June 28, 2017, 04:04:08 PM
News: Visit a haunt in South Carolina this season!
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 on: Today at 12:07:42 PM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
The past several years we have visited Netherworld in Georgia......and it is amazing.  We've discussed, however, trying to branch out and check out a large/destination haunt within driving distance of central NC (up to 7hrs or so).   Any recommendations out there from frightseekers or haunt owners?

Looking forward to the upcoming season!

 on: November 03, 2016, 10:31:35 AM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
13th Acre

Date attended: 10/29/2016

Scare Factor: 3/5
The 13th Acre is part of the A.W. Shucks Farm outside Monroe.  The farm features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayride, general store, train, and lots of kid's activities during the day.  However, once the sun goes down, lurking in the back of the farm, lies a sinister looking trail going off into the darkness.  The 'other' area of the farm is VERY well lit and not particularly eerie, but not in the back.  The trail is much darker and not recommended for young kids.   After getting my ticket, I got in line with some apprehensive customers and after a couple of words about not touching actors, etc, we were off.

Actors: 3.5/5
I will admit to putting on a training workshop at 13th Acres 5 day s before they opened.  Most of the actors who attended were young (high-school aged) kids and there were many of these working the trail.  The actors were rather enthusiastic and made the members of our group scream almost at will.  I enjoyed the interaction of the actors to the customers.  The clowns were frightening, the hillbillies disturbing, the chainsaw were gritty, and the group I was in screamed loudly and with pure terror.  I loved every minute of it.  If these actors stay here for a couple more seasons, their growth will only make this haunt better and better.

Set Design/Props/FX: 3.75/5
The first quarter of the trail is along what looks like cattle chutes at a slaughterhouse.  They do their job in creating an aura of dread and hopelessness as you move along the dirty corridors.  I would guess that 90% of the props are handmade and authentic.  13th Acre is delightfully primitive and refreshing from those large haunts filled with animatronics and thousand-dollar silicon masks.  I enjoyed it a lot.

Length: 2.75/5
15-20 minutes to go through to the trail.  No real complaints.  You could spend a couple hours at the corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other stuff.

Value: 4/5
From the website: Regular Ticket: $11.00 - Combo Ticket with Aw Shucks Farms: $18.00. That's a lot of fun for less than $20. There are merchandise and concession buildings and even a general store for shopping and such.

FREE PARKING! LOTS of things to do here. AW Shucks farm hosts weddings and school trips so be advised they may be going on while your're at the haunt.

Overall: 3.4/5
13th Acre is a fun haunt and convenient to Monroe or Waxhaw.  If you're going on a multiple haunt trip during the season, I recommend you giving it a look as you can get in and out in less than an hour.  Or come early, pick out a pumpkin (or several) get lost in the corn maze, and sample some tasty food from their concession shacks.  I enjoyed this one a lot and will be making it a part of my haunt tours in the future.

 on: November 02, 2016, 02:22:26 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Fear Farm

Date attended: 10/28/2016

Scare Factor: 4/5
Fear farm is located in the wilds of Upstate SC near Blacksburg.  It is dark, eerie, and foreboding as you journey through the rural countryside to get here.  We saw deer standing along the road  and I'm sure there have been some incidents while getting here.   Suddenly, there are lights up ahead and there it is. It's a large farm-like area with a pair of haunts.  The Fear Farm and the Ringmaster's Circus Academy.  You have to park in a field, walk past some old barns and shed en route to the ticket area, and then look waaay over there to get to the haunts.  We started off at the Ringmaster's Circus Academy which had a short line and a few characters roaming about.  We could hear screams and such coming from inside.  We got inside and were treated to a video recording of the Ringmaster reciting the rules (sorta) and sent us on our way.

