Review of Slaughterland Screampark Haunted Attraction

Review of Slaughterland Screampark Haunted Attraction

Review of Slaughterland Screampark Haunted Attraction

Slaughterland Screampark

Slaughterland Screampark is a Haunted Attraction located in Binghamton, NY.

666 Barrier Road, Binghamton, NY 13905
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple Haunts

Links:

Slaughterland Screampark Facebook PageSlaughterland Screampark Website

Contact:

Message Slaughterland Screampark on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Handicap Accessible, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team Hallowoosh reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 11, 2019.

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Final Score: 8.3

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Summary:

By chance I happened to be in the mood to find a new podcast that focused on the haunted attraction industry in early September of 2019. For no particular reason, I tapped on one I hadn’t heard of before called “Haunting the Globe.” Their most recent interview was with a man named Todd Fedyshyn who is currently on the HAA board of directors and runs a brand new attraction in southern New York. I had been visiting haunts in New York for quite some time and I had no idea that a brand new one was popping up, especially not one that was owned by a high standing member of the Haunted Attraction Association. I listened to the interview where Todd explained his visions for where he wants to take his attraction, how to treat his staff like family, how he treats other attractions like buddies, how he donates to organizations that take care of people with disabilities, and I fell in love with this place instantly. I was on the phone with him before the podcast was over and I had to let him know how much his visions and morals meant to me, and I absolutely NEEDED to see Slaughterland!

Todd has been at the Haunting game for eleven years now running his own haunted attraction fundraiser events and being one of the lead managers for one of the best Haunts in the country: “Reapers Revenge.” And even though I knew he only had a few short months to build Slaughterland from scratch, I knew it was going to be something special. Friends and relatives have all stepped up to help his dream come true and I could tell they are all loving it just as much as he is. The Haunt is bringing them all together as an even stronger family. Sure, it’s a family that loves the screams of people getting sawed in half, but it’s a family all the same.

Slaughterland in 2019 offers 4 attractions in a linear path connecting one to the other. We started off with “Dark Magic,” a Voodoo themed dark maze with many surprises we weren’t expecting. Next, we went into the “Wendigo Woods” where ancient demons, supernatural beings, and even crazy psychotic killers awaited us in the deep dark forest. Soon to follow was “Frightmare 3D” where we somehow invaded a girl’s nightmares and had to find our way out while dodging all of her fears. And finally, we ventured through the “Fallen Fairgrounds,” an abandoned carnival that had suffered a terrible fire but still lives on to torment all who dare wander into their domain.


Cast: 8.13

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We spent a short time in their midway area before heading into the main queue line. As the night rolled on, there were more floating actors that came out to entertain everyone both in the midway and in the line. We noticed right off the bat that one of these characters lurking around is actually from another Haunt that closed its doors not too long ago. He was a very tall character in a scarecrow mask, top hat, ring master coat, and walking around with a large skull staff. This was “Slava” the proclaimed mayor of Slaughterland! Locals might remember this character as the title character from “Slava’s Zombie Circus” only half an hour west from Slaughterland in Owego, NY. They started in 2015, and would have had a great 2018 season. Unfortunately, like many of the haunts in the Central North East in 2018, they were devastatingly effected by flood-like rains and had to cancel the event. But where there is darkness, there is light! Todd talked with Slava’s owner Dustin Tang Chun about incorporating Slava’s Zombie Circus into his Slaughterland haunt. Not only did the characters get to come over to a brand new haunt, but now Dustin is one of Slaughterland’s Co-Owners. At least a small handful of the actors on the grounds at Slaughterland have been managed by Dustin for the past five years. Todd didn’t want to see Slava’s Zombie Circus die so he brought whatever was left of the attraction to Slaughterland.

Some of the first actors we encountered on the trail right before the Voodoo attraction were almost like little tastes of what we were to find inside the Dark Magic halls. One boy came out of nowhere swinging a Sledge Hammer and grunting like a mad pig. A girl slowly crept up on us with her eyes gouged out and shaking her hands in pain asking us to help her like she couldn’t see where she was going. That one actually was creepy and sad at the same time. And then we saw a big man who was leaning against a pine tree with his back turned to us; it almost seemed like he didn’t know we were there. As we walked a bit further, he slowly turned around and revealed himself to be the first witch doctor of the night. He told us it was “strange getting visitors at this time of night” which forced me to reply “It’s only 7:30” but I guess not too many people would be visiting creepy witch doctors at any time of the day; certainly not after the sun goes down.

