Review of Horror Hike Haunted Attraction
Review of Horror Hike Haunted Attraction
Review of Horror Hike Haunted Attraction
Horror Hike is a Haunted Attraction located in Lawrenceburg, IN.
1415 East Eads Parkway, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Special Events, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction
Team Zombillies reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 20, 2018.
Special Note for 2018:
We’ve changed the way we give scores for this year. We are now using a weighted average that puts more emphasis on certain features of the haunt (IE: “How scary was it,” versus “Does the haunt’s location authenticate their theme”). That said, these scores should not be used in comparisons to previous seasons. For more information about this, click on the small “Score Sheet” link at the bottom of this review. We appreciate your understanding. Thanks and Happy Haunting! –The Scare Factor
Final Score: 7.47
Horror Hike is an outdoor haunted trail located in Lawrenceburg, IN – just a short drive from Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon arrival, you’ll be welcomed to Camp Angst… or at least what remains of it. Something very bad has happened to this place that once served as a fun retreat for youngsters abroad. Will you survive the evil that inhabits these grounds?
With several enclosed scenes, a mix of old-school and a few modern effects, and a dedicated cast of local youth, this resourceful haunt does a good job of immersing you into their story while providing some unique frights along the way!
New for 2018 is their horror escape bus, Escape Camp Angst. Should you decide to partake, we wish you luck in solving their puzzles before your time is up!
A few dozen actors are scattered throughout the trail at Horror Hike. But, most of them congregated in or near the scenes, leaving some relatively lengthy “dead spots” where no one came after us for what seemed like 30 seconds or better.
While some of the characters seemed to be a little further fetched for the theme than others, most of our interactions were clearly with people you’d typically associate with an “outdoor” or summer camp-like setting. Nurse Red (2017’s “scariest actress” recipient) returns with a vengeance and continues to take her job of scalping campers seriously. Must’ve had a bad case of lice?
We also crossed paths with the camp counselor, who had a couple of wildly-misguided kids with her that quickly let us know this wasn’t going to be a typical camp… especially once they locked one of us inside of a locker! They were literally climbing the walls and waving machetes at us; someone should probably tell them that’s not a good idea… (says the sarcastic reviewers)
A select few of these exuberant youths had clearly spent some time honing their scripts, which was especially evident with the bunny mask-wearing guy in the cage scene. He had us hopping and spinning in a game of “bunny says” (his own rendition of “Simon says”), and told us the story of why he gets angry so easily.
We were surprised to learn that some of the other actors/actresses we saw that night had never acted in a haunt before! This was the case with a young lady in a full dress that followed us and, while she did, she took a stick and broke it into multiple pieces while warning us that’s what she was going to do to our bones! We must also note that there were others that didn’t seem to want us to stick around as long, such as the nearly invisible fiends in the mine shaft that insisted we, “Get out!”
The costuming at Horror Hike was equally as diverse as their characters. While some of the “staff,” especially the nurse and the counselor, were well-attired with distressed and tattered ensembles, we did notice a character or two that were only wearing normal street clothes. This was excusable, to an extent, simply because of having a summer camp theme and that’s probably what a normal camper would wear. But, because those characters were also missing any traces of makeup, and it is a haunted attraction after all, we got the impression that they’d literally just showed up and went straight to their scenes with no attempt to make them look scarier.
On the other end of the spectrum, the lady in the cemetery was particularly creepy-looking in her elaborate all-whitish dress. We could definitely tell she was going for a ghostly apparition appearance. Another stand-out look was the guy in the cage area that wore a bloodied-up, burlap mask. Paired with his bludgeoning weapon of choice, we definitely didn’t want to stick around for that game of tag.
We did notice a mask or two as well, but most notable (that we could get a good look at) was the plastic bunny mask in the cage area. Despite not being the highest-quality model we’ve ever seen, it still delivered the look of a psychopathic kid because we could see his hat turned backwards behind it and his also-tattered clothing that went with it. He wasn’t the only bunny out there, though; the rule-giving Killer Bunny’s full and fluffy costume is an interesting choice to the lineup as well.
