OHIO VALLEY HAUNTS
Ohio Valley Haunts Full Moon
- 2005 -
"Thank You" to all the Haunt owners, operators and workers for all the fun and scares! 
A word of thanks to everyone for an enjoyable season.  We hope you all had a successful year.   For the first time in months, I write
with a heavy heart, as it's November 1st, and I'm worse off today than any kid on December 26th!  It was nice seeing our old friends
 again, and meeting some new ones along the course of our journeys.   This was our most prolific year to date, and for that I'm most
appreciative!  Thanks to each and every one of you for your gracious hospitality, and my sincere apologies to the haunts that we were
unable to visit for lack of time, or whatever other reason.  Have a great Holiday season!  We hope to see you all again next year!
- Gary (Founder) and Jim (Senior Editor) - Ohio Valley Haunts -
OHIO VALLEY HAUNTS PRESENTS THE BEST OF 2005
2005 Official Haunt Awards
PRESS RELEASE - 11/6/05 -- Subject:  97.3 Haunted House
1031 Productions, the creators of the Majestic Nightmare and the Nightmare Manor (the tri-states largest yard haunts), have
 found a new home at "The Haunted House" (Dent, OH).  The 1031 crew is working hard to move all of their monsters and ghoulish
creations to their new home.  Terroriffic changes will be occurring for 2006 in the haunt that will be sure to make the tri-state scream!
Majestic Nightmare
Nightmare Manor
59 Haunts were reviewed this year, counting Kings Island's Fearfest as one attraction!!!
We officially kicked off the Halloween season on September 10thwith a visit to MIDDLETOWN'S LAND OF ILLUSION.
Over 40 Haunts were reviewed here in '04, and we totally destroyed that record this year!  Happy Haunting!! 
HAUNTED HOUSE REVIEWS 2005
Looking for a particular Haunt?  Jump directly to its review by clicking on the alphabetical listings below:
Baxter Avenue Morgue Fright Night 31 Ways to Terror Hustonville Haunted House Panic Box
Beyond the Darkness (Waverly) Ghostly Manor Jamestown Haunted Woods Phantazmagoria (Hanna)
Black Bog (Bull Runs Farm) Hamilton Haunted Hayride Killer Klowns (LOI) Pharaoh's Revenge (Haunted Castle)
Black Forest (Haunted Castle) Hanna Haunted Acres Krueger's Korn Maze Pitch Black (Fear Factory)
Buford Haunted School Hanna Haunted Hayride Loveland Castle Psycho Path (PKI)
Chambers of Horror Haunted Castle Majestic Nightmare Psycho Path (Xenia)
Circus of Horrors (PKI) Haunted Cave at Lewisburg Massacre Manor (PKI) Riverside Jaycees Haunted House
Culbertson Mansion Haunted House Haunted Farm and Hayride Maze of Madness (PKI) R L Stine (PKI)
Dead Acres Haunted Hayride (Bull Runs Farm) Middletown Haunted Trail (LOI) St. Rita Haunted House
Dementions (Fear Factory) Haunted Hotel Middletown's Land of Illusion Temple of Terror (LOI) 
Dr. Psycho's Haunted Estate (LOI) Haunted Junkyard Mount Healthy Haunted Hall Terror Park
Dungeons of Delhi Haunted Spook Coop Night Fright Haunted Trail (SL) Terror Maze
Dungeon of Doom (Xenia) Haunted Swamp Nightmare Forest Terror Within Zombie Island
Entanglement (Hanna) Haunted Town Hall Nightmare Manor USS Nightmare
Fear Factory Haunted Trail of Horror Nightmare on Valley Street Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Fearfest Headless Hollow (PKI) 97.3 Haunted House Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride
Fright Manor House of Nightmares Ohio State Reformatory (Prison) See you in 2006!
.
HAUNTED ATTRACTION RATING REVIEW
BAXTER AVENUE MORGUE
451 Baxter Ave.
Louisville, KY
(502) 589-0959
$15
Baxter Avenue Morgue
click logo above to visit their web site
Baxter Avenue Morgue
9 ½ BAXTER AVENUE MORGUE:  Arguably the Best Haunt around!  You're first led into in the parlor where pictures and documents on the walls recount the morgue's actual history.  Ushers creepily guard a coffin while you wait in line.  You enter the Morgue itself through an iron door where you're greeted by the mortitian, Warren Vanderdark as the big heavy door slams shut behind you!  Dead, bloody bodies, and dark corridors with spider webs hanging from the rafters lie ahead.  Very scary background music accompanies your journey.  It's very foggy inside, and bursts of air spurt out at you while inside the old morgue.  Realistic body bags seemingly containing actual bodies hang in one of the rooms.  Bodies suspended by chains hang from the ceiling, one of which is still alive!   An evil coroner saws a body in two, and "blood" spews out on you as his saw rips the body in half!  A crazed, bloody doctor sews his victim's mouth shut so she can't speak, or yell for help.  Excellent!  Closed body vault drawers which vibrate, and open on their own haunt the morgue, along with skeletons, body parts, and blood splattered walls.  A young girl (Diedra) plays with bloody dolls, and bloody doll body parts are scattered about her room.  There's a girl zombie eating the guts out of a dead body, and a coroner  performing an autopsy who asks if anyone needs a finger before pulling one off the body he's working on.  "How about an arm?," he wickedly asks.  Coffins containing corpses, and numerous hospital gurneys are part of the morgue's decor.  At one point, you must walk through a coffin inverted on its end to make your way from one room to another.   Hands reach out and grab at your arms and legs as you make your way through one part of the morgue.  Someone flies back and forth overhead, across a fairly low ceiling as you proceed down another dark corridor.  A cute blonde admiring herself in the mirror has a major surprise in store for you!.  And don't miss the ghost apparition of a doctor working on a live patient.  Awesome!  The morgue exits into a maze leading to the gift shop.  Length-8½, just over 15 minutes. Actors-9½, full of surprises and scares!  Excellent make up, and original characters.  Props-10, in a word, realistic.  Design-9½, what a spooky place!  Scariness-10, formerly an actual morgue only adds to the effect.  If just being here doesn't give you the creeps, then you don't need to be going to Haunts!  Value-9, it's a bit expensive at $15, but you get the scares of your lives. Final Score:  9½  The morgue has it all!  This is everything a haunt should be, and more.  If you're looking for a traditionally scary Halloween attraction, this is it!  Don't miss it!  reviewed  10/1/05, revisited 10/22/05
HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES
7520 Johnstown Rd.
Mt. Vernon, Ohio
(740) 393-2005
$15 ($5 discount coupon available on their
website good on specific days ONLY)
House of Nightmares
click logo above to visit their web site
House of Nightmares
9 ½ HOUSE OF NIGHTMARES:  Built in the 1870's, this old four story house is as frightening to look at from the outside as it is on the inside.  Your first glimpse of The House of Nightmares, is that of strobes bouncing light off the spooky looking structure.  A graveyard welcomes your arrival to the stairs that lead up to the main entrance. Once inside, you're directed into an "elevator," where you're told a story of an accident that occurred on board many years ago.  Legend has it that the cables once snapped, sending the elevator crashing down to the lower most floor, killing all passengers in the process. Following a warning that the victims' souls still haunt the house, the doors open, and your journey begins.  A dark maze leads to a flight of steps, up to the ticket line.  Glancing downward, the view of the floors below is obscurred by fog, which envelopes the lower third of staircase.  After purchasing tickets, you're led to more stairs, in preparation of your ascent to the fourth floor of the old house.  A skeleton sits at a spider-web covered pipe organ, surrounded by two coffins, that appear to be recently vacated.  The pillows and sheets that serve as their linings have been disturbed - like someone, or someTHING had been lying in them not too long ago!  The area is appropriately lit by flickering, gothic candelabras.  Up the steps, haunting is evidenced by a rocking chair that moves on its own accord!  Cupboards vibrate and shake as you walk past various patients in the hospital ward, including one wearing a gas mask attached to an oxygen tank.  A bloody doctor desperately searches for his next patient.  Blood spattered walls, and insane patients confined behind fences asking to play games, are all part of the Happy Hill Insane Asylum.  Downstairs, cauldorns line the walls, and creepy noises induce fear as you navigate a bridge-like walk way, having "sinking" wooden floors.  At one point, a ghost comes fliying quickly down at you!  Scary music, arched doorways hiding various ghouls, body bags, a gargoyle, and a beating heart are just some of the "nightmares" encountered in the old house.  Count Dracula watches the undead rise out of caskets in the coffin room, while the ring girl climbs out of a well in another.  The parlor features a TV showing a severed, evil head!  Walls vibrate, chains rattle, and bookcases fall towards you as you continue on through the haunted House of Nightmares.  Crossing over a grating, it begins to vibrate, then suddenly, and unexpectedly drops down beneath your feet!  Awesome effect!  Around another dark corner, a hand suddenly waves in front of your face, then it's onto a convincingly real looking cemetery, where ghouls reach up out of their graves trying to escape death.  Descending into the boiler room, who else but Freddy Krueger lurks in the shadows.  Sparks fly off his blade-like fingers when he drags them across the wall, as you pass through the furnace area, and exit the house to safety.  Or, so you think, until a madman with a chainsaw appears from out of nowhere, and chases you up the ramp, through the yard, and back towards the parking lot!  Length-10, over 25 minutes.  Actors-9, outstanding make-up and convincing characters throughout.  Just a few spots where it looked as though someone was missing.  Props-9½, not a lot of animatronics, but who needs 'em here?  Outstanding variety of traditionally scary scenes, with unmatched attention to detail relating to decor.  Scariness-9½, the scares are spooky in nature, with just the right blend of scary music, encounters with actors, and "alone" time to give your fears the opportunity  to surface.  Design-10, lots to see, on a lengthy course.  Value-9, a bit pricey, but one of the most elaborate haunts around.  Final Score:  9½,  This is the definition of a "haunted house!"  From the authentic building, to the traditional frights found inside.  Ohio Valley Haunts urges you to visit The House of Nightmares. You've got to see it to believe it!  Make sure you do!!!  reviewed  10/14/05
DEAD ACRES
13861 State Route (Broad St.)
Columbus, Ohio
(740) 927-3568 
$15 ($25 VIP line) + $2 Parking
Dead Acres
click logo to visit their web site
9 ½ DEAD ACRES:  This is one of the most impressive Haunted Attractions you'll find anywhere.  Horror movies play on a giant screen TVwhile you wait in line for the Dead Acres Experience.  Once you pass through the double door entrance, the surprises are basically non-stop, beginning with an oversided grave which suddenly opens, freeing a large mechanical skeleton that quickly invades your territory.  This is the first of literally hundreds of animated devices that engage you along your journey.  An inverted skeleton devours his prey, a giant bat springs to life flapping it's wings, an enormous, red-eyed fly-like monster, a serpent spraying water, and vibrating doors and floors all must be dealt with as you continue on.  Ghouls grab at you from the walls, and ceilings, and run at you from all directions.  They're everywhere - in pictures that hang on the walls, and caged behind bars shooting sparks off the metal!  They're armed with power tools, and weapons of all sorts.  One bursts out of a grave in the cemetery beneath a giant impaler.  There's even a sewer monster in the water beneath a bridge!  Enraged characters charge out of shacks, and order you into a dungeon, which turns out to be a dark maze.  A girl levitates above her bed that thrashes about violently on the floor in response to the presence of ghosts and demons, a la The Exorcist!  Outstanding effect!  Around a bend comes an encounter with a truck-like vehicle.  It's blinding headlights come at you quickly from out of nowhere, and it's deafening horn blasts away as it comes to a sudden stop!  There's a spinning vortex, and dozens of mad men with chansaws, who actually brush up against you with their instruments of terror before chasing you out the exit!  Whew!  Length-8, just under 15 min.  Actors-10, hundreds of them.  All are highly energetic, and interact with you all the way through - sometimes 2 and 3 at a time!  Props-10, numerous, well-timed, high impact animatronics compliment the live actors  perfectly, and vice versa.  Static props are nice too.  Design-9½, jam packed from start to finish.  Rooms are loaded, decor is meticulously constructed, and someone or someTHING is terrorizing you nearly the entire time you're in the Haunt.  Props are positioned in the perfect locations, and the actors well hidden and concealed until just the right moment.  About the only way to improve upon the design would be to extend the length.  Scariness-9½, overwhelming numbers of startles and surprises from start to finish - vastly more than you'll find anyplace else!   Most of the scares are of the modern, "in your face" variety, resulting from being startled,  intimidated, or terrorized, as opposed to traditional, old-school Halloween spookiness.  The complete absence of scary, bone chilling music in favor of heavy metal is unfortunate.  Value-9½, a bit pricey, especially for the VIP line, then there's the parking fee.  But, the density of action inside is unmatched - the most high-tech animatronics around, in addition to the huge volume of highly motivated actors performing at fever pitch levels to bring you the best possible experience. Final Score:  9½Dead Acres is the most intense Haunt around.  Whatever you do, get to Columbus and see this place for yourself.  It is UNBELIEVEABLE, and, a MUST SEE "Haunt of the Year" candidate.  reviewed  10/6/05
THE HAUNTED HOTEL
3000 S. 4th St.
Louisville, KY
(502) 634-4478
$14 - ($2 discount coupon on web site)
- coupon valid Thursdays and Sundays only -
The Haunted Hotel
click logo above to visit their web site
The Haunted Hotel
9 ½ THE HAUNTED HOTEL:  Once again, this haunt is loaded with lots and lots of startling scares.  Upon entering, you're led into an old, run-down elevator.  The doors shut, and the buttons on the panel board flash on and off as the elevator shakes and vibrates it's way to your selected floor.  The gears and pulleys grind overhead as the elevator struggles to reach your destination.  When it stops, the lights go out.  When power is restored, a ghoul has mysteriously appeared, and orders you out!  The doors open, and you exit onto the 13th floor of the hotel.  The terror continues as you enter a bedroom where a girl lies in her bed.  A terrific scare awaits as a a skull pops up out of a dresser, and a skeleton is simultaneously propelled at you from out of the bed!  An electric chair with a convulsing victim sits at the bottom of a staircase you must ascend.  The hotel is just loaded with all sorts of additional surprises!  Among them are numerous moving objects, sparks shooting out from caged ghouls behind chain-link fences, uneven floors, floors that move, and even a "naked" girl behind a shower curtain!  Pushing the button on the wall might give you a peek, or some other surprise!  A loud, drop-down panel in a wall allows a huge monster to lunge out at you!  Those of you with weak bladders be forewarned!!!  Various characters await throughout the hotel, including a mad butcher with sparks flying off his knife!  Chuckles the Clown has his own plans for you, and a crazy Dentist wants you to be his next patient!  Ghouls with chainsaws and other devices are always lurking close by.  Down a flight of stairs, you exit the hotel into the side yard where a large, spinning vortex totally destroys your equilibrium making you feel like you're falling to the side!  A truck comes at you from out of nowhere with its headlights on and horn honking!  Watch out for the Grim Reaper who's always at this Hotel!  Chopper the dog guards the premises.  Be advised that he's not too friendly - actually, he's trained to attack!  Crazed, gas mask wearing ghouls, some armed with chainsaws, chase you through a maze, and out and into the street!  Length-9, almost 20 minutes.  Actors-10, they're in every room just waiting to put the fear of God into you!  Some of the best around!  Scariness-9, non-stop, startling scenes throughout. Design-9, the hotel itself is an unparalleled experience, but once outside,  it's just a bit too light to feel the true effectiveness of the maze.  It's a shame fire ordinances prevent them from covering it.  Props-10, lots of animatronics, all perfectly timed to deliver the best possible scares!  Don't blink, or you'll miss something!  Value-9, up $1 from '04.  Final Score:  9½.  This is one fabulous haunt - the standard by which all others are measured!  As always, a legitimate  "Haunt of the Year" contender, and one you don't want to miss!  reviewed  10/1/05, revisited 10/22/05
WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM
4400 Paralee Ln.
Louisville, KY
(502) 933-2142
$15 - ($20 with Beyond the Darkness)
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
click photo above to visit their web site, or below for
Waverly Hills Sanatoium Haunted House Info
9 WAVERLY HILLS SANATORIUM:  The sanatorium was built in the 1920's to house tuberculosis patients. Death was a part of everyday life.  As such, it's reported to be among the 10 most legitimately haunted places in the world!   The building induces fear just looking at it from the outside.  Entering the foyer, pictures that mysteriously change into ghouls as you walk past them adorn the walls.  One transforms into a hanged skeleton, and another into a headless bride.  A nurse, and a hooded fiend attired in black are there to greet you.  The door slams shut, and the experience begins!  Inside,  the intensity is tremendous.  Bloody patients locked in their rooms behind bars try desperately to escape.  One girl laughs and jumps on her bed, while others reach out grabbing at passers-by.   An apparition of a scary face appears on a crystal ball, and numerous patients yell for us to get out!  Many authentic rooms readily contribute to your skin crawling as you continue on.  Dead bodies, strobe lights, and bloody body parts are scattered throughout the creepy rooms.  An insane Doctor with a chainsaw attacked us at one point   A girl sitting on a bed screaming captivates your attention, then a skeleton propels outwardly from the bed towards you.   Many strange beings are encountered, as well as scary sounds of someone, or someTHING pounding with a pipe.  Mad Doctors kill their patients!  Insanity is the rule, not the exception. A girl eating her baby's head is found in the nursery, while another mother offers to show you her baby, which has sharp teeth, and appears to be possessed!  Bloody walls and dead babies are everywhere.  Dark, intimidating corridors, frightening sounds, and well hidden ghouls give you the chills as you make your way through the west wing of the old sanatorium.  Length-9, fairly long, about 20 minutes. Actors-9, very convincing and believable. Scariness-10,  a spooky, creepy, eerie place - the perfect setting for a haunt!  Design-9, legitimacy, with lots of surprises along the way.   Props-7, they could do more with the numerous rooms rather than relying so much on the facility itself.  Value-9, $15 by itself, or $20 with Beyond the Darkness.  Final Score:  9.  Walking through the dark sanatorium is something you simply must experience!  We loved it!  reviewed  10/1/05, revisited 10/22/05
7 BEYOND THE DARKNESS:  This haunt is located in the old morgue and autopsy rooms of the sanatorium's north wing.  Upon entering,  shadows of people are evident through the covered windows, yet you see no one.  Some move up and down, others run along-side your group, but you never see the people, or should I say the GHOSTS, just their shadows!  Creepy music plays on your emotions as you continue down the dark hallways.  Plenty of strange, startling sounds are heard, but again, you never see anyone.  Door knobs shake on their own, and a light briefly illuminates the body vault area of the morgue, but it's short lived, and you're immediately cast back into total darkness.  Spirits clang on pipes, chains rattle, and doors slam.  You've probably got the creeps just reading this, and you weren't even there! Length-7, about 13 minutes.  Actors-8, never saw a one, just heard them!  Extremely well hidden, or perhaps the noises were emanating from the ghosts who haunt the sanatorium!  Scariness-8, dark most of the time, plus you're in the sanatorium's morgue and autopsy rooms!  Props-2, not much other than darkness.  Design-6, for the most part, just a stroll through the darkened halls.  It's your nerves that provide the effect here.  Value-10, only $5 if purchased along with the sanatorium itself.  Final Score:  7, a nice compliment to the sanatorium proper, but difficult to rate higher on its own. Being part of TheWaverly Hills Sanatorium makes it worth a look.  reviewed 10/1/05
OHIO STATE REFORMATORY
HAUNTED PRISON
100 Reformatory Rd.
Mansfield, Ohio
(419) 522-9053
$13 - (speedpass $5 extra)
Haunted Prison
click logo above to visit their web site
Ohio State Reformatory
9 OHIO STATE REFORMATORY HAUNTED PRISON:  This is one intimidating place from the time you first lay eyes on it.   An electric chair sits off to the side in the foyer where you wait to enter the prison, serving as a reminder of The Reformatory's past history.  Ascending a spooky staircase up to the third floor commences the eerie journey through The Haunted Prison.  From this point on, you can feel your skin crawl as you make your way through the former corrections institute.  Rusty, iron doors, the jail cells themselves, and the paint peeling off the walls just adds to this old building's legitimacy.  Zombies pound on walls, dead bodies line floors, and screams ring out from off in the distance as you proceed.  An animated body srpings out of desk as you make your way through a room littered with computer monitors.  Ghouls entrapped behind walls, send sparks shooting out at you, and zombies peek out of the shadows, and around corners as your creepy experience continues.  Sound effects are impressively loud throughout the haunt.  An animated head popping out of a barrel, skeletons moving along walls, and a realistic autopsy room are just some of the sights you encounter on the third floor of The Reformatory.  Down a flight of stairs, a dark, confusing corridor seemingly divides in two.  Pick the wrong way, and a crazed zombie armed with a chainsaw will gladly show you the correct path!  One area is protected by an animated guard dog, while zombies with power drills rule elsewhere.  Down to ground level, zombies inhabit jail cells, and can't wait to terrorize all who pass by.  A vortex of lights lies ahead.  Once again, sounds are incredibly LOUD, and the dimly lit hallways only add to this nerve racking experience inside the Mansfield prison.  This is especially true as you make your way underground, through solitary confinement, then look upward at the six floors of prison cells.  You know zombies occupy some of them, you just don't know which ones!  At one point, a projection on the floor gives the appearance of water up ahead, and it looks as though you're going to have to wade through it in order to continue on.  Great effect!  Scary music adds to the bone chilling experience as you make your way into the west cell block.  An iron, spiral staircase accesses all six floors above.  You can really sense evil - even death inside these concrete walls that at one time housed the state's most violent felons.  As the end draws near, you're reminded of the three ways to deal with zombies - avoidance, termination, and  disposal.  Length-10, nearly 25 minutes.  Actors -7½, well hidden, and intense, but need more variety, especially in the cell blocks.  Props-7, original, realistic scenes, as well as some animatronics, but is it enough?  Understanding that props are used to compliment the experience, not overshadow it, makes this a tough call.  Still think they could benefit from some additional props, instead of relying so much on the facility itself as the primary scare factor.  Scariness-10, given it's history, just walking through the dimly lit prison is down right fear inducing.  Deafening sounds along the way strike fear in the hearts of all who enter.  Design-9, although the minimal use of props is a detriment, the legitimacy of the old, run-down prison is an experience like no other.  Lengthening the route this year plays heavily in their favor.  Nice job!  Value-9, reasonably priced considering its length, and the authenticity found inside. Final Score:  9, this is one creepy place!  Ohio Valley Haunts encourages everyone to visit The Haunted Prison and see for yourself why lines are longer here than at any other haunt we've visited.  Get there early!  And don't forget to visit the souvenir stand, where t-shirts bearing the awesome new logo cost only $8!  reviewed  10/14/05
USS NIGHTMARE
Newport on the Levy
Newport , Kentucky
(859) 261-8500
$15  -  or $20 RIP pass (no line)
($4 off coupon on web site - Thurs./Sun only)
(or  buy 1 get 1 free on Weds. w/coupon)
USS Nightmare
click logo above to visit their web site
view photos taken aboard USS Nightmare
9 USS NIGHTMARE: A strange, gory sailor with one arm in a sling greets you as you board the USS Nightmare, and a one-eyed crewman detains you before granting permission to enter.  Once on the boat, it's down a dark, spooky corridor to "Rat Girl" a traditional fixture aboard the haunted USS Nightmare.  She wears a blood stained dress, and rats crawl all over her body.  Soon thereafter comes an encounter with a giant Inpaler - an animated, growling monster that must be 20 feet tall!  It holds a headless victim in one hand, and a spear in the other.  Impressive sight!  There are many more animatronics on board the vessel, including a wolf (or werewolf) lunging out at you, a mechanical skeleton leaving its coffin and moving toward you, and a wall panel that drops down freeing a skeleton which propels out at you.  These distractions give way to up close, and personal meetings with the ship's bloody, disfigured Captain ready to throw you into the brig, or a face to face encounter with a skeleton witch doctor!  Later, a bell rings, signaling the start of an execution.  The animated victim convulses wildly in an electric chair as he begins to fry!  Hallways with secret passages, rooms with hidden doors, and plenty of living-dead monsters waiting to scare you are found on board the old boat.  You pass through the engine room, and walk steel gratings to and from various levels of the ship.  The waters of the Ohio River splashing against the boat surround your every step.  You can even look down through the grating into the river!  Fantastic!  Thick, creepy fog rolls through the decks of the Nightmare.  Remains of dead crewman are a common sight.  A hanged victim swings back and forth, a noose still clutching his throat, and life-like body bags hang in your path  impeding your progress.  Watch out!  A few of them may still be alive!  A ghoul  warns you to get off the boat, then laughs wickedly saying, "There is no escape!," followed by more unnerving laughter.  Roaches infest the decks of the ship as well, covering some of the doors and walls.  Strange crewmen wander about.  Beware of the crazy doctor in the ship's infirmary, as he needs some new body parts for his patient, and searches for a donor.  Coffins containing the bodies of dead sailors are found on the bottom deck .  One contains the remains of Count Dracula.  Is he still alive, dead, or undead?  You'll find out!  A bloody cook is hard at work in the ship's kitchen.  Holding  up whats left of a dead body, he invites us to stay for dinner!  Very Scary music, and strange sounds can be heard throughout the journey.  In the laboratory, a condemned man lies on a gurney, his hands and legs strapped down.  He desperately beats his head up and down trying to escape.  Ana wants you to stay and play with her dolls, and Creepo the clown can't wait for your arrival his playroom.   Many other scenes and surprises await you in the bowels of the wrecked  vessel formerly known as The Mitchell.  Length-9½, pretty long, over 20 minutes.  Actors-9½, their costumes and make-up are quite realistic.  All did a great job interacting with us, and trying to scare us.  Props-9½, many well-timed animatronics inside.  You gotta see the giant Inpaler.  Scariness-9, the music and the old ship itself set the tone for a truly scary experience.  Design-9, They changed a few things around from last year, and there's only one noticable dead spot along the entire route aboard the ship.  Value-8½, a little steep at $15, but lots of scares along the way.  Use the coupon if you can.  Final Score:  9.  The USS Nightmare is the best Haunt in the Cincinnati area.  Oho Valley Haunts recommends getting out and experiencing the Nightmare!  reviewed  10/5/05
THE HAUNTED CASTLE
BLACK FOREST & PHARAOH'S REVENGE
8965 Auburn Road
Fort Wayne, IN
(260) 489-1763
$9 each - any 2 for $15 - all 3 for $20
3 haunt Silver Passport (VIP combo) = $25
discount coupons available on their website
Haunted Castle
click logo to visit their web site
9 THE HAUNTED CASTLEThe Haunted Castle sits directly beside an actual cemetery.  The story of The Black Knight is related upon first stepping inside, prior to a bookcase swinging open to reveal the secret entrance to the Castle.  An animated skull offers a surprise, then you walk through the front of a Grandfather Clock to exit the room, and embark upon your journey.  Extremely tight, narrow corridors, low ceilings, and creaking floors lead through various levels of the old building.  Upstairs, downstairs, up circular staircases, down slides, through shrinking hallways, numerous methods of maneuvering about are employed at The Haunted Castle.  Animatronics include a body springing forward out of a casket, a skeleton that pops through window shutters, and a corpse on a gate that swings around and bangs loudly on a glass panel as you approach.  They shoot out of beds, and from within tables.  There’s a mirror maze, and a button on the wall beneath a sign warning against pushing it.  Whatever you do, DON’T PUSH THAT BUTTON!   An impressive slanted room makes navigation difficult, and on two separate occasions, they actually place you in coffins!  You’ll have to see for yourself what happens once you’re inside!  Length-10, 30 minutes.  Actors-7, need more.  Props-8, nice animatronics.  Think they could strategically fit in a few additional scenes.  Love the coffins!  Design-9½, lots of trips up and down stairs, through barely manageable corridors, and into various rooms, cellars, and slides.  Slanted room is amazing!  Scariness-8, lots of startles, and challenging navigation inside.  May score higher if someone is afraid of the coffins or slides.  Value-10, a real fun haunted house!  Final Score:  9, a really entertaining experience!  As you exit The Haunted Castle, be sure to stop by and visit Lynn in the Goblin Shop for some souvenirs, and really nice looking t-shirts!  reviewed  10/26/05
9 PHARAOH'S REVENGE:  A ghoul with glowing red eyes led us into Pharaoh’s Revenge through an Egyptian Tomb.  His amplified voice echoed loudly as he warned us of the sole exit to the ancient catacombs, then sent us on our way.  Nice start!  Wandering the dark, maze-like passages inside the tomb, we immediately encountered a mummy lying in a casket, that rose up as we made our way past!  Several other animated props are inside Pharaoh’s Revenge, including falling crates, and moving skeletons.  Passageways narrow in places, both in width and height, and you have to duck down often in order to pass through.  The first series of mazes leads to six more passages.  The correct one of these, in turn, leads to the Pharaoh’s Throne, which levitates as he addresses you, warning of the mysteries that lie ahead!  Excellent!  Ten mysterious doors are soon encountered inside the Pharaoh’s Tomb.  Surprises lie behind some; others lead into complicated mazes that give new meaning to the terms “dead ends” and “loops.”  One of the doors accesses a maze that leads to three additional doors, one of which just might help you find a mirrored, pole maze, and eventually the way out!  But Beware, an error along the way can actually send you back through various parts of the adventure all over again!  If you’re successful, a skeleton praises your abilities, and rewards you by revealing a secret panel that leads to the escape route.  Length-10, took us 30 min., could easily take much longer!  Actors-7, those they had were good, but need lots more.  Props-7½, some good ones including animatronics, but not enough.  Maze upon maze for the most part.  Doors are awesome!  Design-10, confusing mazes and doors lead to disorientation, and to retracing your steps over and over again.  Scariness-9½, after awhile, it becomes more and more unnerving as you forget which doors you’ve been through  and remain lost inside.  Value-9, best as part of the combo pac.  Final Score:  9.  This is the most intricately designed maze we’ve encountered.  If we’d reentered, I doubt that navigation would’ve been any easier the second time through!  Lots of fun!  reviewed  10/26/05
7 ½ BLACK FOREST:  Blinding lights and deafening horns welcome your entrance into The Black Forest.  The woods are dark and isolated.  Low-level fog rolls about the grounds making for an eerie experience.  Spooky music accompanies your journey along the streams where a variety of ghouls, some armed with chainsaws, leap from the brush to startle you.  Illuminated eyes stare at you alongside the rugged terrain.  Animated props, like heads popping out of barrels, provide some surprises of their own, and a ten-foot tall monster pursues you for a while.  Bloody sheets hang in one of the structures obstructing your path, and sparks fly off a metal cage that’s home to a crazed ghoul.  Mad Max the watchdog guards the grounds outside the barn, so watch out for him!  Iron gratings must be traversed, as well as a vortex.  Flames shoot up out of the ground, and the undead roam cemeteries.  Other sights include a skit of a girl gunfight, a mineshaft that you must pass through, and a skeleton riding a white horse.  Up next, is The Black Forest trademark – the super maze.  Two paths are offered, an easy maze, and the fun maze.  A secluded area of the super maze is labeled “perfect make-out spot.”  You’ll have to ask Erin about her experience here!  I’m not talking!  Exiting the super maze, more sparks emanate from the bars of monsters in jail cells, and a slanted room makes walking difficult.  Beware of the Boogieman as you exit The Black Forest to safety.  Length-10, over 30 minutes, and possibly longer depending on the amount of time spent in the super maze.  Actors-5, not nearly enough.  Lots of kiddy actors, but that’s pretty much expected at a Boy Scout Haunt.  Props-7, could use lots more.  Design-7, a lengthy trail, but lots of typical dead spots.  Scariness-7½, great scary music, and the placement of fog machines throughout gives this a mystifying look.  Could rate higher with additional props and actors.  Value-8, less than 8 bucks as part of the combo ticket if you take advantage of the discount. Final Score: 7½ .  Trails rarely measure up to other attractions, due to the numerous dead spots between scenes, and that’s the case here.  This is the weakest of the three haunts, but still a nice compliment to Pharaoh’s Revenge and The Haunted Castle. reviewed  10/26/05
