November 18, 2017, 05:12:17 AM
News: Visit a haunt in South Carolina this season!
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 21 
 on: October 18, 2017, 03:36:28 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Woods of Terror
Date Attended: 10/15/2017
Submitted by: Screaming_Diana

Scare Factor:  5/5
There are a lot of entertaining things going on at Woods of Terror.  While it's not the most terrifying haunt around they do have some good pop scares and some menacing actors especially in the midway.  Woods of Terror is more than just a haunt with their active midway full of games, photo ops, gift shops, food, loud music, and festive lights.  There are plenty of places for people to sit and enjoy the surroundings while waiting for their ticket to be called.  There are HUGE snakes being carried around the midway for photo ops and, if you'd like, a chance to touch the snakes and learn a bit about them.  The haunt itself is a long haunt with a ton of different things to see ranging from very scary, disorienting, and shocking, to extravagant and amazing.  A lot of scares were lost because I could see the actors and animatronics jump out at the people a few feet in front of my group.  However it was fun to see others jump and scream plus a few less scares gave me the opportunity to see and admire all the amazing sets around me.

Actors:  4/5
The actors here have a tough job. It's hard to continuously attempt to scare people when you've got the crowds that Woods of Terror has.  This is a popular place and they send through a ton of people each night they are open.  The actors do a very good job considering the number of people that pass by them each night.  Most actors settled for a pop scare but again that's all they really have time for because they must quickly reset for the next group.  The actors with speaking parts were great especially the clowns who had me laughing all through the 3D clown town.  It's fun mixing a little bit of comedy in with the scares.  I didn't notice anyone out of character and , other than the grumpy fella manning the haunt entrance, all the actors seemed to be having a good time. Make up and costumes were well done.  I saw the traditional movie character villains but I also saw a bunch of unusual characters and original costumes.  The actors in the midway were active and kept the midway alive by jumping around from table to table or crawling around on the ground looking for souls to terrify.  The dark angel is a very memorable character as was the guy climbing between trees terrorizing us all from above.  Actor numbers were good.  There were a few bare spots but not having someone constantly scaring you will give you a chance to admire the sets and props around you.  I promise you're gonna want some time for oohing and aahing at the sets.  

Set Design/Props/Fx:  5/5
This is where Woods of Terror excels.  I am always amazed at their intricate sets and props and this year was no different.  The large vampire house, cemetery, movie theater, and so many other building facades are fantastic.  The outsides of these large buildings are great but the detail that does into the inside is unreal.  The Hewitt house continues to be one of my favorites.  The detail is incredible and for a moment I felt like I was there living in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre nightmare.  The pirate ship is something I haven't seen at a haunt before but is a staple here. It's fun winding your way through the ship as it rocks back and forth as you move.  My favorite addition to the haunt is the new African safari section that leads you from the pirate ship to the rest of the haunt.  This section was mostly void of actors but with the detail and vast array of things to see here I wouldn't want an actor interfering anyway.  I loved the sounds heard throughout and the feeling you get of climbing up through the treetops before later descending back down and heading into the mines. Arachnophobia seemed a lot more infested this year and the maze was just as dark, crooked, curvy, and dangerously scary as always.  There was a glitch in the laser room when we walked through but I think it'd be really cool as I was able to see how it worked and the cool effects it could produce but not able to really experience it.            

Value:  5/5
Tickets range from $15 to $50 depending on the night you visit and what type of ticket you purchase.  Tickets were $20 the night we went and I definitely had $20 worth of fun and scary entertainment.

Length: 5/5
The haunt is long and offers a lot of different sets, props, actors, and animatronics to enjoy.  Grab a seat and stay a while as the midway also offers a lot of entertainment and scares.  

Other:
Parking is $5 per car.  They have parking attendants to help guide you where to go.  They offer concessions and have several gift shops in the midway as well as photo ops for your enjoyment.  