The moon was shining so bright that night that the silhouettes of dead branches and leaves were perfectly visible. The nightscape was barely black, more of a soft dark blue. And every time one of the trees moved even a little, we thought some creature was coming to life. In this type of setting it becomes difficult to hide as there were not many dark shadows to stand in. I suppose that after so many years of experiencing haunted attractions we’ve found almost a comfort in knowing where and how actors could hide in an outdoor trail. But on a night like that when the moonlight illuminated every possible corner and we couldn’t find anyone, things became extra creepy. Sometimes they would hide in plain sight just to distract us from the other side of the trail were the real scares were coming from. A witch slowly guided us towards her with questions about which one of us would like to be eaten first. I happily volunteered as one does when asked if they can be a witch’s main course. Excitedly she said my partner would have to be the dinner for the Wendigo who was much closer to us than we thought. With a slight flick of the witch’s finger over our shoulders she pointed out this thing calmly standing behind us. It took us both by surprise because we could hear every little footstep on that outdoor trail and this Wendigo demon thing just happened to sneak right up to us, and it was about a foot taller than me too.

Shortly after escaping from the Wendigo, we bumped into a character that was a little out of place, but definitely provided some great entertainment. I would say almost every attraction I have been to has had at least one character ask me the over used phrase, “Do you want to play a game?” No matter how intimidating they are I end up demanding to play a game just to see if they can follow it up with something. Most times they just laugh and run away. But this guy was on point! He followed up with, “How about … kick the skull? Or my favorite … Pop! The Eyes!” my companion did not enjoy that visual. He continued by describing how much fun it is to pluck out the eye balls and how wonderful the sound is when they pop. Now my companion had a visual AND an audio reference. She’s still not okay.

And of course a haunt wouldn’t be complete without a chainsaw guy. More often than not it’s an average sized dude in a flannel shirt and jeans. We heard the chainsaw revving from behind a dirty hanging sheet and we sort of unenthusiastically waited for the big reveal. The man that came charging out of there was about three times my size and covered in blood and dirt. He was frightening enough but still wasn’t enough to make the two of us haunt enthusiasts run away. The thing that stuck out the most is that when he instantly saw that the chainsaw wasn’t working on us, he stopped the saw and asked us if we would stay for dinner. Another over used line but it was much better than continuing to swing that saw all around us. And it also provided a little bit of narrative to the area we were in as it established that they were not just crazy chainsaw killers but actually cannibals too. And when we replied with a simple “No, thank you” he instantly responded with “GOOD! I can conserve the gas!” We appreciated the fact that he tried a few different methods to entertain us. When the crazy loud chainsaw didn’t work, he switched. When the creepy questions didn’t work, he switched. And then he ended it with a little bit of humor to get at least something out of us, and it worked.


Costuming: 7.64

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Costuming all around was complete and sound. One of the biggest things we look for in costume choices is no evidence of “regular” clothing, unless the character would wear something regular, then it would be fine. As hard as we were looking we couldn’t see any white sneakers or hoodies and t-shirts or anything like those things that can really ruin the mood for a haunted attraction. Everyone at the very least was completely covered by the theme of their characters whether it was a black robbed demon of the night in the woods or a background camouflaged suit against the walls of the Frightmare 3D attraction.

The most impressive display of costumes and makeup to us was everyone in the Voodoo walk through. They caught us by surprise every time we met a new character, especially since it was the very first attraction. Everyone seemed to be some sort of crazy witch doctor with their faces painted with simple black and whites. Some had an elaborate skull painted on their face while others had symbols and drawings all over their head like they were ready for some kind of spiritual battle. And their costumes were top notch, sparing no details with even a few spiderwebs to cover some of the more blank areas on their suits. The men had worn elegant coats and top hats with bones and feathers and weird trinkets hanging off of them. Some of the even more impressive ones even had magical staffs with a skull on top. One of the women voodoo witches wore a beautiful crown made of the bones of fingers all pointing to the sky. The rest of her black and purple dress was covered in dust and webs like it had not been washed in decades. The attention to the detailing in their costumes and make up was beautiful. It really was a great way to start off the night.