GHOSTLY MANOR
3319 Milan Rd.
Sandusky, OH
(419) 626 - 4467
$10
Ghostly Manor
click logo above to visit their web site
view photos taken at Ghostly Manor
9 GHOSTLY MANOR:  The entrance to Ghotsly Manor is constructed to look like the main entrance to a spooky, haunted house.  Upon entering, they quarantine you in the first room, where house rules are read.  Just prior to the beginning of your journey, Fluffy the dog suddenly awakens from a sound sleep, to attack you, then a panel in the wall drops down allowing an animated skeleton to scare the tar out of you!  Through the door, and into the haunted Manor, window shutters shake and bang violently on their own, and doors follow suit, opening under their own power, then slamming themselves shut again.  Dark, foggy corridors having numerous spooky pictures hanging on the walls lead to a variety of scary looking rooms.  Some of the pictures have drop down panels, providing plenty of opportunities for the ghouls of the Manor, to surprise and frighten you.  Numerous animatronics spring into action as you make your way through a creepy dining room, a doll's room, and a bedroom where something sleeps in the bed, and a crazed ghoul hides in the closet awaiting your arrival.  Monsters pound madly on glass windows as you walk by.  Even the walls come to life, reaching out to grab at you!  In the nursery, skeletons pop up out of a baby carriage and bassinet, and the kitchen is inhabited by giant rats, one with its tail moving back and forth!  Cabinet doors vibrate of their own volition, and a ghoul charges at you from out of the refrigerator!  The dimly lit den is adorned with dusty bookcases, and a skeleton shoots up out of the desk!  Other sights include a coffin room adorned with huge bats hanging from the ceiling, a caged impaler dangling a victim over the remains of those that came before him, an autopsy room surrounded by body bags, and a headless ghoul clutching his own head in his left hand!  Animated skeletons line the walls of one of the hallways, grabbing at you, and moving in all directions as you continue on, and jailed ghouls desperately try to escape their cells, as one of the inmates fries in an electric chair near the exit of Ghostly Manor.  Length-7½, under 15 minutes.  Actors-8½, many original looking characters, but some confronted us more than once.  Could stand a few more.  Scariness-9½, convincing actors, traditionally spooky background music, "haunted" doors and shutters, and an abundance of other surprises along the way.   Design-9½, a little short, but great while it lasts.  Well decorated, realistic rooms - exactly what you'd expect to find inside a haunted house!  Props-9½, loads of animatronics (although some weren't working), in addition to the meticulously decorated rooms.  Value-9½, a lot of "bang for the buck" at Ghostly ManorFinal Score:  9,  was expecting an old, spooky looking house similar to that pictured on their logo, so was somewhat disappointed to find the entrance inside a single story skating rink.  While the construction here is top notch, it's a created atmosphere, and as such, loses a little personality that could be gained from an authentic structure.  Ghostly Manor is a tremendous haunt, boasting many more props and animatronics than most, and one you don't want to miss this Halloween season.  Ohio Vally Haunts highly recommends visiting.  NOTE: Ghostly Manor is fully accessible to the handicapped!  If anyone you know is confined to a wheel chair and typically unable to attend haunted attractions, take them here!  reviewed  10/14/05
TERROR PARK
1155 West Mound Street (Cooper Stadium)
Columbus, Ohio
(614) 462 - 5250
$13 ($20 VIP Speedpass) + $3 parking
$2 discount coupon available on their web site
(cannot be used with VIP Ticket)
Terror Park
click logo to visit their web site
Scary Ghoul
8 ½ TERROR PARK: The Fun House is included with your Terror Park admission, and as the name implies, it’s occupied by clowns - some hiding in corners, others popping through windows, and even a jack-in-the-box clown!  Near the exit, there’s one encaged behind a metal fence that has a “shocking” surprise in store for you!  Leaving The Fun House, you enter the queue line for Terror Park.  You must crawl through an authentic hearse in order to enter the haunt.  Beware of what’s inside!  Fabulous beginning!  As you make your way through Terror Park, you pass through the field level seats of the baseball stadium, the ghoul infested dugout, and a dark tunnel that leads beneath the stadium itself.  The sounds of water dripping and leaking into the tunnel accompany your walk through the darkness.  Inside,  you encounter Psycho Playland – an maze-like area inhabited by various screaming lunatics, some wearing straightjackets.  There’s a false partition that blocks the actual exit, sending you in a loop back through for a second encounter with these insane psycho playmates.  This time around, the partition has been moved to the opposite side, revealing the exit that was earlier obscured from view.  Great idea!  Making your way out, a security officer detains you for a brief time, before allowing you to enter a high voltage area.  Numerous exposed wires hang from the fuse box, and a ghoul in the ceiling grabs at you, as electricity sizzles all around you!  Other sights including, a live, spine exposed upper torso (see photo at left), and an overflowing toilet spraying water on you, lead to a Horrificus and chainsaw chase out!  Length-9, just under 20 min.  Actors-9½, unique and original costumes – some of the best we’ve seen.  Make up is top notch as well.  All actors were highly energetic, and enthusiastic in their roles.  Props-8, love the hearse beginning.  Could stand a few more.  Design- 8, well done, except for a few dead spots.  Scariness-8½, Psycho Playland is quite intimidating.  Value-8½, includes Fun House in addition to Terror Park.  $3 parking fee for admission to Cooper Stadium parking lot is ridiculous.  Final Score:  8½, wouldn’t take much to cross that final hurdle and make it into the 9 zone.  Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommends the Terror Park experience.   reviewed  10/21/05
BULL RUN FARMS
HAUNTED HAYRIDE & BLACK BOG
6070 Springboro Rd.
Lebanon , Ohio
(937) 748-2272
o$15 for both
($1 off coupon at Scary Ohio)
Bull Run Farms Haunted Hayride and Black Bog
click logo to visit their web site
8 ½ Bull Run Farms Haunted HayrideBULL RUN FARMS HAUNTED HAYRIDE:  Climb aboard the tractor pulled hay wagon, and find a bale of hay to sit on, and you're ready for the Bull Run Farms Haunted Hayride.  Sit back and relax - yeah, right!  Prepare to have the living daylights scared out of you!   The tractor pulls out and stops in an old barn. The barn doors shut behind you, and previously hidden, half-crazed ghouls begin jumping on the wagon warning that they will be watching us!  One of the ghouls shouts into a microphone, and his voice echos throughout the barn.  Nicely done!  Onward, throuhgh the field leading to the woods, you suddenly see something coming at you from off in the the distance.  Out of the darkness rides The Headless Horseman!  He charges up closely behind the wagon, then up along-side the hayride.  Simply AWESOME!  Many more scares await your journey through these haunted woods including a skeleton driving a loud, powerful hearse who tries to run you off the road, a mad trucker, and a crazy farmer coming out of the cornfield.  They drive loud, motorized vehicles, so prepare yourselves for the terror they have in store for you!  A giant grim reaper is encountered, as well as werewolves, executioners, killer clowns in the Psycho Circus, and plenty of chainsaws.  The ghouls repeatedly jump on and off the hayride providing loads of scares.  This hayride is a thrill a minute, with many more scenes along the way.  Length-9, almost 20 minutes. Actors-8, most are great, but there are a few too many kiddy actors.  Scariness-8½, ghouls terrorize the wagon throughout, jumping on and off for scare after scare.  Design-8½, really good with just a few dead spots.  Props-9, love the hotrod hearse, headless horseman, farmer, and  trucker.  Value-9, only $7.50 when purchased in combination with the improved, and newly renovated Black BogFinal Score-8½, if you're looking for a great night of scares and fun, don't miss this one!  We at Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommend a visit.  This is the best Hayride around! reviewed  9/30/05
7 The Black Bog at Bull Run FarmsBULL RUN FARMS BLACK BOG:  We were all very pleasantly surprised with the major improvements in the Bog - much better than '04!   You enter into an old barn built back in the 1850's.  Down a flight of stairs and into the cellar to an encounter with a strange girl sitting on the floor singing Freddy's Nightmare on Elm Street theme song, "One, two, Freddy's gonna get you...."  She warns that Freddy will kill us all!  A tunnel (a large sewer-like pipe) leads to the next room where a fortune teller sits predicting our imminent deaths!  Around the next corner is a real elevator with fully functioning doors.  Very nice!  The elevator shakes and vibrates as it transports you to a floor with caged ghouls.  They order you out of their building!  Exiting into a cornfield, an old school bus must be boarded where a few more surprises lurk in the darkness!  Off the bus, you begin walking down a wooden pathway.  You pass by a junkyard, angry farmers warning us off their property, Michael Myers, and a spooky, foggy old graveyard.   Watch out for the gravediggers - they have an open grave waiting for you!  You exit the trail into a foggy building with tight, dark corridors.  Just as you think you're on you're way to safety, Freddy Krueger confronts you.  The Bog exits back into the barn where concession stands are located.  Length-7½, about 15 mins.  Props-7, the Cellar has a lot, and is an excellent beginning.  Loved the new elevator and the tunnel.  Still could use more along the trail, but significant improvements in comparison to '04.  Actors-6, the farmers were outstanding, but some of the others didn't even try to scare us.  They just walked right by.  The gravediggers were excellent as well, and deserve a 9.  Design-7½, vast improvements over last year.  Scariness-7½, the cellar and the graveyard are best.  Value-7½, worth the combo ticket price of $15 considering you get that fantastic Hayride as a bonus.  Final Score:  7, make a trip to Bull Run Farms and enjoy The Black Bog and the Haunted Hayride. reviewed  9/30/05
HAUNTED SPOOK COOP
4753 E. Lower Springboro Rd.
Waynesville, Ohio
(937) 603-5228
$10 + $ 2 parking 
($2 off coupon available here.)
8 ½ SPOOK COOP:  After the house rules are read in the foyer, the journey through the Haunted Spook Coop begins.  A very dark maze starts things off.  Don't expect any help from the ghouls in finding your way out.  Some haunts ruin their mazes by telling you which way to go, or lighting the path with flashlights.  That's not the case at the Coop.  They leave you in the dark, and it's up to you to find your own way out.  Very well done!  Corridors with uneven floors, and monsters behind bars await your exit from the maze.  Then it's onto a cemetery where many devilish ghouls lurk to terrorize you, including one who flies across the ceiling overhead.  Numerous animatronics inside moving in all directions, and popping out at you.  Plenty of characters as well, such as Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface, among others.  One of the  rooms contains a dozen or so doors.  Can you find the one that leads to the way out?  Be careful!  There are surprises concealed behind some of the doors.  As you proceed through the many well designed scenes, you encounter a bloody bride, bloody body parts, strobe lights, an executioner, skeletons, and some crazy, scary clowns in a playroom.  Watch out for the spider lady who encourages her very large spiders to attack you.  Another dark maze with several dead ends must be navigated near the end.  Length-8½, seemed a little shorter this year, just over 15 mins.  Props-8½, lots of moving, mechanical props inside, but fewer than in years past.  Scariness-8, lots of screams from our group due to the numerous actors and props.  Actors-8, a few kiddy actors.  Design-9, love the way this is set up with large number and variety of mechanical props, unique scenes, and challenging mazes . Value-8, loses a point for the parking fee.  Final Score:  8½, always one of our favorites!  Get out and see the Spook Coop! You'll be glad you did.  reviewed  9/30/05
97.3 HAUNTED HOUSE
5963 Harrison Ave. / Dent, Ohio 
(513) 598-4600
$10 - ($2 off coupon on website)
+ $2 parking
$15 Fast Pass Option
$5 Re-entry Fast Pass Option
The Haunted House
click logo to visit their web site
8 ½ 97.3 HAUNTED HOUSE (DENT HAUNTED SCHOOLHOUSE):  The old building is as scary looking as ever from the outside.  A graveyard adorns the yard on the left side of the house, near the exit.  As you make your way inside, a skull hologram greets you in the first room, then the door opens on its own, and your journey begins.  Many scares await in the 20 plus rooms, including a dropping ceiling, an animated skeleton shooting out from a picture on the wall, and a clown maze that surprisingly continues on, even after you first believe you've found your way out!  There's also a fabulous vortex, with a mirror located just past its exit, that really adds to the effect!  A school room is occupied by a mad janitor, and zombies roam the cellar graveyard, one of which separated a member (Gary) from the rest of our group.  She threatened to eat him, and summoned her brother for assistance!  She must've detained him for about 5 minutes while the rest of us continued on!  Other scares include Norman Bates searching for his mother, and a bereaved widow demanding you pay respects to her dead husband, who's lying in a coffin.  As you quietly approach, a ghoul springs out of the bottom half, startling you!  Beware of Freddy Krueger in the boiler room, and the rocking hallway where skeletons and coffins close in on you from both sides!  Don't miss the haunted 97.3 radio booth, and ghoul DJ!  Now if Porkchop, Shaggy, Jimmy "The Weasel," or especially Notorious had been in that haunted studio, it would've really been scary!!!  Length-8½, nearly 20 mins.  Actors-8½, highly energetic, and after us non-stop!  Design-8, it's well done, but doesn't change much from year to year.  Scariness-8½, the old boarded up building is scary enough just looking at it.  The actors provided many more throughout.  Props-8½, some really good animatronics inside.  Value-9, use the coupon on their web site, or pick one up  at Arby's and you can't go wrong.  FINAL SCORE: 8½, improved from last year, plus they've got the coolest shirts of any haunt around!  You can re-enter for only $5 with no line, and no wait!  Go through again, like we did!  reviewed  9/30/05, revisited 10/16/05
HUSTONVILLE HAUNTED HOUSE
9837 East Main Street
Hustonville, KY
(606) 346-2198
$10
Hustonville Haunted House
click logo to visit their web site
Jason
8 ½ HUSTONVILLE HAUNTED HOUSE:  The scares begin immediately upon arriving at The Hustonville Haunted House.  Jason Voorhees stalks the crowd as they wait in line, loudly banging his knife on stop signs, and whatever else he can find.  You’re warned about a rickety, old elevator inside that’s been classified as unsafe for groups over four.  They caution you of the darkness upstairs, and of falling through holes on upper story floors that drop you all the way down to mattresses in the basement!  The police arrive and threaten to condemn the building, and put them out of business!  And most frightening of all, just prior to entering, smoke begins bellowing out of the house near the electric meters out front!  Workers scream about smoke filling the ticket booth, and the owner grabs a fire extinguisher, and charges up the third floor fearing the building is about to burst into flames!  Then, they ask you to go inside!  ARE YOU KIDDING?  Enter a burning building?  Yep, it’s your turn, and if things get worse, they’ll usher you out the other way.  Still want to go inside???  If you’re bravery is still holding out, you climb up a flight of rusty, iron stairs to the third floor.  It’s pitch black inside, and the corridors are narrow and cramped.  Is this place really on fire, you wonder?  The old wooden floors have loose boards everywhere, and you timidly move forward, feeling your way along, attempting to avoid those holes in the floor.  If you’re successful, you continue on to several lavishly furnished rooms, including an asylum, where an insane person in a wheel chair orders you out, and an autopsy room containing numerous hospital gurneys, dead bodies, and shelves of body parts encased in jars.  Autopsy photos are displayed on the walls, and a live head, that turns and moves on its own as you pass by, rests on a table.  There’s a funeral parlor with legitimate music and lighting, where a corpse lies in an authentic casket, and dozensof floral arrangements line the walls.  Another funeral scene displays smaller coffins, containing dead babies (dolls), one with a teddy bear in with the body.  Very nerve racking!  A hunters’ room displays wall mounts of deer, and even a human capture!  You make your way down to the second floor via a slide.  A knotted rope allows you to lower yourself down through the slide, where Freddy Krueger awaits.  Lying ahead is the aforementioned elevator.  They crowd 5, 6 even 7 or more people into it, after insisting earlier that 4 is the limit!  I’ll let you guess what happens!  A barrel maze lies ahead, as well as a large table saw ripping a screaming body in half.  Pin Head, clowns, and numerous other well-hidden monsters and ghouls terrorize you inside The Hustonville Haunted House.  They overheard the name of one member of our group (Christine), and tormented her the entire time, calling out her name, and threatening all sorts of devious acts against her!  Spongy floors lead outside to a foggy graveyard, a swaying bridge, and a chainsaw chase out!  Be careful in that graveyard!  There’s a wild driver on the loose!  Length-8, around 15 min.  Actors-8, outdoor theatrics are outstanding!  We visited on a weeknight when only a “skeleton” crew was working the house, so could rate higher with a full staff.  Props-9, boat loads of static props and meticulously designed rooms.  Could benefit from some properly placed animatronics.  Design-8, everything flows very well from room to room.  They’ve paid great attention to detail in decorating the various scenes with authentic, realistic looking props.  But, there’s a series of crawlspace tunnels on the ground floor that have been removed in order to expedite the trip through, considering the large crowds.  Would really like to experience these!    Scariness-8½, lots of fear induced from the very beginning.  Great spooky music, and perfect lighting for each individual scene.  Would’ve scored higher with additional actors.  Value-9½, you get your money’s worth before even entering! Final Score:  8½,  I still can't get over the way they work the crowd outside this haunt.  It's very realistic and believable, and people really react to all the goings on.  The house itself is a traditional Halloween haunt, but the outdoor shenanignas are just as important, and really add to the overall experience here at Hustonville.  Ohio Valley Haunts recommends paying them a visit and experiencing this production for yourselves.  Go on a Friday or Saturday night, and watch how the waiting crowd reacts to all the surprises that await them. reviewed 10/18/05
