Hobbs Grove Halloween Haunt – Full Review

Hobbs Grove Halloween Haunt is a Haunted Attraction located in Sanger, CA.

14265 E Goodfellow Avenue, Sanger, CA 93657
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts1HauntedHayride1HauntedHouse1HauntedTrail


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Free Parking, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, “Old-School” (Low Tech), “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 6, 2018 by Team In-Corpse-A-Rated.

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Final Score: 9.06

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From the outskirts of Sangar, a suburb of Fresno, CA, lurks a magical forest where mysterious creatures come alive during the Autumn months of September and October. Once again, our review team pays a visit to Hobbs Grove Halloween Haunt. There are four main attractions at Hobbs Grove: The Haunted Forest, The Haunted House, The Haunted Hayride (guests ride on a tractor-pulled flatbed with hay), and The Portal (a laser tag game). On the weekend of our visit, there was a celebrity autograph booth with the ‘Old Woman in Black’ from the Insidious movies. To our surprise, the actor is actually a man named Phillip Friedman. Each of these haunt mazes thrilled and frightened us as we had a fantastic time.

Cast: 8.81

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Overall, we felt that Hobbs Grove had enough actors and there were several memorable moments of interactivity. They have a variety of actors, each one serving a different purpose, and we didn’t feel like we were seeing the same type of generic character over and over again. Each of them used good and appropriate dialogue, which was related to the scene they were in, and didn’t rely on old clich’������s like ‘Get out’ or ‘What are you doing.’ We felt the actors were very believable and nobody broke character.

The Haunted House did have some ‘dead zones’ which needed more actors. Though, we especially remember one actor who was dressed as Rapunzel standing on an overhead platform and appeared to drop on us, but abruptly stopped as we braced ourselves for the fall.

The Haunted Forest had some eerily-quiet moments before actors would engage us. The most memorable interactive moment was when they had us go inside a makeshift shack. While inside, they had us look into a glass window where an actor in a monster costume was getting electrocuted in an electric chair. The lights would sporadically switch on and off and, eventually, when the lights turned back on, the monster was on our side of the window in our personal space.

The Haunted Hayride did have some transitional scenes with no actors, but that fact did not take away from the experience. The Haunted Hayride had a few moments when actors climbed aboard the flatbed and confronted guests. They also had (what appeared to be) an actor fall from above on to our flatbed, but was soon after revealed to be a cloth-made dummy.

The Portal was an interactive laser tag game where soldiers instructed and led guests into a laser gun battle with alien invaders. The alien actors reacted to being shot by guests when they emerged from dark corners. These actors had the most demanding dialogue, where soldiers had to explain the backstory of the alien invasion, how to use the laser guns, and sporadically rally the guests in a gung-ho manner.

Costuming: 9.5

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The actors of Hobbs Grove were very well dressed. There wasn’t a single character whose costume didn’t look incomplete. Most of the actors had elaborate costume detail, while others used a simpler approach that worked. The makeup was applied skillfully and they tended to use primitive styles more than one-of-a-kind looks. At various areas throughout Hobbs Grove, there were actors wearing masks, which did give them a scarier and more-intimidating look. Overall, we felt that the costumes were appropriate for their respective scenes and themes.

Customer Service: 9.56

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Hobbs Grove is easy to find, as there are two signs pointing to its location, each on opposite sides of the street. There is parking staff who’ll guide you to a parking space. The haunt is wheelchair accessible, but for the Haunted House, there’s a wheelchair bypass which allows guests with disabilities to traverse around the house from where the upstairs path begins to meet at where the downstairs path concludes.

We found Hobbs Grove to be very safe, and nothing truly dangerous could be found. There were plenty of staff and security available to address any problems or emergencies and we found them to be very respectful and helpful.

Hobbs Grove has a webpage and is on several social media sites that feature their information.

Atmosphere: 8.2

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From outside of the venue, there are two signs that point to the entrance of Hobbs Grove. Upon driving onto the property, there is a line of trees to see. It’s very majestic and pretty, but there’s not much else to see besides the red ticket booth barn and the courtesy portable restroom for guests.

