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The Scare Factor Review

The Beast

Score: 8.24/10

Review Date: September 25, 2022


The Beast lives up to its name in Kansas City, Missouri. This haunt was truly a beast in terms of . . . how involved it was from start to finish on their second opening night. For our first visit, it truly impressed us with its amazing animatronics, unique set design, and all of its twists and turns that none of us expected. The Beast will take you through many different eras to escape from, blow your mind with its excellent use of high-end technology, and leave you with a unique experience that makes it stand out amongst similar attractions! Keep reading to find out more!

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The Haunted Pyramids

Score: 7.64/10

Review Date: September 24, 2022


The Haunted Pyramids (HP) outside of Lawndale, NC, have been around for 25 years. This haunted . . . attraction is an old-school haunt built over many years. Folks frequently talk about a haunt family to refer to the closeness that a cast at a location develops, and HP definitely has one of those. Everyone on site seems to know one another, and they all work well with one another. Originally built out of what was once a chicken farm (that housed over 14,000 chickens at one point), the owner of the HP has instead turned the site into the kind of motley backwoods traditional haunted attraction that we love to visit. There is something on site for just about anyone and everyone. When we arrived, sometime before open and before dark, we were welcomed in as if we too were family - if family includes a variety of roaming zombies, maniacal clowns, and other ghoulish folks. The HP consist of a number of separate attractions though all of them are included in the single ticket price including the titular Haunted Pyramids, the Monster Mill, the Carnival of Terror, Abanoned, and Dr. Venom’s Snake Pit. There is also an escape room on site for a small additional charge. Most of October is also taken up by varied cast of guests and celebrities ready to meet with the public.

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Lake Hickory Haunts

Score: 8.72/10

Review Date: September 24, 2022


Lake Hickory Haunts (LHH) is a large, multi-attraction haunted trail in Hickory, North Carolina. . . . Situated above and around a small lake, LHH has expanded a bit since our last visit in 2020. Our arrival later in the evening meant we showed up just as things had kicked into high gear. The parking lot(s) were nearly full, and a crowd of excited guests was ready to feel the fear. We were led from the new box office to the first Midway, a graveled lot filled with music, concessions, and some additional attractions, all situated above the lake. Guests can wander this midway while waiting their turn to venture down to the second midway and the entrance line (or for a small additional charge, use fast pass or the RIP pass to skip ahead to the front if waiting is not something that one wants to do). Boasting over ten themed sections along the walking trail around the lake, Lake Hickory Haunts is known for its highly detailed scenes that surround guests on all sides as they move around and over the lake and under the hills.

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Phantom Fright Nights

Score: 6.66/10

Review Date: September 24, 2022


Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights has returned for its 20th season offering some new thrills and . . . chills for the fall season. Since 2002, during the autumn season, the Phantom and his minions have taken over the park as darkness falls. Now guests can visit the park all day getting the best of both worlds’ rides and play during the day and frights at night. During the day visitors can enjoy rides, new fall treats, games, kiddie land, and other fall activities. As the moon ascends so do the ghouls, bringing 5 haunts, 4 scare zones, 2 add-on haunted attractions, a complete Halloween esthetic, and creatures lurking around every corner of the park. Whether you are a horror fan or a thrill seeker Kennywood has something to scare you.

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Hundred Acres Manor

Score: 8.65/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


The temperature is dropping, the leaves are changing, and the manor has reemerged. Hundred Acres . . . Manor, one of the most well-known haunts in Western Pennsylvania, has returned to terrify any who enter its walls. HAM located in South Park, PA, revives its five unique themes from last season, with added tweaks, for us strayed individuals to experience. A perfect fall night, an intense experience, and a fun time kicked our haunt review season off with a scream!

