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The Haunted => Member Reviews - 2013 => Topic started by: screaming_diana on October 06, 2013, 02:59:15 PM



Title: Lake Hickory Haunts
Post by: screaming_diana on October 06, 2013, 02:59:15 PM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Date Attended: October 5, 2013

Scare Factor:  3.5/5
I had never heard of this haunt before so I was expecting a small backyard type of haunt.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  We arrived early and got to see their pre-haunt parade.  It was awesome to see all the characters up close as they drove through on golf carts.  You could see the fine details in each characters costume and mask. This is something I often miss while screaming through a haunt.  You donít see the haunt from the road all you see is an old run down store and a ticket booth.  It gave me a ďthis is sketchy, scary, and maybe we should turn aroundĒ first impression which is perfect for a haunt.  A little more interaction with the patrons would increase the scares.   The haunt is guided, which I think the haunt owner said was county regulations, but it takes away from the scares a bit.  It was early in the night and very early in the season so Iím sure they still have a few kinks to work out with guides, actors, and such. 

Actors:  4/5
The actors have their scares, skits, and lines down perfect.  The actors were great at sneaking up on folks waiting in line and people were enjoying having their pictures taken with some of these interesting characters.  This was the scariest Freddy I have ever seen.  His mask and costume were amazing.  The headless horseman and his horse were outstanding.  I canít express enough how impressed I was with the looks of these actors.  The clowns were a hoot!  Except when they were scaring me to death by being right in my face the clowns were fun to watch.  The Jack in the Box was priceless.  I love their little skits with the clown training and bringing the clown back to life.   Itís different than some of the traditional haunts but it was fun.   

Set Design/Props/FX:  4/5
They have sets Iíve never seen at a haunt before.  I canít recall ever seeing a UFO scene anywhere else.  Itís impressive with a moving bridge, a gruesome medical scene with a little bit of magic thrown in, and spiders that pop out of nowhere.  The clowns are amazing.  They are great with their scares but are also very fun to watch as they jump around all over the place happily showing off their latest invention or trick.  Freddyís scene was the creepiest for me.  Seeing his hand and then his body slowly emerge from the mist before he leaps up at the crowd was chilling.

Length: 3.5/5
I was hoping for a bit more or maybe I was just waiting for that terrifying run for your lives kind of ending. 

Value:  5/5
For $15 bucks youíre getting a good deal.  You get the haunt, a live DJ, if you arrive early youíll see a small parade and get to meet the actors, a chance to have your picture taken with some of the best dressed monsters around, and some very friendly staff to help you with any questions.  They also offer concessions and some fun and original games for you to enjoy. 

Other: 
I know the guides are necessary and maybe even a requirement but unfortunately they take from the scare.  Our guide was great but he had to do a lot of line management and the constant stopping and gathering together of our group of eight (plus one small child) broke the mood a bit.  Give the guide a character, make him part of the haunt, let the actors help push people along so thereís less communication from the guide and a smoother flow, send through smaller groups, and youíve got it. 

Overall Impression:  4/5
We were headed to another haunt and just decided we would stop by and check Lake Hickory Haunts out on our way.  I am so glad we did.  We talked with the haunt owners for a while and they have a great vision for the future of this haunt.  I canít wait to come back and see what they will have in store for us next year.  This haunt is going places for sure.


Title: Re: Lake Hickory Haunts
Post by: packbacker on October 07, 2013, 08:35:17 PM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Visit Date: 10/5/13

Scare Factor 2/5
Lake Hickory Haunts is a guided trail that focuses more on set scenes rather than pop scares.  In places this works (clowns) and in other places it falls flat (torture chamber, Jason)  Groups are generally 8 deep which seem to be too large to deliver consistent scares.  The guide is forced to count the patrons and utter directions (stop here, stay right, etc) which kills atmosphere.  In certain sets the entire group didn't fit in the room and a prolonged set-up gives away the scene.  Guided trails are very difficult to pull off.  They have to feel organic, have a lot of interaction, and minimize down time.  There are some kinks to work out but the trail is young and they have the actors/props to ratchet things up down the road.


Actors 4/5
The clown unit cannot get enough praise.  They work together as a cohesive unit in a way I haven't seen at another haunt.  It's organized mayhem which is deliciously fun.  Dr. Death and Freddy are solid. 

Props/Sets/Fx 4.5./5
Lake Hickory Haunts is a prop heavy attraction that has obviously invested a lot of time and money into their production.  There are some fantastic set pieces with a UFO, an amazing clown house/big top, and a gore filled medical set.  Masks and makeup look professional with the clowns again being the standouts.  There is a fire feature, a moving walkway, a creepy leprechaun, and a claustrophobic chamber where a beloved horror film icon stops by to say hello.  It's a lot more than I'd expect out of a second year haunt. 

Length 3/5
It felt a little short with  the stop and go flow. 

Value 4/5
You'll see some unique things and have fun.  $15 is a reasonable fee for what you get.

Other
Free parking!  The staff is very friendly and welcoming- they are genuinely interested in making sure you had a good time.  There's a carnival feel to things with midway games as well as a DJ in a crow's nest.  A pre-show parade features the main actors and a fantastic headless horseman.  Photo opportunities and pre-show scares are welcomed.

Overall  3/5
It looks good and the clown set-up completely won me over but the guided large groups really screw with the mojo.  Things just move to slow and are set-up to the point where the effectiveness drops rapidly.  A free roaming trail in groups of four and the scare factor increases a large amount.  They're young and I expect big things in the future.


Title: Re: Lake Hickory Haunts
Post by: hauntoverload on October 21, 2013, 06:11:34 PM
Lake Hickory Haunts
Date attended: 10/19/13

Scare Factor: 4/5 - This place is VERY fun. You pull up to an open, foggy field and park. The headless horseman is running around! You go to an old, run down shop and buy your ticket. You are already well off the beaten path, and it seems rough. You then walk down a big hill into a valley with a midway - games, concessions, and the haunt. You go on a trail at the beginning and then into to main haunt. There are too many AWESOME spots to go through them all, and I won't give spoilers. The "Big Big Top Circus" was AMAZING!!! LOTS of chainsaws...be prepared. Very fun.

Actors: 4/5 - These guys are relentless. These guys would surround people with chainsaws and they would hit the ground, and the actors would follow. They did not let up. In some of the scenes, the acting was top-notch. Everything was superb. Freddy was awesome. A few scenes were weak, like the Cobbler Shop, but others were good. Everything was fun.

Set Design/Props/FX: 4.5/5 - These scenes were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't want to give anything away, but be prepared for magic, skits, pop scares, everything. They pull out ALL the stops.

Length: 4.5/5 - About 30 minutes. The scenes were all jam packed, no bare spots, plenty of good scenes.

Value: 4/5 - For $15, you get a lot of fun and it's very worth it.

Overall: 4/5 - Fun, but it's just missing that one KILLER thing.