Dracula’s Forest is one of the oldest haunts in NEPA; part of its successful longevity is its focus on two attractions. At $15 a ticket, plus $3 to park all season long, the value and quality at this haunted forest makes it outstanding.
For 33 years, tractors have pulled brave souls on the “Haunted Hayride,” taking them deep into Dracula’s Forest.
The ride starts out happy. Riders fearing the unknown expect scares right off the bat, but the calm, scenic ride through farm fields is deceiving. Soon enough, the path is lined with torches that turn the calm atmosphere into something far more sinister.
Sadistic clowns, ghouls and even some horror film stars start scaring from the ground. In moments, they’re climbing aboard the wagon, getting in your face, as it travels through various sets, including a lumberjack’s workshop where he’s sawing more than just planks.
One of the highlights was the stop in a barn. The doors close, the lights go out and Michael Myers comes out.
The “Walk of Doom” is next and the scares don’t let up. On the walk is a crazed woman insisting visitors see her child as she thrashes in a crib. The actresses did an excellent job, especially the young girl who played the child. A vehicle, and its contents, belonging to a long-abandoned mental asylum is another frightful highlight of the walk.
If you scare easily, don’t show it — otherwise you’ll become a target.
The downside to Dracula’s Forest comes if you’re with a large group. The more people on the walk, the fewer the scares for those toward the end of the line.
The strength of the experience is the shock and sudden nature of the frights. If you’re the last few in the group, you’ve already seen the scary moment. To the actors’ credit, they try to include everyone, even if a forced scream in your face is the scare attempt. Although the wait may be longer, partaking in the “Walk of Doom” with a smaller group can save your eardrums.
Dracula’s Forest is a fun and frightening experience that has enough thrills to get your blood flowing without taking itself too seriously. The cast clearly enjoys what they do and, in turn, provides an excellent experience for those who dare to take the ride.
Rating: 4 Coffins out of 5