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The Scare Factor Review

USS Nightmare

Score: 8.93/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


Loose lips sink ships! You better keep them tight before boarding the USS Nightmare in Newport, KY, . . . or you’ll end up on the menu! This haunted dredging vessel once served the purpose of keeping the waterways of the Ohio River clean. However, for the past 30 years, it’s provided a much different goal; to scare the ship out of all who enter! The crew has diligently worked towards making their quarters a more immersive, dark, and historical experience. After all, the boat has been shrouded by deathly events, 112 and counting! Years ago, the William S. Mitchell mysteriously broke free of its confinements, wreaking havoc for miles down the river. Guests can still witness the destruction to this day. With each visit to the Nightmare, we’re more familiar with what happened on that dreadful day. Some say the boat was empty during the Massacre, but the truth lies aboard the vessel. USS Nightmare offers multiple ticket options. Guests can board the ship as a general crewman or choose to participate in a more immersive visit with the RIP Experience. With RIP, guests will be given a glowing red necklace, signaling the crew of enhanced bravery. We had a choice as we stood on the bank of the Ohio River, gazing at the carnage from the Mitchell Massacre. Were we taking on this tour as general admission guests, or were we taking on the RIP Experience? Of course, we chose to face our fate in style! This review will cover our RIP Experience through the many quarters of the boat. RIP is interactive. We had to do things to progress. Some of us were separated, we were touched, and we needed to solve some games to keep our group members from becoming permanent ship staff. For their 30th season, the tides have taken a twist, and a new reign is about to begin. The question is, who did we fear the most? The Captain or his daughter, Anna?

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Brimstone Haunt

Score: 8.09/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


Looking for a night out with a spooky twist? Then look no further! Brimstone Haunt has everything . . . you need and more! From vampires to witches to the undead, these haunted grounds have something for everyone. Now in its 6th season, Brimstone Haunt has become a staple in the greater Cincinnati area. The masterminds behind this haunt were once associated with the now-defunct Springboro Haunted Hayride and Black Bog, a haunt that served the community for 20+ years. “Newish location, who dis?” The perfect way to start your haunted adventure here is at the hayride. Let the ghouls and ghosts set the tone for the night with unexpected twists and turns, followed by an excursion into the woods on their very own haunted trail, filled with creatures of the dark. End the night with a loud scream inside their Psychosis haunted house to test the limits of your sanity. If you’re wanting to take a break from the scares, there are plenty of other activities to suit your needs.

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The Scare Factor Review

The Dent Schoolhouse

Score: 8.93/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


As we faced the boarded-up windows and front door of the Schoolhouse, we thought, what could . . . possibly be so bad inside a school that they need to board it up from the outside? As in, to keep things from getting out? As we traversed the classrooms and halls seeking an answer, they replied! The Dent Schoolhouse in Cincinnati, OH, has been swinging its front door open for 26 years! Boys and girls, that means they know how to put on a great haunted house. That’s your lesson for today, don’t forget your homework which is reading the rest of this review! For the 2022 season, the Schoolhouse staff has conjured up some incredible updates. Upon exiting the haunted house, they’ve replaced their outdoor haunt, Queen City Slaughteryard, with a monstrous Monster Midway! Guests can now partake in an extensive variety of fall foods, test their skills in up to four escape rooms, and more! It’s becoming more apparent that the Schoolhouse is actually haunted. As they say, Charlie is the most well-known spirit to haunt the Schoolhouse, but he is not the only one. As fate would have it, we’d need to enter the front door to discover how many ghosts haunt the school’s walls.

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Hotel of Terror

Score: 8.17/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


Since October of 1978, the Hotel of Terror, located in Springfield, Missouri, has been striking fear . . . into hearts as an intense, menacing experience for those brave enough to enter. Offering four floors of fright, this attraction will have you squeezing past tight spaces, finding your way through the dark, and crawling your way out to the final slide that drops you from the top floor to the bottom! With new tricks up their sleeves, the Hotel has something fresh to offer to new and recurring guests alike. Hotel is the terrifying older sibling to Dungeons of Doom, and has built a name for themselves in their nearly 45 years of operation. Are you brave enough to check-in to the Hotel of Terror? Keep reading to see what's in store for 2022!

