Scare at the Fair – Full Review

Scare at the Fair is a Haunted Attraction located in West Alexander, PA.

116 US-40, West Alexander, PA 15376
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Haunt Type(s):

Escape RoomHaunted House


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This attraction was reviewed on October 21, 2022 by Team Houdini.

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Final Score: 8.08

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The moon peeked between the clouds on an unusually warm October evening, and what could be more fun than heading to the local fair? However, something isn’t quite right with these residents; the fairgrounds are filled with cannibal clowns, abrasive aliens, zestful zombies, and gleeful ghosts waiting to assault us unsuspected guests. You never know what your will encounter at the West Alexander Scare at the Fair.

West Alexander Scare at the Fair is celebrating its 10th year of Haunting the local fairgrounds. Scare at the Fair is a unique haunt that embraces the old-school haunt style of the 80s and 90s, focusing on fear, frights, and fun, paying homage to retro horror and sci/fi classics like Killer Clowns from Outerspace, Night of the Living Dead, Friday the 13th and more.

Cast Score: 7.9

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Cast Review:

WASF had a collection of around 34 crazy and creepy characters prowling the area. First, we met a new colleague of Doctor Joe Bob’s, the Curator. She was running the new museum of curiosities, providing information about the new collection that the fair now owns. Next, we met the man behind the chaos (literally and narratively), Dr. Joe Bob the mad scientist, this is not our first meeting as Dr. Joe Bob has been around in different areas for at least as long as we have been visiting the fair, he (Tommy the actor) is also one of the managers, creators, builders, and designers, of the fair. Dr. Joe Bob this year provides the story with quick speech and quicker jokes. After welcoming us and taking a drink of a glowing liquid, he asked, “Who wants to hold the baby” as he handed me a fetus in a jar of yellow liquid, quickly jumping back into his monologue, “A hillbilly virus took over the small town of West Alexander, which if you’re familiar it’s not very difficult” then without missing a beat asks “tongue?” as he hands us a severed tongue, which we politely declined. He quickly replied “smell this” as he points to another jar of glowing liquid in my teammate’s face who takes a whiff, Dr. Joe Bob quickly replied, “why would you smell that I’m a mad scientist.” He continues “face it” and pulls out a jar with a human face in it “Here’s the deal I blew a hole in the space-time continuum… portals” and points to a whirling portal projection “are popping up all over randomness is key so anything can pop up anywhere anyplace at any time… what are you scared of probably nothing cause you review sh!t.” D in our group replied “heights!” He laughed and said, “ I can assure you, nothing here is high, except maybe me.” Before we headed out he wanted to give us something special since we were “reviewers” he handed us a jar with a severed hand with its middle finger up.” This is the second time this year we got the finger at a haunt, I’m thinking people are not happy with our new scoring. His quick dialogue and jokes, which we did not list all of, were corny, enjoyable, and funny.

Moving forward, we met a mix of character personas, with each area offering something a little different in the acting and scaring potpourri. We encountered a doctor of sorts performing an alien autopsy and providing a little creepy dialogue, silent stalkers were found in the maze and sheep barn, and screamers and chasers were found in the dairy barn. We found an interesting cannibal family who provided excellent dialogue and interaction with us. The first gentleman invited us in before his two sisters(maybe) took over the show. One girl stated we ”looked like quadruplets” as her sister begged us to check out her house. She gave us a tour of her room and dining area before sending us on her way. She invited us back for dinner to have some “rat stew” but she wouldn’t share any eyeballs because those were “her favorite,” she said they were “like Gushers, they squirt in your mouth when you bite them.” Later, her sister startled us with a loud shriek and asked, “So, who was better me or my sister?” Ray quickly said you, of course, to which she enthusiastically replied, “Wow, so quick to the draw, I’ll find someone else to sacrifice to satan.” She led us to her brother who was a little unhinged talking about “cutting off body parts.” They all wished us a jovial goodbye and said they would save me an eyeball for dinner, how nice of them.

