Horror Fest at Shady Brook Farm
931 Stony Hill Road
I tried twice before to get to this haunt but because it closes early on Sunday, it didn't happen. I finally headed up early on a Friday night with a friend from work and we got right in line. This was the last haunt on the 13 haunts for me and I really needed to complete the list.
This haunt is located on a farm and has the atmosphere to match.
There are plenty of families, pumpkins, bands, trampolines, bonfires, kid's rides, and food stands. The atmosphere is festive and in-sync with the holiday season. We bought tickets for two rides and got in line for the hayride with an army of kids and mothers surrounding us.
The wagons were flat, with a small fence and bench seating and were being pulled by a large diesel tractor. Contrary to Dante's review on youtube, there was no charismatic driver, only a dark silhouette that drove the tractor and never said a word. The beginning of the hayride was a slow journey down a dirt road with scarecrow figures on wooden stakes on one side, and on the other were giant outlined Christmas light displays that were not lit. Now, I have no problem with a place trying to have a Christmas show after the Halloween season, but are we going to pretend we can't see these giant pictures of dolphins and famous buildings around the world?
Next, we came up to a guy dressed like a farmer that was warning us of evil red-hot blood on the land and that we are doomed, but to take care...which seemed a little contradictory. Well, anyway, we continued past a small cemetery that was average and had no scares with it. The wagon entered a big barn and a curtain came down, Rob zombie music came on and the wagon began to jump around because it was on hydraulics in the dark. I actually enjoyed this part, and thought it was fun that the wagon was jumping around. I don't remember any other haunt using this stunt. I thought actors were going to come out but nobody did. After we left the barn we were accosted by various actors as we rode by bodies that were combined with animals in a Dr. Moreau mad scientist sort of fashion. I thought this was kind of graphic for the easily scared mothers and children on the wagon, who were cowering in fear every-time an actor charged the wagon. I wished I could feel afraid of the fake killers the way the screaming lady next me was.
We then came to a barn-style church building that had moving windows and banging doors but no real jump out surprises. Then we came upon the old cars in piles with horns and lights going off. We then came to a typical hillbilly scene with the dueling banjos music in the background, but instead of the silly hillybill gimmick, Leatherface comes out and attacks the wagon with a
chainsaw. There was also the prison/asylum scenes with maniacs attacking the wagon. Then we went past some giant straw sculptures of creepy people and eventually a guy jumped out. The final scene I remember was a carnival scene with a barker in a top hat and various fire spinning, which reminded me of the Valley of Fear fire spinners.
This was a fairly short hay ride and pretty basic with the stunts but it seemed like it was more for kids and families.
We then decided to go in the Barn attraction. We waited in a small line and entered the ride with just the two of us. The guy who greeted us and read the rules was creepy and weird and so was the actors inside the ride. If you go into this ride with a girl, stay close to her because she will get harassed throughout the entire ride. There was various mazes, where you go through rooms in a house to include kitchen and basement and a room with hanging bodies and a clown. The actors touch you and mess with you and do creepy things throughout the ride.This seems like the perfect job for a random pervert and be aware that these actors and this ride is going for the annoying/tormenting angle and not the scare angle. The detailing was okay and they had some random animatronics, but overall the ride was a series of poorly detailed mazes hidden with low lighting and fog. The actors try to hit you with the bodies hanging in the morgue and various other annoying obstacles. By far the most annoying was a guy with a feather duster that keeps putting it in your face. I came super close to grabbing it and throwing it as far as I could outside the haunt.
Probably the best scare was a huge guy that came running at us in the basement area. He can get you by surprise if you jump easy. I was actually happy when this ride came to an end because being tormented is different then being scared, especially when you really want to make the tormenting stop by force. Once again, this was a weird attraction for a place set up for kids and families.
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