By Joseph Garcia —
This is one of a mini-series where I review haunts for Halloween 2019. Keep in mind, this review is 100 percent based on my experience, so yours may differ.
Last weekend, my friends and I visited Field of Screams and left feeling like we had wasted $35. This week, we drove an hour deep to Seymour, Ind. for Fear Fair, or “Indiana’s Scariest Haunted House” as their website boasts. Going in, like FoS, I knew very little about this haunt. All I really knew for sure was that this was going to be extreme.
Extreme haunts are another type of haunted attraction where the actors are allowed to touch, grab, steal, curse at and be a little more rough in general to you.
We arrived to Fear Fair at about 1 a.m. and the line was incredibly long, longer than the line at FoS and with way more excitement. There was a stage with a live DJ along with lights, flames and smoke. After we bought our general admission tickets ($25), we got in line. A man passed us and jabbed my friend Seira in her rib, which obviously startled her.
This was just the start of what our night would entail.
While waiting, we decided to actually pay the difference to upgrade our passes to the Slasher Pass which was only $10 more than the GA tickets.
The haunt started off uniquely by having us stand in an elevator that rocks and rattles as it “rises.” It eventually “falls” to the sub-level and when the doors opened, we were met with a hooded figure with a demonic, inhumane face. Without saying a word, the creature pointed at my friend Chelsea and pulled her out of the elevator motioning for us to start walking behind her.
We were incredibly freaked out as the atmosphere of this place was cramped, dark and very real. One of the actors we passed grabbed me and held me back as my friends continued walking. My boyfriend stopped to wait for him to let me go, but the hooded figured yelled at him in a loud, deep and guttural tone to “Keep. Walking.” He then leaned in close to me and told me that I was going to wait and walk by myself and that if I didn’t he would find me. This was only a few minutes in and needless to say, I was pretty creeped out.
Blame it on not being held for too long or my quick, terrified steps, but I was able to catch up with my group rather quickly. They were being followed by another actor who took Seira and pressed her against a wall and pulled her head back. In the car ride home, she told us how she thought it was either me or my boyfriend and that when she tried to push us off, the person holding her tightened their grip.
“I knew it wasn’t you guys at that point and I was freaked out,” she told us.
After escaping the depths of Hell, we moved into a swamp environment with a large alligator, then to a church with a cemetery and a goat man and finally into a prison.
The prison was probably one of our favorites. This scene started with the warden throwing Chelsea’s boyfriend David into the next room and talking to us about how the prisoners had gone mad. He then pulled out a gun, sat down and shot himself. Even though I knew it was fake, I was still incredibly startled.
The prisoners did a fantastic job and were certifiably unnerving. They pet us and called the guys in our group pretty and rubbed our backs. One of the prisoners, named Peaches, had us in his room and was telling us how he hides his lipgloss from the guards during shakedowns. Spoiler alert: he hides it in a deep, dark place that lipgloss should never be inserted. He then told us the only way to leave his room (which had no visible exit) was for one of the guys to lay down in bed with him.
My boyfriend took one for the team and let me just say, watching your boyfriend lay in bed with a big sweaty prison guy who was caressing and singing him a creepy lullaby was extremely uncomfortable. Peaches reached over him and the bed moved to the side revealing a hidden door. In the final room we were met with chainsaw wielding crazies. I knew they were coming up because we walked by them on our way in, but one of them came from the shadows and I couldn’t see him until he was pressing his chainsaw into my back.
Needless to say, Fear Fair had everything we wanted from a haunt. We were all genuinely creeped out throughout the haunt. I noticed what scared me most and made the whole thing so convincing was the attention to detail. The sets were put together in ways that made you feel as if you were there. The swamp scene had narrow wooden paths that fell and shook. The cemetery was actually outside which added another layer of realism to the haunt. During the section where the goat man was running around, the actor made convincing goat noises and he rubbed his face next to me and the mask felt real. I told my boyfriend, “That felt like real goat hair, that felt really real.”
I also noticed how convincing the actors were. Their costumes were amazing and it felt like each person working had their own backstory and knew their character well enough to pull off an amazing performance.
As for the touching, it is optional, but I would recommend doing it as it made the haunt more fun. Some actors were a bit rougher, but they didn’t overstep their boundaries and knew when to let go. Getting separated from my group terrified me, but it was exciting.
If you want to spend $35 for a haunt this year, I would definitely recommend making the drive for this haunt as they are exactly what they advertise: Indiana’s scariest haunted house.
Photo by Joseph Garcia / The Louisville Cardinal