Overall Score - 9.5 / 10
Scare Factor - 9.5
Actors - 9
Visuals - 9.5
Value - 10
Gayle - So, this was my first visit here. I have been unable to come years prior due to scheduling conflicts, as much was the case this year...BUT...I cancelled some things and moved others around just to come. And was I glad I did! This place is super cool! It's pretty much an exact 2 hour drive from Cincinnati, and worth every minute. Pulling into the parking spot, people are greeted with an almost club-ish feel...flashing lights, fog, pumping music...tons of people in line dancing and chatting. Inside, this place is visually pretty incredible. It almost has this underground cavern feel until you exit the elevator. Each room you enter is spacious and very open, leaving visitors feeling quite vulnerable as actors can literally come from every direction! The props and scenes were so detailed, and realistic! Just some of my favorites were the electrified fence, (a great effect), as was the swamp, prison area, and the amazing village outside. So very well done! There were so many amazing actors here, and some quite freaky costumes, combined with the overall dynamic and energy of this haunt has now made this one a must see every year! I loved it so much, and had so much fun that I wanted to immediately walk back through! LOVED IT...and definitely worth the trip!
Teresa - I love Fear Fair! You feel like you're going into the middle of nowhere and you must be lost, but trust me, it is worth the trip to Seymour. It is in a warehouse district near an airport. You see the lights when you get close. A dee-jay was spinning some good creepy tunes with some party lights and fog effects. This provides ample entertainment for the line. I was a little disappointed to not see any roaming queue actors this year, but the zombie dee-jay is really all you need. This is one of the few attractions where you can experience a full-contact haunt. You have the option to carry a glow-stick if you don't want to be touched. No one in our group wanted one, we like to get up close and personal with our monsters! The line was quite long, and for an extra $10 you can skip the line. This is a good option if you're in a hurry. They have half price tickets for Halloween night too! You can have a group photo taken once you get inside, which makes a good souvenir. You start off by getting into an elevator which is supposed to take you to the 16th floor, but it goes very wrong! You wind up in this sub-level that looks like a cave. There are many memorable scenes here. One of my favorites is the swamp. There is also a really cool cemetery with some impressive props! New this year they built a set that looks like it is out of the movie, The Witch, complete with a Black Phillip-like character. It was a really impressive set, complete with barnyard smells. Some of the actors were really great! The zombies that kept trying to bite me were so creepy! And the Silent Hill section is still my favorite. It is staged so well! We saw Pyramid Head from a distance, which gave us plenty of time to dread what was coming. Then we saw one of the nurses, suspended along the wall. Yikes! We were walking along a fence, and Pyramid Head was following along the other side when he got me in the leg with his big knife through a hole in the fence! I definitely didn't see that coming! He grabbed the guy leading our group, which was awesome! The actors were so much fun. One grabbed me and made someone in my group pay to get me back. I was worth a whole nickel, by the way. Another guy was on a bungee cord and jumped right at us. Talk about jump scares! I was grabbed a few times, but it wasn't too aggressive. At the end, we were separated into guys and girls, with each going through a different door. Then there was a clever use of a 2-way mirror so you can see each other being terrified. I won't spoil the surprise though. I was also tagged in the neck with a chainsaw. This place will definitely get your adrenaline going! The one thing I missed from last year was the zombie attacks. That section is now the Witch set, but the zombies last year were more aggressive. We had lots of laughs when they ran out of their hiding spots and jumped on us! That being said, this is still one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing them build on it every year. This place is so much fun and worth every penny!
Paul - Who would guess that one of the best haunts in the region would be in a small town in the middle of nowhere Indiana?
Seymour, IN is a little town off of I-65, halfway between Indianapolis and Louisville, KY. The only thing I've ever really known about Seymour is that it's the hometown of John Mellencamp. Sorry John, but Fear Fair takes your spot as my favorite part of Seymour.
