November 23, 2017, 09:16:27 PM
News: Visit a haunt in South Carolina this season!
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Author Topic: Lake Hickory Haunts  (Read 240 times)
MrBones
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« on: October 02, 2017, 10:42:18 AM »

Lake Hickory Haunts

Date visited - 9/29/17

My daughter and I visited Lake Hickory Haunts this weekend. I was very happy with what this haunt has grown in to.  It has been a year or two since I have visited this haunt and so much has changed, but all for the better. From the time you enter the trail leading down to the midway, you hear screams coming from inside. The trail offers you a glimpse of things to come with a view overlooking the haunt. Once you enter the midway, you find an array of characters roaming the midway for photo ops and quick scares on unsuspecting guests, a dj playing music from his flame-spouting tower, multiple games and an escape room, and concessions. As you wait, you can enjoy the games and concessions or mingle with the rotating cast of characters that wander the midway. Your anticipation grows as you watch a constant stream of victims running out of the end of the haunt while chainsaws rev in the background. The line does take a little time, but that is because they send in smaller groups (usually around 4 to 6 people). It ends up being worth the wait because you have a smaller group and get a better experience over the places that send larger groups leaving you out if you are in the front or back and miss a scare. Once inside, you are immediately hit with some great looking scenes and plenty of well-placed scares and they continue all the way through. The haunt is a very good length and there is a minimum of down time in between scenes. In the first years I attended this haunts, the scares lacked a bit and there was too much dead space, but by this visit I can see that they have fixed both of those issues quite well. Though I miss the old scene where you boarded a boat and crossed the lake with the creepy boatman, it is worth the loss for all the extra gained. Throughout the haunt, you hear the screams ahead and behind you. Lake Hickory Haunts has plenty to offer and is a must for the haunt season. Even though we visited a few days before October, the entire place had such a great Halloween atmosphere to it and you felt like you were in the middle of the haunt season. Unlike some other haunts that only offer about 10 minutes of cheap thrills, Lake hickory Haunts offers you an evening of great Halloween fun and great scares. Well worth the admission price. I plan to go back again this season.

*note- parking is $2  but free parking passes can be found at spirit Halloween and party city in hickory while they last. (probably at some other nearby places too)

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hauntednorcak
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 09:21:02 AM »

Date Attended: 9/30

Scare Factor: 5/5
Lake Hickory Haunts gets scarier and scarier each year. This year was no different. Lake Hickory Haunts's 2017 production is the scariest incarnation of LHH yet. The location is eerie in itself. The old gas station ticket area gives off a eerie, creepy vibe. The entrance to the haunt and the descent into the midway gives you an awesome overlook of the haunt that allows you to get a preview of what lies ahead. The minute you walk down the path you encounter actors in the midway looking to scare guests before they get into the haunt. The scare factor is intense immediately after entering the haunt. We went in as a group of four, which kept the scares evenly distributed throughout the group. The scares stay consistent all the way throughout the house. There is a good mixture of scene oriented scares in the buildings and more pop scares on the outdoor parts between set scenes. There is no down time away from scares between each set, as there are plenty of actors to terrorize guests between scenes.

Actors: 5/5
The actors at Lake Hickory Haunts are a talented bunch. The actors with speaking roles do an excellent job of portraying their character and scaring patrons. Actors that have pop scares don't just pop out for a quick scare, they follow up and continue to torment people when they see their fear. The clown actors continue to be the highlight for me. The clown outside the clown house was excellent and delivered quick ad-libs (all while walking around on stilts). Actors here do not settle for just simple scares, they follow up and make sure to do what it takes to scare people. Nobody broke character or seemed unenthusiastic. The number of actors here continues to increase. In earlier years, there were dead spots without actors between scenes but this has been addressed in a dramatic fashion as you cannot go more than 20 seconds without encountering an actor anymore.

Sets/Props/FX: 5/5
Lake Hickory Haunts has some incredibly detailed scenes and always has. The lake provides an eerie backdrop for the whole haunt as you circle around it. The animatronics all throughout the houses are excellent. The indoor scenes are incredibly detailed even down to the smell. The use of smells here is something not done in a lot of haunts and it adds an incredible amount of realism to each of the different scenes. For me, Lake Hickory Haunts has always been exceptional in this department. They spend lots of money on props and it shows. The sheer amount of props and detail throughout the haunt is incredible. Each year they just keep adding more and it gets even better.

