Legends of Fear – Full Review

Legends of Fear is a Haunted Attraction located in Shelton, CT.

2 Saw Mill City Road, Shelton, CT 06484
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts1HauntedHayride1HauntedTrail


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Free Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line

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This attraction was reviewed on September 28, 2019 by Team Hallowoosh.

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Final Score: 9.68

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Most would say a haunted attraction officially starts when you hand in your ticket and given that first glimpse at the world behind the curtain. Some might say a haunt could start the second you open your car door after parking. As much as I love visiting many great haunted attractions all over New England, there is very few that make me feel like the haunt starts days before I even arrive. I spend a good solid month at least arranging and rearranging my schedule for haunt season. The very first step is writing down the few spots that I know for a fact I WILL be going to. I might pen down one or two destinations before realizing I’m about to draw a 90������ angle that represents the icing on the cake of an amazing haunt season. I’m talking of course about the ‘L’ in Legends of Fear! And it is THAT moment when I write down their name for the first time of the year that gives me the chills with a smile on my face.

Legends of Fear, such a fitting name for an amazing night full of screams and terror. It was only three years ago I ever heard the name despite the fact they were celebrating their 20th year in operation. And I had been visiting haunted attractions in New England since 2010 vigorously trying to see them all. Why had I never heard of this place before? Perhaps there was just too many different attractions to see, or maybe it was the sheer presumption that comes with the name ‘Legends’. This is New England, when we say ‘Legends’ more often than not we are talking about the people that have achieved God-like status with our Six Super Bowl rings, Six Stanley Cups, Nine World Series, and Seventeen NBA Titles! So perhaps the term ‘Legends’ might be taken out of context when I thought to myself ‘Pff, Okay guys, how about you calm down with the ego a bit there’ ‘ I was wrong.

It was warm for a late September evening in Connecticut when we visited. Not particularly shorts and crocs weather but still warm enough that the peeper frogs at times could muffle our conversations. Luckily for us, Legends of Fear knows how and when to get loud! After their parking attendants helpfully guided our vehicle into a safe spot, we made our way to the main area for our tickets. To our surprise, the whole area was completely changed around from previous years. We stopped for a second to ask ourselves if we had accidentally went the wrong way, or even if we were at the right place. Close by we could see the familiar entrance to ‘The Hallow’ their haunted trail attraction so we knew we were at least at the right property. Then all of the sudden behind us we hear a loud whistling noise and the whole sky lit up from the explosions of multiple fireworks over the tree farm. It was a Hell of a way to start off the night, told you they know how to be loud. After checking out some of the new setups they had in their midway and grabbing a nice cold drink at their concession stand, we made our way to the first of their two amazing attractions, The Haunted Hayride!

Cast: 9.66

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We did bump into quite a few midway and line actors entertaining the waiting crowds before boarding onto the wagons for the hayride. I was fortunate to get a photo of a lunatic scarecrow about to bash my brains in with their giant mallet. A group of clowns wandered their way into me laughing with joy screaming ‘Now the Nightmares Start!’ A group of young boys paid no attention to their warning when they asked the clown, ‘Are those your real eyes?’ only to get a response from the lead clown, ‘Let me check your eyes! Are they real!?’ lunging forward at their little heads with her pointy fingers. They ran away, nobody ever saw them ever again.

The first actor we came across was frolicking in a graveyard in front of a giant haunted house facade at their midway. We didn’t even recognize her when we were simply just enjoying the view of this haunted house surrounded by a rusty iron fence. Out of the corner of my eye she crept up so quietly I realized something was there not three feet away from me on the other side of the fence. It creeped the hell out of me to see it was a smiling little Goth girl looking at me like I was a pile of toys.

The hayride scenes had an abundant of actors for each one. However, I’d like to say that the very first actor on the hayride isn’t even an actor. The tractors have to cross over the road that runs straight through the farm, which is also used for the parking lot. So a gentleman is stationed at the cross road to stop a tractor to let some cars go or vice versa. As the wagon gets pulled by him we hear, ‘Haha, Nice knowing ya! Bye Bye! Hahaha!’ We know he was just playing around and having a good time, but in the back of our minds for a second we thought this man has no reason to lie, he isn’t playing dress up like the rest of these actors, what if he’s telling the truth! But the hay bales we were sitting on were so comfortable we decided to take our chances.

