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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Markoff's Haunted Forest 2017 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Markoff’s Haunted Forest

Location of Attraction: Dickerson Maryland

Date of Review: Saturday October 7th 2017

Total Number of Attractions Available: THREE!

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating (scale of 1-10): 8.5

Entertainment and Food Rating (scale of 1-10): 10

Overall Makeup and Costume Rating (scale of 1-10): 9

Overall Actor Rating (scale of 1-10): 7

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating (scale of 1-10): 9

Overall Scare Factor Rating (scale of 1-10): 7.5

Overall Feedback: Markoff’s Haunted Forest is celebrating their 25th year in the haunt industry and it was clear on Saturday night why they are the best of the best when it comes to all outdoor haunted attractions! Three words come to mind when we think of Markoff’s Haunted Forest… ENTERTAINING! HORRIFYING! SENSATIONAL! We visited on a Saturday evening and boy was this place popping! We strongly suggest to pre-purchase tickets online as the cash only line was rather long. This was our squad's first ever visit to Markoff’s Haunted Forest so we elected to experience all three attractions. The haunt offers “The Town” (Our tram will escort you to the edge of the Field of Corn, but don't be nervous, our friends at Onslaught mills will take care of you in true western fashion. Those of you with enough grit will find your Western town from the 1800’s), “Trail 1” (A terrifying walk to our secluded haunted Abbey, follow the footsteps of the Norse through our village and harbor if you have the courage.) and “Trail 2” (A jaunt down hill crossing Hell’s Bridge into the caverns of the lost. Those that find a way out may stumble into the Vintage Freak show where you may stay longer than you desire.)! After purchasing tickets you’ll enter into the Front Circle which is setup to handle and entertain a very large crowd! Bonfires, fire twirlers, carnival games, concessions, a DJ, zip lines and much more! At one point in the night we watched a lady stand on the “Death Jump” platform far to scared to jump off. It was rather entertaining to watch the crowd taunt this poor soul and at one point the DJ turned on the song ‘Free Fallin’... she never did jump and was then shown up by a 10 year old who climbed right up and ran off the platform with no hesitation. It’s the little things like that moment of watching this poor lady overwhelmed with fear that makes Markoff’s the fun filled and terrifying place it is! Markoff’s Haunted Forest does not believe in a fast pass so you won’t find that as an available option. They clearly possess enough to entertain any guest while they wait so what's the point in having a fast pass. The experience itself can clearly be an all night affair especially if you elect to experience all three main attractions. This place is customized for the customers to enjoy themselves and move at their own pace. Customers are inside both trails 1 & 2 and the town for at least a solid 15-20+ minutes a piece! So definitely plan for a night's worth of SPOOKY FUN at Markoff’s!! When it comes to props and set designs Markoff’s Haunted Forest can compete with almost anyone in the area! We were in awe by the breathtaking scenes that came one after another! This place leads the way by far when it comes to outdoor trails! We don’t know how anyone could ever pick between the two trails. They are both seriously as amazing (and physically demanding… HAHA!) as the other so if you’re able definitely take the opportunity to experience both Trail 1 & Trail 2! The only let up of the night was the performance by the actors. We aren’t sure if we hit on an off night but many of the actors seemed to lack energy in their scare/performance. Don’t get us wrong, there were definitely standout actors and many that gave a solid performance but far too many didn’t cut it for us. Fortunately as mentioned below in the individual attraction reviews the standout actors and jaw dropping scenes were able to cover up some of the lackluster actor performances. All actors did possess phenomenal costumes and makeup so a big round of applause goes to the makeup artists at Markoff’s! Scare factor definitely varied across the three attractions. Trail 1 & Trail 2 definitely had a higher scare factor mainly in part to the better actor performances and just downright eerie and suspenseful scenes in the woods! We definitely feel comfortable saying that Markoff’s will surely give your typical haunt goer a good fright and lots of laughs! Markoff’s Haunted Forest definitely hits on both the old school and new age haunt styles with their perfect duo of live actors, handmade props and your popular animatronics! We feel this haunt is suitable for all haunt goers young and old! Thinking back on our trip to Markoff’s we can’t help but feel amazed by what they offer to the industry. After our trip to Markoff’s when we hear the word, “Halloween”, Markoff’s Haunted Forest is one of the first things to come to mind. This place definitely doesn’t lack the passion and love for the Halloween season. We were able to meet up and speak briefly with a few of the owners and managers at Markoff’s and again we can see why this place is so amazing! These people are literally the definition of HALLOWEEN LOVERS!! They shared many good stories from over their 25 years and from the sounds of it, they are continually changing and enhancing the experience every year! If you’re still looking for a haunted attraction to visit this fall then Markoff’s Haunted Forest is the place to be!! A trip to Markoff’s Haunted Forest will be well worth it, we PROMISE!!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: The Town