Overall Impression:  4.5/5
I had a great time at Woods of Terror this year.  I went on a Sunday so crowds were down the night we went.  This place gets packed on Friday and Saturday nights in late October so if you're looking for the cool place to be on weekends these are the nights to attend.  If big crowds really aren't your thing look at their calendar of open dates on their website http://woodsofterror.com/hours/ for some other, less busy, days.  I continue to be amazed by their huge props and detailed sets.  I haven't found sets of their magnitude anywhere else in the state.  There was a little glitch early on where the haunt lost power and we were at a standstill for a while but once that got straightened out the remainder of the haunt was enjoyable. Once arrived I was met with a fun midway experience and a scary haunt with some of the most impressive props and sets around. Woods of Terror is a haunt you don't want to miss this Halloween season.  The sets and props alone are worth the visit.

 22 
 on: October 18, 2017, 12:54:44 PM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
Night Watch  Hillsville, VA

Date visited:  10/14/2017


Scare Factor: 4/5
I think for most folks on our trip this was a solid 5.  I was in the back of the group so I missed a fair amount but there is no respite from the moment you enter the door until when you leave.  Tight spaces, intense actors, some touching, and you have good execution all around.  For a cheaper haunt this place does not skimp on trying to scare you or feature a lot of black plastic and kid actors.  We had a lot of running, raised heart rates, and although it wasn't admitted probably a little bit of pee escape.   


Actors: 4/5
The queue line actors are a hoot.  They will startle guests but also make you laugh.  One particular lady was on stilts nearly running through the parking lot.  Inside the attraction there is no let up.  Lots of screaming, grabbing, and well timed pop scares were found.  One particular actor was wedged between the jail and the exterior wall in a crazy contortion and forced you to walk underneath them.  Creeeeeeeeeepy.  The setup doesn't allow for a lot of pursuit in the scares but when possible these guys will keep after you.  Intense may be the best way to describe the folks who work here...


Props/Sets/Fx: 4/5
I'll be honest that I didn't see a lot as our group was moving quickly fleeing from room to room.  What I did see, however, looked quite impressive.  Sparking gloves, an execution area, a laboratory with glowing solutions, and more all await inside.  Outside I just adore the fan blades made of body parts.  A cute, gory touch that makes crazy people like me smile.  Makeup and costumes were well done.  I'd love to go through again at a slower pace to take it all in and get a better feel for sets/props but when the chicken people run you gotta keep up....


Length: 3/5
It's ten to fifteen minutes in length and it leaves you wanting more.  Factoring in the location and the price, though, they are delivering all they should and then some.


Value: 5/5
Tickets are $10 with an option to go through a second time for $5 more.  I've done an inordinate number of ten dollar trails this year and this one blows them all away.  It's not even close.  Night Watch is limited by it's setting as the jail is not large but they pack in as much as humanly possible through the two story building.  The sets and scares they deliver for a ten dollar price tag is quite impressive. 


Other:
Free parking.  The attraction can be a bit hard to find.  Mill Street is almost alley like and there's not a huge amount of light for the street sign.  A small sign says "Haunted Jail" out by Main Street- that's where you want to turn. 


Overall: 5/5
My first visit to Night Watch several years ago was underwhelming and frustrating.  It was the first night they were open and there were some big issues.  I've still visited the Labor Day Blackout even each year and enjoyed it so we put their full experience back on the schedule this year and I'm so glad we did.  The exterior of Night Watch is an imposing actual old jail.  Queue actors do a great job of warming you up and there was even a creepy old time band this year strolling through the parking lot....a first in all my travels.  Once you enter the haunt, it is on.  These guys don't go half speed.  Actors are a bit maniacal and appear from all sorts of places.  The only dead area are the steps (good thing!)- otherwise it's relentless.  I also believe it's more adult oriented.  A sign at the ticket booth mentioned language and touching of guests so buyer beware.  Night Watch fired on all cylinders and delivered a fantastic start to our evening for a bargain basement price!

