The Shadows Haunted Attraction – Full Review

The Shadows Haunted Attraction is a Haunted Attraction located in Tarentum, PA.

748 Bull Creek Road, Tarentum, PA 15084
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 15, 2021 by Team Houdini.

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Final Score: 7.52

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Shadows and darkness have scared humans for all of eternity, not being able to see something that could be right next to you, that vulnerability, and the fear of the unknown. Now you can find out for yourself at The Shadows in Tarentum, PA.

After the Haunted Mine originally closed, some of the inhabitants escaped and took residence in the woods, and in 2012, The Shadows was born. Some of the previous employees that worked at The Haunted Mine decided to open a new haunt in the woods above the mine area. It is located on four acres of wooded land with half a mile trail. The Shadows is a volunteer haunt with a classic haunted trail theme. After a year off due to Covid, they are ready to make their return this season.

Cast: 7.6

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During our moonlit stroll, we came across seventeen departed souls. The majority of which provided quick jump scares from screams or loud noises. There were some of the traditional haunt scripts such as ‘where are you going,’ ‘help,’ and ‘what are you doing?’ We also heard screams and a few horrendous laughs. We were happy to hear some additional lines of dialogue, as we entered an area we did not knock and were told ‘it’s only proper to knock before entering someone’s house,’ we were invited in one area enthusiastically ‘come in you’ll love it’ followed by a loud YOU’LL LOVE IT!’ One interesting interaction was with a guy behind a metal fence area, he was causing sparks to shoot out while singing the national anthem that he followed up with a Matthew McConaughey ‘alright, alright, alright.” A woman yelled ‘burn them to ashes’ as we passed by her area. We came across a creature in the corn area that said ‘I smell kids,’ I made a joke about Biden and everyone laughed, thanks folks I’ll be here all week.

We had some good back and forth discussion with the first character in the woods, the woodsman I guess. He talked about the previous people that came through that he ate. He told us he was the mild one in the woods. I complimented his mask and he told me he liked my pretty face, yay I’m pretty!

We would have liked a little more interaction with the spooks as we went through, but we felt the dialogue seemed fitting for the characters and areas.

Costuming: 7.77

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Costuming was a mix of simple costumes and street clothes with masks and makeup. One individual had a high-quality plague costume that had the traditional long black coat and pants with the long-beaked plague mask. A girl with ghoulish makeup and a hooded costume was hiding in one of the shacks. The ghostly makeup seemed to work for most of the cast, from the characters we saw it looked well done not just thrown onto people.

One of the more stand-out maks belonged to the woodsman who had on a wooden face mask with green glowing eyes. It looked really good as we approached.

As it was dark in the woods it was hard to see some characters in detail so detailed costumes may not be needed as much like other haunts. But a little more detail would be appreciated.

Customer Service: 8.5

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The Shadows were easy to find with GPS, as we approached the main road, signs were leading to The Shadows as well as The Haunted Mine as they are located in the same area. Parking was a little confusing as there were no parking attendants and they share the area. Since we were doing both we parked in the middle.

The staff was professional and friendly from the ticket booth to the greeter. The lady at the ticket booth joked about us not making it through and the gentlemen at the gate provided some info on the history of the haunt.

We did not notice anything outside of normal safety concerns. The lighting is well done where we could see where we were walking. There was some uneven ground that could be slippery. I did slip slightly on some gravel, but that is the nature of the beast when you are in the woods. This is outdoors so some areas could get muddy as well, just use caution.

Regarding Covid they are following local guidelines.

The Shadows does have a modest website but more info can be found on their Facebook page.

Atmosphere: 7.3

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The Shadows leans on the side of mystery and, well, shadows. Minimal lighting is in the waiting area, just the lights from the ticket booth, the lights from the Shadows sign, and our natural satellite is the only light there is. They keep things bare bones to provide a more somber and realistic tone. One line actor was around and he was silent and just wandered the land. He was wearing a brown cloaked robe, with a burlap mask. He also carried a scepter with an animal skeleton on it. There were also skulls on top of the poles in the waiting area.

We felt the modest d������cor felt right for this haunt but we wouldn’t be opposed to some additional scare actors, d������cor, or entertainment for customers.

Special Effects: 7.32

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The Shadows does not rely heavily on elaborate sets or special effects but rather on the seclusion of the woods. As we made our way through the woods most of the sound is provided by the crickets, wind, and rustling of the trees, which provides an added effect. A few areas did have some additional sound; there was some thunder and lightning effects, as well as some music in a few other scenes, most noticeably the clown section.

Lighting was used throughout the trail to help provide enough light to see our way around and to provide a better atmosphere for its scenes, utilizing red, blue, and green tones. They also had a nice effect with a tunnel of fog, as you entered different sections the fog would appear to have changed colors. Strobe lights were also around to enhance scenes.

Props were used throughout the woods to help keep customers on their toes as they went from scene to scene. Jason masks were placed throughout the woods to give the illusion of people hiding. Besides the hockey masks, we saw skeletons, a guillotine, bloody body parts, a giant spider coming down from a tree, a smoking freezer, and some glowing tombstones. We liked the ghost bride that glowed a ghostly blue color and appeared to be transparent.

The sets were scattered throughout the trail and usually had a small scene with a scare or two, one shack had a ghost projection, another had pallet walls with a labyrinth feel, another felt like a church that was taken over by a cult, and then there was also a carnival theme area with color lights and a black light section.

We felt the props and sets mixed with the eeriness of the dark woods provided a convincing feel.

Theme: N/A

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The main theme is a haunted woods trail but that could be all-encompassing as literally, anything could lurk inside a haunted woods. Therefore we will omit this section.

It is a trail in the woods so the location fits well, you know because it’s in the woods. With the smaller groups, it had a Blair Witch feel to it that we enjoyed.

Scare Factor: 7.28

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The Shadows was able to provide some scares for us during our visit, mainly through its actors. Most of the scares came from jump scares as the actors were great at popping out at unsuspecting times. The Shadows also keeps groups small so everyone gets the full effect of being alone in the woods. We would have liked a little more variety with the frights just to keep things fresh, but we did enjoy some of the interactions with those who live in the woods. The classic haunt finale that everyone has been using was on display this evening, I guess if it’s not broke don’t fix it.

Entertainment & Value: 7.13

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The Shadows is open in October on Fridays and Saturdays from 7-11. Admission is $15 and it took us about 15 minutes to walk through. That places the minutes per dollar at 1, which is a little below the average of 1.3 MPD that our team has been seeing most often. There was no additional entertainment this evening either.

The Shadows provides a realistic haunted woods experience with interesting scenes and solid scares that will have you questioning what lurks in The Shadows.

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