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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park - 2020 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park


Location of Attraction: Uniontown PA

Date of Review: 9/12/2020

Total Number of Attractions Available: 6

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 7/10

Entertainment & Food Rating: 7/10

Atmosphere Rating: 7/10

Overall Costume & Makeup Rating: 8/10

Overall Cast & Crew Rating: 7/10

Overall Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 7/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

Overall Feedback: It’s night two of our 2020 review season and our squad wound up in western Pennsylvania to visit Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park for the first time. We’ve been hearing about this attraction for several years now and were excited to finally visit for ourselves. We arrived on their 2nd night of operation, Saturday September 12th, shortly after 7pm. Right off the bat we took notice to medical/security staff ensuring folks had their masks on and were taking temperatures via digital infrared thermometers. Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park is located in Uniontown Pennsylvania, about an hour south of Pittsburgh. Featuring six haunted attractions, we were eager to finally experience Haunted Hills Estate!

Our squad purchased our tickets ahead of time via their online ticketing platform. $30 will get you access to all six haunted attractions. We took notice that they offered two different fast pass options; $10 more for the “Spirit Pass” and $20 more for the “R.I.P Pass”. Online they advertise the Spirit Pass as a minimal wait and the R.I.P pass as priority entrance. We were curious to see how this kind of ticketing system functioned and flowed throughout the night. More on this to follow. After redeeming our online tickets we congregated in the midway area. The midway area features a small gift shop, food vendor, multiple photo op booths, games, axe throwing, and much more! Rumor has it that they’ll also be adding escape rooms. We took a few moments to check out all the offerings before heading to our first attraction of the evening.

Directly off the midway area guests will find the entrances to The House and Experiment 31. On the back side of the property is one entrance that provides you access to the other four attractions; The Burial, Sin Creek, The Deadwoods, and Corn-Tine. We elected to experience The House first. Right off the bat we were impressed with the facade for the attraction. The two story facade portrayed an old decrepit house, that certainly gives you the heebie jeebies before even entering. We had general admission tickets so we hopped into line. We immediately took notice how they were admitting guests into the attractions. Essentially, any guests in the R.I.P Pass line were priority and admitted immediately into the attraction. Once the R.I.P line was empty they began admitting guests from the Spirit Pass line. They’d continue to admit groups from this line until it was completely empty. Once both the R.I.P and Spirit lines were empty, it was then that they’d begin pulling groups from the general admission line. After waiting 20 minutes and only moving forward one group, we knew that we’d have to upgrade our passes in order to get through the attractions and off to our 2nd haunt (Demon House Haunted Attraction) for the evening. So we hopped out of line and paid an additional $10 for the Spirit Pass. We then jumped right back into line at The House, this time in the Spirit Pass line, and sure enough within a minute or two we were taken as the next group into the attraction. Throughout the night we continued to take notice that nobody from the general admission line was admitted into the attractions until the R.I.P and Spirit pass lines were completely empty. We were baffled that they weren’t at least mixing in some groups from the general admission line. We’d assume that this is a tactic to get more folks to upgrade their tickets, which seems a bit unconventional. Long story short, when it comes to purchasing tickets we’d definitely recommend at least purchasing the Spirit Pass. Otherwise you’ll have a long night of waiting on your hands!

As we stepped up onto the front porch the ticket taker for the attraction explained the rules and prepared us for what lies ahead. The House attraction featured rather remarkable set design, with a great mixture of scare actors and animatronics. Pop scares were a strong suit for Haunted Hills Estate throughout The House! Many of our squad members were recipients of spine-tingling startles, primarily from the impeccable timing of scare actors. We were impressed with the audio and visual effects throughout the attraction, often utilized together to overwhelm your senses. After journeying through the upstairs portion of the house we traveled to an outdoor graveyard section, which was simple but effective and provided eerie vibes. We then headed into the basement of The House which again featured several pop scares and more great scenes. We were impressed with the scare actors we encountered throughout The House, primarily with how engaging and interactive they were! All in all, The House provided 10 solid minutes of in attraction experience and ended up being our clear favorite attraction of the evening.

Next up we headed next door to Experiment 31, or otherwise known as the Aurora Institute. With our Spirit Passes in hand we waited only a few moments before being pulled as the next “experiments” to enter the Aurora Institute. We were immediately excited for the attraction as the nurse took our tickets and prepared us for our journey. This chick was phenomenal at getting guests pumped for the experience and certainly knew how to get guests engaged! Experiment 31 featured a mixture of scenes and dark passageways. The scenes encountered were all cluttered with laboratory and medical style props, helping to reiterate the theme of traveling through an experimental medical facility. About halfway through Experiment 31 was a section of dark passageways that featured several pop scares via well timed audio effects. Simple but damn was it effective! The final scene in Experiment 31 was easily the most visually pleasing, featuring several special effects and one last startle to send you running back into the midway. Overall, Experiment 31 featured 5 minutes of in attraction experience. Although we weren’t blown away by the set design or scare acting in this attraction, we still found it to possess some neat components and a few jump scares. More scare actors to fill out Experiment 31 would go a long way in enhancing the overall experience.

