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Newbie Review Crew Member

Pete (dubstyle_2k)

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Previous Reviews: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2014 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2014 season rather than the current season.

Haunted High presents Dark Carnival

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at about 9:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

The final stop on my tour of haunts this year was Haunted High presents Dark Carnival. Now in its second season of their new location, Haunted High has completely shed the school gimmick and has chosen to go for more of the straightforward haunted house angle. I hold Haunted High near and dear to my heart. As an educator I absolutely love that this haunt is put on as a fundraiser for the Oconomowoc School District, and as far as I could tell, the volunteers were young, probably students as well. Of the haunts I went to this year, Dark Carnival was the most reasonably priced. Tickets are $15 for regular admission, or you can bypass the line like we did for $23 with a fast pass. If you opt for the regular admission, expect to wait around an hour to enter the haunt, with the fast pass we were in within five minutes. Dark Carnival relies on darkness and misdirection to confuse you, to a fault at times as we went the wrong way a few times and had to circle around once and had to go though a backstage area that completely ruined the illusion. We weren’t the only ones that this happened to, it happened to the people in front of us also. Dark Carnival has some of the most interactive actors in the area! These kids engaged us, from “forcing” us into areas, to squirting me in the face with a water gun, to many other fun frights, these ghouls are a blast! Dark Carnival also has a few terrain effects that make walking more difficult; which is always fun in a haunt! Anything that messes with my equilibrium I’m all for! Dark Carnival also uses a lot of motion activated sensors, so be prepared to be startled! Unfortunately there is one down side to Dark Carnival, and it is that there does seem to be a lack of space. Of the haunts I went to this season, this was the shortest one. With that being said, I still love Haunted High because of the fund raising aspect. I really like the hard work and dedication that the staff and kids put into this haunt, you can tell that they give it their all, and they are all so very nice when you chat with them. Haunted High presents Dark Carnival is a reasonably priced haunt that will deliver giant screams!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Dark Carnival is on a main street, in what I believe is downtown Oconomowoc. There is a giant banner and a tent that announce that you are at Dark Carnival!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The line area in covered by a giant tent, there were no ghosts or ghouls roaming when we were there, but I recall some in the past, so we may have come at a bad time.

Actors' Performance


The actors are the best here! Engaging and fun! They deserve an award!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Dark Carnival is dark, just like the name suggests, but when it's not the sets are awesome! I don't know if the students have a hand in decorating, but if they do, bravo! Lots of motion sensors in here.

Length


We were in there about 20 minutes. We wished it could have been longer.

Crowd Control


The lines outside were well controlled. If you have read any of my other reviews you know I hate when we catch up to other groups. They had an actor inside asking if we were part of the group that we caught up too! it was great! She held us up so we were our own group again! That's crowd control!

Most Memorable Moment


Zombie Yard!

Summary

Dark Carnival is truly a terrifying haunt that turns out the lights, and startles your senses! For the price, it's one of the best haunt around!

View all Haunted High presents Dark Carnival reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2014 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 24, 2014 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

You know, there’s something to be said about the simplicity of a haunted cornfield. A few props, a few people in makeup jumping out at you, maybe some radios piping in some spooky music. Well, you can forget about that when you visit Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield in West Bend! Meadowbrook has become a staple in my yearly haunting travels for one reason, and one reason only, they do it right! The website boasts that the cornfield sits on 6 acres, and the trail is nearly a mile long.

There are two options when buying tickets here, a general admission ticket, which is $22, with this option you must wait at the bonfire for your group’s numbers to be called and then you can enter the line. For $30 a Speed Pass can be purchased which skips the waiting area and you can head strait for the line. We opted for general admission, it was an unseasonably warm evening on the night we went, and the wait didn’t seem all that bad, plus sitting around a bonfire, not a bad deal! By the time we settled in by the fire, they called our number within minutes, so the fast pass wouldn’t have made a difference for us, but if it is slam packed, that might be an option to consider. The waiting line isn’t very exciting, other than some farm animals to your right that make noises every once in a while. No ghouls’ roaming to hype you up, but the wait was short, so that was sweet.

Once you enter the cornfield, it starts out pretty slow, something you shouldn’t get used too. Soon they hit you hard and loud with animatronics and noises in the night! One of the things that has made Meadowbrook a favorite of mine over the years is their animatronics. They are ahead of the curve, especially when we talk about cornfield haunts, they are fantastic! Scattered throughout the field are several stations or houses that you have to enter. These stations are usually inhabited by ghouls or zombies that will give you a good scare! Unfortunately keeping your own pace comes with its downside. We ran into the group ahead of us rather quickly, but slowed down and let them move up, and then were greeted by a group of apparent speed walkers behind us! We finally let them pass! My advice while in Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield, take your time and enjoy yourself. As a seasoned vet when it comes to haunts, I always want to try new things, but I always find myself coming back to Meadowbrook, year after year it’s always one of my favorites. I’m continually surprised by what their budget must be, and how much time they must put into this haunt. The dedication the entire staff puts out there amazes me every time I go. Kudos to the owners and all of the staff of Meadowbrook for your hard work and commitment, you guys are amazing!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Meadowbrook is kind of hard to find if you haven't been there before. It's down a very dark road and it'll sneak up on you, but when you see it, you can't miss it! There is ample parking once on the premises and it is very well lit.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The bonfire is awesome! The website states that is the only smoking area, so if you are a smoker, this is your last call for smoking! It's warm and there is an awesome storyteller here! Who doesn't love a bonfire in October‽ After your number is called at the bonfire you proceed to the line to wait for the haunt. This line is not a particularly fun line, but it was fast moving, and at times the farm animals would make noises, so that was interesting!

