The Southeastern portion of the country offers so many top-quality haunts. More so than the rest of the country. When you enter the great state of North Carolina, you enter into a state that offers a different breed of haunts. One in particular sits in Greensboro and it goes by the name of Woods of Terror.
“WOT” isn’t your typical show up at the haunt and wait around in a que-line while looking at some creepy props and a few actors walk past you while giving you that “stare scare”.
You’re fully immersed the second you park your car. It’s not a small property where a tiny haunt sits. You are on a massive farm, McLaurin Farms to be exact. They utilize every bit of their property to bring you the best experience possible. Not only do they offer the haunt experience, you can venture over to what I call “The pumpkin Farm”. They offer pumpkins of ALL sizes for your Halloween decorations. I’d advise you pick a pumpkin after you exit the haunt. You definitely don’t want to be toting a pumpkin through this 50-minute to an hour experience.
In 2018 WOT received a perfect overall score of 10. “Whoa, wait a minute! A perfect 10! You’re biased”. Not in the least, Shaggy! Have a seat and listen to why they scored a perfect 10.
4 experiences in one single night.
First experience we were blown away with the sheer size of the trail. The facades to each theme were incredible. The actors were impeccable! It was simply too much to take in.
Second experience we knew what to expect and the shock and awe was behind us. We looked more closely at special effects and the actors. We were blown away once again and we noticed things that we did not notice the first time through. We did not get the same routine show from the actors. They changed their routines and scares for the most part.
Third experience we went in looking for things to find wrong with it. We noticed more things that we missed during our first two trips. And the actors blew us away once more by changing up their scares.
Fourth experience we were desperate to find things wrong this time. We were looking at the shoes the actors were wearing to see if they didn’t fit the costume. We were looking for exposed extension cords, mechanisms from the "actor-matronics." We tried to get actors to break character, we paid closer attention to the details of the make-up. NOTHING was to be found except this fact. They got better with each experience and our best experience on the trail was the 4th run through.
"HATERS GONNA HATE"
Now let’s get to 2019, it’s no different. WOT offers an incredible experience from the time you arrive in the midway to the point you open your car door to leave.
You want to arrive early, as in before they open. You absolutely do not want to miss out on their opening ceremony. This is the ONLY haunt in the nation where you will experience this type of ceremony.
It begins with the crowd separating to create a path and out comes this eerie drum beat that truly sets the mood of what’s coming. I love how it pays homage to the new Pet Sematary movie. Shortly following, the gates open up and out comes the casket car with Bone Daddy and Spawn and his entire cast. They walk out to a perfectly fitting soundtrack terrorizing patrons standing nearby as they make their way to the stage. Once they complete their trip around, you will see Bone Daddy standing on the stage with the band “Final Punishment” behind him hitting the opening notes to their own rendition of our Star-Spangled Banner. As I stood by taking in this moment, I couldn’t help but look around and notice guests singing along with their hands over their hearts while some holding their hats behind their back. It truly gives you goose bumps that this haunt is so proud of our country and brings this to life. Then the Greensboro sky is lit up with massive fireworks as the band hits the finale of the song. The crowd is cheering, the actors are jumping up and down. Bone Daddy officially welcomes everyone to the Woods of Terror as they continue to play “We Will Haunt You” as the actors disappear into the woods waiting for your arrival.
As that song ends, Trish Delish takes over as the midways MC and the dance floor opens up and you will find Rellik and others shaking their booties having a great time.
If you listen close enough, you will hear the distant battle cries from behind the scenes, “WHO HAS THE BEST ACTORS! WOODS OF TERROR!!” You know right then and there it’s about to be one hell of a night!
That is just the beginning of the midway. From that point on you have the freedom to walk around and truly take in the atmosphere. You have options of food, axe throwing, side attractions, a dance floor, photo opportunities, multiple merch stores. Final Punishment performs throughout the entire night. WOT has an amazing atmosphere that truly could be its own village. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the plethora of actors roaming the midway to entertain or terrify you. You will see very familiar faces out in the midway such as, Lucy Lucifer, Rellik, Samhain, Svetka, Grungy, Syriel, Sally and Maria. On special nights like the weekend we were there, WOT included, Scorn, Dozer, Dvour and Pennywise and of course The Scurry Show from Scurryface. Let me also add, the Pennywise at Woods Of Terror was the best looking Pennywise I've ever seen at a haunt. In fact, it's the best looking version I've ever seen outside of the silver screen. This was the biggest weekend WOT had when it came to online/haunt characters guest acting in one place. It won’t get any bigger than that this season. If you didn't attend, you missed out and you'll have to wait until 2020 to get all those names in one place again.
On average the typical haunt experience is between 15 to 25 minutes. Woods of Terror gives you a minimum of 50 minutes trail time. You experience so much throughout the trail it is very difficult to take it all in. Especially when actors are coming at you constantly from all directions. Even for professional reviewers like ourselves find it hard to take it all in. We’ve read every so called “professional” review done on the Woods of Terror. What we’ve noticed is, they don’t look at the quality aspects of what goes into this place. They don’t spot the little things that makes a huge difference. It’s the little things at WOT that puts this haunt on the mountain top. Just for an example, the transitions to each attraction. Extremely smooth and doesn't have that awkward vibe as to how you got there.
