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News: Visit a haunt in Virginia this season!
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 on: November 07, 2017, 04:47:15 PM 
Started by LakeHickoryHaunts - Last post by Badger
Had a great time doing this despite the rain.  I'd do it again.

 on: November 07, 2017, 04:25:15 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Date Attended: 9/23/17

Scare Factor: 5/5
TBTW at Eastern State Penitentiary is inside an actual prison that was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world.  It was in operation from 1829 until 1971.  There are daylight tours of ESP year-round where you can see things such as the cell that housed Al Capone in 1929-30.  Many many inmates died there over the years and there are photographs of many of them inside the prison.  When it was built, it was way out in the country, but it's now just outside downtown Philadelphia and looms like a giant walled monolith as you approach it.  Inside, it sounds like you can hear screaming and directions being barked out over megaphones which increases the feeling of dread. Once you get inside, there is no hope for escape as 30-foot walls literally surround everything from this point onward.  Having to sign waivers, even though you know it's "Just a haunt" is unnerving as they cannot guarantee your safety because of its age and history.  There are 6 different haunts within the walls: Lockdown, Breakout,  Infirmary, Machine Shop, Quarrntine in 4D and the new Blood Yard.  Each was unique and terrifying

Actors: 4.75/5
The actors at TBTW are off the charts. you would think that it would be all prisoners/guards and their are plenty of them roaming about, but there are so many more. Each separate haunt consists of going through separate portions of the prison and the actors respond accordingly.  Many of them have been there for years and it shows.  The queue line actors outside were more period-friendly but once inside, they quicky turn to violence guards and make sure you're where you're supposed to be. I saw very few simple pop scares as most of the actors do interact with you in some fashion.  It was a LOT of fun watching them in action.  You can get a special red glowstick necklace that allows certain actors to touch and bump you to enhance the experience and that makes it all the more scary.  I saw more than on abandoned necklace while trying to escape from behind the walls. 

Sets/Props/FX: 5/5
IT'S A 180-YEAR-OLD PRISON!!  You could simply walk through in the dark and it would be horrifying, but nope, they have to include fantastic scenes to enhance the scares.  On more than one occasion you have to walk the same corridors that the prisoners walked down past the rows of cells and only seeing glowing red necklaces in the foggy distance in front and behind you.  Most haunts use claustrophobic methods to terrify you but some areas of TBTW are open and huge.  Fill it with fog and add minimal lighting and you have a truly horrific sight.

Length: 5/5
It took me and my companion over 2 hours to get through everything, including lines and it was very early in the season.  However it was completely worth it given everything that was happening around me.  No complaints.

Value: 4.75/5
Tickets range form $25 - over $100 depending on what you want to experience.  There are VIP lines and something called the HEX Challenge that I didn't attempt .  After the haunt and for a small fee, you could take in what they call the Speakeasy Club where you can relax, have a drink, and even rent out a cell for your friends.  They had 20s-30s music and singers and it was a cool thing to do after going through the haunt.  It was a lot of fun and cool to see Al Capone's cell which was a part of the Speakeasy Club.

Overall: 4.9/5
No idea about parking as we were lucky to find on-street parking one block from the entrance.  There is a shuttle take brings you in from somewhere but I don't know the costs.  They have an extensive  gift shop and decent concessions as well as teh amazing history of the prison.  Terror Behind the Walls is a fantastic haunt to go through and one day I'll take the daytime tour.  Put this one on your bucket list  ASAP.

 on: November 07, 2017, 03:38:29 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Date attended: 10/19/17

Scare Factor: 3/5
The Haunted Mill is located just off Hwy 73  in the middle of Belmont inside an actual 100-year-old former Mill and has been in the same location for a long time.  I haven't been in the last couple years and they've made some major changes to the haunt that I noticed right away.   The biggest change is that they run you into the building from a different entrance which threw off everything I remember  from my last visit.  The weekend i attended was a special week as they had Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) near the ticket booth signing autographs and posing for pics with his fans.  This may have caused the queue line actors to tone it down as there were a couple younger kids meeting him, otherwise they have some...effective actors who menace you while waiting.