Fear Fair is located in a business park next to the small airport on the south side of town. The area is completely deserted during the haunt's operating hours, so if you think you're in the wrong place when you try to find it, just stick with your GPS and you'll get there. There aren't really any signs pointing to where you need to go, but when you get close you'll start to notice the flashing lights and hear the music from the DJ. You'll definitely know when you've arrived once you see what looks like a rave happening in front of you- even if you don't exactly know where to park. (We've been twice and just kind of park wherever we see other cars. I'm still not sure if they have an official parking area or not.)
Once you arrive, the tickets are sold out of a big military truck of some sort and are very reasonably priced. 20 bucks for normal admission or 30 for fast pass. There is no shortage of entertainment while you wait in line, with roaming actors, the lights and music from the DJ, and just good ol people watching. Inside of course is where the fun really begins.
The start of the haunt walks you through some underground caves where you come upon an elevator to make your way into the haunt itself. From then on it's a wild journey through horror after horror. There were some significant changes to the sets from last year, most notably the outside areas. There was an entire village built outside that you walk through. You'll meet zombies, hillbillies, doctors, nurses, witches, graveyard workers, bayou folk, and not one of them is happy to see you. My favorites were Pyramid Head and the floating fence girl in the Silent Hill scene, and the guy jumping off of the platform toward you then returning back to it way quicker than you'd think possible. Goat man, the weird nurses, and the stitcher were all super memorable as well. The plasma ball didn't work when we went through last year so it was awesome to see that too! Most of the actors there did a fantastic job in their roles. They rely on their roles to scare people rather than just hiding in a dark corner and jumping out at you.
Oh, and keep in mind that the actors are allowed to -and will- touch you as long as you don't have one of the optional new free glow sticks. Glow sticks (henceforth known as wussysticks) are for wusses, so you should avoid them at all costs. You're not a wuss are you? The touch experience made Fear Fair my favorite haunt of the year last year, but this year things seemed to be toned down a bit and I was barely touched at all even though I didn't have a wussystick. From some of the conversations we had with people there, it sounds like the wussysticks have made some of the actors hesitate a little more to touch you because they can't immediately tell if you have the wussystick or not. Some of the costumes are hard to see out of and people aren't usually holding them in the most obvious positions. This is the first year for the wussysticks and while they seem to be drawing more people (wusses) in than prior years, maybe there's a better way to distinguish the wusses from the awesome people who like the full-contact experience for next year. Is there something that's easier for the actors to see so they can determine who can be touched or not? Like a wussy glow necklace? Or a wussy glow diaper? Or a helmet?
There really weren't many places where I could offer suggestions for improvements. I'd say the area I mentioned above with the jumping platform guy could use some fog or a change in lighting to make his approach more dramatic, and the plague village could be broken down into a tighter path with more content. The village itself is awesome, I just think the scare factor could be improved with some more dividers to prevent seeing everything ahead and adding some more specific scenes. It seems like the walk to scare ratio was a bit softer than the rest of the haunt. I also didn't care for moving the merchandise stand into the ticket trailer. When we finished the haunt we all were interested in picking up some kind of souvenirs but we didn't want to wait through the ticket line again to do so.
Oh, and if Pyramid Head could go ahead and take care of all of the wussy people, that would be great too.
Overall, Fear Fair is still one of my favorite haunts I've been to. Quality sets, highly convincing actors, action all over, and scares galore. It's still high on my list of recommendations whenever someone asks me what haunts they should visit, and I'm already excited to see what they bring for next year."
Todd - Fear Fair is a prime example of what immense creativity, high attention to detail and thinking outside the box can accomplish. This was our second year visiting this haunt. For us, it's a two hour drive through no man's land to get to. There's nothing else around and yet we eagerly make this 4 hour round trip JUST to go through. Here's why you should too:
Fear Fair feels as if it refuses to conform. Of course, conformity in the haunt business is an oxymoron in itself, however, much of it is refreshingly original. First off, if you've never been and you follow your GPS (you'll need it), you'll think you've arrived at some sort of outdoor rave. From the street you'll see nothing but a mass of people in front of a second story stage emitting fog and neon lights. You'll hear bass drops and upbeat tempos from modern and classic pop music. You'll think to yourself, "Is this it?" It is.
