It's officially the third week of my 2020 haunt tour. I enjoy a road trip as well as the next adventurer out there, so when I was offered the chance to review a new haunt that I'd never heard of, I immediately agreed to make the 3 hour journey to Fright Nights WV in Daniels, West Virginia. This haunted attraction is conveniently located on the property of The Resort at Glade Springs. It's found with extreme ease. The interstate drive came with pleasurable views of the seasonal fall leaf foliage, as well as the sites of many local pumpkin patches scattered along the side of the highway. Once you hit the back roads to reach your destination, I do recommend keeping an eye out for wildlife. This area is heavily populated with deer - day or night - and several were seen crossing in front of our car. As long as you keep this in mind, Fright Nights WV is found without any issues. Once we arrived on the premises, we were greeted by their friendly haunt coordinator, Ashley Long. She gave us a small tour of the grounds outside, as well as a brief history of the place. Fright Nights WV has been in operation for 11 years. They recently moved to their new location at the resort, 2 years ago. This haunt has gathered a successful following with fans from across many different states, having sold outs shows almost every night of their recent haunt season. That being said I couldn’t wait to see what frights and delights were in store for our visit.

Atmosphere:

Once you exit your vehicle, you will come to a small area with delicately placed string lights and an illuminated sign with the haunt's moniker. Here, they have a firepit for guests to keep warm in the cold temperatures as they wait to enter the trail. There are two food and beverage stands, in case attendees are in need of refreshment. The food trailer offers a variety of snacks: pretzel sticks, pecan turtles, caramel apples, nachos, bbq with slaw and so much more. The beverage cart serves everything from hot chocolate to beer, wine and jello shots. Fright Nights WV shirts are also available for souvenirs. Once you have explored this waiting area, you are then prompted to make your way towards a large wooden building. I won’t lie...from the outside, it looked rather bland. It's your basic, wooden board set up with several dimly lit windows in various colors with a few cardboard cutouts in the window. It presented itself outwardly to be similar to the likes of a high school fundraiser. As a Scurryface reviewer, I try to always keep an open mind and appreciate diverse approaches to setups and themes. But, as a fellow haunt lover who gushes over extreme, over the top aesthetic, I wasn't sure what to expect and was immediately questioning what I had gotten myself into. Clearly, I was about to be blindsided by what was in store for me and taught the valuable lesson to never judge a haunt by its outward appearance.

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Theming/Trail:

Upon entering this haunt, be prepared to be blown away with the imaginative sets, creepy creatures and contemporary, hi tech special effects that Fright Nights WV offers its attendees.  

 

There are five attractions throughout the scare attraction:

 

Ghost Town: 

During this opening segment, you will meet a ghastly bartender, a plague riddled brothel worker and a dementedly departed outlaw who obviously experienced an unfortunate outcome in a game of Russian roulette. Let’s hope that gun of his doesn’t misfire again.

 

Slaughterhouse:

Slaughterhouse is exactly as you would imagine. You get a chance to meet Junior and his cannibalistic mother along with their victim in a field of moving cornstalks littered with severed limbs and hanging corpses.

 

Mr. Beard’s Freaks and Phobias:

What’s an old school freak show without encased oddities, a cursed fortune teller and John Wayne Gacy’s evil cousin slinking up behind you? Side note: this attraction has one of the most unnerving rooms inside the haunt - filled with antique clown mannequins, mangled dolls and sock monkeys. The creep factor is alive in this segment.

 

Asylum:

Insane mental patients and their demented doctor are ready to show you their “shockingly” new treatments. 

 

Deadwood Manor:

The only way out of the entire haunt is through this haunted mansion filled with a gothic graveyard, phantom ghosts and horned, wicked witches. Watch out of the pet goat! He may bite.

 

The inside of Fright Nights WV is a complete sensory overload, but in all of the best ways possible. There is an insane amount of detail throughout the entire haunt. We went through twice and couldn’t help, but notice new additions to each set that we hadn’t seen before. The commitment this team puts forth to provide an ultimate horror themed immersion is extraordinary.