Customer Service: 8.29

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One quick thing, Slaughterland claims to be at 666 Barrier Road. For anyone trying to plug in 666 Barrier Road in Binghamton, NY and you can’t find it, calm down and don’t worry. There is no actual spot claiming to be the physical location of 666 Barrier Road. Just plug in Barrier Road, it’s a short dirt road with only two houses on it and it goes straight into the woods where it becomes the parking area. Thanks for not playing along.

The travel to Slaughterland is a pleasant one if you enjoy the landscape of rolling hills and farm land. It is maybe about 15 minutes north from the city side of Binghamton, NY. We were not familiar with the area, but we decided to take the scenic route coming down from the north on a very nice October Friday. We took our time driving through the hills and peeping at the leaves, stopping occasionally to take in some amazing hillside farmland views across New York’s Southern Tier. The area really helped make it a great October day, and how do you complete the perfect October day? You go to a Haunted Attraction!

It was dark by the time we arrived. I had half expected to not see much in the way of any lit up signs, seeing as how much of the rural area was not illuminated very well. So I paid very close attention to my GPS as to not miss a turn. As we drove over the hill and came in eyesight of the road where Slaughterland is on, we first noticed one of the two houses on this small dirt road had a nicely lit up Halloween yard display. I almost wanted to say that must be where the haunt is. We had not confirmed whether or not the display had any affiliation with Slaughterland, but we like to think it did since we could easily see a lot of people driving right by if this display of orange lights had not been there. So my heart gets racing every time we have to drive down a dirt road to an attraction. Instantly makes the place feel like they mean business. And from the current view on Google Earth, this whole area is still a dense forest. My first thought was that this haunt must completely take place amongst the trees. So a long dirt road going into the deep dark forest was making this little haunt lover feel all fuzzy inside. However, I tried to keep myself in the dark as much as possible when it came to this first year attraction. I wasn’t hoping for anything more than a fun October night filled with entertainment. And boy, that’s exactly what we found.

We drove in past an open gate and were guided straight to a nice parking spot over some fresh gravel. Plenty of others were parked in this area that might have been about 2 acres big. We could see a sign for tickets, a giant tree monster prop shooting fog out of its mouth, and an area for portable restrooms… None of this is visible on the standard satellite images just yet unless you can get the live feeds. Needless to say, we were very surprised to see even more clearings made for a giant midway and four attractions! It was almost like magic to us thinking we would surely be walking through the trees for a few hours and then suddenly this whole different world appeared to us.

The ticket booth this year was a stationed RV near the parking lot. They could easily could have 2 or 3 ticket cashiers helping guests at the same time, but the night was still early, so they only needed one. We enjoyed the fact that we couldn’t see anything about the attraction until we purchased the ticket and walked in. The whole midway and entrance into the attractions is separated from the ticket booth by some thick brush. The only way to get there is to follow a dimly lit path straight to the queue line. And once we reached the end of the line we could see the majority of the midway. There was a big bonfire in the middle, and plenty of food options all surrounding the area. There was even a hearse people were getting into for photo opportunities. We bumped into a nice gentleman who told us we could either go over to the midway and chill for a little while before going into the haunt, or if we wanted to we could get in line right away which was to our immediate right. We were fortunate to have a pair of tickets that allowed us access to the front of the line pretty much whenever we wanted so we decided to check out the midway for a little while. They had three food and snack vendors, a tarot card reader, plenty of clean portable restrooms, and even their very own Brewery! (not really but kinda) The Blood Street Brewery in the back of the midway had local beer on tap from The Water Street Brewing Company and even a few hard ciders from Beak and Skiff 1911 Orchards. And this mock brewery had its very own façade to look like it was an old factory spewing out toxic waste, and this waste is pretty much what we were drinking. We even purchased a signature “Slaughterland” cup that was filled with delicious beer and came with a glowing red ice cube that made the beer glow. The food vendors had more options than I have seen in most haunted attractions. One of them was a full on BBQ food truck with Brisket Sandwiches and Jerk Pork Tacos! Another vendor wasn’t a food truck so much but it still had a large grill for hamburgers and hotdogs and something the locals call a Chicken Spiedie (“Spee-Dee”) which is essentially marinated chicken kabobs in a sub roll. The point is, most places don’t have food but this place does.


