The Salisbury Haunted Woods Barn and Trail – Full Review

The Salisbury Haunted Woods Barn and Trail is a Haunted Attraction located in Salisbury, NH.

19 Franklin Road, Salisbury, NH 03268
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Haunt Type(s):

Charity HauntHaunted Trail


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This attraction was reviewed on October 9, 2021 by Team Hallowoosh.

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Final Score: 8.11

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Salisbury Woods returns for another great year of screams and laughs and all-around amazing haunted eye candy! I can only try to tell everyone how much I loved this amazing home haunt when I went for the first time last year. All of my expectations were completely blown away the minute I stepped foot in the waiting line! And this year was no different after seeing how many incredible additions they added to this creepy trail in the middle of the majestic woods of New Hampshire!

I was so overwhelmed with how great of a show The Salisbury Woods was in 2020 that I knew before I was even done with the trail that I needed to go back every year. This haunt is truly a passion project that has slowly built up over the years and has become one of the greatest Halloween events in New England. Let alone the fact that the ticket price goes to help multiple student and community programs, which is always an incredible thing to hear.

Cast: 8.05

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The actors are a good mix of people of all ages and it’s really a wonderful thing to see. Typically a haunted attraction employs plenty of college-aged people and people in their twenties and sometimes it can feel a bit repetitive like I’m seeing the same characters over and over again. So when I come across a haunt like Salisbury which has young teens to people in their sixties and everyone in between, it really feels like a community effort. Also, the fact that if a crazy world of horror like this did actually exist then chances are good there would be people of all ages sharing the space.

I thought the characters did a wonderful job last year, but this year they really stepped up their game! They were doing some character acting that would make a lot of other commercial haunts jealous!

The clowns started off the haunt with plenty of different laughs and types of scares from all different angles! We were getting almost dizzy just trying to figure out where and when the next clown was going to come from. Sometimes they were behind a drop panel, or they were on top of a wall creeping down, or even acting like they were a fake prop until I got way too close! Every one of them was their very own style of clown instead of the same typical ‘want to play?’ characters that we see at too many haunts.

We enjoyed quite a few actors in this attraction and their total dedication to their characters. A housewife type of character was frantically trying to get dinner ready for someone who was going to be home any minute. All she could do was keep cleaning and preparing and begging us to stay for dinner like her life depended on it. A crazy patient at the asylum came out of nowhere banging on the glass and screaming ‘Cavity Search!’ over and over again. Some kidnapped children were chained up inside a witch’s house and they were crawling and begging for us to save them. Even a few zombie children were falling to the ground and started crawling their way towards us.

We have to hand it to the star of the show, Scrappy. He is an absolute riot with his sick and twisted dark jokes and his witty insults to the guests. He usually stands up at the top of the waiting line entertaining the guests for a while but we saw him running around all over the place. We particularly liked how he targeted teenagers with some teenager themed jokes like ‘What is the difference between a teenager and an onion?’ followed by a bunch of people acting like they are really thinking about the answer ‘Nobody cries when you cut a teenager!’ and then he wraps up every joke with a ‘True story, true story’ I still don’t know what story he’s referring to but I can’t get enough of it.

Costuming: 7.11

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Being a home haunt one would think that the costume and makeup would be extremely limited and working off a little to no budget. This is not the case with Salisbury Haunted Woods. I had a chance to ask the owner how exactly the costumes and makeup worked at his establishment, fully expecting to hear that all actors arrive with their own costumes and apply their own makeup at home. The owner pointed out a huge tractor-trailer on the side of the property and explained how the entire inside was a costume and makeup station. I couldn’t believe it because I’ve seen large-scale attractions operating their makeup stations out of pop-up campers. And here we have a little-known haunt with an eighty-foot trailer for a whole makeup department!

The majority of the cast is in masks but they fit the theme they are working in. We were stopped by a chainsaw-wielding psycho and he had a torn-up face obviously from the chainsaw or trees falling. Some of the creepiest masks were hidden in piles and stacks of stuffed animals and old dolls. Just simple smiling faces but definitely got the job done when we couldn’t see which face to focus on.

Almost all of the clowns had face-painted makeup. Each one was unique to their character. They all were doing such a great job being complete crazies though we were glad they stayed away from the muffling masks. The zombies and the asylum characters had a bit of makeup as well. Some gashes and bruises around their faces, nice touch.

