When an attraction is still being assembled in front of you as you stand in line, you begin having second thoughts.
Those thoughts then turn to how cold you are because you’ve been left standing outside in the wet, 45 degree weather for over an hour and 15 minutes past the opening time. Kids ask when the attraction is going to open, parents keep glancing at their watches, and the two actors sent to entertain the crowd run out of tricks after about 15 minutes.
Your frustrations quickly dissipate once you enter Fear Hollow, whose signature attractions – “Mayhem on the Mountain” and “Deadwoods Haunted Trail” — are among the best we’ve seen.
Compared to haunts that have been around for decades, Fear Hollow is the new kid on the block, having been around only five years.
Your visit begins, literally and figuratively, with mayhem.
As you enter the “Mayhem on the Mountain” haunted house — a series of inter-connected trailers — you are greeted by a madman who lines you up against a wall and introduces you to his corpse of a wife, whom he plans to reanimate using the souls of three other bodies he has hanging in the wall.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” he yells as her body twitches with jolts of electric currents being pumped through her.
The loud, metal barrels that greet you in the next room will definitely make you scream and, if you’re not paying attention, the actors lurking above you will make you hit the ground quicker than a drill sergeant making you do push-ups. A lunatic with a chainsaw will chase you clear out of the building, and taunts of “Come play with us” will genuinely have you looking over your shoulder for the rest of the evening.
“Mayhem on the Mountain” drops you off at “Deadwoods Haunted Trail.”
This attraction begins innocently enough, with orange lights on the footpath and friendly-looking jack-o’-lanterns. Then you meet Mama and all happy thoughts flee your mind. Quickly. She invites you into her house, where she shows you a photo of her husband, posing with a trophy kill, that just so happens to be the corpse of a girl.
You let yourself out and eventually make your way to the person who is, by far, the highlight of the entire evening. You walk into a doctor’s office and just see an empty bed in the room. And then he introduces himself. This guy has creepy down to a science. He has an unnerving, high-pitched laugh and jerky body movements, and he kept violently tapping the tips of his fingers together like he was seriously thinking about doing deranged things to you.
He reveled in getting uncomfortably close, and if one of your friends tells him your name, it’s all over for you. He’ll ask you to crawl into bed so he can play doctor with you and, when you refuse, he pulls a living human being out of a closet and throws them on the operating table instead. He’s one of the best actors we’ve ever encountered at a haunted attraction.
The good doctor’s great acting aside, this is no place to stay put. You take this opportunity to quickly leave the room.
You eventually wind up in a hallway, but you soon realize the ceiling is getting lower and lower and you almost end up crawling on your hands and knees. It’s dark and you have to use your hands to navigate. If you’re not paying attention, you could get lost numerous times (like we did) and you’ll need the crazy surgeon to come to your rescue, a resolution you want to avoid at all costs.
This attraction has actual dead ends and, if you take the wrong turn, you’ll end up in the middle of the woods. The cool thing is, the actors give you time to figure your way out instead of rushing you out.
Another thing that’s great about this attraction is that the characters roam the property so, while you may be done with the main attractions, there’s still a chance one of them will sneak up on you when you least expect it.
Rating: 4½ Coffins out of 5