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News: Visit a North Carolina haunt this weekend!
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Author Topic: Terror by the Creek - Vale NC  (Read 1075 times)
Completely Haunted
Posts: 431

« on: October 07, 2013, 11:30:52 AM »

Terror by the Creek in Vale, NC
Attended 10/5/13

Scare Factor: 3/5 - We drove through the wilds of rural Lincoln County to get to Terror by the Creek, which is an old grist mill that was built in the 1800's.  It does give off a very creepy vibe as you descend a long narrow road and the mill fills your POV.  It was not quite dark when we arrived at TBTC and there were a few people hanging out in front and occasionally an actor would poke his head out from behind a curtain.  You could see a few lights and hear some strange sounds emanating from the haunt and that did up the tension level.

Actors: 2.75/5 - We went with the first group of the night so the actors hadn't really gotten into their rhythm yet.  There were some good gross-out scares (outhouse lady) and some genuinely creepy actors who stayed in character no matter what the situation was.,  There were a LOT of people standing around without makeup who's job seemed to be guiding customers into the next room even if it was obvious which direction to go.  That did bring down the experience and some simple makeup could have improved that situation.  The requisite chainsaw guy does his job well.

Sets/Props/FX: 3.75/5 - As mentioned before, is was an old grist mill and those are spooky enough in the daytime.  If the rooms had been a bit more open, they could have taken advantage of the natural creep factor.  The props and rooms were fairly detailed but there was a lot of hanging plastic to distract and keep you guessing.  No problems with that but I would like to have seen an actor or two taking advantage of that.  I didn't see any major animatronics.

Length: 3.75/5 - They start you on a short guided trail before putting you actually in the haunt.  This makes the total amount of time going through about 25- 30 minutes.  No complaints here.

Value: 4/5 - The price is appropriate for what you get.  Again no complaints.

Overall: 3.45/5 - TBTC has had a LOT of issues over the past couple months.  This summer the adjacent creek flooded over and caused some damage to the mill.  I talked with the owner for a few minutes and he was talking about how he has been fighting the fire marshal and inspectors all summer to meet code and as of two weeks before opening, he was told he couldn't open.  Thankfully the staff were able to make all the necessary  changes and they were able to open on time.  The biggest issue I found at TBTC was a lack of parking although there is a parking lot across the creek.  One staffer says people would rather park along the side of the road than risk walking across the narrow bridge at night to access the haunt.  Overall, it's worth coming out for an hour and enjoying a haunt that's been there for a long time terrorizing the citizens of Lincoln county and beyond.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 12:29:10 PM by Badger » Logged

Posts: 54

« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 09:42:20 AM »

Visited 10/5/13

Scare Factor: 3/5 – At a curve along a road in rural backwood hills somewhere between Hickory and Charlotte is some Terror by the Creek. This place has been through hell the past 24 months: getting robbed, literally undertaken by floods, and just renovated. Terror by the Creek gave me a down and dirty; rotten scoundrel; vile and nasty kind of FO’REAL terror. This haunt was a sickening concoction of hillbilly raunch and disbelief that blistered me in ways that were entirely uncomfortable - it bothered the crap out of me. I was scared of the actors themselves and what they would do and say in outrageous, vulgar, insulting and ultra-gritty kinds of ways. Gritty was when the outhouse lady throws her urine on my “pretty little mouth”; wow, you know, I’m unnerved in a whole new way.  The under 20 crowd there really seemed to be digging it – I felt nauseated and shocked, and that is most certainly a scare factor worth noting no matter what. Terror by the Creek taught me a lot in 2013. I even learned a new term about ‘britchie-sliding’ that freaked me out.  Oh no, there’s a reason the haunt is not pitch black inside or out. Being frank, if you are into living a version of a movie that you throw up a little in your mouth watching, this will do it to you at least once. Vulgarity, actresses patrolling a doll house barely clothed, chicks sitting in bloody bathtubs staring at you, and violence coming towards you (lots of screaming in this haunt), had me on an outlandish shock ride – it was just too wrong, too terrifyingly incorrect so to speak, so over the top that I was flipping out on that alone. The outdoor part was inconsistent but had a very cool, natural trail that was not carved out with fence, barrels or tape, but with real trees. The inside part: going up and down steps, walking in and out of different scenes had some fantastic startle scares but some real downers. Strangely, many of the ‘downers’ increased the scare factor, which was scary.  It’s a hometown haunt that delivers terror sickness you’ll leave talking about in some kind of way or at least a felt kind of way. It’s like nasty shades of apples with razors, disorientation, insults, panic startles, and some down home freaky B-rate skank that may well get you all squirrely.
Actors: 2/5 - Freddy was cool and popped me with sneaky sliding doorways, but his character didn’t seem to match the overall raunch tone. There were a few actors who had interesting costumes, but many of them were in street clothes and some of them were just standing around in the outdoor scenes in hoodies kicking the dirt and spitting tobacco on the ground. The guided tour helped keep the group together, but once again, long stories are hard to hear with all the noise and distractions, so tell me the rules when I buy my ticket or something and keep it short at the gate. The outhouse actress, the staring bathtub one, and the dollhouse one seemed to be into their roles even if it wasn’t my favorite kind of scare. Some of the other actors need to work on their “lines”. Hearing f-you as part of the actor talk, and being called cocksu*kers repeatedly by a guy in a cage was just unbelievable. That was a total freak out for me and put me in the unnerving zone of: yes, I wanted to get the F out of there like, now.

