Panic Attack Haunted Attraction – Full Review

Panic Attack Haunted Attraction is a Haunted Attraction located in Nakina, NC.

3245 Pine Level Church Road, Nakina, NC 28455
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Paid Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line

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This attraction was reviewed on October 22, 2021 by Team Jefferson Starship.

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Final Score: 8.59

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Rising from the swamps outside of Nakina, NC, we found a huge circus tent populated with a bevy of rather sinister-looking clowns. This enticing spectacle, accompanied by blaring music and blasts of fire from another performer, was all just a ruse to entice us into the haunt known as Panic Attack! This sprawling haunt contains insanely decorated sets packed full of detail ‘ enough eye-candy to keep the unsuspecting distracted long enough for just about anything to sneak up on them in the dark. We have previously attended Panic Attack and were excited to return to this exquisitely detailed haunted attraction.

This haunt is one of the premier professional haunts in this part of North Carolina – from movie quality sets to highly detailed costumes, Panic Attack is ready to bring the scares to guests.

Cast: 8.28

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Panic Attack boasts a wide variety of costumed creeps and creatures. Although we initially witnessed a big top show populated with weapon-wielding clowns, soon we delved through a (not so) abandoned fishing village and the buildings beyond that harvested life from the water. Many of the creatures beyond seemed interested in likewise parting us from our own lives or souls or blood or human forms. Pirates were seeking to get us to add coins to their hoard, as well as undead pirates seeking to add us to their horde. We also beheld a sinister section of a crashed spacecraft where aliens sought to separate us from the earth. By the end, there was even a colossal factory with workers attempting to turn us, or perhaps our corpses, into clowns as well, which brought everything full circle.

Costuming: 8.23

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No monster, be they insane killer clown, menacing pirate, or undead soul-sucking vampire, would be complete without costuming and make-up and masks. This is true, too, at Panic Attack. The various characters are all identifiable and fit their respective scenes. Masks and make-up often add to the eye candy of the elaborate sets, making the whole area come alive. We especially loved seeing the captive mermaid. This character is very believable and integrated well into her scene. A trio of religious figures ‘ a priest of Baphomet, the old witch, and the voodoo priestess, each of whom was foretelling our doom ‘ were also well done.

After passing the big top of the queue area, the entire trail is unified by a similar presentation of make-up and costuming. The layers of distressing, be they dirt and grime or blood and effluent, are all done in a fashion that is an almost unique Panic Attack signature style.

Customer Service: 9.75

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Easy enough to find with GPS ‘ or the long line of cars snaking out to the road ‘ Panic Attack’s parking attendants are sufficient to guide plenty of vehicles around the large field. There is plenty of non-costumed staff who are happy to help guests, answer questions, and keep the lines moving throughout the night.

Panic Attack maintains an online presence that is just as detailed as their elaborate sets. Be sure to check out their various platforms to keep abreast of different special appearances from celebrity guests or other performers. Guests can also purchase tickets online before arrival to speed up their night of fright.

The trail is easy to navigate with the current setup. Ramps often traverse entrances to various scenes, and care has been taken to ensure smooth transitions.

Atmosphere: 9.12

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The vast, big-top set that has flowed into the parking lot, coupled with the killer clowns that roam from the long dirt driveway, through the parking area, and all through the queue area, set the stage for a night of surprises and frights. Bright lights scratched through the sky like the roaring chainsaw carried by a clown, while other clowns blasted party music over the crowd like the flames spit out into the air by another.

Before the ticket booth, there was also an exotic animal show (accepting donations) that had a variety of animals on hand that elicited more than a few nervous looks from passersby.

Special Effects: 8.59

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Panic Attack always delivers on highly detailed sets and larger-than-life props, and this year was no different. Almost every inch of this haunt is elaborately detailed, not just the walls but also floors and ceilings. In addition, the trail we traversed doubles back on itself several times, adding a sense of confusion and disorientation while also giving tiny glimpses of towering sets that seem to be just around the corner.

The winding trail through Panic Attack also plays with the senses by providing a distinct change in lighting and sound when moving from scene to scene. Sometimes it’s a subtle shift with a wall blanketing and damping the sound of the previous area while allowing the understated music of the next to start to build. At other times, it’s a sudden crescendo of noise and light that overwhelmed us.

Sometimes the effects aren’t just huge, lunging props or surrounding sets filled with detail, but just the brief and tricky use of lighting to emphasize a sense of dread, to spotlight an actor’s highly detailed costume, or to hide a darkened alcove.

Theme: 8.97

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On top of Panic Attack’s usual aquatic theme ‘ from pirates to creatures of the deep ‘ this year, there was an added layer. Killer clowns, perhaps warped by something not of this world, have taken over the haunted site. PA did this very well by bookending the site with their clowns. The ones out front tended to look fresh and clean, while the last section of the haunt (the Clown Factory) looked suitably filthy, unkempt, and bloodied from the massacre of those who had fallen prey to the clowns before our arrival. The crew at PA do an admirable job of creating a unifying theme and pushing it throughout the haunt, tying together some disparate elements with a singular style of d������cor and costuming.

Scare Factor: 8.33

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Distractions and jump scares are the mainstays of fear at Panic Attack. There are a few looming glares or sinister implications recited by one imposing figure or another, but most of the scares we experienced were of the quick and sudden variety. However, not even our experienced eyes could catch every hidden spot or darkened alcove before something was popping out with a roar, a scream, or a shriek. The roar of chainsaws echoes overhead and provided building anticipation the closer we came to the end of the trail. We were always ready to see a chainsaw-wielding figure pop out around the next corner, and by the end, we were not disappointed.

Entertainment & Value: 8.25

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Parking at Panic Attack is $5 per vehicle; carpooling with a big crowd is an excellent idea for a visit. We traversed the trail in 30 minutes; for the elaborate sets and pre-show entertainment, that’s a great length delivered for the price of a $30 admission ticket. If you don’t want to wait, there are also options for a Fast Pass to skip the general admission line while still having some time to experience the clown’s big top. The VIP ticket gets guests to the front of even that, allowing visitors to enter the haunt immediately. Given the crowds that we saw building during our visit, we can undoubtedly advise future visitors to judge the size of the queue-line when they arrive to consider one of these upgrades. Even without the fast pass option, the music and sideshow-like elements of the big top that looms over the waiting area give visitors something to enjoy.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 8.09 out of 10

Thomas Bethune – 10/10October 23, 2021
The best haunted house I’ve ever been to that was nice characters did a good job the little girl …show more pirate was excellent and mermaid was excellent at the captain was excellent the witches hut was excellent the Clown’s drove me crazy with the chainsaws overall loved it

Tim dockery – 10/10November 1, 2019
I found it to bee very good somethings need to be changed like the people acting need to have a …show more practice or two but over all very good was very happy with it and very scary and very good hospitality very kind people

Leangela adams – 10/10October 26, 2019
Was so much fun. All the monsters all did a great job. Was entertaining even in the line b4 we …show more entered. Would definitely come back. Best haunt I’ve been to in s long time

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Past Awards

2019 Awards

Most Enthusiastic Chainsaw Attacker (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Best Delivery of Theme (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

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