 23 
 on: October 18, 2017, 11:43:32 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
Reaper's Realm  China Grove, NC

Date visited:  10/13/2017


Scare Factor: 5/5
Reaper's Realm consistently delivers excitement, entertainment, and screams.  The initial house is a tight winding nearly constant fear fest.  Screams come from a good variety of actors and props.  The hallway of doors is ingenious and always gets someone to scream.  I adore the foam area in the clown rooms as I've still never come across anything like that at a haunt.  The zombie shoot probably got our scare of the night as a horde of zombies came after us and my trail partner just cut bait and ran full steam away instead of firing her gun....   Scares don't let up along the trail.  Johnny Hog's house is a winding maze of pop scares, the bridge is a nightmare for those who have a fear of heights or moving walkways.  The buried alive apparatus continues to freak people out in a delightful way.  Oh there are easy pop scares here or there so don't let your guard down but these folks like to get creative in how they frighten you!


Actors: 5/5
Reaper's Realm is rumored to now have over sixty actors manning the haunt.  The actors have good timing and know what buttons to push to get the startle or the scream they are looking for.  Children actors often aren't effective in my opinion, but Reaper's Realm features some younger clowns who are downright terrifying.  They also know this and will pursue the scare better than most actors in the attraction.  We had one reaching his little arms through the wooden slats of the building while we were outside waiting on the zombie hunt.  That's just sinister talent right there!  The adult clowns and Johnny Hog are worth mention as well in delivering lines and more verbal interaction with guests.  Johnny Hog must drink 89 redbulls a night to maintain his energy level.  He's keeping up a constant commentary while delivering pop scare after pop scare.  The roving actors in front of the attraction are all fun to shoot the bull with and will ratchet up the atmosphere before you get into the house.


Sets/Props/Fx: 5/5
Reaper's Realm continues to provide some of the most unique and creative sets and scares in North Carolina.  The initial house is chock full of props that vibrate, fall towards you, blast air/sound, or otherwise catch patrons off guard.  The sets are well detailed as are all the actor costumes/makeup.  The clown area features two setups that I don't want to give away but are unexpected for first time visitors and very well executed.  Also new this year (I think) was a bloody corpse with a "surprise" that delivered!  The zombie shoot features realistic guns and zombies with laser tag like receptacles on them.  The trail has been lengthened and upgraded.  The creepy suspension bridge and "buried alive" props are still there but there is an entirely new slaughterhouse building to meander through.  Don't let the plain faÁade of the house fool you- this place has innovative props and incredibly creepy sets! 


Length: 5/5
You think you've got to be done and then you come to a new walk through, prop, or scare and you realize you're still going!  A two-story haunted house, a mini zombie laser shoot, and a full wooded trail is all included in the ticket.  You will get a workout in by the time you are done!


Value: 5/5
Tickets are $20 and cover the house, zombie shoot, and the wooded trail.  I don't say this often but they are probably under charging for the experience that they deliver.


Other:
Free parking!  Reaper's Realm offers both merchandise and concessions on site.  Groups are called for admittance individually so you're able to relax on benches or interact with roving actors while you wait.  There's also a small stage in front of the house that had a fire performer/juggler on it the night we visited. 


Overall: 5/5
Reaper's Realm sets the bar high for creativity in a haunted attraction.  Each and every year they add something new that I haven't seen somewhere else.  Their traditional scares work quite well but the wow factor comes from their uniqueness.  They don't keep everything the same ol, same ol.  Nope things are mixed up well with additions, subtractions, and giant entire new buildings showing up each year!  With three different attractions Reaper's Realm delivers a giant punch for their ticket price.  Screams are echoing out of each area like sweet music.  They do a wonderful job of blending props and actors into a great symphony of old school/high tech scares.  I truly look forward to each year to see what they've come up with next.  Also I dare you to leave the trail without someone in your group yelling "Johnny Hog's gonna get ya!"  Check these guys out.  They're worth every penny!