Then there are the big things, like the multiple attractions you experience. Each set up for the attractions are well thought out. Nightmare on Elm Street with façade of the house, the front yard, the girl sitting in the swing while singing the song. Crystal Lake with the perfect camp set up. You’ll find yourself in Haddonfield with the Myers house looming in the background. Blackbeard's revenge with walking through the yard to board the ship while the background music plays. Bildge Rat is lurking around looking to feed you to his gators, keep your eyes peeled.
The house of blood has the absolute best lighting effects in the whole experience. The insane amount of detail within the house is simply incredible to look at. Then you add Amelia and Taisiya and their vampire crew creeping in the shadows looking to take a bite out of you is the icing on the cake for this attraction.
Slaughterhouse is the most unsettling experience with the clutter of junk, a creepy house that you have to enter. Then add in the awful stench that does nothing but increase the realism as you make your way through this twisted family’s home. Miners Revenge is one of my personal favorites mainly because it truly immerses you to the feeling that you are in fact underground in a mine shaft. It’s a tight narrow path and you truly feel trapped with only one way to go. Then you add actors to that formula, that’s a recipe for terror for the typical haunt goer.
We cannot forget about 3D euphoria. If you’ve watched the Scurry 3 Show in the past you’ve heard me be vocal about not being a fan of wearing 3D glasses through a haunt. Because the facts are, most are average and unoriginal. Not at WOT, here they take it to a whole other level with their 3D. You won’t find that cliché splatter 3D paint here. You will find true 3D art here with some twists and turns. (PUN INTENDED). When you go into this experience, don’t get caught losing focus while bobbing your head to Wizzits beats. Killer Karma, Gloop and crew are waiting for you to make that mistake!
What I mentioned is just a small portion of what you will experience at Woods of Terror. There are other attractions that are just as amazing as the ones mentioned. If I talked about all of them, you’d be reading for a few hours.
Speaking about a few hours, BE PREPARED TO WAIT! I am so tired of seeing negative reviews from the public simply because they had to wait. With anything in the entertainment business that is considered quality, you're expected to wait to experience it. That is common sense and people now days want everything now without having to wait like everyone else. While at the Woods Of Terror, be patient and enjoy where you are at. That is the whole point of them having the midway set up like it is. If you went to WOT and never had to wait to get in, that means they are doing something wrong and people are not getting the quality of entertainment they are paying for. You want less wait times? Go on Thursday or Sunday nights. Just stop being a spoiled brat and leaving negative reviews because you had to wait a decent amount of time to experience a top quality haunt.
Simply the best I’ve ever seen. Not just a handful, The entire crew as a collective. They believe in the Woods of Terror. They believe in what they are doing and what they are trying to accomplish. They are professionally trained with the aid of Allen Hopps and training begins in early summer. All that training comes to life when those gates officially open. What I love the most about these actors is the fact they know how to scare and work entire scenes. They don’t pray on one single person in the group, they work the entire group. They know their roles and they portray it to perfection. The energy level never lets up with this bunch. They are giving it 100% until that final group exits their scenes. When you do as many people as the Woods Of Terror does each weekend, you never truly understand the amount of strain and stress haunt actors go through. They are the heartbeat of The Woods Of Terror.
The only other thing that helps these actors bring their characters to life is the amazing costuming and makeup. From head to toe these actors become their characters. Whether it be the costumes, masks, the makeup or the combination of all 3. A lot of haunts spend more on the elaborate costumes and masks. Here at WOT, the major focus is the makeup. The characters who have the role of being up close and personal with patrons, their makeup is amazing. They understand the ever-lasting impact they could have with patrons and they take full advantage. When patrons leave WOT, they will remember how a certain character looked. The makeup crew and actors care about their appearance while out on the trail or in the midway. They understand full well that while representing Woods Of Terror, they cannot go out in the public eye sporting sloppy or mediocre makeup and costumes. This is something WOT prides itself on.
Final tidbit on the WOT crew. Before the night begins, they have a meeting and you hear Bone Daddy ask them, “WHO HAS THE BEST ACTORS?”
They shout. “WOODS OF TERROR!”. They are not lying.
Will you get Scurred?
Absolutely! I’ve been in the industry since 1999 and I’ve acted and managed haunts. I’m a hard person to startle and even harder person to scare. Woods of Terror has forced Scurryface to add a category for 2020. We will be adding “Startle Range” which will be scoring on how well a haunt can get startle scares. Let’s be realistic, there is a major difference in being scared and being startled. Most haunts go for the startle scares versus down right trying to terrify you. Woods Of Terror balances both of these things. We saw patrons walk out in tears due to fear. We witnessed grown men get startled so bad to the point where they forgot they had legs to stand on. WOT offers so many different types of scares throughout this entire experience. Most coming where you least expect it and that’s what makes it so great!
Woods of Terror truly hits the trifecta in this category. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll scream!
In closing, Woods of Terror simply put is an amazing experience. I don’t know if they are the best in the country because I haven’t been to every haunt in the country. I’ve been to A LOT of haunts in my life time and I can without a doubt say this.
Woods of Terror is the absolute best haunt I’VE ever been to.
And you can quote me on that!
Eddie is a class act and leads by example for his haunt and the haunt community. I wish more owners followed this example.
Eddie and Peggy Mclaurin and their entire crew does an amazing job with this event. You can absolutely tell they pour their heart and soul into this. We know most haunts out there do and we’re not taking away from anybody else. They just do it better than most at Woods Of Terror.
DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE WOODS OF TERROR THIS SEASON!
*Woods Of Terror is NOT eligible for a scored review or ranking*