Dark View – Full Review

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 HauntsEscape RoomHaunted Trail


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

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This attraction was reviewed on October 16, 2021 by Team Houdini.

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Final Score: 8.51

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A local rumor suggests some new owners have taken over this rural farm area. This area has a dark history that has been hidden from mortals for years. A place, separate, from our reality where creatures lurk quietly along with other beings, not of this world. Spirits and mystical beings conjure nightmares and hallucinations to those that enter. The new owners brought in a medium to reach out to the spirits to learn the good and bad of this area but their plan was more sinister and they wanted to release all the spirits to haunt the land for their gain. They wanted to create a real haunted attraction for thrill-seekers to interact with real ghosts. However, nature cannot be controlled. This is Dark View.

Dark View is back with a new story, new surprises, and more fun for 2021. Featuring their haunted trail spanning several acres, two mini escape rooms, two paintball activities, the Darkade, stage shows, and vendors, there is a lot to do at Dark View.

Cast: 8.37

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Through our journey, we encountered 35 different characters. In the beginning, we meet a woman who tells us her husband is coming and he is running late. After a few moments he arrives and apologizes for being late, he introduces us to a clairvoyant, named Lucy. He explains that she is trying to find answers about the house and land. He does a good job acting nervous and as the kids say ‘sus.’ The clairvoyant stood out, at first motionless, but then she starts swaying left to right. Eventually, after some coaxing from ‘the husband,’ she starts speaking in tongues. Then she looks up and a deep monstrous voice comes from her, a demon has possessed her body. It warned us of what’s to come. The demon told us that we were nothing but thrill-seekers, once we continued we’d be theirs for eternity. She did a much better job than Milli Vanilli lip-syncing. She even kept eye contact with us causing it to feel as if she was staring into our souls.

We continued to meet more interesting characters in our journey, some providing interaction like the farmer who warned us about venturing into the woods. He asked us why we were there, one person in our group said berry picking, he quickly replied the berries are no good the land is cursed. He lets us pass which paved the way for us to meet more characters like the Voodoo princess. She stopped and told us to pass through although one of us has to be pure. She picked a woman in our group and after consulting with the ashes by tossing them into the fire she found her to not be pure. Since they were feeling generous they let us move on. We had some direct interaction with the witch in the shack, she liked my face and wanted to know if she could have it. I told her she could have it as I was tired of it anyway. She seemed enthused by my answer. Ellie May was full of southern charm and was a ball of energy, especially for someone who was brought back to life this morning. When we arrived she advised she would ‘shoot us.’ But after a moment she warmed up to us. A hillbilly who was cooking some ‘grade B’ meat offered us some ‘Ben,’ another woman had warned us ‘not to ‘touch her plants’ in the greenhouse area, and another hillbilly was ‘collecting skins.’ We enjoyed these conversations with the actors with their quick raillery making them stand out amongst other haunts.

Not all actors provide direct interactions some provide general dialogue or scenes like the witch who was stoking the fire. She had a cage full of children, she was getting ready to eat, the children screamed for help while she yelled for them to be quiet. The grave keeper tells us, in a preacher-y voice, to stay on the path to stay alive, a young girl in a skeleton costume walked around silently, a Nun asked ‘give me your souls,’ and ‘Suey’ along with other weird calls could be heard echoing through the woods between actors giving us a feeling that everyone was working together against us. Not good for us.

Some of the cast provided traditional jump scares, like the spider-man (not the spider man), a man in all black who looked like a shadow, and several characters in ghillie suits. Not all characters were scary, although we did get another comical scare this year as a man jumped out unexpectedly and made a chainsaw noise with his mouth, I have no clue how to otherwise put that into words.

Costuming: 8.49

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Costuming was well done again this year as well. Providing depth to the characters. The hillbilly men had on overalls and flannel shirts, while the ladies had on old-fashioned house dresses. Those who focused mainly on jump scares wore a mix of costumes. Some ghillie suits and camouflage blended in well. As mentioned, the gentlemen in the all-black costume looked cool like a living shadow. The Venus flytrap was a complete costume providing a one-of-a-kind visual. What’s black and white and red all over? The nun had on a classic habit with white makeup, blood smeared on her face, and contacts. Come to think of it, most characters, if not all, had colored contacts in their eyes giving a more menacing appearance. There were two priestesses in the purity path who had on dark dresses, black headdresses, black and white makeup with bloody eyes.

We did notice a person with a goat mask, a white spider mask (very unique looking), and a dirty, bloody, bunny mask.

The attention to detail on the costumes from makeup to contacts provided a surreal experience.

Customer Service: 9.2

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It seems my GPS knows I like to be scared as it decided to bring us in the super scary way again this year. The drive itself sounds like a haunted attraction. If you’re routed this way, you drive through the abandoned factory, right onto the road from The Hills Have Eyes, and make a right. It still got us there it just added a little more ambiance on the way.

The staff was professional and friendly. Ticket booth employees, line attendants, escape room game masters, and concession stand workers (shout-out for hooking my steak hoagie up per my unusual demands) all were friendly and helpful.

