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Face Your Fears Hotel of Terror
1291 Cold Springs Road, Springfield, OH 45502View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms On-Site, You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction
Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on October 9, 2015.
Final Score: 8.59
2015 is this attraction’s 4th season and marks our review group’s first time visiting them. The folks that run this haunt are mostly family and hope to expand into more attractions at this location in the near future. This “hotel” is planted on 62 acres of land and has been there since 1858. So the story goes, this house was abandoned sometime in the 1940’s and, since then, Mother Nature has been working hard to give it the creepy exterior that it has today! Now, throw in some creepy, red lights, fog seeping out of the upper-level entrance, a few grim reapers and spine-tingling screams and you’ve found yourself at Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror! Find yourself smack-dab in the middle of the story of the Edwards and their twisted endeavors as you wind your way through the wicked walls of this up-and-coming attraction this haunt season… if you think you can escape! But don’t worry, “It’s just a story.”
Face your Fears is brought to life by a family of 25 to 30 cast members who volunteer their time to scare innocent customers! This number filled the indoor portion of the attraction rather nicely, but left quite a bit larger spaces between the actor interactions outside the hotel. The waving around of weapons, energetic acting and bits of vulgar language enhanced the respective characters’ roles and let us know, “they [weren’t] f^*#ing around!” Quite a contrast of acting techniques was noted during our walkthrough. The human-butchering creature on stilts was incredibly intimidating and believable during his performance, while others simply stared at us during our encounters with them. “Leatherface” deserves recognition for continuing to express his madness by assaulting his victims with a cleaver after noticing that we weren’t afraid of his saw. “The Burlap Guy” was noted as being particularly sneaky, as one of our group members ran into him in the outdoor area!
A mixture between masks and makeup were noticed at this attraction. Two makeup artists work towards getting some of the crew members ready to go each night. Some of the masks were familiar latex units, some were partial designs that really added to the characters wearing them and one was a silicone piece that was complete with hands and proved to be very convincing! We also noticed two plastic/metallic masks that didn’t match the quality of some of the others. Their makeup consisted mostly of minimal gore and wounds that increased the realism of the characters wearing it. Those residing within the dunge… uh… basement showcased the most authentic makeup and looked their parts from head to toe, especially Leatherface! The majority of their attire was shredded-up, country clothing or plaid pieces, but we noticed one guy wearing a shirt that looked like it had a bunch of buck shot holes in it like he’d actually been shot! Another costume worthy of mention was the giant meat-cleaver-slinging monster, who matched his surroundings so well that we didn’t see him until he wanted us to!
Customer Service: 9.5
Our GPS led us to a well-lit sign and the haunt’s school bus along the side of the highway, which made it pretty easy for us to spot this place! Halloween décor, additional signs and multiple rotating, white spotlights in the trees led us to their free, gravel parking area. The attraction was very easy to navigate and additional signs pointed us in the direction of the ticket booth. We even noticed a few people (or so we thought) by the driveway, guiding customers to the parking area. As fate would have it, they turned out to be dummies, which made US feel like dummies and laugh our butts off before we even got out of the car! A large, silver screen displayed horror movies to those in the queue area, giving patrons something to watch while they wait in line. A few characters hiding out near the ticket booth tried to sneak in a few extra scares as we waited our turn to enter. Friendly and helpful staff members were found in the ticket booth and at the entrance of the attraction in case any questions were to arise. While inside the haunt, be sure to watch your footing. This really is an old building and there are several sets of steps, including one at the exit of the attraction. If you decide that running is necessary, justifying that your life and that of your group members is in imminent, unescapable danger following the horrors presented to you, please do so very carefully!
Well, we can start this category out by saying, “WOW!” This was our first visit to Face Your Fears and we really didn’t know what to expect. The hotel has its own gravel lane that leads you back to where it’s actually located, which seems to be out in the middle of nowhere! The haunt’s school bus, grim reapers and other décor that we passed along the drive let us know that, without a doubt, we were at a haunted house! Multi-colored lights accented the exterior of this attraction which, if you’re a true haunt enthusiast, we bet you will love looking at this authentic building! As soon as we parked, we excitedly exited the car for further inspection. The exterior of the Hotel was accented with an overgrown cemetery, a minotaur sitting on his throne, multiple grim reapers on either side of the entrance, a hanged man and more! A very large tree also resides next to the Hotel, as explained in their theme, which authenticated their atmosphere even more! Classic rock hits loudly played in the outside queue area, but that music quickly changed to something much creepier once we entered the Hotel.