Actors: 4.25/5
The actors working the queues at Fear Farm were spot on. They delivered lines spot-on, the pops were on point, and they cam at you again and again, especially if you showed fear.  It was a lot of fun watching some of the clowns at the circus pop out of doors and make customers scream.  Inside the circus maze, various monsters lurked about generally being scary and hiding once the scare was made.  The freak show actors were loud and creepy.  Inside Fear Farm itself, there were LOTS of good interactions with the groups and the screams reverberated throughout the walls of the old building.  Of course there were chainsaws.

Set Design/Props/FX: 4/5
I would hesitate to guess that a lot of the props inside the Fear Farm are probably genuine farm implements and tools. The scenes are detail rich and it takes a second to take much of it in.  The clown maze was cool and simple and when I looked back I was amazed to find that it was actually outdoors. Standing in line for the maze, the building look real and study.  Turns out they are only facades.  You got me there.  But I digress.  The only real complaint I have was the dark mazes (hate them) but fortunately, they were short and didn't detract from the overall experience.

Length: 4/5
Probably 20 minutes for the Ringmaster's Circus Academy and 25 for the Fear Farm.  No complaints.

Value: 4/5
From their website: "General Admission : $18 on site, $15 online RIP Pass (Entry and skip the line at both attractions) : $25 ULTIMATE VIP (Entry and skip the line at both attractions plus a T-shirt and glow stick) : $35 Concessions, games, and gift shop available on site.  NEW FOR 2016: WE NOW ACCEPT VISA AND MASTERCARD ON SITE AT TICKET BOOTH AND GIFT SHOP"

FREE PARKING!  They had a concession shop selling nice t-shirts, hats, etc.  I believe there was a food booth, but I can't remember.

Overall: 4.05/5
I and my companions thoroughly enjoyed Fear Farm and plan to make it a regular stop when we travel through the Upstate.  It's not too far off I-85 but you will have to take some dark roads.  I highly recommend you check out Fear Fair in 2017 and beyond because they have a fun and very spooky haunt.

 on: November 02, 2016, 11:38:17 AM 
Started by Badger - Last post by packbacker
Ahhhhhhhhhh, Booger Jim's.  We visited a few years ago and then again this October.  I've got giant safety concerns about the whole set-up.  The bamboo forest is unique and cool but the path seemed to be poorly leveled (if at all) and I found myself tripping constantly.  The handrail at the top of the hill is questionable at best.  We didn't run into the barrel issue but my friend left with multiple bruises from the chainsaws being slammed into her legs.  When leaving the house, we descended down some concrete steps with no railings.....and three to four chainsaws still hitting our legs.  Screaming_diana about ran off a 3 foot drop (no railings!) as they kept hitting her with the chainsaws despite me and her telling them to stop that it physically hurt. 

They have a lot of passion but need to learn when to say when.  I'm amazed they haven't had any serious injuries there.

 on: November 02, 2016, 11:29:56 AM 
Started by Badger - Last post by packbacker
A late happy Halloween from me..........but the spirit is always there Smiley

 on: October 31, 2016, 09:22:02 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by screaming_diana
Happy Halloween Badger!

 on: October 31, 2016, 11:56:00 AM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Booker Jim's Hollow

Date attended: 10/28/2016

Scare Factor: 3.5/5
Booger Jim's Hollow is tucked away in an area known as Cherokee Falls along the Broad River in Blacksburg, SC.  This place is WAY out there and could genuinely give you the creeps driving along this lonely stretch of rural roads.  We saw deer and nearly ran off the road once due to a VERY sharp curve coming off a hill.  Suddenly there are lights ahead and there it was.  There are dozens of haunts in SC called Spook Houses which are peppered all over the Upstate and Booger Jim's is proud to call itself one.  Spook Houses are small mill houses or similar filled with homemade props and very enthusiastic actors.  I've said it before, I'd rather go through a 700 sq ft Spook House filled with great actors than a 20,000 sq ft haunt filled with nothing but animatronics.  The sound of screams and chainsaws were emanating from the trail above us and actors roamed the roof of the adjoining house.  You go through the trail first and then the house.  My companions and I met our guide and she took us to the head of the trail which was in the middle of a bamboo forest.  This was really cool and made the scares even more creepy since it seemed so out of place.  As an aside, you do have to sign a waiver as there is some light touching and grabbing from the actors and there is a risk of injury.

