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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton (CLOSED)

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

An enjoyable, home-grown haunt, making full use of its farmy-setting to provide victims with several different stages of spookiness, including walking through a haunted barn, then outside up a spooky, moonlit hill, through a forest and graveyard at the top, then down past a cornfield, where you're eventually forced to creep through a schoolbus (perhaps having just unloaded Isaac and Malachi and the rest of the Children -- hey, that's a cool idea!) and back into the barn for a final go.  I really love these outside, nighttime haunts on clear evenings; there were some points where you could look down over the whole farm from the top of the hill and see all the different lights and action and get an idea of scenes to come...chilling and cool. 

This is not a haunt which is telling a story, and is more in the vein of wanting to scare you suddenly rather than break you down with a creeping sense of dread, so if you like your haunts jumpy and "Rargh!"-y, this is for you.  Not as sophisticated as some of the more expensive and professional haunts in the bigger areas, but definitely worth the money, took a nice amount of time to go through, and, as above, had great atmosphere.  A Wisconsin farm on a moonlit night, how can you go wrong?

And, the snackstand had kittens for sale!

Signage / Visibility / Location


It's pretty clear that it's the haunted farm from the highway; coming from the north, just take 51 south through Stoughton, and it's in the country right outside the city.  The farm is all lit up and such, and looks suitably atmospheric. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We had no wait, which was great; attractive little area outside the barn where they sell popcorn and soda, etc, including a little trailer giftshop with cool haunted house supplies and funky halloween black-light esoterica.  Staff was really friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves  And they had kittens for sale.  Vicious little kittens.

Actors' Performance


Performances were fine, but don't expect a lot of characterization; this isn't a haunted house where they're necessarily telling a story, and they seemed to be more intent on surprising and intimidating you.  We did get chased by a giant-headed grim reaper-type who did a fantastic job of looking inanimate until we had passed him...Oh, and I must give props to the three (two? I got confused, they seemed to multiply) little ghoul kids who out-screamed our little group of Grade-A screamers.  The lung capacity on this generation -- this is how we keep America competitive, people!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Scenes kind of basic, cemetery, cornfield, etc, but again, really cool atmosphere.  You know what I really liked?  There is some kind of great sound and lighting system all throughout the farm, or maybe just really excellent acoustics, 'cause you could hear all kinds of things, music and thunder and stuff, while walking around outside and then in and outside the barn, so it kind of all hung together and added to the spookiness.  They had the barn rigged for lightning to flash overhead inside every now and then, and a lot of the usual halloween props, like cut-up body parts, etc.  Lightning -- cool.  Cut-up body parts -- not so exciting anymore, but that might just be me being jaded from going to lots of haunted houses over the years.   Anyway, space in the barn is made good use of, and they have a cool vortex at the beginning, which kind of implies that you're going through a portal into another dimension -- of horror!

Really liked the deserted schoolbus, too; where did they get that?

And Freddy Krueger looked like he had real metal knife-fingers; where did they get those?

And they had kittens for sale.  I suppose those came from another cat. 

Length


Very nice length, maybe about 20 minutes, and we kind of moved through it rather quickly after being chased a couple of times. 

Crowd Control


No crowd when we were there, 9 PM on Saturday night (but probably very early in the season).  Looks like it would work fine, though, plenty of parking and wait area was sizeable and offered distractions, like the gift-trailer.  And the kittens. 

Most Memorable Moment


The view from the top of the hill, standing in the cemetery, looking down over the farm and seeing ghouls roaming about, other patrons being terrified and screaming, and knowing we were going to have to eventually start down the hill ourselves...

Summary

Again, a good atmospheric haunt with a genuinely spooky, outside-at-night, moon-shining-over-everything, sense to it; this is the kind of haunt you can only get in places like Wisconsin, with our wide-open farm country and rolling hills and readily-available chainsaws and deserted barns and home-grown, beloved cannibals. 


And did I mention there were kittens for sale?  Mmmmm....delicious kittens. 

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October 18th, 2019 11:06 p.m. CDT 1.27