Actors: 3.5/5
The actors at the Haunted Mill have a lot of fun while doing their jobs. I was in a group with a couple of college age kids and they screamed at almost everything the actors threw at them.  always fun to go through a haunt like that.  Most of the actors were good at popping out and resetting back into the darkness.  A few interacted with us with extended speaking roles but the majority of those actors are the usual poppers.  No complaints.

Sets/Props/FX: 4/5
No complaints here: Haunted Mill has been around a long time and they know how to make the corridors dark and scary and filled with good props and animatronics.  The group I was with was jumping at many of them and making a scene and it was fun to watch.  The sets were well designed and runs well.  some areas were a bit dark but otherwise well done.

One thing I don't like about The Haunted Mill is that it only takes about 15 minutes to get through, despite my grouop taking it's time.  I know they have limited space and run other businesses out of the building but it is a short haunt.  they do provide decent quality for what you get though.

Value: 2.5/5
From their website:
Haunted Mill only
$16 for adults
$10 for kids 12 and under
Haunted Combo includes 3D MiniGolf
$20 for adult
$13 for kids 12 and under
R.I.P Pass (Skip the line)
$35 for adults
$20 for kids 12 and under

Overall: 3.15/5
Not free parking (I think it's $2/car) .  They do have Blacklight mini-golf and an arcade so you can play a game after going through the haunt or while you're waiting in line. I did see concessions but have never tried them and I don't recall if they have merch. The Haunted Mill is a fun haunt, albeit short, and is best utillzed as part of a multi-haunt night. they are VERY convenient from I-85 but parking is a bit difficult to find as the lot is located behind the haunt and you have to drive past it in order tosee the parking signs.  I enjoy this haunt and recommend you give it a shot.

 on: November 02, 2017, 02:34:46 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Date Attended 10/21

Scare Factor: 3.75/5
Hallowed Grounds Mil is literally an old mill that has been turned into a haunt for the past few years.  It's very easy to get there as it's only a couple minutes off I-40 and sits right on Hwy 70.   In fact it sits about 20 feet off Hwy 70 and you have to stand in line to enter as cars and trucks whoosh by you.  It's not overtly frightening but I would definitely watch any kids that you may bring and certainly it can get a little uneasy when a big rig zooms by. They went through some major changes from last year, most notably that its NO LONGER  a guided tour.  I much prefer walking through at your own pace and this made for a much better experience.  They put a LOT of time and effort into the haunt this year and it really shows.  About 90% of it was different from last year and it was certainly longer too.  

Actors: 3.5/5
As always, their actors give a good effort and many of them follow you into the next room or two to continue the scare.  The only issue I had was that there were not enough of them.  there were stretches where a single actor could have made an incredible difference but sometimes you have to work with what you have.  I know that they had a death of one of their actors a few weeks ago and perhaps that could have explained why they seemed understaffed.  Despite the lack of actors, the ones that were there were enthusiastic and ready to terrify you.I think if they had about 8-10 more actors this place could be an absolute fearful place to visit.

Sets/Props/FX: 3.75/5
The owners of Hallowed Grounds Mill went to the big trade-shows and conventions this year and bought some really cool stuff that they utilized well in the haunt.  They also had lots of low-tech props and effects that worked really well.  I think they've hit the right balance of homemade and vendor-bought props and all of them were used to full effect.  I especially enjoyed the mazes and new lighting effects.  HGM is offering a christmas haunt this december and I can't wait to see how they use the new lighting.

Length: 3.75/5
the self-guided tour makes it a little slower to go through since you're no longer at the mercy of the guide.  MY companions were jumpy and therefore walked through a bit slower than I normally would have but it made for more studying of the sets and details.  The owner may be expanding by another 12,000sq ft next year.  It probably took us 25-30 minutes to go through. I'm not complaining about that length at all.

Value: 4.25/5
Cost is $18 to go through. Certain nights they have canned food drives which offers a discount to those who donate.  No complaints for what you get. Oh, and there's FREE PARKING!!

