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1415 E Eads Parkway, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms On-Site, Food/Concessions, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction
Team Zombillies reviewed this attraction on November 7, 2015.
Final Score: 7.84
Horror Hike is in their 4th haunting season and for 2015 they have teamed up with the crew from Cincinnati’s recently-departed “Dungeons of Delhi,” (now in their 22nd season and known as “The Dungeon Haunted Attraction”) to bring you an experience unlike most any other that you’ll find in the area! Ranking in as one of the highest values in our review territory, Horror Hike is approximately a half-mile trail that will take you on your own personal journey through Hell as depicted by the talented minds behind these two very unique attractions! The price of admission also includes a second attraction called “The Maze of Mayhem” where “You’ll be dying to get out!” We can tell you now, this is one tricky maze to conquer! When… or IF… you ever find your way out, you may want to go back in after starting the Hike because things become far worse once you stumble upon this timbered path. What appears to be the remnants of “Camp Angst” (a highly-regarded campground that was turned over to William Smythe in 1953) is actually the domain of something far more sinister and evil. “Just HOW evil?” you may ask. Well… we can tell you THIS much; if you plan on escaping alive and with all of your limbs attached, then follow our advice, heed the warnings of the entities within and, of course, you must FIRST make you way to Horror Hike to find out for yourselves. But remember… “You have TWO choices!”
Around 38 actors (29 from “The Dungeon” and 9 from “Horror Hike) fill the forest at Horror Hike on a typical night. Haunt fans that are familiar with the “Dungeons of Delhi” attraction may notice some familiar faces this year as many of them work here as a result of the new partnership between the haunts. “Madd Matt” (a “Dungeons” veteran) showed a noticeable improvement in dialogue compared to our encounter with him last year while he charismatically introduced the theme with sinister precision! “Where are your heroes?” he inquired before informing us that “…everything [we’ve] ever been told [in life] was a lie,” and his intent to rip away everything that we loved most dearly in this world was made clear to his enthralled audience. This really helped set the tone for the rest of our journey and the thug we encountered in the next scene followed up with an even more demonic performance. After claiming he was the Devil himself, it didn’t take much to get us running out of his “playground” as soon as we had the chance and his taunting sidekick was undeniably the most energetic actor that we encountered! The rest of the actors and actresses didn’t quite match the darkness and intensity of these first two scenes, but most of them still delivered good, believable performances and had little issue with keeping us on our toes the rest of the way through the trail! Those characters with some of the most violent and spine-chilling acts also included “Damien Reaper,” the hair-ripping nurse, “the beast,” the apparition in the cemetery, the inbred, shotgun-shooting hillbillies, the exceptionally-tall scarecrow and the Hell hound-training Devil. The clowns in the maze area verbally interacted with us for nearly the entire length of our seemingly-endless struggle to conquer their wirey labyrinth and one was able to change his voice from high-pitched and squeaky to deep and dreadful in an instant! The two females feasting on human limbs also gave us some growls that didn’t sound like they should be coming from such small-framed individuals! Each of these appeared to have thought out their roles quite well to reiterate the devilish theme, but we must make mention of the others we encountered that only delivered mild “pop scares” with limited dialogue as we passed through their areas.
The costuming at Horror Hike seemed to be a mix of modified, common street clothes (mainly for “fill-ins” and victims) and more-elaborate outfits for the actors and actresses with higher-profile characters. Some of the more complex and believable creations were donned by the Scarecrow, the Nurse, the Beast, the Hell hound, “Damien Reaper,” “Madd Matt,” the apparition in the cemetery and both of the “Devils” that we encountered on the trail. One of the scarecrows was noted as having VERY sharp teeth and the actor in the ghillie suit lied unseen to our group until the most opportune time to strike presented itself! However, even though some parts of the trail were very dark and details were difficult to see, we did come across several victims with very minimal costumes and makeup (mostly consisting of street clothes, blue jeans, Carhartt coats, etc.) that ultimately made those portions of the trail seem a bit unfinished when compared to some of the other areas. Masks were worn by one of the scarecrows, the second Devil and his aforementioned Hell hound that seemed to differ quite a bit in quality and effectiveness from one another, but they each had little issue in letting us know who each of them were supposed to be. “Madd Matt” was sporting arguably the most effective makeup during our tour of Camp Angst, but the face of “The Devil’s Playground Master” also had some rather detailed artwork that wasn’t the kind that washes off at the end of the night! (What better makeup is there than the kind that you don’t have to worry about applying every night?!)
Customer Service: 8.38
At first, we were a bit confused on how to get to Horror Hike because we took Facebook’s advice and used the address on their page (1415 US 50, Lawrenceburg, IN). Well, that successfully led us to a dead end at the top of a hill behind Walmart Supercenter, so if you do that too, here’s a word of advice: continue down the highway until you see the “Party at Trav’s Halloween Express” store near the intersection of Belleview Drive. Horror Hike is located right across the street from the Halloween store and it’s nearly impossible to miss their large, white semi-trailer with their name painted on it. The adjacent driveway leads to their free parking lot where a white tent housing their concession and ticket booths was easily spotted near the haunt’s entrance. Although we were a little confused on where to go initially, the staff pointed us in the right direction of each attraction and one even took the liberty of escorting us to the respective entrances. Navigating the attractions was rather easy; just remember that they are completely outdoors, so wear appropriate attire. Some portions of the trail were rather dark, so be careful in those areas as well. Multiple roaming queue entertainers targeted us as we cooked our own hotdogs over the campfire and waited our turn to enter. One of them was a creepy little girl in a white dress that grabbed one of our group members by the hand and emotionlessly led him to the camp’s swing set for a few pushes and later grabbed another group member’s hand and just held it while blankly staring at them… Talk about unnerving!
