Scare Fair 2012 Review

scarefair2012Scare Fair (Lima, OH)
“Harold’s Hell on Earth”

By Noah Wullkotte:

Scare Fair has been scaring customers of Northwest, Ohio since 1998. This would be our first year touring their haunts and hopefully it wouldn’t be our last. We were looking forward to experiencing all the great things we’ve heard about over the years. We were prepared to get the living daylights scared out of us to say the least. Scare Fair is in the middle of nowhere between Waynesfield and Westminister, OH. It’s a pretty easy drive, but could be a little scary if you were to get lost. We left Greater Cincinnati around 7:10 pm and we arrived at Scare Fair at a little past 9:00 pm.

Scare Fair had a decent-sized crowd for opening night. The lines were small, but people were in the mood for some Halloween fun. The first haunt we toured that night was The Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is a trip through the dark shadows of your worst nightmares. Ghouls and creatures of the unknown run amok as they blend in with scenery while waiting for their next victim to startle. The Gauntlet features cleverly designed rooms where you’re uncertain which path you should take. Actors emerge from the darkness before attacking their prey. Lights slowly flash as bone chilling music and sounds play in the background.

The Gauntlet reminds me of an ancient crypt with dark corridors and old stone. The scenes are detailed, the actors are intense and it doesn’t let up until you exit the haunt. The lighting used in The Gauntlet is some of the best I’ve seen in this style of haunt. The Gauntlet is dark, but the subtle flashing of lights illuminate your surroundings and adds a nightmarish effect to the experience. There are areas that could be brighter to highlight detail, but it would ruin the effect that the creators are trying to pull off. You’ll be looking around every corner wondering if you’re seeing things or not.

The Gauntlet isn’t heavy on animatronics, but the various set pieces blend in with the scenes. Props include corpses, skeletons, gargoyles, caskets and more. The most impressive animatronic in The Gauntlet is the Slayer Super Creature from Scare Factory. This intimidating beast is 12 foot tall and stands on top of an entryway. Another prop you should be on the lookout for is an animated creature that flies overhead as his costume covers your body. The entire haunt is well themed from top to bottom and you’ll be asking for more. The total tour time is around 10 minutes.

The Gauntlet is the most impressive haunt at Scare Fair and should be at the top of your list when you visit the farm. One of the biggest gripes I have of Scare Fair is their signage. It can sometimes be a little confusing as to where to go. Bright electronic signs scattered throughout the park would help a lot when you’re trying to locate the next haunt. The signs they have aren’t sufficient enough and a small map given to customers would be helpful.

We were pretty excited about the rest of the haunts at Scare Fair since The Gauntlet blew us a way. Next up is Toxic Trauma. After walking up a small hill, we got in line and we were ready for some toxic fun. Toxic Trauma is Scare Fair’s take on the traditional chain maze, but there’s a twist. There’s been a toxic spill at a large factory and the locals have been infected. Flood lights shine on the Warehouse from Hell signaling your doom. The inside of the factory is full of heavy fog, sirens, horns and strobe lights as you navigate around toxic barrels, chain link fence and more. Loud and distracting rock music (Rob Zombie, Disturbed etc.) plays while you attempt to see what’s ahead. Hopefully the fog won’t consume you. Lunatics attack from every direction and unspeakable sights are seen.

Toxic Trauma doesn’t have a tremendous amount of impressive props, but the decor perfectly fits the toxic theme. This includes an electric chair, electric firecrackers, toxic barrels, body bags and more. This is an intense haunt, but it’s on the short side. You’ll be out in 8 minutes or less.

We made it out alive without becoming one of the infected and decided to take a small break to check out the concessions Scare Fair has to offer. Their food and drink trailer offers a variety of tasty treats and delicious drinks from beef tenderloin to Fried Oreos. You can expect to pay $1-4 for most food items. Please don’t forget to check the back of your ticket for a 10% discount at The Texas Roadhouse in Lima, OH.

We toured 2 haunts so far and we had Harold’s Haunted Cornfield and Hatchet Creek left. Harold’s Haunted Cornfield was the first haunt the designers built years ago and is one of the most popular. It’s become a tradition for guests over the years and is sure to be around for many years to come. Harold’s Haunted Cornfield begins on an old bridge leading to a haunted cabin where an old gypsy resides. She proceeds to talk about chickens in an amplified voice as she holds a severed body part. She finally casts you off into the cornfield where there’s no hope in sight for survival. Once you’re in the cornfield, all hell breaks lose.

Harold’s Haunted Cornfield and Hatchet Creek aren’t like your typical corn maze and haunted house. The cornfield doesn’t have many twists and turns and there are plenty of well trained actors hiding in the corn. This is unlike a lot of corn mazes. You’ll come across crazed freaks and madmen with chainsaws along the way. Eventually you’ll enter different structures that have some pretty scary scenes and effects. This includes a haunted nursery, a scrap yard, a body bag chamber, a corpse filled living room and more. The combination of a haunted house and corn maze is surprisingly effective.

There are a lot of small details to look out for like animal hides that decorate walls or the variety of license plates that can be seen in a couple areas. There are many unique things that stand out at Harold’s Haunted Cornfield and Hatchet Creek. The total experience is close to 20 minutes long give or take a few minutes.

Our entire experience at Scare Fair was about an hour long when you include your wait in line. Prices vary for each haunt. A single attraction is $11, two attractions are $13 and all three + cornfield will cost you $15. You would be a fool if you didn’t purchase a combo ticket for $15.

Click here for a $3 off coupon on the haunt and cornfield combo ticket.

Where else can you experience 3 haunts and a cornfield for less than some individual haunts charge? Scare Fair has it all and you owe it to yourself to check them out this Halloween season.

Final Stab For Each Haunt
The Gauntlet: Length-7  Design-9  Props/Animatronics-8  Acting-9  Scare Effect-9  Final Stab: 8.4
Toxic Trauma: Length-6  Design-8  Props/Animatronics-Not Rated  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 7.5
Harold’s Haunted Cornfield & Hatchet Creek: Length-9  Design-8  Props/Animatronics-8  Acting-8  Scare Effect-8  Final Stab: 8.2