HAUNTED TOWN HALL
101 E. High Street (Napoleon St.)
Lafayette, OH
$7 - ($1 off coupon at Scary Ohio)
Haunted Town Hall
click photo above to visit their web site
Victim
shackled victim
8 HAUNTED TOWN HALL:  This haunt takes place in a spooky old building constructed in 1899 that served as the former town hall, housing the mayor’s office, fire department, jail, etc.  It begins in a run-down office, where you’re addressed by a “ghost” seated at a desk.  The lights go out, the empty chair scoots across the floor, and a voice rings out warning about the souls that still roam the hallways of The Haunted Town Hall!  A secret panel inside the fireplace opens on its own, allowing you to escape the office into the prison ward.  The corpse of a hanged convict occupies one of the authentic jail cells, and a skull peers out from behind the bars of another.  Four doors lie ahead, and you’ll have to select the correct one in order to continue.  Beware!  Surprises lurk behind three of them!  The correct door leads to a narrowing hallway with a descending ceiling.  Up a spooky, old staircase, and across creaky wooden floors, you pass by a series of arched doorways.  Monsters stand in the openings, so be forewarned!  Some of them might be alive!  Continuing into a haunted bedroom, the bed jumps up off the floor on its own, and a hidden ghoul leaps out of the closet.  Through a TV room, and down a picture-lined corridor, you enter a tilted maze.  This is really disorienting, as the walls and floors lean from side to side, and pitch forward as you make your way through.  Ghouls pop out of caskets, clowns laugh at you, and another monster relentlessly taunts, “We’ll find you!” as you continue on your journey.  The lights and horn of a vehicle startle you as you exit the final room, and head down the back staircase to safety.  Length-7, between 10 and 15 min.  Actors-7½, well hidden throughout.  Need some original characters wearing make-up as opposed to masks to up the score.  The “we’ll find you” guy deserves a 10!  Props-8, especially like the “haunting effects” – chair, bed, etc.  Design-9, well thought out, with some original inventiveness, like the tilted maze, and the secret passage in the fireplace.  Would like to see it lengthened.  Scariness-8½, the old building itself is the prefect place for a haunt.  Fog, scary music, the actors, and the design make for a traditionally spooky experience.  Value-9½, only $6 with Scary Ohio coupon.  Final Score:  8.  This haunt left us wanting more!  Really good, considering it’s only their third year.  Lots of potential here to rank among the state’s best!  Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommends The Haunted Town Hall in Lafayette.   reviewed  10/21/05
MIDDLETOWN'S LAND OF ILLUSION
featuring
MIDDLETOWN HAUNTED TRAIL
Land of Illusion
(4 haunts in 1)
8762 Thomas Rd
Middletown, Ohio
(513) 423-9960
$30 for all 4 - plus $2 parking
click logo above to visit their web site
7 ½ Middletown Haunted TrailTHE MIDDLETOWN HAUNTED TRAIL:  The trail is about a mile long. Scary music sets the perfect mood as you begin your journey.  Spider webs line the trail early on, and a witch soon greets you along-side her boiling cauldron  A wrong turn shack soon crosses your path where ghouls warn you against going the wrong way.  There's a slaughterhouse where Leatherface and his ever-ready chain saw await you inside.  A cornfield's up next with scarecrows on stakes, and "the children of the corn" rustling around in the cornstalks.  A blood-spitting ghoul happily informs us that we'll be killed by his brother!  This was very reminiscent of the movie House of a 1000 Corpses, complete with Rob Zombie music.  The blood-spitting ghoul was our favorite character of the night - a really cool costume.  We managed to escape "the brother" and encountered a series of school buses which must be boarded.  Freddy awaits inside, as well as a "Jeepers Creepers" character.  There are several other structures along the trail.  Don't miss the man being sawed in half, and watch out for the blow torch wielding ghouls, giant gorillas, caged skeletons, and of course the numerous chain saws which must all be navigated successfully in order to survive The Middletown Trail.  Length-10, about 25 mins.  Props-5, the buildings are well done, but there were a few too many dead spots where not much was happening.  Actors-7½, the brothers were fantastic!  Scariness-7,  not quite as scary as the other three, but the darkness of the outdoors adds to the spookiness.  Value-10, only $7.50 on the combo ticket. Final Score:  7½. reviewed  9/10/05
8 ½ Dr. Psycho's Haunted EstateDR. PSYCHO'S HAUNTED ESTATE:. The estate is awesome! Everyone in our group agreed that this was the best Haunt at the Land of Illusion. It begins with a brief walk through a cemetery where a hearse with a skeleton driver guards the path leading up to the estate.  Inside the hearse lies a casket  which begins to shake as you pass by as if the corpse is trying to escape.  There are plenty of other corpses popping out of gravesides, and loads of animatronics throughout the graveyard.  One came so close to us that one member of our group (Erin) thought it was going to crash right into another (Jim)!  Lots and lots of surprises and we haven't even entered the actual estate yet!  Once inside, the rooms are excellently decorated and loaded with many more startles and surprises. At one point, a panel in the wall drops down revealing an angry monster ready to grab you!  Erin nearly peed her pants when the panel dropped!  This is a really great Haunt - go see it for yourselves!  Length-7½, 15 mins.  Props-9,  jam packed with excellent props!  Actors-8, Dr. Carver snuck up behind us near the exit asking  what we were still doing in his house?  Scariness-9, you will get scared!  Value-10, for $7.50 this haunt is a steal. Final Score:  8½ . We highly recommend this one  reviewed  9/10/05
8 Temple of TerrorTHE TEMPLE OF TERROR:  As you first enter the catacombs, a voice warns you against entering the chambers inside. The surprise of the night awaits early on. We're surely not giving this one away!  It's very dark inside and poisonous snakes line the walls shooting their venom out at you. You may get a little wet from the spray.  Continuing on, you pass through a mummy morgue, and several spiders, snakes, skeletons, and some great animatronics.  The walls are adorned with hieroglyphic symbols and writings in keeping with the temple theme.  Don't miss the 12 plus foot tall monster dangling an upside down victim from one hand, and waving a weapon in his other!  Length-7 ½,  about 12 mins.  Props:-9, lots of great ones inside - watch out for that low ceiling!  Actors-7, could use a few more. Scariness-8½, lots of scary things happening inside these catacombs.  Value-10, only $7.50 on a combo ticket - well worth it. Final Score:  8, much bigger and better than last year!  reviewed  9/10/05
7 Killer KlownsKILLER KLOWNS:  This is a new attraction at the Land of Illusion. If you're frightened by clowns, you'll be terrified of these "Killer Klowns" at Middletown, Ohio. Inside, are disorienting strobe lights, spinning vortex's, and of course male and female "Klowns"  who haunt your every move. There's a chain link fence maze with deceptive dead ends to navigate. One of the "Klowns" distracts you by laughing when you go the wrong way.  This actor really earned his money with his stalking attacks of relentless laughter.  Beyond the maze, the corridors are dark and loaded with chain saw packing "Killer Klowns."  This Haunt is a nice compliment to the site.  Length-6 only about 8-10 mins. Actors-8, the guy that chased us in the maze deserves a ten!  Props-7, vortex's and maze and a few other surprises we're not giving away.  Scariness-6½, if clowns scare you, add a point or 2 to this rating.  Value-8,  for $7.50 it's worth it! Final Score : 7reviewed  9/10/05
8 OVERALL SCORE OF THE 4 HAUNTS AT MIDDLETOWN TRAIL:  Overall, the LAND OF ILLUSION is a great night of fun!  $30 gets you all four haunts - only $7.50 each!!!  Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommends a visit, and suggests hitting the trail first as the line forms early and gets longer as the night goes on. Overall Final Score:  8  reviewed  9/10/05
CULBERTSON MANSION HAUNTED HOUSE
914 East Main Street
New Albany, IN 
(812) 944-9600
$10
Culbertson Mansion Haunted House
click logo above to visit their web site
Outside Culbertson
8 CULBERTSON MANSION LITERALLY A HAUNTED HOUSE:  Several creatures, including an undead bride and a limping gravedigger roam the cemetery area outside the haunt while you wait in line to enter The Culbertson Mansion Haunted House.  An undertaker approached our group and measured one of us (Gary) for his casket, implying that he wouldn’t be making it out alive!  Entering the haunt itself, you’re ushered up an old iron staircase to a dark room, and seated on a bench.  One member of the group is selected to serve as a contact with the dead for a séance.  This creepy ceremony is initiated by a medium, whose chants grow increasingly louder as she summons the Prince of Darkness.  Fantastic Beginning!  A circus area lies ahead, as does a room lined with glowing masks.  You progress through a shrinking tunnel with a surprise, then upstairs, encountering spider webs, coffins, and a variety of ghouls along the way.  Back down to the main level, a spooky looking door unveils the steps leading down into the cellar, where spiders, roaches, and giant bats reside.  Spooky music plays as you pass by body bags, a bloody nurse, jail cells, and a hanged victim with a noose around his neck, in route to a chainsaw chase out.  Length-7½, just under 15 min.  Actors-7½, could use more.  Except for séance, best acting comes from the undead characters outside the haunt itself.  Props-8½, lots to look at, but not many animatronics.  Design-8, a little on the short side.  Especially like the old door leading to the cellar.  Scariness-8, séance is best, although its ending is somewhat confusing.  Value-8½, priced about right for the experience.  Final Score:  8.  This is a nice haunt, just a notch below the leaders of the pack.  Literally a Haunted House is operated entirely by volunteers, and all proceeds benefit the restoration of the historic Culbertson Mansion. reviewed  10/22/05
XENIA DUNGEON OF DOOM
Corner of So.Detroit and 3rd St.
Xenia, Ohio
(937) 689-3029
$10
8 DUNGEON OF DOOM:  An old, abandoned warehouse is home to The Dungeon of Doom, making this one of the most realistic looking Haunts around.  Concrete floors, walls containing old, iron doors, the boiler room, etc. all set the stage for an unnerving entrance into The Dungeon.  Very spooky music plays as you encounter an apparent victim sitting in an electric chair.  He's still alive, and attacks all who enter!  Next up, is a  room with a TV, and a large, round well.  Don't look back, because this is the abode of The Ring girl!  A bloody ghoul armed with a large, recently used knife confronts you, then the lights go out providing for a very scary moment!  A frightened little girl runs up to you at one point saying she got lost, and is too scared to continue on alone.  She asks if she can go through with you,  then Freddy Krueger comes out of the furnace room, and "kills" her!  This is a trademark of The Dungeon, surprising all who enter.  A maze lies ahead constructed of doors and very small rooms.  There's a secret to getting through, and if you don't figure it out,  you'll be there for awhile!  This too is a unique trademark of The Dungeon, and is a  nice and different effect.  Length-7, about10 mins. - longer if you're unable to figure out the maze.  Props-8, traditionally scary ones, (the maze doors rate a 10).  Actors-8, could use a few more.  The little girl did a fantastic job suckering us in!  Scariness-9, the Freddy scene,  the maze, and the old building itself make this one super scary.  Design-8½, very well done from start to finish, if only it were longer. Value-8, a bit short, but makes up for it with its uniqueness, and number of scares. FinalScore:  8  This was our second time visiting this haunt, and we enjoyed every moment.  Get out and experience The Xenia Dungeon of Doom for yourself.  Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommends it!  You don't want to miss this maze!  reviewed 10/8/05
CHAMBERS OF HORROR
1601 S. University Blvd
Middletown, Ohio
$9 - ($1 off with canned good)
Chambers of Horror
click photo to visit their web site
8 THE CHAMBERS OF HORROR: Scary music plays as you wait outside the double door entrance of the Chambers.  A ghoul butler briefly opens the doors and instructs you to wait.  Upon his return, he reopens the doors and leads you into the foyer of the chambers where he intimidatingly barks out the house rules before allowing you to enter.  (Great Job!).  Dimly lit corridors and uneven floors await your first steps inside.  Add strobe lights to that  combination and you're in for a disorienting experience right off the "bat" (no pun intended) as you begin to navigate your way through the chambers.  A room with 5 or 6 doors for possible escape is soon encountered.  There are surprises  behind 5 of them, if they open at all, but there's only one way out! Can you find it?  There's a coffin room that has a hidden exit. It first appears that you're trapped as you attempt to open door after door.  One member of our group pulled on a coffin door and said, "this isn't it" when it didn't budge. The instant he turned around, that same door mysteriously opened on it's own revealing the way out!  Walking through that coffin leads you into Dracula's chamber.  Next up are corridors where walls close in, ceilings fall, and mad butchers (you gotta see these guys!) point you in the wrong direction in order to lock you in one of their freezers!  Many dead ends, locked doors and ghoulish effects that await your trek though the chambers including a live girl's bloody head on a table - no body just a head!  The head is alive, and her eyes follow you as you approach!  There's a hallway where the ceiling gets lower and lower forcing you to eventually crawl your way out, and many masked monsters inside the chambers - Jason, Michael Myers, Leatherface and Freddy Krueger, among others.  They've just added an elevator this year, but at this point, it seems somewhat out of place as there is no real reason for it being where it is - no ride up to the 13th floor, or down to the dungeon, etc.  It also developed a malfunction just as we arrived (our luck), but the owner assured it would be repaired and  invited us back to see it in working condition.  Length- 8, about 15 mins.  Actors-8½, most of the actors were really into providing the best possible scares.  Props-7½, some great ones, but could use more and possibly some animatronics. Design-8  Not much has changed since last year. Scariness-9, This is a spooky haunted Halloween attraction.  The butchers are outstanding! Value-8½, for $9 you get plenty of traditional scares.  Final Score:  8  reviewed 9/16/05
NIGHTMARE FOREST
16611 Dixie Highway
Louisville, KY  40272
777-0850
$15 - (buy one get one free w/Insight Cable Bill)
- NOTE:  discount not valid Friday or Saturday -
Nightmare Forest
click logo above to visit their web site
Greeter at Nightmare Forest
8 NIGHTMARE FOREST:  After a one-year hiatus, Nightmare Forest is back for its fifteenth year of fear.  A variety of scenes from numerous horror movies are recreated in structures throughout the forest.  Beginning with attacking headhunters and mummies in the Mayan Ruins, and encompassing the ages from classics like  Frankenstein, all the way through modern-day scares brought about by Michael Myers, Thirteen Ghosts, and Scream, they’re all found at Nightmare Forest!  In addition to the aforementioned, Dracula and some vampiresses lurk in The Count's Castle, Freddy Krueger resides in a boiler room, and Jason Voorhees waits on the porch of an old shack.  Pinhead, witches, and , clowns among others are also encountered along the trail.  Rusty, iron gates protect the entrance to a cemetery, where an undead ghoul escapes his earthen grave to attack your group, and a crazed miner occupies a mineshaft, where a mine car has crashed.  A giant Impaler guards the exit to Nightmare Forest, where Leatherface is all cocked and primed for a chainsaw chase out!  Length-10, over 30 minutes!  Actors-8, legitimate looking characters, but they could stand to be a bit more aggressive.   Most were masked, and in all fairness, it was a bit difficult to get a good grasp on their talents, simply because we went through with an oversized group, due to the enormous crowd on hand.  Props-8, lots of different scenes, and some animatronics in use.  Design-7, very lengthy, but some dead zones between scenes, as is the case with most trails.  It’s just an inherent detriment.  Majority of structures consist of simple mazes, and a central point of interest, where scares are delivered.  Scariness-8, actors are well hidden, and there’s plenty of alone time to allow your nerves to get the better of you.  Each scene is complimented with just the right music.  Sounds are loud and realistic.  Value-8, a bit pricey, but consistent with other haunts in the area.  Take advantage of the discount offer if you can.  Final Score:  8, horror movie fans will really love this one!  It’s fun to watch how members of the group respond differently to the various characters, depending on their individual phobias.  The trail's length alone insures you’ll get your money’s worth.  Ohio Valley Haunts encourages your patronage at Nightmare Forest.  There’s something here for everyone!  reviewed 10/22/05
BUFORD HAUNTED SCHOOL
State Route 138
Buford, Ohio
$10
Buford Haunted School
click logo above to visit their web site
8 BUFORD HAUNTED SCHOOLWARNING:  This is not a typical haunt.  Expect to be grabbed and touched at the Haunted School!  If that presents a problem for you, it might be wise to skip this one.
