Review of Dark View Haunted Attraction

Review of Dark View Haunted Attraction

Review of Dark View Haunted Attraction

Dark View

Dark View is a Haunted Attraction located in Toronto, OH.

2257 County Road 68, Toronto, OH 43964
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts1EscapeRoom1HauntedTrail

Links:

Dark View Facebook PageDark View WebsiteDark View on InstagramDark View on YouTube

Contact:

Email Dark ViewMessage Dark View on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You will NOT be touched, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

Team Scary Potter and the Hauntwarts Express reviewed this Haunted Attraction on September 28, 2019.

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Final Score: 9.07

How Did We Get This Score?

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Summary:

Visiting haunted attractions is fun — blood-smeared maniacs jumping out at you, waving fake knives in your face for a few seconds before disappearing into the shadows. ‘Booooo…bye.’ For a lot of people, that’s a worthwhile experience.

Other people need Dark View.

Dark View excels at customer-actor interactivity; you aren’t simply pushed through the attraction between a handful of inert startles. The majority of the cast offer prolonged, interactive experiences, sometimes frightening, sometimes wildly hilarious, bringing you into the show WITH them, not simply providing static performances… and THEN they disembowel you to play hopscotch with your lymph nodes. It’s still a haunted house, after all. Sheesh.

Come on down to Toronto, Ohio this haunt season to experience Dark View for yourself.


Cast: 9.39

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I’d like to offer this important disclaimer : Dark View is as much fun as you let it be. That is, the attraction is primarily actor-based, and those actors are willing (and quite able) to follow you down any sort of thematic rabbit hole you lead them. Embrace that maxim – the willingness to be a part of the experience – and you are sure to enjoy yourself. I put this here because this primarily involves how one chooses to interact with the cast members.

Let me illustrate this with our favorite interaction of the night. At one point on the trail, we encountered a pair of actors; one had a chainsaw. Standard haunted house equation, right? Cord pulled, saw whirs, and we all run screaming into the night.

One ineffectual yank after the other, we (and the actor) quickly realize that things aren’t about to pan out according to plan. First we encourage him, as his costar heckles him a bit. Then we encourage the chainsaw, reminding it what its functional brethren would sound like, then underdog-chant to inspire its activation. The unlucky saw-bearer offers a few brief, clever, dismayed anecdotes throughout.

Eventually, though, we must all face the fact of the matter – it isn’t happening. The Little Chainsaw Who Could…cannot. Because we’re us, we run away screaming anyway. No need to waste a good scare, right?

Well, wouldn’t you know it, after a few minutes of progressing on the trail, we hear that sweet, sweet murder music on the night air, look back, and here he comes, Mr. Impotent, frenzied as a constipated porcupine, charging up the trail with his death-implement excitedly perched above his head. He finally catches up to us, and for a moment we all pause…

…And immediately begin to cheer — loud, throaty-applause that must have confused the hell out of anyone else stealthily plodding through the attraction. And then we danced, still wailing like idiots, we began an impromptu ho-down, with our nominal antagonist joining right in with us, jangling that homicide-helper proudly over his head like a man who’d found his days-lost car keys.

Do you understand now? Like so many things in life, you get what you give at Dark View.

Did we NEED to laugh along with the frantic clowns in the circus section? Certainly not, but damn the Gelotophobiacs. Nothing says “I love you and want to consume your entrails” than a hearty, maniacal cackle shared between assailant and victim. And it continued, throughout that whole big top enterprise, we laughed, they laughed; the world was a brightly-colored, uproarious Chuckle Dome.

This is generally where I’ll reference a few of the best specific actor performances, but this list is going to be a bit exhaustive. Forgive me if I do this in lighting-round fashion.

Deep breath…

Tarot lady reacted well to our ridiculousness; the Corey Hart-inspired Pumpkin Monster was amazing; I know it’s 2019, but I’m still not Sarah – classic; Balloon Pop clown Hyde-Jeklyed very well; Podiatrist Pam, even though she wouldn’t go off script for us; our yearly-favorite Clown-gal; the sweet-by-way-of-creepy Swamp girl..

And Leonard is a JERK. There. I’m sorry, but it had to be said.

Sorry to the 27 of you or so that I missed – I’ll catch you next season; pinky-swear.

Dark View didn’t have a lot of boo-scarers; most of their characters are interactive and welcome the opportunity for off-the-cuff ad lib, regardless of what temperament it involves.

Unfortunately, due to a very tragic medical emergency, one of our perennially-favorite shirtless hooligans wasn’t able to be with us. I will admit to a deep sadness at the loss, but you remain in our hearts forever, Toodles. <3

(sick, not dead)


Costuming: 8.75

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Dark View definitely increased the number of interesting costumes and masks that the trail actors adorned. Our second favorite, certainly, was Not-Groot (Noot), who accosted us from the thick foilage more times than we could count. I’m not certain as to his exact monstrous lineage, but he was definitely NOT GROOT… except in the one MINOR way that really, actually made him completely Groot after a really unfortunate week-long bender. No judgment though, lumber-bro, it’s completely respectable that you’re Groot.

