Gearing up into the second week of my first ever 2019 haunt tour, I realized it would incomplete without traveling to SpookyWoods in Archdale, NC! It’s a well known attraction in the state with a reputation of amazing haunt entertainment! It’s an hour and thirty minutes away from me, but definitely worth the gas it takes to get there! I have attended this haunt for the past 3 years. TICKET PRICING IS $30 GENERAL ADMISSION, $45 VIP, $60 IMMEDIATE
ACCESS. THERE IS A $5 PARKING FEE. With each season, SpookyWoods continues to progress in ways to outdo themselves in the haunt industry. I can’t wait to see what they have in store for their “victims” this Fall! It all starts from the minute you are directed out of the carpool lane your GPS clearly instructed you to follow and ushered to park your car in a huge grassy field nearby. It’s noticeably still a bit of a walking distance away from the attraction, but don’t fret. There’s a large tractor pulling a massive trailer-trolley behind it to give you a lift to a drop off area near your desired terminal. As soon as you curiously walk across a wooden bridge passing shrubbery and trees, along the corner, you get a sneak peek of the destination you’ve been searching for. There are huge SpookyWoods banner lights flashing throughout the sky, the distant bass sounds of thumping club music and an aroma of candy apples and cinnamon wafting through the air tempting you to come inside and check this place out. The wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel could quite possibly be waiting on the other side of these hidden haunt walls, ready to eat you and you’re still going to be immediately drawn to investigate this area! This is such an incredible feeling to describe, half giddy with excitement, half nervous with anticipation of what lies in store for you. Hang on to your broomsticks because we’re preparing for take off and this is about to become an adrenaline thrill ride for all ages!
The atmosphere at SpookyWoods is unlike anything you have experienced before. After purchasing tickets and passing through security, you’re officially on the midway and it’s like stepping into your own little horror-land filled with actors and creatures galore! Every one of them being very interactive in character and always ready for a photo op or an opportunity to chase after a herd of screaming teenagers running away in fear on the midway. A few of the stand outs being a creepy witch lady with her very own doll carriage, western zombie gunslingers and a viking seer, as well as some famous slasher villains roaming the grounds. Don’t be surprised if Freddy Kruger decides to run his knifed fingers through your hair or Michael Myers silently yet ominously threatens to drag a metal blade across your neck...all in good fun, of course! They also offer merchandise booths with shirts, hoodies, beanies, bumper sticks and so much more. Along with many reasonably priced food options including basic concessions, kettle corn, specialty almonds, fudge and apple cider donuts. The final two on that list are both a MUST TRY! They’re highly recommended! You won’t regret it! Upon moving towards the maze entrance, you file into a crowded area full of lined customers all waiting to step up to the attraction’s main platform. This may sound sluggish and discouraging, but believe me, it’s not what it seems at all! You’re officially a part of CLUB SPOOKY! There is a photographer waiting to snap a group photo for you before you hit the trails. There are strobe lights, fog machines and 4K TV’s all advertising interactive horror trivia and movie clips on screen. And don’t let me forget to mention there is a DJ with a microphone on a ginormous catwalk cranking out the latest dance tunes! He does an amazing job keeping the crowd’s spirit and anticipation level up. It gives off a great vibe reminiscent of every teen slasher movie you’ve watched before...this is the forbidden school dance or field rave party you used to sneak off to without permission, and it’s the fun, lively part before the unknown danger sneaks up behind you and the scares hit...which trust me, they’re coming...they’re waiting for you, right behind the first attraction door.
SpookyWoods offers multiple themes and trails during your experience. You never have to worry about getting lost either. The pathways while dimly lit are clear and easy to navigate through. There’s always someone to instruct you on where to go.
TRICK OR TREAT HOUSE: The entrance to the first haunt attraction starts inside of an old, decrepit wooden house with a set design that will please any horror fan aesthetically. There’s an immediate 1960’s old school Halloween gone wrong vibe with all of the gory decorations and spilled candy spread throughout the maze along with a few possible corpses as well. Make sure to keep a close watch on the monster statues along the walls as well. They’re so realistic. It’s almost as if some of them are dying to “come alive!” This attraction is short yet still beyond creepy. It sets the mood and is the perfect teaser. It gives you a good taste of what’s to come.
TERROR TRAMS: You will encounter these tram rides twice along your way to different locations throughout the haunt, but don’t think it will be an easy joyride either direction. Beware what lurks in the shadows when the lights go out! You may end up with a few flesh hungry hitchers looking for a free meal along with the ride.
