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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on October 20, 2012.
Final Score: 8.73
The Old Orchard Haunted Trail at Eaton’s Orchard is in their 5th season for 2012. This was our first time visiting this attraction and we must say that we were impressed with the way this trail was set up! Before you begin your journey, a large screen displays the grisly legend behind this haunted trail. This is the tale of the 4 Eaton brothers who, long story short, are not the kind you don’t want to encounter, but will! They enjoy torturing their helpless victims and each has a story more hideous than they are. One thing we noticed about this haunted trail is their lack of dead space! Once you think you have reached a pause in between scenes these characters remind you that they are watching every move you make! There is also a separate haunted hayride that you can purchase additional tickets for that is set up to be more kid-friendly with less scares in case you think your little ones can’t handle the scares on the trail. If you are looking for some unique scares for the Halloween season and a great time, The Old Orchard Haunted Trail should be added to your list, for the Eaton brothers Clevis, Clovis, Zeke, and Silas will be waiting for some ‘fresh meat’!
The cast consists of an average of 50 to 60 volunteers each night. One thing we noticed different about this attraction is that the same characters that scare throughout the trail are also the same cast you will see on the hayride! Since the hayride is more kid friendly, on busy nights the cast knows the haunted trail is top priority so they will remain there. The haunt’s very own ‘Clevis’ (pronounced: clee-vis) is also the training manager for the rest of the crew. They must attend 3 to 4 classes before the season starts where they learn what is expected of them and how to handle emergency situations. It seemed that there were plenty of characters in multiple scenes, but very few were encountered in the corn and more characters in some of the bigger scenes throughout the trail could help aid in better distractions for customers. Some of the characters were a lot more believable than others due to their dialogue and interaction with our group, such as the 4 brothers, ‘Willie,’ and staff we encountered in the mental institution. The majority seemed to be in context with their respective scenes. However, since some of the scenes didn’t make sense with the theme, the characters in them didn’t either such as those in the pirate area. Some of the most notable characters were the four Eaton brothers, ‘Wizzin’ Willie,’ the clowns, and the deranged nurses.
Costumes have been both donated and purchased to be later modified. The majority are raggedy and scuffed up street clothes but could use more detail to provide more realism for the characters they are portraying. Makeup is applied by staff using face paint to add a more ‘traditional’ look to the actors. It seemed that many wearing makeup needed more applied because it wasn’t as noticeable throughout the darker areas. Masks are purchased by the haunt and later modified as well. A few of them were a lot more realistic than others such as the Eaton brothers. Even though many masks weren’t as authentic-looking as others, they were still unique and used effectively to help the characters match their scenes. Better detailed masks and makeup would help to raise this score.
Customer Service: 9.32
The Eaton’s Orchard was pretty easy to find since there are signs pointing you in the right direction at the intersections along the way. You will know once you have arrived since the haunt’s very well decorated hearse is at the end of the drive accompanied by a large sign and rotating light. Parking is free but located in a rather dark, grassy field. They do have portable restrooms but you may need to ask where they are since they are around the darker side of the building. A large screen displays the legend of the orchard as you wait in line so you will know who the crazies are before you get to meet them. We didn’t notice any roaming characters interacting with the crowd which would help to better prepare you for what you will experience inside. The trail does have some uneven areas so be sure to watch your step and there were also a few close calls with branches on the hayride. Tickets can be found in ‘The Core’, the elaborate orchard stand which is also where your experience will end, that is if you make it all the way through! Within this stand is a little something for everyone! They have concessions with food, and drinks, desserts, t-shirts, candles, creepy souvenirs, fresh apples, and a gift shop as well! Friendly staff can be found inside The Core, at the entrance of the hayride and entrance of the trail in case you have any questions.
The haunt’s hearse parked at the end of the drive let us know we were in the right place. A tractor, hay wagon and tons of pumpkins accented the front of the building and bonfire area outside the ticket booth. We couldn’t hear any type of music playing once we arrived but as soon as we walked into the building we could hear screams and spooky sound effects which helped enhanced the feel of a haunted house. Sound effects were present in many scenes throughout the haunt and were original and of excellent quality which helped to make the scenes more realistic.
Special Effects: 8.83
The props and effects used within the trail are mostly made by the haunt! This explains why we noticed some things we hadn’t seen before such as the pig in the pig pen, ships and cannons, electric chair with screen, wizzin’ willie, skeletons, and their custom-made vortex tunnel. Not only were many of their effects original but they were also effective. They caught our group off guard several times and characters provided several distractions to keep the props from being predicted. Some startling effects were also encountered such as some unexpected pneumatics, loud noises, props that come to life, and others that we don’t dare say, you will just have to find out for yourself! One thing that really caught our group’s attention was the use of fog coming out of the canons which helped to add realism but adding some loud ‘booms’ would help to intensify them. The lack of props and effects in the corn results in a drop for this category. The scene detail also impressed us for being a haunted trail. A lot of d
This haunt makes sure you are well aware of it’s history before your excursion begins which adds a great touch. As legend has it, the farm is inhabited by the four Eaton brothers who each in their own way are very twisted and love to feed off the fear of others. This theme was executed well for the most part but there were a few things that just didn’t seem to belong. The pirate scene didn’t make sense to us, but was still something very unique. The clowns also didn’t seem to fit as well as the guy in the electric chair due to the orange jump suit that you would expect to see in a prison instead of an asylum. If they could provide some insight on how this follows their theme that would help to raise this score. Even though we encountered a few areas that didn’t fit, the four brothers and the mental institution helped to intensify this theme thus making their presence realistic.
Fright Effect: 8.94
Scares are delivered on a variety of levels from spooky music to creepy stares, chainsaw assaults, suspenseful scenery, startling noises and even being ‘peed’ on! Little dead space was encountered which helped keep the scares unpredictable. Many good hiding spots, unexpected occurrences we prefer to keep secret, and things which appear to be dead but aren’t, succeeded in providing everyone in our group with multiple scares. Distractions were used effectively, but could be used more in areas where some of the mechanical surprises are encountered to provide additional scares. As stated, the hayride is a more kid-friendly attraction, but still has actors that will attack you! Luckily the tractor driver is ‘armed’ and will defend the wagon unless the Eaton brothers get to you before he gets to them!
General admission tickets for the trail will cost you $13.00 and $4.00 for the hayride. Fast pass tickets can be purchased for $18.00 which would be the way to go if you visit on a busy night. Combo tickets for the trail and the hayride can be purchased for $15.00. They offer discount tickets for children 12 and under at $12.00 for the trail an additional $2.00 for the hayride. This haunt makes up one of the points in ‘The Triangle of Fear’ we have toured this season. The Triangle of Fear combines admission to 3 haunted attractions all within driving distance of each other. The other two attractions are Scarevania in Muncie and Trails of Terror in Markleville, Indiana. These combo tickets to all three attractions will cost you $29.00 which is a steal!!! You can’t go wrong with these tickets and you will receive a great night of Halloween entertainment! It took our review group an estimated 40 minutes to experience both the trail and hayride. The time it takes will depend on your wait time in line and how slow or fast you decide to walk through the trail. This is a great value for the seasonal fun offered at this attraction so make sure you head on out to The Old Orchard Haunted Trail at Eaton’s Orchard this season to have your try at escaping the madness that has become of the Eaton brothers!