The Haunted Hydro – Full Review

The Haunted Hydro is a Haunted Attraction located in Fremont, OH.

1333 Tiffin Street, Fremont, OH 43420
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Paid Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You may be touched, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 14, 2022 by Team Cleaverland.

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Final Score: 8.75

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The Haunted Hydro is a stone-cold classic on the Ohio haunt scene. This longtime staple is situated in a decommissioned hydroelectric plant reported to be genuinely haunted.

Now 33 years in, the Hydro starts from scratch every season with a new layout and new theming. The theme for 2022 is ‘Evil-ution.’

We definitely received an evolution in the experience here. We’ve never before felt the kind of intensity awaiting us at the Hydro this time.

Part of that can be attributed to the new touch pass (in the form of very stylish glasses, as you can see in our pictures), but even aside from that, the unleashed actors were totally off the chain!

Cast Score: 8.71

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Cast Review:

So, that’s a good place to begin – with the thoroughly energized cast. These monsters must have taken their vitamins because they were amped up from the get-go right to the end.

And, of course, it had to start with an audience before the Hydro’s consummate showman and master of ceremonies, ‘Crazy’ Bob Turner. The madcap host/owner/founder kept up a fine patter of chatter relating to various museum pieces of funereal origin collected by the Hydro over the years, such as a casket and a real authentic skeleton.

This man is a haunt institution, cutting up with rapid-fire jokes and breaking out his sudden startling cackle. We’re not even sure what a visit to the Hydro would be like without a few minutes of getting a zany intro from this guy! Always memorable.

A metallic half-mask-wearing creepo kept popping up early in the walkthrough, appearing several times in the first few minutes and getting off some good lines. A talkative gravedigger took measurements for a casket, then offered a spot straight into the ground for a more organic option. That one and a fang-faced freak tried to push us into an already-occupied casket. The off-kilter baker offered a fine selection of asbestos muffins. A queue creature, the warty hunchback, repeatedly insisted we squeeze her pustules.

And those are just the highlights. The whole cast got into the act with wacky behavior, crazy comments, screams, giggles, and manic movements. Again, a job well done by an excellent ensemble.

Costuming Score: 8.53

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Costuming Review:

Haunted Hydro had some of the best costuming we’ve seen this year. Creative, repulsive, hard to look at, and hard to turn away from.

Again the opening members of the troupe had great looks: metal half-mask creepo, fang-faced freak, and a sort of barbarian-looking dude, as well as the poxy hunchback mentioned in Cast.

We saw some hideous clowns, including a button-eyed mom with a baby doll and Smiley, who wore a horrible bloody rictus grin and a ref’s uniform. A snazzily-suited vampire (? – he had some very sharp fangs, anyway) businessman wielded his briefcase like a bludgeon.

Customer Service Score: 9.62

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Haunted Hydro is in Fremont, Ohio, in the northwest corner of the state between Toledo and Sandusky. GPS got us there quickly. There’s almost no way to miss the flashing sign and colorfully-floodlighted walls. Parking guides directed us to a spot in the grass lot. Parking is $1.

Ticketing is on the right side of the castle-esque parapets, and the attraction entrance is right next to it. No problems finding our way around; everything to get started is right out front.

We were advised to keep our eyes in front of us, and we did get a little tripped up on a raised platform early on, so stay focused and be careful with your footing.

The Hydro has quite a good website and a solid social media presence. Online ordering for tickets is available, and that’s how you should do it because you’ll pay $5 more at the door. Also, remember that timed ticketing is in place, so you might have to wait if you come and try to gain access in the spur of the moment.

Immersion Score: 8.33

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Immersion Review:

The imposing walls of the power plant loomed over us, a giant skull peering over the top seeming to foretell doom.

The authentic setting, excellent effects and sets, rapid-fire action, consistent actor interaction, and the fact that this year was one big, seamless ‘mega-haunt’ (most years, there are multiple attractions/themes; the last time we went, they had two) without starts and stops, all fed into a superior sense of immersion.

On the way out from the exit, the Hydro had multiple merch areas set up. Once you passed that, it was back to the concessions (fabulous cheesesteak) and the Hydro’s supremely entertaining memorabilia museum.

This trailer brimmed with artifacts from the haunt’s long history, from old shirt designs and merch to newspaper clippings to props. Fascinating stuff for those of us who love to delve into haunt history.