To finish off the evening we headed for the final queue line which gave admittance to The Burial, Sin Creek, The Deadwoods, and Corn-Tine. Again, with our Spirit Passes we only waited a few moments before being chosen as the next group of guests. Prior to entering the attraction the ticket taker reviewed with us some rules and safety precautions/warnings. Little did we know we’d be in for a bit of a physical workout prior to descending down a mountain into the attractions. We strongly recommend guests with physical limitations, asthma, etc. to proceed with caution as you’ll be challenged with traversing up and down hills, uneven terrain, darkness, and more. Guests utilize their phone flashlights to light the way as you descend down a rather steep hillside towards the start of The Burial. We’d love to see Haunted Hills Estate do something to jazz up the walk from the queue line to the start of the attractions; a headless horseman roaming the open field, an actor to guide & entertain you, just something to give this walk a bit more meaning and excitement! The Burial started things off on an eerie and spooky note! The cemetery scenes were elegantly designed in a life like way. A few scare actors were scattered throughout, providing a mixture of skits and pop scares. It was definitely dark and creepy in the cemetery! Unfortunately things started to go a bit downhill from here.

Our squad never noticed any form of signage signifying when we had entered another attraction. So we never really did know when we had entered Sin Creek or The Deadwoods… it all unfortunately just flowed one into another with no sort of separation between. In what we assumed was Sin Creek and The Deadwoods we encountered numerous small scenes featuring simplistic set design, but effective in providing scare actors something to play off of. Be prepared for a quick startle when the gun fires… damn that scared us! We encountered a lot of dead space between scenes that featured no form of scare actors or set design. We were a bit shocked at the absence of lighting on the trails in between scenes. Maybe we were to utilize our phone flashlights, or maybe they wanted it to be dark. Either way, yes it was certainly eerie and creepy traversing through the woods in the dark BUT we’re concerned that other haunt goers may take a tumble if they lose their footing on the dark trails. Even just small solar yard lights to help provide minimal lighting would go a long way. Unfortunately nothing really wowed us during our journey through Sin Creek and The Deadwoods. We’ve heard that Haunted Hills Estate has really been working hard the past few seasons to revamp and update their attractions. Hopefully over time they’ll continue to fill out these attractions, as they are off to a great start and possess good bones to build off of.

After exiting the woods we headed towards Corn-Tine which was utilized as your final path back towards the midway area. An actor greeted us at the entrance and sent us on our way through the cornfield. As we began traversing through Corn-Tine we began to question if we were even on a path anymore. Certain parts of the cornfield didn’t have very clearly marked pathways, which led to our group taking a few wrong turns, or at least it had seemed that way. Fortunately the cornstalks weren’t very tall (nothing that Haunted Hills Estate can control) so most of our members could at least see which direction we were to head in. We assume there was supposed to be some dead ends and multiple different pathways, but we’re certain we ended up off the path a few times. In regards to set design, well, there wasn’t much besides a few scarecrows scattered throughout the paths. Our squad only recalled encountering one scare actor throughout our journey through Corn-Tine, which unfortunately meant a lot of dead space. Hopefully as the season amps up they’ll be able to sprinkle in a few more scare actors to fill out Corn-Tine. With Corn-Tine currently lacking any sort of props or animatronics, scare actors are the vital piece in this attraction's effectiveness and ability to provide a spooky fun experience… and unfortunately on our visit it wasn’t much besides a dark walk through a cornfield.

After exiting Corn-Tine we continued on a brief walk back to the midway area where we snagged some refreshments, pictures, and relaxed for a few moments. By this point it was shortly after 9pm and they had a rather large crowd on hand for opening weekend. Our squad took some time to converse regarding our experience and overall thoughts. All in all, we definitely feel Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park has the “bones and structure” to become one of the top Scream Parks in Pennsylvania, but they still have some work to do. We’d like to see them continue to add and expand onto the sets in Experiment 31. The three trail attractions need to have clear separation and signage between so patrons recognize that they’re entering another attraction. Like Experiment 31, we’d like to see more scenes scattered throughout Sin Creek and The Deadwoods. Even sprinkling in a few scare actors in between scenes would go a long way in helping to keep customers engaged and on edge during their journey. Of all the attractions, Corn-Tine needs the most work in our eyes. Although, even adding just a few more scare actors would go a long way in enhancing the overall thrill factor of the attraction. A dark cornfield is already a bit unnerving, so sprinkle in a few spooks to provide some “gotcha” pop scares and you quickly have yourself a simple but effective attraction!

Overall we enjoyed our first time experience at Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park! The House attraction may just see itself in our end of year voting for “Overall Best Indoor Walkthrough Attraction”, only time will tell! We’re eager and excited to keep tabs on this haunt over the next few years to see their progression. They’re not far off from becoming a must see Scream Park in PA. If you’re in western Pennsylvania and looking for a spooky fun time, consider giving Haunted Hills Estate Scream Park a whirl. Happy Hauntings!

Individual Attraction Ratings:

Attraction Name: The House

Overall Attraction Rating: 8/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 8/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 8.5/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Experiment 31

Overall Attraction Rating: 6.5/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 6.5/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 7.5/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

Attraction Name: The Burial

Overall Attraction Rating: 7/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 7/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 8/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

Attraction Name: Sin Creek

Overall Attraction Rating: 6/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 6/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 6/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

Attraction Name: Deadwoods

Overall Attraction Rating: 6/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 6/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 6/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 6/10

Attraction Name: Corn-Tine

Overall Attraction Rating: 4/10

Cast & Crew Rating: 4/10

Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 4/10

Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 4/10

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