Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on September 16, 2016.
Final Score: 8.88
Asylum Haunted Scream Park has returned with 5 attractions residing within their 42 acres: Darkness Falls on Asylum, Zombie City, Xterminate: Mutant Attack, Zombie Hunting and Carnivale of Lost Souls. Be sure to watch your backs in Zombie City this year; there seems to be many more lively and hungry zombies out there than there has been in the past! You will have a guide to help you make your way through them in this theatrical haunt, but stay close together and don’t get behind! Many new things have been added to their scariest attraction this season, Darkness Falls on Asylum. The added creepiness made it harder for us to predict the strange and outraged beings that we came across out there, but they included things such as a human-like dog, a half-human-half-spider, an escapee, a mannequin hallway, repeated statues of ‘Pete’ and more, so be prepared to face anything in this fear-inducing forest, where ‘once you enter Darkness, there is no escape!’ Zombie Hunting is exactly as it sounds, you get to hunt zombies, or as they called them ‘zambies,’ by riding in a bus that’s fully equipped with UV lighting and loaded paintball guns! The object of the game is to help the brothers on the bus and clear the zombies! Next up is Xterminate: Mutant Attack, where killer mutants attack you from all angles and you and your team are equipped with a laser gun to kill them all (you might even get a few shot in on your friends, too)! Last but not least is the Carnivale of Lost Souls, which is free to all who enter the park and consists of live entertainment, games, prizes, food, sideshow performances, a ‘Scare Bus’ and more! So tighten up your seatbelts, folks’ Asylum Haunted Scream Park has a little something for everyone!
Zombie City: 8.84
Darkness Falls: 8.62
Zombie City: 9.11
The tale of Blackwood City and it’s downfall continues this year as one of Paragon’s employees guides you through the remains of civilization and what’s left of the acclaimed research facility. Having the tour guide this year (specifically, ‘Dr. Piper Arden’) helped keep our group entertained between scenes and kicked off our interactions with the rest of the cast. She was a little soft-spoken at times, though, so those of us towards the back of the group were having a tough time hearing her and we felt a little lost/disconnected in a few scenes. Since this is a new aspect of Zombie City (and it was their first night open), we’d assume this will likely improve as the season progresses. On a different note, the zombies were more intense this year and we had a few more ‘up close and personal’ experiences with them along our journey. We can tell ya, having that many near-death experiences definitely increased ZC’s intensity when compared to previous seasons! The folks from Paragon weren’t doing so well during our visit, as one of them got electrocuted, many more were mauled by the malicious ‘subjects,’ and another went out with a ‘bang,’ as fate would have it. Generally speaking, Zombie City has been notorious for its interactive cast and, that being said, our group was able to converse with nearly every non-zombie actor that we met, which helped make their performances that much more believable. Amidst the interaction, our reflexes were tested, we were checked for zombie bites and we even tried to help solve a wiring problem, just to name a few instances. We did miss some of the stand-out characters that we’ve seen in previous years, but Dr. Arden, the butcher and the helicopter pilots were among the most memorable actors we encountered as we attempted to escape the City (not to mention the zombies’ they were ‘killer’ too!). Oh yeah, and steer clear of the one that’s stuck in the net’ he looked awfully hungry when we passed through…
Darkness Falls: 8.77
The cast in Darkness Falls have stepped up their game since our last visit! It seemed that there were more actors in this haunt this year and they were more energetic and interactive as well! The psychologist at the beginning was very believable, as well as the rest of the cast in the hospital area. Nurse Ratchet was sure to stamp one of our group members’ hands so ‘the Doctor would know who to GET!’ Speaking of the Doctor, him and his victim worked well with their scenes as they darted in and out of their rooms and used a gurney to herd us along. We could hear ‘Hepatitis Hogslaughter’ from quite a ways away as him and his caged victim were bickering back and forth about her sister coming back to rescue her (we’re going to assume that never happened). He also caught the first part of our group off guard with another instance of ‘working with props.’ During our walk through the rest of the trail, one of us became a ‘new teacher’ (we were informed that they [the kids] had killed their last one for talking too much), we were attacked by a rambunctious junkyard ‘dog’ as he jumped from vehicle to vehicle, and one of the slaughtering brothers, ‘Isaak Oleander,’ kept two real knives REALLY sharp while he was REALLY close to us! One of the other masked slaughterers told everyone to ‘get in [his] freezer’… which we were glad to do because it ended up being our escape route! We could go on and on, but other notable interactions were had with the clowns, ‘Uncle Rig’ (who had something different to say each time he sent one of us plummeting into Hell), and the patriotic, yet demented stable keeper who had an entertaining political display that was sure to tell us about his own candidate that he was voting for. Oh yes, and don’t forget to look out for the chainsaw attacker’ we hear he’s got a real chain on his saw this year (we didn’t stick around long enough to find out)!!
