Screampark (Lexington, KY)
“Lexington’s Haunted Adventure”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
2011 will mark the 3rd season that Screampark has been scaring residents of Lexington, KY. Screampark has been rated as one of America’s best haunts by America’s Best Haunts and Haunted Attraction Magazine. We traveled to Downtown Lexington and it only took us around an hour and half to make it to one of Kentucky’s largest haunted events. Screampark is limited on parking, but it’s very organized and there are plenty of porta potties on site. It wasn’t very crowded, but this wasn’t surprising considering this is a weekday where people are coming home from work or getting ready for the next school day. We slowly walked in the entrance and picked up our tickets. We were ready for the fright of our lives.
Screampark has a great set up where every haunt is easy to locate. On the left you have The Abyss and right next to the Abyss is Castle of Fear and Insanity: Hospital For The Insane. The entire building has plenty of LCD TVs showing ads and various clips that relate to Screampark. It really gets you in the mood to be scared. The facility is dark, but the facades for each attraction are well lit, so there’s no confusion as to where to go. Actors roam the building in search of their next victim to scare lifeless. If the actors are great on the outside, then you know you’re in for a treat on the inside.
The first haunt we would tour for the night is Insanity: Hospital For The Insane. Insanity is always one of my favorite attractions at Screampark. It’s the most intense haunt at the facility and has some of the craziest and most deranged characters you’ll find among the haunts. Insanity is a mixture of a fence maze that eventually leads to various scenes and effects.
You’ll try to free yourself from a maze full of lunatics and madmen as they try to confuse and scare you. Insanity features a lot of memorable characters like the crazed psycho who screams loudly as he gets in your face. He won’t let you leave the vortex tunnel until he’s good and ready. The patients at Insanity aren’t too happy to be confined to their cells and rooms and they aren’t shy in letting you know.
Insanity is a quality haunt with some great scenes and effects. The breaker box that has malfunctioned and pops violently is a great touch as well as the dizzying vortex tunnel that leads to the exit. The chainsaw maniac is also surprising and his chainsaw has been modified to be more intense. It has improved audio so it echoes throughout the haunt. Overall, this is a fun attraction with great detail and an incredible group of actors.
It wasn’t very crowded at Screampark and we were pretty happy because it gave us a chance to take our time and talk with the people behind the attractions. We would learn that the rookie actors for 2011, go through rigorous actor training and are mentored by more experienced veteran actors that have perfected their craft. You’ll rarely hear the same line of dialogue repeated at Screampark and this adds so much to the overall experience. The actors at Screampark are intense and were on their A game the night we visited.
The next haunt we would tour is Castle of Fear. Castle of Fear is Screampark’s most elaborate haunt. If you’ve ever wanted the feeling of entering a haunted medieval castle, then you will love Castle of Fear. Castle of Fear is a realistically designed haunt that mimics the look of an ancient castle that has been taken over by evil dwellers. Much of the haunt is lit by small led spot lights that are vibrant and use much less electricity. The lights aren’t as bright, but they really add something special to a scene and bring it to life in full color.
Castle of Fear will have you entering ancient crypts, catacombs, a king’s court and of course the classic graveyard. Castle of Fear has one of the most intricate and realistic graveyards I’ve encountered. It’s beautifully lit and has plenty of detail. A ghoul rises from his grave as he makes a strange grunting sound. This large room is flooded with tombstones, caskets and other surprising props and effects. It will definitely be a highlight of your Screampark experience.
If you’re petrified of the pitch black darkness, then The Abyss is right up your alley.The Abyss is a take on the classic dark maze. This attraction is extremely dark with actors hiding in the shadows or walking in front of you when you least expect it. The acting is a step up from last year and the characters are much more interactive. Haunting music plays as you navigate through The Abyss’ dark hallways and tight rooms while you try to make it out with your body parts still intact.
The Abyss features the newest haunt craze which are the electric firecrackers (aka flash crackers). Loud flashing pops may startle you when are trying to find the exit, but you’ll be okay. This haunt even features a moving floor, a long claustrophobia tunnel and more. It can be an intense haunt not knowing what’s lurking in the shadows. If you have a strong fear of the dark, then this might be the scariest attraction you’ve been to all year. But for most people, it’s just a fun time trying to find the exit.
Last, but certainly not least is The Hot Seat. For $5, you can take a seat on an interactive electric chair and kiss your sweet ass goodbye. The executioner straps down your hands, feet and the rest of your body before pulling the switch. Do you have any last words before you become a crispy corpse? The Hot Seat is a violent side attraction with intense realistic movements, sound effects and plenty of fog. $5 may seem a little steep for people, but it’s a unique experience. Most haunts have The Last Ride, but Screampark has The Hot Seat. This side attraction was a huge hit during this year’s Scarefest in Lexington and Screampark had hundreds of happy customers walking away with a smile on their face.
After you are done with the haunts, be sure to check out the extensive concessions area known as The Monster Midway. You can purchase yourself a shot glass, a t-shirt, food, refreshments and more. Watch out for the costumed characters that roam The Monster Midway. They want to take a bite out of you and will be back for more. Overall Screampark has made some big strides over the years and has improved in many ways.
The haunts are more detailed, the acting is top notch and the lighting is incredible. The only downfall it has is its length. The haunts are under 10 minutes each. But because of the size of the building, they are limited on space. Next year Screampark hopes to move and become bigger and better than ever.
For $18, you can experience 3 quality attractions without having to drive all over. VIP Admission is $30 and unlimited VIP Admission is $40. The Hot Seat is $5 and you can purchase your general admission online for $17 which is a dollar cheaper. Visit www.scarylexington.com for a $2 off coupon. Every Friday night you can witness shock magician Reed Ashton of “Impossible Magic” shock and amaze you as you wait in line for the attractions. Local radio stations will also broadcast live every Friday and Saturday night. You might be lucky and win a prize.
Visit Screampark and get scared!
Final Stab For Each Haunt
*Castle of Fear: Length-7 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-9 Scare Effect-8 Final Stab: 8.2
*Insanity: Hospital For The Insane: Length-7 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-9 Scare Effect-8 Final Stab: 8.0
*The Abyss (Props are not counted in the rating.): Length-6 Design-7 Acting-7 Scare Effect-7 Final Stab: 6.75