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Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on October 30, 2015.

Final Score: 7.68

Summary:

The Thomas Dairy Farm & Market, for those familiar with it, now offers two haunted attractions and a tractor-pulled wagon-style zombie paintball experience for the 2015 Halloween season. The two haunted attractions have been designed and are operated by Izzy’s Little Creepers, LLC. We were invited to visit them and give our thoughts on the new additions, so we were happy to oblige! The “Maize of Lost Souls” is a corn maze that’s dotted with deranged hillbillies and “seering” special effects and rings in as one of the most intense corn mazes that we’ve been through to date! The “Lost Trail of Terror” covers about 6 acres of wooded terrain and contains a variety of classic fears and several scenes that you won’t find at any other attraction. BE ADVISED, the haunts have been rated “PG-13” by the staff members and we agree. To quote one of them, “[They’ve] had 5-year-olds go through with no problems and [they’ve] had 15-year-olds quit after the first scene,” so keep this in mind before deciding to take your kids through the new haunted sections. TDF is a family-friendly operation at heart that also offers a pumpkin patch, farm animal petting pens, mega-slides and an un-haunted, “flashlight” corn maze, so come ready for a fun-filled night with your whole crew (including young ones) where you can get some Halloween frights as well!

Maize of Lost Souls: 7.95
Lost Trail of Terror: 7.27


Cast: 8.22

On a given night, around 16 volunteers disperse among both of the haunts at TDF. While this is comparatively a very low number of actors and actresses for an attraction with over 30 minutes of entertainment to be had, they’re actually trained on how to cover multiple scenes during the walk-throughs so customers can still get plenty of scares along their way! While that’s not to say that there weren’t quite a few “dead spots” during our visit, many of them were definitely eliminated because of their ability to travel between scenes without being noticed. They also used this to their advantage with dialogue use like, “Told ya I’d see you again!” and victim chases that later resulted in displays of violence to increase their craziness and credibility. This was more-so noticed in the Maize rather than the Trail, but the multiple run-ins with the same characters in the latter did seem to give their acts some continuity as well. The cast in the Maize tended to be of the “hellish hillbilly” variety during our tour, with “Cletus” and “Nate” being among the most intense and believable at TDF. Those in the Trail included zombies, an airplane pilot, a clown, a skeleton, a voodooist and a vampire, just to name a few, and most of them did well at keeping us on our toes! The person chosen to portray Michael Myers in the Trail, however, wasn’t exactly “built” correctly for the role and we did notice one character that portrayed several different people during our tour. However, they did so quite well, their costume was all that really gave that aspect away and that consistency did help smooth out some of the transitions between scenes. We definitely appreciate their ability to entertain groups with such a small amount of cast members, but it requires the groups to be spaced out quite a bit to allow the actors to reset into the first few scenes before they start, so be prepared for a long wait in line on busy nights if the issue isn’t resolved in the future.

Maize of Lost Souls: 8.75
Lost Trail of Terror: 7.68


Costuming: 7.37

Our visit to TDF started with our journey through the Maize, which is where we found the “hellish hillbillies” rampantly rampaging. Most of their attire consisted of bib overalls with white shirts and splattered blood that doubled as makeup as well. While this definitely gave off the apparent looks they were going for, we just didn’t notice the complexity and detail needed to increase their score in this category. One of the guys’ sister was… let’s say, “lightly” dressed in what appeared to be a grungy cheerleader outfit that didn’t really seem to fit in with the hillbilly/shanty feel of the haunt, but one of the victims fleeing the assailants that was also dressed differently was clearly someone who’d ventured into the corn by mistake, which gave credit to the idea of them “not taking kindly to strangers.” One additional character was dressed in all black attire with bright, white face paint and darkened eyes that really raised our eyebrows in confusion during our walk-through. The Trail’s costumes were far more diverse to help match the different scenes and several generic masks were incorporated to assist in portraying their differing identities. While the variety was welcomed by our group, the repetitiveness of some of the costumes eventually made them seem out-of-place in a few of the areas. That being said, one actor in particular that followed us most of the way through the Trail was dressed “neutrally,” which did help keep the scenes coalescent with one another and eased the transitions into the different areas. Attire on the Trail was also not as complex as we’ve seen and makeup was basic as well, although some areas were very dark and limited our ability to examine a few of their faces.