 24 
 on: October 18, 2017, 10:33:00 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
St Alban's Sanatorium
 
Date visited: 10/6/2017
 
Scare Factor: 5/5
For me St. Alban's has bit hit and miss in this department over the years but I keep going back because the setting is just so awesome.  This year, however, they hit every nail right on the head for our group.  I watched normally stoic people run, scream, flail, and yes there was urination.  Scares were mostly actor driven.  The building allows for some tremendous hiding spots and these folks utilized them well.  Through deception and good timing there were several scares I didn't predict.  One room had all your traditional movie killers in it and the three other people I attended with were running around like chickens with their heads cut off while I was clapping and fist bumping Leatherface.  The Alice in Wonderland room also got one of our group members in a well timed scare after the fact.  On top of that we had floor crawlers, actors within a hanging body bag section, screamers, and some really terrific queue line actors.  The setting, of course, is terrifying in its own right- if you get the chance do a historical tour here as it is really fascinating.
 
 
Actors: 4/5
Noticeably better than in past years, the actors here really upped their game in terms of timing and continuing the scare.  We did have a few break character and one inexplicably take his mask off in front of us but otherwise they were on their game the night we visited.  The queue line actors were thoroughly entertaining and separated out the easy marks with surgical precision.  The speaking roles were handled well and actors knew to back off when staircases were involved. 
 
 
Sets/Props/Fx:  4/5
Again the building is a crumbling former asylum.  Seriously I've not encountered a better natural backdrop for a haunt on all my travels.  Patient rooms, the shock treatment area, crumbling walls/ceilings.....that's just the natural setting.  On top of that they've decorated it well with a variety of themes.  Props are more low key in nature but again they aren't needed with the setting that the building provides.  Of special note, however, is the new clown face entrance with spinning eyes.  It's amusing yet creepy.  Actor costuming runs the gamut from cheap masks to exceptional makeup.
 
 
Length: 5/5
Up, down, around, up again, sideways, and down again.  The path of the haunted attraction traverses huge swaths of the building through 2-3 floors of the area. 
It covers a lot of ground.  Allow at least 30 minutes to finish it all.
 
 
Value: 5/5
Tickets are $15.  Besides the fact you are walking through an abandoned, haunted former asylum they deliver a lot of scares with some great sets.  We had people
screaming, running, urinating, and otherwise trying to flee!
 
 
Other:
Free parking!  The attraction ends in a well stocked gift shop.
 
 
Overall: 5/5
Yeah a kid took his mask off and some others could be heard discussing things after we left the room but man everything else hit ***perfectly*** for our group.  As I said earlier it's worth the price of admission alone for the trip through the building.  Purported to be actually haunted the building is jaw dropping in places with a grand staircase, actual former patient rooms, and a variety of areas succumbing to age and disuse.  The scares are well timed, well positioned, and executed by a more polished volunteer staff this year.  Line management is careful to send through well paced groups such that people don't pile in upon each other in a scene.  This has become a yearly trip for me but I think that save our first visit where we knew nothing of the attraction this year was the most well executed.  Just a fantastic time!

 
 

 25 
 on: October 18, 2017, 08:21:48 AM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Hacker House
Date Attended: 10/14/17
Submitted by: mjones
 
Scare Factor: 5/5
Hacker House will scare you at some point.  I have no qualms about starting with that whatsoever.  If the traditional methods donít work, theyíll do it through sheer force of will if need be, but theyíll get you at some point!  A lot of reviews I write for haunts focuses on the heart of a place.  Do they ďget it,Ē and will you get the experience youíre looking for when you attend the haunt.  Well, there simply is no place with more heart than Hacker House.  There are places with more money and slicker designs and things like that, but no spook trail cares more about the scares you receive than them.  Itís a great blend of old and new school sets and terrific actors, but more than anything itís the dedication to doing things the right way that will bring you back year after year.
 
Actors: 5/5
Maybe Iím missing some, but I donít believe thereís one single stock character at Hacker House.  Each actor has their own, totally unique persona thatís tailored to the strengths of the actor.  That means you never know what to expect from any of them, and also that they are often much more memorable than simply the 800th hockey mask youíve seen that year.  They pursue, theyíre well trained, and theyíre really relentless (Iíve never made it back to the car unmolested once! A monster always ends up in the back seat before you can finally get out of there.).  But I think my favorite thing about the Hacker House actors is that because their individualized designs, they can ad lib and banter with you in character for days!  It makes things SO much more fun when the monsters arenít just reciting rote passages they were forced to memorize.  These guys, almost to a monster, can crack jokes and exchange insults for days.  Itís my favorite thing in haunts, and nobody does it better than Hacker House.
 
Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
This year I was really struck by the lighting.  Many of the sets themselves are really impressive on their own, but in almost every room this year I was struck by the way shafts of light were spread across a set or some monster appeared out of a silhouette or something like that.  Like any haunt worth its salt, Hacker House makes changes and redesigns every year, and this felt a lot more moody and atmospheric than in years past, and I loved it!  They also employ plenty of expensive sets throughout the trail, but everything has a great low tech feel to it.  The more showy sets are offset by so much simple-yet-effective work that the whole thing feels like they just found it that way.  Thatís a feel thatís easy to take for granted, but itís definitely not easy.  Hacker House just makes it look that way!
 
Length: 5/5
Really great use of space here.  It looks like itís going to be really compact, but it goes on forever.  They also do a great job of not letting you see whatís coming, so that makes it feel even longer.
 
Value: 5/5
Hacker House is prototypical in so many ways that it feel indispensable to me, so it wouldnít take much for me to say this is a good value.  The fact that it checks every single box for what I want in a trail means I can heartily say that it is absolutely worth the price of admission.
 
Overall: 5/5
What else can I say?  Itís central to most of the bigger towns in NC, itís reasonably priced, and it does everything you want it to do.  If you love haunted houses, this is where I think you should start.  There are lots of things to love about a lot of trails, but this is one haunt that absolutely should not be missed!
 

 26 
 on: October 15, 2017, 02:06:10 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Hacker House
Date visited:  10/14/2017
Submitted by:  packbacker

Scare Factor: 5/5
Don't tell the folks at Hacker House you're not scared of them.  They take that personally and will make it their goal in life to prove you wrong.  If you are that rare person who will not be scared I assure you that you will be highly entertained.  As your car descends towards the parking area you're going to notice a fog drenched area and then you'll hear the screams.  They echo throughout with maybe a chainsaw revving or an unidentifiable, terrifying noise mixed in with them.  The disorientation starts as soon as you enter the house as you scuttle through a room with the feeling that you were just here (and maybe you were).  Scares are mainly actor driven and man they don't skimp on their attention to their patrons. There are no "easy" scares here.  The scare is extended as long as possible in a scene and sometimes beyond it!  The prop scares here are not subtle; they are big and in your face.  I loved the man eating plant addition as well as long time favorites such as Cuddles the Rabbit and Clamzilla.  If you're not scared I dare you not to laugh at those that are or with your interactions with the Hacker Housians as they throw out one liners, ask if they can lick your beard, or otherwise inspire pure blissful chaos. 

Actors: 5/5
This category is where Hacker House separates itself from the other haunts.  They're not the longest haunt, they don't have million dollar props, and you're not going to find your favorite horror characters here.  Hacker House is full, and i mean FULL, of actors who have honed their craft to a fine art.  Not a single one settles for a scream or single pop scare.  No, these folks will startle you, run off, re-startle you and then interact with you until you manage to escape their scene if you're lucky.  If you're unlucky they may follow you through multiple scenes.  These folks don't use throwaway lines like "Wanna play a game?", "Get out!", or the ubiquitous "Boo!".  You'll find one liners that if used in a comedy show would be hilarious but when you're trapped in a set they become creepy, chilling, freakish, and yes at times still a bit comical in a way that perfectly blends into what Hacker House is all about.  The sense of timing they utilize combined with the set design to allow the same actor to come at you from multiple spots is superb.  A special mention has to be also given to the queue line actors.  We got legit mind-blowing card tricks, a preacher singing Toto (seriously it was amazing), monster selfies, and more.  Often times I give a virtual high five to a particular actor on a trail who is fantastic but as I said earlier I truly believe that every person here is top notch.  No one goes half-way, no one just screams or uses throw away catch phrases, and none of these people are ones that are going to let you off easily if you show a bit of fear.  Kudos!