Overall: 3.8/5
(Copied from my review on their FB page: ) As someone who's worked with haunts for over 40 years, it's great to see a haunt like this improve every year and watch it evolve. I love that they no longer have a guided tour and allow the groups to get lost inside. The actors have continued to step in their game each year and I hope they continue to do so. The sets were more detailed but there were still gaps where actors would have been more effective than static props. I will be curious to watch them continue to bring their A-game to the table and I look forward to what they plan for next year.

*NOTE*: They will be offering a Christmas haunt for a weekend in early December so go out  and support them.  You never know who's going to show up. Muahahahahahaaaa

 on: November 02, 2017, 02:08:04 PM 
Started by MrBones - Last post by Badger
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.

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.

 on: November 02, 2017, 01:54:32 AM 
Started by LakeHickoryHaunts - Last post by LakeHickoryHaunts
Hey Frightseekers! Happy late Halloween! Just a reminder that Lake Hickory Haunts is hosting its Black Out show this Friday and Saturday! Tickets are $3 off general admission online and on-site! Gates open 6:00-11:00 both days.

 on: October 31, 2017, 10:35:27 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by NCHadmin
Happy Halloween everyone!

 on: October 31, 2017, 09:46:52 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
Happy Halloween, Frightseekers!

Enjoy this special day and the last official day of the "haunt season"!

 on: October 29, 2017, 01:41:58 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Granville Haunt Farm
Date visited:  10/27/2017
Submitted by:  packbacker

Scare Factor: 2.5/5
The haunted trail is a large improvement over last year in terms of decreased dead space and increased actor numbers.  Sets are more convincing and the cornfield provides an inherent creepy atmosphere.  Scares unfortunately were difficult to come by due to very large groups and a lot of action in the front of the group.  We entered the trail as a group of ten and missed multiple scares when we couldn't fit into a building/set.  It's kind of awkward to have three quarters of your group see a scare while you are outside a building only to enter and find an actor just staring at you.  Zombie paintball continues to be effective with good natured zombies there to withstand your paint abuse. The dancing zombie made me giggle more than a bit.   

Actors: 3/5
The haunted trail featured a much larger number of actors than last year.  They tended, however, to be very front-centric in their scares and after the pop reveal awkward silence generally followed.  Maybe it was the perspective from the back of the large group but routinely we'd just walk by actors standing still menacing a weapon or simply staring at you.  The zombie actors gave us varied looks from dancing to crawling to traditional Romero-esque undead.  Roaming actors throughout the grounds of the attraction were noticeably more interactive and a lot of fun to kill time with while waiting in lines.

Sets/Props/Fx: 3.5/5
There has been a noticeable and marked improvement in the sets and props on the haunted trail.  A few more technologically advanced props are present with some video scares.  That being said we also came across a projection board with the "blue screen of death" in the cornfield.  The "Children of the Corn" scene was really cool and something that not enough cornfields feature.  Actor costumes varied from really good to very lacking.  The paintball setup offered various targets with a plethora of zombies to douse with paint.  An entertaining video projection is in the queue area for waiting customers.

Length: 5/5
Granville offers three attractions: a haunted trail, zombie paintball, and a corn maze.  You can spend the better part of an evening at this haunt taking in all the sights. 

Value:  4/5
Granville offers a la carte pricing or a combo ticket.  Combo tickets for all three attractions are $20 which considering zombie paintball routinely goes for $15 and up gives you a good bang for your buck.  If you want to do a single attraction, however, you can buy lower priced tickets which is a very nice option to have.

Free parking!  Concessions are available on site as well as a cool looking virtual reality experience for an additional charge. 

