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Screamland Farms - 2019 Review


Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Screamland Farms Website: www.screamlandfarms.com Location of Attraction: Frederick Maryland Date of Review: Friday September 27th 2019 Total Number of Attractions Available: FOUR Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 6/10 Entertainment and Food Rating: 3/10 Atmosphere Rating: 4/10 Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 6/10 Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 6/10 Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 7/10 Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 5/10 Overall Feedback: It’s week four of our 2019 review season and we kicked things off Friday evening with a visit to Screamland Farms. We last visited this haunt in 2017 and were pleasantly surprised with our experience. Unfortunately that same spooktastic experience we received in 2017 was not what we received this go around. Our squad arrived on the property around 8pm on what was their opening night for the 2019 season. Screamland Farms is located right off Highway 15 at Crumland Farms, a perfect property for a haunted attraction. A small crowd was on hand for opening night. Screamland Farms offers four attractions, Barn of Bedlam and Hayride of Horrors being the two main attractions with Zombie Paintball and Escape the Woodshed as side attractions. Our squad elected just to pursue the two main attractions this go around. We purchased our tickets, $28 for the Barn and Hayride, and headed off for the Barn of Bedlam. During our visit in 2017 the Barn of Bedlam was the clear group favorite of the night; this would be the same case for our visit this go around! The facade of the Barn certainly looks decrepit and gives off an eerie vibe. It would be the first scene that quickly grabbed our attention and had our adrenaline pumping. We rounded a dark corner and we’re blinded by a strobe light as a crazed scare actor came barreling down the hallway to deliver a fright. As we weaved through the hallways we entered a room with cages. The scare actors here taunted us as they sent us the wrong direction and watched us circled back through the scene again clearly looking confused. As we departed the first scene we were definitely on an adrenaline rush. The Barn of Bedlam possesses MANY unique scenes that we’ve not seen pulled off at other haunts. Screamland Farms is definitely your definition of an old school haunt with just a few glimpses of new age haunt mixed in. We enjoyed the hand made props throughout the scenes. The scare actors were all amped up and ready to deliver a frightening experience. These scare actors weren’t afraid to get up close and personal with us. Invading peoples personal space is always an easy way to take them out of their comfort zone. We really enjoyed the pitch black portion of this attraction. We were given a small candle to use to guide ourselves through the dark passage ways. Even with the dim candle light we still ran into a few things, which made for a fun journey through the darkness. Another unique scene was the swamp portion; beware the swamp creature that nearly took off our limbs! The swamp scene features the commonly used green laser light with fog to create a eerie swamp feel. But Screamland Farms added in their own twist by making the flooring uneven, which nearly sent several of our members plummeting face first into the swamp. The finale for the Barn of Bedlam sent several of our members running through the exit doors. After sneaking through several tunnels guests spew out into a large open area with tons of white sheets hanging on a laundry line. It was dark and quiet which immediately gave off an unnerving vibe. As we began to try and figure our way through, two crazed actors fired up their chainsaws and began taunting our group. This method was effective but we could also see the utilization of Michael Myers in this scene being epic! The silent but deadly Michael Myers could sneak up on guests to deliver one final fright. But we suppose chainsaws were an appropriate option here. Next up we headed for our 2nd and final attraction on the night; Hayride of Horrors. Although we felt the hayride was the weaker of the two attractions in 2017 we still thought the hayride provided a solid performance. But unfortunately we received a less then impressive experience this go around. As we waited in the queue line we noticed they changed up the boarding location for the Hayride. Guests now enter a mini corn maze before reaching a small loading area for the hay wagon. We were extremely confused and surprised by the quite horrendous line management for this attraction. A group of about 15 or so guests were in front of us. After about 10 minutes they began sending the guests in front of us through the cornfield in small groups. We then waited easily another 15 minutes before it would be our turn to enter the cornfield. At this point it was apparent they were likely only running one hay wagon, which was the reason for the long wait. But unfortunately the staff failed to mention this, which left the guests rather confused on why the wait was so lengthy. After about 30 minutes of waiting we were given the go ahead to enter the cornfield. The cornfield really possessed nothing worth speaking of as we only recall encountering three scenes and three actors. The first two scare actors encountered yelled at us to “leave, get out” and the third jumped out from behind a fence, growled at us and went back in hiding. After a brief 2-3 minute walk we stumbled upon the small hay wagon loading area. It was apparent that this new cornfield addition seemed to just be a space and time filler; no thrill or excitement encountered. Unfortunately we yet again waited another solid 15 minutes for the hay wagon to arrive. After about a total 45 minute wait we finally boarded the hay wagon. At this point a full wagon of eager guests were ready to experience the Hayride of Horrors! The Hayride of Horrors is much like the Barn of Bedlam in the sense that it’s an old school style attraction with very little animatronics. The Hayride of Horrors relies on the scare actors to bring the scenes alive and to overall provide an entertaining experience. The first scene we stumbled upon would end up being the highlight of the hayride. We strolled into a dimly lit scene with several actors possessing doll like masks. These scare actors were downright creepy as they clinged to the edge of the wagon and stared into our souls. The hay wagon eventually departed leaving these creepy ghouls in the dust. As we looked back these creepy doll faced actors were still staring us down even after departing their scene. As we strolled into the next scene we were eager to see how things panned out. Unfortunately from this point forward we were left disappointed. We encountered many unique scenes with some really awesome touches; specifically we remember encountering two scenes we’ve never seen before on a hayride: the holiday themed scene and the bar/adult club scene. But unfortunately the scare actors in majority of the scenes failed to provide any type of thrill or excitement for the guests. We specifically remember the clowns and the junkyard actors barely making an effort to interact with the guests. The overall lack of energy from the actors was really felt and left us unimpressed. Kudos to the scare actors in the bloody terrific chop shop scene. These scare actors were amped up and delivered several startles to the guests. Several chainsaw wielding scare actors taunted the guests and had several screaming in fear! Overall the Hayride of Horrors possessed many of the same exact scenes from our experience in 2017. This was not problematic as we did indeed enjoy the old school style feel to the scenes and the true unique touches they possessed. But the major difference in the experience was the scare actors. The simply lack luster performance by the scare actors really made for a rather bland and uninteresting hayride experience. Throughout the night we kept in mind that we were visiting Screamland Farms on their opening night. We expected some hiccups in the show but we certainly didn’t expect to encounter scare actors that simply seemed uninterested in scaring the guests. The scare actors in the Barn of Bedlam were spooktastic but the Hayride scare actors failed to provide that same spooktastic experience. We know that Screamland Farms is capable of putting together a more rounded experience. We’d love to see the Hayride scare actors step up their game to provide the same great performance that the Barn of Bedlam provided. We’re hoping we just caught them on an off night and that they’ll step up their game for the remainder of their season. We wish the Screamland Farms team nothing but the best with their 2019 haunt season! If you’re in the Frederick Maryland area give Screamland Farms a visit! Individual Attraction Review: Attraction Name: Barn of Bedlam Overall Attraction Rating: 7/10 Cast and Crew Rating: 8/10 Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 7/10 Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 7/10 Attraction Name: Hayride of Horrors Overall Attraction Rating: 5/10 Cast and Crew Rating: 5/10 Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 7/10 Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 4/10


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