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This attraction was reviewed on October 19, 2018 by Team Jefferson Starship.

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Final Score: 6.84

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First, we should give you a bit of background before you delve into the substance of this review. Lake Robinson Haunted House (LRHH) has been around for four decades. In that sense, it is something of an institution; generations have passed through the haunt here. However, a few years back the ownership and management of the haunt changed hands; whereas before the haunt was run by a local rescue squad, now it is run by the local high school wrestling team.

In some aspects, nothing has changed – the house is still there, the concession stand, and the DJ booth. It is still a charity haunt staffed by local people for a local cause. All of these are excellent reasons for you to visit LRHH.

You must also understand that the area has been hit repeatedly with devastating storms and flooding for the past few years and the house itself is currently unusable. The local youth and their sponsors who have worked so hard on this haunt have not had the time to invest in building a professional haunt nor do they have the decades of experience that the past owners of LRHH had. they shouldn’t be faulted for the things they cannot control.

Instead, take the time to visit LRHH to support a local cause and to see what potential lies therein. After all, LRHH has already endured four decades of hardship and changes; the seeds are now being planted for decades more to come.

Cast: 6.8

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LRHH is filled with an assortment of ghoulish creatures from devilish doctors to creepy clowns to a playground filled with crazy kids. While there isn’t a lot of dialogue initiated from the haunters, there’s always a startling moment when one of them pops out from the shadows to leer and loom over you. The haunters also did a good job of never leaving anyone alone – costumed creatures would follow you from their initial room into the next, usually until the next frightful face made an appearance. Not only is this a great safety feature for the actors, but it means that only rarely are you alone. The majority of the cast are high school volunteers working to raise money for school-related events and trips, but they put forth a great deal of effort into making the haunt entertaining.

The girl in the playground, the pig farmer, the clown with the drill, and the doctor are all signature parts of the haunt that you don’t want to miss.

Costuming: 5.76

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Due to the volunteer nature and what we’re sure their budget constraints, overall, the costumes at LRHH are not anything particularly original nor unique. You’ll see similar things at many small local haunts across the south.

The Doctor, however, was a notable stand-out among the other bloodied tatters and rags. Some of the masks didn’t fit perfectly and likely hindered speech, but the majority of them were realistic and well done.

Customer Service: 8.14

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All of the staff at LRHH, from the youth to the adults, are all great – friendly, helpful, and eager to help out or even just talk to pass the time.

Their online presence is pretty much solely Facebook, but from there you can find times and prices with some easy scrolling as well as pictures and short videos of other guests visiting the haunt.

The parking lot is a large field between the road and the attraction, so be prepared for a few bumps, some dust, and a dirty walk up to the ticket booth.

Atmosphere: 8

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LRHH is not too far from the town of Hartsville, but far enough away that the noise and lights of the city are left far behind. The ticket booth itself is decked out in decor and from there you pass through a little queue area decorated as a maze complete with graffiti and ambiance only to board a ride out to the haunt provided in the back of either a hearse or an ambulance driven by an escaped convict who provides the haunt rules as well as some frightful banter delivered with force.

Once dropped off, you’ll find yourself in an open field flooded with music and light. Here you’ll find concessions and a spooky DJ booth facing off from opposite sides with the haunt facade looming in the back.

If you’ve visited LRHH in past years, the old and familiar outline of the house has been completely obscured and occluded by the additions that the staff now use for providing scares and screams. While you wait to enter the main house or the additional pig-farm, screams and bangs and roars sneak out from the behind the dark walls and punctuate the music blaring from the outside speakers.

Special Effects: 6.09

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That same music from outside bleeds into parts of the haunt, and while this provides a consistent beat, occasionally it overwhelms what’s going on inside the haunt. There are some sounds and music playing within the haunt too, contrasting and fighting back against the music from outside.

There are some sets and props that the crew of LRHH have constructed that help fill the mood and themes of their individual scenes. A whole room of hanging bodies wrapped in plastic and a room decorated with doll heads and faces are particularly memorable sets. Given that the crew of LRHH can’t use the interior of the old house, they’ve done a good job of building an external shell around the house to serve as a backdrop for their various scenes and interactions.

Theme: N/A

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There’s not a single unifying theme at LRHH. Instead, visitors venture through the haunt encountering a variety of terrifying spaces. From a doctor’s operating room to a child’s bedroom and an open playground, guests will move from scene to scene never knowing what might appear next.

The pig farm second haunt has its own line, that sends you into a twisting and disorienting maze before you encounter the pig farmer himself along with his terrifying hog.

Scare Factor: 6.57

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LRHH slightly front-loads their scares, so when you visit be sure to put the most terrified members of your group in the front of the line so that you can enjoy their startled jumps and sudden screams. The rest of the group will be subjected to plenty of looming figures and groaning creatures to keep them on edge while the front of the line is catching their breath.

Your night at LRHH will end with a hayride back through the woods. This hayride is just that – a simple hayride. Though you’ll see the old bones and scattered bits that made up the scenes that once populated this part of LRHH, this year the focus is solely on the house. The hayride does get you back to the parking lot and the ride through the woods had some people on the trailer who were still screaming in fright because they were still on edge from the haunt itself.

Entertainment & Value: 7.3

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As stated above, this is essentially a charity haunt supporting the local high school wrestling team. They obviously have put in some hard work and are eager about doing their best. The price for tickets is only $10 a person, and while the haunts within aren’t huge, when you add in the exciting ride up and the calming ride back out, you’ll spend at least 25 minutes here, not counting the time you may have to spend in line waiting your turn. That’s a great value for your money and you know that the money is going to a great cause.

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