Forest of Screams Haunted Attraction – Full Review

Forest of Screams Haunted Attraction is a Haunted Attraction located in Medina, OH.

1662 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted HayrideHaunted HouseHaunted Trail


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on November 2, 2019 by Team Cleaverland.

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Final Score: 8.03

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When Forest of Screams broke onto the scene in 2017, it offered something unique in the Cleveland market: a walkthrough multi-attraction stringing together the three main types of haunt: hayride, trail, and house.

Now in its third year, Forest of Screams is still singular in that regard. There’s no other format like it in the metro Cleveland area as visitors journey through the Forest of Screams Haunted Hayride, Night Stalkers Trail, and Mortuary Haunted House.

Forest of Screams maintains an appealing flow of experience through thoughtful scene sequences and skillfully executed set designs. The chilling cherry on top of this spooky sundae is a fabulous collection of high-tech effects.

Hayride: 8.15
Trail: 8.18
House: 7.77

Cast: 7.04

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We think the personnel were perhaps suffering from some last night-itis and weather wariness, as we visited on the ending date of their season and it turned out to be a very chilling and precipitation-filled evening. The cast was noticeably low or just not present at the beginning of the hayride, which had a little too much driving past trees, and the beginning of the trail (We’re comparing to what we experienced from the first two seasons).

Those who were there did a good job at their roles. The standouts of the entire night were the hayride’s competing coffin and crematory salesmen, who had an amusing interplay between both themselves and their audience.

Also on the hayride, the gent who harassed the wagon riders with a shock-stick displayed real dedication in coming back multiple times… to the chagrin of some and the delight of others. The voodoo villains/headhunters made an unholy ruckus on the wagon as they charged back and forth through the crowd.

The trail featured an opening ghoulie who got us coming and going out of his room, and an accused witch who pleaded with us to protect her from the village rabble. In the cemetery, one of the denizens greeted us with a shattering shriek. The house attraction, by far the smallest and shortest of the three sections, naturally contained the least performers; we counted half a dozen actors.

Hayride: 7.08
Trail: 7.14
House: 6.91

Costuming: 7.72

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Makeups seemed to be predominantly corpse-like, pale faces with some accents, without a lot of blood, prosthetics, etc. The trail featured the best makeup, with nicely done jobs on its actors, including the accused witch, the guy in the first room, and the graveyard residents.

On the hayride, it was hard to see if the first couple of terrorizers had much makeup at all, but before long the coffin and crematory salesmen popped up with some nicely done faces, and coming to a good close with the inked-up headhunters. In between, chainsaw operators and butchers sported some bloody visages.

The costumes were probably around the average for what we’ve seen this year. Some good, some rather plain, and we observed some hoodies and street clothes on the hayride, perhaps from fill-ins on this sparsely casted night.

The salesmen looked good, especially the coffin proprietor, was very nicely done up in western wear, and the chainsaw and butcher people were decked out in bloodily grisly duds and aprons.

Hayride: 7.7
Trail: 7.85
House: 7.6

Customer Service: 9.02

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Forest of Screams is located in Medina, nearby several other haunts. Medina County is very haunt-rich. We reviewed three within its confines this season, and there’s at least one other one to which we didn’t make it. This area is about an hour south of Cleveland.

The haunt was easily located by GPS. A large, spotlighted sign welcomed us to the site. Parking staff led us to the sizable free parking lot on gravel.

Food stands will take care of your hunger pangs. There was one frying up yummy foods like Oreos and Twinkies, and another served up dinner fare like hot dogs. There was also a well-stocked gift shop with outerwear, masks, some interesting horror movie memorabilia, and more.

Please note, in bad weather Forest of Screams may close, and they’ll send out messages via social media and the website. However, the wagons are covered… so if it’s lightly raining, or even snowing as it was on our visit, it’s usually a go and you won’t get soaked on the hayride. Nice touch! The covering also made us feel more enclosed and protected (from the elements, branches, and so forth, not the actors)!

The gravel trail was very walkable, nicely level, and smooth for the most part. As always, wear appropriate footwear on trails.

Forest of Screams has one of the best websites we’ve seen this season, with plenty of info to read before you go.