Zombie City: 9.44
With most of the townsfolk having succumbed to the Pandora virus, the only street clothes you’ll see here are all grungy and distressed from riding around on zombies for the last year or two’ literally! Our tour guide (Dr. Arden), the butcher and the ex-Paragon executive were a few exceptions to this and they were dressed quite appropriately for their post-apocalyptic roles. Most of the rest were Paragon security personnel, so jumpsuit-type uniforms were the norm for them, along with weapons and the occasional ‘battle’ wounds. Aside from these lacerations, bites, and bandages, a light film of ‘dirty’ makeup helped make each of the characters look more believable for their parts.
Darkness Falls: 9.17
Because the trail doesn’t stick to a single theme, you’ll find all sorts of different characters as you navigate the Darkness! From classic (but just as creepy) villains like clowns, witches and a chainsaw-wielding madman to Asylum’s own brand of bludgeoning butchers, hellish cooks, psychotic hospital personnel (of course’ it’s ‘Asylum,’ after all) and more! The medical personnel in the hospital, the ‘meat processors’ in the Three Brothers Slaughterhouse, the voodoo woman and the satanic creature near the witches stood out to us as being among the most memorable for their looks, although Hepatitis Hogslaughter, Uncle Rig, the spider and the graveyard guardian looked exceptional for their parts as well. We can’t deny that some weren’t dressed as elaborately as others, but very few of them looked out of place, per se. Also, because of the variety, makeup and mask detail seemed to range quite a bit too.
Customer Service: 9.63
As you approach Pond Station Road, be on the lookout for a modest billboard tower with multiple signs for Asylum’s various attractions (near the railroad tracks). There was only one small light illuminating them when we arrived, so you may need to rely on your GPS just a bit if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Turn here and head down another short stretch (Pond Station Road) where you’ll see a second set of signs at the end of the road, which confirms you’re heading in the right direction. A right turn here will lead up a small hill and into the haunt’s main, paved parking area. We visited Asylum on their opening weekend, so there were no parking attendants as things were still pretty slow at the time. However, they’ve usually got several workers flagging cars to and from their parking spots once they get busy. Asylum’s unique hearse that was guarding the entrance and the massive, white tent for the Xterminate attraction let us know we’d officially arrived. The green-lit, blocky ticket booth was easy to spot and friendly staff members were either roaming about or located at the entrance to each attraction in case you need help with anything. A couple of photo ops, the ‘Scare Bus,’ concessions, snacks, drinks and more were located in the Carnivale of Lost Souls, which made up the park’s midway and provided entertainment between the ticket booth and the other main attraction entrances. We noticed 3 queue line entertainers during our visit and all three of them were doing a very fine job of keeping guests on their toes while they were between haunts! Speaking of The Scare Bus, yes… you can get a few extra scares in Asylum’s new, traveling haunted house during your visit at no extra charge!
AHSP literally screams ‘park’ (pun intended) with all of the macabre happenings that can be had here! Together with their post-apocalyptic hearse guarding the front gate, roaming creatures, spooky facades and other eerie decor is where the ‘haunted scream’ park really starts to become evident. We noticed that Darkness’ facade received quite a facelift this season, so you just might notice this as well if you’ve been here before! Then we heard the noises; oh, nothing compares to the noises that emit from within the haunts we visit and how they prepare us to enter… but this one was different. There were so many sounds escaping from behind Asylum’s entertainment-based veil that it really made us question what was going on in the other parts of the Park. We heard many screams (from customers and chainsaws alike), evil laughs and other sounds that really added to our excitement of entering!
Special Effects: 8.01
Zombie City: 7.74
Given the post-apocalyptic nature of Zombie City’s theme, not as many hi-tech special effects were noticed during our visit this year. Fewer ambient sound effects were noticed during our walk-through as well, but the eerily-quiet scenes gave a certain sense of realism on their own, too. However, a unique usage of a grenade, a wrecked helicopter, a misleading bus, the sewer system, vintage lanterns, a turnstile and air blasts from the cast’s weapons still helped set the ‘tone’ for the attraction. The interactive control panel, corpse storage container, electrical death and the splatter from one of the zombie shootings were nice touches, too.
Darkness Falls: 8.27
Several new scenes and unique items were added in Darkness Falls this season and several of the returning scenes have been revamped as well. Some of these include ‘the mannequin hallway,’ the Pond Station Elementary School, the Three Brothers Slaughterhouse, some large, eight-legged creatures and a REAL tanker truck! The buildings seemed to be well detailed for the most part and the areas of the trail between them were dimly-lit and, occasionally, lined with crates, barrels and gory body parts. The rotating gurney in the hospital area added a nice ‘twist’ to that scene and the realistic, concrete tombs and statues in the following cemetery seemingly ‘came to life’ as we passed through. Other effects included a human cage, hillbilly squalor, several vehicles (including a flipped-over bus), a church with a few ‘demonic’ decorations, a claustrophobic tunnel, a ‘realistic’ spider room, a boiler room to Hell, moldy menu items, more dismembered bodies than you can shake a stick at, a ‘zipping’ witch’ the list goes on! Several scenes in Darkness were also quiet during our tour, but others had creepy and/or hard rock music to intensify those areas (the ice cream truck was especially creepy!).
