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GUTHRIE HAUNTS

My final stop in Oklahoma brings me to a small town called Guthrie.

Through my experience visiting haunts across the country in the last 10 years, small town haunts typically pack a solid punch when it comes to it’s show and quality scares. Then there are ones like Guthrie Haunts who throw haymakers.

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From the start, Guthrie sets the tone with an over the top midway featuring certain things that I’ve never seen at a haunt before. For example, An aerial silk performance throughout the entire night. Knights squaring off against each other in sword fights surrounded by fire, legit gypsy performances. Those 3 I have never seen while at a haunt. Then you throw in things like A mechanical bull, A magic show, axe throwing, foam pit, a dunk tank, all the great vendors, the photo ops, big screen tv and the actors that roam the midway.

Guthrie offers a midway experience that you won’t forget. I was walking around just taking in the atmosphere while watching everyone’s reaction and interactions with all the activities.

Seeing people ride the bull was one of my highlights out in the midway. I even got on it and let’s just say my ride was short lived. But I had a blast attempting it.

Watching the knights beat the living hell out of each other was another highlight for me. I’ve honestly never seen it in person, I do have friends that are into that sort of thing and they tell me all the time how much fun but painful it is. Now seeing it in person, I have a new found respect for these individuals and what they do. It’s cool to be at a haunt and hearing the steel crashing into each other from across the midway.

Now that you’ve read this far into the article, I’ll remind you that you’re still at a haunted attraction and we’re about to dive into that.

Once your color is called, you will enter the que-line waiting your turn to experience Guthrie Haunts.

I had the opportunity to walk through the haunt 3 times and each time had a different experience. We’ll talk about that a little further down.

As for the walkthrough, Guthrie offers MANY different scenes and theming. It’s like a collective of your worst nightmares thrown on top of each other while still in places capturing a small town vibe. Like the small cornfield area that you walk through. With all these different elements thrown in, they did a solid job for the most part transitioning to each. When you have this many scenes and areas that are inside, it can be difficult to smooth out the transitions and flow, but Guthrie did a very good job with this.

Those of you who consistently follow and read my write ups know that I don’t cover 100% of the experience and I don’t give away spoilers like most out there do. I want you to go out to the haunts I write about and experience them yourselves. If I can make the trip, chances are, you probably can too.

BUT! I do like to highlight certain areas that I felt were the most impactful during my experience.

These highlights other than the midway are; 

The sewers of Guthrie. This scene definitely immerses you into feeling like you are in a legit sewer tunnel. With the water effects, the cold draft and the darkness throughout, it definitely gets the job done when it comes to full immersion. Not to mention that was the area where I encountered as of now the biggest scare of 2021. This actor came out of nowhere and I felt my heart drop to my stomach and caused me to let out a verbal reaction. If you get a verbal reaction out of me, you definitely are doing something right with your scene and scare. Kudos to that actor and the crew for that entire scene setup.

I really enjoyed the clown area with the little clown girls going crazy, playing ring around the rosie and coming up with great one liners, that definitely caused people in my group to be on edge.

The medical area was a very cool scene to be in with the authentic props in the scene for example the real embalming table. 

The nursery was a very effective scene with the evil nun (NOT the movie character), an original character that the actress did a wonderful job with. 

I loved the house/hotel scenes, loved the Buffalo Bill reference and the actor playing the character. I thought he did a great job with working the scene and even coming back for seconds. I’ll brag about him a little more, after his 2nd appearance and came back for a third a little ways down and we’ve already mentally moved on and he shows back up asking us “Where did he go”. Then he ran off again as the patrons in the group freaked out asking each other, “What the hell is he talking about?” I thought that was great!

The scene with the chainsaw and table saw was very effective and definitely brought out the screams from patrons.

The entire mine shaft was a fun experience, the fog was perfect and how the path is set up, it will have you on your heels with each turn.

I’ll even compliment Guthrie’s vortex tunnel. Those of you who know me and watch the show know that I hate vortex tunnels. Guthrie added a new “spin” to it, *no pun intended*.

I felt the actors at Guthrie as a whole did a wonderful job with keeping up their energy and intensity throughout the night, even with the crazy conga lines that formed throughout the entire night. A few had timing issues when popping out and some came out for the initial scare and then went back to their “boo holes” or “hidey holes” as the group continued through their scene.

Now we will get into my 3 walkthroughs. I like to be put into random groups when I go through. It gives me a chance to diversify the type of patrons going through and how the actors respond to them. Let’s just say the 3 random groups I was in at Guthrie were tough cookies. But what made it tougher was the conga lines that built up within the haunt. My 1st experience wasn’t that bad with the conga line, but the 2nd experience it got worse and the 3rd experience it was very bad.

By the 5th scene my group that started with maybe 6 to 8 turned into 15 and then by the time we got deeper into the haunt. My group turned into 20 plus, with another group of 20 plus about a minute behind us. By the exit, I noticed multiple times that 30 or more were walking out at the sametime.

This is a momentum killer for actors as this burns them out quickly. Especially in the scenes that require more of a performance versus a pop scare. It hinders the performance and forces actors to turn into stop signs or traffic lights. That takes away from the paying customers because now they are missing out on the full performance from the actors. I saw it first hand and kudos to ALL those actors that night for doing the best they could to keep that intensity while staying in character. It’s not easy to do and I definitely praise all of them for having to endure that. It happens all over the industry and in most cases it can be prevented with communication and everyone being on the same page, but it’s just one of those things that every haunt has to deal with from time to time.

My opinion from an outside perspective, Guthrie has a GREAT midway to keep patrons entertained for hours. Utilize it, let the patrons enjoy it. Not only does it give them plenty of things to do, it helps make the time feel not as long. It’s also great for the vendors for the patrons to have more time in the midway versus pushing them through as quickly as possible. Let them wait. If people come to a popular haunt on a Saturday night and complain because the wait is an hour plus. They need to simply stay at home. Those are the types of complaints that deserve to be ignored, especially if the haunt offers a booming midway like Guthrie.  If wanting to push people through quickly, a possible solution that I noticed that could help vendors in the midway. When people exit, have them exit back into the midway so they can maybe enjoy some of the shows, vendors and attractions that they may have missed when their color was called. Have one exit gate and once they leave, they leave. Just a perspective on my end that I did notice and hearing and talking with a few patrons while they were leaving the haunt.

 

In Closing;

Guthrie Haunts is a fun, scary experience that offers a lot of different unique scenes. 

I had an absolute blast while at this haunt, seeing and meeting people there, watching their reactions to everything made the experience great!

I foresee Guthrie eventually turning into a 2 part attraction. The haunt and then the midway experience. Speaking to the owner, John, he has GREAT future plans for the midway. If they keep growing and adding to the haunt along with the midway experience. Guthrie Haunts will have the opportunity to make some noise beyond their state lines when it comes to the haunt industry!

Guthrie is a small town that is home to a haunt that offers a top quality experience.

Get out there and experience Guthrie Haunts for yourselves!

 

2021 Must See Oklahoma Haunt!

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