Fear Forest, Warren Ohio (Just behind the DQ)
Price: $8.oo for just the hayride, $14.oo for Insanitarium and Hayride.
Man, it was cold as balls! But, we did have a pretty warm halloween season so I can't complain. But, cold as balls waiting in line and then riding on a hayride. Now, hayride is really taking it too literally. there was a tractor but really we sat on a pimped out pontoon boat/school bus. There were bus seats all lined up facing forward and the ride had a covered awning thingy to keep the rain (it wasn't raining this time) off your fragile little heads. There was no hay in sight.
That aside, haunted hayride...Well, if it wasn't so cold I bet the actors would have been more enthusiastic. I can tell. They were just so cold they were frozen to the spot. All they could do was move lethargically around and/or just lay there and scream. Now, some of their jobs were to just lay there and scream but...it was also pretty lacking in enthusiasm.
Okay, and they boast a 96 acre hayride? Not quite. There's no way that was 96 acres of hayride. Maybe a hayride on 96 acres of property of which you will only see about 5 acres of. That sounds a bit more accurate. Best part of hayride? Perhaps it was the vortex tunnel that they drive into and leave you sitting there for a bit. Very cool and first time I've seen it done on a hayride.
So, you get off at the insanitarium and wait in a short line to get in. There was a screen on the wall where, as you are waiting in line, you can insert a quarter and wait to push a button to scare someone inside. I thought that was pretty cool but no one did it and we were too far in line to get a chance to use it. So, not sure what it would have done but a cool idea anyway. In fact, they get one goblin bonus point just for that added to their overall score.
The house seemed cheaply put together for me, the lighting (and lack there of) in the rooms seemed to be lackluster. They did have effective use of strobe lighting, though. It just seemed that between then, the lighting from other areas always made everything just seem dim, not dark. And there was a lack of good props. Now, mind you, the few props they did have were really good, but there were just too few decorations. Mostly it felt like walking around in a dim series of black painted plywood walls.
The actors...well...some were good, and some were not. I hate it when actors think the whole job of acting in a haunted house is just to lurk behind the door and say 'rahhhh!' as you walk through. That works a few times but after maybe the third time it just gets contrite. Seriously? There are other ways to scare people.
I was a little disappointed for my last house of the season. This wasn't a horrible house, it was just a mediocre house. We did hit some really good houses this year, though. I'm a little sad we missed out on Mansfield but that just means we will def do it next year.
So, my score of Fear Forest...I give it five out of ten squishy jack o'lanterns plus one goblin bonus point.
Overall score of the haunted house season: 79 out of 100 zombies eating brains. Delicious brains.