Although Horror Hike is located at the edge of town, once you enter the queue area, you may feel like you’re out in the middle of nowhere. Thick fog and multi-colored lighting was immediately spotted leaking out from within a fenced-in area that, upon further investigation, turned out to be the “Maze of Mayhem!” The “Camp Angst” sign, swing set, bonfire and the option of purchasing a hot dog to cook it over the open flame yourself reinforces the fact that you have arrived at the camp grounds! Several believable actors roaming the queue area along with a coffin and creepy puppet continued to build our anticipation to enter. As we waited our turn in line, several of the characters from within the fencing jabbed at us before we entered, one of which offered us candy made out of children! One of the roamers (Johnny Graves), who was a fanged beast, interacted with us on multiple occasions. At one point in time he showed us one of his tricks which consisted of chomping down on and chewing up pieces of a light bulb that he had broken in front of us by the very chain that he was being restrained by!
Special Effects: 7.53
Horror Hike is more of an actor-driven attraction where your attention will be drawn towards the actors, but they will still likely catch you off-guard with some original effects too! In the maze, a central speaker spewed noises that were heard closer to the blacked-out building while appropriate, uneasy sounds and loud rock music was heard in the majority of the scenes on the trail. While the sounds that we heard in the sets added a suspenseful vibe to the trail, our tour was very quiet at times in between the scenes. While we were trapped in the “playground” cage, we were impressed with the rise in intensity of the music as our aggressor’s demeanor intensified as well! Other effects that we encountered while on our adventure included a barrel that was launched in our direction, gravestones, scarecrows, thick fog, dilapidated shacks, dancing lights, an intense strobe light, random dead bodies, a decapitation table, a real shotgun and the Nurse may spritz you with a little something if she’s still “checking heads” when you go through!
A large portion of what took place at “Camp Angst” can be found on Horror Hike’s website. However, “Madd Matt” explained that, inside this Hell, we would experience what people like us do to people like him! This once-potential summertime destination for many youth in the tri-state area now shows that it no longer lives up to its former glory; for now, it is inhabited with pure evil, death and decay! As we ran, dodged and darted our way through the trail we came across a wide variety of scenes including a head check station, sleeping quarters, a cemetery, a grungy restroom, “the Devil’s Playground” and more! Sinister and hellish dialogue definitely helped develop this theme (even “Kumbayah” was sung to us!), but some of the things we came across didn’t make as much sense as others. Nevertheless, this is a very original theme with a lot of potential!
Fright Effect: 7.66
Fright Effect: 7.66
The maze and the hike offered a diverse collection of fright techniques. While trying to find our way out of their metal Mayhem, we became victims to taunting dialogue, stalking, loss of our senses of sight and direction, menacing laughs and threatening conversations. The trail, however, did not treat us as kindly (if you can consider the maze “kind”). Upon beginning our journey, we instantly ran into a convincing man who welcomed us to “Camp Angst,” “Where everyone must die!” What a way to start a night, huh? After nearly being smashed by a bunk bed, we ended up trapped in “The Devil’s Playground” where we continued to be taunted and learned that these hellions could, in fact, touch us! Additional types of scares that we encountered included well-blended hiding spots, threatening dialogue, multiple weapon wielders, acts of murder, a soul-scarring scalping, barrels being thrown at us, vulgar language and us being shot at us when we were apparently trespassing near their lake! Some of the scares were directed more towards the front of our group but they sure didn’t leave the rest of us alone, so don’t count yourself as “safe,” no matter where you are in line!
General admission to participate in the Horror Hike and experience Camp Angst will cost you $13.00 per person and includes admission to the Maze of Mayhem as well! If you would like to just take on the challenge of the maze and skip the haunted trail, you can do so for $5.00. Although each group’s time can vary, we were taunted and teased over our bad sense of direction in the maze for around 12 minutes and it took us another 25 minutes to flee the horrific hike. When combining the two attractions’ lengths, they total up to around 37 minutes which comes out to 2.85 minutes of entertainment per dollar spent! We think this is the best deal to be had here and it also ranks among the best of the values we’ve seen this season! $5.00 re-entry is also available on the same night as your initial visit. Something that we found very unique about this attraction was that, on busy nights, they will give their customers a number and call for them when it’s their turn. That way, folks don’t have to stand in the waiting line for hours and can cook hog dogs, keep warm, take pictures with the roaming actors and push scary little girls on swings instead! Staff of “The Dungeon” informed us that the concession proceeds were being donated to the Lauren Hill Foundation this season. If you are looking for a unique attraction driven by an enthusiastic crew who will do everything in their power to make your skin crawl, then you better add Horror Hike to your list of haunts to visit. We do have a bit more advice: if you don’t want your heart to literally become part of the price you pay to enter, then you’d better be ready to run!
Photos from Review Trip:
Click to Enlarge
Most Realistic Scare - Barrel (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Funniest Scare - Gloria (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "Stitches" A.K.A Caleb Glass (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - "The 12 Gauge Toting Clown" A.K.A Justin Rice (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Memorable Scare - "The Barrel Toss" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Most Challenging Maze - "The Maze of Mayhem" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Byron Kaminska, A.K.A. "The Devils Playground Master" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Caleb Glass, A.K.A. "The Devils Playground Taunter" (Given by: Team Zombillies)
Actor Shout Out Award - Matt Mateikat, A.K.A. "Madd Matt" (Given by: Team Zombillies)