Newbie Review Crew Member

Justin (DarkWolf1088)

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October and Halloween are not just my favorite month and holiday because I was born during that time, but I have always enjoyed the happenings during this time of the year. From fall festivals that serve delicious apple cider to TV horror specials and to the haunted attractions across the state, I love everything that October has to offer. I loved this time of year, especially the ‘scary’ part, so much that beginning in high school I started working on an entertainment farm and also worked for their haunted hayride, as an actor, that they put on every October.

As such I have 3 years experience as an actor for a haunted attractions and 2 years experience as a supervising actor for the same haunt. Thus, when I go to haunted attractions there are two big categories I look for. These categories include Experience and Scares. When I talk about 'experience' I am talking about how well the haunted attraction immersed you into 'their world' and how well the haunt spaces groups. If I can tell that I am in a semi-trailer, there is a problem. In terms of the scares, I look for good ambush and sudden scares that have a powerful presentation behind them. It is not fun to come to haunt where all the actors do is go "boo" nor is it any more fun to go to one that is making their actors try too hard to convey a storyline. Thus if the experience is excellent and the scares are solid, that is a solid haunt in my book.

Previous Reviews: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

2011 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2011 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 28, 2011 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

This was my first experience of The Haunted Barn in Stoughton. On first impression this haunt looked exciting. The grounds were abuzz with visitors and screams could be heard throughout the grounds. Needless to say, all in all, this haunt did not disappoint.

Easily located off of Hwy. 51 in Stoughton this haunt is easy to find. After turning on to Hwy. 51 all you need to do is look for the flashing arrow sign and you will be guided in by staff from there. Parking is a plenty and you will easily find the ticket booth to begin your adventure.

As I already mentioned this haunt was BUSY. Even so the wait time was roughly 15 minutes. Don't worry though even while you are waiting your actors will be around to keep you entertained. At no time was the wait ever boring, which is certainly a nice change of pace. Even if the actors weren't out and about the screams of your fellow haunters would do the trick.

All in all this haunt was a fun time. There were times were I was disappointed. Spacing was a major issue (although you must remember this was Halloween weekend that I attended). Throughout the haunt I kept running into the group before me and the group behind me kept running into me. At one point I had to stop because several groups got held up in the house. Although we eventually had an actor that kept us entertained while the groups were being spaced out it took awhile.

At one other point the groups bumped into each other but we were able to keep moving. The other issue was the lack of actors in some areas....especially the woods. I know first hand that it is not easy to scare people in an outdoor environment but even in the house there were areas that an actor could have made an excellent scare but there was no one around.

Other than spacing and times of no scaring or interaction this was still a fun haunt. The scenes and props were simple but enough to "set the scene". Of most important note was the actors. Although some scares were not powerful the actors were having fun. This was contagious. It made the whole haunt that much more entertaining.

 

Summary

As I have already said, all in all, this was a fun haunt. Not including wait time the whole haunt took about 40 minutes to get through. This IS a indoor/outdoor haunt (don't let the word barn fool you), so dress accordingly. This was a good time and a good way to wrap up the Halloween season.

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Please note: this review is for the 2011 season rather than the current season.

Wisconsin Feargrounds

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 7, 2011 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


Welcome to Wisconsin Feargrounds were all your nightmares come true. From ghoulish beasts, to crazy hillbillies, this haunt has it all. Wisconsin Feargrounds has consistently remained one of America's and Wisconsin's top haunted attractions. I now can see why.



This was actually my first year at this haunt and I was excited from the get-go. Although this haunt may appear over the top a lot of time and energy went into throwing you into a very twisted and dark world. I was incredibly impressed by the scenes, props, and special effects. Even if you "don't get scared" this is a haunt just to check out for incredible attention to detail, fun obstacles, traps, and passageways.



What is also amazing are this haunt's prices. When some single haunts are charging 15 to 20 dollars for entry, Wisconsin Feargrounds has 3 (yes three) haunted houses available for only 30 dollars. That is surprising in and of itself without even being inside the houses yet. Being able to walk through a different world, while being scared by professionals...that is what I call a deal.



Now on to the nitty gritty. How were the haunted houses? Well let's break them down.



Morgan Manor


This is your "classic" haunt. Morgan Manor leads you through a once proud mansion that has now been corrupted by evil. Morgan Manor uses some of the classic haunted house tricks and scares. All the actors were top notch and stayed in character throughout. This house was fun and the scenes were absolutely amazing, detailed, and realistic. If this is the only house you do it will still be a fun night.



Morgana's Torment


I'll be honest I did not know what this house was. This house is full of obstacles. From pitch black corridors, to walls that squeeze you tight, to disorienting lighting effects, I never knew where I was. I only knew I had to keep going forward. The actors use this confusing labyrinth to their advantage and made some great scares. Just the mere fact of being "lost" and constantly turned around is enough to frighten some people. Morgana's Torment is quite simply a really twisted version of a fun house.



