Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus – Full Review

Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus is a Haunted Attraction located in Waynesfield, OH.

19407 OH-117, Waynesfield, OH 45896
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted Corn FieldHaunted FarmHaunted RideZombie Paintball


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You may be touched, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 24, 2020 by Team Mysterious Misery.

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Final Score: 9.02

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Testing your fate is the easy part; making it out alive in all three sections is the hard part. In its sixth season in the industry, Hammer Brothers Haunted Circus has continued its success with their touch haunt. You ask is it worth it? As Missy Elliot would say, “Let me work it; I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.” Well, Hammer Brothers does that, they flip everything you expect from a haunt and they put in the work.

The team has a passion and love for what they do, and it completely shows at this attraction. This is quickly becoming a must-see haunt for a whole night of entertainment that covers everyone.

Cast: 9.08

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It takes eighty talented cast members to keep Hammer Brothers up and running on open nights. With the three areas they need lots of human bodies to create the human effect. Each of three sections has cast that fit into their part of the story. The cast is lively and energic which makes you always feel amped up inside. There are two queue line actors every night. On the night we went, they were both amped up and getting scares while people were just waiting in line. The cast does an amazing job at using props and their scenes for the scare. They do really well working together and interacting with guests.

The Homestead is where the story begins. This is also where you will locate the actors that are all in and still raising the stakes. Many in this area have been in the haunt industry before and know all the correct techniques. This group must be on their A-game because if you pick a shiny this is where a lot of your contact will come into play. You will meet the family and they want you to be dinner (not have it, BE it). Then you will meet the scientist. Heavens to Betsy do not make fun of her accident or you may leave without a lounge. You will run into Sprinkles and if you don’t immediately love Sprinkles you may need a moment. Then you will meet the party clowns who are ready to paint the town. They love interacting with you and playing party games.

The Cornfield on a moonlit October night is no place to get separated from your group. On the night we attended, it was muddy due to the rain before and this cast was navigating it so stealthily that the scares were still surprising. The corn and other random things on the path provide discreet locations that this cast uses at its advantage. The cornfield crew is a tough crew as well because I may have injured two randomly by mistake and they are still out there duct-taping people and holding knives to your teeth.

The Paint Wagon Trail has a cast that takes a literal beating by paintballs while being amazing zombies. The low grunts and grumbles and the way they meander to you, makes it that more realistic. They’re like real zombies in that they also do not give up and keep trying to reach their food. They are not like other zombies either because they are smart and try to use an ATV to catch up to you. However, in all honesty, it takes brave soles for people to go out in costumes and be shot at by paintballs on a cold night.

Costuming: 9.01

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With eighty people to get ready every night it is no wonder why these cast members are all in their own makeup. I continue to find them impressive each year because the looks are so well done and are creative. Let me tell you if you gave me an FX kit and told me to create a look, I would look like a little kid that played in chimney soot. There is a handful of cast members that enhance their skills every office season and the haunt is glad to have them. They arrive on time in completed and creative makeup. They then jump in to help others enhance or complete their looks.

The party clowns stood out to me this year. Maybe that is because they are always in your face. They were complete costumes from head to toe with creative face paint and items that worked well under a blacklight.

Many outside haunts utilize masks because the elements make face paint wear off quicker. Here at Hammer Brothers, they say game on. Many of their outside actors have full face paint for their characters. There are some goof FX pieces that lurk out in the fields. The lady with beauty makeup on one side and a bunny on the other side of her face caught my attention. Very good utilization of two skills to make one character.

Masks do get used but mainly for Zombies in the Paintball Wagon Trail. These are not your everyday Halloween masks nor are they the normal run of the mill characters. These masks fit properly with each zombie so that they can see where they are going because they are running in dark areas. You will hear the warning several times not to shoot the Zombies in the face but if we are being honest, every 12-year-old boy did not hear any of those words come out of your mouth and safety is another reason for the masks. It gives the cast the ability to add padding on the inside to protect their face in case of an accident.

