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News: Do something scary... go to a Haunted House!
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 on: October 02, 2017, 10:22:07 AM 
Started by Uncle Henry - Last post by Uncle Henry
Starting today, we'll be giving away free tickets to our Featured Haunts on Facebook!  The festivities start with a chance to win two tickets to Professor Hacker's stomping grounds...the ever-welcoming Hacker House!

How do you win?  It's easy, dear ghouls!  First, "Like" NCHaunts on Facebook if you haven't done so already by following this link:  https://www.facebook.com/Nchaunts-107444015447/
Then, you'll leave a comment pertaining to the subject of that day's Big Giveaway.  For today's giveaway, we've got an obscure piece of horror trivia sure to wrack your tasty, tasty brains!
From each correct answer, we'll be picking a random winner to be announced tomorrow.

Now, settle in to watch the Magic Pumpkin and win yourself some haunt tickets!

 on: October 02, 2017, 08:31:04 AM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Lake Hickory Haunts
Date Attended: 09/29/2017
Submitted by: Screaming_Diana

Scare Factor:  5/5
Lake Hickory Haunts takes you on a self guided journey through a wide variety of sets.  There is something here to frighten even the toughest of souls.  The view over the cliff as you walk down to the midway and haunt entrance is amazing and shows you a birds eye view of what awaits you. I screamed so much I had no voice by the end.  While you will find some of your beloved horror movie villains here, like Freddy, you will also witness some of the most bazaar characters you've ever seen. I had to really pay attention to what was going on (which is really hard for me because I'm terrified and have my eyes closed a lot) because there were scares coming from so many places I didn't know to run, scream, or hide.  I think I did all three.  There were scares coming from above my head, at my feet, through the walls, in front of me, and sneaking up behind me.  Never let your guard down because the second you do something or someone will get you.  You could easily spend hours just hanging out in the midway.  They have a live DJ, lots of photo ops, concessions, merchandise for sale, games, and a small escape room.  We tried the escape room and even though we failed it was a lot of fun.  There was some sort of huge flame that would shoot off every once in a while and light up the whole midway.  It looked amazing but Boss the clown and a robotic transformer guy were hanging out near it so I didn't check it out too close. I had already encountered the transformer guy earlier and knew to stay clear of him and his giant robotic claw.     

Actors: 5/5
You know what's scary? Clowns!  You know what's even scarier? A clown on stilts! That's right I met a clown in the middle of the woods on stilts.  He was just roaming around like he'd been walking around 12 feet high his whole life.  That has to be challenging but this clown seemed to have it all figured out.  I was told they were a little short staffed the night we were there if so I sure couldn't tell.  They had actors all over the place.  The scares were exceptionally well timed and often the actors wouldn't settle for a simple pop scare but would taunt us until we were out of their section.  Make-up and costumes were exceptional and just like many of their props many of their costumes and characters are originals too.  Actors with speaking parts knew their lines and were very entertaining.  The nurse guarding the entrance to see Doctor Death was awesome.  She could easily carry on a conversation without ever breaking character.  I'd love to see all of their characters up close just to enjoy the detail and hard work put into each costume but I'd be too scared to open my eyes and look at them.  They had several actors hanging out in the midway scaring folks and posing for pictures. 

Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
The sets and props are astounding and a lot of their stuff I haven't seen at a haunt anywhere else. Their use of projections is top notch and are so realistic especially the zombies.  There's so much going on here and so much to see I think you could go through again and again and see something new each time.  I could go through a thousand times and see something new every time because they terrify me and I can't look up through a portion of the trail. The scene with Freddy is one where you'll need to slow down to get the full effect. I wont give it away but it's always one of my favorites.  You'll go through many buildings such as Doctor Deaths hospital full of tortured souls and zombies, a shipwrecked area by the lake, a laboratory full of some of the oddest alien creatures I've ever seen, through a bus and into a junk yard, into a slaughter house, and finally arrive an evil circus. Those are the bigger sets but there's more, so much more.  I saw people climbing out of stoves, jumping though walls, we walked through an unsettling doll room, and met all kinds of things hiding out along the path waiting to frighten me as I journeyed through the haunt.  Nothing is done small here.  It's done right or you wont find it here.  They've got some amazing animatronics, including one that crawls above your head. They use special effects and moving floors.  There's never a dull moment. The circus is always a hit and the perfect way to end the haunt because after the clowns tried to turn me into a clown I was done.  I shot out of that circus and ran for the midway leaving my friends to fend for themselves.  Not only do the sets look amazing the smells really test your senses.  The slaughter house will make you want to gag while the circus smells of delightful cotton candy which is deceiving because that circus is anything but delightful.       