Nothing too crazy when it comes to the costumes here. But I can say we saw full costumes being used and no sign of any normal sweatshirts or flashy sneakers or anything to take away from the suspension of belief.

Customer Service: 8.44

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Seems to me there are about two roads that go through Salisbury, New Hampshire. At some point they intersect and that’s when you know you’ve found The Salisbury Woods. If that isn’t enough direction then just turn your head a little bit and you’ll see a big Viking ship with a few skeletons looking like they are ready to raid and pillage! Oh yeah, and there’s a big banner that says ‘The Salisbury Haunted Woods’ and a police cruiser with their red and blues flashing, what more do you want?

The only unfortunate aspect of this haunt is the parking. The gas station across the street is nice enough to allow the few parking spots they have to guests of the haunt. It works out a little in everyone’s favor because more often than not guests will venture into their convenience store/deli and grab some refreshments or order a pizza or sandwich. A lot of guests end up parking on the side of the street as well.

This year Salisbury Woods is fortunate enough to have two food vendors. This was quite a surprise to me because I remember there being talks of just selling little bags of popcorn in the past. Come to find out that the Tilton Northfield Rotary Club is now selling french fries, cheese fries, hot cider, and hot chocolate while another trailer is selling cotton candy, caramel apples, all those carnival treats. Waiting in line for Salisbury Woods is a fun enough experience on its own, but now it just got even better!

Scabby and friends were constantly running back and forth making sure everyone knew exactly where to go and seeing if anyone needed help. The ground is nice and flat through the haunt with nothing to trip over and duck under or anything physical. In fact, the group that went in before we did had one member on some crutches and they managed to get through the trail without any problems.

Tickets can be purchased online and there are limited tickets per every 30-minute time slot. We were very surprised to see that almost all tickets were sold out for the night when we arrived well before the first group went in! This was their second night of the season and they had told me that the amount of guests who came on the first night exceeded their presumed numbers by almost double! This haunt is growing very quickly and they are doing everything they can to accommodate. But due to parking, they are only allowed to have so many people on the premises at a given time. So make sure to get online and reserve your time slot.

Atmosphere: 8.94

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If the big Viking ship with the battle-ready skeletons out front wasn’t enough to get me excited, the awesome cemetery of a waiting line did the trick. Right after scanning in the tickets, we walked under a big archway that had ‘Lost Souls’ carved out on the top of it. Inside all we could see was light blue string lights that weaved their way back and forth through a bunch of headstones. And the whole perimeter had an assortment of scary props and decorations.

I think my favorite is still the tomb with the name ‘Walker’ across the top of it. An actor is actually stationed in front of this tomb resulting in a surprise. A lot of good scares and laughs very early on in the evening with that one. Another actor lurks somewhere in the middle and lets out a deafening shriek when guests walk by. And another actor dressed up as a flying monkey was playing with the guests up at the front of the line. So they have at least those three right where they need to be.

Salisbury Woods acquired a lot of different haunted house items from over the years and a lot of them can be found in this queue area. Plenty of Jack-o-lanterns, some freak show props like a two head demon baby and the skeleton of bigfoot! But the most impressive piece is definitely the old wooden hearse. It’s actually a brand new hearse built by a local highly skilled craftsman. Complete with a glass display window, big wooden spoked wheels, an iron shaft, and even a skeleton driver and fiberglass horse! This thing looks like it could have actually been used back in the 1800’s!

The most obvious element we noticed right away when we entered the waiting area was Scrappy! His now iconic voice and laugh and famous trademark ‘True Story, true story’ can be instantly heard almost anywhere we stood. The sights and sounds over everything else are more than enough to let us know we are in for a great October event. But listening to Scrappy blurt out his dark humor all the time makes it so much more fun!

Special Effects: 8.23

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I will admit that the biggest reason why I ever knew about The Salisbury Woods is because of their special effects. It was years ago that I was randomly looking online and found a short video posted of a homemade animated dragon head. This thing was swaying left and right, breathing out smoke, glowing red eyes, and even chewing on what’s left of a human skeleton! I thought to myself this must be a contracted prop builder, I wonder where this dragon head is going. Then I realize it’s his own prop for himself and he’s using it in a home haunt. I thought that seemed like a lot of hard work and dedication to make a prop for just any old home haunt. Then I found out that this haunt is right up in New Hampshire, not too far away from me. I’ve been wanting to visit Salisbury Woods for a few years now to see all the cool effects they have made. And it took a pandemic to close some other attractions so I could free up my schedule to finally visit.

