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News: Do something scary... go to a Haunted House!
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Author Topic: Lake Hickory Haunts - Hickory, NC  (Read 361 times)
Badger
Completely Haunted
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« on: October 28, 2016, 02:20:07 PM »

Lake Hickory Haunts
http://www.lakehickoryhaunts.com/

Date attended 10/27/2016

Scare Factor: 4.75/5
Lake Hickory Haunts is located not far (but about 50 years) off I-40 and Hwy 321.  Its dark, curvy roads make think think "what have I gotten myself into?" as you approach and that's one reason you're already uneasy as you arrive.  You see the light of an old convenience/bait and tackle shop off is the distance before you realize "wow, this is the place."  You can't see any part of the haunt from the road, only an archway made of skulls and that's a good thing.  I highly recommend you get there early as you don't want to miss the parade.  What parade you ask?  Each night before opening, all the actors leave a building  and make their way down into the depths of the haunt.  It's a sight not to be missed.  I caught it last year but unfortunately I missed it this year.  Even if you miss the parade, get your tickets and then descend into the depths (literally) towards the midway and what lies beyond.  LHH Is divided up into 6 attractions: Extinction, Shipwrecked, Big Top Circus, Nightmare Factory, Junkyard, and the Lair of the Undead, plus the Midway of Mayhem.  You get your hand stamped and go hangout in the Midway.  It's a good system that allows you to play games, grab a snack, or shop their merchandise trailer until they call your group name.

Actors: 5/5
The actors here are amazing.  Most of them have some sort of interaction with you more than just popping out from behind something.  Their costumes are detailed and fitting for their areas.  I love how the haunt is designed for them to get get you with multiple scares from several directions.  A couple of spots have 'flow control' actors and they keep you in one spot while another group goes ahead.  They do it so well, you don't realize you're being detained.  The entertainment factor is off the scale here.  Most of the monsters are scary but a few are simply entertaining and provide a welcome respite from constantly trying to menace you.  Very well done all around.

Set Design/Props/FX 4/5
Talking to the owner beforehand, he says that they are going to spend the off-season improving the scenes.  I'm not sure how he's going to as the sets are detailed very well.  The lab looks great, the asylum, terrifying, and the clown rooms are freakishly horrific.  Even the checkerboard room (with special surprise) is disorienting and unexpected.  Last year they had a boat that ferried you across a pond in the middle of the haunt.  Now you completely circle the pond while entering the attractions and it's a good hike for anyone while keeping the pond centrally located.  I loved the lighting effects they used in and around the pond.  Eventually you begin to use it as a point of reference. (I know I'm almost done...hopefully). LHH has expanded their walking area by what looks like 50% at least and the difference it makes is quite noticeable. Great improvement from 2015 overall.

Length: 4.75/5
It took us nearly 45 minutes to go through everything which is an improvement over last year.  The only complaint is that the constant going up and down hills and steps might be difficult for people with knee or back issues.  Otherwise, you're getting a workout if you come here.

Value: 4.5/5
Tickets range from $18 to $32 depending on what you want.  No complaints for what you get.

Other:
FREE PARKING! The Midway has games, food, and merchandise (plus monsters) to entertain you while you wait for your turn to enter.  Not too difficult to get to but be prepared to drive dark and narrow roads to get there.  Wear comfortable shoes that you might get wet or dirty and you'll be fine.

Overall: 4.7/5
It's hard to believe that Lake Hickory Haunts has only been around a few years and that it's owner looks under age 30.  This a going to be a MAJOR haunted attraction in the Southeast if it isn't already.  You need to get out here and check it out so you can say "I remember going there when...) before they get so big and the lines become harder to manage.  I was lucky enough to come here on a Thursday night and run into haunt owners and their crews who were taking time to visit.  They all loved it and you will too.  GET OUT AND SEE THIS HAUNT ASAP!!!
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