Length: 5/5
The whole haunt took us about 40 minutes to go through and we moved at a normal pace. The trail circles around the lake and is very very long. The amount of time you spend here can vary because there are plenty of things to do in the midway and you can make a full evening out of the haunt if you want to. Wait times, however do get long. We arrived around 8:00 and waited about an hour and a half before going in, so come early to avoid long waits.

Value: 5/5
$25 on site or $23 online which is a great price for a haunt as extravagant as Lake Hickory. Fast passes are available for $35 which would definitely be worth it late in the season when I could see wait times getting really long. For $50 they have a VIP ticket which I am not sure of all the details of but I am sure it would be worth it.

Other: Parking is $2. There is a wide variety of concessions and merchandise available for sale in the midway.

Overall: 5/5
There is no shortage of scares at Lake Hickory Haunts. Lake Hickory Haunts continues to grow at an incredibly fast pace and is on par with the top haunts in the state after 6 or 7 (?) years in operation. This trail will definitely leave you scared to death or thoroughly entertained. Lake Hickory Haunts is a destination haunt and worth a trip. They continue to grow each year and in a few years Lake Hickory will be the biggest haunt in the state. They change up the haunt each year and it is worth coming yearly to see the changes as well as the growth that occurs each season. LHH is one of my favorites in the state and they will not disappoint. Overall, Lake Hickory Haunts is a great experience and should not be missed for any haunt fan.
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Badger
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 02:08:04 PM »

Attended 10/21

Scare factor 4.5/5
Just the mere art of getting to LHH can be an adventure. A spooky, scary adventure. It's literally out in the middle of nowhere and just taking the winding dark backroads to get there can be an adventure.  If you go when its already dark and there's fog or drizzle outside, seeing the lights of the haunt emerge out of the darkness as you round the corner will make your heart beat faster.  LHH is built in a bowl which forces you to descend down a long steep trail into their midway after walking through a dark parking area and buying your tickets next to an old gas station. The mobile home park across the streets may have residents glaring at you as you walk along the road.  Are they sizing you up?  Who can say?

Actors: 4.75/5
The acting at LHH is top notch.  From the actors patrolling the midway, to the  multi-faceted ones working different spots in the buildings, to the one lurking about in the dark. Many of them have good speaking roles and they play off the crowds and  each other well.  Some of them can be a bit cliche, but you have to expect that when you have a large number of actors like this.  Only a couple of trademarked characters were hanging out. No complaints at all.

Sets/Props/FX 4/5
LHH is not afraid to build cool props to make there scenes stand out.  I especially like the alien and sea-themed areas as well as the clowns at the end.  You don't see a lot of fancy animatronics and walls of static props here.  It looks like most of it is hand built with just the right amount of lights and special effects to keep you on your toes and eagerly looking around for whats around the next corner.  Many of their actors are adorned with cool props and masks that look freakish and off-worldly.  It's a nice departure from the usual CFX/SPFX silicon masks that many other haunts use.

Length 5/5
In peak season I can imagine it taking a looong time to go through, but I can also imagine you wont worry about it due to their midway and escape games that they offer to pass the time.  I was with 3 others, including 2 first timers and it took nearly 45 minutes to get through as the newbies kept getting scared and refusing to go forward.  Count on at least 35-45 minutes even during slow times.  No complaints about this at all as it's one of the longer haunts in the area.

Value: 4/5
Prices range from $20-$50 depending on the night and the event.  Fast passes are recommended in late October.

Other:
Parking costs $2/car. there are escape rooms, games, and merch available for purchase as well as concessions.  I have never tried any of these.

Overall: 4.45/5
LHH is a haunt that I have watched evolve over the past 3-4 years and it's transformation in nothing short of amazing.  I believe this haunt will become nationally known for its innovation use of terrain,. props, and scenes.  I always enjoy coming out here and will continue to do so hopefully for many year to come.

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