Pataskala Haunted Forest-“Meet The Murdocks”
Out in the middle of Pataskala Ohio is The Pataskala Haunted Forest. While we weren’t expecting it to be as good as it was, we were pleasantly surprised at how unique and different it was from other haunted trails out there.
Length-9: Your journey through the Murdock Woods will take 30-40 minutes depending on how quick the group behind you walks. This is a guided tour and scenes won’t begin until all groups are together.
Design-8: Pataskala Haunted Forest relies more on acting then it does design. The majority of this lengthy haunts takes place in small wooden shacks that are reminiscent of the old Haunted Hoochie, but less intense. The first scene has you stopping in front of a small wooden shack where you are told of the Murdock Family haunted woods by an old decrepit man. From there you’ll enter into various haunts with skits that coincide with the Murdock Family storyline. Scenes include the Skinnner’s Moonshine Bar, slaughter house, freak show and much much more.
Props/Animatronics-7: You won’t find any jaw dropping props at Pataskala Haunted Forest, but the props used go perfectly with the scenes. Skinner’s Moonshine bar is full of moonshine bottles and a confederate flag while you’ll be dodging body bags inside one of the dark huts. An animatronic or two could help some of the scenes.
Acting-9: The acting troupe “Feature Creatures” appears nightly at this outdoor haunt. Their dedication to perfecting their characters is impressive to say the least. Characters include demented clowns, a twisted rabbit, moonshine makers and a wide away of creative creatures. I was quite surprised out how raunchy some of the scenes were since I was expecting a more family oriented haunt. But scenes such as the Murdock Freak Show will have you cracking up while some scenes such as the slaughter house are plain unnecessary. While the acting is great a few of the actors come out of character when waiting for slow groups.
Scare Effect-7: This can be a quite intense haunt for younger kids. The group behind us was freaking out the entire time. The characters are convincing and some of the scenes are pretty creative. But overall there aren’t enough scenes that will have you shaking in your boots. Some rooms rely too much on the use of chainsaws and after you’ve seen 5 chainsaws in a haunt, it starts loosing its effect.
Fright Value: $10 is a pretty good deal for a haunt that can last up to 40 minutes. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck when it’s all said and done.
Final Stab-8.2: I was pleasantly surprised by Pataskala Haunted Forest. There are many haunts out there that rely too much on horror movie scenes, but Pataskala Haunted Woods sticks to good story telling. Make sure to come out and visit Pataskala Haunted Forest this season for a unique take on the haunted woods concept.