Overall Attraction Rating (scale of 1-10): 7

Actor Rating (scale of 1-10): 6.5

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating (scale of 1-10): 8

Attraction Scare Factor Rating (scale of 1-10): 7

Feedback: The newest attraction at Markoff’s Haunted Forest is “The Town”. Located on the other side of the property is a dark and eerie town with churches, mineshafts, butcher shops, jails, saloons and much more. You begin your experience with a ride on a shuttle over to the far side of the property. The shuttle is really effective as it’s a dark ride that just drops you off at a dimly light façade to the town. Everyone got off the shuttle clueless in regards to what to expect. The Town begins with a journey through a small cornfield with a few small scenes/shacks. To be honest, the cornfield section was a bit dull and lacked energy! Fortunately once we hit The Town itself the energy picked up and so did the scare factor! Each shack/structure we entered was so totally different than anything we’ve ever seen before. The use of slanted floors and ceilings really threw our balance out of whack! We couldn’t help but ooh and ahh over the mineshaft scene… we truly felt like we were dozens of feet underground in a mineshaft that could collapse at any minute! Unfortunately actors were a bit hit or miss throughout the attraction. Some possessed high energy and great skits while others seemed ready to head home for the night. There were definitely a few standout actors along the way that helped make up for some of the lackluster actor performances. All in all, amazing set designs and props but mediocre acting were the highlights of The Town.

Attraction Name: Trail 1 & Trail 2

Overall Attraction Rating (scale of 1-10): 9

Actor Rating (scale of 1-10): 7.5

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating (scale of 1-10): 9

Attraction Scare Factor Rating (scale of 1-10): 8

Feedback: Trail 1 & Trail 2 are both just as amazing as the other! We don’t know how anyone could ever pick between the two. Coming into our review of Markoff’s Haunted Forest we were most interested to experience the trails and boy they didn’t disappoint. This place is the epitome of an outdoor haunted trail. They brought the dark woods to life with by far the most amazing outdoor trail attraction we have ever experienced!! These trails are packed full of those “favorite scenes” everyone always talks about. There just simply isn’t a standout scene as the trails as a whole were truly immaculate!! Although if we had to choose, the pirate ship scene was quite breathtaking and truly one of a kind. These trails clearly weren’t just thrown together with store bought props and animatronics. The set designs featured handmade props and clearly hundreds of hours of time, energy and downright passion for Halloween put into them. The actors definitely possessed a greater deal of energy in the trails then in The Town. Although there were numerous scenes without any actors which was a bit of a disappointment. Yes the scenes are amazing to look at but the actors are what bring the scenes to life. Throughout both trails there were a large number of actors placed in dark spots in the woods who would pop out and growl or scream… we definitely feel these actors would be better off being placed in a scene. The actors in dark spots in the woods tactic wasn’t very successful as we began to anticipate and expect it. Yes it’s a great idea but it was utilized far too often to provide the scare factor they were hoping for. Once again there were a good deal of standout actors that were clearly highlighted and given bigger roles in the show, those guys and gals didn’t disappoint! All in all both trails were phenomenal and with better acting the experience can become top notch!

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