Both times we've attended Fear Fair, the line was incredibly long. While this is not surprising, the crowd never appears to mind. The music and live entertainment creates a buzz of energy, people are dancing and singing along...it's like a pre-show party.
On to the haunt. Fear Fair is a touch haunt**. Last year, it was extreme as hell. I vividly recall 3 people at one time trying to pull me down to the ground. It wasn't too aggressive in nature (no getting slammed against walls, etc), but in this case, the zombies were really trying to get me. This year, the touching was toned down drastically in comparison. This in itself doesn't really make the haunt and less appealing; it was just a little disappointing since last year was so memorable because of that. Now - if you think, "Oh, well, it must not be too bad then" - don't get me wrong. There's still enough contact to make the average person uncomfortable. We're used to pretty extreme conditions so for us, it felt a bit more tame than last year.
**This year Fear Fair has added a no-touch option for the weak-willed. If you insist on not being touched, a glow stick will be provided to you which signals the actors to old back. It's your responsibility to ensure it is displayed at all times.
In my opinion, Fear Fair excels in its environments. The scenes are fantastic, well constructed and very detailed. My personal favorite is without a doubt the Silent Hill area. If you're familiar with the games or movies, you're sure to recognize the ambiance and characters within. It is nailed down to a "T"! Pyramid Head is the star of the area, standing at an impressive 9 feet (?). He wields his iconic long sword and he's not afraid to use it. He grabbed me by the neck again. It was fantastic.
A large addition this year was the Salem-esque county village featuring witches and the falsely accused. Its a large area with small, roofed structures to walk around and through. The plague doctor was very cool (google it if you don't know what the mask looks like). There were a few things about this area to me that left me wanting more. First, the actors. Some were good but others either lacked energy or felt out of place. The witch didn't come across as threatening at all. The falsely accused women did a great job but the true witch was more like ""hahaha I'm the witch and I'll get you""...in a non-Wizard of Oz way. She's the star of this area so there should be some heft to that role. There was also one random villager that was pleading for help in the most effortless way possible.
The area in general was very cool looking. The new little hut structures are awesome but it felt a little too spaced out in some areas - primarily in the "acrobatic" room where a guy affixed to bungee ropes lunges off a platform , jumping right towards you. It was a very original scare tactic but would have been much cooler if the room was fogged a bit so we couldn't see him as soon as we walked in.
Fear Fair offers many other scenes including a fun Saw-styled area where your group may be split up as well as one of the (if not THE) best cemeteries I've seen.
This haunt also has some of the most effective jump scares around. The timing and positioning of both actors and props alike were spot on and even got me a few times, which is rare. Many of the walking areas are cramped, leaving you nowhere to run...just the way they like it.
Overall Fear Fair is well worth your drive, wait and money. It's original, engaging and a LOT of fun.
