Land of Illusion 2016 Review

Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park (Middletown, OH)

“A Spooky Destination For Fright and Fun!”

By Noah Wullkotte:

A spooky building changes colors and beckons people to enter. Screams can be heard within, but do you have the courage to enter? This is City Blood’s review of Land of Illusion in Middletown, Ohio. Be afraid, be very afraid!

Land of Illusion is a haunted scream park that originally started out as just a haunted trail in the 1990’s, but it’s now a playground of fear with multiple haunts and much more. It was unseasonably warm the night we visited, but people looked like they were enjoying themselves. Couples were holding hands, kids were running around and it was an all around fun and frightful night.

Land of Illusion has just about anything you would look for in a haunted scream park. There are 4 haunted houses and one haunted trail, but if you just want to rest your legs and relax then don’t worry. There’s a massive gas powered bonfire and plenty of seating for those who want to enjoy the nightly concert. On Fridays and Saturdays, Land of Illusion has musical acts perform on the Stage of Rage. The Kate Hastings Band was there the night we visited.

There’s a variety of tasty treats at the Creepy Cafe with everything from nachos to candy bars. But there are also vendors scattered throughout the park offering Italian sausage, french fries, pork chops and more. If you want to have your palms read then visit the ESP Psychic or have the ride of your life on the mechanical bull. Those who are 21 years or older can enjoy a cold one at the Voodoo Lounge and you might want to get a souvenir at the Ghostly Gift Shop. There are also bathroom facilities where Frankenstein represents men and Bride of Frankenstein represents women. Please don’t forget the Demon Drop which is a 40 foot free for all experience.

People come to a haunted scream park to get the living daylights scared out of them and Land of Illusion has plenty to offer in the way of scares. The first haunt we toured was Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate. This is a haunt that resembles a classic haunted house, but with high tech scares and plenty of detailed scenes.

You’re greeted by a vicious junkyard dog before entering the estate. We waited only a few minutes in line, but we were able to watch Bela Lugosi’s Dracula which helped pass the time. Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate has elements of a haunted trail and haunted house rolled into one. This year, the haunt has been infested with zombies. You’ll begin your journey into fear by watching a short video featuring a hunter who shoots a flesh heater in the head as brain matter hits you in the face. Do you dare enter the dark forest where the living dead is hiding?

Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate features multiple graveyards with animatronic zombies, a large werewolf with glowing eyes and unspeakable creatures that are ready to pounce.  This is a creepy haunt with creepy characters. My favorite was the poor soul who had his skin peeled off. It reminded me of Frank from the classic movie “Hellraiser”.  There are  some unique scenes such as the haunted playground, the decontamination tent, a freezer with cold air, a nursery/play room with a bandaged freak playing with a toy and much more. A lot of time and effort has been put into making Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate a realistic experience. The crematorium features real flames and many of the rooms look like they’ve been aged. Total tour time is 13 minutes.

The Temple of Terror is one of the oldest haunts at Land of Illusion and one of the few temple/Egyptian themed haunts in the Ohio. This is a dark and sinister haunt where monsters and evil creatures are hiding in the shadows. You never know what to expect with The Temple of Terror. This is a cursed temple where the first room shakes violently and you’ll want to hold on for dear life.

The Temple of Terror does a good job sticking to the Egyptian theme. Walls are decorated with hieroglyphics; there are a few mummies and it just feels like a haunted version of Indiana Jones. The most elaborate scene at The Temple of Terror is of course the rain forest. It features a large python, real water, a bridge and even a ghoul that flies in the air. This is a haunt with some eye catching effects like a falling ceiling and the 13 foot Impaler Monster. Watch out or you might become his next meal. Total tour time was 11 minutes.

The Middletown Haunted Trail is the haunt that started it all. It’s Land of Illusion’s most popular attraction and it has the longest tour time. This 27 minute experience that you won’t soon forget. There are some things at Middletown Haunted Trail that you’re not going to see anywhere else.