Props/Sets/Fx: 5/5
Hacker House has multiple new additions this year. The tremendous fog belching statue remains out front to lord over the queue line.  The sets are incredibly well decorated with things everywhere to admire.  There are multiple unique props here from a man eating plant to Cuddles then ten plus foot tall mechanized killer rabbit.  The crypt area continues to be the best of its kind with eerie natural darkness punctured by subtle flickering votive candles.  Actors are generally in high quality makeup but a few fantastic masks/costumes are utilized with a life size baby doll being the notable standout for our group.  Creepy!  There's much more to mention with a laser swamp area, a mechanized mayhem factory, a man eating clam, and more fog than I've seen all year long.   

Length: 5/5
Hacker House is more than just a house.  Escape the house and you have a graveyard/crypt area, the factory, a maze, and more sets to traverse. It may just be me but it felt even longer this year.  You'll leave thoroughly fulfilled and probably a bit tired and sweaty!

Value: 5/5
Base tickets are $20 with $15 tickets available early in the season.  At either price point this is an excellent return for your money.

Other:
Free parking!  A photo op area is available at the end of the trail and the same area makes for some good people watching while you catch your breath from surviving the house!

Overall: 5/5
Hacker House is different.  There's no Freddy or Jason here.  There are no "kiddie scares".  Hacker House is their own brand of scares and insanity....and I wouldn't have it any other way!  It looks amazing with the way it blends the right amount of dark, fog, and devilish details.  I notice something new each visit that I later find out has been here for years.  If you make it past the amazing looks and sinister smells, the actors here are world class scare technicians.  No one is going to break character and they know every centimeter of their scenes in order to maximize the screams they elicit from guests.  While Jason has his place during this season, he's no match for a bunny rabbit stuffing easter grass down your shirt while claiming to possess your soul for the next 700,000 years.  It's truly hard to put into words how different this experience is than the average haunted house.  Listen to the screams, listen to the laughter, admire the rolling fog, and you can slightly grasp the allure of this demented place.  The Hacker House experience is one you will want to savor this October and find out for yourself exactly how awesomely crazy and scary this place truly is!

 27 
 on: October 15, 2017, 02:05:11 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Hacker House
Date Attended: 10/14/2017
Submitted By: Screaming_Diana

Scare Factor:  5/5
This place is terrifying!  I got chills as we drove down into the valley where Hacker House dwells.  There's a thick fog covering the haunt.  All I could see were faint lights through the heavy fog and hear screams from beyond the haunt entrance.  Once in line I could see a large angry pumpkin creature, occasionally it would groan and grumble, and I could see the door to the entrance of the house but that's it.  Everything beyond that door is fully hidden you donít even get a glimpse of what fate awaits you once you walk through that door.  My group started out as three but with a blink of an eye they left me and I was all alone but only for a moment.  Soon I was surrounded by the monsters that inhabit this terrifying place.  They showed no mercy toward me and they didn't care that I was all alone, my group had abandoned me, and I was beyond terrified.  As I was fearfully lead to the next room I could here whispers and eerie laughter behind the walls but I had no idea where I was or where I was going.  I didn't look up but I could see the feet of monsters all around. Where were my friends? Had they forgotten about me?  Would they ever come back?  The more time that passed the more I felt I would never see them again.  I began to wonder if this is how Hacker House got its monsters to begin with.  What if those that get separated never leave.  The thought was horrifying so I pushed through.  I was blacking out by this point. Occasionally I thought I saw my group coming but I didn't recognize anyone.  Perhaps these were just other victims, maybe a trap, or perhaps I was just hallucinating and there was never anyone else there.  All I could think about was I need to find a way out and where are my friends.  Had they really left me?  Did they get out?  Or maybe they were there the whole time and I was just confused and scared.  A huge portion of the night is a blur.  I felt like I was living a nightmare that I couldn't awake from.  I would find my way out of a room only to end up right back where I started moments later.  It was nerve racking to say the least.  I was left alone with only the gazing eyes of the haunts inhabitants upon me or at least I felt all alone but my friends wouldn't leave me.  Would they?  I continued on looking at only the ground in front of me I had to get out and soon.  Suddenly I could here human laughter, I was close, this nightmare was almost over.  I turned what I thought was the final corner and before me was a chainsaw.  I never saw what was holding that chainsaw but I quickly turned around and there I was all alone down a long dark hallway.  I could here people talking ahead of me but I couldn't get to them because there was a chainsaw blocking me and I could here the monsters quickly approaching me the other way.  I was trapped. My only chance of survival was to hide.  I got on the ground and covered myself with leaves.  The monsters passed by again and again they walked passed obviously looking for me. If I could remain unseen until daylight perhaps I could find my way out but suddenly I was face to face in the darkness with a monster.  He was on the ground with me. I jumped up and ran.  I could here a familiar voice in front of me.  It was my friend who I started this terrifying journey with.  Did he come back for me or was he with me all along? I donít know but somehow we walked out of that place together and I never looked back.   