If you are brave enough to add a shiny to your experience; you will get to see and smell first hand the makeup.

Customer Service: 9.15

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I want to start by saying this is an attraction where your choice of footwear matters. Wear footwear that you can get muddy or even ruined. This is not the place to try and be cute with new, all-white shoes. You have been warned.

Hammer Brothers has a great media and marketing person. Any information you could ever want or need you can find at their website: http://www.hammerbrothershauntedcircus.com/home.html or on Facebook. One useful thing you can get is the address. We plugged it into our GPS and got there with no problems from Columbus, Ohio. There is not a lot of signage on the way but once you get close you will see the lights in a distance. You really cannot miss the huge circus tent and all the cars in front of it.

Parking is plentiful and free, but it is in a grassy lot and can be muddy at times. As you approach the massive circus tent there will be a lot going on. To the left in a trailer is the ticket booth. The team members there will help you with pricing and packages. To the right is the warm fire pit, the porta pots, and concession stand. If you have any questions, there are plenty of team members in that area that will help you as well. When you enter the tent, there are lots of signs in neon paint to help you understand where you need to go. If the signs do not help or you forgot to read them, do not worry, staff members are always close by that will quickly point you in the right direction or answer any questions. The staff is always professional, and they want you to enjoy your time at Hammer Brothers.

While in the queue line there are things going on inside the tent to keep you entertained like horror movies on the screens, queue line actors, places to get snacks and beverages, music, bubbles, and a CHARGING STATION! Yes, a charging station. They want your device to be charged as much as you do because you will share the haunt on social media. Do not forget to #hammerbrothers. The girl who helps time the groups at the front and takes tickets is very polite and helpful.

Hammer Brothers passed all inspections and has safety plans in place. If you are lucky you will run into Matt, the owner. I always find Matt’s take unique as you will see him mingling with the patrons taking in their love for the haunt and hearing what the haunt can do better. On the night we attended, he went through with a group that had a couple of younger people who were scared. Matt’s excitement can rub off and his energy and passion for the haunt is easy to see. He and his crew are having fun and they want you to have fun also.

Atmosphere: 8.96

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We attended on a moonlit October night. The sky and the massive circus tent made for a picture-perfect moment. It is a moment that you get d������j������ vu from because you have seen this picture before probably in a horror film where the circus goes wrong and many end up being slaughtered. Yeah, now it’s all coming back to you. The warm fire pit on the outside of the tent has a beautiful orange glow and keeps people nice and toasty. I mean creatures of the night really do not want cold food all the time. The smell of warm foods entices your nostrils.

However, once you get to the circus tent that vibe is completely gone, and you feel like you have stepped into a club of some sort. You are greeted with great music playing throughout the tent. If you look around, you will see people dancing. There are black lights in the tent which produce a great feel for all the signage making them feel more club-like. There are also lights that dance and a bubble machine. There are TVs inside the tent that play old horror shows. There is a charging station for all those great selfies. There are two designated queue line actors that roam around to bring you entertainment while you wait.

Each of the other sections at Hammer Brothers conjures different emotional responses when the lady says you are next. The Homestead gives you an eerie feeling as you exit the tent and round the corner, with corn so high you cannot see anything. Next thing you know, you are standing on the porch of a house that is draped in blue lighting and giving you hauntingly good vibes. The Cornfield sets your Spidey sense on full alert. It is dark and the only thing you can see is corn so you begin to sike yourself out thinking you heard or seen something. The paintball wagon brings energy as you are ready to kill zombies before they get to you.

Special Effects: 9.03

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Due to COVID Hammer Brothers could not run The Hunt this year which gave them more opportunity to enhance this area. This haunt does special effects extremely well. It is literally a night of all-out war on all your senses. Most of the things you will experience have the human factor in them because this haunt is a 0 animatronic haunt.

I always forget how much lighting can change a mood or set a stage but every time I go to Hammer Brothers I quickly remember. The lights inside the tent tell one story. The Homestead is draped in beautiful blue lighting but the way it is done makes the front feel elegantly creepy. The lack of lighting in The Cornfield serves the right purpose.

