Fear Fair 2014 Review

Fear Fair in Seymour, IN, transports its customers into the scenes of some of the scariest movies ever made!

Hello again, Boils & Ghouls, it’s your favorite River City Spook, the Phantom of the Ville, back with another haunted attraction review. “Drive a little, scream a lot,” is the tagline used by owner/operator, Brett Hays, to entice haunt fans from the Louisville and Indianapolis markets to make the hour long drive to the quaint little town of Seymour, IN for the Fear Fair experience.

If you don’t want to listen to Brett, then listen to me: Cancel whatever plans you had this weekend and get your ass to Fear Fair! You keep asking me, “What’s the scariest haunted house around?” I have two words for you: FEAR FAIR.

According to our recent 2014 Haunted Attraction Survey on Survey Monkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/STHXQ5V), 75% of you said you would be willing drive at least an hour if you heard a haunt was really, really good. In the same survey, 45% of you said that haunts should only do movie scenes if they did them right and made you feel like you were actually in the movie. According to that criteria, almost everyone reading this would be perfect victims for Fear Fair.

Nobody does movie scenes like Fear Fair. Nobody. If you’re a huge horror movie fan, and you’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to star in some of your favorite horror films, this is the haunted attraction for you.

My first experience at Fear Fair five years ago absolutely blew my mind and really got me interested in haunted attractions again. I had become a little jaded over the years, and was suffering from the numbing effect of seeing too many average horror films and walking through too many by-the-numbers haunted houses, and it was Fear Fair that re-awoke the passion for haunting in me that probably led directly to this column. That first night I went through Fear Fair twice, back to back. I’ve never done that before or afterwards.

Fear Fair has grown and changed a lot over the last five years, but I find myself missing some of the great scenes that had to go for the sake of progress. Initially there was a Western town and railroad robbery scene that paid homage to the first recorded train robbery in history which took place in Seymour, IN. That scene was updated to the giant monster attack on Hangar 17 which still opens the haunt.

Most of the remainder of the 35-40 minute haunt takes place after you pass through the grindhouse movie theater for the Fear Fair Film Festival. You’ll pass the ticket booth and concession stand and make your way down the theater aisle until you disappear directly into the movie screen.

On the other side you’ll find yourself on the set of “The Exorcist,” in one of Fear Fair’s new, updated scenes. This scene replaces the old “Jeepers Creepers” cornfield and school bus scene. Also gone this season are the “My Bloody Valentine” mine shaft, “The Wolfman” (2010) sanitarium, the “Scream” hallway and the “Hellraiser” scene.

The new “Exorcist” scene fits with Brett Hays’ tribute this year to the brutal and stark horror films of the early 1970’s that changed the horror movie forever. “The Exorcist” is single-handedly credited with kicking off the age of Modern Horror in 1973, and the very next year “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” changed the landscape of the horror genre completely.

“This is the 40th anniversary of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,’ and I wanted to pay tribute to that film and the films of that era that changed everything we love about horror films today,” says Hays.

Some of the favorites that still remain are Frankenstein’s laboratory, Rob Zombie’sHalloween,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” a revamped “Friday the 13th” scene with the best and most screen accurate Jason Voorhees I’ve ever seen in a haunt and the elaborate “Saw” scene that splits up the men and the woman and weeds out the men from the boys as well.

In its second season, the massive “Silent Hill” area opens with white ash dropping from the sky as you pass the county line into Silent Hill where all of the creeps from the videogames and movies are lurking, including the gigantic, Pyramid Head, the armless freaks and the demonic nurses.

A couple of years ago, Fear Fair decided to pay tribute to “The Walking Dead,” not by adding a few zombies, but by building the entire city of Atlanta as depicted in the AMC series’ first season in Fear Fair’s back lot. You’ll explore the hospital, discount store, pawn shop, clothing store and city streets and alleyways.

This year, Hays and his team have updated the massive set to include the prison and cell block depicted in season’s three and four. The cellblock is a madhouse of animatronic and live action zombie insanity that will get you pumped for “The Walking Dead” season five’s premiere on Sunday, October 12.

The zombies in “The Walking Dead” scenes are hungry and aggressive, and if they catch you they might even bite you. They will definitely grab, scratch and claw at your clothing. Fear Fair is a full contact haunt that allows its actors to touch you, grab you and maybe even chainsaw you.

Be prepared for a complete physical experience. You’ll be climbing up and down stairs and you’ll have to occasionally navigate some uneven floors. Also, beware low ceilings in several dark areas. I’m 6ft 2in, and even though I’ve been through Fear Fair quite a few times, I still managed to bang my head twice this year, nearly knocking myself silly.

The finale this year is a complete, ground up rebuild of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” area that includes a trip through the slaughterhouse and the Hewitt house. Don’t miss it.

Fear Fair is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through November 1st, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 PM until 1 AM and Sundays from 8 PM until 10 PM. Tickets are $20 and Fast Passes are available for $25.

The Phantom of The Ville

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