Upon entering the front gate, the courtyard has a very festive vibe. String lights hang from the trees, there’s a fire pit, a small stage with a DJ playing popular music with a dance floor, and various food trucks. All of the attendees appeared very content and had an overall positive energy. There were line actors interacting with guests in the courtyard, a gift shop and, of course, the celebrity actor from Insidious.

Special Effects: 8.96

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The most notable special effects in Hobbs Grove were the vortex tunnel and swaying room in the Haunted House, the Swamp Scene in the Haunted Forest with the fog and green laser lights, and the fog bubbles floating in the dark tunnel in the Haunted Hayride.

The sound effects were subtle, but not overt. The Portal used sound effects that were the most intensive of the four attractions, which included blast sounds from the laser guns and the alarm sounds from the various buildings in which we did battle. The Haunted Forest wasn’t very sound-driven, except for the electric chair scene where the sounds of electricity accompanied the light as it switched on and off. The Haunted House and Haunted hayride only used sound effects sparingly, but we felt that sound was used appropriately when needed.

The scenes and props were nicely put together. The set design of the Haunted House was geared more towards children’s stories and fairytales. For the most part, everything in Hobbs Grove appeared to be custom-made. The scenes were very well detailed, and helped give each room it’s individual theme.

We did feel Hobbs Grove maintained the suspension of disbelief through the whole haunt. There was only one part of the Haunted House where we experienced a bottleneck effect and became part of a ‘conga line,’ which took away from some of the experience.

Theme: 8.55

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When it comes to themes, The Portal was the most clear-cut obvious, being an alien invasion laser tag game. The Haunted House was a series of independent themes for each scene, but they all had the common denominator of being based off of children’s stories. We recognized The Wizard of Oz, Alice In Wonderland, Little Miss Muffet, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and others. The Haunted Forest had some recognizable scenes like the creepy girl from the movie ‘The Grudge,’ and the motel scene from the film ‘Vacancy,’ yet other scenes were harder to pinpoint. There was a scene involving pilgrims burning witches at the stake, but we weren’t sure if it was referencing a movie or not. We had that experience with multiple scenes in The Haunted Forest, so we couldn’t determine a common denominator for the whole maze. The Haunted Hayride is a series of independent scenes without any known common link, but each scene does convey its own independent theme. The majority of independent scenes do use the existing forest as part of their theme, so we feel the location does bring a level of authenticity.

Scare Factor: 8.78

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Hobbs Grove is a reasonably scary haunt. They provide scares to everyone in the group, and don’t just target any one individual in a group. They are not predictable and have good timing. The majority of scares come from startling you from hidden corners, but there are several intimidating stares and some actors even run towards you with menace.

On the Haunted Hayride, there was an 8-foot effigy of a creature with the skull of a goat that was at first was motionless, but then moved towards us as our flatbed drove to the next scene. Its looming presence did scare the guests. The Haunted Forest had by far the best climatic ending of all the attractions, in which a maniac chased us out with revving chainsaws.

Entertainment & Value: 9.43

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We were very satisfied with the entertainment received from Hobbs Grove. All of the attractions took almost 40 minutes to go through and were a great value. With General Admission tickets running $37, you can expect to get at least 1 minute of haunt-ertainment per dollar spent, depending on your pace. The line actors, the music, the firepit, and the pumpkin patch all kept us engaged in a fantastic experience. All available space was used well, and we did not see any ‘dead zones.’

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Lisa – 10/10October 5, 2018
I was terrified and entertained. The woman in the hayride giving out candy was so funny! She thought …show more I was Dolly Parton and asked for my autograph lol the forest gave me nightmares but I want to go again!

Nancy – 10/10October 10, 2015
By far, Hobb’s is the best Halloween attraction west of the Mississippi. House, forest and hayride …show more are all superb–not just people jumping out at you. They take you on a roller coaster of experiences from gory to funny, to surprising, and everything in between. And FREE midway entertainment for all!

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