My second stop on my Scurryface Review list was Doomsday. Doomsday is located in Ardmore, TN, just over the Alabama state line, traveling north on 65. It’s conveniently located just off of exit 1 and in the very large Dog Day Flea Market mall, so it’s not difficult to find. Parking is free and plentiful, if a little under-lit. They only operate on Friday and Saturday nights, so plan accordingly.
Doomsday is a sprawling 30+ acre monstrosity. Being mostly outside, with another third of the property inside having very dynamic floor layouts, I highly suggest wearing proper footwear. That means one should not wear heels, flip flops, sandals, or shoes lacking traction. I wore casual boots and still had a little bit of difficulty with the terrain. I also suggest interested parties check out Doomsday’s website for a further list of safety warnings at
Before we go further, this will be the ONLY personal preference thing that I will add to this review. Leave politics out of the haunt industry. Let's get on with the scores.
Doomsday has a blast with the terrain in their woods trail, and manages to bring that unsteady feeling along into their inside portions. There are roots, rocks, and suddenly upside down rooms that really create a sensation of confusion. This is also a very dark haunt, which really adds to the spook factor. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to navigate the trail, and try to be aware of subtle suggestions on which way to go.
SECOND SCORE 9.5
THIRD SCORE 9.3
As I mentioned in my last review, theme will be of utmost importance to my reviewing this year. For clarity, theme is defined as an idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature. Besides “scary tropes”, I didn’t see much in the way of theming at Doomsday. Doomsday has a great opportunity to focus on themes based on their name alone, but I felt as if there wasn’t much of an apocalyptic ambiance. There were a lot of decaying automobiles, but I don’t think they were going for much of a Nothing But Trouble-esque junkyard either. The transitions between scenes weren’t very smooth either, and I found myself perplexed by the segues.
SECOND SCORE 8
THIRD SCORE 7.9
Special Effects 8
Doomsday doesn’t shell out a lot of high tech special effects throughout their trail. What they lack in tech, they certainly make up for in practical, manual effects. As I mentioned before, one room is turned upside down, and I mean that literally. You enter the room with all things placed on the floor as expected, but after reentering, everything has been swapped to the ceiling. A door maze as been cleverly designed to keep patrons guessing which way to travel for as long as the room’s actor feels necessary. I even heard one group ahead of mine claim they were forced to climb through the ceiling in order to exit. They really know how to turn you around.
SECOND SCORE 8.5
THIRD SCORE 8.3
These actors are patient and hard working. A word to quick walkers, you will be forced to wait in several scenes, so don’t expect to get away by booking it. Doomsday makes this a long experience. And their actors know how to work a stationary audience. You will be touched, you will be tickled, you will be asked to do uncomfortable things, and there are many jokes, jumps, and heebie jeebies to be had. One blue haired fellow donning a penitentiary orange jumpsuit, in a medical examination room had our skin crawling one moment and then rolling with laughter the next. My only point of contention was the constant request for photos and having them uploaded to FB. It’s a minor point of contention, however, as I understand it is a valuable way to get the word out.
SECOND SCORE 9.5
THIRD SCORE 9.5
Costumes and Makeup 7.75
Costumes and makeup at Doomsday are simple yet effective. I did notice some pretty basic store bought getups that can only go so far to scare patrons, given their popularity as halloween costumes. But the faces that were painted and the more personalized costumes were done well enough.
SECOND SCORE 7.9
THIRD SCORE 7.5
Customer Service 6
I’d give higher marks if there were more folks to be of service, but Doomsday does seem a bit understaffed as far as general employees goes. The ones that were able to help were so busy with what little crowd there was that they seemed to be stretched for time. We weren’t clearly directed to the waiting line until we were nearly to the entrance on the wrong side of the chute
barrier, but I was given a hug by a very large, scary fellow and directed promptly to the correct entrance.
SECOND SCORE 10
THIRD SCORE 9
Is it Scary? 8.5
Doomsday is scary. I like that the entirety of the haunt is used to instill terror instead of just the actors or just the set pieces. They have a firm grasp on utilizing all of a person’s sensations to scare.
SECOND SCORE 8
THIRD SCORE 8.5
Bang for Your Buck 8
Doomsday offers a $20 general admission and a very reasonable $10 fast pass. No gimmicks, no frills. I like it. And based on how massive and interactive Doomsday is, I say this is a fair price.
SECOND SCORE 9
THIRD SCORE 9
While Doomsday has some areas for improvement, I certainly would suggest a trip to this haunt. And please, WEAR PROPER FOOTWEAR!