(all ratings scored out of 5)
The Dent Schoolhouse
Curb Appeal – 4.9/5
Scare Factor – 4.6/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 5/5
Creativity – 4.9/5
Overall – 4.8/5
Bill - What an amazing haunt… it has everything! Waiting in line in the “corn field” with scarecrows attacking you, a pumpkin threatening to cut your throat and a “beautiful” witch eating a mouse and wondering what a cell phone is all about. From there the props, scares and actors were amazing. I never knew what was around the corner. One of the best things was the fact that they kept the schoolhouse theme throughout. It was also a very long haunt, where you never had time to get bored as the scares were around every corner. I can’t wait to see what changes next year.
Teresa - The attention to detail in this place is mind-boggling. There are so many things to look at in every room and hall. There are some seriously creepy props. The school theme is strong throughout, from the lockers, lunch room, theater, study hall, library, and showers, to the creepy basement right out of a child’s nightmare. And there are tons of actors, with some great costumes (bug man!) all of whom are pretty fantastic. I always get a little rush when I finally find Charlie, the janitor. You just know he’s going to pop out somewhere. They’ve added some great new rooms. I love this place so much, I always leave wanting to go through again. And I want some of these props for myself! Creepy larger-than-life dolls…check. People with faces carved like jack-o-lanterns…check. Humongous mutant toys…check. Some of my favorite characters are outside though, while you wait in line. And this is one line I actually like to wait in. The scenery is great and there are plenty of wandering characters to surprise and entertain you. I’m always excited for this one and they didn’t disappoint.
Gayle - This is still one of my all time favorite haunts. Not only is this expertly ran, but the enthusiasm and passion of the owners of this haunt, and the efforts made by the actors is top-notch. The obvious care to the attention of detail in each room is noticed and appreciated, the level of safety for their patrons, the way the history and integrity of the building is upheld, to maintaining the representation of their iconic “mascot”, Charlie is simply awe-inspiring. These guys know how to run a classy haunt. They listen to the feedback from their patrons, and put ideas in motion. This year the haunt was different, better, longer than before. There were new rooms, new (and extended) exhibits, more chainsaws, and an unbridled excitement felt by absolutely everyone involved in making this haunt the nationally recognized place to be for Halloween frights! There are literally scares around every corner, the props are amazing, some over 19 feet tall, the animatronics are freaky and cool, the actors roaming around outside are interactive and engaging which make waiting in line equally entertaining. I love this place! Kudos…and thanks for the scares!!! LOVE IT.
Tammy - The Dent Schoolhouse never disappoints! This year was was top notch! The Dent is a classy haunt all the way through. Spending time with one of the owners prior to entering the haunt was great – learning about his passion for haunts that started as a kid and all of the time, energy and commitment that has gone into this haunt is amazing!! This is my favorite haunt to wait in line. The fall festival area is spooky, fun and entertains you while you wait. My favorite character was the creepy pumpkin head man making his way through the crowd. The addition of the giant pumpkin animatronic is awesome! The old schoolhouse is the perfect location and atmosphere sets the mood for a great scary haunted house. The attention to detail is flawless – every prop is precisely placed and each room has an abundance of props that fit the theme perfectly. Some of my favorite areas through the haunt include: the doll room (super big, super creepy), the talking can monster (shows the fun and creativity of this haunt), the toy room (can’t go wrong with giant creepy toys!), the Chef area (combines scary and funny perfectly) drop down windows with scary actors popping up all over and the gigantic skeleton animatronic is amazing! And it wouldn’t be complete without Charlie somewhere spooky in the house. The lighting throughout the haunt is spot on! The Dent is scary, fun, great characters wandering the grounds. I think it’s the best haunt in Cincinnati! This is one to go check out for sure!
Andy - I always look forward to The Dent school house and this year in my opinion was by far the best I have seen it in years! There is always something going on, always something new. This year there was a lot of new. The giant new props are awesome! I cant even imagine the amount of work and thought it took to get those into the haunt. The attention to detail that the folks at Dent put into this is truly amazing. Listening to Bud tell us how he got started and hearing him talk about how passionate he is about it really shows throughout the haunt . The animatronics throughout the haunt are really wild. The actors all did a great job, they all stayed in character and they were everywhere. Super great time, never disappointed.
Gus - The Dent Schoolhouse is a Cincinnati horror treasure. The atmosphere is creepy, yet festive and there is a buzz in the air. There are plenty of actors out front for some spooky selfies, or to sneak up at unsuspecting patrons too engrossed in their smartphones. This year, instead of exiting Dent and getting in line for the Slaughteryards out back, you are funneled right in. The impact is amazing and feels like Dent is twice as long.You have not time to stop to collect yourself before getting terrorized again. Good stuff. Make sure the Dent Schoolhouse is on your list to visit this season, it is worth every penny.
Todd - Is this the best Dent Schoolhouse we’ve seen yet? If you ask me, the answer is undeniably – YES!
