Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride 2009 Review

Sandyland Acres
Haunted Hayride-“Meet Mortimer Sneed”

Years ago when Sandyland Acres Haunted Hayride first opened I was unsure of what to think because of its strange name. But I would later find out that it was called Sandyland Acres because much of the land was made up of sand which helps absorb water when there is a rain storm. Yeah, I know it sounds kind of foolish to not think that’s why it was called Sandyland Acres, but owners have been known to come up with weird names for their haunts.

The funny thing about this particular haunt is that it started out as one of the best hayrides around and has gotten better year after year. For 2009 the corn maze has been eliminated and all efforts have been focused on the hayride which was a wise move. Many big changes have been made and it feels like a new haunt with all the improvements that have been implemented.

Length-10: Your ride through the dark and spooky woods of Sandyland Acres Will take nearly 30 minutes with something occurring around every corner. This haunted hayride is non stop terror from the moment you walk onto the wagon until your haunted journey into fear ends.

Design-9: There are many haunts out there that rely on iconic horror movie characters, but don’t use these movies to their full advantage. Most of the time they add a prop or two, slap a rubber mask onto an actor and consider that a scene. This isn’t the case with Sandyland Acres. They really do their homework in making these classic horror movies come to life.

Movies include Motel Hell, Psycho, Jeepers Creepers, Halloween 2, House of 1000 Corpses, Friday The 13th and much more. I even think there was a scene reminiscent on the mental hospital breakout from the original Halloween. Rather you enjoy well known horror movies or traditional scenes using werewolves, witches or ghouls, there will be something you’ll surely enjoy.

The design is pretty solid, but a little more detail in a few of the rooms inside the barn would be appreciated. The black plastic that covers some of the walls is a little distracting and makes some scenes look a little cheap even though they are rather complex. A way to hide some of the props such as the radio used for music in the Friday The 13th shack or the bubble machine in the jack in the box room would help create a more realistic experience. But as I said before the majority of scenes are spot on.

Props/Animatronics-8: As with many haunted hayrides, Sandyland Acres utilizes its array of farm equipment to its full potential. You’ll come face to face with a headless horseman galloping on a black horse, a large out of control forklift and other unique props you’ve come to expect from Sandyland Acres. But this only covers the unique ways they incorporate different methods of transportation and machinery used on the farm.

Many scenes you’ll experience are full of homemade props that go great with the sets they decorate. These include rotating severed heads, ghostly animated paul bearers, a large jack in the box, real shacks and many more props . If you are a horror movie buff you will notice the little details here and there that make many of the horror movie recreations realistic as possible. But I won’t give away any of the surprises. You’re just going to have to visit Sandyland Acres yourself to experience these unique horror movie sets.

Acting-9: In years past Sandyland Acres’ mascot was known as Pumpkin Seed. He was a larger than life character that wore a jack-o-lantern mask and had vines growing out of him. It was a decent mascot, but unfortunately He didn’t have much personality due to the character wearing a rubber mask. For 2009 the character that will be representing the haunted hayride is Mortimer Sneed. He’s an over the top character that seems to be straight out of the 19th century. He will be the first actor you see on your tour through Sandyland Acres. With his unique accent He explains the rules of the hayride before your off on your haunted tour. He’s very intimidating and gets people pumped up for what lies ahead of them.

Once the haunt begins you will come face to face with a variety of monsters, madmen and ghouls from beyond. These include Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, ravenous werewolves, backwoods hicks, witches and much more to strike fear in anyone who dares to take a ride on the wagon. The best performances come from the different characters that inhabit the large barn near the end of the tour.

The most complex and script driven skits take place in the barn and since you are in a tight enclosed area they are more frightening than many of the scenes that are outside. The most intimidating character of the night goes to Michael Myers himself who emerges from fog as He stalks those on the wagon. For the most part the acting is solid, but there are a few cases where some of the performances just fall flat. This is the case with the werewolves who come out of the tomato cages and attempt to frighten passengers. It just doesn’t work very effectively and comes off as being cheesy instead of scary. There are a few more scenes that are unnecessary, but don’t take up as much time as the werewolf scene.

Scare Effect-9: Haunted hayrides are much different than your typical haunt. Once you are aboard a hayride’s wagon you are entrusting your safety with the driver. The driver is in control of your destiny and where you are headed next. The further you are driven out into the woods, the more secluded you are from the general public. You never know where you’re headed next or what hides in the darkness. At any moment something could happen to where you would have to walk back alone on a scary moonlit night.

This is what sets haunted hayrides apart from your usual haunt. It’s the unexpected terror that might occur on your journey through the darkness. Sandyland Acres capitalizes on this fear by transporting people into dark and spooky areas such as haunted barns, scary cornfields and frightening woods where only nightmares can be born. At Sandyland Acres there are some awful tense moments where you’re wondering what is going to happen next and if you will make it out alive.

Customer Service: The staff at this haunt really love what they are doing and are as nice as can be to people wanting to have a night of terror. There are plenty of concessions from candy bars to T-shirts and other apparell available at their handy T-Shirt shack. They even have an area where you can have your picture taken with their mascot Mortimer Sneed. The parking was well lit and had many cones and parking attendents showing the way with their light up wands. To top it off the parking is completely free.

Fright Value: This is truly one of the most reasonable haunted hayrides around. Many hayrides you’ll encounter charge $12 or more, but Sandyland Acres has stuck to a $10 ticket price since it’s first year of fear. With nearly 30 minutes of spine tingling terror, there’s no wonder you’ll feel like you’ve got your money’s worth after you’re done with the hayride.

Final Stab-9.0: The very first year Sandyland Acres opened I was blown away by how creative and bone chilling this haunt truly was. And with age this classic hayride gets better and better with new changes made every year. It’s obvious that the creators love their horror movies and want you to experience what made these movies so scary in the first place. If you are a fan of spooky, scary fun that the whole family can enjoy then make sure and take a trip out to Petersburg Kentucky to experience one of the best hayrides around.