Value: 5/5
It's definitely worth the cost of admission.  General admission is $23 and fast pass is $35 which will allow you to bypass the wait in line.  If you purchase the VIP tickets ($50) you will get the real VIP treatment.  You will receive a personal escort to the haunt entrance, bypass all lines, get two free game tickets, and receive a free t-shirt of your choice. Now that's haunting in style! They also have other ticket packages available on their website.

Length: 5/5
You could spend hours here enjoying all there is to see and do.  The haunt itself is long and with the added midway entertainment you'll have a full evening of fun.

Parking is $2 cash only. 

Overall Impression: 5/5
I've loved watching Lake Hickory Haunts grow from a small guided haunt to the amazing haunt it is today.  I've always enjoyed my trips to Lake Hickory but it's mind blowing the changes they've made in only a few years. It's scary, fun, and a great place to spend a Friday or Saturday night. I was nearly crying in fear by the end but at least I didn't pee myself.....much. Lake Hickory Haunts is a destination haunt for sure and one you will not regret visiting. 

 on: October 01, 2017, 04:20:50 PM 
Started by NCHadmin - Last post by NCHadmin
Hillside Horror
Date Attended: 09/29/2017
Submitted by:  Screaming_Diana

Scare Factor: 5/5
Hillside has continuously improved each year and this year is no exception.  The trail begins on a hayride that carries you from the parking lot to the start of the trail.  If I didn't know better I would swear the cows in the neighboring pasture were hired to help with the scares because I was completely distracted and caught off guard, by the onlooking cows, that I almost peed myself when a creature came out of nowhere and approached the hayride.  The scares were fairly consistent throughout the trail.  While most of the scares are actor driven part of what's so scary comes from the unknown and from your own imagination.  You don't know what lies ahead as you wander through the steep hillside knowing there is something out there but where?  When will it appear? and what will it do once it reaches you?  Huge animatronics are not found here and are certainly not needed. They use nature and what's available to them to make this haunt work and it works beautifully.  The initial house and barn section is dark, tight, and full of twists and turns. I missed seeing a lot in there because I was terrified.  A piggish creature snorted in my ear and my eyes went closed, I covered by ears, and had to be lead out to safety by my friends. As you descend down the steep faintly lit trail into the woods you can hear the sharpening of knife blades and see the flicker of tiki torches in the distance.  You are left, unguided, to roam this trail.  You must find your way through the house and old barn, survive a corn maze that extends as high as the heavens, somehow manage to stay on your feet through the massive squishy tunnels, and hopefully eventually you'll make it back to the hayride that will carry you to the parking lot. 

Actors:  5/5
This is where I noticed the biggest improvements.  The actors where more aggressive and eager to make a scare this year.  It's also very early in the season so I can only imagine they are going to get even more pumped up and energized as the season continues.  It felt like there were a lot more actors this year.  A lot of their scares are pop scares but they are well timed.  The actors were focused and able to hold their scares so that everyone in the group got hit.  Make-up and masks were well done and I didn't notice anyone out of character.  The actors with chainsaws (oh how I hate chainsaws) didn't give up easily and could change gears on the saw at a moments notice giving you the illusion that they were turning the chainsaw off and moving on.  Wrong they'd rev those saws up again and again.  I think they'd terrorize you for an eternity if they didn't have to stop to set up for their next victim.  The actors quickly pick up on group members names and happily chant them as you pass through and even spread your name to their other monster friends.  Screaming will get you nowhere except more terrorized. I think making you scream in fear gives them a high and they just get more and more relentless the louder you get.

Set Design/Props/FX: 5/5
The haunt's setting is down in a valley in the Carolina foothills.  Mother Nature provides them with an eerie location that's perfect for a haunted trail.  As I mentioned earlier huge animatronics are not used nor needed here.  They have the tallest corn in the Eastern states.  It's massive, tightly planted, with narrow trails that create a maze that seems to go on forever.  I'm not sure what was being used by the actors throughout the corn but it was very loud and scared me at least a dozen times.  There was also a vine growing around the corn that was hanging down making travel though the corn a bit more challenging and a lot spookier.  The fog was so thick walking through one area in the house you couldn't see an inch in front of you.  I just held on to the person in front of me and hoped they'd figure it out.  No way I was gonna feel my way through and risk touching who knows what that might be lurking around.  As you make your way out of the valley and back up the hill you come to some very large tunnels.  These things are awesome.  From the moment I stepped inside I thought I was going to fall over.  It's very hard to keep your balance when walking on extremely squishy floors through a pitch black tunnel that of course is inhabited with creatures.  There's a new addition to the tunnels this year but you'll have to go yourself to find out about that.  I will warn you I think there are clowns waiting to get you at the end of the tunnels but I ran out of there so fast I couldn't really tell.  I heard giggles echoing through the tunnel as I exited and I was gone and never looked back.

