Deep in the woods of central NY is a family that is straight out of horror legend. This twisted family that is said to haunt these woods supposedly lives off the land, and the area’s missing residents. To find out more about this family, you can go one of two ways. You can take the easy way out, and head to , or if you’re feeling especially brave or foolish, you can head to the area yourself.
This haunt is different from most haunts in the area, and so this serves as a note of caution. Crooked Descent requires all patrons to sign a waiver which covers COVID precautions as well as other general health concerns. The strongly recommend that anyone with heart or back problems, or sensitivities to light and sound, use extreme caution, and enter at their own risk.
Like all haunts in NY this year, employees were required to wear masks under any sort of costume mask, and most wore gloves if they would be coming into contact with patrons. Many of the actors were non-descript enough that it was hard to tell what the masks were, which was part of the effect. The main ‘Family’ were creepy and realistic, and the actors themselves were convincing. However, the real experience with this haunt is in the experience itself.
As stated, this haunt is not for the faint of heart, literally. Unlike most haunts that feature jump scares and minor psychological chills, Crooked Descent is more like the ‘extreme’ haunts that focus on heavy psychological terror. It is highly disconcerting because while there are not many props, there are a significant number of actors, and the main characters stay with you throughout the haunt to continue to taunt and torment. The actors do their best to separate parties and isolate patrons while dancing around them with chainsaws and screaming in their faces. There is a ‘hayride’ but it is not the normal haunted hayride. Without spoilers, it is, in a word, jarring. They also offer ‘black-out nights’ which provide no illumination other than a glow stick for a truly hair raising experience.
One more unique aspect of this haunt is the carnival-style midway after the haunt ends. They offer games with real prizes, and a menu of fair-style food. This is a much-needed breather and works well to calm the nerves and mind after the trail ends. The games offer a guaranteed prize for each play, and the food is warm and fresh.
This haunt is definitely scary, but in a different way than most haunts. It is a more psychologically tormenting experience than most and is definitely not one for those than are given to easy panic or are too young. It would not be recommended to bring young children. For only $20, patrons are given a solid scare for their money, if they enjoy the type of horror this haunt truly brings.
While there were special effects in place, such as strobe and laser lights, and a few various props, the effects of the haunt come from the actors themselves, and their ability to play their roles well and project terror on patrons. The haunt also makes use of a few quiet spots, just long enough to give patrons a very brief sense of relief before the terrorizing begins again.
The haunt’s back story is creepy and creative that has the feel of some of the most depraved mainstream horror flicks. It is highly recommended that patrons read up on this story before going to the haunt, to give them a sense of what’s to come. This haunt also takes COVID safety seriously. In addition to the initial waiver, and mask requirement, patrons are required to use a bit of hand sanitizer before being led into the haunt. Social distancing is enforced at ten-foot intervals, and only one party is allowed at one time.
Overall, this haunt is a fantastic experience for the right crowd. As stated, those with health issues or sensitivities would likely not enjoy this haunt as much, due to the somewhat extreme nature. However, those in CNY that are looking for a rather unique experience, and a sort of heart-pounding, mind-bending terror that lasts for several minutes after they’re back to the safe areas. This haunt is highly recommended for thrill seekers and brave souls