Smells are utilized. The kitchen brings up smells that make you want to vomit but you might not be able due to your mouth being duct-taped shut. There’s also the smell of the face paint that is being added to you by the party clowns and the smell of corn and mud.

Working CT machines and dark corridors to escape are other special effects that you have to escape from while your hands are duct-taped together. Airhorns and blast of lights will greet you in the least expected places as you travel through The Cornfield. You will come across fog and strobe lights that distort your vision in all the right ways.

On the paintball wagon, the special effects of using the UV lights and special paintballs make for a colorful evening. There’s also music being played as you round each corner and it does a great job at keeping the energy where it needs to be for this attraction.

Theme: 8.7

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This is Hammers Brothers’ sixth year of operation and the growth of their theme is becoming more clear. You can see their vision and concepts of expansion and how they will continue to tie the story together. More this year than in years past, I can see the connection between all of the moving pieces. The theme is about a circus and Toxic Trauma to Agriculture. This is an odd couple but really tells a story. At the haunt we did not get anything that gave us the backstory. You can get the complete story on the website and it is worth the read.

Here is a sample of what is being told at the haunt:
You get to go to the childhood home of Alistar and Ezekiel. You will enter their very detailed 1940’s home. You will then travel along their family farm and see the effects of the chemicals. In the cornfield, you will meet the traveling circus that they decided to help since the chemicals ruined the crops and the bills were mounting. Things get crazy from there and if you don’t pay attention you get to become part of the crazy. Theming continues into the Paintball Wagon Trail. This is where you will use your survival skills to shoot the circus clowns who have eaten the poisoned food, which has made them crazy.

Scare Factor: 8.93

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At Hammer Brothers, they offer you a real-life situation that can happen at any time and put you right in the middle of the story. Have you ever heard of Toxic Trauma of Agriculture? Yeah, we had not either until we attended this haunt. This is when something us humans consume or use in our everyday life gets contaminated. Contamination brings along widespread diseases, no cures, and more. After the year we have had we can agree this can happen and it’s scary to think about.

Zombies, Circus, and a pandemic’ oh my! No one knows which concoction of chemicals makes zombies. What if by accident the right ones are put together and then they are everywhere. You frantically try to kill them, but they keep coming after you. You must get to the scientist, but will you? While you are trying to handle that the circus rolls into town’ Dut dut dutha’ All the weirdness that goes on from unknown people roaming from town to town doing odd things. They are surviving with whatever takes- maybe you. The circus always brings clowns. Brightly colored and big-headed creatures standing around with their creepy grin on their faces looking sinister.

With all that in mind, this haunt brings on more. Hammer Brothers is a touch haunt. Oh, my lanta is it ever a touch haunt. They like to sniff you, pet you, touch your hair, and just totally creep you out. If you want to take your haunt experience to the next level upgrade and get what the actors call a shiny, I dare you. I braved it and took a shiny and man oh man if I had a recording for the thoughts that went through my head. I was duck-taped, had my hair rearranged, walked through a glitter bomb, took on special effects makeup, had a stamp placed on my head like I was being branded, had a knife held to my teeth, and many other things. Cold face paint being placed on your face when you least expect it a whole other feeling.

For those that want to have a good time without being so close to death, you do not have to take on a shiny and will still be scared. As mentioned above they are still a touch haunt. So being petted or sniffed is a normal day at the office. You will still be asked to lay on the CT scan. The lights, horns, and cornfield will offer up screams and scares for you.

Let’s talk about the fog. It is so thick in some areas that you can’t see in front of your face. I tried waving my hands to move it around so I could see and ended up hitting a worker by accident. You never know what is lurking in the fog or the dark. Your scenes will be assaulted at Hammer Brothers.

Now, this is a test run of something that could happen, can you survive?