MONSTER LASER TAG: This attraction is exactly what it’s described as laser tag with witchy monsters and goblins. When you arrive, you’re held outside of an ancient medieval gate with grim reaper statues on each side to help set the dreadful tone of the fate that may await you. Next, you’re released into a foggy, dimly lit, backwoods trail while being locked and loaded with a huge laser weapon. Dark crystals are affecting the creatures in the night and it’s your job to aim up into the trees and take them down before the infected monsters take you down. This is a fun experience for all.
TUNNEL BACK TO REALITY: This is the part on the trail where you walk through a huge lit up emerald tunnel on your way to safety...or are you? Make sure you look behind you just in case any monsters are sneaking up on you on the way out. That way you won’t see the ones in front of you. I won’t spoil the surprise, but I will say as a trained scare actor who looks out for these things, there was one hand operated prop scare that I noticed coming because the actor was placed out in an open spotlighted area, but congrats to him for still being able to catch a scream from the people behind us. It’s always great to see an actor making the best of an oddly placed scare position.
THE ORIGINS OF THE KERSEY CROW: Here you will stumble onto a 14ft high mutant cornfield where there are a plethora of evil scarecrows just waiting to “stalk” you. This maze makes good use of green laser lights and smoky fog effects. The actors work well with them for their own advantage. Darting in and out of them at times, so you can see something is coming towards you in the dark, but you’re unsure of what it might be. The green fog effects at times make it appear as though the corn itself is attempting to reach out and grab you. Combine that with a flame torch and the sound of several chainsaws and you easily can become disoriented in this predatory environment. I did notice a few random back packs (most likely belonging to actors) scattered at several points of this trial, but they do such an articulate job at bending reality in this part of the attraction, who’s to say some rambunctious school kids didn’t wander onto the trail and get dragged off by some random wicked scarecrow? I’ll believe it. This was one of my group’s personal favorites.
If you manage to navigate yourself to safety from the massive a cornfield, you will discover that you have reached the last attraction at Spookywoods. It’s filled with 13 different themes all terrifying in their own unique ways. They each flow into the other with a ease. It all begins as you venture up the front porch steps on a giant red Victorian mansion. The set design here is once again phenomenal! Now, the fun really starts...
THE REDRUM ESTATES B&B: Check into this eerie B&B where people have been known to mysteriously vanish. Maybe it has something to do with the demented family in charge or the malevolent looking rag doll wobbling about the room. I would also like to point out this was an awesome costume with a cloth made mask. Something you don’t see everyday. Great use of unique creativity!
CAVERN OF THE RESURRECTED: You thought running towards the basement would help save you, but now you’ve ended up in a dark place with rock formation walls where bat like creatures are abound in the shadows below.
THE GRAND ENIGMA HOTEL: Once inside this room you immediately realize you’ve walked directly inside a seance gone afoul! While this room had eye catching decor, there seemed to be a dead space with an actor missing. Great setup nonetheless. Loved the fortune teller prop with her crystal ball!
CARETAKERS SHED: Stay away from the creepy caretaker, avoid the acid and whatever you do don’t investigate those foul smells in the air!
STONE GATE NECROPOLIS: You searched for the odor despite the warnings and have now entered a beautiful, ancient abandoned crypt with urns and haggard witches casting hexes from the shadows. The aesthetic and Gothic decor in this scene is attention grabbing and helps set the mood.
PHANTOM CASTLE: This was a personal favorite of mine! You follow the tombstones into an immaculate broken down graveyard filled with vampire vixens in flowing gowns literally waiting in the shadows to fly out and carry you off into the dark caves of MARSH COVE!
WILLOWS BOG: Emerge from the pitch black depths of the caves and you’ll find yourself trapped in the amidst of a voodoo ritual filled with rickety bridges and robed walking skeletons attempting to coax you to stay and be their sacrifice. This is an eerie area. Guaranteed to give you chills!
STONE CAVE: Zombies, claustrophobia and sewers, oh my! The large pipes you have to duck under in this maze add a nice touch to making you feel as though the alley is shrinking with you in it! If you have a problem with tight, enclosed spaces, don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Q-N-U DINER: A 50’s themed dinner that from the looks of the rotten flesh laying around is serving more than just BBQ. This is a short scene, but a great lead into
THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE OF HORROR: which immediately answers any menu questions you previously had in the last room. Great showmanship of chainsaw work in this area!
