“The Third Cut Is The Deepest”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
The TerrorFest in downtown Columbus, OH is one of the most technically advanced haunts in Ohio. Earlier in the year, there was a free preview during Midwest Haunters Convention and people walked away pretty impressed. The lighting, acting and design wasn’t up to par and complete, but it was still a very small sampling of what the haunt has to offer. The TerrorFest is made up of 2 haunts, The Brewery Butcher 3D and The Butcher’s Realm.
The Butcher’s Realm is a state of the art haunt with innovative scenes and detailed set design. You’ll be transported into a dark and haunting dream that you’ll never be able to wake up from. The first room includes an animated ghost bust from the company Night Frights. He talks and seamlessly interacts with people as an actor tells the rules of the haunt. The rules are very brief before you are let go into the dark abyss that is The Butcher’s Realm. The Butcher’s Realm starts off with a trip through a maze of sorts that has mirrors with some hidden surprises. A mirror begins to fall on you as you try to free yourself from the madness and not become one of the dead.
The Butcher’s Realm has a variety of rooms that can be seen at many haunts across the country, but this haunt adds its unique spin to many of the scenes. The haunted library has falling book cases and the coffin room features a coffin that slides out of the wall. Your fears come alive at The Butcher’s Realm where you’ll experience rooms that are beyond the perception of reality. You’ll be transported into a deadly morgue, an insane asylum full of the craziest lunatics and even a twisted temple. The Butcher’s Realm is chock-full of the latest in technology, but could include some more impressive props. Animated zombies and ghouls are neat to look at, but they aren’t very scary. Thankfully this year, most of the sensors for the props are hidden better.
The Butcher’s Realm not only has great props, but also has some good actors. But you might want to look up to see these monsters in action. You’ll encounter one actor who flies overhead on a zip-line and another that yells bungee as he leaps in the air while attached to a bungee cord. It’s very unique and reminiscent of what Netherworld in Atlanta Georgia does with their actors. After you are done exiting The Butcher’s Realm, you’ll be given 3D glasses and will enter a world of 3D effects known as The Brewery Butcher 3D. This is the most impressive attraction at The Terror Fest and one of the best 3D attractions in the United States.
Instead of using 3D paintings in every scene, the props have been modified so they come alive in full 3D. This is one of the few haunts I know of that doesn’t rely on paintings, but instead makes its props three dimensional instead. Nearly every prop has been painted with bright fluorescent colors and comes alive in startling 3D. Even the vortex tunnel is innovative in the way it’s designed. Instead of using fabric, it utilizes small frightening heads that have small strobe lights built in. They violently flash as you are transported into another dimension. As I’ve said before, this is one of the best and most innovative 3D attractions I’ve ever been to and is truly the highlight of The TerrorFest experience.
General admission is $20 and VIP admission is $30. Be sure to visit www.theterrorfest.com for the different discounts available. You can fill out a form for a $2 off discount or $4 off VIP admission. $20 is a bit high considering the attraction lasts under 20 minutes. But this seems to be the going rate for haunts in the Columbus area. $5 for parking is the highest price I’ve come across with the exception of theme parks. Park somewhere else to avoid this high cost. If you are hungry or thirsty, then don’t forget to visit the concessions trailer outside that offers pizza at reasonable prices. The TerrorFest is a great value after you factor in the different discounts. It could be slightly longer and crowds could be managed better. This is the second year where I ended up running into another group and hopefully this problem is remedied in the near future.
Length-8 Design-9 Props/Animatronics-9 Acting-8 Scare Effect-8
Final Stab: 8.4