Customer Service: 9.24
Horror Hike is pretty easy to find… if you know where it’s at. Our GPS tried to lead us to the haunt’s former location from many years ago, so you may have better luck searching for “Party at Trav’s Fireworks;” the haunt is directly across the street from there. Once you get close, you’ll see the brightly-lit “Horror Hike” and neon “Open” signs next to the road, as well as a semi trailer with “Horror Hike” painted all across one side of it.
Parking is self-serve and somewhat limited. We had to get pretty creative to find a spot because the place was packed when we showed up. The lot itself is gravel and fairly well-lit, but there’s a lot of grass surrounding it and that’s where quite a few vehicles were seeming to be forced to park. Use caution if there’s been a recent rain.
The “registration” cabin (aka: ticket booth) is the first thing you’ll come to and there’s a nice warm bonfire with tree stump seating for combating the chilly October nights. Everyone we talked to was extremely friendly and we never felt like the staff were anything but excited to be there.
Horror Hike uses a number system for queueing up the next groups to go through. Once you get your tickets from registration, you’ll proceed to the ticket taker under the TV. They will give your group a card with a number on it and, when that number is displayed on the TV, you’ll know it’s your group’s turn to go next. They will also invite you to try out the free cage maze while you wait and call out the next number over a loudspeaker. It was a little difficult to hear them, but it’s a definite “plus” if you aren’t paying attention. This was a great way to keep customers from having to stand in line for long lengths of time.
The trail itself was pretty easy to traverse. We did snag our feet on a few roots though, so watch your step and wear appropriate footwear. Lastly, we don’t recommend running; the bunny will tell you why.
With a name like “Horror Hike” and their logo plastered on the side of a semi trailer, it’s easy to get the idea that you’re at a haunted trail before you even get into the parking lot. However, things really start to get spooky once you walk up to the entrance.
A “Camp Angst” sign, a “Registration” cabin, and the camp’s vintage-teal-colored bus do wonders to get the haunt’s theme off the ground. The crazy clown queue entertainer (named “Bull$h!t,” by the way) and multi-colored party lights keep the crowd creeped out and ready to have a good time, respectively. From the fire pit, you can see Killer Bunny on his throne just inside the entrance to the trail and the distant sounds of screams and chainsaws from the trail and pre-trail maze let you know you’ll be in for some scares soon enough!
Bull$h!t was doing a great job of keeping the energy of the place high with lots of laughs as he frantically chased unsuspecting guests around the waiting area. Each staff member that we saw that wasn’t in full costume was wearing a white, Camp Angst t-shirt as if they were real camp staff.
Special Effects: 6.13
Horror Hike is what we call an “old-school” haunt, meaning that most of the scares aren’t delivered by a bunch of fancy scenes and props. But, that’s not to say that the resourceful crew that operates the haunt doesn’t have a few tricks up their sleeves…
Most of the effects you’ll find here are so unique that you’ll question whether or not you’re really seeing what you’re seeing… until it’s too late! We were spooked on multiple occasions by blasts of fire, gunshots, large items being thrown at us, and built-in hiding spots that we never would’ve suspected!
One of the biggest changes we saw this year was the laser swamp. Horror Hike is probably the only outdoor haunt we’ve seen that has successfully built an outdoor “open air” (not enclosed) version of this commonly-used illusion. Because it’s actually outside with real trees and vegetation, it’s also one of the most realistic. This illusion does rely heavily on feather-light winds, which we were lucky enough to have on the night of our visit.
Another not-so-commonly-used effect is their zipline. We wouldn’t dare tell you where it’s at on the trail, and we didn’t see it used quite as well this year, but it’s still very unexpected and does a great job of adding to the variety.
Multi-colored lights pull double duty illuminating the trail and casting some eerie shadows on the path ahead of you. We didn’t notice any artificial sounds this year, so our quest was pretty quiet except for the actors and other groups screaming from different parts of the trail. At one point, we did walk by a pretty loud generator, though, which took away from the feeling that we were out in the middle of nowhere. However, when you hear a banjo, it’s time to run!
