Springboro Haunted Hayride (Lebanon, OH)
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
Springboro Haunted Hayride has been giving the people of Lebanon, Ohio nightmares since 1989. 2012 will mark its 23rd year of operation. This is always one of the most enjoyable haunts in Ohio and if you don’t get scared, you’ll definitely be entertained by the reactions of people on the wagon. Some people will laugh while others will scream their heads off.
What will your reaction be?
After your wait in line, you’ll hop on a hay wagon where you’re given rules to live by. This only takes a few minutes before the tractor drives off into the darkness. Hayrides are a unique type of haunt where the driver is in control of your destiny. There’s no walking and there are certain points where the wagon will stop and scenes will develop in front of you. At different times you’ll have actors jump onto the wagon and interact with patrons. You could be one of those patrons.
Springboro Haunted Hayride is fun for the entire family, but it’s also full of scares. Few haunts include high speed chases, but Springboro Haunted Hayride has plenty. You’ll be chased by trucks, a hearse, a combine and more. One of the vehicles was so close that I could touch the front of it with my hand and see the driver through the window. It can be an unnerving experience having a hearse with shooting flames and a flashing police beacon light chasing you through a dark field.
Springboro Haunted Hayride doesn’t follow an exact theme, but there’s a variety of scenes for many phobias. If you have a fear of clowns, you’ll be petrified of Springboro’s haunted carnival. If you fear fire, then B.D.’s Junkyard will make your heart skip a beat when you feel the heat of its flames. There are a lot of scenes that make up Springboro Haunted Hayride, but you didn’t actually think I would ruin all of the surprises did you? There are also little details that you may or may not notice like the drive-in theater across from a hotel playing Night of the Living Dead or what the B.D. in B.D.’s Junkyard stands for. It stands for Bill Danishek, the owner of Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog.
Be on the lookout for the headless horseman because he’s in a different area of the haunt this year. There are a lot of things to look out for at Springboro Haunted Hayride. It’s one of those attractions where you aren’t sure what you’ll be seeing next. One scene will feature a man hanging from the gallows and another scene will have you entering a scarecrow infested cornfield. It’s an unpredictable haunt that will appeal to a lot of people who are looking for a fun haunt this fall season.
Springboro Haunted Hayride has a tour time of 20 minutes or longer and the actors are much better this season with improved dialogue. The award for actor of the night goes to the inbred hillbilly who was crying out for Taylor Swift as he tormented the passengers. Another convincing actor is the grieving widow who asked us where her husband was as we exited a creepy church.
Springboro Haunted Hayride is a fun haunt where you can just sit back and watch a living, breathing, horror show come to life. It’s well worth the $12 ticket price and is even a better deal when you purchase a combo ticket for $20. That makes The Black Bog and Springboro Haunted Hayride ten dollars a piece.
Length-9 Design-8 Props/Animatronics-8 Acting-8 Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 8.4
The Black Bog (Lebanon, OH)
“It Will Consume You”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
One of City Blood’s favorite haunted trails is back and scarier than ever. I’m talking about The Black Bog of course. Over the years this haunted trail has improved in every aspect and seems to get better with age. We look forward to our visit to Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog every year since both haunts bring something different to the table. The Black Bog focuses on acting and atmosphere whereas Springboro Haunted Hayride focuses on traditional scenes, interaction with customers and high impact scares.
The Black Bog is my personal favorite of the two haunts and is the highlight of my experience at Bull Run Farms. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, The Black Bog is one of the best haunted trails in the state of Ohio and at only $10 a ticket, it’s one hell of a deal. It might not have the lines that Springboro Haunted Hayride has, but it’s pound for pound as good or better than the hayride.
Your trip into terror revolves around a desolate trail without a soul in sight. There are creatures and ghouls hiding in the shadows ready to pounce. You’re off on a journey through fear as you enter The Black Bog’s Hellevator. A sick and sadistic elevator operator welcomes you to his dark and twisted domain.