Unstable


I don't know what was scarier in this haunt. The crazed hillbilly farm hands running around or some of the aromas that I smelled inside of Unstable. Again the attention to detail by this haunt operator is shown quite well. There is no question that you are in a stable from sight AND smell. This winding and twisting haunt provides for some really good scares especially as, you alone, try to figure out what is just an empty stable and what is the actual path through the barn. This haunt was fun, and the actors really put there all into forming a world right out of a horror film. A word of advice...hold you nose at Unstable's hillbilly restroom and, oh yes, give Bezel my regards.

Actors' Performance


5 out of 5. There were times that I wish the actor would of not just talked to me but was rather lying in wait to scare me, but from the actors that talk to the actors that scare, this haunted house will feel as real as it gets.

Summary

If you are looking for a full night of scares, for a great price, Wisconsin Feargrounds is the place to go. Everything is done professionally and, even if you don't get scared, you will be impressed by this haunt.

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Please note: this review is for the 2011 season rather than the current season.

Haunted High presents Dark Carnival

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 7, 2011 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Ah yes. Nothing like enjoying the fright season by traveling to an abandoned high school in the dark of night with your girlfriend. Haunted High is your "classic" haunted house with flair of the modern era. If you are looking for the scare tactics of yesteryear such as moving floors, trapdoors, sound scares, and simple but great effects this is definitely the haunt for you.

This is a perfectly themed haunted house. Haunted High takes place in an abandoned high school and that theme is kept throughout the entirety of the haunt except for a few areas. I was impressed with how much the haunt operators really pulled you into this world without going over the top and creating a sensory overload.

I had A LOT of fun at this haunt. So did my girlfriend. There were definitely moments of good scares but it was more than that. This haunt is HUGE. It felt like an adventure and from finding your ways through dark hallways to getting scared in the Nurse's Office everything was pulled together nicely to create a very fun "ride".

This is a haunt that everyone can enjoy. Even if, like me, you looking for the "hardcore" haunt you WILL have fun at this event. Give Haunted High a try...if you don't mind going back to a much darker version of school.

Signage / Visibility / Location


As long as you MapQuest or plug the location into your GPS, once you get in the area you cannot miss it. Just look for the school bus that has Haunted High on its front and side. There is also a sign along E Forest Rd. Also once you pull into the parking lot, attendants will guide you into a parking stall. Then just walk along the length of the school and you will find the main entrance.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The front desk is very well organized. It is split up according to what you will be using as payment. All you got to do is find the right desk and you will be good to go. After you receive your tickets you will have horror movie clips that you can watch as you wait.

The waiting area was wide open and neither my girlfriend or I ever felt constricted or pushed. Once you get to the front of the line you are greeted by a crossing guard that had a very unfortunate accident. The guard will take your tickets and sort you into lines all while make every attempt to creep you out.

Total time waiting in the line was 20 minutes but because of the openness of the waiting area and the entertainment provided by the crossing guard it did not feel nearly that long.

Actors' Performance


Most of the actors did a good job of sticking to character, making a good scare, and generally making the haunt fun. There were exceptions however. Some actors seemed tired and others just did not put in any effort. The biggest disappointment was when Angie and I ran into a few actors that were not prepared for our group coming through and others that missed their mark and missed an opportunity to make a great scare.

Luckily these "hiccups" were few are far between, and for a haunt that does not hire professional actors I was pleased with the scares that the actors did make. Not to mention that some scares were so exceptional Angie almost cut the circulation off in my arm.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Simple and not overpowering. The haunt used what was already provided by the abandoned school to their advantage. Add in a few effects, blood spattered walls, and some ghouls to walk the hallways and Voilà!, you have a haunt that really pulls you into the environment. It really did not feel fake. Practically everything in this haunt in terms of rooms are rooms that you could find in any high school. This haunt is a prime example of using the environment to your advantage.

All the scenes, props, and special effects were set just perfect to provide an amazing atmosphere. All the effects and trip lines were set to provide the best possible scare. This haunt did a great job with bringing an old high school, quite literally, to life.

Length


For 15 dollars this haunt may seem pricey but, not including wait time, this event was 45 minutes long. Also, as I have already said this haunted house is huge. The haunt takes over the entirety of the old school which just adds to the fun. You are going through an actual building, people. You not going through something that was put together in an empty shed. This haunt is long so make sure you set aside some time.

Crowd Control


Waukesha County deputies were available on site. So should anyone at the event try to ruin it for others or create a disturbance the problem would quickly and easily be taken care of. Also, as I already mentioned, the wait area is open and so are many of the rooms in the haunt. Thus you should never feel uncomfortable in terms of space.

Most Memorable Moment


All I will say on this one is that you never really graduate until you walk out those doors.

Summary

One word. Fun. From those that get scared easily to those that are seasoned "haunters" this event will satisfy everyone.

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June 18th, 2024 10:23 p.m. CDT 24.08