Value:  5/5
Tickets were $15 the night we went.  You can't beat that price for the scares you get.  General admission is $15-$20 depending on the night you visit.  If you prefer to skip the wait in line you can upgrade to fast pass tickets for $10 more. 

Length: 5/5
You're going to get a workout.  I was sweating and out of breath by the end due to the trails long length, rough hilly terrain, and from being chased by all those crazy corn critters. You're gonna need your running shoes for this one.

They have free parking and a haunted hayride to get you to the head of the trail.  Concessions and glow sticks are available for purchase.  You can take your LAST RIDE and be buried alive in a real casket for only $10. The first weekend in November they will have a blackout trail for $12 where you and your friends can experience the Hillside Horror in total darkness guided only by the subtle glow of a glow stick.

Overall Impression:  5/5
I've always enjoyed my visits to Hillside Horror and I love that it continues to get better and better each year.  The owners have put a lot of heart and soul into the haunt and genuinely want you to have a good time. I had a blast here being chased by corn critters, wild hogs, clowns, and all sorts of other strange and startling creatures.  The squishy tunnels were frightfully fun and a highlight for me.  At least one person in your group is likely to fall down trying to maneuver through these tunnels so be ready to laugh unless it's you that falls then be ready to be laughed at.  They are so much fun and don't worry they are heavily padded so even if you do fall you wont get hurt.....unless a monster gets you.  I look forward to Hillside every year and I swear one year I'll leave there with dry pants however this is not that year.

 on: September 28, 2017, 09:39:18 PM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
Kreepy Hollow

Date visited:  9/23/2017

Scare Factor:  4/5
I first visited Kreepy Hollow two years ago and came away a bit underwhelmed especially with their house.  There are three attractions at Kreepy Hollow: a bus ride, a haunted house, and a hayride.  The bus ride has two versions- Masters of Horror and Mystery Bus.  We took the Masters bus and Freddy, Michael, and Jason all harassed passengers in the aisles, through the windows, and from above.  The house two years ago was close to empty.  Now there are a good number of actors delivering the frights.  Scares are centered at the front of the group so your experience dips if you are in the rear.  The hayride, though, is where I think this haunt shines.  I inherently don't find hayrides scary....someone is going to menace the trailer and off you go.  At Kreepy Hollow, however, you have set scenes that if you don't find them scary you do get entertained.  Performers are sometimes aerial, the clowns come down a slide, a gigantic Jason destroys a door, and in my favorite skit Lucifer conjures the flames of hell while demons walk above you. 

Actors: 4/5
The monsters on the bus hit their marks without fail and do a great job utilizing all the space of the bus.  We had Michael waving his knife at us through a window and Freddy menacing with his claws from up above.  The house has really upped their number of actors.  Timing is mainly towards the front of the group but actually encountering actors inside this amazing house was a pleasant touch this trip.  The hayride generally consists of set scenes.  The actors know their parts.  Verbal parts are lip synched but they roll with it and it comes across well.  Several actors use some aerial maneuvers.  The Jason on the hayride.....lordy.  Dude is gigantic and sends a door flying in goosebump causing fashion.  Also the actors do a tremendous job of ending a scene.  As the hayride pulls off the actors are all backlit and instead of horsing around or scurrying away they will hold a pose as you drive off.  It's pretty awesome to see a bunch of pirates rattling sabers in silhouette form or that giant Jason backlit and staring at you.  There's also a Captain Spaulding actor running the line for the house who feels a bit out of place.  He's running off a microphone and dishing out insults here and there but while funny it kills the vibe of the outer cemetery. 

Sets/Props/Fx:  4/5
The house has been gussied up on the inside so there's little dead space  and much more to look at than our previous visit.  Rooms are well appointed and the costumes are solid across the board.  The sets and props on the hayride, however, are where the real visual treats lie.  Sets are often large with full buildings, a pirate ship, watch-towers, and more.   One set features pyrotechnics and a lowering "catwalk".  Audio is well used as well so that patrons can all follow what's going on in each scene.   

Length:  5/5
Kreepy Hollow features three separate attractions with a queue line for each.   The bus ride and house are relatively short with a much more extended hayride.  Allow for 30-45 minutes at a minimum for the attractions NOT including the queue lines. 

Value:  5/5
Standard tickets are $20.  The bus ride is action packed, the house is much improved from 2 years ago, and I dare to say that Kreepy Hollow delivers the best hayride experience I've encountered.  They give you bang for your buck.