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Dungeons of Doom

Score: 8.26/10

Review Date: September 23, 2022


Tucked away underneath North Grand Ave in a seemingly abandoned warehouse lies one of the oldest and . . . scariest haunted attractions in Springfield, MO: Dungeons of Doom. They brought new life to the Dungeons this 2022 season with redesigns, fun photo-op opportunities, a 16 ft live snake, and so much more!! Guests can expect an aggressive, in-your-face experience with many disturbing twists and turns, and recurring guests like myself will experience all the newest additions and changes that give it a fresh coat of paint! Dungeons of Doom is one of two haunted attractions, but it stands on its own as a genuinely frightening experience. The monsters within are waiting for new victims to claim, each with their special way of toying with guests who dare enter. Want to know what's new and what to expect? Keep reading to find out more!

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Madworld Haunted House

Score: 8.25/10

Review Date: September 17, 2022


Madworld presents an amazing variety of spooky-themed activities to keep the whole family . . . entertained. From a bevy of entertaining queue actors who walk the line of the attraction’s midway to music and trivia, from a variety of food vendors to carnival games and mini-golf, there’s a little something for everyone at Madworld. This is Madworld’s 12th year of operation and their crew has worked hard for months to update and refresh what has become a destination haunt for the southeast.

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Sweet Dreams Scare House

Score: 8.21/10

Review Date: September 17, 2022


Sweet Dreams Scare House (SDSH) is a haunt that keeps on surprising and, as such, is one of the . . . haunts that we most look forward to every year. This year, we were able to visit them on their opening weekend in mid-September, and as usual, they did not disappoint. A winding trail that leads from a carnival compound before the haunt begins leads into a dilapidated shack before dumping visitors out into a series of backwoods scenes - barn butchers, cannibals, meth addicts, moonshiners, backcountry preachers, and a carnival (carn-evil) finale that leaves guests running out into the parking lot, SDSH offers a little bit of everything with a high energy and high intensity that is hard to beat.

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The Devils Attic

Score: 9.18/10

Review Date: September 17, 2022


The Devil’s Attic was the highest-rated haunt in Kentucky last year, and they’re continuing the . . . beatings until mortal morale improves! Located in Louisville, Kentucky, DA is slinging saws into their 13th season. Horror movie lovers, you’re not gonna want to miss this show in 2022! Bloody Mary, Pinhead, Leatherface, Ash, and Dr. Frankenstein are all mythical villains, right? WRONG! Satan has collected these foul beings and is keeping them inside the walls of The Devil’s Attic. We came face to face with every one of them, along with many more! We’re here to tell you that walking within the brick walls of the Attic is like stepping onto a real-life horror movie set. The madmen, psychos, murderers, and mythical beings were all set on one thing: unleashing their hellish fury upon our souls! The Devil’s Attic keeps climbing higher and higher on our list of rankings each season, and they blew us away again this year. The inferno has ignited, and his harvested souls eagerly await. Are you ready to live the nightmare?

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Dead Acres Haunted Hoochie

Score: 8.81/10

Review Date: September 16, 2022


Vulgar. Obscene. Outrageous. All these words are synonymous with the Haunted Hoochie, and deservedly . . . so. Due to the vein this haunt hits, they’ve proven to be polarizing. The goal is to get you as far out of your comfort zone as possible with foul language, gore, and mature subject matter. And no, they will not apologize for it. Just so you know, this is a touch haunt, so the actors will touch guests. This haunt is a Bucket List Haunt for the extreme haunt crowd, but be aware that you will be tested!