Actors:  5/5
Very unique and completely insane is the best way I can describe this bunch.  You wonít find a bunch of repeat characters or movie villains here.  They are original and terrifying.  With traditional characters you kinda have a feel for how they will react and what they will do but with original characters who the hell knows what they will do.  These folks were intense and completely insane.  I mostly saw their feet due to my inability to look up from fear. The occasional character I did get a glimpse of looked terrifying.  Their faces were fully covered in make up, blood, and maybe dirt. They looked like they'd been through the same hell I was going through at their haunt.  They're a tough crowd to beat.  They were very interactive and never settle for a pop scare.  The actors are the highlight of the haunt.  The line actors are on their toes and constantly moving from person to person keeping everyone entertained.  At one point one of them was standing on a bench giving a sermon to the awaiting crowd but this was no ordinary sermon.  I remember hearing him chant something about the Wizard of Oz and at that point I covered my ears and looked away.  I was afraid he was casting a spell on us all.  A portion of the crowd laughed so perhaps his sermon was funny but you'll just have to go and listen for yourself because I thought it was terrifying and refused to listen to it. Another line character was a magician.  This guy is no joke a real magician and turned a card from a king to a 2 of hearts right before my eyes and I was even holding the card so I know he didn't change it.  I'm still perplexed about how he did that.  Creepy, Creepy, Creepy!  Once inside I was at the complete mercy of the actors.  They will lead you astray in a heartbeat. They are pros at picking up on your fears and will do whatever it takes to make sure your fears are surfaced. One of the thousand terrifying moments I experienced was walking into a room and seeing someone in a creepy doll mask holding a baby doll.  I'm still not sure if it was a prop or an actor but I'm pretty sure I saw it move.  That thing was legit terrifying and I got out of there in a hurry.  I had things coming at me from all over the place.  They even slithered across the ground.  No place was safe.  Actor numbers are plenty.  The actors are what make this haunt so great and also what makes me so nervous about visiting this place each year.  I don't think it matters if you visit on opening night or the last night of the season I think these guys are so attuned to their character they don't even need warming up.  It's like they've been doing this a thousand years or maybe they aren't acting at all and are just completely insane.         

Set Design/Props/FX:  5/5
The location is scary as hell and you'll know you've arrived at some place terrifying the second you make that final left turn into the parking lot.  The big pumpkin creature out front is phenomenal standing tall reaching high above the crowd. The sets beyond the entrance are a bit of a blur to me.  Once inside I was too terrified to look beyond my feet for the most part. There were several long narrow hallways or maybe I just repeated the same one several times but I found these long quiet hallways exceptionally terrifying.  I was too afraid to look up and I was certainly too afraid to look back. I had an eerie feeling there was something or someone following just a step behind me and I was almost certain there would be something waiting for me at the end.  The rooms were dimly light and foggy.  I got myself trapped in a medical room for the longest time.  I think I was being held hostage.  No matter which way I went there didn't seem to be an exit. I found myself alone in a dark corner I could see movement in the room but I couldn't tell how people were getting out.  Obviously there was an exit because people were leaving but where was it?  It was too dark and foggy to tell for sure and I was afraid to follow the movement I saw because what if it wasn't another groups movement but a monster instead?  No way I was taking that risk.  Each time I thought I had escaped I would end up right back where I started.  I still have no idea how or when I got out of there.  I think I was lead out by neon syringes. Iím not exactly sure but somehow I got out. The smells were intense.  A couple times I felt myself starting to gag.  With my eyes mostly covered my other senses were heightened.  The sounds of old music, distant chainsaws, and the evil chuckle of a creature close by gave me goosebumps.Once the those sounds faded there would be silence.  The quietness was almost unbearable at times, I would long to hear the sounds of another group.  I ended up in a green swamp and somehow made it through a graveyard.  I'm still not sure how I got from set to set as it was so terrifying I could barely look up but somehow I managed to move forward. I was almost eaten by an evil clam and I'm pretty sure at some point I ran passed a gigantic stuffed bunny collapsed on the ground. I battled falling barrels, dodged a huge moving truck, and survived a scary dark maze.  I swear I also wandered through a greenhouse that was growing some evil looking plants but it's possible I was hallucinating by this point. There must be a hundred secret passageways through this haunt because I would continuously return to the same place over and over again but would experience a different scare each time.  They can easily split your group up using these secret passages so stay very close to your friends and hold on to the person in front of you.   

