Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride (Wilmington, OH)
“Ohio’s Famous Flaming Semis”
By Noah Wullkotte: firstname.lastname@example.org
We arrived at Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride on their final Friday of the season. We got there about 45 minutes before they opened. It was just our luck that many of the actors inside of the haunts were near the queue line interacting with guests. There was an evil nun handing out lollipops and she promised that they weren’t peed on. There was also a demonic clown named “Giggles”. He stood on stilts and cheered as some lunatics with chainsaws chased a girl who was absolutely terrified.
There were other characters including a pale faced girl, a butcher, a killer Santa, a clown mental patient and more. I really appreciated the fact that there were so many queue line characters which helped pass the time as we waited for the haunt to open. Please remember that if you arrive after they open then you might not see as many queue line characters. Most of the actors we saw were ones who didn’t make it to their spots yet.
Don’t worry if you don’t see as many queue line characters because this haunt has its own monster band called Dr. Bac-T’- Life and the Ungrateful Dead. Characters such as a mad scientist, a female vampire and zombies perform popular songs as the lights flash off and on. It was like a Halloween version of Munch’s Make Believe Band from Chuck E. Cheese or The Rockafire Explosion from Showbiz Pizza Place. The mad doctor is the only one that really moves.
There are many large props that decorate the property. Most of them are versions of the grim reaper and there’s even a massive Frankenstein monster near the parking lot. You could say that there are a lot of photo op stations for those who want to get their picture taken. The Creeper from Jeepers Creepers was my favorite.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is one of Ohio’s most talked about haunts and one of the most popular as well. What makes the haunt so unique is that it uses school buses instead of traditional hay wagons. The top of the bus has been removed which is pretty cool, but there is an issue here. A school bus sits up higher than a hay wagon. You might have a hard time seeing certain scenes because of this.
(Here’s some of the spooky props and the monster band that plays nightly.)
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is known for their fire breathing semi-trucks that chase the bus. There are two of them near the end of the haunt. They will chase you at high speeds and they’ll even push the back of the bus. It’s a little intense, but it would have been better if there was an actor inside one of the trucks attacking people. It didn’t make any sense that this wasn’t the final scene. Clown Town was. Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is a detailed haunt with some impressive sets.
Hell Town was full of realistic wooden buildings that looked like they were straight out of an old western ghost town. The signs were illuminated with red lighting. There are various scenes at Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride that you’ll enter which include Tornado Alley. Practically everything in this area looks like it’s been decimated by an F6 twister. It’s pretty creative, but most of Tornado Alley consisted of random props and parts of buildings that have fallen down. It’s a cool idea, but could have been done more effectively. Having sounds of strong wind and having a blast of air hit patrons on the bus would have been bad ass.
Other scenes include a shark attack, a group of dinosaur skeletons, a butcher shop, a hair raising doll room, Massacre Bar & Grill and much much more. The saw mill featured red lights that decorate the massive saw blade. I was expecting this prop to be animated, but it wasn’t. Their graveyard is one of the best I’ve seen at any haunt. It’s large in scale and goes on forever. I loved it. Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is known for their semi-trucks, but they also have a combine. It doesn’t really chase the wagon which is unfortunate. It’s still neat none the less.
Most of the actors lack dialogue and the best acting comes from Clown Town. This is where you’ll meet Giggles the Clown and Mayhem the Clown. They do a great job at getting people pumped up and the crowd loved cheering “Hell Yeah”. No haunt is perfect and that’s the case with Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride. There were some scenes that didn’t make much sense. There was an area called Camp Crystal Lake, but it wasn’t really themed after any of the Friday the 13th movies. An appearance from Jason Voorhees would have been great.