Maize of Lost Souls: 8.22
Lost Trail of Terror: 6.72


Customer Service: 7.44

Thomas Dairy Farm’s well-lit corn cob sign is easy to spot from a distance and a path in the divided highway allows customers to easily gain entrance from either direction of travel upon arrival. After that, however, things were a little confusing on where to go, so we’ll explain our findings. No flaggers or signs made this apparent during our visit, but the primary parking lot was a fairly-large, dimly-lit, grassy area located to the right after pulling into the driveway and available free of charge. As we approached the barn, a small shelter-style tent housed a chalkboard sign with ticket prices and two friendly staff members that were helping customers decide which ticket(s) to purchase and answer any other questions they may have had. With tickets in hand, we were directed towards “the light” that was marking the entrance to the Maize; the path to which led us through the barn, which was covered in corn kernels that served as a soft place to play for the young’uns that were there in the animal-petting area. We then noticed the “mega slide,” which is a 40-foot length of convoluted tubing that made our jaws hit the ground! Anyway, after we regained our composure, we were greeted at the entrance to the Maize by yet another friendly staff member who entertained us with conversations about some of the scares they’ve given during the season and, when the time came, sent us into the darkened trailhead. Navigating the corn maze was fairly straightforward, but there are a few dips and uneven terrain, so watch your footing as your assailants give chase! Also, keep in mind that the Maize is, in fact, a pretty good maze… so be prepared for some wrong turns and dead ends as you make your way through. Transportation to the Trail and Paintball areas was provided via the Paintball trailers and music was playing for entertainment during the journeys. The main pick-up/drop-off point is located near the barn and, because the two areas are scattered across the 400-acre property, a wait for the next wagon could be expected on busy nights.


Atmosphere: 6.83

These attractions take place on a 400-acre, working dairy farm and it’s obvious upon arrival! It is also (seemingly) out in the middle of nowhere and, as you start to get closer, it gets a bit creepy out this way at night. It wasn’t obvious that we were at a haunted attraction upon arrival, but several signs near the road confirmed that we had, in fact, arrived at the correct farm. After figuring out where we needed to go, we headed towards the waiting area for the corn maze. As we neared the line, we noticed the large sign hanging near a burn barrel in front of a field of corn which added to our anticipation to enter. Although the only sounds that were present during our wait were the unexplainable and loud ones coming from within the field, they still helped in building our anticipation to enter. Transportation to the woods is aboard the farm’s paintball wagon that plays random music during the ride. The actual entrance to the woods was also quiet and there really wasn’t anything to let us know we were in line for a haunting adventure except for distant growls from an assumed chainsaw.


Special Effects: 7.34

The special effects used between the two haunted attractions at TDF are a mixture of items that have been both built in-house and purchased, when necessary. Loud, hard rock music (mostly by Rob Zombie) accompanied most of the scenes in the cornfield and some estranged, upbeat music was heard in the bathroom area that had us saying “What the heck was that?” Music was not playing in the transition areas of the field which resulted in us encountering some areas along the path where the only sounds that we heard were our own footsteps. Appropriate lighting illuminated only the scenes in the cornfield, which was not a bad thing and even blinded us in a few spots! Other effects among the rows were a vehicle surprise, loud horns, a REAL Hellhound, nasty toilets, a strobe-lit hospital bed victim, multiple pyro releases and very clever usage of the same scene! Yes, we entered a scene just like normal only to get lost and return to the same scene through a different door… only this time it was complete with a different character, a different scare and somehow exited to a different portion of the trail than the first time we went through! Centralized music was heard on the trail, although some of the tracks didn’t seem to fit the haunt as well as others and it was hard to hear over the generator near the end of the path. We were blinded and disoriented by quite a few effective strobes during our travels and ambient tiki torches lit some of the path. Black plastic was used to close in some of the scenes, but this ultimately took away from the authenticity of the trail in the areas where it was used. In contrast to that, a few of the better-detailed scenes, such as the body room and the spider’s nest, helped breathe life into the forested environment. Additional effects that we ran-into along the dimly-lit path include several airplanes, clever door usage, firecrackers, fog, a strobe-lit TV, laser lights, skeletons on bikes and a human-consuming pumpkin who had a child’s feet hanging out of its mouth!