Dark View has a full website and they are active on social media.
This is an outdoor trail and there is uneven ground and hills to walk up and down. It is well lit and should not cause any safety concerns outside of the usual for this type of haunt.

Regarding Covid, they are following local guidelines.

Atmosphere: 8.07

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On the evening we were there it felt like a country party atmosphere. As we entered we could hear a singer singing country music and playing guitar, he sounded great, if country is your kind of thing. People were smashing a car with a sledgehammer, and there was zombie karaoke in line while you waited to enter the haunt itself.

Now while the country singer was great but does not scream haunt, we did notice some Halloween-themed songs during his break that we felt were a nice tone. Zombie karaoke provided more entertainment. A zombie sings karaoke and everyone joins in. Unfortunately, the zombie did not sound nearly as good with his vocals or pronouncing words as this evening’s performer but we did sing along and had a great time. Some other characters are roaming around not all are scary some are just for comic relief, but all provide a great time.

Special Effects: 8.21

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Dark View is more than your normal walk in the woods. Dark View isn’t even that dark. The lighting in the woods provides such a beautiful and magical appearance, almost dream-like. The hues of red, blue, green, warm white, and orange cascade mesmerizingly around the trees. It also helps add shadows for ghouls to hide. The lighting carries on throughout the whole haunt. The cemetery has a blue effect as fog rolls across the ground. Large lights high in the trees throw out flashes of lighting providing a satisfying and classic cinema-quality cemetery scene.
Lighting was used successfully inside as well with green lights in the parlor’s chandelier and cool color changing effect to the light during the scene providing a possessed feel to Lucy. Although not as big as last year’s opening scene it felt more personal and we enjoyed it.

The sound was also high quality. In the cemetery, the large booms from the thunder carried weight to them. The first area that was pitch dark had a well-done track providing the back story and classic sound effects. The demon’s voice in the parlor projected loud but felt realistic with good speaker placement, reminding me of the voice work from Kentwood’s Ghostwood Estates Ride. A background soundtrack also helped accent the mood. On the trail different sounds could be heard throughout such as chatting of spiders in the spider den area, rattlesnakes, and banjo music. None of the sounds had a distorted or static sound.

The scenes had good detail for a haunted trail. The parlor had a realistic table, chair, old-time clock, a shelf full of trinkets, and an unexpected climax. The cemetery had tombstones, gargoyles, and large mausoleums. The church has a stone fa������ade, inside there was a coffin, candelabras, skulls, scary music, and more providing a trapped feel. The shacks in the woods were real shacks adding to the realism, the spider den had huge spider webs and spider sacks all around, and the woods are full of props including skeletons, dead bodies, huge trees, and falling leaves that complete its realistic look.

Theme: N/A

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Dark View’s theme is fairly wide-ranging and can encompass just about anything. We saw a cemetery, church, hillbilly area, voodoo, section, and more. Therefore we feel it does not follow any specific theme and will not place a score for this section.

Scare Factor: 8.45

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Dark View mixes up the fear with old-fashioned boo scares, some prowlers, creepy dialogue, and character interaction. The Venus flytrap came out of nowhere providing me a good scare, while the man who provided self-made chainsaw noises scared Ray with a comical scare (last year they got Ray with an actor who said ‘jump scare’), and a hillbilly with a chainsaw came out of the woods and scared Deandre, to name a few. Good hiding spots provided great startles. We also enjoyed some of the dialogue as mentioned earlier.

The finale this year was a little less intense than last year’s zombie warzone scene but it did end with the finale that just about every haunt had this season.

Entertainment & Value: 8.84

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Dark View is open the remainder of October on Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11p.m. Tickets are $18 for timed tickets. It took us about 25 minutes to get through which puts the minutes per dollar value at 1.39 just slightly better than the current average of 1.32. RIP tickets are $25.

A lot is going on this year at Dark View, they have the new Rampage paintball area where you can take on your friends, which we were not quite up to this evening. You can also shoot their zombie actors with paintballs if you would like. They had a car you could smash with a sledgehammer. They also had two escape rooms; a pirate-themed 10-minute room and a 15 minute Jack the Ripper room. We did attempt both of these. We did not make it through the pirate room in time, but we did make it out of Jack the Ripper with time to spare. We enjoyed both but if we had to pick we would choose the Jack the Ripper room that had that Halloween theme.

Dark View provides a walk in the woods that is more theatrical than most haunted woods, providing a spellbinding landscape, hair-raising sets, superb sound, a great cast, and adding a haunted hub of entertainment. Dark View is more than just a walk in the woods.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 8.1 out of 10

Alice – 10/10October 17, 2020
The best haunt I’ve ever been too! Don’t wanna spoil anything, check it out!

Ryan – 10/10October 13, 2018
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

Gregory – 10/10October 13, 2017
Will definitely be back in 2018!

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Past Awards

2020 Awards

Best Zombie (Given by: Team Houdini)

Funniest Scare (Given by: Team Houdini)

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