Special Effects: 8.44
The special effects at Face Your Fears: Hotel of Terror consists of an assortment of things that have been both purchased and built in-house, although mostly the latter. Static items have been mostly purchased, while their more-impressive and moving mechanisms have actually been built by the haunt’s special effects crew! Intriguing music accompanied the elevator and numerous other indoor scenes, while metal music blasted our ears in others. Two of the most impressive effects that we must mention were their extra-long, 40-foot vortex tunnel and their “hellevator.” Both of these items were built in-house and, as we stood waiting for the elevator to pick us up, we could even hear the squeaks and creaks of it traveling through its shaft! Some of the lighting was used to its fullest extent and wowed our review group! We were impressed with the unique UV usage, the authentic lighting in the elevator and the multi-colored light tunnel in the attic that effectively shielded our view for what lay beyond its beam! Other effects that we came across included sliding floors, air cannons, a spraying toilet, a “boom stick,” a giant saw blade, and some of the most realistically-possessed furniture that we have encountered to date! The hotel’s structure consists of very tall ceilings and is truly authentic throughout, right down to the real dirt floor in the basement! Some of the scenes in the house showcased elaborate detail, stretching all the way up to those tall ceilings! There were even some trees and overgrowth that had grown their way through this old, dilapidated building. Although some black walls were found outside, this area also showcased some authentic décor, many tools and camo netting that helped block out the light, which made for a pretty dark experience!
The full storyline behind this Hotel of Terror can be found on the homepage of their website. In a nutshell, Walter and Margaret Edwards grew up together as workers in their mother’s hotel, and eventually became the butler and maid of the residence. They grew vindictive of their mother when she banned them from working together because they had become “too close,” so they made her vanish. When questioned what happened to their mother, they would respond that she “left town to open another hotel.” The hotel was then renovated, including the basement, but this wasn’t the type of renovation you would typically expect from a hotel. They turned the basement into a dungeon, unbeknownst to their guests and other employees! They both preyed on hotel staff, mostly consisting of women, but they didn’t discriminate and preyed on many others as well. Various acts of torture were committed in that dungeon and they would sell their victims’ various body parts and organs on the black market when their skeletons were all that remained! One day, while the Edwards were away from the hotel, the remaining staff had been specifically told to stay out of the basement. They couldn’t stand not knowing what their bosses were hiding, so they proceeded anyway to investigate. What they found, including Mrs. Edwards’ corpse, sickened them! The townspeople found it appropriate to take matters into their own hands when the Edwards arrived back at the hotel. They hanged Walter from the large tree that overhangs the hotel whilst making Margaret watch! Later, they beat her to her death. Margaret’s body is said to have never been found and that, to this day, people are still randomly (yet steadily) coming up missing. As we made our way to the ticket booth, we spotted what we believe to have been Walter’s lifeless corpse, still swinging from a giant tree! The location of this attraction is perfect for the storyline, and makes it incredibly believable. The actual story wasn’t apparent all the way through the hotel, but our experience in the basement matched very well! Some of the hotel staff members were obvious, but other beings that we came across seemed to be a bit out of place in conjunction with the story. Although this is a very original theme, you may still come across a few familiar horror movie items on the property.
Fright Effect: 8.48
The authenticity of the building itself, inside and out, is enough to give you the chills. However, we fell victim to quite a few more fright techniques during our visit. From vulgar language, victimization and unexpected blasts to a demonic possession, a Leatherface encounter and the wrath of the hotel’s elevator (that’s in need of a lot of repair), it quickly became apparent that these guys know how to scare! Several things heightened the overall fear level in the hotel even further, including the bar fight, the demonic possession experience (mentioned above) and the fiend swinging a gun around that had us wondering if we were going to be able to walk out of this thing alive! Then, the haunt’s finale topped it all off with a very realistic run-in with multiple characters and continued acts of violence that we’re sure will send many of you rapidly fleeing out of the exit! As a matter of fact, we stood at the exit for some time and actually did watch other groups run out, short of breath, talking about the great time they just had! Although there were only a few of us, the aggressors at this attraction did a good job at spreading their attention between both of us by jumping out in front of us, stalking us and waiting until the middle of the group was in a prime location for them to get their scares. The mixture of their good timing and several notable hiding places aided in keeping our group off-guard during our tour! We never really knew what to expect as we made our way through this vintage dwelling. The main drawback that is holding this score down is the utilization of minimal distractions. There were quite a few areas where distractions could have delivered additional scares to our group, but overall they gave us quite a few startles without them.
It will cost you $12.00 per person to witness the macabre within these gruesome walls, but that’s only if you’re lucky enough to escape them! From the time we entered the hotel, it took our group around 16 minutes to flee the demented beings inside. That puts this value above our “average” mark (1.0 mpd) at 1.33 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent. When we add in the spooky atmosphere of the building itself with the fun and frights that we encountered inside, this is an attraction worth visiting this year! We drove several hours to get to this attraction and we are glad we decided to do so! Be sure to visit their site for group rate information. For a haunt as new as they are, we were impressed with what we encountered and can’t wait to see what they accomplish in the seasons to come!
Photos from Review Trip:
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Actor Shout Out Award - Leatherface (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - The Butcher (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Scariest Creature - "The Stilt Creature" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Leatherface" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "The Burlap Guy" in the outdoor section (Given by: Team Zombillies)