The final area provided the most frantic, ridiculous, and overwhelming interaction of the evening and possibly the season. As mentioned in previous years, I do not find clowns scary and most times find them annoying in haunts, to each their own, but WASF does it right because these guys and girls are insane, intense, and chilling. We had noticed a few areas this year were lacking some actors and then we figured it out, they are all in here, there are a ton of clowns; crazy crowns laughing, screaming, bouncing around, complimenting clowns as one comment to our teammate D was “Bro you’re huge, what do you bench” corny clowns that laughed and honked horns, creepy clowns with bloody distorted faces, a capsized clowns followed us while walking on this hands, a chatty clown told us it was his Birthday, I advised my Birthday was coming up in a few days so he wished me a Happy Birthday in a gritty voice, and then there were confined clowns begging us to help them.

A few more actors in the barns would have been welcomed but for the most part, the actors covered the areas well. We loved seeing a good mix of personalities, especially in the clown area, and a good variety of acting throughout.

Costuming Score: 7.85

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The costumes felt complete for most characters. The line actors I believe wore realistic and detailed masks with wrinkles and hair, eye paint was used underneath to provide the illusion of no mask. One black and white clown mask matched the striped black and white clown suit, while another clown wore a blue clown suit to contrast his white and red face unless it is makeup… looking at the pictures I have I can not tell for sure. Speaking of clowns, the clowns in the clown area had excellent makeup again this season, with realistic tones and bloody details, and some appeared to wear masks as well. With such a bombardment of clowns, it became so distracting to process what everyone wore, looked like, and said we couldn’t keep track of it.

The curator wore a white lab coat as did Dr. Joe Bob, along with some goggles and pale makeup, and the alien pathologist wore operating scrubs, one guileful gent in a ghillie suit was hard to see, a nasty nun wore a dirty habit, and the cannibal family wore dark clothes and palish makeup. Even though this was a multi-verse of madness and things could appear anywhere, the costuming did fit the themes where they were located.

Customer Service Score: 9.69

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West Alexander is easy to find using Google Maps. An old-school lighted sign is located out front leading you to the haunt. Signs also guide you to the parking area where attendants will help you park. They have plenty of attendants directing parking and traffic by the haunt.

We noticed no safety concerns outside of the ordinary you will find at a haunt.
The staff we encountered were friendly and inviting from the ladies and the ticket booth to the individuals managing the flow between haunts and management.
Their website is straightforward, with all important info located in the menu. There you can find schedule/process/and directions, photos, specials, ghost hunts, and contact info. Also listed is a longer version of the story Dr. Joe Bob tells inside the haunt.

Immersion Score: 7.31

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Immersion Review:

The pre-haunt area has some creepy music playing, colored lights shining around, a ghostly projection shining through the covered queue, and clowns terrorizing guests. The new facade of the haunt entrance provided a cool effect of flashing lights through a slatted structure. A little more entertainment and decor would be welcome but due to its short 6-week build, we get it.

There is a deep story with the haunt listed on the website, as usual, but this time we got a formal story at the haunt. As mentioned, a rip in the space-time continuum opened portals up around the fair, and anything can pop out of them, explaining the randomness of the haunt

WASF provides a good level of detail with what they have and the time allotted. Some areas are more detailed than others, such as the room of oddities, Laboratory, and dairy barn, while some are not the most polished.

In between areas, there was some added music playing with creepy laughter and haunting sounds, reminiscent of the old-school tapes you would buy at Hills (anyone remember Hills?) and K-mart. We would like to have had some more decor, Halloween lighting, and actors in between areas; however, it only takes about 30 seconds to walk from one area to the next.

Scare at the Fair is low-budget retro haunt fun. With the mix of actors and interaction, it is easy to feel immersed in the attractions despite some lack of details in a few scenes.

Special FX Score: 7.64

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Special FX Review:

Special effects are classic and effective. Sound is used throughout the areas providing an additional layer of engrossment, with different soundtracks playing in different areas and now carrying through the small empty areas between haunts.

