Dark Castle Haunted Attraction – Full Review

Dark Castle Haunted Attraction is a Haunted Attraction located in Elgin, SC.

2076 Hwy Church Road, Elgin, SC 29045
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts1EscapeRoom1HauntedTrail


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Optional Games/Midway, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 22, 2022 by Team Jefferson Starship.

About Our Reviews and Rating System

Final Score: 8.89

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There is no other haunted house in the world like the Dark Castle Haunted Attraction. Every piece of this dramatic tale is unique and bespoke to the house. The majority of the characters wandering these grounds are original to the Dark Castle and it is a sight to behold. Some haunts come across as very generic and by the numbers but the crazy folks running Dark Castle are unstoppably good at their own quirky brand of horror.

This is not a PG show, and scenes are packed with terror and off-color jokes and banter. All three of their haunted attractions are action packed, from the terror-filled tomb at the front to the outdoor Zombie shoot to the Dark Knight’s trail, there is no end to the twisted and macabre fun you can have screaming in the Elgin woods.

Cast Score: 8.76

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Cast Review:

Every year the Dark Castle consistently amazes us with the dedication and hard work of its cast. This is always the hardest part for us because we have too many callouts since everyone there is so good. Of course, we would be too frightened to not mention Flatulence the Assclown in case he remembers our fault next year.

The very first monster we encountered blew our socks off and left one of us in terrified awe. You have never seen a rendition of The Candyman quite like this. We met a cannibal that had, hands down, the best cannibal line with his rule about licking and possession. There was a shy clown with a horn that managed to confuse and delight us, and a creature from outer space that knew just the right time to pop out and scare us. It’s always great to see a group of monsters that love their jobs.

Costuming Score: 8.88

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Costuming Review:

The costumes in the Dark Castle are mostly handmade and it shows. From the sumptuous-looking velvet on their pickpocketing “wizard” to the detail of Pennywise’s ruffles, there is so much to look at and so little time. Characters are all in appropriate costumes as well, making sure that they fit their scene and theme. It’s always a sign of a well-loved haunt when even the jump scare characters are dressed to the nines.

Customer Service Score: 9.62

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Customer Service Review:

At its heart, Dark Castle is a family-owned haunt and its workers give off that sense to visitors. There is always a smile and a happy greeting at the door, and no one is left wandering around the midway or standing too long without someone coming to either entertain you or check on you.

The parking lot and the front of the building are super well-lit and impossible to miss, and there is clear signage for every entrance and exit, along with well-defined queue lines. There are a number of dirty jokes and adult humor here, so if that is something that offends you, this will probably not be the right haunt for you. They’ve added on concessions by a firepit that’s encircled by coffin benches to remind you not to get too comfortable in the land of nightmares.

Immersion Score: 8.82

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Immersion Review:

The Dark Castle has worked hard to make an entirely separate universe in which terror reigns supreme. From the moment you step past the ticket booth, you are surrounded by the entryways to the three attractions and the echoing screams and chainsaws in the darkness around you. There is very little break in the immersion here because they have so carefully worked to close off their little terror pocket dimension.

The scenery that greets you blends well into the darkness of the trail’s entrance, and the house portion of the attraction opens and closes close enough to the Zombie shoot that you are never very far from monsters at all.

Special FX Score: 8.72

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Special FX Review:

Because of how unique the pieces of the Dark Castle are, they always do well in the special effects area. There’s some sound bleed due to the open space and the structure of the house, but it is overshadowed by the carefully crafted traps that trigger as you move through the house and trail.

There were creepy crawlies that set members of our party running and so many little tricks that are only found here at Dark Castle. We love the giant saw blades that they’ve repurposed, the way they built their mirror hall, and most of all, this year, we adored the trick they added to the opening hallway. Dark Castle puts a lot of work and innovation in their scenes.

Scare Factor Score: 8.62

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Scare Factor Review:

One of our members was so terrified at the pitch-black zombie shoot woods that they were unable to go in with us. In the trail, some of the visitors that were grouped up with us screamed and jumped, including a teenage boy that wasn’t too pleased with shrieking in front of his girlfriend.

The monsters at Dark Castle span the gamut from gross to ethereally terrifying, and it is so much fun to see all the ways they can send people screaming into the night. We spent a little bit of time sitting near the concessions just watching as folks came tearing out of the house and the end of the trail at high speed. Two of us were intensely unsettled in the mirror hallway and admitted if we had been asked to join the ritual, we would’ve said no. This is a good place to get your adrenaline moving.

Entertainment & Value Score: 9.13

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E&V Review:

It’s $25 for general admission into the Dark Castle Haunted Attraction and it takes 45 minutes minimum to get through all three attractions. There is no question that this is a place with excellent value for your money as that ticket price covers all three attractions which are packed to the gills with characters and details.

For $63, you get to enjoy their VIP/RIP package, which offers you fast access to the front of every line, snacks, drinks, a souvenir, and the privilege to go into the RIP room and scare other guests at your leisure. We highly recommend this if you have the extra time to hang out and torment others. With monsters this dedicated and sets this elaborate, you can’t miss the chance to step into the Dark Castle and see all the horrors they’ve created.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Brittany – 10/10October 15, 2022
So much fun! We took my little sister (11). She was so scared she wouldn’t let go of me. Most of …show more their adult humor went right over her head. It was a lot of fun and so different from any haunt we’ve been to. The ticket ladies were super nice as well!

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Recreation of a Movie Scene - Candyman (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Socko - Matthew Wright (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

2019 Awards

Best Zombies (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Recreation of a Movie Scene - Candyman (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Socko - Matthew Wright (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

2019 Awards

Best Zombies (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

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