Riverside Jaycees Haunted Castle of Carnage & Trail (Riverside, OH)
Thirty Six Seasons of Scares”
By Noah Wullkotte: jollypumpkin@aol.com

Riverside Jaycees Haunted Castle of Carnage & Trail is a charity haunt with rooms that are pretty typical. The Haunted Castle isn’t a haunt that has an exact theme. It has a variety of rooms that will appeal to most people. You’ve got your Ring scene with Samara, a haunted church, clown house, a prison and more. The prison out break was pretty unexpected I must say. This definitely isn’t the worse haunt we’ve been to, but there’s room for improvement.

Most of the cast is made up of young people. This is fine, but too many resort to screaming instead of using any meaningful dialogue. After a while you’re holding your ears in anticipation of the next scream. There were a few standout characters that night. The actress who played Samara followed us into the vortex tunnel as she contorted her body. She was very creepy! Total tour time was 7 minutes. After you’re finished with the Haunted Castle of Carnage, you’ll head outside to get your group photo taken before getting line for the Haunted Trail.

The Haunted Trail features a guide that walks behind you informing you where to walk. When you tour a haunt you want to suspend disbelief. It’s hard to do that when you have a guy behind you yelling “Turn Right”. With that being said, the Haunted Trail is what you would expect. There are a variety of scenes such as a graveyard, Michael Myers Confrontation, a steel maze and more. At a certain point we entered a building with a masked character. The only way out was the entrance which was a bit confusing and had us trying to look for the exit. The chained monster was a nice touch and the loud bangs made the maze somewhat intense. The chainsaw maniac unfortunately pointed us in the right direction so we would get out of the maze right away. Total tour time for the Haunted Trail was 9 minutes making the entire experience at Riverside Jaycees- Haunted Castle of Carnage and Trail 16 minutes.

Riverside Jaycees is the longest running haunt in the Miami Valley with 36 seasons under its belt. It has tons of potential, but there are areas that need to be improved. There’s a total lack of music in the Haunted Trail, little to no lighting, a lack of detail and very little dialogue. The Castle of Carnage is the shorter of the two, but makes a bigger impact on the customer. Tickets are $17, but there is a $3 off coupon available on their website. There are concessions available which include food and refreshments. Don’t forget to pick up your group photo which is included in the admission. On Fridays and Saturdays You can Skip the line with a VIP Ticket and tour the haunts as many times as you want.

Riverside Jaycees Haunted Castle of Carnage & Trail doesn’t feature much that stands out when compared to other haunts in the area. The outside resembles a real castle, but there’s not much else that will make you go “wow”. This is charity haunt with the proceeds going to Riverside Jaycees community projects. You’ll have a fun time, but there’s so much wasted potential.

Scores For Each Haunt:

Haunted Castle of Carnage: Length-5 Design-7 Props/Animatronics-7 Acting-6 Scare Effect-6 Final Stab: 6.2
Haunted Trail: Length-6 Design-5 Props/Animatronics-5 Acting-5 Scare Effect-6 Final Stab: 5.4