Value:  5/5
Tickets are $20 and worth every bit of that. You'll get a lot of entertainment in line, a super scary haunt experience, and a fun photo op at the end.

Length:  5/5
Well this all depends on how long they want to keep you.  Maybe you'll walk right though in 20 minutes, maybe they'll keep you an hour or two, or perhaps you'll never leave.  This is entirely up the the creatures haunting this horrifying place.

Other:
Parking is free.

Overall Impression:  5/5
Hacker House is not for the faint of heart. It's dark and unnerving with scares around every corner.  The actors are very in your face and will likely invade your personal space.  There were moments when I questioned if this was real or just a nightmare that I could not awake from.  It's a different place with experiences you won't get anywhere else.  If you're looking for a one of a kind terrifying experience this is your place.  Take my word of warning though do not get separated from your group.  If you do things have the potential to get much much worse for you. I screamed, cried, prayed, and peed my way all the way through.  My voice was gone and my nerves were shot but I did it, I made it to the end.  The end wasn't really the end though because now they haunt my dreams. Hacker House is where nightmares are made.

 28 
 on: October 12, 2017, 04:54:19 PM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by NCHadmin
Netherworld is definitely worth the trip. 
This is is their last season at Norcross, they're moving to another location for next year.
Netherworld is amazing.

 29 
 on: October 12, 2017, 03:38:47 PM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
If you haven't been to Netherworld I can whole heartedly recommend it.   Life and ACC football season caught up with us and we're headed to Netherworld instead of a different haunt on the last day they are open.  Maybe next year....

 30 
 on: October 12, 2017, 09:17:15 AM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Camp Fear
Date Visited: 10/7/17
Submitted by: mjones

Scare Factor: 3/5
There have been some major league upgrades all around at Camp Fear, and I heartily approve!   It's always been more on the family side of haunts, but the Wonderland theme throughout the trail really played to its strengths.  Better actors and sets helped as well, much better scares overall.

Actors: 3.5/5
The actors were much more into it this year than in the past, and I really enjoyed being able to interact with the monsters throughout the trail.  I really like the Caterpillar and particular notice to Bubbles the Clown, who stole the whole trail for me!

Props/Sets/FX: 4/5
The sets are much more complex and the Wonderland theme throughout the entire trail was a welcome thing as well.  I thought this was where the biggest impact could be felt from the upgrades.  Really good, old school work here.

Length: 5/5
It takes a good while!  There's an full fledged escape room stuck in it, plus the wait for the hayride can take a bit as well.

Value: 3/5
At $20 I'd have to say the ticket price is a bit high, but it feels longer now, plus there's the escape room addition, which I thought was really well executed and adds a lot to the experience.

Overall: 4/5
Camp Fear is just a lot of fun every year for me!  As I said, it's on the family end of the spectrum, and the down home county fair feel of the the whole thing is really great.  The hot chocolate is also such a friendly gesture. Really enjoyed the Wonderland theme, and of course Bubbles!


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