Overall Score - 9 / 10
Scare Factor - 9
Actors - 7
Visuals - 10
Value - 10
Teresa - Netherworld in Atlanta has been on my bucket list for quite a few years now. I expected the sets to look professional, but this blew away my expectations. Outside, there were a number of things to see, and people who weren't actively waiting in line were wandering around, taking advantage of the myriad photo opportunities. The lines moved very fast. There were characters (like The Collector who you've seen on the billboards as the ""face"" of Netherworld) working their way through the crowds, scaring people here, posing with them there. They had the largest gift shop I've ever seen at a haunt, full of fun decor and memorabilia. There was also a machine you could use to see people going through Primal Scream and control props to scare them. We bought the Speed Pass, which is about $20 more than the regular tickets. We walked right into both haunts, no waiting. We were told the considerable line would roughly take about 30-40 minutes, which really isn't bad. The first haunt we went in was Primal Scream. I have never been to a haunt like this one. I knew there would be some professional sets and props, but the sets and sheer number of props were staggering. You go through a maze of rooms, each leading into the next. Every inch is decorated. I have never seen this many animatronics in one place. And they were used so well! The noise, sound effects, and music covered any noises the props may have made when operating. And they reset fast! They went off for the first couple of people in our group, then reset and went off again getting the last couple. I think it helps that the area is somewhat confined, so the people in the rear don't see them when they first go off. That's not to say that there aren't some very tall scenes and props. I pointed to some creepy things way over our heads a couple of times. The lighting was very impressive. There weren't a lot of actors, but the costumes were phenomenal and they were like living props. Some even flew overhead! They grabbed for you, but there wasn't any contact. They did a great job with jump scares. The girls in the back of our group were terrified the whole time. There were some unique scenes, like one that made it seem you were on a capsized pirate ship with sea creatures around you. There were falling and collapsing walls. There were several air tunnels, one which inflated while I was in the middle of it. There were a couple of times that we could see another group of people, but we never really caught up to any or had them catch up to us. I find that very impressive with as fast as the line was moving. Primal Scream is a long haunt. I kept expecting to round a corner and see the exit. It just went on forever. I went through the whole thing with mouth agape. This is something you just have to see to believe. It wasn't the scariest one I've been to (although the girls in the back of our group would beg to differ), but visually it is absolutely stunning and so much fun! Like a playground for people who love creepy things!
The second haunt is called Mr. Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors. I figured this would be a pretty standard 3D Clown maze. Again, I was blown away! This is what all the other clown attractions should be! The 3D glasses really made the rooms crazy! The lighting was fun and the effects were awesome. It was like being in a creepy funhouse! And Mr. Grendel and his clown friends are horrifying! I've never seen a better funhouse anywhere. I was disappointed to turn in my glasses, but it wasn't quite over. After we exited, we noticed foam and bubbles floating around everywhere. We were then herded into another section of haunt and told to keep to the right. I went in, thinking I'd be wading through foam, but it was filling the entire space! You couldn't see anything! It was wet and claustrophobic. I finally felt my way through and back out and as my group re-formed, we couldn't stop laughing. We were all covered head to toe in foam. We laughed and snapped a few selfies. This was such a fun and unique experience. It was well worth the money. I just wish I could go through a couple more times. There was just to much to see! By the way, this is their last year at the Norcross location. They will moving to a new location next year. I hope I can make it to Atlanta to check it out!
Paul - Netherworld is a haunt in the Atlanta, GA area that is widely regarded as one of the scariest haunts in the country. We recently had the opportunity to visit and it was an experience we won't forget.
Our group of three went to the haunt on a Sunday night. We purchased SpeedPasses so we could skip the line, which were a bit on the expensive at $55 each, but not hugely more expensive that most haunts we've been to. We've been to so many haunts where the lines can break 3 hours, we decided the SpeedPass option was probably best.
When we pulled up to the haunt we were waved into a lot where we were charged $10 for parking. This apparently has become a practice that the Netherworld people don't care for but there isn't anything they can do about it. Their on-site free lot is rather small and quickly runs out of space. This is their last year at this particular location and while I didn't ask, I'm thinking the new location will have substantial amounts of free parking.
The property itself is along Interstate 85 on the Northeast side of Atlanta. It's a commercial area full of warehouse-type businesses which all seemed to be closed during the hours of the haunt. There is a searchlight scanning the sky to help you find it. On the walk down the road to the haunt we noticed a bunch of foamy bubbles floating around, which was a little strange, but just figured it was something else to draw people in. Once you get to the property you quickly start to become immersed in the Netherworld experience. There are animatronics everywhere, multiple scenes set up outside for picture opportunities, lots of roaming actors, and it's all minimally lit. There was a pretty substantial line outside so we figured our choice of buying the skip the line passes was probably a good one. We walked around checking everything out and taking pictures, then decided it was time to go in.
There are two attractions at Netherworld: Primal Fear and Mr Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors. We started with Primal Fear.