Compared to the 2018 season, we feel that the actors in the hayride were doing a great job at owning their scenes. They did a great job in 2018 as well, but there was something about the way they moved and talked in all the different areas this year that made it feel more genuine. The rednecks coming out of the barn have always been great. This year we noticed that one of them was in her own little slaughter kitchen area with dead chickens hanging all over the place. She even had one in her hand and a cleaver in the other. I believe she was inviting us to stay for dinner but there was redneck chaos going on all around us. It was rather nice to see little details thrown in there though, almost like it gave the sense that this isn’t just a barn with some cooks running around in it, they could actually live in this place.

Many of the actors wore microphones and we could hear their lines even over the rumbling of the tractor engine. The great thing about their actors connected to a speaker is that it didn’t feel like constantly scripted dialogue. The doctors operating on mental patients, the butcher boys, the clowns, and the witches all had their own little unique things to say as each wagon rolled into their area. This made the hayride feel a lot more like we stepped into their world rather than sitting back and watching a show.

We enjoyed every scene on the hayride and they all stood out in their own ways. Surprisingly though, we really liked the chainsaws! Being a haunt tourist I’ve been to dozens and dozens of haunts that overuse the chainsaw multiple times a night. It’s boring, it’s loud, it’s gasoline fumes everywhere, and it always lasts way too long. But at Legends of Fear’s hayride, we were treated to a barn that knows how to do chainsaws right! Even as we entered the barn, there was a single chainsaw hanging where the loft doors would be with a small little fading light bulb above it so it really felt iconic. We knew we were about to enter the area specifically designed for chainsaws. Once we were completely covered by the roof of this barn, it was complete madness. Two boys with chainsaws raced onto the wagon and made at least half the guests fall off their hay bales or start climbing the sides to get away. We also really enjoyed watching the children try to escape from the evil powers of the witches, only to be turned into mindless minions and slowly walk back to their master’s homes.

The Hallow is home to what seems like an unlimited amount of creatures and psychopaths. Just from what I can remember they have witches, clowns, nuns, fairies, vampires, hillbillies, doctors, cannibals, scare crows, creepy little girls playing with dolls, and that’s just what I can recall off the top of my head. There were so many different areas and great actors to remember. But one of them gets me every single year. Right before passing under the simple but haunting entrance that marks the official start of the trail, someone is always hiding behind a tree, or a stump, or the wall, and lets out a huge, ‘WELCOME!’ and it gets me every single year. It might have something to do with the fact that the waiting line at the Hollow has music and movies playing, along with the shouting conversations from other guests. Then once I start to make my way into the woods, those sounds start to disappear almost to a point I think I’m lost. Out of nowhere a guy shouts and it’s so perfectly timed I can’t help but react.

The trail is full of surprises this year with all the new types of characters they introduce but we couldn’t get enough of the clowns in the carnival and the fun house this year. They were very unique in their own particular ways, everyone was an actual character. Even the same clown from the previous year got me with the ‘pick a door’ scene. Not sure why I suck at picking the right door but he had me trapped for a bit while my partner got to go through the ‘correct’ door. One of the best actors in there is the guy who was willing to wear a ballerina tutu all night. A woman in our group had to put up her fists because she had no idea how to react to such things. Although he did kind of pop up out of nowhere right in front of her screaming ‘HI!’ and then instantly throwing up his own fists in the highest pitched voice he could muster ‘Oh! Don’t You Point Your Fists At Me Young Lady!’ It was magical.

I could go on forever talking about how great the actors were at every step of the trail. It really is amazing seeing how many of them were completely dedicated to their roles. Everything from the Melon heads to the organ player to the grave diggers and nuns and all the way up to the trappers and pig boys. It is rare to find such dedication and talent with this many people. They’re all ages too, which really makes the place feel like an incredible family.

Costuming: 9.68

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If there is one thing that really grinds my gears when I see it in a haunted attraction, it’s when an actor is allowed to show up in a hoodie and jeans and basketball shoes and a mask from the nearest drug store. One of these days I’m just going to rip those damn masks off their little faces and attach them to my belt like a head hunter. Now that I got that out of the way, Legends of Fear shares my firm stance against cheap costumes and masks. Maybe not as aggressive as me, but still.

