Faristons Haunted Forest and Myrtle Manor – Full Review

Faristons Haunted Forest and Myrtle Manor is a Haunted Attraction located in London, KY.

370 Shackle Road, London, KY 40744
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted HouseHaunted Trail


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Free Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You may be touched, Movie Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 8, 2021 by Team Zombillies.

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Final Score: 7.57

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Located literally in the backwoods of London, Kentucky is a harrowing hidden haunted forest! Fariston’s Haunted Forest has been in operation for over 20 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Our last visit was in 2016, so to say that we didn’t recognize the place upon arrival would be an understatement! The parking lot and entire atmosphere have received a full makeover since our last visit.

For 2021, they’ve unveiled a new indoor attraction, Myrtle’s Manor. We’ll tell ya, Myrtle does NOT welcome any visitors into her abode.

The haunted forest is unique in that it’s mostly actor-driven. After boarding a retrofitted enclosed livestock trailer lined with straw bale seats, we knew we were in for an interesting ride. After being dumped into the middle of the dark woods with only our group and a few others that we were paired with, we were left to fend for ourselves and figure out how to get back to our car. The ensuing path was littered with things from graveyards and ghosts to monsters, clowns and more.

Both haunted attractions featured some energetic cast members and interesting concepts that help ensure that no one will hear your screams!

Cast: 7.19

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We encountered quite a few residents within Myrte’s Manor, considering its short duration. Of course, this included Myrtle herself whom we encountered in the first room. She immediately told us to get out of her house, clearly aggravated by us just waltzing into her home. Despite our apologies and assurance that we were nice people, she continued to tell us to get out of her house (over and over) and to leave her alone.

Aside from the mostly rank-and-file dialogue in the Manor, some occasional phrases were sprinkled in that invoked some interactivity from us! Several of these sinister shysters also referred to Myrtle, which added some nice (albeit short-lived) cohesion to this first section of the Manor. The clown that we swear we saw in the closet… disagreed, claiming that we were just seeing things; we appreciated this interaction, as well as the in-character banter from the student on the bus who warned us about the trouble that lay ahead.

For the most part, the other sneaks didn’t actually speak much and, instead, hid completely still in plain sight, quickly revealing themselves from behind hidden panels, or showed how familiar they were with their scenes.

On the Trail, there was a larger variety of villains. From bibbed brutes and calamitous clowns to the spirits of victims past and’ well’ a cross-dressing go-go dancer, there’s a little bit of everything for everyone! Despite being a pretty casual cast (ie: not a lot of in-depth character development and that sort of thing), several of the spooks were actually quite good at working together to tag-team our group and create distractions for one another! Some would slowly stalk us or stand and repeatedly hit something, often while another would be waiting for just the right time to startle as many of us as possible.

The most notable exception to this would be Shanaynay in the party room’ she’s pretty well able to ‘work’ the group all on her own’ and send you away running for your life if you don’t tip well enough! Too, a badly burned military character was easily able to banter with us, letting us know that he’d died by fire AND a slashed throat (as made evident by his disfigured face and gaping wound on his neck).

In contrast, some of the clowns had turned on each other and were battling amongst themselves as we approached one of their scenes. The dialogue from them was pretty odd at times, but you know how clowns can be…

Costuming: 7.53

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Makeup was a bit varied on the night of our visit. Some of the creatures we crossed paths with had exceptional applications, complete with prosthetics and some nice detailing. Others, by contrast, were less detailed, but complete enough to let us understand the general types of ghouls they were attempting to portray. These practices, combined with worn, aged, ripped, distressed and otherwise tattered clothing did well to set these tyrants apart from regular Halloween store costumes.

Bib overalls were a common choice of attire from several of the (male) savages that we saw, more so on the trail, and commonly paired with plaid shirts and full-head masks to create more dastardly depictions of their chosen denizen. Darkened eyes, paled skin, blood splatters and wounds did well to help give the actors more sinister appearances. Some of these were compounded with elaborate prosthetics and accessories, such as horns protruding from heads and a creative use of stilts (or crutches?) by one of the creatures in the queue area.

