* Lewisburg Haunted Cave: 5/5 skulls 💀 💀 💀 💀 💀
The Lewisburg Haunted Cave is the scariest haunted house I have been to this year. This haunt takes place underground in a real cave. This means that water may drip on you and you should wear shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy. The Lewisburg Haunted Cave’s scares are genius; they delivered the unexpected.
The cave features multiple mazes that can keep you trapped for various amounts of time. It typically takes a group 45 minutes to get through the entire haunted cave experience but times vary by group.
* Escape from Blood Prison: 4/5 skulls 💀 💀 💀 💀
The Ohio State Reformatory’s haunted house is a close second. The 45-minute haunt is located inside the infamous Mansfield Prison, where the film “The Shawshank Redemption” was shot. Many say the reformatory is haunted, which gives this haunted house an even more eerie feel. You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
Instead of a regular ticket, the Lightning Pass lets you skip the line and allows the monsters to touch you. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, you may take off the bracelet identifying you as someone who can be touched. There are also paths on the sides of rooms that you can walk through instead.
The Lightning Pass makes for a much more intense experience, as the monsters may yank your hair, put you in a headlock, splash you with water, shove you against walls, grab your ankles, pull you apart from your group and hold an axe to your throat. These things all happened to my group.
There were many times, however, when I felt that it could have been scarier. For example, groups walked down many rows of prison cells in the dark but no one jumped out of the cells. There were opportunities that should have been taken.
* Land of Illusion: 4/5 skulls 💀 💀 💀 💀
Land of Illusion features four houses, a trail and a bus ride all for one price; Zombie Sniper Patrol is now included with the general admission ticket. Overall, there are not many changes in the haunted houses from year to year.
New this year is the Phobia haunted house. Phobia plays on people’s real fears, like tight spaces and darkness, in order to irk them like never before. It is an amazing addition to the Land of Illusion roster; I saw someone so frightened that they were crawling through the haunted house to avoid getting scared.
Many people find the Zombie Sniper Patrol to be somewhat boring. Do not get onto the bus expecting to be scared. Instead, expect just to have fun shooting your paintball gun. Be conservative though, you have a limited amount of ammunition.
* Wilmington Haunted Hollow Ride: 2/5 skulls 💀💀
Although most known for the bus ride, Haunted Hollow also features two haunted houses and a trail.
Experiences on the bus ride may vary depending on who else ends up on the bus. The most fun part of the ride is when the bus gets chased by fire-breathing semis. The corn maze’s corn was not grown, so the trail was somewhat disappointing. The two houses are decent, though.
* Cedar Point HalloWeekends: 1/5 skulls 💀
The haunted houses at Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends are below par. There are only a few monsters in each house, they are not scary and the only chainsaw I saw was obviously a plastic toy. There are certain areas of the park that become scare zones, but again, there are few people in each area. However, the fog helps to create a spooky atmosphere.
On the other hand, the decorations throughout the park are fantastic; it is obvious they took a lot of time.