WJAA Haunted Woods (Willamsburg, OH)
“Vote For Your Favorite Scare!”
By Noah Wullkotte: Jollypumpkin@aol.com
WJAA Haunted woods is an annual haunted event that raises money for the Williamsburg Jr. Athletic Association. For nearly 30 years, they’ve been terrifying Williamsburg, Ohio. Because of high demand, this event has been extended for two weekends in October instead of one.
After purchasing a ticket, you can take a seat in their concessions area or stand near a warm bonfire. Pumpkins decorate the tables and red lights from above illuminate your surroundings. The concessions area has food and drinks at reasonable prices. Many items are a little more than a buck.
When your number is called, it’s your turn to hop on the hay wagon and experience WJAA Haunted Woods. We only waited 10 minutes before it was our turn. The tractor will drop you off and this is where you’ll meet your guide. WJAA Haunted Woods is a 45 minute journey into the wilderness. You’ll enter various scenes with different themes and you’ll meet some wild and crazy actors.
Each scene has been built by a team of haunters and it’s your job to determine which scene is the most impressive. WJAA Haunted Woods consists of 14 different rooms/sets that have unique names such as Fear Factory, House of Terror, Psycho Surgery etc. A tour guide helps you navigate from scene to scene in a safe and orderly fashion.
This is a very long attraction, but some of this time was spent waiting on the group behind us to catch up or making sure that the actors were ready. There were quite a few times when we entered unorganized scenes. An actor has a guillotine fall on his neck, but nothing happens. The head didn’t move at all and the executioner just smiled because the effect malfunctioned.
When we entered the stocked bar, an actor kept hitting the side of the wall with a tube which was mostly likely supposed to emit flames or sparks, but we’re not exactly sure. When the haunt first started, an actor was behind us the entire time talking and joking around while he tried to get his chainsaw to work. A couple minutes later he came out of nowhere with his chainsaw working. I’m not sure how this was supposed to scare us since we already saw the actor minutes ago.
There are many scenes you’ll experience. Our favorite was the church service with a priest speaking in tongues. He’s the best actor WJAA Haunted Woods has and does an effective job in freaking people out. You’ll enter scenes like a shrinking hallway, a chainsaw attack in a graveyard, a construction zone, a dark maze, a clown balloon room and more.
One of our favorite scenes featured a werewolf firing a gun and criminals who wanted to escape. This can be an unnerving haunt because of its tight spaces and uneven floors. Too many scenes use black plastic and hopefully this in changed in the future. The acting could also be improved since some of the actors seemed unprepared and lacked dialogue. There are a couple eye catching props here and there. The most impressive is the dizzying vortex tunnel.
Our Favorite room was “Fear Factory” because it’s unexpected and involves the audience. You’re in for a loud surprise. We liked the concept of teams competing to see who builds the most impressive room. We’v never seen this concept used anywhere else. After you’re finished with the haunted woods, you’ll hop on the hay wagon once again and you’ll be dropped off to vote for your favorite scene/set.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 9 and under. $15 is too high for a haunt of this caliber. Total tour time is 45 minutes which makes it the longest single haunt we’ve been through this season.
Length-10 Design-5 Props/Animatronics-5 Acting-4 Scare Effect-5
Final Stab: 5.8