Primal Fear is absolutely the most intense non-contact haunt I've ever been through. It's the best example of sensory overload that a haunt has given me. The sets are unbelievably detailed, they have non-stop action, perfect lighting, and the audio was on-point. Your senses are assaulted from every direction the whole way through and you really need to go through a few times to be able to take in just how much they've packed into the building. It's completely disorienting and I was immensely impressed with the entire experience. There were quite a few elements I saw that were the big scares at other haunts that Primal Fear had multiples of, and a bunch of unique ones that hadn't seen at other haunts at all. There were things dropping from above, coming up from below, squeezing you in from the sides, and with the way everything was constructed you couldn't see any of it coming while the group in front of you went through.
Mr Grendel's Funhouse of Horrors had me walking in not expecting much. I've been through several clown-themed attractions before, and when we got to the entrance and realized they were passing out 3D glasses I was a little bummed. Every 3D clown thing I've been through has been a let-down- until this one.
This haunt is the gold standard on how a clown haunt should be, especially the 3D aspect of it. There were 3D effects throughout the entire thing, with perfect lighting, huge quantities of content, very unique clown costumes/makeup, and some fantastic special effects. There were a couple of spots where there was some sort of 3D projector running that made it seem like the brick floor was falling away from underneath you, and one of the longest spinning tunnels I've been through. Other haunts doing clown themed attractions should take a trip to Netherworld to see how good one can really be.
When we finished with Mr Grendel's, we discovered where the foamy bubbles we saw when we were walking in were coming from- the foam room. There's a person at the exit of Mr Grendel's who guides you into a room that's FULL of foam. Literally floor to ceiling foam. It's probably only 15 feet long or so, but you can't see anything. I've never gone through anything like that and it was just another piece of the Netherworld puzzle that made it such a fantastic experience. You don't have to go through the foam room but you really should. Just keep in mind you'll be a little wet once you come out.
A few observations I had that really differentiate Netherworld from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana region haunts I'm used to:
1. The animatronics are extremely well-done and they're EVERYWHERE. They have them in almost every scene and the actors work alongside them to make them even better. A lot of haunts will just buy/make an animatronic of some sort and throw it in their building, but these folks fully implement and theme every one of them perfectly into every scene.
2: The actors aren't as critical to the experience. This isn't to say the actors weren't good, but they aren't as integral to the haunt as they are in most. There are tons of them, they give some good scares, and their costumes are excellent, but there really weren't any who had dialogue at all. Pretty much any person could play any part with minimal instruction. I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand, the actors are what make a lot of haunts. If you have a few actors in a haunt who really sell their role, they can make for an extremely memorable experience. On the other hand, if you're counting on that actor to make the experience, that actor usually is really engaging and keeps each group for a few minutes, which slows down the flow of customers. Plus, if for some reason that actor can't get to work one night, it turns a great haunt into a run-of-the-mill attraction. With the number of people they're getting through Netherworld a night, the limited actor interaction is probably the best choice.
3: They pump A LOT of people through this haunt every night. Most haunts have gap of several minutes from group to group, where Netherworld is pushing another group of people through about every minute or so. The most impressive part of it to me was that we still rarely saw any other groups, which also kept us from being able to see the surprises in scenes as they scared the groups in front of us. ZERO spoilers, which was unbelievable for a haunt of this size. We never fully caught up to the group in front of us, and we only saw the group behind us once. I'm VERY impressed that they're able to pull that off as well as they do. That also meant that the huge queue we saw when we got there didn't take 3+ hours at all, it was actually closer to 45 minutes. I'd probably re-think the SpeedPass option for next time unless we were going on a Friday or Saturday night.
If you're in Atlanta or are passing through any time they're open, you need to experience Netherworld. Even though our rating categories don't give it the highest rating we've had, It's a haunt I'll never forget and I'm going to make it a point to try to return again as often as possible. They're moving to their new home in the Stone Mountain area of Atlanta for next year, so maybe that'll give me a good excuse to make it back in 2018!