1155 Joe Dority Road, Bishopville, SC 29010View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms On-Site, Food/Concessions, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Celebrity Appearances, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction
Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express reviewed this attraction on September 16, 2016.
Final Score: 7.54
Bishopville, South Carolina’s Kreepy Hollow is back for their 7th year of head-banging horror. New to the scene? Have you ever been in a haunted house? Yes? How about a haunted house AND a haunted hayride? Still in the affirmative, huh? One last try: have you ever been brought to a haunted house/hayride in the belly of a thrashing, heart-gouging, demon bus? Got you on that one. Head out to Kreepy Hollow this fall to experience the mayhem for yourself.
There are approximately 70 paid Kreepers patrolling the haunt grounds each night. The bulk of these were deployed to the hayride – generating swarms and swarms of playmates to entertain us. For the most part the hayride’s denizens were noticeably enthusiastic. Though the individual quality of these characters did vary a good deal, there were so many that the kreepy cream rose to the top (if you will), spearheading the fearsome assault, while the beta-monsters subtly milled about in the background. In several scenes, this was actually quite appropriate. Overall, we really didn’t have anything negative to say about the hayride performances.
The haunted houses’s performances, however, were significantly rougher. There were a fair amount of actors, but a startling number simply stared and watched us pass. It was presumably intended to be quietly menacing, but, really just felt confusing.
The graveyard was essentially barren of performers, but we did enjoy the performance of a very “come”-ly actor directing traffic.
Of two potential buses that were available to cart us to the haunted house, we chose the Jeepers Creepers-themed ride. Though there was only a single actor throughout the experience, he engaged in some impressively dangerous maneuvers to generate our excitement. Also, our bus driver was enjoyably chatty and clever.
However, our early-season stand-out actor is definitely Chucky. The diminutive child-demon served as both a line haunter and member of the cast of the second bus ride (which we, sadly, did not get to enjoy). Despite our limited impression of him, he was inarguably the most energetic and passionately-enthusiastic actor on the premises. Kudos to the young gentleman for providing us a (un)healthy dose of humor and entertainment.
The primary haunters were adorned decently – primarily en-masked with passable costuming. Among the rank and file scarers, though, we saw a wider variety of outfitting. Many monsters were equipped in only their street clothes and some minor blood splatters. At least half of the actors we encountered had some form of mask, at least. Something to note though, is that we found the lack of excessive costuming to be less distracting than may be expected a different style of haunt. With Kreepy Hollow’s in-your-face, no frills aesthetic, elaborate costumes, just aren’t as important.
Customer Service: 8.29
We visited Kreepy Hollow during, we believe, a very unique circumstance. Long story-short, the haunt intended to open at 7, but didn’t actually begin operating until sometime around 9:30. This was, we are confident, a unique, one-off unfortunate situation that was beyond their control. Were we frustrated? Absolutely. But did we empathize? Of course. Fortunately for a chunk of this period, the Bus Monsters doubled as line scarers, satiating the anxious queue’s lust for frights. The employees we encountered were all very friendly and helpful, and there were multiple concession stands to appeal to those of us who had skipped dinner to get to the attraction on time – including one at the hub area between the haunted house and hayride, a very nice touch. There was music played to entertain the waiting lines (including even a few non-metal songs – see below). Also appreciated was the option to choose between two differently-themed bus experiences to begin the experience. Options are always good!
Pro-tip : sweet-toothers, wait for the second concession stand and oreo fried oreos – 6 for 3 dollars is a fantastical deal, and they were quite tasty.
I’m always a sucker for farm-steads turned into haunted attractions – especially when they include a variety of attractions – KH did not disappoint. The hayride took advantage of this isolated feeling pretty well, and the graveyard enhanced the ambience of the ascent to the house attraction. While we had previously experienced several “hayride to haunted __” progressions, I’m confident this is our first “throbbing metal, strobe-bus of doom… to haunted __.” The bus was a mini-haunt, really, intended to establish the mood and timbre of the attraction, which it did well.
Special Effects: 7.1
The Hollow is primarily an actor-driven attraction, choosing to rely on character performance over lofty set designs and animatronic interventions. Something that KH has in abudance, though, is music. Indeed, it could be argued that the initial bus ride at the beginning of the haunt is actually a spaceship penetrating the heart of a Heavy Metal supernova. You will ALWAYS get there from here; that is, no matter where the scene starts, it will, invariably, erupt into an axe-wailing thunderous symphony. Based upon your personal prediliction, this can either irk or elate.
Set design was admittedly sparse. The hayride features an impressive pirate ship mock-up and has mostly adequate to impressive scenery. The haunted house was noticeably bare, with a lot of empty space. It does feature a well-constructed chapel, and a really unique two-story “tree” scene – we didn’t necessarily understand it, but it was a nice view, regardless. The transitional graveyard between the bus and haunted house was surprisingly authentic, though we did wish more actual “haunting” would have been involved in our traversal.
The one major animatronic was somewhat effective, though the actress manning it was a bit too obvious. The lighting and other effects employed throughout the attractions were acceptable – the “zombie town” segment of the hayride (our name, not their’s) was the stand-out special effect sequence.
Kreepy Hollow does not maintain a specific theme within their attractions.
Fright Effect: 7.24
More so than most other haunts that we’ve visited, the fright effect for Kreepy Hollow was pretty strongly co-related directly to the quality of the cast. Therefore, again, the hayride was vastly superior to the haunted house. Unfortunately, the set up of each scaresplosion (copywrite) was exactly the same (as referenced in special effects): a short build-up before the curtain crashed, the metal crooned, and the creatures cascaded. The scares weren’t very well distributed, with the actors choosing to focus in on the most visibily-frightened patrons and continuously harass their chosen victims. This did become somewhat repetitive by the end. One segment, however, a monk-laden pyrotechnic display, did alter the formula to great effect (an overhead prop really amplified the chaos), while a clown-themed scene near the end added something unexpected as well, to a slightly less-successful result.
As with the cast assessment, the haunted house was far less effective than the graveyard. There wasn’t a whole lot to it, but what was there felt largely empty and uninspired. Don’t get me wrong, there were several good to decent fright attempts – the aforementioned chapel held a surprise or two that, though we could definitely see coming, was still fairly successful; a clever cage-scene also had definite potential. Fortunately, being the haunt’s first night of the season, it is very likely that the actors will slide better into their roles and develop more effective scaring lanes throughout the season.
The bus ride took about 5 minutes; the haunted house perhaps another 10, and the haunted trail last a solid half hour. Standard tickets for all three are 20 dollars, with fast pass tickets available as well. This put the sca-lue (yes, this horrible term I invented last season is back again) at over 2 minutes of scares per dollar spent – a very noble value.
Frankly, the hayride is the true centerpiece here. In terms of length and scare prowess, it outshines the remaining segments of the attraction easily. We felt that the haunted house, while still rough around the edges, has a lot of potential for improvement with future iterations, and the bus experience was a unique addition to The Hollow’s fright-palette. As newcomers to the Kreepy Hollow community, we enjoyed ourselves and would encourage any haunt-hungry folks in the area to check it out this year.
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