“Are you prepared to go to a place darker than any human’s imagination?”, the elevator operator asks. If so, then you’re ready for The Black Bog. It’s so dark that the human mind can’t comprehend it.
The Black Bog is a highly detailed haunt that is reminiscent of an old slasher movie where a helpless victim is stranded in the woods searching for help of any kind. You are that helpless victim. Sometimes the only sound you’ll hear is the chirping of crickets and the crunching of dirt below your feet. The lack of sound adds tension to your experience before entering some scary scenes.
The first major room after your Hellevator decent into hell is the miner’s cave. You’ll enter a realistic limestone cave where an old man doesn’t care too much for visitors. It’s his home and he’ll do whatever he can to force you out. He enjoys skinning people alive and picking at their exposed brains. His brother even makes a surprise visit and appears to be a little distraught. Blue LED lights are the only source of light in the cave as you pray for survival.
After you survived the haunted cave, you’ll be ready to enter an old spooky ghost town where many off the wall characters reside like a crazy barber and a madman in his butcher house. The most off the wall character is a salesman by the name of W.D. Smith who gives you the sales pitch of a lifetime.
“Do you suffer from the heart ache, the neck ache, back ache or tooth ache then here is a magic elixir that cures all?”, W.D. Smith asks. He then proceeds to bicker back and forth with an unsatisfied customer who still has her painful hemorrhoids. The actors at The Black Bog are well trained and don’t resort to screams or grunts when trying to startle you. You’re not going to hear, Get out of here or What are you doing here. These are fleshed out characters with scripted lines and are great at improvisational acting.
The Black bog is full of impressive scenes like the new Greenhouse (aka white barn). After exiting a haunted school bus and you travel through Hillbilly Town, you’ll enter The Greenhouse where a mutated creature considers the plants his family. The plants have consumed his body and he is now one of them. Imagine how the greenhouse looks at your local florist and you have a good idea about what to expect from this scene. Some animated Venus Flytraps, lightning effects and better lighting could elevate the scares, but it’s still quite startling.
Acting is the backbone of The Black Bog, but without interesting scenes the scares wouldn’t be as affective. You’ll experience everything from a nuclear wasteland with infected victims to a crawl through hearse. You’ll also venture into scenes like an evil playroom with a twisted bunny, a confrontation with a demonic scarecrow, a Michael Myers surprise and more. The Black Bog has one of the best graveyards of any haunt around. It features large mausoleums with skeletal remains and realistic tombstones along the way. The path is dark and bone chilling and so is the rest of The Black Bog.
The Black Bog is a classic haunt that can compete with any haunted trail in the Buckeye state. It features plenty of natural and artificial fog that makes the haunt quite mysterious. There are plenty of memorable scenes that are creative and startling as well. The haunt doesn’t feature a lot of animatronics, but its set pieces go great with its various scenes. Its mixture of great actors and interesting scenes is a winning combination. Your tour time is around 17 minutes, give or take a few. Tickets are $10 a person or you can purchase a combo ticket for $20. The ticket building has been improved this year with better signs and more area for storage. It’s bigger and better than ever. Parking is $2, but it benefits the non profit group DC Wrestling.
After you’re finished with The Black Bog, you’ll exit into Bull Run Farms’ concessions barn. This 1857 barn is beautiful and is decorated with license plates, a living tree, a toy tractor, a Husman’s Potato Chips can and more. There’s plenty of food for sale like hot dogs, nachos, candy, caramel apples and more. I bought myself a large pretzel with cheese and a can of pop for less than four bucks. Fans of the haunts can purchase a Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog t-shirt before they leave. Before you drive home, you may want to watch some of the BMX Bike Riders that perform on the weekends at Bull Run Farms. They’re pretty impressive.
The Black Bog is the real deal and one of the best haunts in Ohio. It’s reasonable and damn scary. Don’t miss out this year and be afraid, be very afraid!
Length-9 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 9.0