Overall: 3.5/5
If you visited Granville last year you can definitely tell they've put a lot of effort into the haunted trail.  There's a lot more to see with some cool new props and very little empty space.  Actor numbers have also been upped.  The trail could really develop into a fun haunted cornfield if group sizes were smaller and actor paid attention to all "zones" of groups.  The zombie paintball part of the attraction is well executed and fun.  Granville really exudes a family fun atmosphere.  It's not as menacing or frightening as other attractions I've visited but I'm not sure that's the vibe they are seeking to portray.  We saw plenty of families who may have been doing just the corn maze while others utilized the well priced combo ticket for some wholesome holiday family fun.  Regardless, Granville is making big strides and worth checking out!

 on: October 29, 2017, 01:40:01 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Granville Haunt Farm
Date Attended: 10/27/2017
Submitted by: Screaming_Diana

Scare Factor:  3/5
I was very impressed with the changes I saw taking place at Granville. A lot of work and money has obviously gone into improving this haunt this year.  The haunt is more than just a haunted trail. They offer a haunted trail, adult and kids corn maze, zombie paintball, and a virtual reality game. The coolest part of them offering all of these activities is you can pick and choose which activities youíd like to partake in or buy a combo ticket that includes multiple activities. While I didnít find the trail scary I did enjoy watching the teenagers in front of me scream and jump.  The zombie paintball hayride was a lot of fun and one of the better ones Iíve done at a trail. The zombies not only stagger toward the hayride but also crawl around on the ground and if you donít shoot them dead they might end up on the hayride with you. There was a large inflatable shooting range type activity that folks seemed to really be enjoying but we didnít check it out. While itís not a terrifying haunt thereís a ton of things here to entertain you and your whole family.

Actors: 3/5
Thereís a mix of actors here. The midway clown was their notable actor. He was very energetic scaring patrons in line and posing for pictures. Actors on the trail, while trying and having fun, where often short on selling the scare. They are very front centered so with me being in the back of a group of ten I missed almost all of the actor scares. This is a group size problem not really an actor problem.  The actor on the bus looked great just standing there waiting as we approached and entered the bus.  Actors costumes were a mix of detailed creepy masks to people in t-shirts with limited make-up. The most memorable costume for me was the corn guy. He made me smile. I have to give credit to the paintball zombies. Those guys were taking a beating and kept on going. Thatís dedication.

Set Design/Props/FX:  3/5
I noticed big improvements here and can only imagine how much they will continue to improve from year to year. The haunt is broken up into several different sections including the haunted trail, corn mazes, and hayride zombie paintball.  They also had other activities one of which was a virtual reality game where you could watch on a tv screen from the outside as people played the game.  I didnít play the game but enjoyed watching as others tried to play.  Zombie paintball was a lot of fun and one of the better set ups Iíve seen at a haunt. We didnít have time to do the corn maze but it looked like a long one from the outside. There was corn as far as I could see. There was improvement in the haunted trail from last year. Most of the empty space previously seen on this trail has been filled in. More actors and bigger and better sets have been added. There was a large movie screen that had ďno signalĒ displayed on the screen. Instead of displaying it with no signal it needed to just be turned off.  Unfortunately I missed a huge portion of the scenes and scares simply because the sets were not big enough to hold a group of 10 people. I often stood outside the set waiting in line. While the front of the group likely enjoyed what they saw I was left to walk through the empty set while an actor awkwardly stared at me. Group numbers were just too large for this trail. The children of the corn set has great potential but failed in the execution of scares. I liked the use of moving planks on the bridge along the trail. 

Value:  4/5
The price varies greatly here. You can purchase combo tickets for $20 and do the corn maze, haunted trail,  and zombie paintball or you can buy individual tickets and only do the activities youíd like to do. Additional paintballs can be purchased and you can play a virtual reality game for $5. They also offer group and other discounted rates that can be found on their website.

Length: 5/5
Itís a longer haunt if you participate in all the activities. The haunted trail and zombie paintball took about 25 minutes not including wait times and the corn maze and other activities. You could spend a lot of time here.

Parking is free

Overall Impression: 3.5/5
This is a family friendly haunt with fun actives to do during the day and haunted activities by night.  Granville is a young haunt that has shown a lot of improvement since last season. With multiple activities going on people are spread out making lines to each activity shorter. I was impressed to see the haunt accommodating a disabled elderly lady on the zombie paintball hayride. The line staff was very friendly and genuinely wanted everyone there to have a good time.  Gather up the family and head out to Granville Haunt Farm. Thereís something to entertain the whole family or sit by the fire and enjoy something from the ice cream and food truck. Even if you donít get scared youíll have fun participating in one of their many activities.

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