Groot.

GROOT.

Groot’s leafy buddies were well-visaged as well, like a big ol’ inbred arboreal family. I’m not sure as to the particulars of grass monster reproduction (is there a “…for Dummies” handbook available?) but their gestation period is pretty darn swift to have produced so many leafy brethren – and fully grown as well!

OOO, artificial hormones in meat. Right, I read about that.

The clowns from the circus portion of the attraction appeared appropriately clowny, and the maze’s zombies, large and small (and itsy bitsy) were as dirty and foul-looking as the Zombie Union probably requires to process long-term flesh-eating contracts. Well done.

The two post-cemetery brutes with vicious staffs were particular stand-outs as well… because they were standing… and we were outside.

BOOM.

Oh… our favorite costume? Fluffy again, obviously. Act like you know.


Customer Service: 9.63

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Finding the ‘View –wait, did I just stumble onto a potentially hilarious line entertainment theme for future seasons? – uh, was as easy as GPS’ing the address. Several parking spotters were on hand to direct us to a parking spot and off we went. Our first interaction was with a shambling, human(ish) billboard advertising Dark View’s new Zombie Paintball. The charming chap didn’t say much, but he stumble-boogied like he was born to drunken-disco! Incidentally, this gentleman was murdered and reanimated during last season’s show by a very exuberant femme-zombie. How’s that for meta-story?

The hub area is a little different this season. A large film screen has been added running a humorous promo, and various other clips, and as mentioned, Zombie Paintball has come to Dark View and can be enjoyed for a small, additional fee. A new escape room is available as well, and the photograph booth has returned to memorialize the awkwardness of your first date with your future spouse.

A first date at a haunted house…that’s how you know he or she is a keeper, right?

Most attractions feature some form of entertainment while guests wait in line to enter the main attraction. Actors, movies, music, we had thought we’d seen it all. Karaoke; in-line Karaoke… game-changer. Hosted by lovable mascot Rusty, feel free to step up to the mic and belt out your best tone-deaf rendition of some terrible country song that sounds like every other terrible country song…

:) Love you, reader.

Or you could forgo the vocal cacophony and behold the thrilling wildcat motorbiking of The Legendary Billy! He probably has a last name. I don’t know it; he probably doesn’t know it. Have you spoken to the guy? Like a block of wood with googly eyes glued on, that one. Poster boy for proper headgear during contact sports. You follow me?

And let’s not forget the most important side-hustle in all of Dark View : THE PORTABLE TOILETS!

Just kidding; but seriously, they have toilets.

Obviously the local masterpiece to which I refer is The Deadly Chew, Dark View’s masterclass concession cart. Piloted by a lovely pair of young ladies and a wonderful chef who shall hereby be known as Chewbacca, the Cookie, the Chew offers up a broad variety food-stuffs to satisfy even the most discerning belly. Eat the brownies and then try disagreeing with me. Also, grilled cheese – I don’t know what Chewbacca is lacing those American slices with, but Sweet Jeebus are they delicious.

When you’re finished just try to remember that there’s still a great haunt to go through.


Atmosphere: 9.35

How Did We Get This Score?

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Pardon me as I interpose new observations into last season’s still-mostly-apt Atmospheric write-up :

The drive to Dark View was dark and foreboding. Dark View is located directly at the center of Scary Countryside, USA, at the intersection of Creepy Switchback and Eerie Cornfield. Our haunt-glands were already slick and dripping by the time we reached the property.”

The overall tone of the hub area and haunt facade is lighter than you may expect to find at a haunted attraction, but that is actually quite appropriate compared to the character of the attraction that it is preparing you for. The feeling in the air is playful, almost jolly, not at all cold and mysterious like many of its kin.

And there are bubbles – cascading, endless bubbles raining from the heavens (or jettisoning from the haunt facade) like soapy rain drops. Chase them, pop them, swallow them if you must; we won’t judge. We’ve all been there.

There is music, certainly, poppy and effervescent… just like the filmy exterior of those wonderful bubbles! I must follow where they lead me. For better or worse, I will become the bubble transient that I’ve always been meant to be! Bags are packed, eyes fixed on those translucent orbs. Mama, don’t wait up, your baby boy ain’t never comin’ home.

So, yeah, Dark View is cool…


Special Effects: 8.65

How Did We Get This Score?