Actors' Performance


The actors at Meadowbrook are great! They have the luxury of moving through the cornfield, so, there is a lot of room to roam. One actor got between me and my friend and as she was entering one of the houses, he wouldn't let me enter, making her stay in there by herself, he was a great creep! it's actors like that make the difference! One actor broke character, but that's only because he caused a group behind us to almost run us over, that's how great of a job he was doing, he creeped them out so much, they freaked out and bolted past us. He apologized to us for their rudeness.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again, Meadowbrook is the tops when it comes to FX and cornfield haunts! All of their stations/houses are well done, and look professional, just like I've come to expect from Meadowbrook.

Length


We were in there a little over 45 minutes. Like I said, take your time, take it all in. There is a lot to see, these people put a lot into their haunt, this is art, take the time to appreciate it, don't speed walk though it.

Crowd Control


Everything was controlled. You are at your own pace inside the the cornfield. We let the group on our heels pass us, I don't like to feel rushed when I'm in a haunt, especially when it's a special place like Meadowbrook.

Most Memorable Moment


Meadowbrook focuses on details, it's hard to pin down one moment, but if I had to pick one, it was definitely being herded like cattle and nearly squished and impaled by spikes! That was awesome! If you get the opportunity, it's great!

Summary

After all these years, Meadowbrook is still one of my favorite haunts. With first class actors and props , Meadowbrook does what few haunted cornfields are able to do, scare you and deliver a quality visual experience. Meadowbrook takes you on a journey for nearly an hour and doesn't let you go until you come out of the other end with your heart racing and your senses on edge! Once again, Meadowbrook blew me away!

View all Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2014 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2014 at about 7:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

No longer the new kid in town, Abandoned Haunted House Complex returns for the 2014 haunt season. Abandoned is two haunts rolled into one, it will take you all of 30 minutes to complete this terror filled attraction. You have two options for tickets at Abandoned, general admission, which is $20, or $30 for a VIP ticket. The VIP area is covered and heated. I opted for this as it was cold and the wait was 2 minutes! The two-minute wait is not typical however, in years past I have waited roughly 30 minutes in the VIP line. If you opt for the General Admission line, expect to wait anywhere from 1-3 hours, depending on the night and time. Abandoned does exactly what you'd expect, they turn out the lights, but that's the only thing that's expected in this haunt! Abandoned hits you with sensory overload, from touch, to scent, sight, to sound!

Ambush
The two haunts are Ambush and Hysteria, the first of which, Ambush, is an in your face, loud at times, experience, with ghouls popping out, complete black outs, blinding lights, and complete unexpected fun!

Hysteria
Hysteria, the second haunt in the complex, features more of the stuff you would expect from a haunt, only amplified by eleven! Abandoned somehow figured out how to take dark rooms and make them seem darker and scarier! This haunt is really where the senses get taken for a ride. You are going to feel, see, smell, and touch things that are unlike anything you've experienced at any haunt before. All of this plus quite a few area of uneven terrain and vibrating floors and walls! Wow, like I said, sensory overload!

When I’m looking for a haunt, this is exactly what I’m looking for. Be prepared to move! This is by far the best haunt in the area. Do yourself a favor, check it out, you wont be disappointed!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Abandoned doesn't get much easier to find. It's right off of the I94, and there is a huge spot light illuminating the sky which you can see for miles. The words "ABANDONED HAUNTED HOUSE COMPLEX" are lit up on top of the building.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The line is behind the building itself. Ghouls roam the grounds spooking the patrons as you wait! There are some props around to look at also. The VIP area was nothing to write home about. It was a covered area with a Port-a-Potty in it! Pretty boring, but hey, $10 gets you heat!

Actors' Performance


The actors are top notch. Funny, scary, and dedicated. These actors aren't afraid to play around, which I love! At one point, a hand came down from the ceiling and stole my friends hat! How fun is that?

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Living one town over, I know when they start working on Abandoned, and I can imagine how much work they put into it. With that being said, the props and sets are phenomenal! It's like you're being transferred into another world. The budget must be scary!

Length


It took me 30 minutes door to door. Take your time, enjoy yourself!

Crowd Control


The crowds were lined up orderly, no problems outside. We kept running into the group ahead of us. I don't like running into groups, I feel like it ruins the surprise of what's ahead if I can hear their reaction. This was very frustrating, and we kept slowing down, but of course would just end up running into them again.

Most Memorable Moment


There were several, without giving too much away, one involved something icky and wet, and the other involved a real tight fit!

Summary

One of the newest haunts in the area, Abandoned Haunted House Complex is a juggernaut headed for the top. Every year it gets better, and every year it I say the same thing, check this haunt out, you won't be disappointed!

View all Abandoned Haunted House Complex reviews

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View my 2021 Reviews




April 14th, 2021 3:20 p.m. CDT 13.5