Black Orchard Haunted House – Full Review

Black Orchard Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Shelbyville, KY.

704 Kentucky Street, Shelbyville, KY 40065
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Free Parking, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on September 17, 2021 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 8.24

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The Black’s family meat facility remained closed to the public during 2020 but they’re ready for tours once again this year and the meat’s as rancid as ever! They’re also under a new management team, Sindicate Haunted House Group. For 2021, they are presenting Black Orchard Haunted House: Chapter 2.

For those that may be unfamiliar with The Legend of Black Orchard, Silas Black, the family’s patriarch, was recently captured and arrested for murder, consumption, and the sale of human bodies after years of hiding. Now, his brothers Stich and Theodore, who are deeply religious, have taken over the family business. They’ve also become one with their new ‘saviors’ as they call them.

We’re sure you’re over there wondering ‘What’s in the barn?’ just like we were before entering. We can confirm that they do, in fact, slaughter their family’s meat in that barn. We can also confirm that the sides of the roads nearest Red Orchard Park were clean’ as in we saw blood from recently struck roadkill but no carcasses’ The origins of this meat – animal or otherwise – remains unconfirmed, so we’ll let you decide on whether you want to try any samples they may offer you or not.

Cast: 7.98

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While we aren’t *entirely sure what the Blacks have been eating lately, we can attest that they’ve multiplied and are now inhabiting some of the outdoor portions of the property around the barn. We crossed paths with Stitch, Theodore, Pork Chop (whom we also saw inside), and a mix of other workers and local vagrants that have wandered onto the premises, just hoping for some scraps to get left behind’ all before we’d even stepped foot into the barn!

One fellow offered us a glass of what appeared to be milk, but he assured us that it was only 74%. The makeup of the other 26% is a mystery that we DON’T intend to debunk! Although, we did happen to see what looked like an empty moonshine jug nearby. Whatever it was, it had clearly given Mr. Theodore quite a bit of strength, as we saw him pick up a girl by her head and slam her up against a shed! Remind us not to get on his bad side…

While the new exterior portion of the haunt seemed well-staffed, a few of the interior areas had sections that were completely devoid of actors. The dialogue was less demanding than we’ve heard here in the past, but their scripts did seem to be fairly consistent with Stich’s ‘so you’re here to take a tour of our facility, eh?’ introduction; more of a ‘lookie here’ theme than a ‘here’s what’s going to happen to you’ feel.

Once inside the barn, and after Stitch and Theodore’s opening spiel, these monsters’ demeanors turned from welcoming and inviting to much more violent and agitated. We had several stalkers with that glazed-over look in their eyes, witnessed multiple acts of mutilation and victimization, witnessed a live egg-laying, and were offered some freshly chopped up organs of some sort! We’d advise taking it because, well, she gets a little cranky if you don’t. Lastly, don’t make eye contact with Pork Chop; ‘that’s one pissed-off pig!’

Costuming: 8.1

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Stitch told us that his family doesn’t look normal like ‘us,’ and… he wasn’t wrong. Aside from the hillbilly / redneck attire to be expected of a haunt with a barn as its location, several appeared to also be crossed with a few other species of fauna as well. At least a few animal-headed provokers were found, as well as a chicken lady with a tattered, feather-looking dress of sorts, and a beaked barbarian in the flashbulb room. Blood was in plentiful supply, and aptly so given the haunt’s ‘slaughterhouse’ setting.

Makeup is mostly consistent with what we’ve seen so far this year from other Sindicate haunts. Lots of bold and dark black and red colors are used to create highlights (well, low-lights) on the monsters’ skin and faces, which helps amplify their angry expressions and nasty-looking bodies. Combine all of that with the aforementioned blood and a healthy dose of that ‘haven’t showered in a month’ look and you’ve probably got a good idea of what these critters look like!