Actors:

The cast of Fright Nights WV do an exceptional job of pulling guests into their sinister, macabre world, all the while, still respecting social distancing protocol. They put forth a quality effort at keeping the scare's and jumps coming with vibrant energy. The high spirited undead bank robbing outlaw, who literally burst into the middle of his scene, was a memorable character, hands down. The actors were substantial at rationing out scares for each guest, making them all feel included in the festivities. Another commendable note about this haunt’s casting: we were pleased to see several 50+ aged cast members performing. It’s always a joy to witness that scare acting comes with no age restrictions. There is fun to be had by all. It’s incredible to see this haunted attraction promoting this idea. The cast of Fright Nights WV knows how to put on a terror filled show.

Costume/Makeup:

Fright Nights WV’s focus and concentration to detail in this department deserves a huge amount of recognition. These guys are remarkable at fabricating life like, monstrous creatures. A majority of the cast wear latex masks, but even then, you question if it’s a human or something far worse underneath them. Their makeup and costumes are top grade material. Fright Nights WV’s costuming team is in league with several top ranked haunts in the industry.

Special Effects:

Fright Nights WV spares no expense when it comes to special effects. Each set has carefully thought out lighting and placement for easy traffic flow. They use a plethora of equipment that adds to the illusion of the nightmare world they work to create...a vortex tunnel, strobe lights, fog machines, a vast collection of animated props and moving floors...they’ve got almost everything a haunt goer could expect. These props are also well maintained. One walk through, we noticed the barrel drop wasn’t working as it should be. They immediately had a tech team member on stand by and this issue was promptly resolved on our second time going through. It’s great to see such dedication and commitment to technical issues in a scare attraction. Fright Nights WV has tons of electrical devices to stimulate your mind and your haunt experience. If you are a fan of electronic props and special effects, this is the attraction for you.

Bang for Your Buck:

General Admission: $25

Fast Pass: $40

Total Trail Time: 20 mins

 

Our total walk through experience lasted approximately 20 minutes. However, once inside this haunt it is easy to lose track of time, making this walk through seem longer than its estimate. There are multiple things to stop and examine in every room of this trail. There were no dead spaces or missed opportunities for scare's, you might encounter within other haunts. The attention to detail, characters and set decor is definitely worth of the price of admission.

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Originality/Creativity:

While there are a few commonly used themes at Fright Nights WV like Slaughterhouse and Asylum, which are exactly what a typical haunt goer would assume them to be, this haunted attraction also has something innovative to offer with its avant-garde approach to an old, Wild West ghost town. It’s a newfangled concept that most southern haunts in the industry have yet to explore. The mixture of zombie bartenders, ghoulish harlots and fiendish outlaws in convincing, antique backdrops and sets helps make Fright Nights WV a memorable adventure that stands out from the rest.

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Is It Scary:

Yes. Fright Nights WV has shrieks and screams of terror filling their arena from start to finish. Multiple guests were seen leaping or pulling back ninja hands at calculated jump scares. From the menacing chainsaw runner who came barreling out of nowhere in the corn maze to the burly, silent, stalking clown who will haunt my dreams for weeks to come, Fright Nights WV is pure nightmare fuel. Whether it’s their cast of monsters and goons or the various animated props, guests constantly have someone or something coming at them from every angle. This haunt is guaranteed to spook you.

Haunt Change:

I would like to add that while I have never attended this attraction before, on our brief tour of the haunt, we were informed this year due to COVID safety measurements, the midway of monsters had been removed. There were no games or actors outside of the haunt entrance due to safety protocol. Hopefully, this will return next season for guests. This year instead of having a ticket booth where guests can purchase tickets on site, Fright Nights WV is strictly using online tickets and reservations only.

Did You Feel Safe:

Yes. Fright Nights WV operates through online tickets and reservations only this year. Guests upon on arriving are entered into a virtual queue line where they wait from inside their cars until they receive a designated text informing them to enter the haunt. Masks and face coverings are required. Hand sanitizers are placed throughout the trail at each attraction entrance. Limited group spacing is also enforced. Fright Nights WV does a good job at making sure guests know their safety is a priority.

Overall:

When I first accepted the invitation to review Fright Nights WV, I had no idea what to expect. I was clueless what I was getting myself into. In the end, this haunted attraction turned into a bewilderingly, fun experience with eye catching scenery and a terror filled cast lurking around every corner. It’s easy to see why and how this place sells out shows night after continued night. Make sure you all are adding Fright Nights WV - a Must See Haunt - to your list this season! You don’t want to miss out!

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