Props were used effectively for decor and scares throughout the set designs. Both were effective and most are detailed. The new museum is a fun area to explore, which is a mix of the Warrens museum and a carnival sideshow. We enjoyed the rare sites such as the haunted doll house with an ouija board that moved, a killer Roomba, a mermaid skeleton, Jeffrey Dahmer’s Mixer, Ed Gein’s shears, shrunken heads, and a giant dragon head. And there were plenty of more items to view. The Doctor’s lab was bright and colorful with huge bubbling tubes of fluid, jars of body parts, glowing beakers, and electronic panels around the area. The dairy barn had a vast mix of scenes as it seems many portals were active. A Sunday school area with children at desks and a creepy preacher at the pulpit was next to a jungle with rickety bridges, water, and fog. A huge Frankenstein monster came to life screaming and thrashing with strobe lights blinking around it. The cannibal’s house was more traditional with dining areas with a table and fireplace, a messy bedroom fitting of a teenager, and a cooking area with a roasting rat rotting above a cooking spit. A creature crawled on the walls who we were told was named Margaret.

The clown area was set up like a fun house with lots of bright glowing colors contracting the dark black walls, mini clowns played on a see-saw, near a campfire, and busted walls had glorious holes that clowns popped out of (see what I did there?).

Scare Factor Score: 8.13

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Scare Factor Review:

Scare at the Fair produced a good variety of scares, covering most categories. In the blackout maze area, we were stalked by a creature banging on the walls right beside us, confusion set in also during the maze as we kept getting stuck later to realize the walls were moving and we were purposely getting trapped.

Phobias were presented by the dark area, spiders, claustrophobia, and of course coulrophobia. Others included silent scares with actors staring at us, creepy dialogue added into the mix, and of course, jump scares. WASF keeps groups small, at least this evening, as guests were only entering with the group they came with, keeping the groups small and intimate which provided a better way for all four of us to get a good scare.

As mentioned, the clown area is the final area, and it housed a crazy finale that pretty much involved the whole cast of clowns chasing us through a hall with clowns popping through the walls. It was so hectic and excessive that it left us saying WTF just happened?

Entertainment & Value Score: 8.31

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E&V Review:

Outside of the main attraction, there is no other entertainment included with the ticket price besides the line actors, eerie music, and some multi-colored carnival lighting.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, and $10 for kids under 18, which is the same price as last season. Unique to West Alexander Scare at the Fair is the option to take a repeat trip for only $5. So you pay $15 and then can keep going through for an additional $5 bucks each time, which is an awesome deal. No other haunts we have reviewed offer this feature. This places them well below the average of this year’s $25 ticket price.

They have a short escape room on-site and have a new property that offers ghost hunts in the off-season. Hopefully, we can get there soon.

Scare at the Fair is a diamond in the rough, each year making improvements and additions but sticking to its core old-school feel. We are glad we found it a few years back as it has become one of our favorite haunts. The Mad Scientist has done a great job combining a drop of tongue-in-cheek humor, a beaker of interesting scares, a tube of cool scenes, a flask of acting, and a cylinder of nostalgia, making it intentionally “cheesy” in the best way.

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Pics We Took From Our Visit:

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.13 out of 10

Carrie Sanney – 10/10October 10, 2019
This is the place to go it’s awesome great time and love it I go every year and I enjoy myself every …show more time

Amber Scott – 9.5/10October 26, 2019
short wait times, cheap prices, awesome scenes, everything was great. I’ve been too MANY haunted …show more attractions/houses that cost way more and there’s no comparison! love that they separate groups so you don’t know whats coming next because of the group in front of you!

Dave smith – 9/10October 19, 2019
This was awesome. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a scare house. For volunteers doing all this …show more for the price, it was great and if it’s too scary someone will be very kind and escort you out safely. I would definitely go again but I would suggest the clostrophobia room be at the end so if you can’t go through it then you only missed one part. Definitely would recommend for others to attend.

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Clowns (Given by: Team Houdini)

Best Finale (Given by: Team Houdini)

The Blender Family - Salem (Brin Hunter) / Skylar (Sydney Pochiba) / Sam (Corbin Riggle) (Given by: Team Houdini)

Dr. Joe Bob - Tommy Balistreri (Given by: Team Houdini)

Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Clowns (Given by: Team Houdini)

Best Finale (Given by: Team Houdini)

The Blender Family - Salem (Brin Hunter) / Skylar (Sydney Pochiba) / Sam (Corbin Riggle) (Given by: Team Houdini)

Dr. Joe Bob - Tommy Balistreri (Given by: Team Houdini)

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