Atmosphere: 8.42

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One great little detail we loved was the use of these mini oil lanterns lighting the paths throughout the attraction. While other places have their standard string lights or tiki torches or outdoor pin lights providing the lighting to guide your way, Slaughterland has what seemed like hundreds of little lanterns hanging directly above the trail the whole way from beginning to end, minus the indoor attractions. They flicked just like real fire but also cast an eerie light anytime a breeze or actor made the branch it was hanging on move around a little. And if these lamps were not obvious enough to show us the way, multiple skeletons and witches and mannequins had been placed in various areas and tangled in tree limbs with their arms and fingers extended in the direction of where to walk. Convenient and a little disheartening at the same time to see something so dead and evil tell us where to go next. In fact, the trees all over the woods had something hanging in them whether it was a skeleton, a lantern, dismembered doll parts, children’s toys, even the glasses from the 3D attraction which made me think about what happened to the person wearing them!

It was enough of a surprise to us when we found out Slaughterland was once a forest only a few months ago and now there was room for a midway and four attractions. The surprise we got when we came up to the entrance of Dark Magic was even bigger. I noticed all the voodoo style symbols painted on the outside walls of this old moldy cabin and my mind raced with all the different visuals of voodoo I’ve seen in the past. But when we stepped into the very first room inside that cabin we were blown away by the amount of detail. Shelves and shelves of bones, jars, trinkets, feathers, body parts, all things supposedly that can be used to make evil magic potions. This stuff was everywhere and it was absolutely incredible.

A good chunk of these woods were taken down to make this attraction possible. We noticed that there were actually quite a few trees that were left up because of how unique and beautifully haunting they are. The giant pine tree provided a great cover for the first voodoo actor with its long branches. We had to duck underneath a crazy thick branch that acted as the entrance to the woods. The owner told us that eventually he wants to incorporate a hemlock forest on the edge of the property some year. So the natural elements play a big part in what makes this attraction so special.


Special Effects: 8.61

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While Slaughterland does have its share of animatronics and some unique lighting, I wouldn’t say that the effects are what it can be remembered for in its first year of operation. The fairgrounds do have a few clowns on motors and they look terrifying. Too, there are a few pop up mechanics in the 3D attraction, and they worked just fine.

We believe the bigger thing to take home from Slaughterland are the Sounds! Both the music and sound effects were excellent! We really enjoyed the low eerie instrument sounds mixed with the swamp night time peepers effects when going through the Voodoo area. The music playing in the Frightmare 3D haunt was almost like a slowed down carnival tune on an old organ. It set the mood to be not quite as happy, go-crazy as a full out clown attraction because it really had nothing to do with clowns, and we appreciated the separation of clown theme from the 3D universe. The fairgrounds had almost the same exact music except for one tiny difference… it was a bit faster! It gave the impression that it was a Happy-Go-Crazy clown and carny haunted fair! It worked beautifully.

Probably my favorite part of the sets in the entire attraction was at the cannibal scene in the Wendigo Woods. Right about where we were attacked by the chainsaw I noticed a small pen made out of pallets. Inside this pen there were a few body parts, some torn clothing, and a good arm full of broken smartphones! I had to think about it for a second but realized they were the phones of all their victims. The fact that they were smart phones made it feel more real. The fact that they were sitting on the ground in this pen like a place to throw garbage made it feel like these cannibals are completely out of touch with the world, and it made them much more frightening. It’s a small detail that went a long way with me, and I loved it.


Theme: 7.09

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The whole premise of Slaughterland is that there was once a carnival that came into town. One night something awful happened and tons of people died at the carnival either from the hands of some crazy killers or from a massive fire. In the aftermath of this atrocity, an ex-carnival employee “Slava” took the reins and is now the self-proclaimed mayor of all that is left in the area. He calls this place Slaughterland. And now whoever dares to enter the seemingly abandoned fairgrounds will suffer torture and death by the remaining residents.

Eventually, all of these attractions will have stories that connect them directly to the main story of this evil carnival. In its first year, Slaughterland still leaves a bit to our imagination as to why these places exist. There is a master plan in play, it just hasn’t presented itself in the best way just yet. One of the bigger reasons for why I decided to make the long trek out to Slaughterland this year was because of this backstory we haven’t been introduced to yet. During the Haunting the Globe podcast, Todd explained how his vision for the whole attraction was driven by a singular theme. The theme of a dark carnival that has established its own little community. There was something about the way he described it that made me think the overall image of Slaughterland will be an Actual Evil Carnival! We have seen more than enough clown and carnival attractions in our days and we have loved most of them. But I’ve never heard of someone wanting to make their haunt into an actual carnival, with rides and shows and games and everything! It’s going to be wild.


