Markoff's Haunted forest 2018

Markoff's Haunted forest is amazing. Lets start there. We only got to do The Town and one trail due to some flooding. We started with The Town. It was so much fun. We took a creepy very dark tractor ride over to the town and once we were dropped off Benny greeted us and filled us in on the laws of the land. Then we were set off to fend for ourselves into an old mining town where something toxic has occurred. The actors in this town were fantastic. They were very well timed and in the best costumes. The girl in the asylum, the General store full of oddities, and the gigantic saw were most impressive to name a few. Mike, one of the towns people also provided scares waiting for the tractor ride to go back to the midway. The Town was a lot of fun and never faltered from the storyline. We loved the show . Next we did the trail. We are going to go on a limb here and tell you this is the best outdoor trail we have done. We are all trying to find time this year to go back and do the one we missed because this one was that good! There were realistic dinos, a giant Viking ship, a seriously demonic church scene that had us all running, and an industrial scene complete with heavy metal playing added to the fun! There were a lot more scenes in there but we do not want to spoil this for you. Seriously. This place is amazing. The timing, the actors hidden so well…just insane. They make you sign a waiver here because honestly they do such a nice job of keeping it dark and so foggy that you could fall down. Wear boots or good shoes! The terrain isn’t some nice flat surface. You are in the woods. You go up hill, down into deep woods. If we do not make it back this year, we guarantee you we will be back there next year.

Maryland is looking at its best haunted attraction here. Please go and tell them the Haunt Review Crew sent you!

Gravensteen Haunted Production’s 2018

The HRC took a little road trip to Virginia to check out Gravensteen Production’s 2018 haunt. The haunt itself is located on a military base so be sure you have proper ID if you wish to check it out. We arrived at a very large building with a few food vendors set up (check them out the food was good). A perk of being inside is rain or moonshine the show goes on! The scenes in here were very elaborate. The detail going into them is clearly well thought out. The scene with the nun made us all jump a good bit, she basically appeared out of thin air. They seem to lean towards scenes from movies this year that are popular in the horror genre. They didn’t have a ton of actors but they have mastered how to use what they have effectively. We had a few gotchas but truthfully the scenes stole the show here. There was a hallway of ghosts that was eerie, a room of dolls and more. The makeup and costumes in here were also high quality. If you’re in the area we recommend checking this place out.

Fright Factory 9/29/18

What do you do with 25,000 square feet in the basement of a couple of old, truly haunted, warehouses? Create a haunted Halloween experience, of course! So, the HRC decided to check this place out on Saturday, 9/29. The Fright Factory is located in the heart of the South Philly (PA) warehouse district. Not where you would expect to find a haunted attraction, but an absolutely perfect location. The Fright Factory has been in business for 18 years, and we see why! This place has a great maze of twists and turns that allows for optimal scares. They have utilized space effectively to keep you distracted and wondering, while setting you up for the big scare. The aisles are wide, which give you the feeling of vulnerability. You wonder where the scare is going to come from, but the lighting, timing, and effects make it so difficult to figure it out. This is the type of attraction where less actors is more; they had a skeleton crew of actors on the night we visited. For us, it was just the right blend of actors, props, animatronics, scenery, and natural ambiance. The scenes transitioned well. The swamp, insane asylum, barrel room and unholy room were standouts for us. Walking into the swamp room we were immediately distracted by a creature known to inhabit swamps. Then the swamp witch came out of nowhere! That room was the perfect swamp. Barb, in the insane asylum, was beyond creepy and played the “crazy patient” perfectly. Not sure what “number 7” smells like, but Barb made us question our deodorant! The zombie in the barrel room had the creepiest voice! We were certain he was using a voice box, but were later surprised to learn he just had a talent for making a really creepy voice. The unholy nun, in the unholy room, had her timing perfected. Just as we thought we were safe, and almost out of the room she came to life (or should we say, came to death). In multiple rooms, the actors not only startled us going in, they very quietly followed us out. This gave us some of the best scares, because we were so busy looking at the upcoming scene that we totally missed the creep following us. Fright Factory had some of the biggest animatronics we’ve seen in an indoor attraction. The standout star animatronic had to be the giant rat. Totally looked like a still prop; then he came to life!!!

The owner and manager informed us about 2 real ghosts that have been sighted in the Fright Factory. Not only were they seen, but 1 (the tall man) was caught on security cameras! The other apparition, a little girl, has been seen by multiple staff, but she’s pretty shy so she doesn’t hang around very long. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the real ghosts, but we still had a great time at the Fright Factory. Please make a trip to the Fright Factory, and tell them the HRC sent you. You will not be dissapointed!!

Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride 2018

On September 22nd we went to Bates Motel to check out their 28th season’s show. The first thing we did was get some food. The vendors at Bates are among our favorites so dinner had to happen. We recommend checking them out while you’re there!

Bates has 3 separate attractions. Their main attraction is of course the Bates Motel. We hit that up first. The motel has seen some changes and upgrades since last year. They have added scenes and definitely perfected the balance of comedy, theatrics and scare. We felt like the action in there was nonstop. One of our members said “The irony of the motel is the desire to take in the details and realism of the sets while the amazing actors have you running for your life.” It is so hard to write a review and not give away their details. There was a scene where we were staring so intently at this “statue” that we all about died when he moved. It was incredible. There was a wacky coat rack and scary stuffed animals… see what I mean? This place takes risks in their costumes and make up and execute the scares flawlessly. The motel set the bar so high for the night. Once we caught our breath from that we went over to the Hayride. This Hayride, it is absolutely incredible! First the soundtrack is THE BEST soundtrack we have heard on a hayride. The sounds go with the scenes perfectly. There are subtle references in there and amusing songs galore. The sound quality on the wagon is great too. As we rolled along the 20 min or so long hayride we really felt like Bates does a great job of not rushing it. We were able to take in each scene and set. The sets in here are no joke. You can clearly tell they build a lot of them there. They don’t just “plop props” this place creates full scenes where you’re submersed into the show. It is so hard to get scared on a hayride as the wagon sometimes makes you feel protected. The scenes, actors and props in there are just creepy. We also noticed as the wagon pulls away the actors remain in character. That is so important for maintaining the show. Even if haunts aren’t your thing, anyone would appreciate the attention to detail in this hayride. We had a lot of fun watching scenes change, going down into the mines and even taking a trip back into prehistoric times. The ending is the best, I will not give that away but a classic Bates character is back. Bates is easily our favorite hayride currently. Lastly we did the Revenge of the Scarecrow’s haunted trail. The trail has been lengthened, the sets clearly upgraded. It also felt like more actors have joined the corn, as there were fewer gaps in scenes than previous seasons. We loved the lady telling jokes and ribbing guests. The “swamp thing” got us more than once. We loved that we could hear a giggle, breathing or corn moving but the sound never gave up the scare. The foreshadowing in here is legit. We felt like the trail really did a great job with timing out scares as well. We had a group of 5 and it seemed like we all evenly got surprised and scared. The snakes are the best ones we have seen, that is all we will say about that.

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Overall we highly recommend a trip to Bates. Please finish your trip by checking out Gram’s donut shop. They make fresh hot donuts on the spot! Amazing! Way to go Bates!

Field of Screams in Lancaster PA. 2018

It is the 2018 Haunt season my friends! We are so pumped to bring you our reviews for this season. Let's begin with our experience here at the legendary, original Field of Screams in Lancaster PA. This place embodies Halloween. When you arrive you walk up to a ticket window and friendly greeter. There you have several options for ticket packages. They have 4 attractions total, with one being added just 5 seasons ago. You can do them all or just the ones you choose. HRC highly recommends all of them. Do not drive to FOS and miss out on any of the show. There are upgraded skip the line passes as well for those nights it is very busy. Once you pass through ticketing there is the largest midway of activity we have seen at a haunt. There are several food truck vendor choices, plenty of seating to enjoy the food and relax. They have a huge stage where there is always something happening. The night we were there they had various bands playing. Special shout out to Linda who was covering sound and dancing for hours straight! There are games to play in between visiting the 4 attractions as well. Really this is quite the set up. This year the attractions were so evenly matched that it was hard to choose which one got us the most. After debate we did end up favoring the Asylum. They had some seriously creepy characters in there (looking at you dentist and girl in the medicine room) Well done! Overall what makes Field of Screams a winner is their constant change and growth. In all 4 attractions the attention to detail is spot on. They have mastered make up to the point where we cannot tell props from people. They have realistic organs twitching from the ceilings and walls. The use of pitch black darkness and well placed floor changes, smells and textures is amazing. At one point we knew we were crawling through bodies and we all wanted to get out because we just knew one of them was going to spring to life and scare us. The actors are well trained, and truly love to scare. We love the use of technology and old school classic scares.

Field of Screams touches on every aspect of haunting. The indoor haunts, the very creepy hayride (lets be real it can be hard to get scares on a wagon) they do amazingly well, and their newest outdoor walk through. This place never ceases to impress. Some haunts we find go stagnant and barely change over the years. FOS isn't one of those. It is always obvious that they are reinvesting and inventing. Please go check out their 2018 show. If you cannot make it in September or October, they have decided to do their extreme show again in November. You will need to sign a waiver to participate... you've been warned. Go if you dare.