Entertainment & Value: 9.09

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We know this year has been tough on many but if you want to get out and enjoy some fresh air and have a great night of entertainment look no further than Hammer Brothers. Due to COVID, Hammer Brothers could not offer The Hunt for this season but they took all the time and energy and placed it in the rest of the areas, and it shows. They offer three attractions for 2020: The Homestead, Haunted Cornfield, and Zombie Paintball Wagon. However, they do not stop there. There are food vendors on-site with many offerings, merchandise, photo ops, and much more.

Let’s start with the information you need to help make decisions about your night. Tickets are available nightly from 8 pm-11:00 pm at the main ticket booth next to The Massive Circus Tent. You can also buy them in advance on the website.

The Homestead is an indoor attraction that is open rain or shine. The Homestead includes the haunted home and the laboratory. If you only do The Homestead, it is $15.00 per person. For my group, it took us about 24 minutes to get through The Homestead. The time could be different based on if you are brave enough to get a shiny and how long they want to keep you for fun. If you only do The Homestead at $15.00 you will be getting 1.60 minutes of hell for every dollar you spend.

The Haunted Cornfield is an outdoor attraction that is open with weather permitting. If you only do the Haunted Cornfield the price is $15.00 per person. For my group, it took us about 25 minutes to get through the Haunted Cornfield. Again, your timing could be different based on if you are brave enough to get a shiny, how long they want to keep you for fun or if you are so scared you run through the whole thing. If you only do Haunted Cornfield at $15.00 you will be getting about 1.67 minutes of toxic trauma for every dollar you spend.

The Homestead and Haunted Cornfield offer an additional upgrade for those who want to take their experience to the next level. For an additional $5.00, you can ask for a shiny. Be aware that the shiny makes the actors even more playful and don’t be surprised if you get a new style or facial enhancements.

Fast Pass is also available at $25.00 per attraction. The suggestion is to be able to get through all three in one night to buy at least one Fast Pass to make this happen. This $25.00 is on top of the base admission price If you buy your tickets online, you can skip the ticket booth and get right in line for your attractions. On busy nights this could be a great idea.

If you do not take the option of the Fast Pass or a Shiny at the ticket booth and then your friends peer pressure you later, there is a spot in the queue line where you can upgrade before going into the haunt.

The Zombie Paintball Wagon Ride is an outdoor attraction that is open with weather permitting. You will shoot live zombie actors from a moving wagon. If you only do the Zombie Paintball Wagon Ride the price is $20.00 per person. There is also an option on the ride to buy additional paintballs if you run out. It is $5.00 for an additional 100 paintballs, cash only.

If you are making the night out of it you can do a combo with The Homestead, Haunted Cornfield, and Paintball Wagon Ride for $45.00. The combo may be the best deal of the night at $45.00 you are getting over an hour of entertainment. It comes out to be 1.33 minutes for every dollar you spend. These tickets are limited and available only at the ticket booth and sell out quickly.

The tickets listed above have a no refunds or return policy. If Hammer Brothers closes for rain, your ticket is good for the duration of the season.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 7.58 out of 10

Tory Vander Ven – 10/10September 30, 2023
A perfect kind of scare! Had great actors who all did a great job scaring me, I loved how unique …show more each house was and how they involved me in it! I’ll definitely be back!

Jelly may – 9.8/10September 17, 2022
This is my 3rd year attending this haunt and it is one of my favorites if you are looking for a …show more touch haunt in the Midwest this is the place to go. The moment you walk from the parking you get immediate interaction and entertainment from the que actors. Waiting in line is never fun but these guys know how to make it so. The house is always a very immersive experience and they’re is always something to be doing along side the actors that make you feel apart of the show. The field is a lengthy winding event that has you guessing with almost all of your senses. If you wanted to feel like you’re apart of your favorite horror movie. This is where you can live that dream.

Bash-O – 9.5/10September 29, 2018
Every Haunt has its early in the season hick ups… But The Cast and Crew really Care at this Haunt. …show more They More than made up for any inconveniences that occurred, which by the way, were beyond their Control. LOVE YOUR WAGON RIDE ZOMBIE HUNT !!!

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