Off the top of my head, I want to say we spotted maybe five masks during the night. The makeup crew is extremely passionate about their job and they love getting everyone prepared for their scenes. There was such a wide variety of styles to see. Especially with the clowns on the hayride and in the trail, their makeup truly gave them their very own character. Their costumes as well looked like something out of a professional goth circus on a few of them. When we saw the guy with the Tutu or the doll loving clown girls in their bedtime-style gowns, we really started to wonder how the hell they managed to think of all these little details.

They have a rather long cemetery set towards the end of the Hayride. The thing that made this scene pop the most was the fact that all the actors were girls and women walking around slowly in white face, blackened eyes, and spooky white burial dresses. Each of them holding their own illuminated candle. No eye contact or dialogue, these girls were super creepy. It seemed like there was no end to them, they were everywhere. The candle and the dresses made it feel like we were walking through a haunted graveyard of despair. All of these girls were like tortured souls that have risen from their eternal slumber to roam the earth forever. They had quite a few of them over at the Pinehill Church as well, which the Hayride drives right by at a certain point in the show.

We can’t get enough of the witches at Legends of Fear. It’s obvious they all have their own little back story they aren’t telling anyone. They’ve always looked like they are straight out of some crazy elaborate Disney movie. Everything from the tips of their pointy hats to the bottom of their curled up boots is different on each of them. One might have some form of trinkets hanging from her belt while the other has some crazy pointed nose and a bit of a green tint to her face. Each one has their own staff as well, which really gave way to all kinds of questions of origin and motives, they could make a movie just on their witches I bet.

We never needed to ask anyone at Legends of Fear about their pride, it shows in many aspects of their attraction. Their dedication to full faced makeup and head to toe complete costumes is no exception at all. This is just one of the big reasons why I believe Legends of Fear will soon become the haunt everyone will be talking about.

Customer Service: 9.6

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Legends of Fear resides on Fairview Tree Farm in Shelton, Connecticut. It is a very popular spot to get a nice Christmas tree for the locals and even some customers from out of state. It is easy enough for them to remember where this awesome farm is located. For almost everyone else, especially first timers, we would like you to know that this place is NOT in the middle of nowhere but it sure does feel like it. The farm is in a quiet neighborhood that is pretty darn dark once the sun goes down. There’s not many street lights in that part of town. But once you are there it is impossible to miss, though it does kind of come out of nowhere over a little hill of a road right before you turn onto Saw Mill Road. Their entire midway is completely illuminated with orange and purple string lights, big facades with spotlights on skeletons and crazy pumpkin demons! They had plenty of parking lot attendants safely guiding us right into a convenient spot, not too far away from the action and not to close.

As I mentioned before, they decided to change their midway a bit this year. In previous years the gift shop, ticket booth, concession stand, and even the majority of the photo opportunity areas faced the road. On busier nights I can imagine how this might have become an issue. So this year they decided to flip everything around and have almost all the action facing away from the road. They had to sacrifice a little bit of tree land and build a few new structures to do so, but now it is a great hangout spot. Everyone can come back to this area and chill by their giant fire pit, plenty of picnic tables, great concession stand serving a bunch of goodies including fresh mini cider doughnuts and Bill’s Lemonade! It was particularly good on these warm autumn evenings. Rock music played all the time. There were all kinds of selfie opportunities for everyone in your group to show how much fun you had!

It’s incredibly hard to miss where the entrance is for the Hollow, but the Hayride entrance still requires a little tiny bit of guidance. Although the entrance to the hayride is bright and beautiful with skeletons and torches and old barn wood stockade fencing and all, it is very easy to find but we have to be slightly nudged in the right direction just a little bit. Ticket takers and gift shop cashiers and literally anyone official will tell you as soon as they can where to go. Even the actors still in character will ask if you’ve been to the hayride yet and point you in the right direction. As the seasons go on, it will become increasingly obvious where to go the second you step foot on the property.

The hayride thankfully is one of the coziest we’ve been on. While most wagons force us to sit on the floor in a pile of hay, Legends of Fear has big cages originally used to transport hay bales so we have something for our backs to lean up against and we sit on our own little hay bales as well! Even the trail is completely graded and smooth, we never walked over any big roots or rocks or anything.