Scare Factor: 8.49

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Slaughterland is run and managed by a few different people that have been in the haunt industry for a while now. More importantly, they all know that they can work together to make something truly special. It is only their first year running, but we can tell there were certain aspects of the scare tactics that weren’t as obvious. Nine times out of ten, when someone runs out from behind a tree and shouts, someone in your group is going to scream or, at the very least, jump a little. However, we did not encounter this simple strategy too often at Slaughterland. The actors seemed to be in a different mindset when it came to what was actually scary. The hiding in plain sight was a great way to induce some fear into us. The hanging lanterns and the beams of light dancing on the trees were always nice. But these are all things that many people probably wouldn’t think twice about. Slaughterland is one of these places that we can say “it was really scary,” but it takes us a little while to figure out why.

The majority of the haunt was a mixed bag of makeup and masks and scare tactics. Sometimes it works in the haunt’s favor to do so because it feels like a chaotic gathering of crazy people. On one side of the trail they will have someone with a painted sad clown face, and the other side has some lunatic in a crazy laughing clown mask. In the back of my head I’m thinking even if I were to find some way around this guy on my left it’s not the same formula for getting around the guy on the right. So Slaughterland was able to keep my senses in check without me really thinking about it.

Another example is throughout most of the haunt we could hear this disturbing, almost muffled, underwater version of white noise. It’s a sound everyone has probably heard many times in their lives, but not many people process what the noise is. That’s because it doesn’t act as a sound, it acts as something to take sound away from you. Kind of like how you are in an underground subway station and all you can hear is the echoing rumbles of everything around you. Your brain doesn’t want to process the sound coming in because it takes away the focus your other senses need. Suddenly your ears feel like they are not working, something is threatening your sense of hearing, you subconsciously rely on your eyes to be your only defense, and you are on high alert, even though you don’t know it. That is exactly what happens in Slaughterland because of this genius soundscape they have created!


Entertainment & Value: 8.99

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Slaugherland’s regular ticket price is $30 and $50 for the VIP ticket. Although if you choose to upgrade to a VIP ticket, you will be paying an extra $25 dollars instead of making up the difference of $20. So choose wisely. It is cash only in 2019 but you can purchase your tickets online if you are in a pinch and there is an ATM on-site. There is also a $5 coupon on their website, but you must print it and bring it to the ticket booth.

This was a linear attraction meaning they all connected into one big mega walkthrough. There was no exiting one trail and then getting back into another line for another trail. And with all 4 attractions connecting this was one of the longer trails we have ever been on. It took us close to 54 minutes to walk the whole thing! With a general admission price of $30, this gives Slaughterland a Minutes per dollar value of 1.8. That’s close to 2 minutes of entertainment for every dollar you spend. $30 seemed like a relatively high price at first, but we were so glad to find out it’s absolutely worth it.

To recap the midway, they have a BBQ food truck; a regular grill with hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and such; a snack shack with candy, cookies, donuts, and hot cider; a tarot card reader; a giant bonfire; and a themed draft beer and cider bar offering signature cups! Eventually, they want to add a few games in as well. I’m sure I haven’t even heard the half of what they hope to put in there.

Todd, the owner, tells me that eventually he desperately wants to add a hayride to the lineup. In fact, the very next morning after our visit he was traveling to go price out a few tractors. As their slogan says “Over 100 Acres of Terror!” They are not kidding. This property is well over 100 acres and they have a plans to use all of it! When considering the fact that Slaughterland in 2019 has only used up maybe a quarter of the land they have to offer, it’s clear to see that one day this haunt will be the new face of the industry and it might be sooner than we think!


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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 8.21 out of 10

William – 10/10 – October 12, 2019
Awesome scream park! I’m not scared easily but got scared a few times where I actually jumped and …show more even ran!!! The cannibal village was the best. The guy in the trailer and the chainsaw guy (he got us twice) were awesome as well as the inbred guy in the pig pit. The 3D attraction was my other favorite. It really pops right out at you and good scares in there as well! You have to stay for some beer at the midway by the HUGE bonfire.

Mike Meara – 10/10 – September 27, 2019
Had a great time. Friendly staff. Great actors. Attractions are cool and inovative

Allan Walley – 10/10 – June 1, 2019
I love it so far

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