The Dark Rows – Full Review

The Dark Rows is a Haunted Attraction located in Dawsonville, GA.

125 Bannister Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 9, 2020 by Team NecronomaPeach.

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Final Score: 7.86

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Just across the Etowah River from Dawson County middle school sits Uncle Shucks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch, home to The Dark Rows Haunted Trail. Previously, they often had some relatively dark story themes. This year they’re focusing on being a fun, family-friendly themed freak show with frights and scares and laughs. This haunt still delivers the thrills and chills we love, leaving you feeling spooked without nightmares.

Cast: 7.65

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The Dark Rows Haunted Trail has a passionate cast of volunteers that just love to scare. A wide variety of spooky and whimsical characters from Red Riding Hood and monkeys to the bearded lady make each scene very different from the last.

The actors have come up with some wonderful dialogue and actions exploring their characters. In certain scenes, the actors made it really believable that we were in the tents of a freak show set up within a cornfield. We especially loved the shopkeeper and his friends. Also, the magic act was a scream! The character that took our hearts the most was IT, played by 7-year-old Connor who was very enthusiastic about scaring the pants off of everyone.

Costuming: 8.4

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The Dark Rows always do impeccable work on makeup. Many iconic characters were identifiable at a glance, and others were dressed to fit perfectly into the scene. A theme like the freak show is a challenge for costuming, which they stepped up to quite well. Walking the fine line between whimsy and horror is always difficult.

Masks were highly effective for some characters because it added to the strangeness of the freak show. While some of their costumes were basic, the focus on their faces compensated well.

Customer Service: 7.48

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The Dark Rows Haunted Trail is located inside Uncle Shucks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. The information on their website made it easy to plan our trip and find the attraction. Our GPS took us directly to the dirt parking field. The ticket booth was well lit and easy to see. Once past that, heading across the open field to the corn and following it a bit to the right took us right to the entrance of the haunt. While it didn’t have any sort of well-lit sign, you could ask any of the friendly and well-marked staff for directions.

The trail itself has many well-staffed safety paths. Our visit was on a drizzling night with heavy overhead clouds, but the trail was still lit enough to be safe and easy to navigate. This made the dirt path a bit slick, but we felt it was quite safe for a cornfield. Watch out for the wooden bridges though, as they get very slippery when wet. While we suggest wearing real closed-toed shoes, rain or otherwise, we found the trail relatively easy to walk.

Atmosphere: 8.4

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The Dark Rows had a long, spooky queue through the corn with actors creeping and spooking along it. The theme really started here, helping transition from the other attractions at Shucks into the haunt’s world.

With several photo ops, entertaining music, and friendly staff, the queue area got us ready for a fun and scary haunt. Before that, the screams and chainsaws were the only indications that the haunt was there.

Special Effects: 7.7

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The Dark Rows Haunted Trail is a low tech haunt. With very little power to work with out in the cornfield, most effects are done by actors. The trail is lit by the moon, so your choice of when to see them largely changes how dark and spooky your experience is.

Between scenes, we very much enjoyed the long, winding paths through the cornfield that were empty and spooky all on their own. Sometimes less is more, and spreading out the scares works very well in this case. The scenes themselves are wonderfully decorated. In fact, we somewhat regretted that it was so dark on the night of our visit so we couldn’t see many of the details. Throughout the corn, there are small nuggets of special effects, like a bridge here and a lifesize jack in the box there. You never really knew what you’d see when turning a bend in the trail.

Theme: 7.15

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The Dark Rows theme this year was a freak show, letting them be both comical and terrifying. The idea that a freak show would be in a cornfield is very believable and made the escapism effective. Characters, sets, and costuming all came together to make the theme as authentic as it could be. With a theme as difficult to perform as Freak Show, it struggled in certain areas, like the graveyard. But overall, the built sets within the tents were well done and fun to walk through.T

Scare Factor: 7.6

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The Dark Rows has always leaned toward being family-friendly and fun, and this year’s theme played well into that. People were all laughing or screaming, but certainly not bored. By being family-friendly, this means that certain scare tactics (ie blood or violence) cannot be used, but even with that, the haunt still had some spooky moments. Additionally, they have volunteers of all ages, including several children. And children in cornfields are ALWAYS scary!

Entertainment & Value: 8.08

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The Dark Rows Haunted Trail is a long haunted corn trail. The way the trail was cut was actually quite smart, with a central hub area as the actor and security zone, so that they can move seamlessly across the haunt quickly.

It took our group approximately fifteen minutes to walk the whole attraction and that was at a steady pace. With a ticket price of $20.00, this means that they have a minute per dollar ratio of 0.75 which is fairly average for a haunt. The ticket price also includes wagon rides, a bonfire, and other nighttime attractions within the Uncle Shucks part of the area.

The Dark Rows is always a fun stop in our month of haunts and we cannot wait to see what they have in store for us and other eager patrons in the following year. Additionally, our group always enjoys supporting charity haunts as they are doing what they love and making their community a better place at the same time.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Juan – 10/10October 28, 2022
Extremely fun and the corn maze was very challenging and the haunted corn maze was very scary and …show more exciting and the actors that was in it did a very good job

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2019 Awards

Best Cemetery (Given by: Team NecronomaPeach)

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