Maize of Lost Souls: 7.64
Lost Trail of Terror: 7.03


Theme: 8.55

The Maize of Lost Souls enveloped a family of inbred hillbillies who don’t take too kind to strangers messing around in their cornfield! They tried almost everything in their power to see to it that our group would get off their property and stay off, unless of course we wanted to become their next feast! This theme was very apparent during our seemingly never-ending roundabout in their cornfield and its continuation was noticed until we finally fled to safety! The Lost Trail of Terror didn’t seem to stick to an overall theme and, instead, contained a wider variety of fiends and scenes in an attempt to include a fright for everyone! Within these towering timbers, expect to come across two brothers who have fallen from the sky, spiders, clowns, a voodoo area, a zombie, skulls and more!

Maize of Lost Souls: 8.55
Lost Trail of Terror: N/A


Fright Effect: 8.32

If you’re afraid of the dark, you better grab someone in your group and hold on to them tight if you come here! Both the trail and corn maze rely on the moon as their main light source (which wasn’t present during our visit), so the darker atmosphere created quite an elevated adventure! Fright techniques that our group underwent in the corn included witnessed acts of victimization, bullying hillbillies, foul and taunting dialogue, sudden explosions, loud horns and multiple chainsaw chases! We also encountered some good hiding spots in the corn as well as a few effective distractions, especially with the pyro/shotgun duo! The crew in the corn knew the layout well, which made their reveals rather unpredictable! Some of the fright techniques that we came across in the woods consisted of decapitated body warnings, common phobias, camouflaged creatures, threatening dialogue, unexpected sounds and multiple run-ins with villains who wanted to drink our blood, turn us into zombies and “beat the sh!t” out of one of us! Several chainsaw-slinging hillbillies (with one of their chainsaws being among the largest that we’ve seen) surrounded us near the “dead end” of the corn field, nearly taking off our heads, while an additional chainsaw attacker met us before we could exit the trail!

Maize of Lost Souls: 8.85
Lost Trail of Terror: 7.79


Value: 7.35

There are quite a few different activities to do at Thomas Dairy Farm, but we are going to base this value score on the only two activities that our review group experienced during our visit and those were the “Maize of Lost Souls” and the “Lost Trail of Terror.” General admission tickets to either will cost you $15.00 per person. Our group was lost within the corn maze for 16 minutes and it took us another 16 minutes to traverse the trail, putting each individual haunt’s minutes-per-dollar (entertainment received per dollar spent) score at 1.07 (right above average). However, keep in mind that each group’s time will vary per attraction, especially in the corn maze as it was a rather tricky one! When purchasing tickets to either of the haunts or the paintball, you will also receive admission to: Walker T’s Fun Zone, the Mega Slide, the Animal Farm, the Flashlight Corn Maze, and a bonfire! Due to the steeper individual ticket prices, we suggest that you consider taking advantage of some of the other activities offered here and, if you’re interested in both haunts plus Zombie Paintball, going for the combo ticket offer ($35) since it’s only an additional $5 to do all three. Just an F.Y.I – both trails are rated “PG-13” so you may want to take this into consideration if you have smaller children interested in going through. Group rates are available so be sure to contact them for more information on that. Even though we did not experience launching paintballs at live creatures at TDF, we believe the Maize and Trail have some good things to offer haunt-goers near Elizabethtown, KY so be sure to pay them a visit this season!

Maize of Lost Souls: 7.32
Lost Trail of Terror: 7.38


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