     Entering, the old school, you ascend a flight of stairs to the second floor.  Be forewarned.  A ghoul inhabits the space beneath the staircase!  Down a tight, dark corridor, numerous monsters attack from caskets that line the walls.  Screams ring out - some come from victims who entered before you, others from the monsters themselves!  These fiends are everywhere - within the walls, and hanging down from above.  They pound, they shout, and they reach out and grab at your arms and legs!   A dark room containing a well, reveals the presence of the ring girl!  What appears to be the exit actually turns out to be a great surprise - one we won't give away!  Continuing on, a bloody man with a table saw prepares to saw a body in half!  And, crazy, laughing clowns warn of your impending death in a clown room.  One of these maniacle clowns jumps down from the rafters to startle you! Spongy floors, hidden passages, mirrored mazes, narrow corridors, electrified fences, and even a cornfield must be navigated while inside The Buford School.  Shackled and bound prisoners torment you from behind the bars of their cells.  Don't get stuck here, because they're sure to escape!  Headless bodies hang from chains, and a giant tarantula drops down from its web above to capture it's next victim!  Prepare to become trapped in some of the rooms for awhile until you're able to locate the hidden escape!  Near the end is the biggest shock of all!  You're on your own here, as we don't want to spoil the surprise!  Suffice it to say you won't believe it!  Exiting the school, you can breath a sigh of relief - or so you think, until a herd of chainsaw packing ghouls descend upon you from all directions, chasing you through the parking lot, all the way back to your car, up State Route 138, clear out of Buford... You get the idea!!!  Length-8, around 15 minutes.  Actors-9, some kiddy actors, but all were highly energetic, and did a fabulous job of scaring us from every angle possible.  Chainsaw guys are relentless!  Scariness-9,  actually being touched by the monsters makes this a haunt like no other!  Props-7, no animatronics, but the actors and props they do have work very well together, so they don't really need them.  Design-8½, hidden doors and compartments are outstanding, just needs to be longer.  Value-8, $10, but filled with lots of scares. Increasing the length would raise the value.  FINAL SCORE:  8, just shy of 8½.  This is the only Haunt I know of where the ghouls will intentionally come in contact with you.  That alone makes it unique, not to mention more realistic!  If they had better props, and extend the length, this could easily rate 8½ or 9!  The Buford Haunted School is one of the best haunted experiences in Southern Ohio, and that's saying alot considering it's a fund raiser, and operated solely by volunteers!  Everyone involved in its production should be extremely proud of their efforts.  The praise offered here is well earned.  If you're not afraid to be touched, it's well worth the trip to Buford.  Ohio Valley Haunts highly recommends visiting.. You won't find another one like this!  reviewed 10/15/05
FRIGHT MANOR
350 Anniston Dr.
Southport, IN   46227
(317) 767-7540
$15 - ($1 off coupon on their web site)
Fright Manor
click logo to visit their web site
8 FRIGHT MANOR:  A spooky cemetery is the setting for the queue line as you “fear the dark” waiting to enter Fright Manor.  Mysterious music, dark corridors, and a sign asking if you’re afraid of the dark welcome your arrival.  Early on, you encounter a butcher standing at a table where a gutless corpse lies.  He offers some food, then pulls out a chainsaw!  Escaping the butcher, you pass by some caged skeletons, then a shackled body thrashing about.  Through a rusty, iron gate, you’re warned against trespassing.  A sign reads, “Violators will be buried alive!”  Not heeding the warnings, we continue into a coffin room containing many dead and undead corpses in caskets.  Beware of the undead, as they don’t like to be disturbed!  Lots of animated props ahead, including a witch stirring a cauldron, a corpse that sits up in its coffin, a skeleton rattling the bars to his cage, and a medieval knight-like character that lunges forward as you make your way past.  Various scenes surprise you as they are first obscured in darkness, but illuminate as you pass by.  A hanged man in a closet, thrashing about from the noose around his neck is one such example. Fright Manor is home to various ghouls and monsters, such as Chuckles the Clown, a 7-foot tall creature on stilts, and even Martha Stewart showing off her eye for fashion, as she invites you into her bloody kitchen, where a convulsing body lies on the dining room table.  Later on, you become trapped in Dracula’s room where The Count plans to add your body to the victims who already adorn his walls.  You escape into an autopsy room where a bloody doctor chases you with a chainsaw, then onto a high voltage area containing stacks of barrels that fall toward you, and electrified floors that vibrate beneath your feet!  Guillotines, sparking fences, an animated guard dog, and a maze lead to the exit, and a quadruple chainsaw chase out!  Length-9, nearly 20 min.  Actors-7, most in masks as opposed to make-up, and not nearly enough.  Props-8½, lots of animatronics, and well decorated rooms.  Design-7½, well done, but name implies a scary, old mansion, and some of this takes place in a tent.  Scariness-8, plenty of startles from the numerous props.  Creepy background music, dimly lit rooms, and dark hallways throughout.  Would benifit tremendiously from additional actors.  Value-7, a bit on the expensive side.  Be sure and use the coupon available on their website.  Final Score:  8, Ohio Valley Haunts recommends stopping by Fright Manor if you're not "afraid of the dark." reviewed 10/20/05
WILMINGTON HAUNTED HOLLOW RIDE
1261 W. Dalton Rd.
Wilmington, OH  45177
(937) 382-6147
$10
Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride
click logo above to visit their web site
8 WILMINGTON HAUNTED HOLLOW RIDE:  You enter the Hollow aboard one of three buses (Gravedigger, Widowmaker, or Undertaker ) that have the tops and sides cut away.  Down a hill, and into the hollow, your first encounter is with a young, bloody girl on a swing.  A second girl with a chainsaw approaches, but the bus speeds away.  Ghouls attack the bus throughout, beating on it with baseball bats, slamming it with sticks, and  even catapulting a log into the side.  Some even jump onto the bus, and terrorize those who are frightened!  Off to the side, a flaming Bulldozer waits to plow you under, and a wild police chase ends in a crash!  An insane trucker comes out of the woods, and pulls up behind you.  Flames shoot skyward out of his exhaust stacks, and his air-horn blasts continuously as he bumps your bus from behind attempting to run you off the road!  Other sights include a devil sacrificing a girl on a cross, crazy clowns jumping out of boxes, and a jailed ghoul desperately trying  to escape his cell and attack you.  In Death Valley, a witch brewing stew waits to put you in her large, smoking cauldron.  Large spiders have a girl entrapped in their web, and they race toward the bus as you exit the hollow.  Length-7, only about 10 minutes.  Actors-8, they did a good job of attacking the bus, but  some areas were completely dead and devoid of actors entirely.  Design-8, lots of unique experiences along the hollow ride.  But, scenes often occur on both sides of the bus simultaneously making it difficult to see everything.  Would be better if they were more staggered from side to side.  Nice that the chase scenes are set up to cover the dead spots.  Props-8, the police chase, bulldozer, and trucker are awesome!  Scariness-9, the truck ramming the bus is best, but the attacking ghouls are good too.  Value-8, a bit short, but you do get loads of thrills.  Final Score:  8.  The bus went a little too fast, and seat backs are high making it difficult to see, especially when things are occurring on both sides of you at the same time.  Overall, a pretty unique ride.  Ohio Valley Haunts is glad to see The Hollow back in business, and recommends visiting this Halloween season. reviewed 10/8/05
JAMESTOWN HAUNTED WOODS
6261 Old U.S. Route 35
Jamestown, Ohio
$10
Castle of Doom at Jamestown Haunted Woods
8 JAMESTOWN HAUNTED WOODS:  You get to the Jamestown Haunted Woods by first entering the Castle of Doom, pictured at left.  Inside the Castle is a very dark maze where well hidden monsters and ghouls reside.  You may end up face to face with one or two who suddenly appear from out of the darkness.  Body bags hang from the ceiling, and you crash into them as you try to navigate your way through.  The maze is different from last year.  You exit the Castle into the dense, dark, haunted woods where scary music readily gives you the creeps as you begin your journey through. You walk past the gallows where an executioner accompanies a hanged man in a tree.  Eerie screams are heard from off in the distance as you go deeper and deeper into the woods that's home to a grim reaper, a graveyard, and lots of other surprises.  A lost girl wandering the trail alone soon comes into view, but Freddy Krueger quickly jumps out of the brush, grabs her, and proceeded to "kill" her.  This was unique as the girl appeared to be separated from the group ahead of us, but was actually an actor!  Next up, a toxic dump with a mutant crawling out of a cylinder.  Just as it distracts you, another ghoul throws a barrels at you, and it comes crashing down with a loud thud!  On the back side of the woods is a haunted cornfield with many surprises of its own.  From out of the darkness comes a blinding flash of bright light which limits your ability to see for a few minutes, giving the numerous monsters and ghouls ample opportunity to startle and attack you.  Gunshots ring out as you leave the cornfield and reenter the woods.  There are many other shacks and buildings to navigate including a large, fenced area inhabited by a crazy ghoul where you become trapped for a short time.  You're locked in and there's NO WAY OUT!  Or is there?  Many more surprises await, such as giant spiders that drop down from trees, spongy floors that give way beneath your feet, and ghouls popping out of furniture!  There's an old rusty school bus you must board which is nearly pitch black inside.  It too has some surprises in store for you, and watch out for that crashed car.  This is an excellent outdoor trail. We visited on their opening night, and were told they were a bit short-handed, but we hardly noticed.  Length-9½, over 20 minutes.  Actors-7, everyone was really into scaring us, but could have used many few more.  Scariness-8, a really dark, spooky trail, but there are some dead spots.  The scary music playing along the way is excellent.  Props-7, could use a few animatronics.  Design-8, this one's designed really well - the ground giving way is outstanding!  Value-9, well worth the ten dollars.  O.V.H. highly recommends visiting the Jamestown Haunted Woods!  Final Score:  8. reviewed  9/23/05, revisited 10/8/05
RIVERSIDE JAYCEES HAUNTED HOUSE
1213 Harshman Rd.
Dayton, OH  45431
(937) 254-2576
$8 - $1 discount with canned good
$2 discount coupon available at local businesses
Riverside Jaycees Haunted House
click photo to visit their web site
7 ½ RIVERSIDE JAYCEES HAUNTED HOUSE:  Spooky organ music, specifically Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor welcomes your entrance into the Riverside Jaycees Haunted House.  A crazed doctor and several killer clowns are encountered early on.  Other characters include a werewolf, a mad dentist, and Michael Myers.  An early scare comes from a victim frying in an electric chair.  At first, he’s obscured by darkness, then suddenly springs into action as you approach.  Well done!  Upstairs is a portal reminiscent of the movie Stargate.  A vortex lies just beyond the portal, then it’s onto a cemetery, where the undead escape their graves.  Up next is a bedroom scene with a huge surprise hiding under the bed, and a coffin room where mourners scream you out of the Jaycees haunted house.  Length-6½, pretty short, just under 10 min.  Actors-7, they were highly energetic, just too few in number.  Props-7½, nicely done, with an unexpected animatronic or two.  Design-8, they make the most of the available space.  Would be nice if they could increase the length, and find a way to avoid having a guide telling you which way to go at various points.  Scariness-7½, some nice surprises along the way.  A longer haunt would provide many more opportunities for additional scares.  Value-8½, fairly inexpensive by today’s standards, especially with a discount coupon. Final Score:  7½  Put this one on your list.  For the price, it’s a nice little haunt, and serves as the annual community fundraiser. reviewed 10/29/05
NIGHTMARE ON VALLEY STREET
Valley Street
Dayton, Ohio
(937) 39-SCARE 
$10 - ($2 off coupon on web site)
Nightmare on Valley Street
click photo to visit their web site
7 ½ NIGHTMARE ON VALLEY STREET: This nightmare begins as soon as you approach.  Two hearses are parked right outside the entrance to the trail and inside the hearses are coffins!  The interiors are illuminated with black lights, and a bloody arm hangs out the back of one of the coffins!  The trail itself is winding, and very dark.  There are many monsters appearing along the way including a 10 foot grim reaper who first blocks your path, then chases after you when he finally permits you to pass.  The surprises along this trail are numerous and continuous with many actors hiding in the bushes and jumping out from everywhere to startle and scare you.  A car suddenly appears from out of the shadows when its headlights come on, and it's horn begins blowing!  Just as you recover from being startled, its engine starts, and the car begins moving at you as you walk, or run down the path - whatever the case may be!  Blinding strobes affect your ability to see at some points along the way.  The trail gets foggy and giant gorillas appear in cages violently shaking their bars trying to escape and get you.  In the cemetery, Frankenstein comes out of his grave to attack you, and a young, bloody corpse bride appears from the fog and follows you down the trail.  There are scarecrows on crosses along the trail, some of which may be alive!  A loud, noisy quad approaches quickly from behind and stalks you for awhile.  It has a single headlight and is quite unnerving as it lunges closer and closer to you!  Don't miss the floating girl's head about 7 feet off the ground!  The head has no body, and she stares eerily at you turning her head as you walk by!  There are many other surprises along the way, including lots of chainsaw wielding ghouls.  This trail is a lot of fun! Length-8, about 20 mins. Actors-8½, there are some 60 or so actors along the way all doing their best to startle and scare you.  Scariness-7,  pretty good as far as trails go. Design-8, since there weren't any dead spots it was designed really well. Props-6, there aren't many animatronics or mechanical props, but the car, quad, and actors make up for the lack of big props. Value-8, you get lots of scares for your ten bucks!  All the actors are volunteers and do an amazing job providing loads and loads of non-stop scares.  Final Score:  7 1/2 reviewed 9/16/05, revisited 10/29/05
NIGHT FRIGHT HAUNTED TRAIL
at SILVER LAKE BEACH
4720 Scaraff Rd.
New Carlisle, OH  45344
(937) 845-8311
$9.50
($1 off coupon on their web site)
Night Fright Haunted Trail
click logo above to visit their web site
7 ½ NIGHT FRIGHT HAUNTED TRAIL AT SILVER LAKE BEACH:  This trail begins with a walk down a long, steep hill, where you encounter a witch, skeletons, and an old electric chair.  The chair has a sign that reads, "Sit down if you dare!"   One member of our group accepted this challenge, but you'll have to try it for yourself if you want to know what happens  Lying ahead is a dark shack containing skeletal bones, and a large animated skull to scare you.  An old stagecoach features the remains of it's  skeleton driver, and you never know what may be hiding in the upcoming cornfield..  A broken down bus blocks the path at one point, and you must walk through in order to continue.  Dead victims occupy the seats inside, killed by the clowns that terrorizes the bus.  Other scenes include a graveyard with surprises in coffins, a hanging, caged ghouls arcing sparks off the iron bars of their cells, a shooting, a haunted junkyard, flying barrels, and a falling ceiling in the gas chamber.  A treehouse sits atop a hillside cemetery where Freddy Krueger claims aonother victim, and Michael Myers stalks you in the woods.  Spiders have surprises in store for you as well, and a maze signals you're nearing the end of the trail.  Length-8½, pretty long - around 20 minutes.  Actors-7, many well hidden ghouls as the trail progresses, but could use more early on.  Design-8, the initial walk down the hill is pretty dead, but lots of original scenes once you get to them.  The sparse beginning does allow your fears to build in anticipation of what lies ahead.  Scariness-7, several once past that lonely beginning.  Props-8,  lots of good animatronics in addition to some pretty unique static props.  Value-8, a reasonably priced, lengthy trail with plenty of scares. Final Score-7½.  It wouldn't take much to turn Night Fright into an 8 or 8½!  If you like trails, you'll love this one.  O.V.H. recommends a visit.  reviewed 10/7/05