Actors: 3/5
The actors at Booger Jim's are all enthusiastic, from the kids dressed as zombies running around the line, to the chainsaw guys, to the crazy clowns.  We talked to the ticket taker while waiting to get on the trail and she was super polite and genuinely hoped we had a great time.  No bored or burned-out actors here.  The overwhelming majority of the scares along the trail are pop scares, jumping out from behind plastic walls, or from behind trees.  As mentioned before, a good chunk of the trail was inside a bamboo forest.  The fact that this was unusual, plus allowed actors to hang from them made this much more creepy than normal.  There was at least one actor that leapt from above us and landed between two bamboo trunks at least 5 feet in the air.  That was impressive.  The trail has a good deal of elevation change so actors can come at you from above, below, and all sides.  There was even one that physically slid down the hill to get a scare and it worked.  The actors inside the house were in your face and LOUD.  No subtlety here.  Unfortunately, one of the actors in the house slammed his barrel down on the floor and hit the foot of one of my companions...twice.  Granted, he didn't break character, but she did tell him that he had hit her foot and it hurt.  (She was fine afterwards).  There was not a chainsaw at the end of the house, but the number of chainsaws along the trail more than make up for it.

Set Designs/Props/FX: 2.75/5
There's no fancy animatronics here.  Everything looks homemade or Spirit Halloween quality.  The trail is dark and props aren't needed as much due to intense acting, but some well placed lights could make a difference.  The "Halloween' soundtrack on an endless loop was a bit monotonous for us and I can only imagine the actors getting the tune out of their heads.  The primitive nature of the trail and house was refreshing as it shows you didn't need anything fancy to terrify and menace customers.  I enjoy seeing the creative ways haunts use materials and Booger Jim's has some creative talents when it comes to prop making.  I'll guarantee you'll never see anything  from Scare Factory of Gore-Galore here and that's just fine.

Length: 3/5
The trail takes about 15 minutes and the house about 10 depending on group. No real complaints since the actors interact with you constantly.

Value: 3.5/5
Tickets are $15 for both attractions.  No complaints. 

FREE PARKING! You can park at the church a block away and take a hayride to the top for $1/person but we opted to walk.  No concessions that I noticed.

Overall: 3.2/5
Overall this is a short yet intense haunt that has been around a while but has seemed to fly under the radar for a lot of folks.  They have a cool backstory, a decent trail, and this is the first year they've had the house.  I can see them making a lot of improvements to the house and tweaking the trail and one day Booger Jim's will be a major player in the fast growing SC haunt scene.  You should give this one a shot, especially if going to multiple haunts

 on: October 31, 2016, 10:25:18 AM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
When days grow short and nights get cold
And autumn trees turn red and gold
Move, we may, through sun drenched days
'Midst leaves and berries and bales of hay

In our hearts we feel the lure
Toward darkness, shivers and things not pure
While ghostly shadows creep slowly by
Spying on witches and brooms that fly

Icy fingers that grab their prey
And do bad things 'til night turns to day
Heed this plea to stay inside
Find covers and blankets and sheets to hide

Slowly this night will fade to day
And fiends and monsters will crawl away
Once a year, on this dank night
We'll shake and shiver 'til morning light

Hope everyone has a very happy Halloween

 on: October 30, 2016, 12:23:31 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Darkside Haunted Estates
Date attended: 10-29-2016
Submitted by: krb187

