I began my season of screams at a 150 year old church turned haunt. This is a 1st year haunt, but has actors with years of experience at other locations. Its family owned & ran, the owners are seasoned actors and participate in scaring the bejeezus out of folks.
Its located off a side road in Gadsden Alabama. The drive was an easy one, we were able to find it with GPS without any issues. I didn't see any signs pointing me to my doom, but I seem to be able to find my way nonetheless. The parking lot was to the side of the haunt, kind of dark and no director to show you where to park. There were lots of folks darting around the parking lot, so be careful when pulling up. Otherwise, it was an easy walk and felt secure. This structure was intimidatingly huge compared to what I preconceived. I found out after that there were a multitude of rooms, with plans to extend next season. To one side is a fenced off cemetery, not part of the attraction but still adds to the eeriness of the night. Inside there are rows of church seating benches to wait your turn. There isn't just "waiting" happening though... there is plenty of actor interaction to set the mood.
Clown: you could tell he knew how to work the crowd. He didn't allow for anyone to simply hide in the background. You had to deal with him. He was relentless. He was not alone though. The insane woman running around was off the charts! She would pop up everywhere, inside, outside, under the church benches, in the parking lot, EVERYWHERE. The 1st one I noticed was her and she was so full of energy that I literally said "wow! There is no way she can keep up that energy the whole time!" Yet... she did. Running- or should I say "darting"- everywhere, startling everyone she came up on. I didn't see one group that she didn't catch off guard. Bravo wild lady. Bravo.
With minimal makeup, she pulled off the perfect character. She was our favorite and we looked for her at every turn. The wardrobe of the actors was great. The mad hatter, butcher, and I think "witch/old hag" all were impressive. Makeup and costume were on point with scenes.
The theme seemed to be murderous beings searching for victims. Where better to find a victim than the "reapers playground"?
One aspect to be aware of is the strobe lighting. It appeared in multiple locations, but wasn't too overwhelming. I feel like it fit appropriately. There was also lots of fog/mist. It masked some of the rooms a little more than others, but all in all was appropriate for each room's theme.
Bang for your buck:
At $10 per person, this was well worth every penny! Lots of jump scares, around 20 minutes long, and multiple settings was well under the average cost of most haunts I've visited. Also a plus... open 3 days a week and offers multiple theme nights, such as college night and kid night! Friday Saturday and Sunday!
One aspect to be aware of is the strobe lighting. It appeared in multiple locations, but wasn't too overwhelming. I feel like it fit appropriately. There was also lots of fog/mist. It masked some of the rooms a little more than others, but all in all was appropriate for each rooms theme. I noticed the details of each room appeared to have lots of thoughts behind them. If you can keep your eyes open, please check out the small stuff. I got creeped out by some writing on a window. You will need to find that for yourself *no spoilers*.
Is it scary:
I brought a group with me since it's a little harder to scare me nowadays, I figured I could gauge their reactions. No worries! I jumped many times, got turned around once and had a little panic, and stayed on edge anticipating the next scene. My group consisted of different personalities, and they all seemed to enjoy moments of fright.
Did you I feel comfortable?
The sign says wear a mask, so we did. Some patrons chose not to, they did keep social distances though. Their choice didnt keep them from enjoying the experience though. There are plenty of ways to maintain distance, but that clown will still find you! As always, you must decide for yourself what feels "comfortable" for you.
secret rep score 1 = 7.5
secret rep score 2 = 7.8
secret rep score 3 = 8
Everyone from ticket sales to the lurking mike myers did a great job. I wasn't aware during, but found out after (while talking with the clown) that some actors were not there this night. It did not effect the high energy this haunt had. I do plan to go back on a full cast night.... as should you! Great job for a 1st year haunt! Overall there are pros and cons, pros outweighing cons.. lots of interaction with actors, creativity and originality in the room's details was on point, scare tactics successful, the parking could use a little more lighting, and a few well placed "this way to your doom, etc" signs to help direct you to the location. My advice: "go and check this place out"
Get out there and live a little
.. or not... muhahahahaha