The scenes themselves had some distance between them, but they all seemed to match what you’d expect to find in the outdoors or at a summer camp setting. We ventured through the counselor’s cabin, the nurse’s station, a swamp, a cemetery with a cool “Angst Cemetery” gateway, and even an old mineshaft that looks abandoned. Each of these were filled with static props, dead bodies and other related decorations.
Horror Hike’s entire theme can be found on their website. Here’s the short version of the story:
The year is 1961. Camp Angst, a then under construction summer camp, was set to open its gates the following year. After a faulty propane tank valve started leaking after it was filled, the entire camp was blown to smithereens and only a few survivors lived to tell about it. Of those who lived, Bill Smythe, the resident groundskeeper, was granted ownership of the property and he rebuilt the place to memorialize the dead… supposedly. After growing in popularity, numerous disappearances were reported and, after years of investigating, police finally tracked the missing persons back to Smythe. People reported seeing the authorities confiscating Smythe’s belongings, but never the man himself. That said, it is believed that he still roams the property.
From the “Camp Angst” sign, Registration cabin and decorated bus near the entrance to the actors and scenes you’ll encounter throughout the trail, the camp-like vibe is definitely carried throughout the attraction. This year’s mission is established by the counselor in the first scene, as she’s awfully worried about her not-quite-right students that have gone missing and needs you to help her find them.
Will you accept the risks of facing these sinister students and, supposedly, Smythe himself?
Say THAT five times fast… Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Scare Factor: 7.41
Horror Hike is an actor-driven “touch” haunt, as most of the scares are derived from the denizens themselves and, sometimes, they might reach out and grab an ankle when you least expect it! Scare levels range from creepy walks through the dark woods and a claustrophobic mineshaft to all-out chainsaw chases and fiery explosions.
On top of that, Horror Hike has brought back an interesting type of scare that we’ve seen in previous seasons: entrapment. We won’t give away all of the details, but we can say that you “may” be invited to put yourself in some tight quarters with some people that you probably won’t be comfortable with.
Another very real scare comes from their award-winning “barrel toss.” This one is almost good enough to warrant going to the haunt just to see it. We’ve also seen this technique used in the past, but it simply never gets old.
Each of the actors did a good job of targeting each of our group members, interacting with us (occasionally), and following up with their scares by not resetting too quickly. We’re curious to see if they can implement some creative distractions in the future and take these frights to the next level!
Entertainment & Value: 7.53
General admission tickets to Camp Angst are priced at $16, which includes the pre-trail cage maze. “Escape Angst” can be attempted for $7 and takes about 5 minutes… or less if you’re able to escape early! You can re-enter the haunt for $5 or, if you’re in the military, police, firefighting or first responder fields, you can enter for $5 in the first place.
The Maze of Mayhem took our group 6 minutes to escape (which may vary greatly) while the trail took us another 18 ½ minutes to traverse putting the combined attraction MPD (minutes of entertainment received per dollar spent) at 1.53 which is right above average.
Escape Angst is Horror Hike’s brand new mobile Escape room that takes place on the camp’s bus. Groups of approximately 4 people are challenged to search for clues and solve riddles that, if interpreted correctly, can help you get out before Smythe returns and gets you! If you like escape rooms, you’ll probably have a lot of fun with this.
Before you leave, don’t forget to stop by the concessions and get yourself some grub! They’ve got everything from chips and soda to hot food that goes down good next to a campfire. Ask us how we know :)
All in all, we always have a great time at Horror Hike and look forward to seeing the changes they make each year. If you find yourself near Lawrenceburg or are looking for some other haunts to visit that aren’t far from Cincinnati, then we recommend giving them a try!
Photos from Review Trip:
Click to Enlarge
Most Challenging Maze (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out - Bullshit - Bill Settles (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out - Camp Counselor - Kat Cordell (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Best Child Performance - Preston (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Scariest Actress - Red (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Most Challenging Maze (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Most Realistic Scare - Barrel (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Funniest Scare - Gloria (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Stitches" A.K.A Caleb Glass (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "The 12 Gauge Toting Clown" A.K.A Justin Rice (Given by: Team Zombillies)