of concessions available like hot chocolate, kettle corn, walking tacos, cold soda and more. You might want to buy a cup of coco before waiting in the ticket line. It can get pretty chilly on fall nights. Don’t forget to print out a $1 off coupon at www.hauntedcaveatlewisburg.com.

If you can’t handle the haunt, you may want to take one of the Lewisburg Historical Society Mine Tours for only $4. Tours are offered every Friday and Saturday night in October, beginning at 7:00 PM. 

Final Thoughts:
The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg is an experience like no other. It’s dark, it’s mysterious and it can be quite hair raising. If you’re only visiting a few haunts this Halloween season, make sure one of them is The Haunted Cave at Lewisburg. Will you make it out or will one of the 25,000 bats eat you alive?

Length-10    Design-9    Props/Animatronics-9   Acting-8   Scare Effect-9
Official Score – 9.0