Dayton Scream Park
5117 Valley Street, Dayton, OH 45424View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, Movie Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly
Team Mysterious Misery reviewed this attraction on September 23, 2016.
Final Score: 8.13
Dayton Scream Park is going on its 15th year of collecting screams from its patrons. It is located at 5117 Valley Street in Dayton, Ohio. Lance keeps his large cast in order making sure everything runs smoothly for each guest that dares to enter the attraction. Something about a good haunt in the woods: a fall night with many screams makes for a good time all around. This is exactly what this haunt has to offer on top of the Rat Trap that can make your visit go from an hour to maybe three and make you revisit some of your childhood nightmares from the legends within! The horrid group of creatures that are in this area love to collect screams; it just makes them burst with celebration!
Dayton Scream Park has a large area to cover, so, with that, they maintain a large cast of actors and people behind the scenes to bring you the scares and keep everything in order. Dayton Scream Park has, on average, between 110-130 people working per night. On the night we attended, there were 117 people that were “all hands on deck” to create screams from their patrons. The cast is all volunteer and many of them have been conjuring up scares for people for years. Dayton has quite a few new volunteers that are learning the haunt scene very quickly and are becoming important players in the haunt. A cast this large can quickly get out of control, but each cast member plays their role in their section so that no one looks or feels out of place. Each one does their best at bringing you a horror-filled night while keeping safety in mind (you are out in the dark woods after all). One particular cast member that stands out is Frank Hall. He has been with the haunt for 13 years and he is amazing at what he does. His character intrigued me and I thought it was the coolest thing (no, I am not telling you what it is… you will have to see for yourself).
With the large amount of volunteers that Dayton Scream Park has, you would think that costuming would be crazy… but they manage it well. Since costuming is left for themselves to decide, they help each other. This also lets most of the actors give their character a twist of their own personality, creating some ghoulish creatures that lurk in the night. This haunt is a classic, outdoors, in-the-woods haunt and, because of that, some of their costuming is not “over the top.” Many of the costumes are basic, but functional for the actor in the elements. Makeup stays at a minimum also because retouching would leave dead spaces. Because of this, they find masks to be a better fit for their outdoor attraction. They have some unique masks that we found to be hauntingly creepy. This year, they have created a new section called the Hollywood Legends. In this area, you will find the costuming of your favorites such as Jason, Freddy, Michael, Leatherface and more. Since this is a nod to the classics, you will find out that the costumes do not stray from the originals.
Customer Service: 8.54
Due to the fact that this haunt is an outdoor attraction, safety is number one for them. This year, things have been removed or changed to keep their patrons safe while they continue to haunt. Once again, they have passed inspection with the State Fire Marshall and other important officials. They have changed and updated all safety procedures and plans so that they can quickly and effectively take care of everyone in the attraction. When the owner walks around with several pieces of communication devices, you know that he is answering all questions and responding to the numerous staff members you will find around that are willing to help. Free parking is always a bonus, but it’s a better bonus when you add that it is well-lit and that people are monitoring the lot and directing you in. On top of all of this, you will find merchandise to buy. The concession stand is in full effect so, if the line is long, you can always munch on some snacks. Get close to the fire pit for some warming of the toes and fingers and good stories. Dayton Scream Park has always been good at customer service and this year is the same.
There is always an eerie feeling when a haunt is in the woods and in the hours of darkness. Once you are released from the hells of a ticket line, the first few steps into the wooded darkness is when your mind begins with nasty games. The times when you think you hear things or see things and you turn around to double check but, in that split second, one of the creatures are now face to face with you. Dayton Scream Park continues to the right atmosphere that screams a hauntingly good time. Before you enter the darkness, you will enjoy a wonderful time in the well-lit, carnival-type area. Lots of merchandise and food, guest visits and more are waiting for you to enjoy them.
Special Effects: 8.64
Two words: Strobe Lights. Placed in effective locations can cause vision distortion. Great for the haunt but it sucks to be you. While you are trying to block the light out you are not paying attention and “boom,” it scared you and you fell to the ground. Dayton does an amazing job with lighting at an outdoor haunt. What do a pool noodle, rubber stamped mats, boats and refrigerators have in common? They all have a special place at Dayton Scream Park that will scare the hell out of you. This haunt has masterminds in the building area that create lavish special effects with things that many of us throw out. The one that got me through my journey was the mats that are on the ground; they really throw you off, thus, giving them a distraction. So as I thought about the mats and was looking down, I would look up and be face to face with a creature of horrid nature. Being outdoors is always a bonus because they can use what very little haunts can and that is vehicles. ATV’s, boats and buses are all utilized to this haunt’s advantage. Another bonus of being outside is having the area, which is a bonus when you want to build a maze out of recycled products (earth loving people, rejoice!) that is so hard that all the patrons come out of the emergency exits and never really find the end.
It is all in the name. Have you ever wondered what a Scream Park consisted of? You will now know as your blood curdling screams will be added as you travel through the dark woods, fleeing for your safety. Much like a carnival, this haunt offers many treats, photo ops, things to buy and, of course, you can’t forget the oddities. They are everywhere in the three areas of horror and are dying to collect your screams to add to the park tally.
Fright Effect: 8.45
Nothing is more creepy than becoming a victim to things you hear on the news. The crazy clowns out in the woods trying to lure you into the woods as well becomes a reality when you visit Dayton Scream Park. They are everywhere just begging you to play a game. Nothing like a good, old-fashioned, outdoors-in-the-woods kind of haunt to make nightmares come true. Let’s not forget the Rat Trap, which is two times longer this year and is darker now that the roof has been added. If you thought any other maze was hard, you haven’t faced this beast yet. Creatures far and wide are waiting for you to fall in the dead end, pick the wrong door or have to get low to crawl out. The fears in the Rat Trap keep going and never give up no matter how lost you may get. Then there is the Legends of Hollywood, where they put you in the middle of the scenes such as Nightmare on Elm Street and face to face with the one scary movie person that gave you lung-screaming nightmares when you were a child. With additional special effects and a great cast you will quickly understand why it is a scream park.
Spending the amount of money that it takes to get into an amusement park around Halloween sounds insane to pay when you get the same excitement at the Dayton Scream Park for half the price. For $20, you get 3 attractions built into one ticket price. The time that it may take you to get out of the Rat Trap alone could easily become many hours of terrifying fun. If you are short on time or are impatient to get the party started you might want to think about the VIP offer. It is $25, but it gets you to the front of the line. They also offer some yummy treats, merchandise and more, so remember to have plenty of cash on hand when planning your night of nightmares. We think this is a great value for the amount of scares this haunt gives you.
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