In contrast, a few of the characters opt for a ‘cleaner’ look’ particularly Mr. Stitch Black. Those dark aviator sunglasses, vest, walking stick, and thick southern accent lends to more of a ‘Bible salesman’ look than an evil mastermind. However, any length of conversation with him and you’ll realize just how wicked he really is! Others that attempted this type of look – namely those with the bright sneakers and camo shirts – were less successful at pulling off this facetious feat. The girl outside in the multi-layered dress and platform boots seemed a bit off as well, but maybe we were missing something there.

Other notable costumes that we found include the line entertainer (costume), the torture lady (makeup), and Theodore with his fulsomely flawed head.

Customer Service: 8.82

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Finding Black Orchard is generally a bit of a task, even though we’ve been there before. After several return visits by now, we knew that putting ‘Red Orchard Park’ into our GPS was our best bet. We advise that you do this as well and, once it says you’re close, slow down and keep your eyes out. There weren’t any signs or banners by the road during our time of visit’ or at least none that we noticed. We also didn’t see any signs anywhere showing us how to get to the parking area or how to properly get to the haunt itself.

In previous seasons, they at least lined a path with small lights to direct folks to the ticket booth. But, there wasn’t anything like that during our visit this year. It gets mighty dark out there too, so just watch for incoming/outgoing vehicles and walk towards the lit-up barn. The ticket booth is towards the right-hand side if you’re facing the barn. If you made it to a grey large barn with a paved driveway around it, then you need to be in the grassy field to the left of it.

Finding information on their site before visiting was rather simple. Once we made it to the ticket booth, a friendly staff member greeted us and helped us procure our tickets. Be sure to stop back by on your way out; they also sell some awesome-looking haunt merch!

Finding our way through the haunt itself was also pretty straightforward. At times there was some uneven flooring, however, so be mindful of that and wear proper shoes – as you should at all haunts.

Atmosphere: 8.42

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Down a dirt path, near a venue where someone might have been accustomed to going to a wedding previously, a lonesome and sinister-looking barn stands. During the Halloween season, this barn is home to many dark and demented members of the Black family. Black Orchard is a family-owned meat processing plant according to the signs posted on the side of the large silo on the property. Even if we hadn’t seen the signs, though, after hearing the gut-wrenching pig squeals and the screeching of the saws in the distance of the large white barn, we could’ve come to this conclusion on our own.

After walking down the path, you will be greeted by brothers Theodore and Stitch Black. Don’t let the picnic tables and string lights fool you – you aren’t walking into a normal family’s barbecue. One seemed quite eager to see the new guests who wanted a tour of the facilities (nearly drooling at the mouth), and the other seemed a bit disgruntled at the thought of having to facilitate another tour of the property. Moss, in the courtyard behind the white picket fence, was jumping up and down, excited to have some new friends at the plant.

Just when the anticipation is building and you begin to wonder ‘What’s in the barn?’ DING DING DING, the bell rings signifying that dinner’s ready and it looks like your group may be what’s on the menu…

Special Effects: 8.59

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This is a very realistic haunt. It takes place in a real barn with smells of hay, wood, dirt, actual dirt floors, vintage farm machinery, and equipment to maneuver around. That just sounds like an ordinary, old barn, right? Upon taking a closer look, we discovered that this was no ordinary barn. A wall of random license plates, missing posters, shoes strung together hanging from above, tons of newspaper clippings, human-sized cages, and what appeared to be well-cherished belongings alluded to fowl play here ‘ see what we did there?

New this year, was a freshly-added farm-like area outside hued in an ominous green light. We also came across a small haunt-owner cemetery (haha!), a smoking hearse, and other outdoorsy obstacles. The Milkman kept waving around a bottle of milk that appeared real, but once he advised that it came from Pork Chop (the resident pig) we politely declined any from him.

Inside, there was a lot of meat. Giant pig carcasses lined the slaughter ramp. We also made our way through freshly plucked chickens and then, what appeared to be freshly wrapped, hanging humans! Okay, now that got dark quick!

We also noted different birds as we went through, dolls, hanging crosses, an effective strobe light, and a flashbulb room that sent shivers down our spines. Once we made it back outside again, larger obstacles forced us into a zig-zag path.

There were many sounds inside the barn and the majority of them were disturbing and unexplainable. They were also of a high volume which added to the intensity.