PSYCHO PATH
520 South Srtingtown Rd.
Xenia, OH  45385
$10 Path - $5 Freak Show - $3 Maze
$15 Combo Ticket - $20 VIP (front of line)
Psycho Path
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7 ½ PSYCHO PATH: Psycho Path has a new design this year.  Passing through large doors adorned with skulls, you enter the first building where scary music greets your arrival setting the perfect mood for a Halloween haunt.  An interesting creature is found inside, having the body of a skeleton, but the head of a live girl, her eyes glaring at you as you approach!  Disorienting strobes, and uneven floors lead to an encounter with a  bloody butcher before you exit onto the trail itself.  Many well hidden ghouls jump out to startle you along the path including a large, seated monster who suddenly springs to life impeding your way with his intimidatingly tall frame!  A spooky cemetery scene offers more scary music, and undead ghouls jumping out from behind tombstones to frighten you.  Some follow you for awhile as continue your progression along Psycho Path.  The next structure takes you down a flight of stairs into a tight corridor that leads through a meticulously constructed area with arched doorways.  Various monsters are behind some of the doors, and a voice from up ahead desperately begs to be saved.  Snakes and skeletal remains lie beneath the water as you cross a wooden bridge, and approach a girl with a noose around her neck.  She looks at you and laughs, just as the platform gives way, and she is hanged!  Very well done! Psycho Path boasts many other scenes and settings, including foggy rooms occupied by gas mask wearing  maniacs, crazy clowns, and a room that seems to have no escape until the psychotic ghouls finally allow you discover the secret door!  You then exit the trail to safety, but is it really over?  Length-7, shorter this year, about 10 minutes.  Actors-8, plenty of  believeable monsters scaring you throughout. The hanging girl is best.  Design-8, love the arched doorways, only wish it were longer.  Props-7, no animatronics, but the professionalism of the actors makes up for the lack of fancy props.  Scariness-8, many scares through the dark woods, complimented by spooky music.  Value-7½, slightly compromised by the length.  May score higher in combination with Freak Show and Maze.Final Score:  7 ½  Psycho Path is staged as a fundraiser for the non-profit Blue Jacket organization.  Lend them your support by visiting this seasonal haunt.  Ohio Valley Haunts believes youi'll enjoy it as much as we did!  reviewed 10/8/05
FEARFEST AT KINGS ISLAND
Exit 25 off  I-71
Mason, Ohio
$26.99 (or visit Wendy's for
$19.99 Friday night admission coupons)
Kings Island Fearfest
click logo above to visit their web site

 
 
 

 

7 Massacre Manor in Sleepy HollowMASSACRE MANOR:  The setting is in Sleepy Hollow.  There's plenty of fog as you enter into an old, musty wine cellar.  The Manor is a maze filled with all kinds of ghouls warning of the horseman.  One shouts out, "The horseman wants your heads!"  The ghouls appear suddenly from out of the darkness, or from behind panels that drop down from pictures hanging on the walls.  Many life-like, severed heads hang throughout the cellar. This haunt was filled with lots of actors and surprises.  Length-7, about 10 min.  Actors-8, everyone inside did a really good job, and their costumes were quite realistic.  Scariness-7, really dark and spooky inside.  Props-6, loved the hanging heads, but not many others present - the actors made up for the lack of props.  Design.-6, mostly just the wine storage bins and empty bookshelves.  Value-8, you get a lot of haunts for your money this year. Final Score:  7  reviewed 9/29/05
NR CornstalkersCORNSTALKERS:  Not really a Haunt, but still worth mentioning.  This is actually the path through the Sleepy Hollow area connecting Massacre Manor and Headless Hollow.  Featuring skelatal scarecrows, both live and dead as you walk along the cornstalks, the path is really foggy, and there are some surprises along the way.  Nicely done!  visited 9/29/05
7 Headless HollowHEADLESS HOLLOW:  This attraction begins at the train station - the first time the Paramount's Kings Island/Miami Valley Railroad has been incorporated into a scare.  You board the train, headed by an old steam engine, known as "The Halloween Express."  The conductor explains the legend of the Headless Hollow, while you set out on what appears to be an ordinary train ride.  But, when the engine suddenly develops a "malfunction," you end up hoofing it back on foot through the woods known as the Headless Hollows where you encounter many strange beings along the trail warning you to get out!  You walk through a covered bridge filled with hanging bodiless heads, then more strangers warning, "He wants your head!"  Scary music accompanies the darkness throughout the trail.  Before too long, the headless horseman appears up close and personal wanting your head! Length-8, about 15-20 mins.  Love the mysterious train ride into the Hollow.  The light from the engine piercing the foggy woods is outstanding!. Actors-8, all the actors were trying to give the best scares possible.  Scariness-8, the spooky train ride, the foggy trail, and the Headless Horseman are pretty scary. Props-5, the trail could be great with the addition of some high tech props.  Design-5, like the idea of the train taking you to the Hollow, but the trail leading back is just average. Value-8, all these attractions for 25 dollars is a bargain. Final Score:  7  reviewed 9/29/05
Maze of MadnessMAZE OF MADNESS:  This maze is constructed of mirrors, and chain-link fence.  Disorienting strobes and loud sirens make it difficult to find your way.  Numerous bloody ghouls are encountered throughout the maze, as well as some of their victims.  One such victim is a corpse spewing blood up out of its stomach!  Around the corner is an upper torso and live head that screams and looks at you as you try to escape the maze (the body's mid-section is eaten away, and the lower part is missing!).  Length-7, about 10-12 minutes - doesn't seem to have as many  dead ends as in years past.  Actors-9, all were great!  Scariness-7, pretty intense - lots wailing sirens, bloody ghouls, and disorienting strobe lights.  Props-5,  there are a some good ones, just not enough.  Design-5, needs to be more difficult.  Value-7, once again, all these haunts and rides for one price.  Lot's of fun trying to find your way out, and especially fun to await the rest of your group if they happen to get lost or stuck inside.  Final Score:  6½ reviewed 9/29/05
Psycho PathPSYCHO PATH:  The Path is very foggy and dark, and much improved in comparison to past years.  The fog makes it very difficult to see what lies ahead.  A girl seeks help for her brother, who's stuck in the sewer ahead.  At this point, you have a choice - Bravery or Chicken.  Brave ones can crawl through a sewer pipe, while more timid ones can simply bypass the scene and walk around.  If you make it through the sewer, many more surprises await, including crazy hillbillies warning you to get off their land!  Watch out for that broken toilet in their outhouse!  Body parts are scattered about throughout the trail, and you must pass through an old spooky cemetery where an old lady curses all who enter. There are also ghouls with chainsaws.  Length-7, about 10-12 mins.  Actors-7, once again everybody did a good job.  Scariness-7, the fog along the trail makes it hard to see what's next.  Props-5, could use a few animatronics, and high tech props.  Design-5, a few dead spots on a short trail.  Value-7,  the trail is good, but could be so much better.  All in all, they're on the right track here - much better than last year.  Final Score:  6½ reviewed 9/29/05
R L Stine Fear Street NightsR L STINE FEAR STREET:  This Haunt replaced the House of Darkness, our favorite haunt at Fearfest the last 3 years.  A fairly original idea this year, as the house is for sale.  Emily doesn't want to leave, so she may attack all who enter. Many pictures adorn the walls through the corridors of the house - all of Emily!  There are people inside warning that she will get anyone who enter her house.  An insane woman playing with dolls interacts with you, while other Emily victims are incarcerated behind bars.  They're all urging the same warning - get out while you can!  Making your way through Grany's kitchen, you finally meet Emily, sawing her latest lover in half!  Length-6, less then 10 mins.  Actors-8, all did a wonderful job including Emily.  Scariness-7, the end is best.  Props-6, love the sawing in half of Emily's victim - need more.  Design-6, love the house setting, but could stand to be a bit longer.  Value-7, a nice attraction at a reasonable price. Final Score 6½  reviewed 9/29/05
Circus of HorrorsCIRCUS OF HORRORS:  This Haunt is basically the same as last year, except for the addition of some mirrored hallways which obscure the path making things a bit confusing.  Plenty of clowns inside to confront and scare you.  The smell of cotton candy and popcorn are noticable at various points throughout.  If someone in your group has a fear of clowns, this will do the trick.  If not, you may want to save this one until last and enjoy the newer attractions.  Length-6, about 8 minutes.  Actors-7, the clowns gave it their all trying to scare us.  Scariness-5,  higher if you have a clown phobia.  Props-4, not many, just mostly 3-D effect.  Design-5, could stand to be lengthened.  The aromas are new for '05, as are the previously mentioned mirrors, so this one too appears to be on the right track as far as improvements go.  Value-7, as part of FearfestFinal Score-5½ reviewed 9/29/05
NR
Superstition Fun House Express Friday the 13th Elvira's Superstition, Funhouse Express, and Friday the 13th were not open during our visit.  These are film attractions, with Funhouse Express being the most family-friendly, and Friday the 13th the goriest.
7 FearfestOVERALL FEARFEST RATING:  Fearfest is better than it's been the last 4 years.  The spooky Halloween settings are great this year.  Custom scary music, foggy graveyards, and other decorations are more wide-spread throughout the park in 2005 setting the stage for a creepy night of fun and frights.  The actor's are quite energetic, and their costumes very realistic.  Spooky, fanged ghouls slide at you loudly on kneepads startling and scaring just about everyone while you make your way between attractions!  The overall Fearfest experience rates higher when considered as a group, as opposed to scoring the various haunts individually.  Ohio Valley Haunts recommends a visit to Kings Island's annual Halloween attraction.  In addition to the Haunts, many of the park's thrill rides such as The Beast, Face Off, Delirium, Drop Zone, Racer, Vortex, Top Gun, and Italian Job:  Stunt Track are open and included with admission.  Lengthy lines hurt the overall score.  Overall Rating:  7  reviewed 9/29/05
FRIGHT NIGHT
31 WAYS TO TERROR
Highway 31 North
Henryville, IN
near exit 19 off I-65
$13
($10 on Fridays with $3 discount coupon)
Fright Night 31 Ways to Terror
7 FRIGHT NIGHT 31 WAYS TO TERROR:  We were pleasantly surprised by this haunt which is divided into five separate sections.  It gets underway with a walk through "The Haunted Forest."  A girl greets you at the entrance to the woods, telling a story of grandpa, and how he haunts this territory, killing all who dare to trespass.  The woods are thick and dark, and Michael Myers, among others stalks your every move.  The Haunted Forest exits at the booth where tickets to the remainder of the haunt are purchased.  Up next is the "Terror Maze of Mutants" beginning with a spinning vortex leading into a maze occupied by fiendish, mutant ghouls.  The maze is dark and confusing, and the escape route well hidden away.  At one point, the exit is visible in the distance, but it's inaccessible due to boards which are nailed in place blocking your path.  A different route leads to this very same exit, but it's not the one you're in!  Excellent!  This maze is a lot of fun.  We finally discovered the secret passage and moved on to "The House That Hell Built."  Skulls line the fence leading up to the House.  Here we meet one of the granddaughters, who informs us that she has killed her sister in order to acquire the family fortune.  She asks if we've seen the will, then allows us to enter.  The door shuts behind us, and her dead sister is lying in a casket clutching the will to her chest!  As we look in, a ghoul pops out of the bottom part of the coffin to startle and scare us.  Several other startling scares inside the house.  You visit the upstairs where "Redrum" is written in blood on the walls.  A crazy clown dwells here, and a giant, animated skeleton springs up out of a table!  Back downstairs, and into the cellar, a bloody girl screams at you to get out of her room!  "The Graveyard of Lost Souls" awaits your exit from the house.  The cemetery scene is nicely done, and is haunted by a girl dressed in white wandering about.  Suddenly, Jason grabs her, throws her to the ground, and kills her!  The trail through the graveyard leads to "The Terror Crypt," which is very dark inside, making it impossible to see, and difficult to navigate.  Ghouls are obscured by the darkness, and take advantage of every opportunity to surprise and scare you.  One member of our group accidentally touched a female ghoul's breast trying to feel his way along in the darkness - at least he said it was accidental!  "Hey!  You touched my t*t!," she exclaimed!  Length-10 about 25 minutes for all the attractions.  Actors-7, most did an excellent job, but a few didn't have their masks on, and weren't expecting us.  They could use a few more "Lost Souls" in the graveyard and The Haunted Forest. Props-6, the cemetery and the house are outstanding, but need a lot more in the woods to score higher.  Scariness-7, again, the forest needs additional scenes and props, and more actors would yield more scares.  Design-7, very well done for a small haunt only in their third year of operation.  Has the potential to be even better in time.  Value-7, a bit expensive, but only $10 on Friday nights with discount coupon.  Final Score-7.  Fright Night 31 Ways to Terror is a very nice, traditionally scary Halloween attraction.  Get out and see it!  reviewed  10/1/05
HANNA HAUNTED ACRES
7383 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN  46239
(317) 357 - 0881
Haunted Hayride $10
Phantazmagoria (Haunted House) $10
Entanglement (Corn Field Maze)  $8
- 3 Event Combo Ticket - $23 -
Hanna Haunted Acres
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7 ½ PHANTAZMAGORIA:  Entering the dark chambers of Phantazmagoria, you immediately encounter a floor that vibrates rapidly beneath your feet.  Caged ghouls jump out from behind bars to attack you, while others hide behind barrels just waiting for their chance to jump out and surprise unsuspecting guests.  Several animated props lay ahead, my favorite being a large alligator that lunges forward as you pass by.  Watch out for low ceilings, monsters popping out of closets, and maniacs with chainsaws, as you make your way through a TV room, bedroom, bathroom, and the surrounding grounds outside.  Continuing on, a headless torso hanging upside down, writhers in pain when you go by, then a screaming woman appears from out of the darkness holding the bloody head!  Several more startles come from an animated Chucky Doll, a body convulsing wildly on a table, and a large wooden sign that comes crashing down at you, that reads, “Gotcha!”  Pentagrams decorate the floors in the final room, where Lucifer awaits your arrival.  His amplified voice echoes loudly as he terrorizes you, then orders you out!  Length-7, just over 10 min.  Actors-7, convincing characters, especially the devil, but need a lot more.  Props-8, several animatronics.  Alligator and floor are most memorable.  Design-8, might be better if contained within a single structure.  The transitions from building to building are well thought out, with the alligator, and chainsaw attacks in between.  Could stand to be lengthened.  Scariness-7½, great spooky music, lots of startles from animatronics, but could rate higher with more actors.  Value-8, best when considered as part of the 3-haunt combo.  Final Score:  7½Phantazmagoria is the best of the three haunts at Hanna Acresreviewed 10/20/05
6 ½ HANNA ACRES HAUNTED HAYRIDE:  The Hayride begins with a tractor pulled trip into the dark woods.  A madman with a chainsaw welcomes your arrival, jumping up on the back of the hay wagon.  You pass by a truck driven by Michael Myers.  Its headlights flash, and horn blows when the hay wagon pulls right into its path!   Other sights include a convict frying in an electric chair, an old hearse, with a skeleton behind the wheel, and a strobe light flashing in the back where the coffin sits, and a 13-foot tall impaler!  Some of the ghouls briefly hop aboard the hayride, terrorizing those on board.  Signs and spiders drop down overhead as you continue through the woods, to a combine chase-out!  Length-8, about 20 min., Actors-6, not nearly enough.  Props-7, some nice animatronics, but need a lot more.  Design-5, way too many dead spots, and not enough props and actors.  Scariness-7, some good scares along the way, but just too many areas where not much is happening.  Value-7, pretty reasonable as part of the 3-haunt combo.  Final Score:  6½, an enjoyable ride with lots of potential. Additional props and actors could easily turn this lengthy ride into an 8!  reviewed 10/20/05
5 ½ ENTANGLEMENT:  Primarily a walk through a maze cut in a cornfield.  The maze is quite confusing, and difficult to navigate with its numerous loops and dead ends.  The corn is tall making it next to impossible to see where you’ve been, and where you’re going.  A few monsters live along the path, and amongst the cornstalks, and you’ll have to avoid them as well while searching for the way out.  Length-10, can take anywhere from 20 min. to an hour depending on how skillful (or lucky) you are at navigating the maze.  Actors-3, need tons more.  Props-0, there aren’t any – this is a built in detriment as far as mazes go.  Design-8½, a very lengthy, complicated, entertaining maze.  Potential to score even higher with the addition of some props, and a lot more actors.  Scariness-5, primary scare is the isolation in an overgrown cornfield, and being unable to find your way out.  Rating could rise tremendously if you become disoriented, and spend an excess amount of time inside.  Value-7, a bit pricey as a stand-alone event, but better in conjunction with the Hayride and PhantazmagoriaFinal Score:  5½, but don’t let that fool you.  This is an outstanding corn maze, one of the best we’ve seen!  Mazes just don’t score well as an overall haunt due to the complete lack of props, and the scarcity of actors.  It’s still a lot of fun, and a nice compliment to the other two attractions at Hanna Acresreviewed 10/20/05
7 OVERALL HANNA ACRES EXPERIENCE:  By all means, purchase the combo ticket when visiting Hanna Acres.  There’s a lot of variety here, and a lot of fun to be had.  We’d suggest saving Entanglement for last, as it’s going take the longest, and you don’t want to spoil the anticipation of the haunts, or run out of time while you’re lost in the cornfield.  Ohio Valley Haunts recommends spending an evening with the folks at Hanna Acres, and enjoying some outstanding Halloween fun, all at one location!  Overall Rating:  7. reviewed 10/20/05
DUNGEONS OF DELHI
326 Anderson Ferry Rd.
Cincinnati, Ohio
$8 ($1 discount with a canned good)
Dungeons of Delhi
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7 DUNGEONS OF DELHI:  This little haunt has always been one of our favorites in the Cincinnati area.  You enter into the Dungeon where you're greeted by a desk clerk, who asks if you have reservations, and  how long you plan on staying.  A bloody bell hop inquires as to the location of your luggage, saying you won't be leaving anytime soon!  They request a name, so they know what to put on your tombstone, and send you inside, where you encounter a casket room.  A dead girl with a stake through her heart, lies in one of the coffins.  The second you look away, Dracula suddenly appears out of a secret passage behind her casket, and stalks you the rest of the time you're there.  Skeletons line the corridor leading to a scene from the movie Psycho, complete with a shower, and Mrs. Bates desperately looking for her son Norman.  A meat locker lies ahead, where blood spews forth from a dead corpse on a table, and.a butcher offers half priced meat!  Freddy Krueger resides in the boiler room, while Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees also lurk in Delhi's Dungeon!  You'll see Fatso the clown, Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory, the undead roaming the grounds of a cemetery, a howling werewolf, and a toxic waste area where a mutant pops out of one of the waste barrels.  Near the end, you walk in on a funeral in progress, just as Damien Reaper announces the arrival of Armageddon, and the corpse rises up from his coffin saying, "we will all rest in damnation!"  Length-6, only ten minutes.  Actors-7, some very believeable characters, but lots more kiddy actors this year.  Props-7½ some excellent scenes, especially in the cemetery and laboratory, and a few animatronics.  Scariness-7, some very frightening sights and intriguing ghouls in this dungeon.  Would rate higher with additional adult actors.  Design-7, as always, set up very well within their limited space.  Just a little short.  Value 9, only $7 with a canned good.  FINAL SCORE:  7  The Dungeons of Delhi is one of Cincinnati's best haunted attractions, and a perennial favorite of Ohio Valley Haunts.  You can always count on this one to deliver traditional, enjoyable scares.  We recommend visiting during this Halloween season.  You'll be glad you did!  reviewed  10/16/05
