Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.
by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 6 a.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I had a lot of anticipation for going to this haunted house. This was my first time to what is becoming a classic. Hauntfest has been known for the attention to detail that they give there haunted house every year. It's got a great location that is accessible to those both in and outside of the city.
It is interesting to see the area usually given away to cream puffs, cows, and nature conservation booths filled with a large crowd gathered together blasting themselves with sounds of horror and enjoying the enjoying zombies and serial killers running pell mell all over the State Fair grounds.
The haunted house that they awaited held nothing back and was nothing short of amazing. The attention to detail in the scenes and the non-stop pace of screams and scares made what probably was a fairly short haunted house seem much, much longer.
You can enjoy music, a movie, or just people watching outside.
I will also say that everybody should try out "The Last Ride" while waiting to get to the haunted house. It is a few extra dollars, but it is worth getting a taste for what is going to happen to your mortal corpse after you have left this plane of existence.
That being said, I will note some issues. The night I was there, the wait was easily over an hour. If your not into dancing to hip hop or having yourself blasted with music outside (from the movie screen + from the music at the front of the house, which clashed most or all of the time), the experience may leave something to be desired. I think more people fall into this category than Hauntfest would want to think. Some people just looked miserable waiting to get in.
I was especially impressed by one bloody fingered female zombie that worked the crowd the majority of the night. She stayed in character no matter what the crowd did, which is a testament to how good she was. Neither was she an exception, when looking at the other actors. It just helped lend to a truly great experience inside the haunted house.
This place is character-driven and the effects take a back seat to them, but this tends to give a better experience for a live-action haunt.
It probably would have been trying wrestle my way through the great morgue scene that they put on. Body bags are creepy.