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Indy Scream Park

Score: 8.1/10

Review Date: September 16, 2022


Located north of Indianapolis, Indiana, Indy Scream Park is back, bigger and better for the 2022 . . . season! With so much to offer at one location, guests can expect to endure an entire night of fright! So whether you want to chill in the midway, enjoy some beverages from Bonzo’s Beer Garden, mingle with monsters in the midway, scream inside the haunts, or stuff your face with fair-fare food, we’re sure there’s something here for everyone this season. ISP features five separate haunting attractions, the Monster Midway and the Zombie Paintball Assault ride. This review will cover the haunted attractions and the park's features each guest may encounter while visiting. Three haunts are indoors, including Killgore’s 3D Circus, Mutation, and Nightmare Factory: Blackout, while the other two, Backwoods and Zombieland: Unchained, are mostly outdoors. Each winds guests through a series of twists and turns, conveniently spitting them back into the Monster Midway for a break in between. For those 18 and older, you can mark yourself with a glowing necklace signifying that you’d like to participate interactively inside Mutation and Zombieland. This necklace allows the monsters within to touch you, possibly remove you from your group, and more! One of our group members chose this option in one of the houses, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more! Our team hadn’t visited in two years, so we were impressed with the changes we encountered!

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Wentz Brothers Festival of Fears

Score: 8.07/10

Review Date: September 15, 2022


What haunted adventure will you choose? To get lost among the killer clowns in Shriek Show? Join the . . . fight against time and zombies to save yourself and the world in Protocol Z? Or confront deranged mutant toys and face your childhood fears in the abandoned Lazurus Toys shop? Or are you bold enough to make it through all three? Back for their second year, The Wentz Brothers Festival of Fears is bigger and better than ever. They have gone from one attraction to three and added a midway and concession area. Disturbing to gory and everything in between, there is something for everyone. If you are with a group that has some real "scaredy cats," there are options for them too. And the Wentz Brothers shared with us that they have big, bold plans for many years to come, so we will be keeping our eyes on them. We look forward to returning every year to see what they have in store for all of us next!

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The Scare Factor Review

Land of Illusion Adventure Park

Score: 8.09/10

Review Date: September 10, 2022


We love starting our yearly reviews by going to Land of Illusion’s Haunted Nights. What better way . . . to spend the beginning of haunt season than at a haunted scream park with six terrifying attractions to scare the crap out of you all night? Plus, they have concessions, mini donuts, snow cones, a few rides, The Stage of Rage, and micro wrestling on the night of our visit; what more could you ask for? ‘At Land of Illusion, they know how to dial up the dread’ within their haunting attractions, including Phobia, Temple of Terror, Killer Klowns, the Middletown Haunted Trail, Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate, and new for this season, Dysphoria (previously Big Momma’s Revenge). This review will cover each of the attractions above. We will break them down within some of the categories below if you don’t have time to visit all of them. Also, for returning visitors, we noticed some significant changes to the Trail and the Estate this year! Our group arrived at the park at their opening time, and we stayed until they were closing the doors. So if you want to plan a visit to an attraction where you can experience an entire night of fun and fright in one place, add Haunted Nights to your list, and you’ll have a screaming good time!