A couple of VERY detailed tree-looking costumes (whom we dubbed ‘the tree people’ at the time) were undeniably the most realistic and higher-end models on the trail. Well, we’re pretty sure they were both some sort of trees as we couldn’t really see one of them. Aside from them, Shanaynay was an obvious standout from the rest of the trail’s tricksters. Her gaudy makeup, combined with a ruffly woman’s dress and a scruffy goatee, made our encounter with her one of the most entertaining of the night!

Myrtle’s elaborate black dress was an iconic look in her Manor, as was the formally uniformed student on the bus. The clowns seemed a bit out of place with the ‘Manor’ concept, but the younger students helped add realism to the scattered schoolroom scene’ which felt more consistent with the educational practices of olde.

Customer Service: 8.95

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Our handy dandy GPS map took us right to Fariston’s, but their multiple small signs close to the attraction helped verify the way to go as well. For those who aren’t familiar with the area, Shackle Road is a one-lane road with some hills. It’s not exceptionally long, but once you turn onto it, drive with caution’ especially when cresting the hills.

Once we got to the free parking lot, tons of noticeable flaggers guided us through the lot and into a parking space. There were so many parking attendants even some of the giant haunts we’ve been to in larger cities haven’t had this many! They also had a very large, grassy lot with gravel roads that made it easy to get in and out.

Navigating the attraction was pretty straightforward. Staff members were wearing brightly colored shirts, and quite a few of them were seen if we had any questions. All of them happily welcomed us, including those parking attendants we mentioned earlier.

When visiting Faristons, you will need to stand in a line to purchase tickets. There was an ATM on-site for those that need cash (although cards are accepted as well). There was a snack stand on-site and several photo ops for guests to take advantage of.

After getting our tickets, additional friendly staff guided us on how to get to each haunt. Their waiting lines are all outdoors, as is the trail, so do dress appropriately. It had rained before we visited so there was quite a bit of mud to be found. However, they did a good job of putting straw down along the path in most places to help. Someone in our group did still slide in the mud and fell down, but they didn’t appear to have hurt themselves. Just remember to walk with caution.

Atmosphere: 8.45

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As mentioned above, upon arrival and getting in line, we absolutely did not recognize this place! Our last visit was in 2016 and, since then, strings of carnival-style rope lights were strung across the waiting area, helping the atmosphere give off a fun and slightly spooky vibe. Halloween-style tunes filled the air, fog flowed from behind a nearby hearse and, every so often, some fireworks were set off to add some spice to the space.

Multiple roaming scarers gave us a small taste as to what to expect inside. As we waited, shrilling screams echoed from within the forest along with the growls of a chainsaw.

Before entering the house, an actor with a small ‘pet snake’ emerged, interacting with everyone a bit before we departed. The front porch was also decorated a bit and some interesting sounds were heard such as a meowing cat and barn animal sounds.

At the head of the trail, our group boarded a tractor-drawn, straw bale-seated wagon. This wagon took us further out into the woods where it was quiet and just left us out there. Seriously! Along the wagon ride, several saw-slinging schitzo’s were encountered. If being left out in the dark woods after shortly encountering those freaks doesn’t prepare you for entering a haunted trail’ you ain’t right!

Special Effects: 6.89

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Myrtle’s Manor resembled quite the modernly clean and kept family home on the inside. Just kidding! This home had dirty carpet, older and soiled furniture and pictures on the walls, and common rooms of a house from the kitchen and laundry room to a bedroom and closet. It also kind of smelled musty…

For the most part, the home’s outer surroundings seemed rather quiet (save for the front porch), but inside we did hear some interesting sounds. A piano, an emerging bloody creature, fluorescently painted walls, and a slithery snake-infested TV were among other effects we came across.