The most impressive scene is Area 49 which features aliens rising from the water and a plethora of unique effects. It’s one of the best alien rooms I’ve ever seen. Middletown Haunted Trail doesn’t have a specific theme, but there’s a variety or rooms that will have your heart racing. You’ll explore a nuclear wasteland, a witch’s cavern, the  School of Hell, a spider’s lair and much much more.

Middletown Haunted Trail has plenty of eye candy for those who love animatronics and unique props. My two favorites are the animated Headless Horseman and the school bus that is standing vertically on its end. You’re not going to see many horror movie characters at Land of Illusion with the exception of Michael Myers. He’s hiding in the Middletown Haunted Trail.

This is a fun haunt, but the acting could be improved. We had a group of 4 girls in front of us and the actors focused all their time scaring them. It was fun watching them jump, but we would have liked some actors to focus their time on us as well. Land of Illusion has a few actors who walk the grounds and interact with customers. We saw a large Grim Reaper and a pumpkin monster.

Killer Klowns and Voodoo Bayou Shanty are the final 2 haunts we toured at Land of Illusion. Clown themed haunts are unique since they rely on a person’s fear of clowns or what’s commonly known as coulrophobia. Killer Klowns used to be a bright and colorful haunt, but has become darker and more sinister over the years. I like that it’s become a more intense experience instead of just being a funny clown attraction. City Blood is notoriously bad at mazes and we were in the chain maze for a few minutes.

But don’t worry because there are some pretty entertaining clowns including Bobo and one clown that wanted to turn my butt hole into a tent. Luckily, most of the haunts at Land of Illusion have movies playing while you wait in line. Killer Klowns had The Funhouse Massacre playing. This fun movie was filmed at Land of Illusion.  If Deliverance gave birth to an inbred baby, you would have Voodoo Bayou Shanty. This is one of the more unique haunts at Land of Illusion. The actors are insane and some are quite funny. You’re going to be attacked by a massive alligator and a killer wild boar. The Voodoo Bayou Shanty resembles a broken down shack with the most twisted hillbillies you’ve seen. Total tour time for Voodoo Bayou Shanty is 12 minutes and for Killer Klowns, it’s about the same. Your time in Killer Klowns depends on how long you’re inside the chain maze.

Last but certainly not least is Zombie Sniper Patrol. We’ve experienced a few paintball zombie attractions over the years and Zombie Sniper Patrol is one of our favorites. Our Army Cargo Truck was called Reaper. There are a total of 6 scenes and various actors dressed as zombies. It’s fun, but we wish there were more scenes. The vehicle chases were exciting. You can get extra paintballs for $5.

We always start our haunt season off with a visit to Land of Illusion. It’s one of the best scream parks around. General admission is $35.99 and VIP admission is $51.99. The Demon Drop is $10 and Zombie Sniper Patrol is $19.99 by itself and $12.99 when you purchase a Land of Illusion ticket. General Admission, Zombie Sniper Patrol and Mechanical Bull is $48.99. Fast Pass and Zombie Sniper Patrol is $59.99 while Fast Pass, Zombie Sniper Patrol and Mechanical Bull is $62.99 a ticket. Please visit for prices. Click here for a $3 off coupon good for Fast Passes. Parking is $5 per vehicle and it goes towards nonprofit organizations.

Land of Illusion is just plain fun. You don’t have to be a fan of haunts to have a good time. You can enjoy a concert, kill zombies, ride a mechanical bull, enjoy good food and so much more. It’s a great destination for those who love Halloween and horror.

Final Stab For Each Haunt
*Middletown Haunted Trail: Length-9  Design-8  Props/Animatronics-9  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 8.4

*Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate: Length-7  Design-9  Props/Animatronics-9  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 8:2

*Temple of Terror: Length-7  Design-9  Props/Animatronics-9  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 8.2

*Killer Klowns: Length-7  Design-7  Props/Animatronics-7  Acting-7  Scare Effect-7  Final Stab: 7.0

*Voodoo Bayou Shanty: Length-7  Design-8  Props/Animatronics-8  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 7.8

*Zombie Sniper Patrol: This attraction has not been scored.