Theme: 8.73

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As visiting guests of Black Orchard, we quickly figured out we were taking a tour of the family’s self-built meat factory; if that’s what you wanna call it. After visiting the ticket window, we ran into Stitch (the new patriarch of the Black family) who asked if we were there for the tour of the facility.

Once inside, he and his brother, Theodore, explained their praise to the birds (or vultures, buzzards) as they are their saviors; they lead them to their next meals in order to survive. Before entering, we were asked to praise said buzzards and assured that ‘they’ll guide your path right through to our family.’ So we did as we were told by loudly praising the birds in an attempt to somewhat protect our souls’ or so we thought!

Although this theme was introduced to us and it was very obvious we were in a barn, the bird characters inside were the only ones that even remotely alluded to the birds as being the deities they were claimed to be. We did see some in there, as well as the cult-like bird symbols that Stitch showed us in the intro room, but we would have expected at least a few more characters to mention them or scream in praise to them by the way he described their communion to us. Beyond the first room, the focus quickly shifted into eye-balling us – and their other apparent victims – as their next meals. Perhaps this was their way of showing us how the birds maintain their survival (by bringing us to them)? Maybe so’ We just felt that some much-needed details were absent, which could’ve helped make that more apparent throughout the haunt.

Scare Factor: 8.09

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What started out as a bit of a fun introduction by Stich and Theodore quickly became a warning we learned to heed. One of the last things they mentioned to us was that, if we tried to take anything we weren’t supposed to, their birds would let them know as they see everything and their family likes to hunt. Yikes! From that point forward, we tried not to even brush up against anything!

At first, there wasn’t a whole lot going on (we’ve attributed this to the seeming shortage of actors on this night). However, the barn grew darker and more twisted the further we progressed. Our group of three was nailed several times, but the scares here were less of the startling variety and more of the suspenseful, mind-screwing-with type. That’s not to say that startle scares don’t exist here, as one well-packed scare resulted in a jump from all of us! A few characters also revealed themselves; one from above and one that came through a hole in the wall!

A close encounter with multiple spinning saw blades kept us on edge (literally!) while we tried to get away from them only to become disoriented shortly after. A large rat suddenly came out of hiding and tried to bite us as well. Additional types of frights included dark corridors, unique hidings spots, numbing noises, intimidation, and as we witnessed acts of victimization, we put a bit of pep in our step!

A dual chainsaw chase-out finale concluded our visit to the facility, which left us plummeting out the exit as one of them was hidden rather well. Once we cleared the exit, Stitch was there again to welcome us and reward our survival with ‘sanctuary’ amongst his family’ which we very much appreciated!

Entertainment & Value: 7.74

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To tour the facility, tickets are priced at $25.00 for General Admission. They also offer a Fast Pass, allowing you to cut the wait time down for $40.00. For those that wish to skip both lines and be the next group to enter the haunted house, you can purchase a Front of the Line ticket for $60.00 per head.

The ticket price remained the same this season, but the length of the haunt nearly doubled! They were able to add a new outdoor courtyard section to facilities before a group actually enters the barn. With this new addition, we were able to clock our entire toe-curling stay at Black Orchard at 15 minutes (a 7.5-minute increase from last year).

This much-appreciated time increase brought up their Minutes per Dollar rating to 0.6. Although lower than some other attractions we’ve had the pleasure of viewing, we understand that adding this much length is a huge feat, and we’re excited to see what the Black family has in store for us in the future!

Speaking of an increase in time, they also offer a 10-minute escape room on-site inside of their Silo (previously 3 minutes) for an additional $10.00.

While in the Black family’s grips, you’re in store for a high-intensity, gut-wrenching time’ The ‘saviors’ get unhappy when they don’t have enough meat, but you may get lucky and be offered some actual guts they have in their grips as well.

This review was co-authored by Team Big Spooky, with final editing and publishing by Team Zombillies.

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Past Awards

2019 Awards

Most Tormenting to Victims (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Twisted Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Unpredictable Scares (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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