Trail of Fears-“Its 3rd Year of Fear”
Trail of Fears (AKA Hilliard Haunted Woods) is in its 3rd year of operation. When we showed up and realized that part of the haunt was a hayride we were excited. But unfortunately we were let down when we came to the realization that we were just being dropped off to the next destination. A lot of changes need to be made before this haunted trail can be worth the price of admission.
Length-7: The first portion of Trail of Fears is a trip on a hayride which drops you off to your destination before you enter the second line of the night. The hayride itself is 10 minutes long, but is very uneventful. Once you are dropped off in front of a homemade graveyard, the trail itself lasts around 10 minutes.
Design-6: As mentioned above we had to wait in 2 lines before we actually went through the haunted trail. This poses a big problem. If Trail of Fears expects to have large crowds in the future they need to have one line for the haunted trail or have a few scenes while you are on the hayride. While I understand that to go from point a to point B you have to transport people on a wagon to the trail, this part of the haunt ruins the experience slightly.
The hayride itself is just way too long without anything happening. And then to have to wait in line after you’ve been on a hayride for 10 minutes just doesn’t cut it. The trail itself is typical of many low budget haunted trails. You’ll find that the graveyard theme is being used a lot throughout the haunted trail. Scenes include a large homemade cemetery, a spider’s lair, a maze entrapment and much more. The maze itself was decent, but before we entered we were given directions on how to navigate through it. It’s a lot more un nerving not knowing where you are going in the darkness instead of having a guide behind you saying where to go.
Props/Animatronics-6: I commend Trail of Fears for being creative in the way they use props. But like with many haunts, the lighting is so bad that you can’t really appreciated the time and effort that has been put into it. The graveyard would have been much more dramatic if there was dim lighting, a few zombies and possibly a fog machine running. Props include body bags with actors inside, an animated spider and more.
Acting-6: The cast of characters you’ll encounter are enthusiastic, but there are just not enough actors to fill gaps in between scenes. They are well hidden, but lack dialogue. Trail of Fears could be much better if more time was put into scripts for different characters instead of having an actor jump out and growl. The stand out characters of the night were the human dog with laser light eyes and the actors hidden in the body bags.
Scare Effect-6: The night we visited everyone on the wagon seemed to be in the mood to be scared. And after we got off the wagon we could even see people holding hands before they entered the trail. But when you have a hayride that takes 10 minutes to drop you off to the actual haunted trail, you expect a lot from the trail. But what we got was an average haunted trail that has a lot of potential and isn’t using it to its fullest.
Fright Value: $10 is way too high for a budget haunted trail. We’ve been to haunts this season that are incredible, but charge slightly more than Trail of Fears. This haunted trail is worth $6 at the most.
Final Stab-6.2: I will be honest. I was expecting much more from this haunted trail. This is their 3rd year, they had a decent crowd and were charging $10 a ticket. But everything was just mediocre at best.