Set Design/Props/FX: 2.5/5 – I was here in 2011 and it was obvious the hard work they have put into fixing this up. The outdoor trail was designed really well in and of itself.  So was the indoor house part – some of the mazes had neato turns with sliding gotcha doorways then opened into different scenes and daunting corners. If it weren’t for the guide or people in the dark behind me whispering which way to go, I would have gotten lost for sure. The lighting was ominous in some places but it was too dark to see some of the cool props. There weren’t enough “terror” spots along the way and the steps up and down several times without rails slowed me way down and they were extra scary in the dark. Some of the handmade sets could really be made into more satisfying scares rather than insult shows.

Length: 3.5/5 – The 10 minute or so outdoor part and 10 minute or so indoor part was a nice balance. But, I felt rushed to take in the effects being guided - even though I was ready to go when it was over.

Value: 2.5/5 - For $13, you get terror(ized) by the creek and inside the renovated agricultural warehouse but this haunt is a little overpriced for what you actually get. They are a work in progress from the disasters and obstacles they have encountered but it would be better priced two for one. It’s close enough to other featured haunts, so if you want more haunt action, it’s an easy add-on for a two-haunt night. See their web site: http://terrorbythecreek.com/schedule.html for schedule info. Parking is free although along a busy road, so pay attention and don’t go to this haunt on mood-altering substances.

Overall: 2.5/5 – This review is coming from opening weekend and for a haunt that’s under construction, working hard to get up and running for the season. Kudos for making the renovations and additions to this haunt-with-huge-potential.  I would hope it will leverage what works and improve what needs some attention here. Right now, this haunt is for the 16+ only. I would not suggest this as a first haunt or an only haunt before seeing some other ones first, but if you want more haunt in one night and are on that side of NC, check it out and post a review to keep them improving and let us know what happens this season. This haunt has the set up to be really great but they need some feedback from us to keep them going in the right direction.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 05:48:01 PM by 13moons » Logged

I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen — a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.
Bella Swan, Twilight, Chapter 3, p.59
Completely Haunted
Posts: 707

« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2013, 04:09:27 AM »

Terror By the Creek
Visit Date: 10/28/13

Scare Factor: 2/5
As an unguided attraction I think this number would double.  As you'll be able to tell from the rest of this review, we felt rushed, ignored, and seen as a bother.  Running through scenes doesn't let you have time to be scared.  Neither does a malfunctioning chainsaw at the end or having a dude (?) singing Miley Cyrus.  The location is great and the sets give off a creepy, gory vibe but you lose the scare effect power walking to jogging from set to set.

Actors: 3/5
Adequate numbers with varied talents.  The whole Sharonda scene was....different.  They were all having fun and were decent with a pop scare but not much happened after that....probably because we were running to catch up with the guide. 

Sets/Props/Fx: 3.5/5
I saw a lot of sets and props that looked great.  I think.  I was running past them so on the fly they look good.

Length: 3.5/5
A mixture of indoor/outdoor scenes that we literally ran through.  Again at a normal pace the length is probably just right. As it was I felt super rushed and let down at the length when we finished. 

Value:  3/5
$13 would be a good deal if you moved through the haunt at a normal pace.  As it was I kind of blinked and it was over and therefore not worth the money though there are some rapidly cool things to look at.

Free parking!

Overall: 2/5
Terror by the Creek was a big letdown for me.  From the beginning it felt like we were almost a bother to the guides that were there.  After purchasing our tickets we went to the top of the queue line.  Four folks there completely ignored us- turning their backs to us while smoking without saying a word.  We stood there in awkward silence until they fussed over who would take us through the trail.  We handed over our tickets, heard the rules, and then set off at break-neck speed.  Literally the front guide was moving at 4x my regular haunt pace.  There were several points I had to run to keep up.  It came across as a "I don't want to be here, let's get this over ASAP" vibe.  And at the end there was a sprint back to her friends to smoke and giggle.  We drove 1.5 hours to run through a haunt?  Sigh.  The trail itself looks great with variable scares.  The total effect, however, is one of rush, rush, rush, rush so you can't fully appreciate the surroundings, actors, or the scares they develop.  I'd love to come back again to try and see the trail at a human pace but am afraid of driving all that way for the same experience.

"You can't piss on hospitality.  I won't allow it!"
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