Free parking in a well lit field.  Concessions are available both at the ticket booth and heartier options in between the house and hayride lines.  There's also a DJ booth pumping out decidedly not Halloween music at the bus queue line.

Overall: 4/5
I was very impressed with the changes I found at Kreepy Hollow from my last visit.  Although it was early in the season everything seemed to be hitting on all cylinders.  The bus ride was full of action with loads of screaming from all the passengers and a giddiness from our masters of horror.  The cemetery walk is now a bit scripted which doesn't work but the haunted house now contains actors and scares!  Then the real draw is found with the hayride with big sets, flames, suspended actors, and the biggest Jason this side of Crystal Lake.  It's a busy haunt that is a lot of fun and a good bang for your buck.

 on: September 28, 2017, 08:22:31 PM 
Started by MrBones - Last post by MrBones
i'm planning on going sat night.

 on: September 28, 2017, 06:45:26 PM 
Started by MrBones - Last post by screaming_diana
Mr. Bones when are you heading to Lake Hickory? Perhaps we will see you there.

 on: September 28, 2017, 06:43:20 PM 
Started by MrBones - Last post by screaming_diana
We plan to hit Hillside Horror, Lake Hickory Haunts, Darkside Haunted Estates, and Marr Branch this weekend.  Of course everything has to work out just right for us to hit all four.  Iím excited about this Halloween season but Iím also terrified as some of these haunts are pretty hardcore.  Shocked

 on: September 28, 2017, 08:54:40 AM 
Started by MrBones - Last post by MrBones
The season is finally here!!!!  Anyone heading out to any haunts this weekend?  Last weekend I was able to hit Scarowinds for a quick trip, though large crowds made it impossible to get through many of the houses. Excited about going to Lake Hickory Haunts this weekend to start off a proper haunt season. What does everyone else have planned?

 on: September 28, 2017, 08:50:00 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by MrBones
For any of those who may use Groupon. They are beginning to add haunted houses and corn mazes for this year.  They usually have some good deals for haunts.

 on: September 27, 2017, 11:56:09 AM 
Started by packbacker - Last post by packbacker
Nickerson-Snead Haunted Mansion

Date visited: 9/22/2017

Scare Factor: 2/5
We visited on opening night which was not busy so I expect that you're going to see things get more frightening as the season progresses.  Screaming_Diana was able to make it through the trail with minimal screaming so it's not super terrifying.  Certain areas were bereft of actors and then when we did encounter one we had just a startle scare.   The "feel" of the place though does cause one to get a bit creeped out as the house is purported to be actually haunted.  The floorboards creaking as you step and other sounds going bump in the night do make a seasoned trail-goer get a goosebump or two.

Actors: 2/5
The Nickerson Snead Mansion has what appears to be a fairly minimal sized acting crew as well as multiple guides.  The actors appeared to be teenagers and only settled for the initial pop scare with no follow-through.  The guides have an eerie, somber vibe to them that helps with the mood and serve to shuttle you from section to section as well as point out some possible tripping hazards.  A few actors were heard to break character after we left a scene with one particularly endearing moment where we heard a young gentleman tell his colleague: "Dude, I scared someone!"  

Sets/Props/Fx: 3/5
I was pretty impressed at everything they fit inside this house!  Multiple animatronics (mainly Spirit Halloween type) are found throughout the attraction with a special kudos to the two that were dangling children over cauldrons!  A lot of older, musty knick-knacks give the house the feel of an old spooky mansion along with the physical property of the house itself---- creaking floorboards, an old cellar, and in spots some rickety steps.  There is a vortex that I'm not sure how they got into the building!  

Length: 4/5
For a $10 haunt you have a fairly long excursion through the mansion.  You go up, down, around, down, up and through the place in a winding fashion that seems to cover the whole expanse of the property.  

Value: 5/5
Tickets are $10.  This is not going to be a "destination haunt" but you absolutely get ten bucks worth of entertainment out of it.    

Free parking!  Besides the haunted mansion proper they offer a zombie mini putt-putt for $5 as well as an escape room for $5. I didn't notice if they offered concessions or merchandise.

Overall: 3/5
The Nickerson Snead Haunted Mansion is a fun time.  We hit them up on opening night so I'm sure scares will increase as the season goes along.  That being said, the house itself is really cool and they've done a great job decorating it.  The actors could use a bit of work but as I said it was opening night and it can be hard to put your all into it when lines are sparse (we were the only customers at the time).  It's light hearted and fun with a great setting.  For $10 it's hard to go wrong here.

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