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Because the attraction is now more trail than anything (the trail section was massively extended this season), there is less set design. Fortunately, though, they’ve kept some of their best pieces (cemetery and mausoleum, I’m looking in your direction), while adding a few interesting pieces to the winding length of the trail. The peculiar “foot hallway” was a welcome new addition, severed, sneakered feet scattered across it by the world’s worst Podiatrist.

The circus portion that begins the attraction started with a small, tarot tent and then a bit of local history provided to us by an oddly talkative skeleton. Funnoodles have returned, fear not, as has the excellent vinyl maze.

The sound overlaying the entire trail portion was great – a combination of musical scoring, odd, far-away ambient noises, and the summons from our apparent quarry, Sarah. This blend did a good job of enhancing the experience.

We noticed a few small touches that really increased our enjoyment. Heck, I got to play the balloon pop game!

Overall, the proppery (including a fearsome animatronic returning from last season) was well-placed but a bit light. The few well-hidden animated spookies caught us off guard. As previously mentioned, though, it’s a trail after all and there was plenty of creepy vegetation to antagonize our goosebumps.

I’m still convinced that Sarah was in the outhouse the whole time.


Theme: N/A

How Did We Get This Score?

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Nope, no theme here. Who needs ’em?


Scare Factor: 8.61

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Even though Dark View is not a Scare Intensive attraction, they were still able to pack quite a lot of startles and snarls into the experience. We must have been ambushed by the Gilly Family a dozen times. That clan was impressively accomplished at the distraction-scare, including a particularly effective pincer maneuver that ensnared our entire group.

The Gillies also had the thickest dusting of permanent creepiness of any segment of actors across the attraction – except the graveyard, perhaps. The reanimated gal that may have lost an arm while we watched (pick up a few dance moves, maybe, and then we’ll talk) and ESPECIALLY the bespectacled, post-mortem, after-school special actor (ALWAYS stop, drop and roll!) were excellent, with verbal cues provided by the teleporting cemetery curator – I KNEW you didn’t really have a twin brother, Cemetrius. I’m SO on to you!

Oh… and the invisible miscreant hurling skulls at us from within the mausoleum. Work on your aim if you want to join the big leagues, chump.

Also, possibly the creepiest moment of the entire night was the sudden ambulation of a single, otherwise unremarkable mason jar. Either that thing was filled with lonely helium or someone was playing tricks with our minds!

The Fluffy scare was back – and even better. BP clown set it up perfectly. We probably would’ve been more taken aback if we weren’t so incredibly excited to see that costume again.

The zombie maze at the end of the attraction is now much more dramatic – thanks in no small part to excellent, persistent performances by the seemingly-endless swarms of undead chasing us throughout the maze. The gunners shouting down difficult-to-hear escape instructions, combined with the snarling horde and the general frustration of smacking into a third dead end really heightened the tension of that entire experience. It was the one full-on scary segment of Dark View. No actors were making snide ad lib jokes, and there were wasn’t any way to dance our way out of that swarm. It was a great send-off.


Entertainment & Value: 9.5

How Did We Get This Score?

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General admission to Dark View is $18, while a VIP fast pass is $25. There are coupon codes (available through their website) to lower the ticket price when ordering online, particularly on Fridays.

Our journey lasted 31 minutes, making the MPD a very hearty 1.7. Taking advantage of one of the coupon options of course would raise this significantly higher.

Another year passed, another excellent iteration of the View that is Dark. I felt a bit of the sting of a few of their best actors not being on-hand (Fatso, why hast thou forsaken us?), but it was nice to see others slide into place to mostly make up the slack. Mostly.

Dark View had some legitimately creepy scares – the zombie maze at the end definitely improved into a more claustrophobic, thrilling escape – but the best aspect of attraction is still its actor interactions. In that realm, there aren’t many better.

As I mentioned in the Cast category, Dark View really is what you make of it – its a two-way haunt street that requires just a little bit of willing immersion by the customer. Any grump walking through stone-faced, arms crossed, demanding, “Scare me, plebeians” isn’t likely to have a very good go of it at Dark View. That’s just not who they are.

But an open-minded guest, ready to have fun with some clever scares thrown in, is sure to have an excellent time at Dark View this season. We sure as hell did. And if any of you ever do actually find Sarah, please let her know that we tried.

Thanks, Fam.


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 7.63 out of 10

Brian – 1/10
Nothing special here!!! Just a off the beaten path haunt that was not worth the drive. Spent a lot …show more of money for my family. $100+ and didn’t feel we got what we paid for. Won’t be back!!!!!

Nancy – 9.5/10
Dark View was a fun attraction and its near others like Wells Township so you can hit them in the …show more same night. Highly recommended! The scares were plentiful. Be sure to say hi to Fatso the Clown if he’s there!

Ryan – 10/10
Been going every year and it only gets better and bigger love all the interactions unlike any other …show more haunted house I’ve ever been to

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