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The Scare Factor Review

Howl O Scream Orlando

Score: 7.12/10

Review Date: September 10, 2022


After a successful Inaugural Fear in 2021, Howl-O-Scream has clawed its way back to SeaWorld Orlando . . . for a second year of fright! Coming up from the depths of the lagoon are the Sirens, this year led by Scratch, the Siren of Blood. She and her sisters have brought forth 5 haunted houses (2 new - Siren of the Seas & Blood Beckoning, 1 reimagined - Dead Vines: Root of All Evil, and 2 returning - Captain’s Revenge: Drowned in Darkness & Beneath the Ice), a whopping 7 scare zones (3 new - Sea of Fear, Cargo Carnage, and Terrors of the Deep, 4 returning - Cut Throat Cove, Frozen Terror: Alive in the Ice, Witchcraft Bayou and Deadly Ambush), 4 shows (2 new - Lurking in the Depths: An Adventurer’s Tale and Lost Souls Hideaway, 2 returning - Monster Stomp: Slasher Alley and Siren’s Song), 5 themed bar experiences (1 new - Allura’s on the Rocks, 4 returning - Tormented, Longshoremen Tavern, Poison Grotto, Sirens’ Last Call), 3 roaming haunts (The Sirens, Siren Minions, and Camo) and rides in the dark. While we did not factor the four live shows into our final score of the event, we’d be doing the event a huge disservice if they weren’t mentioned. Monster Stomp: Slasher Alley is back and better than ever. Now that the actors are no longer performing in face shields, their vocals can be heard clearly throughout the theater. In addition, the fan-favorite skeleton dance number has been expanded and is now double the length. The only show with no noticeable changes is Siren’s Song. While it still fits the theme of the event, we would have loved to see some tweaking for the second year, perhaps with more focus on Scratch as she is the main icon of the event this year. If you haven’t seen the show yet, make it a must-see on your list. Lurking in the Depths: An Adventurer’s Tale is outside in a mini-amphitheater featuring explorer Sam Hud Hudson and his encounters with sirens. We thought the concept was there but the show didn’t end on a strong note and left the entire audience wondering if there was more. If SeaWorld brings the show back for 2023, we’d like to see a stronger ending to really tie everything together. Finally, for $10 extra, you’ll receive admission to Lost Souls Hideaway, a drag cabaret featuring Serpentina Moráy. The performance is show-stopping and should not be missed. You can pre-purchase your time slot online before you arrive and we highly recommend you do so. Pro tip: Arrive 15 minutes before the performance time. Seating is outside at small tables and is not preassigned in advance. There is a bar serving exclusive bites and drinks that you can only purchase at the Lost Souls Hideaway. As this year's tagline states, We’re just scratching the surface. Indeed, Howl-O-Scream Orlando feels exactly where it should be for its second year in operation and they’re bringing everything to the table. Shortcomings from last year have been improved upon and you can really begin to feel the event finding its footing amongst the competition in the area. One of the most exciting operational changes this year is the park no longer dead ends and makes a complete circle. It really expands the footprint of the event and drives guest movement forward. One thing that’s remained the same is the value for money. Howl-O-Scream Orlando is one of the best deals in town and, with tickets originally as low as $24.99 a night, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another event that provides that much entertainment and scares for the price tag. As attendance continues to grow and word of mouth spreads, it's going to be a wild ride to see where SeaWorld takes the event for 2023.

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The Scare Factor Review

The Haunted Hotel KY

Score: 9.01/10

Review Date: September 9, 2022


What better way to start our haunting adventures for the season than running in fear while dodging . . . demented denizens, drenching situations, and gut-wrenching scenes? The Haunted Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is back, and there’s hell to pay! Before entering, the Prophet warned us of three things we needed to do to join their family; we’d have to endure a little pain, a little bit of agony, and there was something deep within us all that we’d need to find… FEAR! The owner and proprietor of this fine establishment, Thomas Gribbons, is determined to find a way to fix all things that are broken, including those of society that bravely cross the Hotel’s threshold. Apparently, Mr. White led them astray for those that visited last year, forcing Gribbons to enforce his tactics. Before entering, he warned us, ‘Blood doesn’t make you family; loyalty does.’ Heed our warning. As advertised, this is an extreme haunted attraction. You may endure explicit language and grotesque scenes. The actors may touch you, you may be removed from your group, and you may even get wet. In our case, we all got soaked! For the 2022 season, the hotel offers a few new amenities for its guests, both inside and out. We recommend leaving your heels, sandals, and good clothes home for this one; you won’t need them. The hotel is grungy and nasty; you never know when you may leave wearing some of it. However, what you will want to bring with you is your courage; you will need it! If you’re going to the Hotel for the first time, you may not want that information to slip out to them. You’ll find out why later!

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