Guthrie Haunts Scaregrounds is an experience you won’t forget! Concessions, adult beverages, big-screen movies, psychic readings, and live pre-show entertainment can be enjoyed with every ticket. As now I'm with a professional haunt review organization, I must say that several of the haunts I’ve checked out in OK have been lackluster-- until Guthrie Scaregrounds.
Atmosphere - 9.5
The stretch of road in front of the entrance is reduced to one lane for about a mile both directions (with an 11 minute wait between signals), but the staff made the best of it by having an additional traffic director at the haunt entrance. Quite a scary trek to get here through the dark woods, which really added to the experience. Free parking was a breeze and you could see that they were well-equipped to host many more people than were currently in attendance. This actually felt like a haunt when we walked up due to plenty of spooky things to see and actors to interact with before ever even stepping in line. This model allows for folks to be entertained while waiting for friends to arrive, as well as stay on-site to decompress afterwards, should you choose. The ropes for the line were properly reconfigured to accommodate the crowd, so we didn’t have to walk through the maze of ropes like at many other attractions. Overall atmosphere was wonderful
Special Effects - 9
Guthrie Haunts Scaregrounds used so many different effects that maintaining your orientation was incredibly difficult. They utilized a solid combination of audio, visual, and temperature changes to keep you off-guard and struggling to keep up. Sensory overload in a productive fashion, giving you the opportunity to also engage with the set in order to move forward in the attraction. The scenes were intricate, believable, and varying with just enough light throughout. One of my favorite old-school effects was the use of clothing to disappear through a closet into another dimension. Simple, but for some reason, it actually felt really creepy. Fog was utilized sparingly and never for too long. Great work!
Costumes/Makeup - 8
Guthrie Haunts had varying levels of quality in terms of costuming and makeup. There were several staple characters who had very elaborate masks and costuming-- some really professional gear. But in contrast, there were also several kids and other volunteers who didn't quite have their makeup and costumes refined. While this is completely understandable, and it’s much more important to at least have actors, there were definitely a few that lacked in appearance. The clowns were exceptional (as well as the pre-show performers) so it kind of evened everything out. I was certainly impressed, but overall, costuming was only slightly about average.
Theme/Trail - 9.5
Upon entering the attraction, you are given a clear set of rules by a scare actor who is also serving as the spacing lead. She did a fantastic job both keeping us entertained and informing us about other seasonal events to visit at Guthrie Haunts. The scenes span both indoors and outdoors, but due to the very intentional use of temperature effects, it’s often difficult to tell where exactly you are within the haunt. As a permanent building, it’s clear that a ton of time and money has been put into the attraction. We were actively being scared for over 30 minutes with several points of a trick ending. The best part of the overall route was that one once during the entire walk-through did we as much as hear any other attendees.With such a long haunt (and so many people to move through it each night) maintaining proper spacing is extremely difficult. It felt like we were truly trapped and alone in a never-ending torture chamber.
Customer Service - 8
I reached out via Facebook prior to attending, but was left on read. This felt particularly unusual since many owners/social media managers on particularly active FB pages are quick to respond (at least in some way), so no response at all did leave me a little uncertain upon arrival. But once we got there, all of the staff were nothing but friendly, even when asking folks to stop smoking around the fire spinners while we were waiting in line. I asked a few questions to folks working the grounds, and all of them were quick to either answer, or direct me to someone else who could. Overall, staffing was really helpful and accommodating once on-site.
Actors - 8.5
Not once were we ever rushed by actors and they actually allowed scenes to play out at whatever pace we unfolded them. There were no visible security guards inside (at least not out of costume) and there were several places where interaction was forced before moving forward. I really loved that they allowed youth to serve as actors in a “children’s room” because not only does it give them an early opportunity to delve into the haunt industry, but it also adds a creepy addition that some haunts are missing. It was also clear the children had been coached as they used methods of distraction while other kids jumped out to scare you. All actors were very intentional about scaring all members in the group and participating when I’d let them slide in front of me to frighten more easily-scared attendees. Overall great job!
Is it Scurry? -9.5
This was a pretty frightening haunt overall. There was something to scare everyone with lots of phobia appearances, jump scares, moving floors, and loud noises. My wife and I walked through with a mother-daughter pair who had initially been the leaders of our pack, but soon dropped back behind us due to being too terrified. The adult daughter could not control her body and jumped onto my back several times while being chased by chainsaws and demons, which is a pretty good indication of how scary it was for an average haunt-goer.
Bang for your Buck - 10
I ordered tickets online without the fast pass or touch upgrade since I like to see what a baseline experience is like start-to-finish. I really value haunts with charity models and affordability for families, so I never buy more than the base. Tickets were $20 each with a couple dollars in online fees. Ordering ahead was very much worth the fee because on-site ticketing had a massive line-- we found out later that they also ran a Groupon and radio 50% off deal that needed to be redeemed at the ticket window, which may have contributed. We waited in line for about 45 minutes with the final 20 minutes being entertained by fire spinners and a magician. My only complaint of the entire night was that I wish the fire spinners would’ve arrived a bit earlier in the night to have the live entertainment started closer to when ticketing began. While the listed price was on the higher end, I felt that the 30+ minute walk-through, added entertainment, and atmosphere absolutely made it worth it. This was somewhere where you could spend your entire evening, and never be bored. Worth it.
Guthrie Haunts Scaregrounds was definitely one of my favorite haunts I’ve ever been to. I’m a sucker for live entertainment, interactive scare actors (who went in-and-out of the haunt to scare you twice, might I add!), and integrating community businesses/talents. Amazing work and I am definitely planning to return this Valentine’s Day!