We couldn’t ask for a nicer group of people to be around. Damn near everyone who works there is a friend or a friend of a friend or family or extended family or second family, you get the idea. The point is that they are all there because they love being there and they love being around each other. It really does feel like we get invited to the biggest, craziest, but best family’s backyard Halloween extravaganza! And that feeling on top of the insane hard work and passionate dedication they put into this place year round make it one of the best things I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience in my life.

Atmosphere: 9.96

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We had just arrived on the property that night and we were gawking over some of the new displays in the midway. The unexpected firework show in the distance was certainly another fun surprise! Paired up with some classic heavy metal tunes, the fire pit, and the kids running away from the crazy mallet wielding scarecrow, the midway has Haunted Attraction covered like crazy.

I worded the experience quite nicely last year but I’ll try my best to explain again without ripping myself off. There are obviously many characteristics to consider when judging what makes a Haunt a great Haunt or a terrible Haunt. I’ve always felt that the best way to truly criticize anything is to judge them based on what they could possibly do and how close to that image has that place aimed for. For example; an indoor attraction can do whatever it wants to make it seem like you are in a forest, but you know you are not and that can’t compare to an attraction that is actually IN a forest. So I judge them based on how good their fake forest is or how great their real forest is. One might think the real forest is at an unfair advantage, but not so fast. It’s all in what they do with the forest. Legends of Fear has done an incredible job at turning their forest into a kingdom of terror, as it was last year and the year before.

My favorite part of the whole haunt is that moment when I officially enter The Hallow Trail and for a brief moment I get to stop and take a look into the small valley that holds what seems to be the portal of Hell. The trail continues down a few steps, but I soak in the moment for a little watching the different colored lights shine in the pockets of fog at various parts of the trail. The sound travels through the trees up there and I can hear the screams and laughs and eerie music. Even the peepers screaming loud from every direction and adding that little bit of realism to the mix.

We are completely in love with the way Legends of Fear gives us that sense of Halloween fun when we hang out in the midway. With all the lights and music going on it’s like ‘Welcome to Fun Halloween Town!’ I think for a moment this gives people the idea that the rest of the attraction will be the same. It’s like a fun Halloween version of a Christmas lights neighborhood but then it doesn’t take too long on the Hayride or the Trail for them to realize they were wrong!

Special Effects: 9.65

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Much like every other aspect of this great attraction, the attention to detail and will power to make sure everything works properly is put into their effects. Legends of Fear has just the right amount of effects too, not completely overpowering every scene and definitely not lacking anywhere they could be. Also, I would say that the timing in-between the effects is just right too. You can imagine how annoying it can get if they have robot after robot after robot, but these guys know where to place all these expensive pieces to get the most out of them.

After the hundreds of attractions we’ve visited over the years, we’ve come to feel that it isn’t so much what the effect is as much as how well it works. When we see a clown animatronic in a vampire castle, I don’t care how amazing it looks, it’s a no go from me. I can safely say that we believe Legends of Fear has all of their effects working beautifully and placed exactly where they should be.

One of our favorites is still the zombie wall early on in the Hollow trail. I knew it was coming and it still freaked me out. Just the way they scream and move and almost look like they are about to break through the wall gets me all fired up. And again, there were no big effects right before it or right after it. There was hardly that much of any real sound right before it either, and then we walk right up to it and BAM! Lights come out, screams are playing, and the cages start rattling! We love every second of it.

We saw quite a few new effects on the hayride this year. All I really should say is that Legends of Fear put quite a lot of time into planning where things should go and at what speed, what volume, hit the wagon at what point, etc. So I don’t want to spoil too much, but I do have to mention again the extra unique scene. Last year they debuted the crazy voodoo-like swamp on the hayride. Typically we find the laser swamp effect in a walk through attraction, but these crazy dudes found a way to make the entire Hayride go through it. A few people on our wagon even stood up on their hay bale seats thinking they might get soaked if they were sitting. Same thing with their laser vortex tunnel, we have walked through many of them and it is always a glorious sight to behold. But when we are on a wagon driving into a green tube of moving fog I can’t help but think this is the longest vortex tunnel I’ve ever seen, AND it setup the scene for the crazy witches like they were putting a strange magical curse on all of us.