Hayride: 9.1
Trail: 8.92
House: 9.04

Atmosphere: 9.13

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Forest of Screams had a very neat all-outdoor hub. From the ticket area that’s housed in a large barn-like structure, we proceeded to the hub of food, merch, and more. A tall werebat puppet and a really tall pumpkinhead puppet display made for great photo opps.

On this cold night of snow, hail, and sleet, a huge (we mean huge) roaring fire surrounded by benching was a real treat. It looked like there was about half a tree in there shooting up flames and making us feel toasty!

The covered hayride queue featured video monitors playing hilarious horror movie-themed videos, plus a tree creature animatronic that awoke periodically to deliver a speech about how the forest became corrupted and should be avoided. In the trail queue, we admired the cool entryway that resembled the front of a castle, right down to the impressive looking gargoyle on top.

All in all, a very appealing set-up!

Hayride: 9.46
Trail: 9.4
House: 8.54

Special Effects: 8.77

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If you like high-tech effects, you’ll find a little slice of heaven at Forest of Screams. They served up some wonderful lighting, and demonstrated a solid handling of fog… which can be particularly tricky for outdoor haunts. They boasted a pretty good laser swamp, too.

But first and foremost, Forest of Screams always impresses with its sophisticated and involved set design. A few favorites: The cemetery on the hayride was oozing with creepy, moody atmosphere, bathed in fog and eerie lighting. The stone church really brought it all together, especially with being topped off by a deep red light in the belfry. It looked straight out of a Hammer film. Another cemetery, this one on the trail, provided an extensive stroll through gravestones, arches, and tombs.

The zombie/containment area gave us a lengthy walk through ruined barriers and obstacles, filled with sirens and puppets and a deeply cool animatronic of a zombie straining at a chain, reminiscent of ‘Bub’ from Day of the Dead.

The closing section of the hayride, kind of a cross between a voodoo village and headhunting grounds, really impressed with scenes of mayhem and carnage. After entering the castle-like fa������ade, the beginning of the trail went through corridors that continued with the medieval flavor, including a captive dragon!

There’s no doubt Forest of Screams delivered the biggest and best collection of animatronics we saw this season. From a giant cloven-hoofed, white-furred demon to an awesome looking angel of death who rose up on wings, from convulsing ghouls to an enormous creature resembling the ‘xenomorph’ from the Alien series, Forest of Screams conjured up an amazing amalgam of animatronical awesomeness.

Hayride: 8.97
Trail: 8.9
House: 8.43

Theme: N/A

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There was no theme.

Scare Factor: 7.27

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As mentioned in the Cast section, the attraction was somewhat short of actors on this night. As a result, there was a dearth of scares provided by actors. The ones who were there did their part well, but we felt like the scariness was down overall from years past primarily because of reduced cast size.

The voluminous animatronics contributed to scariness. Several of them gave us good startles, and the other ones were always great to look at and helped to establish a creepy mood. We can say the same concerning the detailed and expertly built sets.

The finales were better than most we’ve seen this year, especially the hayride (headhunting village) and house (a crazily shaking animatronic that ambushed us coming around a corner).

Overall, Forest of Screams is not particularly gory or bloody, and could probably be considered as being on the family-friendlier side of the spookiness spectrum.

Trail: 7.57
House: 6.81

Entertainment & Value: 7.97

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The whole attraction lasted 45 minutes: 26 minutes for the hayride, 14 minutes on the trail, and 5 minutes inside the house.

General admission is $28, for an MPD (entertainment minutes per dollar spent) of 1.61, on the higher end of the scale. A speed pass (front of the line for all three attractions) is $38. Group rates are available for 15 or more.

Considering the entertaining hayride queue, the roasty-toasty fire, the fun hub with food and puppety photo opps, Forest of Screams presents a pretty solid value. It’ll be especially entertaining for those who like to take in great sets, and fans of animatronics and other high-tech effects. There’s no shortage of those things at Forest of Screams!

Hayride: 8.06
Trail: 8.14
House: 7.72

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Amy Joyce – 10/10October 14, 2018
This attraction is a fun evening for all who attend. For being only their second year of operation …show more they are doing a fantastic job.I can see that the owner Rodney Geffert has improved and added things since his opening in 2017. Love the fire pit.

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