Scare Factor:  4/5
The scare factor at Darkside does vary greatly from very intense, to a bit lacking at times, that being said those times are few and far between and for the most part Darkside keeps the intensity level ramped up. The haunt starts with a hayride that is enjoyable, but mostly a warm up for the trail to come. The actual trail itself is the main attraction and most of the actors here are in your face and scare driven. There were a few times where actors seemed to just stand in their space and kind of stare without doing very much, but much of the actors were on their game. We were sent through in a group of ten, which is pretty high but the actors did a very good job of hitting the group multiple times to make sure that everyone got a good show. Almost everyone in my group jumped or screamed at some point and usually multiple times throughout. After the main trail there are the additional attractions the Slaughterhouse and the Asylum, which in my opinion are the real stars of the show, with the Slaughterhouse being my personal favorite. The scares are off the charts in both with relentless actors seemingly everywhere making sure that you donít escape without a fright. Timing in both areas was on point and there was a flawless mix of both prop and actor scares.

Actors:  3.5/5
This is another mixed bag category, with actors ranging from seasoned pros, to very small children. While most of the actors were intense and scare driven there were instances where as I said before the actors seemed tired or bored and would just stand off to the side and wait for you to exit their scene. However the actors who were on their game were brilliant and many of them would hit our rather large group multiple times using the landscape to their advantage to continuously take our group off guard. The bus area was probably the most effective at this on the main trail. Again the Slaughterhouse and Asylum were the strongest area of this category with every actor being in top form in both attractions. There was definitely no standing around here and the intensity of these guys was off the charts, with special shout outs going to the brain eating zombie and the two girls who wanted me to take them home in the Asylum and literally everyone in Slaughterhouse; those guys never stopped and really reveled in the screams. I did dock a few points for two instances of character breaking though.

Set Design/Props/FX:  5/5
To put it simply, Darkside Haunted Estates looks gorgeous. The level of detail is very impressive and honestly I would love to just walk through it normally just to look at everything. The hayride drives through an entire old western town that looked incredibly realistic, with my favorite part having to be the actual plane wreck in the middle. The main trail steps the game up even further boasting some truly amazing sets with the standouts being the church and graveyard set, the doll house, and the clown house towards the end. The clown house especially was great and a lot of work has gone into making it a marvel to look at. Also I must say that the bridge over the bottomless pit is absolutely genius and even gave me a bit of vertigo looking over the railings. That is without a doubt one of my favorite props Iíve seen all year. The Asylum looked incredible as well and contained one of the best medical sets of any of the haunts Iíve been too, with the brain eating zombie part stealing the show. And where do I even start with the Slaughterhouse? If youíre into the old school, backwoods style of haunt then the Slaughterhouse section is going to be your heaven. The level of detail here was unmatched and there was so much to look at you could go through five or six times and still not see everything. The whole place just gives off this perfectly grimy vibe that gets me hyped up beyond belief.

Length:  5/5
Between the hayride, main trail, Asylum, and Slaughterhouse attractions plan on spending quite a bit of time at Darkside Haunted Estates. I think in total I was there for over an hour not counting wait times. Thereís plenty to do and see here and they definitely maximize their space.

Value:  5/5
Tickets are $20 and that includes four separate attractions as well as carnival/midway area with plenty to do. They also offer a $2 off coupon on their website, and even at full price $20 is an absolute steal for the experience.

Free parking! They also offer concessions as well as a very cool midway/carnival area at the end of the trail with add on attractions, games, photo ops, a stage for fire performers, and a neat gift shop area.

Overall:  4.5/5
This was my first ever trip out to Darkside Haunted Estates and they blew away all of my expectations. The entire show was great from top to bottom and to be honest just the Slaughterhouse and Asylum areas would have been worth the trip alone. Add in the hayride and main trail and youíve got one heck of a fun experience. I saw people run, scream, and try to hide, my friend got harassed by a bone wielding zombie, I saw a man get peed on my a beaver, and a zombie take a bite out of an almost too real looking brain. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip out to Darkside Haunted Estates and without a doubt recommend it too any haunt goer.

 on: October 28, 2016, 02:20:07 PM 
Started by Badger - Last post by Badger
Lake Hickory Haunts

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.

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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