There are various special effects you’ll experience. My favorite was the CGI animated ghosts and skeletons. The ghoul that flew above the bus was quite entertaining. There are a plethora of animatronics like an electric chair, a killer dog and the 13 foot Impaler monster. The Impaler wasn’t working the night we visited. Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is a unique version of the traditional haunted hayride because it uses school buses.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a quality attraction. It’s just that there are other hayrides that have flaming vehicles that are as intense as the ones at Wilmington. It took us 20 minutes to escape. There were some dead spots here and there and there were quite a few scenes that could benefit from a scary soundtrack. There was a house covered with bats and spiders. Having sound effects of bats screeching and spiders attacking would have been pretty cool.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride consists of 4 attractions which are the Haunted Hollow Ride, Slaughter Hotel, Eville Asylum and Riddles of Horror. It’s 5 if you include the $5 Death Trap. We of course purchased the combo ticket that includes everything except for Death Trap. Both Slaughter Hotel and Eville Asylum feature beautiful facades and they’re around 8 minutes each. They both feature a wide variety of rooms and special effects. At Slaughter Hotel, you’ll explore different areas such as the cursed church, the haunted manor, a laboratory and more. The vortex tunnel wasn’t working unfortunately.
Eville Asylum features the same nun we talked about in the beginning of the review. She’s back and she’s a pretty good actress. You could say that she’s creepy as hell. You’ll experience scenes like the chain maze featuring green lights. We were lost in there for a few minutes, but we luckily made it out alive. The collapsing bridge was unexpected. We were a little disappointed that the vortex tunnel wasn’t operating. It was decorated with glowing faces which made it pretty unique.
Both haunts have decent acting. The pig faced killer was one of my favorite characters of the night and Michael Myers was pretty good as well. I won’t let you know which haunt or haunts these characters can be found in. It will just have to be a surprise. These are fun attractions. Yes, there’s room for improvement. Many of the scenes require you to open a door to exit. There were a few times where I wasn’t sure if I needed to open a door or not because of how dark it was. But these are just minor annoyances that don’t really affect the overall experience. The acting is good, but could be improved.
(Riddles of Horror is their 2 minute Escape Room.)
After we were finished with the haunts, we got in line for Riddles of Horror. This attraction is a 2 minute Escape Room. A TV screen has a riddle that you must solve and it’s your job to find a weapon to fight off the zombie horde. There’s an observation deck where you can witness all the mayhem. The Escape Room is themed after a mad scientist’s laboratory. If you find the weapon in time then you win a prize. I was pleasantly surprised at how fun this was and I failed miserably. We were told that less than 20 groups had completed the challenge.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride has a variety of concessions. This includes clothing at their scare-ware booth, novelty light up toys, hot chocolate, soda, Memphis BBQ and more. They have food trucks on a nightly basis and BBQ was Friday night’s food truck. The prices were pretty reasonable as well. Hot Chocolate was only $1 and a perfect drink on a bone chilling fall night.
Tickets are $22 for the bus ride, $28 for the 4 attraction combo and $5 for Death Trap. VIP admission is $48 and it includes everything except Death Trap. They only accept cash, but there’s an ATM onsite. I would highly recommend that you arrive at least 45 minutes before they open or get a VIP ticket because the lines can be massive. We were lucky that the lines were small. This was because of the bitter cold weather and it being the day after Halloween.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is a unique take on the classic haunted hayride. It’s also a great value if you choose the $28 combo ticket which includes 4 attractions. $22 just for the bus ride seems a little high. You’ll have a good time at each attraction. Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride almost feels like a mini roller coaster at times because of the few hills you’ll travel up and down during the bus ride.
The other attractions are good also. I can’t really comment on Death Trap since we didn’t tour it. Their website describes it as an attraction that’s not for the faint of heart. You’ll be locked in a coffin and you’ll end up with 5 keys if each task is completed. One key will open the lock. You’ll enter in a group of 6 at the most and there will be many surprises including a twist.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride is fun and has some great surprises along the way. If you decide to check them out then please choose the combo ticket which makes it a night of spooktacular scares.
Scoring For Each Haunt: Riddles of Horror and Death Trap have not been scored.
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-7 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.0
Length-6 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 6.8
Length-6 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7
Final Stab: 6.8