Nightmare in the Wilderness (Lodi, OH)
“A Trail of Never Ending Doom”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Jason Voorhees hides next to a port a potty waiting for his chance to scare another helpless person. There’s a line of people waiting to hop aboard a hay wagon for Nightmare in the Wilderness, Lodi Ohio’s spooky haunted trail. For 23 years this attraction has been entertaining customers far and wide in the Northeast Ohio area.
You’ll begin your haunted journey on a hay wagon ride that lasts around 5 minutes before you’re dropped off into the woods. Nightmare in the Wilderness is a 30 minute haunt that has different sections where you’ll wait a few minutes between each.
Nightmare in the Wilderness features plenty of scenes. Their Amazeing Maze is a large dark maze where you must find your way out in nearly complete darkness as you walk past costumed characters. The actor playing Pennywise was entertaining, but didn’t really resemble the iconic clown. The dark maze was a little too easy since we were out in under 5 minutes.
Nightmare in the Wilderness uses nightclub style lighting in certain areas which I haven’t seen other haunted trails incorporate. There are plenty of scenes. One of my favorite is the public hanging at the gallows. We were also impressed with the coven of witches that surrounded us. They wanted to make a stew out of our bones and feed us a poisonous apple.
The Angel of Death leads the way to a large cemetery with zombies and a flashing coffin. The cemetery could have been more detailed and feature scarier actors. An issue I have with this haunt is that the majority of the actors aren’t very convincing. The skeletons that blend in with the night seemed to just be there to have a good time instead of trying to actually scare us. The actress playing Chucky knew the horror villain’s lines, but was way too tall and didn’t really resemble the evil doll. There are some actors that we did enjoy such as the crazy clown covered in glowing paint. The actor strapped to a bungee cable was unexpected.
There are some fun scenes like the farmer and his moving combine and the live execution using an electric chair. Nightmare in the Wilderness has tons of potential, but the actors need more direction and scenes need to be more eye catching. There are two vortex tunnels which we enjoyed greatly.
Tickets are $18 which is on the high side. The haunt lasts around 30 minutes, but if you count the wait in line between each section and the ride on the wagon then it’s around an hour. It could be longer depending on the wait and how long you’re in the dark maze. There are plenty of concessions available like walking tacos, deep fried Oreos, refreshments and more. The Apple Cabin is open from 10 am – 6 am on Friday and Saturday. It’s open from 10 am – 5 pm on Sunday. You can purchase pumpkins, jellies, apple cider, candles, pick your own apples and more. We enjoyed certain aspects of Nightmare in the Wilderness. The areas that need to be worked on the most is some of the acting and set design.
Length-10 Design-6 Props/Animatronics-6 Acting-6 Scare Effect-6
Final Stab: 6.8