There is an abundance of special effects at this incredible haunt. Most of which are older used effects that the owner had worked tirelessly on to get working properly again. I remember last year seeing another video of him repairing an old alligator effect. This thing was clearly falling apart, but he managed to patch it all back together and actually made it look more real than it did before. Now it’s one of the best effects in the trail when it shot out at us and started squirming like crazy in a strobe light.

Some other effects include a burning witch, a flying devil, a puking radioactive zombie, and a giant ant that we had to walk under and felt very uneasy about. I’ll always enjoy this Salem witch trial scene that’s pretty much an effect on its own. A whole section of the trail is dedicated to witches. I believe it starts with this boxed-up display of a witch being prosecuted during the Salem witch trials. The audio plays like it’s a broadway readout of the Crucible. I find it to be a nice little piece that reminds us that not all witches are these fairytale creatures, so were innocent people who were sentenced to hang and burn!

Theme: N/A

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The Salisbury Woods doesn’t have a singular theme that ties any of their scenes together. They are very content with the changing of all the different worlds of chaos and creepiness as we walk on through. The surroundings of each scene stay true to the theme given. The witches start with the scene of the Salem witch trials and then move into a witch-burning scene and then into the gingerbread house where Hansel and Gretel are trapped by a witch and so on.

They have a vast collection of scenes that I found to be very impressive. Starting off with a clown room and then a haunted house and quickly to a zombie apocalypse, summer camp murders, asylum, werewolves, witches, jack-o-lantern creatures, medieval dungeon, vampire castle! It just keeps going!

Scare Factor: 7.39

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I think we can comfortably say that this haunted attraction mixes a good amount of creepy with old-fashioned Halloween fun, and a bit of dark and light spooky humor with unexpected surprises. For the most part, we were getting scared because we couldn’t take our eyes off of the incredible displays and never noticed the haunters standing right in front of us until it was too late.

There were a couple of times in the trail when there were no actors. And it’s a breath of fresh air for a minute while we took in the sounds and views that were extremely different from the last scene we came from. Almost like a reset button to remind us that there’s more to come and it’s not like what we just went through.

The effects are still the most shocking to me. Almost all of them I had to get up close and personal with before I realized they were there. And as much as I knew how these creations were not real, they were nothing I wanted to mess with.

The actors do a great job of keeping us in their world. They are obviously trained well and know exactly when and how to come out of hiding and how long to follow. Timing is everything here and they do it very well.

Entertainment & Value: 8.96

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With a few new scenes and scares added this year we made our way through Salisbury Woods in a little over 21 minutes. That’s a four-minute increase to last year! Tickets are still just $10 each. This is an incredible value. Nowhere else in New England are you going to find such incredible homemade displays and such excellent entertainment for only $10.

The ticket price goes to help support the Salisbury Parent Teacher Group, the MVMS Parent Teacher Organization, MVHS Music Boosters (MUBO), and the Salisbury Fire Explorers. The Fire Explorers are almost like boy scouts for future firemen. I never heard about such a great program until the night I visited.

All in all, Salisbury Woods is an incredible time full of community and great October Spooky season fun. We definitely got some good scares and laughs on our return. And all the great things to see up there are well worth the trip and ticket price. Just remember to purchase your tickets online to reserve your time. They are selling fast!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 9.25 out of 10

Taz – 10/10October 10, 2020
This puts most of the big Corporation haunted houses to Shame I have never been so blown away by a …show more home haunt I can not wait to return.

Spooky Kisses – 8.5/10December 18, 2021 this terrifying New England Haunted …show more attraction located in Salisbury NH. it was way longer and scarier then I thought it would be. One of the things that make it scary is the voices and sounds over the speakers that was really freaking me out. most of the actors are very young but still scary. it was nicely done the girl in the jail scene that yells cavity search is a ROCK star! love her – see my youtube video on it with the link and I think you will want to go there.

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