PALACE OF WAX: This is a classic horror theme that you may not have seen used in recent years. It’s a great throwback to the old school genre and I wish more haunts included vintage ideas like this!
THE LOST KINGDOM: This is the last segment of the haunt, but escaping will not be a simple task. This area is laced with enough booby traps to baffle even The Goonies. Watch out. The shifty floors, moving walls, and mattress pitfalls could almost send you into another vortex!
The actors at this haunted attraction are at the top of the game. They are all interactive and always ready to entertain the crowds from the midway to inside of the haunt. Adventuring through, we rarely encountered dead zones or misfired timing. One place, I will point out, inside of the cave areas, there was a spot for a creature to pop out for a perfect “gotcha” moment, but no one was there. This area felt like it was not take advantage of or fully utilized. But, I will commend the chainsaw runner in the slaughterhouse who did a great job jumping in front of a cluttered group and putting on a savage display show to break customers up, so we weren’t all huddled together like cattle. Crowd control is always something to be appreciated. It really helps with being able to fully take in the haunt experience. These actors have a real passion for the industry and it shows. They’re having fun and making sure you are too. They do an outstanding job at pulling you into their world and making you feel like a part of it!
The effort that goes into the costuming and makeup at SpookyWoods is phenomenal! All of their characters and creatures fit flawlessly into each setting they wander into. They do an amazing job at bringing supernatural monsters to life! When the characters interact with you up close and personal, at times, you could easily believe you’re talking to a moving corpse rather than an actor! I would rank these guys in league with Universal Studios or Disneyworld! They really set the bar high for other competitors. Definitely one of the best makeup teams in the haunt industry!
Special Effects: 10
If you are a fan who loves watching special effects and animatronics in action at haunted attractions, you’ve definitely come to the right place! Whether it’s laser lights shows or strategic use of stunt bungee cords and lifts, SpookyWoods is top notch in this category. Delivering nothing, but quality hi tech entertainment!
Customer Service: 10
The customer service at SpookyWoods is impeccable. Every one really seems to genuinely care about the quality of your experience and the time that you spend there. From the head of guest operations to the ticket operators to merchandise and food vendors to the security guards, everyone is very professional, friendly and inviting. You feel welcomed from the minute you step into the attraction. They are all eager to help with any questions you may have, very informative and have great organization with crowd control. To be such a large haunt, you never have to question where you are or which way to go. They will always be there to direct you in the right direction. This is impressive.
Is It Scary: 9
DEFINITELY! I jumped! Other group members screamed! From the midway to inside the haunt mazes, there are so many creepy creatures and ghastly ghouls, you never know what’s going to pop out and try to snatch you next! My heart was pounding with an uneasy excitement every time there was a new shriek of terror from someone nearby. SpookyWoods does an excellent job at keeping you on edge with nervous anticipation wondering what will happen next with every scene transition!
Bang For Your Buck: 10
$30 General Admission
$60 Immediate Access
$25 Axe Throwing
$25 Escape Room
$69 - $79 Zip Lining
Even without all of the extra activities SpookyWoods has to offer, the midway experience alone is worth every penny you spend at this attraction. Tasty treats such as apple cider donuts, fudge, kettle corn and specialty almonds are offered in various shops and hard to resist sampling. Amazing actors and creatures stalking the grounds looking for victims, eager to interact with customers. A DJ with laser light shows, fog machines and spooky videos on TV screens. All of this before you even make it inside of the actual trails, which believe me, are terror filled with trained actors and the set design details are breathtaking as well. This walk though experience lasts close to an hour and 15 minutes. Combined with everything else you get, SpookyWoods is definitely worth the price of admission!
I have been to dozens of haunts throughout my experience in the industry and SpookyWoods is hands down one of the best! It’s a unique experience! From the actors to the makeup to the special effects and set designs, no detail is too small for them. They succeed in all of these categories. They’re original, innovative and have a true passion for haunting...something that’s lacking in most attractions in the haunt industry these days. Upon leaving, I’m someone who likes to listen in for other customer’s opinions to help gauge a proper ranking and I can honestly say I didn’t hear one negative response in the exiting crowd. Nothing, but positive feedback! Commentators were constantly proclaiming SpookyWoods as “the best haunted attraction they’ve ever experienced before!” SpookyWoods will definitely be the attraction to beat on my 2019 tour because they really set the bar high for the competition! This place is a MUST HAVE ENCOUNTER FOR ALL AGES! I highly recommend it! Don’t miss out!