MT. HEALTHY HAUNTED HALL
7700 Seward Rd.
 Mt. Healthy, Ohio
(513) 729-1974
$6 - ($1 discount with canned good)
Devil at Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall
7 MOUNT HEALTHY HAUNTED HALL:  We've never been disappointed by this haunt.  A cemetery adorns the yard out front as you approach the scary looking entrance to the Hall, and a skeleton waving a lantern out of a window beckons your arrival.  It's animated, with red eyes, and moves back and forth. Very nice!  Upon entering, you're led into an elevator.  It shakes and vibrates, and the lights flicker off and on as it takes you up to the 13th floor.  What better place to find a coffin containing an undead  girl?  She suddenly sits up, and while you're looking at her, Count Dracula appears from your blind side and startles you again!  Great job!  Hell exists literally on the 13th floor in the form of The Devil himself sitting on an elivated throne (see photo at left).  You're forced to bow down before him, and crawl out the opening beneath him in order to escape!  Watch out for the girl playing with dolls. She has a big surprise in store for you!  The scares continue in additional structures located outside the Hall itself.  There's a spinning floor - watch your step here, a vortex, and a short, but difficult little maze which never fails to capture someone from our group!  It's totally dark inside, with many disorienting turns, dead ends, and a well hidden passageway that eventually leads to the exit.  Length-6, a little short - about 10 minutes, but may be longer if you get stuck in the maze.  Actors-7, Satan the Devil, Dracula, his victim, and the girl with dolls are excellent!  There are some kiddy actors, but it's put on by a scout troop.  Scariness-7, The Devil is very realistic.  Design-7½, well done as always - some differences from last year, just a little short.  Props-6, well decorated, but they could use some animatronics.  Value-10, it doesn't get any better than this!  For $5, how can you go wrong? Final Score:  7.  The Mount Healthy Haunted Hall is always one of our favorites!  Locally, I personally look forward to this one more than any other.  They do a fantastic job here with extremely limited funds.  Make sure you drop by and see it for yourselves! reviewed  9/30/05 revisited 10/23/05
ST  RITA'S HAUNTED HOUSE
1720 Glendale-Milford Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio
(513) 771-1060
$8 - ($2 off coupon on web site)
St. Rita Haunted House
click logo to visit their web site
7 ST. RITA HAUNTED HOUSE:  Built in the late 1800's, this haunted house is staged in the building that housed the original St. Rita School for the deaf, and the boys dorm in the early 1900's.  The design has been changed this year, and begins at the main entrance of the house.  Once inside, you climb a spooky looking staircase, the walls of which are decorated with the shields of ancient knights.  Scary music welcomes you  into the first  room, where a bloody girl sitting in a rocking chair by the fireplace grabs your attention.  A skeleton occupies another rocker adjacent to the fireplace.  As you watch it rock, the first girl sneaks up on you from behind, and screams bloody murder!  Nice surprise!  The rooms at St. Rita's are dimly lit, and traditionally adorned with scary looking props - skeletons, coffins, gothic candelabras, flickering chandeliers, etc.  The skeletons move toward you as the walls lean back and forth, and dead bodies lie in the coffins.  An undead girl hiding beneath one of the coffins leaped out at us providing a great scare!  The main level of the house offers a vortex, then you descend to the cellar.  A projection on the floor below gives the impression that you're about to have to walk through some water at the bottom of the stairs.  It's a very realistic sight!  A treasure chest filled with gold sits nearby, guarded by the skeletal remains of dead pirates, and a sole survivor from the original crew, who terrorizes you as you pass by.  Monsters pop through pictures hanging on the walls when panels drop down, a spike bar falls on a condemned victim seated in an electric chair, and a girl ghoul drags a weapon across an iron fence causing sparks to come flying out at you!  Floors creak as you walk on them, so you better watch your step!  There's a huge, final surprise waiting in store for you!  Beware of Count Dracula, too!  He's always lurking in the shadows outside St. Rita's Haunted House!  Length-6½, just over 10 minutes.  Actors-4, they tried hard to scare us, but most are kiddy actors.  Props-7½, well decorated with convincingly scary static props, and an animatronic or two.  Scariness-7½, just looking at the house itself intimidates most, and sets the perfect stage for a spooky experience.  Could score higher with more adult actors.  Design-8, the sequence of rooms progresses well, with a nice flow from room to room, and my personal favorite entrance to the house.  Nicely done!  Value-9½, only $6 with coupon in the day and age where $10, $12, or even $15 is not uncommon.  Final Score:  7.  Produced by the Greater Springdale Jaycees, this old house has been scaring people for 30 wonderful years now!  Here's wishing them another 30!  Pay them a visit this season for some traditional Halloween fun and scares.  The house is as good as ever, and the proceeds go to an outstanding cause!  Ohio Valley Haunts never grows tired of visiting St. Rita's Haunted House, one of our sentimental favorites. We'll be back on Halloween night, right after Trick or Treat!  reviewed  10/13/05
THE TERROR WITHIN
ZOMBIE ISLAND
320  N. Garver Rd.
Monroe, Ohio
$10
Zombie Island
click photo to visit their web site
7 TERROR WITHIN ZOMBIE ISLAND:  After last years disaster, we were pleasantly surprised by our visit to this haunt.  Dead corpses, pierced by stakes, stand in the lake outside the entrance to Zombie Island.  A butler-like zombie welcomes you across a wooden bridge, through two arched doors, and into his tomb, where he warns that the land ahead is damp and dammed.  He ascends to a pulpit like sturcture, telling the story of Father Brunswick, who has the power to bring the dead back to life, then sends us on our way.  Great acting!  Many dead bodies lay beside the trail, some missing legs and heads, others with arrows sticking out of their torsos.  Gun shots are heard off in the distance, as you approach a man in front of an old, run-down down shack.  He too talks about the powers of Father Brunswick.  Ghouls appear in the woods warning that we're all about to die.  One is armed with a real ax, and he follows us down the trail for awhile. We meet up with Father Burnswick conducting some sort of ceremony, during which a young girls is killed by a crazed zombie.  Father Burnswick then displays his powers, restoring life to the murdered girl, before ordering us to, "be gone with your forgotten souls."  He demands flesh from her as payment, so she attacks us!  Very creepy music plays throughout the encounter.  Various scenes and skits follow including a blood splattered torture room that's home to a bloody butcher.  He's carrying a genuine cleaver, and human iintestines hang on the walls in the dwelling of of this maniacle madman.  Several other zombies terrorize the woods within Zombie Island, and even pursue you out of the last structure, and follow you down the trail toward the parking lot!  Length-8, a little over 15 minutes.  Actors-9, these zombies did an awesome job!  Some of the most convincing acting so far this season, and some realistic looking characters.  Outstanding use of make-up!  Could use a few more.  Design-6, line is somewhat slow moving - unsure of how they'd handle a large crowd.  Loved the beginning tomb and Father Burswick's ceremony, but there are too many dead spots thereafter.  Scariness-7½, a very creepy trail through the woods surrounding the lake.  Actors carried real weapons, and were well versed, as well.  Just need to fill in the dead spots.  Props-6, could use many more, and possibly some animatronics.  The quality of the acting compensated some for the lack of props, as did the authentic weapons carried by the zombies.  Value-7, the legitimacy of the characters alone is worth the ten dollars. FINAL SCORE:  7,   easily the most improved haunt around, in comparison to one year ago.  Hopefully these major strides forward will continue over the course of the next few years.  Ohio Valley Haunts is impressed with the efforts at Zombie Island, and recommends visiting.  It's alot better than last year!  Keep up the good work! reviewed  10/15/05
HAUNTED TRAIL OF HORROR
5126 State Route 67
Kenton, OH  43326
(419) 675-2330
$7 - ($1 off coupon at Scary Ohio)
Haunted Trail of Horror
click logo to visit their web site
7 HAUNTED TRAIL OF HORROR:  This haunt is set up as a vignette of scenes from various movies.  A witch leads you into a building, where the Halloween theme plays, and a ghoul, who’s amplified voice echoes from the speakers, gives you some last minute warnings, then sends you on your way.  Passing through a spinning vortex, you begin your trip through the woods.  The first ghoul taunts from behind, shouting, “Hope you can find your way!” then laughs wickedly.  As you approach the first structure, a voice from behind is heard singing Freddy Krueger’s theme song, “One, two, Freddy’s gonna get you…!”  Of course, the first scene is a replica from Nightmare on Elm Street, and a legitimate looking Freddy appears almost immediately, and torments you for a short time.  This guy even sounds like Freddy!  Continuing on, voices from off in the distance scream, and warn you to go back.  Various other movie scenes and characters are encountered along the trail, including, Frankenstein, The Ring Girl, Chucky, Pin Head, and Jeepers Creepers.  Jason stalks you at Camp Crystal Lake, and Leatherface chases you with a chainsaw.  Other scenes include, The Twisted Circus, a car crash, a spooky cemetery on a hill, and spiders that drop down from the trees.  A victim is fried in an electric chair, and Michael Myers gets his turn with you before you exit The Haunted Trail of Horror.  Length-8, about 20 minutes, but much of that is spent walking through the isolated woods.  Actors-7, some realistic reenactments of the original characters, but they need many more between scenes, especially early on.  Props-6½, those they have are nice, but there are far too many areas along the trail that are crying out for attention.  Design-6, again, just too many dead spots along the trail.  Might benefit by shortening the distance between scenes.  Scariness-7, the recreations are well done, but there are just too many places where nothing is happening.  Some of the actors could stand to be a little more aggressive by putting less distance between themselves and the groups.  Value-9, only $6 with the Scary Ohio discount coupon – almost unheard of in this day and age.  Final Score:  7.  This is a nice, family run haunt, operated by folks who love Halloween as much as we do.  The trail is quite fear inducing, especially to those familiar with horror movies.  The thought of encountering these various fiends in the dark woods only adds to the experience.  With continued improvements, this trail has the potential to climb into the 8 to 9 range with little effort.  If you’re in the area, stop by for some seasonal entertainment, and get the “yell” scared out of you! reviewed  10/21/05
LEWISBURG HAUNTED CAVE
4392 Swishers Mill Rd.
Lewisburg, Ohio
962-5602
$9.00
($1 coupon on their web site)
Haunted Cave
click logo above to visit their web site
7 THE HAUNTED CAVE AT LEWISBURG: This is an old limestone mine with over 35 miles of crisscrossing tunnels, and over 26,000 bats.  You walk down a steep incline about 80 feet underground to this year's theme -  Circus of the Dead.  The tour takes you across a wooden bridge deep into the cave.  A ringmaster, skull in hand, recites the history of the circus you're about to experience.  He tells you how lions and tigers escaped and killed many of his performers, and warns that they're still still loose in the cave today.  You walk through a pet cemetery where haunted graves and tombstones shake violently, and move about!  Dead ghouls walk the cemeteries, and many skeletal remains are found throughout the cave.  A circus magician's trick of sawing a body in half goes tragically wrong in one scene, and they offer an arcade style cleaver throw in another where live heads serve at targets!  Flames shoot upward, a gunshot rings out, the undead arise out of coffins, and a ghost train passes by as you continue on!  The Circus has a meat locker  where a crazy cook chops up human remains.  He's always looking for some fresh meat, so beware. There's even a vortex inside the cave!  Length- 7½, about 13 minutes - shorter than in years past.  Actors-6½ , mostly kiddy actors inside, but they did try to scare us.  The magician gets the nod for best acting.  Props-7, some nice ones, but fewer animatronics than in years past.  Design-6½, the cave itself is the perfect setting for a haunted attraction, but it's underutilized.  They could do so much more. Scariness-7½, being that far underground in a spooky cave speaks for itself.  Value-7, you get to experience an underground limestone mine, and all proceeds go to charity!  Final Score-7.  The cave was much better and scarier  4-5 yrs ago, but is still a unique experience.  They also offer a 40 min. mine tour which allows you to see thousands of bats hanging in their natural habitat for only $4.00.  The cave itself is worth the trip to Lewisburg, and all the money goes to a good cause as well!  reviewed 10/7/05
FEAR FACTORY
(3 haunts at 1 location)
835 Spring St.
Jeffersonville, IN
$12.95 - $29.95 for 3 haunt combo
$29.95 with Dementions & Pitch Black
Fear Factory
click logo to visit their web site
7 Fear FactoryFEAR FACTORY:  (Formerly known as Industrial Nightmare)  You first enter through a short, dark maze that exits into a horror museum where you enter the queue line. Well decorated scenes with realistic likenesses of Freddy Krueger, Jason, Frankenstein, Leatherface, etc. adorn the museum.  Very spooky music plays in the background  while you wait to enter.  Large double doors serve as the entrance to the Factory.  A scientist's laboratory, with bloody body parts, and electronic gadgets begins your journey. Strange noises, and various ghouls popping out to scare you accompany your walk through the factory.  Burst pipes leaking some sort of fluid is a common sight throughout.  Water sprays out from the second floor pipes into a cistern waste pool in the basement down below.  Nice Effect!  Numerous barrels of toxic waste are located throughout, some containing strange mutants popping up out of them.  The ceiling drops down on you in one of the corridors along the way. A ghoul surprisingly appears behind a dark pane of glass when it is suddenly illuminated, and she screams and pounds on the glass trying to get out.  Big Surprise!  Fog is visible in many locations, evidence of Factory experiments gone wrong. You walk through an abandoned office where ghouls lurk behind some of the desks. Crazy laughter is heard as you enter into the toxic waste dump, and a guy frys in an electric chair.  Walls close in, and the ceiling falls down on you as you continue.  Great Effect!  Lots of ghouls hindering your escape from Fear Factory.  Length-7, about 12 minutes - could stand to be lengthened. Actors-8, very convincing and energetic.  Design-7 similar to Industrial Nightmare, but some nice additions as well.  Props-7, numerous and detailed scientific devices.  Loved the falling ceilings and closing-in walls.  Need more of that variety.  Scariness-6, only so much you can do with this theme.  Value-7 for $10 on a combo ticket it's a bit expensive considering its length.  Final Score:  7reviewed  10/1/05
6 Pitch BlackPITCH BLACK:  This is a totally dark maze!  Navigation is difficult.  Ghouls are hidden away in the darkness, and ready to surprise you at just the right moment.  The maze contains dead ends, loops, and a few places where you have multiple choices on which way you want to proceed.  Needless to say, you often go the wrong way!  Length-7, about 10 minutes, would've been longer if they weren't lighting the way, and telling us which ways to turn.  Actors-7, mixed emotions here - actors were well hidden and provided several startles and scares, but as previously mentioned, some of them began turning their flashlights on and off to help light our way, while others even told us which way to go, even though we repeatedly asked them not to.  Illuminating the corridors and providing accurate directions defeats the purpose of the maze.  Props-1, there are none.  Need to add strategically placed props, and suddenly, and briefly throw light on them to offer up some additional scares and distractions.  Design-7, well constructed as far as the maze itself goes, could be higher with the addition of props.  Scariness-6, could greatly increase the intensity here by removing the flashlights and eliminating the assistance on the part of the ghouls.  Value-5, a bit expensive considering it's only a maze.  Final Score:  6, somewhat overlooking the complete lack of props since it is a maze.  Could score higher if they would allow you to get lost and find your own way out!  Providing light and directions takes away from the attraction, and the fun of losing some of your friends inside!  Would suggest only helping those who are becoming unnerved and beginning to exhibit signs of fear and panic.  Great potential.  reviewed  10/1/05
5 ½ DementionsDEMENTIONS:  (Formerly known as TheAsylum, and located in the cellar of the Fear Factory).  Dimly lit corridors, strobe lights, scary music, and bloody body parts welcome your entry into Dementions.  The corridors lead you past a variety of rooms which you can see into through partially boarded up windows.  Ghouls repeatedly pound on the walls along the way.  Heavy chains hanging from the ceiling must be avoided in one corridor, and the lights flicker off and on in some of the rooms as you pass by.  Most of the ghouls just scream as you make your way through the various scenes.  Length-6, fairly short - about 8  minutes. Actors-6, not nearly enough.  Props-6, lots of static props, but could use some animatronics.  Scariness-6, mostly for the music and pounding on the walls.  Design-5, what they have here is well done, just needs to be lengthened.  The addition of more ghouls and some more sophisticated props wouldn't hurt.  Would suggest walking through more of the rooms instead of just passing by.  This one too has the potential to improve with the right additions.  Value-5, like the theme of this one, just too short, and not enough scares.  Final Score:  5½reviewed  10/1/05
HAMILTON HAUNTED HAYRIDE 
450 Beisinger Rd off B-Street 
Hamilton, Ohio
$8