Throughout the trail, the path was thrillingly illuminated by real, flaming tiki torches. One of those torches may not be as stationary as it seems’ We noted several bridge walkways over small creeks and some very large trees that added to the features of the trail. We walked through a barn and a variety of other makeshift structures including a realistic cabin.

At times, it was a bit hard to see the details of some things further away from the path. A slower-moving vortex tunnel did successfully disorient us. Some multi-colored lighting, a clown funhouse, a sinisterly spinning doll swing, taxidermied trophies, and a moving bridge stood out to us along our trek.

When it comes to sounds on the trail, a loud siren caught us off-guard, a little girl singing sent shivers down our spins, and classic rock tunes and blaring Lady GaGa had us wondering what we were walking into. But when we heard the iconic Halloween soundtrack, we put our guard up, looking all around for ‘you know who.’

Theme: N/A

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Although the trail didn’t seem to follow an overall theme, Myrtle’s Manor seems to mostly follow the theme of unwelcomingly entering Myrtle’s house. However, since we were not given a storyline or any information about the attraction before entering, we have decided not to score this category for either attraction.

In Myrtle’s Manor, it was clear she did not want us there. We did run into her multiple times within her abode. The characters inside also warned of her and that she had gotten ahold of them. This attraction is not limited to a normally decorated house. Visitors can expect to also walk through a school bus and fluorescently decorated, clown-infested passages.

On the trail, we came across quite an array of scenes and characters. Some were more familiar, but many of them appeared to have derived from within the creeks, forest, and mud that makes up Fariston’s Forest.

Scare Factor: 7.11

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Our group of 2 was paired with 4 for both the duration of the house and the trail. Although we feel like they made an attempt to target everyone in the group, those on the trail gave a little more effort in targeting us all multiple times. They often released their initial scare and then either trailed along in the back or ran back up to those in the front.

In the house, there were several well-camouflaged scares that were hard to predict along the way. Several cast members that were very familiar with their scenes lunged out at us from unexpected places or we’d round a corner and be face-to-face with something when we had just seen them someplace else! There was also a nice creature surprise in there, but we’re not giving away any spoilers!

On the trail, they ganged up on us with multiple distractions. One of which involved a flame thrower that caught all 6 of us off-guard! That thing was hot! Literally! Aside from the creepiness of walking amongst the darkened timbers – wondering what every little sound was, sudden strikes on objects, good hiding spots, and some common phobias awaited our arrival.

It was fun watching portions of the group in front of us being attacked. At one point, the close appearance of an uncommonly used power tool took one of the group members to the floor in fear! A sparking chainsaw proved to be another one of the most effective scares of the night.

We’re not sure if someone was missing, but the finale scene was an encounter with an iconic horror movie icon who did* startle us, but there was nothing to really close out the trail after that event.

Entertainment & Value: 7.6

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Admission to each attraction is $12.00 each or combo tickets are available for $20.00 that includes admission to the haunted Myrtle Manor, the trailer ride out to the forest, and the haunted forest trail. Because the haunts vary quite a bit from one another, we recommend going ahead and getting tickets for both.

We avoided Myrtle for 5 minutes and it took us another 15 to fully navigate the outdoor trail. Combined, that brings their MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) to an even 1.0. Although this is lower than the average we’ve seen most often recently, it’s right at the benchmark that we generally look for, and that’s not including the extras that also come with the ticket price!

While we waited, multiple roaming queue entertainers worked their way around, scaring unsuspecting waiters. One of them had a death whistle that reliably resulted in non-stop jumps! There were also some setups for fun photo ops and spooky decor. The wagon ride offers a bit of scary fun on the way to the trail and is also considered additional entertainment. There was also some fun horror movie trivia posted throughout the waiting line.

We’re very glad that we made a return visit to Fariston’s Haunted Forest. It is more of an old-school style scare with some unique surprises. Are you brave enough to enter the woods? ‘They LOVE to hear you scream!’

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