The Dent Schoolhouse remains the champion in maintaining authenticity in all of its scenes. Last year when the basement was remodeled, it looked as if it had been that way for a hundred years. In suit, every prop fits the aged decor throughout; the dust and spider web looks as if not a soul has been inside in decades. Every lighting fixture looks as if it remains from the building’s original construction. This is one of the few haunts that has museum-quality aesthetics. The staging, lighting, sounds and smallest subtleties will suck you into this horrid schoolhouse, masking any signs of the outside world. It’s gorgeous…in haunt terms.
The Dent Schoolhouse succeeds with a high percentage of scares due to excelling at every angle of terror – jump scares, creepiness, grossness, gore; they’re all here. Giant monsters have been added this year which fit PERFECTLY into their areas. There are also new remains of Charlie’s spare-time hobbies in the basement which are very disturbing (and therefore, awesome).
The actors are vigorous and and those set in primary scenes play their role well, adding life to the experience. There’s a fair amount of interaction with the more key characters as well, especially in the kitchen where we were able to partake in some cannibalistic diet (Chef was serving ’00 teenager).
The short of it – The Dent Schoolhouse is a mandatory stop this year. It’s always good, but this year it’s absolutely fantastic!
Queen City Slaughter Yard
Curb Appeal – 3.7/5
Scare Factor – 3.7/5
Actor Enthusiasm – 4.4/5
Creativity – 4.0/5
Overall – 4/5
Bill - The slaughter house, had quite a few scares in it, it just didn’t seem as polished as the schoolhouse. Lots of hanging meat and rats around, and some truly amazing props. The actors did a wonderful job of keeping you on your toes, and getting chased out at the end with chainsaws never fails to scare someone.
Teresa - The slaughter yard is vastly improved over the last time I was there. It really does look a lot like a slaughter house now. I really like how you go straight into it after leaving the schoolhouse. It makes the whole experience seem longer and it’s nice not to have another line. I loved the kids in the vintage Halloween masks in the cells at the beginning. From there it is chock-full of actors with chainsaws and other murderous implements who make you feel like a piece of meat. And they know how to use those chainsaws (and who to use them on). Just ask the teens who ran by us and then had to come back to rescue their friend. Good times.
Gayle - This one is twice the size of last year! So many amazing things to see here. The actors are very interactive, there were far more chainsaws (terrifying), the chicken coop was disturbing in the best way possible, the squeals and screams and chaos every step of the way had my heart jumping! Great work guys! Excellent!!!
Tammy - This section of the haunt has greatly improved. By not having a separate waiting area – you go directly from the schoolhouse into the slaughter house. This gives the feeling of an even longer haunt. This section is now twice as long as it used to be, more actors were inside this area having more interaction with those walking through. Additional props, good costumes/actors and of course chain saws! This section has definitely improved and has made this haunt even better.
Andy - I’m pretty sure that this year was the first time that I went into The Queen City Slaughter house. With the transition from the school house right to the slaughter house, it really adds a lot of length to the haunt. With the two combined it seems really long, which is good. The slaughter house reminds me of a old school haunt. No animatronics and lots of chainsaws!!!! Great time!
Gus - As I mentioned in my Dent comments, this is now part of Dent, no separate lines. This is a most welcome change, but it’s not the only one. The scare factor has been taken up a notch. The rooms are much more detailed and themed and there are a ton more actors. Several times, there were members of other groups that caught up with our group because of chainsaw wielding lunatics chasing them ahead of their group.
Todd - I’ll start by stating the obvious – The Queen City Slaughter Yard lies in the shadows of The Dent Schoolhouse and likely will continue to for the foreseeable future. If you’ve never been to Dent before, you may not even know it exists. It certainly is not the main attraction.
Now for the surprising – it no longer feels like a incomplete side project. The concept for this haunt has slowly improved over the years, but 2016 brings it leaps and bounds ahead in every facet. While the concept isn’t new, the recipe of narrow pathways mixed with hanging sides of beef, pork (and human), with a lot more actors than expected, this haunt finally stands on its own two legs.
Although QCSY (for short), is still mostly a bare-bones structure, its length has easily doubled this year. The walking time is still by far shorter than Dent, but it looks and feels more relevant than ever. Fair warning – after coming out of the schoolhouse which looks like every haunter’s wet dream, QCSL will appear very basic in comparison. The environment is fairly plan and simple – a lot of lumber, hanging lighting, meat hooks, etc. It fits the theme though, which I think is important to keep in mind.
Most of the scares in QCSY are heavily reliant on the actors who are energetic and agile and typically armed with a chainsaw or some other contraption used to extract meat. They do a great job and certainly breathe life into this haunt. The scenery itself, while gory in parts, isn’t going to make many people feel uncomfortable.
QCSL has built a great foundation this year which I think can be injected with even more disgusting contraptions for those looking for more eye candy. The pathways can be narrow at times which could be enhanced to prey upon people’s claustrophobia. Also because of the tight quarters, if the owners ever wanted to try a hands-on haunt again, this would be a fantastic venue for it.
Queen City Slaughter Yard is better than ever…that’s easy to say. It’s just not quite “”there”" yet. However, based on this year’s progress I have no doubt it could become another staple on the Dent grounds.
Attraction Overall Score – 4.4/5