6 ½ HAMILTON HAUNTED HAYRIDE:  The haunt begins with a ride aboard a tractor pulled wagon into the dark, secluded woods.  First up is Lake "Eerie," which bursts into flames, as the wagon drives past!  This is new for '05, and the flames follow the wagon as it progresses along the trail.  Check out the red-eyed gator who lives in the lake!  Literally hundreds of actors jump out, and onto the wagon during various segments of the ride.  A large combine, having dead babies (dolls) attached to its "teeth" pulls out of a field, and pursues the haywagon closely from behind.  Its headlights shine brightly onto the wagon, and its spinning blades very closely approach the rear of the ride.  Fabulous!  Later on, a loud pick-up truck races out of the woods, attempting to run you off the road.  Flames spew forth from its revving engine, as it pulls up alongside the hayride!  Outstanding!  A wrecked ambulance just off the trail has something very wicked inside.  Cemeteries, filled with tombstones, line the foggy woods, as does a crucifixion scene that displays many dead souls nailed to crosses!  Creepy!  An old barn houses a  lemonade stand selling blood!  Lemonade is crossed out, and BLOOD is written in its place!  A ghoul offers you some "blood," then sprays you with a mist!  You only get a little wet, but YUK!  Other sights include a witchdoctor causing flames to shoot skyward from his cauldron, and an insane ghoul catapulting through the trees above the hayride!  Awesome! Undead bodies crawl out of graves, and materialize from smoke filled coffins!  On the down side, I have to mention a particular area decorated with various Nascar banners, and a sign that reads, "welcome race fans."  WHAT???  Ghouls stood around a TV watching the broadcast of a race.  This makes absolutely no sense, and has no business whatsoever being in a haunted attraction!  Length-10 about 30 minutes long. Actors-3, tremendously poor.  Not only were they mostly kiddy actors, but they stood around in the open, as opposed to hiding in the woods.  In addition, those that climbed aboard the wagon didn't even try to scare anybody.  They simply stared, without screaming, shouting, lunging at you, or anything else.  They didn't even say, "boo!"  No surprises at all - just awful!  Design-7½, length is excellent, and some really original scenes.  Especially like the firey lake, and the lemonade stand.  Some dead spots do exist, especially early on.  Scariness-4, the actors really hurt the rating here.  Props-7, burning lake, combine, truck, catapulting ghoul, are head and shoulders above the rest.  Could use more in the woods.  Value-6½, reasonably priced.  Raise the bar on the acting, and this could be 8 or 9. FINAL SCORE:  6½, this is usually a really good hayride.  It's a shame that poor acting can have such a negative impact on an otherwise enjoyable experience.  The tractor drove slow enough to give everybody plenty of time to enjoy the scenes.  This attraction consistantly scores in the 7½ to 8 range every year.  They really need to coach these kids, and teach them how to frighten people.  They did everything else right. reviewed  10/15/05
TERROR MAZE
6997 Springfield-Jamestown Rd. (Rte. 72)
Springfield, Ohio
$10 - ($1 off coupon on web site)
Terror Maze
click logo to visit their web site
6 ½ TERROR MAZE:  Mad Jaxe (the other haunt that previously existed at this location) is no more, but this just made Terror Maze a better Haunt.  A different beginning is on tap for 2005 as serial killer Leroy McCovey first addresses your group. He tells you his story about how each of his killings are special, then shows you some of his works of art!  He points to an empty coffin, warns that everyone may not make it out, and sends you on your way.  Nice stat.  You enter a dark room decorated with numerous glow in the dark masks, then proceed outside where you encounter a lifeless victim lying on a spike bed - the spikes piercing through his body.  He appears to be dead, but is he?  Several more scenes lie ahead including a real hearse you must pass through, and a coffin thrashing about on the floor creating the illusion that the corpse is trying to get out!  Another highlight is a dark room with several dead ends and false exits where you're trapped until the monsters mercifully allow you to leave.  Much improved and different from last year.  Length-7½, about 15 minutes.  Actors-6½, could use a few more especially in rooms where not much is happening.  Scariness-6, the entrapment is best.  Props-6, could use some animatronics in the many rooms.  Design-6 , black plastic is somewhat over used, as is blaring heavy metal music.  Would like to hear more traditional  (scary) music somewhere along the way.  Value-7, $9 with coupon available on their web site, down from $14 for both haunts a year ago.  Final Score:  6½. reviewed 9/23/05
LOVELAND CASTLE
HAUNTED TOURS
12025 Shore Drive (off Rich Road)
Loveland, Ohio
(513) 683-4686
$7 + $1 parking
Loveland Castle
click photo to visit their web site
6 LOVELAND CASTLE HAUNTED (SCARY KNIGHT) TOURS:  Entering the Loveland Castle through the lower half of a split door, your group is greeted by a knight armed with an impressive metal sword.  Scary organ music plays in the spooky old “play room” where you make your way up a stone-block staircase.  Suits of armor decorate the halls as you embark upon the French ballroom, then onto the Chapel of The Knights of The Golden Trail.  Back downstairs to the cellar, strobes flash,  ghouls pound loudly, and a hanged victim with a noose around her neck is encountered.  Moving out into the courtyard, a tunnel must be navigated, as well as a realistic looking graveyard.  A recently used guillotine occupies one area of the cemetery; the head of its latest victim resting nearby.   A serpent, and a chainsaw welding madman guard the exit to the Castle, as you escape to the gift shop and concession stand.  Length-5, really short, under 10 min.  Actors-5, a few more than a year ago, but still not enough.  The masked executioner in the first room had been replaced this year by a less talented, hooded character.  Props-7, lots of static props decorate the rooms, inside and out.  Design-6, nice beginning, but too short overall.  Need to explore more areas of the Castle.  Scariness-7, the mood setting music, and intimidating Castle itself are the primary scares.  Value-6½, cost is up $1 from ’04, and it’s just too short to score any higher, plus there’s a parking fee. Final Score:  6.  Could potentially score much higher if the Castle were used to its fullest extent, and with additional actors.  It’s the perfect place for a haunt, having stone block construction, arched doorways, and creepy looking staircases.  It would be nice to somehow extend the amount of time spent inside.  And we still can’t help but miss those adventurous bus rides that used to shuttle you to The Castle from the school parking lot years ago.  They’re gone, but definitely not forgotten!  reviewed 10/28/05
PANIC BOX SPOOKHOUSE
and
KRUEGER'S KORN MAZE
(2 Haunts in 1)
6997 Springfield-Jamestown Rd. (Rte. 72)
Springfield, Oho
(937) 767-2577
$16 for both or $9 each
($1 off coupon on web site)
Panic Box Spookhouse and Kruger's Corn Maze
click logo to visit their web site
6 KRUEGER'S KORN MAZE:  After last years debacle, this was a very pleasant surprise.  The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre plays on the big screen as you wait in line to enter the maze, which is cut into a fairly large cornfield.  Early on, a gate appears to block the path, but it mysteriously opens on its own allowing you to enter.  Freddy Krueger awaits to welcome you - or should I say attack you!  The cornfield is inhabited by various other monsters, including Leatherface, a ghoul carrying a large dead rat in one hand, and a dead chicken in the other (props) asking which one you want for dinner, and a crazy lunatic crying out for his Mommy!  It's much more difficult than last year, with it's looping circles, numerous dead ends, and monsters misdirecting you along the way.  There's an old car in the corn that the headlights come on, and the horn honks as you approach, giving the appearance that you're about to be run over!  The maze was very entertaining, taking about 30 minutes for us to find our way out.  What a difference a year makes!  Would've loved to have seen it a week earlier when mother nature obscured the field in a cloud of fog!!!  Length-9, the group that came out after us said they were lost for 45 minutes!  Actors-7, most were really good, providing inaccurate directions throughout, however one kept offering to show us the actual exit.  Hopefully, they'll shut this guy up and continue to confuse everyone by encouraging you to go the wrong way.  If you don't figure it out for yourselves, then it defeats the purpose and ruins the effect, not to mention the fun.  Scariness-6, being lost in a dark cornfield is the primary scare.  Props-4, much improvement from last year, but still need to make some additions.  For the most part, the actors make up for the lack of props.  Design-6, quite a disorienting maze, possibly the best one around - an 8 or 9 as far as mazes go, but less as an overall Haunt.  Need to incorporate some scary scenes to get the rating up - perhaps a graveyard, witches stirring their brew in cauldrons, vampires/werewolves roaming about, etc.  Value-5, it's a lot of fun, but $8 is a bit pricey just to walk around in a cornfield. Final Score:  6.  Tough to rate this one.  As previously stated, it's a good maze, but scores lower as an overall haunted attraction.  If you like mazes you'll enjoy it!  reviewed 9/23/05
5 PANIC BOX SPOOKHOUSE:  This is the first attraction at the sight.  As you wait in line and approach the entrance to the Panic Box, you're entertained by a big screen tv playing the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  This is a nice set-up complete with old theater seats in front of the screen adding to the authenticity of the scene.  There's also a stage where a ghoul go-go dancer usually performs, but she wasn't there when we visited.  Entering the Panic Box, you're immediately overwhelmed with the volume of fog, and loud heavy metal music.  Signs are posted warning of RATS, but we couldn't see inside their cages to see if they were there or not.  Disorienting strobe lights, low ceilings, uneven floors, and the ever present fog make it difficult to navigate from room to room.  There's a toxic dump area, but it lacks mutant monsters.  A crazy clown who really enjoys frightening visitors dwells in the "Fun House."  Once past the clowns, you exit into a cornfield where a few more surprises await, including a body on a spike board (bed of nails?) which springs to life and comes at you.  Skeletons popping out of the cornfield, and ghouls with chainsaws also inhabit the trail.  The highlight is a hanging body bag suspended from a rope that begins shaking violently as you approach, giving the appearance that the body it contains is still alive!  A flying saucer sits in the middle of the cornfield, which you must pass through in order to continue.  Inside the UFO is a dark maze, but no aliens or monsters to scare you.  Crop Circles might be a nice addition here.  Overall, not much different than last year.  Length-5, fairly short - only about 10 mins. tops.  Actors-4, way too many kiddy actors.  Scariness-5, the foggy surroundings may induce some panic, but the surplus of kiddy actors just don't get the job done.  Design-5, the cornfield is nice, but the box itself needs to be quite a bit longer.  Props-5½, could stand to expand on this aspect of the haunt as well..  The props outside the Panic Box are much better.  Value-5, for $8 on the two for one deal we'd expect a bit more. Final Score-5  reviewed 9/23/05
THE HAUNTED FARM
5450 Old Millersport Rd.
Pleasantville, OH  43148
(740) 468 - 9131
$8 Barn -  $7 Hayride - $15 for Both
$2 combo coupon at  Scary Ohio)
The Haunted Farm
click logo above to visit their web site
6 THE HAUNTED FARM:  These friendly folks love Halloween!  They've turned their barn into a seasonal attraction, and compliment it with a hayride through a spook infested field.  As you enter the haunted barn, flashing strobes draw you attention to an authentic casket centered in the room.  It's door opens, and a body slowly rises up from within welcoming your group.  Choose your own poison next, as you come to a fork in the road.  Skeletons, skulls, and a graveyard provide the decor for the next scene.  Vines and foliage line the walls adding to its authenticity.  A hidden exit leads to a path guarded by a crucified skeleton, and a victim in a coffin suddenly awakens crying out for help, and asking what happened to her.  Great acting!  Skeletons of long-dead prisoners still chained to the wall line the catacombs, and a convulsing body hangs in the gallows as the victim clings to life.  Nice effect!  Ghouls surprise you as you make your way out of the barn to a small trail leading to the hayride.  Old, run-down shacks lie on the outskirts of the field, and a mad man with a chainsaw charges out of the brush "attacking" you.  A spooky looking chauffer waits beside the tractor as you board the hay wagon for the second part of the haunt.  The hayride takes you back into an overgrown field that a variety of well-hidden monsters call home.  The undead roam a spooky looking cemetery, a scarecrow jumps down from its perch and leaps aboard the haywagon, a werewolf enjoys his prey, and a witch stirs her brew in a cauldron before the tractor reemerges from the field to safety.  Length-8, about 20 mins. including the hayride.  Actors-5, need many more.  The horrified girl in the casket wins a gold medal!  Scariness-6, the barn is stronger than the hayride.  Spooky music plays throughout the haunt setting the prefect environment to scare the pants off visitors to the farm!  Design-6, like the way the barn exits directly into the hayride.  The barn itself rates higher, but the hayride through the field needs a lot more scenes and scares.  Props-7, lots of scary ones in the barn including some animatronics, but again, the field is weaker, and holds the rating down.  Value-3, a bit on the expensive side as a two haunt package.  Would suggest including the hayride (weather permitting) along with the haunted barn, as opposed to a stand alone attraction. Final Score:  6.  If you live nearby, drop by The Haunted Farm in Pleasantville for some traditional Halloween scares and fun with some really nice people, and maybe pick up a snack or souvenier in their spook shop!  reviewed 10/6/05
THE HAUNTED SWAMP
Knapke Lane - Behind the Park
(Just East of Route503)
Lewisburg, Ohio
$5 with coupon
(click above for printable discount coupon)
Haunted Swamp
6 Chainsaw ClownTHE HAUNTED SWAMP:  A toxic waste zone awaits your entrance into The Haunted Swamp.  A victim lies slumped over the barrels, and appears to be dead, but is he?  Deeper and deeper into the swamp, sights include a caged gorilla trying to break free, an old coffin with the crypt keeper inside, and fire shooting up from behind graves.  Great effect!  You're close enough to feel the heat from the flames!  A werewolf is among the creatures that inhabit these isolated woods, as are giant spiders, and a circus full of crazed clowns, one wielding a sparking chainsaw (pictured above)!  Don't be surprised if he chases you the remainder of the way .  Length-7, about 10 minutes.  Props-4, could use a lot more along the trail.  Would suggest some sort of watery, "swamp-like" area.  Most realistic chainsaw you'll see anywhere!  Actors-5, Wolfman and Chainsaw Clown are excellent, but lots of kiddy actors.  Would like to see a "swamp monster" considering the haunt's name. Really like this! Scariness-6, mostly for "Wolfie," the aforementioned Clown, the dark woods, and the spooky music that plays throughout.  One of their guides became so frightened on the trail, she had to be assisted out!  Design-5, has been lengthened some in comparison to years past, but so much more could be done.  Value-9, only $5 with coupon (ask for one at the ticket booth if you don't already have one).  Final Score:  6.  I really like the name of this fun little trail.  If you're nearby, stop in and enjoy an inexpensive night of scares.  They've got plenty of land here, and experienced people in charge, so this one should get better from year to year.  While you're there, make sure you visit the concession area for some affordable snacks. Chili dogs are only a dollar!  reviewed 10/7/05
THE HAUNTED JUNKYARD
590 Quick Road
New Carlisle, OH
(937) 845-3236
$10 + $1 for tent
Haunted Junkyard
4 THE HAUNTED JUNKYARD:  The entrance takes you down a long, dark gravel road.  Lots of old junk cars line the walkway, but its awhile before you encounter the first building, The Bates Motel.  The innkeeper blinds you with a flash of bright light, slams the door shut, and you enter a dark maze leading to a coffin room.  One of the dead victims has spikes protruding from his body.  Passing through a crazy clown's room takes you back outside to a well done scene of a skeleton rocking back and forth in a rocking chair on the front porch of a run-down trailer.  Continuing on through the junkyard, a loud car with flashing red lights appears and drives directly at you!  Nice scare!  Into the woods that parallel the junkyard, the Halloween theme music plays, and Michael Myers appears through the fog.  He and some chainsaw ghouls chase you out.  Length-7, under 15 minutes.  Actors-3, very few - not nearly enough.  The ones they had did a pretty good job, but we passed two who were too preoccupied with talking on cell phones to try to scare us.  Design-4, the maze and the rocker are well done, but there are way too many dead spots.  Scariness-3, the maze and the car were great but not much else.  Props-5, mostly static skeleton props throughout.  The rocking chair ghoul and the car are best.  Value-3, $10 is somewhat expensive for the limited number of scares. Final Score:  4. In their defense, we visited on opening night in their debut season, but two actors on cell phones is unacceptable.  With all those old cars sitting around, The Junkyard has great potential to be bigger and better in time.  If you're in the New Carlisle area, check it out and keep us posted on their progress.  They also offer a foggy tent display of various spooky props for only $1.  Be sure to open the coffin that's inside for a surprise!  reviewed 10/7/05
MAJESTIC NIGHTMARE
32 Majestic Dr.
Fort Thomas, KY  41075
Free - donations accepted
Majestic Nightmare
click logo to visit th 1031 web site
NR Majestic NightmareMAJESTIC NIGHTMARE:  Sitting behind a spooky picket fence lies a graveyard welcoming your arrival to Majestic Nightmare.  A skeleton rises up from behind a tombstone, a victim hangs in the gallows, and ghouls are suspended from surrounding trees.  Thunder clasps, and coordinated lighting gives the appearance of accompanying lightning.  Well done!  Also outside the haunt is The Shoebox Theatre, presenting hologram images of talking skulls and witches.  The Ring girl crawls around terrorizing the line as well.  Entering through a Castle-like sturcture, pictures on the walls change from ordinary images into various monsters and victims right before your eyes!  Scary music plays from an old, dusty pipe organ, as you make your way into a laboratory.  Mummies, Psycho Ward 13, a saloon, and crazed clowns are encountered along the way.  You'll experience skeletons, blasts of air, a shackled victim that's been tortured to death, and a variety of monsters during your journey through Majestic NightmareAnalysis:  Length-10 min.  Nightmare Manor is a 1031 Productions yard haunt.  It’s a free attraction, and as such, it’s not fair to hold it in comparison to mainstream haunts.  The synopsis is included here as a courtesy.  If you get a chance, stop by for a night of traditional Halloween fun! reviewed 10/30/05
NIGHTMARE MANOR
208 Rosemont Ave
Fort Thomas, KY  41075
Free - donations accepted
Nightmare Manor
click logo to visit th 1031 web site
NR Nightmare ManorNIGHTMARE MANOR:  A cemetery lines the sidewalk leading up to Nightmare Manor.  In the graveyard are numerous tombstones, a guillotine, a headless man holding up his head, and a bottomless pit.  Werewolves guard the entrance to the haunted house.  Just beyond the front door lies an insane asylum, where crazed patients are held behind bars.  Other scenes include, a mad doctor’s laboratory, and a toxic, mutant infested waste area.  Sirens wail, a haunted cabinet shakes and vibrates wildly, and ghouls giggle and laugh as you make your way through the foggy structure. Analysis:  Length-5 min.  Nightmare Manor is a 1031 Productions yard haunt.  It’s a free attraction, and as such, it’s not fair to hold it in comparison to mainstream haunts.  The synopsis is included here as a courtesy.  If you get a chance, stop by for a night of traditional Halloween fun! reviewed 10/30/05
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