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Team Mysterious Misery reviewed this attraction on October 12, 2012.
Final Score: 6.68
The Experience is not like any other haunted attraction. They tell the story through live actors, special effects and strong visuals. There are no blacklights, no rubber monsters and no chainsaws! Just you and “it” alone in the woods! The Experience was created when a group of friends were challenged to create a haunt that didn’t employ gore or power tools to scare guests. Thus The Experience Haunted Attraction was born. It is based on a local legend told about a young girl who disappeared in the woods. By using atmosphere, strong visuals and special effects, Dark Woods sends you on a terrifying path to solve the mystery of The Legend of Saran. After being away for almost 6 years they are not giving up on their dreams and have reentered the industry. Getting permission for the land only in April they have created a wonderful but quick turnaround. They still have some first time kinks and adjustment but have a solid start. We cannot wait to see if year after they can re-create the juggernaut that they used to have.
The Experience has close to 20 people working per night. These are great actors who are disciplined in their characters. This haunt is a psychological thriller so these actors don’t come out running and screaming in your face. They have mastered the technique of being completely still, so you as the patron always end up second guessing yourself. They also mastered the art of being in the correct location at the perfect times. The actors also brave because they take risk being on the ground at an outdoor wooded haunt and jumping out across your path. So go take a look and just when you think it is a prop it could actually be a real person. They will get inside your head. when you finally find litte Hannah Bagley, who has been missing for years, be afraid of her.
The costuming at The Experience is kept to the basic and that is what works at this haunt. Most of the costuming is just all black. It is to get in your head and keep you guessing if it is real or just a part of the haunt. Very basic creates creepy effects and leaves the imagination running. The few costumes that we got to experience enhanced the theme of the haunt. The costuming put you exactly in the era of the setting and made the characters that more believable.
Customer Service: 5
Mr. Saunders and his crew were a very pleasurable group of owners, who took the time to discuss many things with my team. They are also available for anyone that may want to talk or answer questions. Each actor wears a microphone and head set discreetly. This is so they are in constant communication to handle situations or an emergency quickly and effectively. They also use the communication to tone down the haunt because of frightened younger ones or amp of the experience for those that are ready to go. They can customize the experience by the tone of the group. They have a warm bon fire to cozy around and they do have few food choices. This haunt can also be hard to fine. The sign is very small so you need someone to remain vigilant as soon as you are in the area. The road leading is a dusty path that you might not even think twice about. Weather conditions can impact this haunt immensely, so be aware if they may close .Rainy days can lead to muddy parking so don’t take a vehicle that might get stuck. It is in the dark woods with very little light because they want you to use your night vision, dress warmly but not in good clothes. You might fall because we did. Just go slowly and pick up your feet. Stay on the path or you will get attacked by thorn bushes and that isn’t fun.
The Experience has created a wonderful atmosphere, most of which is not man made doings. It is just naturally creepy being in the deep dark woods. You have very minimal lights and you have your imagination working in over drive and your night vision trying to guide you through. These woods have been through a lot in the many years that they have been here and strange disappearance has happened over time. Many have been documented and that adds to the atmosphere. It is very dark and it is very quiet and it will get in to you quickly. You quickly get the anticipation feeling once you get to the first guide. This haunt oozes creepy and scary.
Special Effects: 7
Special Effects are one of the things that this psychological thriller is good at. Since it is not heavy on gore and bleeding character the special effects set it apart. The lady in the rose garden was created by the team and it reminds us of an effect straight from a theme park. There also random special effects such as: the rocking chair rocking all alone, things moving by themselves, the perfect timing of children laughing. The ending is a special effect that is a great one. It will leave you dying to get out. The special effects are not over done but are strategically placed for the right spine chilling effect.
The Experience does a wonderful job with their theme and it is one that they continually use so they can enhance it. It is based on a true story of a local Ostrander legend about a young girl, Hannah Bagley, who disappeared in the woods. She was never seen again but local legends say never strayed from the woods. The Experience embraces this legend and does a good job at walking you through step by step. This attraction becomes a great story teller of the legend.
Fright Effect: 7
The Experience offers a different type of fright. They tell the story through live actors, special effects and strong visuals. There are no blacklights, no rubber monsters and no chainsaws! Just you and “it” alone in the woods! This is what we like to call psychological thriller. This is not in your face over the top gore but get inside your head and make you think twice about what is real and what isn’t It leads you through a story telling production giving you the clues to help figure out what happened to Hannah. So if you are looking for something different this haunt season, something other than a bad breath rubber masked actor screaming in your face, this is it. Hope your mind doesn’t start to play trick because you might end up being the next local legand.
The Experience is exactly what it says and if you are looking for something unique this is your haunt. This is their first year back after about 5 years so they are getting started all over again.
OPTION 1 (best deal) Buy online in advance (before September 1st) and skip the line (except October 26, 27, 31). $15 adults, $12 children 12 and under. When you arrive you will be directed to the speed line with minimal wait.
OPTION 2 (next best deal if you don’t mind waiting) Buy tickets at the gate – $12 adults, $10 children 12 and under, you’ll be directed to wait in the standby line with a wait. Most waits are within an hour and half, but on busier nights lines can stretch to over 3 hours
OPTION 3 (only available on site) Ghostpass $25 all ages. Move to the speed line, limited tickets available. This would be your best choice if you missed the September 1st deadline to purchase online in advance.
No refunds. Ever. All funds support our theatre company and farm.