Theme: 9.66

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The Hayride’s first scene is this crazy big barn complete with two fire ball explosions and a wise cracking reaper in the loft. They really make it feel like once the barn doors open to let the tractor drive through, we were entering a world of horrors. Not so much a feeling that says this barn is its own thing, it really is the intro to the whole ride. Sure, we moved onto an asylum, then a butcher scene, a voodoo swamp, even a circus. All of it felt connected like we were taking a tour of a cursed evil town.

The Hallow is very much the same way. The only main difference is that they play into the actual local legend of the Melon Heads. This crazy group of escaped mental patients have made a new home for themselves in the woods of Fairview Tree Farm. They survive by cursing and killing anyone that comes near or through their property. But the only way forward is through them and their bloody wooden forts.

I am still blown away by how incredible the Hemlock Manor Mortuary looks. Inside, we immediately come across a welcome lobby, a funeral parlor, a morticians lab, a coffin storage, it is just incredible the amount of detail they have invested into this place. They could have easily just decided to go with a regular haunted house, but that wasn’t going to cut it at Legends of Fear.

Scare Factor: 9.46

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Legends of Fear has something special up their sleeve every step of the way. The friendly atmosphere that welcomes us into the midway is almost completely gone by the time we get through the barn on the hayride. Our guard is down for as long as it takes them to pounce on us and remind us once again why they are called ‘Legends’ of Fear. Whether it is their actors, special effects or the lurking spirit of the curse of the Melon Heads, something was working the magic to catch us off guard and strike when least expected.

We’ve always appreciated Legends of Fear’s approach to scare tactics. As far as we can tell, it always comes down to switching the type of scare so it never hits you twice at the same time. We could be walking along in the woods when someone pops out behind a tree. Then we get frightened because it is suddenly too quiet and the elements of nature start to play games in our heads. Then some loud animatronic goes off one foot away from our faces and back to an actor that makes us laugh for a second. Then possibly back to total silence. This is extremely rare in the haunt world, and I am so glad to have such an amazing place in my beloved New England.

Entertainment & Value: 9.79

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A combo ticket for the Haunted Hayride and The Hallow costs $48. However, if you would only like to go through the trail, it will only cost you $25 and if you would only like to see the hayride, then you can purchase a ticket for $26. VIP options are also available. The Haunted Hayride only operates on Fridays and Saturdays and the one Sunday before Columbus Day.

It was about a thirty five-minute hayride and the trail lasted forty eight minutes! This was a combined total attraction time of 1 hour and 23 minutes. At a rate of $48 for both attractions, we are left with a Minutes per Dollar value of 1.73! For every dollar you spend at Legends of Fear you will receive almost 2 minutes of entertainment. This is incredibly good.

That’s not to mention, yet again, the environment provided to us that didn’t cost us any money at all. They have free parking, a small goat petting zoo, a nice big fire pit, and about eight or nine obvious sets designed for everyone to take great photos of your group. Even though it will cost you some money, it’s very nice to have fresh fried doughnuts and some delicious Bill’s Lemonade. Most places you are lucky to get a bag of chips and a can of soda. How about that gift shop? They had quite a few different options for t-shirts, hoodies, zip up hoodies, hats, beanies, and a huge assortment of drink wear with their logo.

This place is an absolute MUST every October. It captures both the spirit of Halloween and the spirit of family and then throws them both into the boiling cauldron on Fear! We love what they do every year and can’t thank them enough for being part of the community and showing us what this Haunt thing is really all about.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Regan Tippett – 10/10October 30, 2021
Very much worth the trip down!!! Very well done and very scary!!! great staff everyone was very …show more friendly and helpful Highly recommend!!!

kayla t – 10/10October 13, 2019
this attraction is amazing ive been going since i was in middle school and each year they get …show more bigger and better !! i always love seeing the melon head, clowns and nuns !!

Lori Phillips – 10/10October 13, 2018
Had the most fun being scared ever!!! Intricate details at each haunt, fantastic costumes, makeup …show more and actors!! Love this place!!

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Past Awards

2018 Awards

Highest Rated Haunt Overall (Given by: Team Hallowoosh)

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