Special FX Score: 8.67

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Effects-wise, this was another strong showing by the Hydronauts. They always bring it with a great variety of effects and sterling execution.

The busy opening outdoor section featured a sort of vehicle graveyard with cars, a skeleton horse-drawn carriage, and a train (!). Walking through the outdoor sections reminded us of going through something like a shanty town of ramshackle board walls interspersed with wooden and chain link fencing.

The inside areas included a crazy clock room, the seemingly well-stocked bar, a disquieting taxidermy room, and a most alarming laser swamp.

The best sound effect had to be the old-timey version of ‘I Put a Spell on You’ playing in the opening outdoor section. Something about scratchy old-fashioned music, like ‘Jeepers Creepers’ from the movie, just sets off creeptastic alarm bells.

Scare Factor Score: 8.82

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Scare Factor Review:

This was our scariest trip ever to the Hydro. First, unsettling props and effects primed the panic pump, then freakily costumed, manic actors in attack mode used swarm and surround tactics to unnerve us. At one point, four meanies accosted us at once, and we didn’t know which end was up.

These aggressive actors quickly closed gaps and engaged us. Their sudden speedy movements generated tension and a sense of ‘what’s coming next?’ A surprise attack in the clock room had us jumping back and gasping.

And then there’s the touch pass: it came with a lot of being pushed around, forcefully directed, grasped by hidden leg grabbers, and at one point being put into a hockey-like penalty box ‘for two minutes; nah, thirty seconds; eh, leave whenever you want.’ So we were boxed in, but at least nobody attacked us while we served time.

Suffice it to say, we heaved a sigh of relief upon making it to the exit!

Entertainment & Value Score: 8.65

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E&V Review:

Our trip through the Hydro took 24 minutes. Against the $25 general admission, the MPD (minutes of in-attraction entertainment per dollar spent) summed out to 0.96, just a titch under the 1.0 target benchmark.

But given the superlative experience within, still a solid value. Especially considering the time we spent in the memorabilia trailer, one of our favorite add-ons anywhere. Other haunts, please let us see your old stuff!

VIP (speed pass plus 20% off merch) is $35. The touch pass is $5. Three escape rooms cost $5 each. Special rates are available for groups of 10+; discounts will auto-apply on the website. Contact the haunt if your group will have 20 or more.

It’s inspiring to see a haunt thirty-plus years in still committing to the process of evil-ution. Come witness it yourself!

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Pics We Took From Our Visit:

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

John Smith – 10/10October 13, 2017
On Friday the 13th a couple had their wedding/reception at The Haunted Hydro, and we’re the first …show more groups to go through the haunt in the blackout night that they had since it was Friday the 13th. You walk through the gate and your greeted immediately by characters to give you a little something… then ask yourself Hydro, or Woods? Both is the best answer! While waiting in line there are characters going all throughout the courtyard and que line. Before the Woods at the door you’ll have someone greet you and you’ll only want to go in more. Story goes there was an infection breakout in the woods and now it’s inhabited by grotesque hillbillys, awefull creatures, and clowns (duh). Then There’s the Hydro. You’re greeted at the front door by Crazy Bob himself the man who has owned The Haunted Hyodro for almost 30 years! And has greeted every visitor to ever go through. After 30 years The Hydro is one of the oldest Hanuts in Ohio. We’re tou can see all it’s history in their mobile museum! In the Hydro they’ve barricaded themseves inside to keep out the infected ones from the woods. There’s crazies, Doctors, and others of all types there to make sure you’re safe enough to live. In the courtyard you have a pick from three escape rooms and their souvenir and gift shop! The Haunted Hydro is really one of a kind with its ever changing layout and theming that’s never the same year after year. They’re the only haunt I know of that has an interactive story for guests to follow that’s different every season, along with the theming and look to go with it. It’s visit you have to make every year of you can to see how it changes it’s never the same and is a must stop for true haunt finatics!

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Past Awards

2020 Awards

Best Historical Extra (Given by: Team Cleaverland)

Most Unique Timing (Given by: Team Cleaverland)

Past Awards

2020 Awards

Best Historical Extra (Given by: Team Cleaverland)

Most Unique Timing (Given by: Team Cleaverland)

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