Zombie City: 9.5
Zombie City is an ongoing story that has evolved since the outbreak of the Pandora virus in Blackwood City several years ago. Pandora was created by a corporation called ‘Paragon’ in an attempt to cure mad cow disease and, over the years, it’s become evident that it causes ‘irritable’ and cannibalistic behavior in those who become infected with it. Paragon has set up shop in the city in an attempt to clean up the the accidental (or so they claim) release and, according to our review team’s findings this year’ they’ve failed! Paragon’s research facility and Blackwood City are now seemingly in a post-apocalyptic state, with minimal resources and primitive means of survival as the only hopes of escape. Join forces with your guide and stick together as a group as you search for your exit, but beware of any other survivors that you find’ they may not be as eager to help as you think! During your journey, you may need to verbally and physically interact with them, navigate the sewers, the remnants of the town, the outlying swamps and Paragon’s technical facilities if you want to make it out alive. As far as our review visit, most of the scenes themselves are essentially the same as last year, but this year’s version of the story, the special effects changes and the interactive cast members made for a much different experience that you’ll just have to see for yourself!
Darkness Falls doesn’t really stick to one particular theme and, instead, covers a large variety of characters, scenes and fears. From the Three Brothers Slaughterhouse to a church, a mannequin hallway, the Pond Station Elementary School and a boiler room to one crazily staffed hospital an overturned bus and a junkyard, you just never know what you may stumble upon while navigating these tormenting timbers!
Fright Effect: 7.92
Zombie City: 7.54
Zombie City seemed a bit more intense this season than it has in the past. We felt as if we were actually trapped on multiple occasions and the zombies were literally running at us (we’ll admit it… we panicked once or twice)! We were able to escape them without getting bitten, but many of the people around us weren’t so lucky, so be sure to stay on your toes! Our guide tried to distract us from what we really needed to pay attention to several times, which successfully increased the scares’ effectiveness (kudos). There were a few unexpected surprises that we don’t want to give away, but we will say the majority of frights were delivered from the many hungry, flesh-craving zombies that came after us. Several of them even came back to life from piles of seemingly-decaying corpses (go figure) and it sure worked!
Darkness Falls: 8.29
A wider array of frights were utilized in Darkness to help keep our group on edge. We found that it was usually harder to predict exactly where the startles were going to come from in this attraction due to some great hiding spots, but simple startles weren’t the only thing that kept us tip-toeing through the… forest! Vulgar language, threatening dialogue, a moving walkway, slaughtered bodies all over the place, terrifying beasts, confined spaces and the unknown abyss that is Darkness greeted us along our route and made it much more difficult for us to escape quickly! One particularly-effective distraction was noted in the witch scene that proved to be quite entertaining for our review group (it really nailed the ones in the front of our line)! A few of the cast members made sure to move our group’s order around, often trying to put the most scared ones up front, so good luck with that! The Three Brothers Slaughterhouse was definitely the most intense area during our visit and those guys didn’t let up for anything! One even kept excitedly scraping his two metal knives together the whole time we were near him, which seemed like a really long time! By the end of the attraction, you will surely have heard ‘vote for Pete’ at least once; so when you figure out who Pete is’ your best bet is probably going to be to say you’re voting for him! We’ll give you one clue’ he may be the last thing chasing you as you near the exit; that is… if you make it that far!
Ticket options and pricing remains the same as last season. For those who just want to go in and get scared, the ‘Scare Pass’ can be purchased for $28.00, which includes admission to Darkness Falls, Zombie City and Exterminate. It took us 16 minutes to escape all the zombies in Blackwood City, 28 minutes to find our way out of the dead of night in Darkness Falls and another 10 minutes to kill all of the mutants we could find in Xterminate, which brought us to a total of 54 minutes spent inside the attractions. Combined with the cost of admission, this puts Asylum’s haunts at 1.93 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent, which is above the ‘average’ of 1.5 that we encountered at all of the haunts we visited in 2015. If you want to go all out and try everything the park has to offer, ‘All Access’ passes can be purchased for $40.00 per person and includes admission to ALL of Asylum’s attractions, including Zombie Hunting (which lasts around 10 minutes). If the lines are extremely long (which we have seen here before), a ‘VIP Add-On’ package can be purchased for an additional $20.00, which includes the All Access Pass with fast pass entry, a t-shirt and a wristband (so the total for this package would be $60.00). They also have a ‘Slenderman: The Live Action Experience’ event on select dates that takes place in Darkness, but is a totally different attraction (that we highly recommend, by the way)! If you are in the Louisville area this haunt season and looking for different levels of frights and fun all at one place, give Asylum Haunted Scream Park a try’ where ‘the fear begins when darkness falls’!’