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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Markoff's Haunted Forest - 2019 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Markoff’s Haunted Forest


Location of Attraction: Dickerson Maryland

Date of Review: Friday October 11th 2019

Total Number of Attractions Available: THREE

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 9/10

Atmosphere Rating: 9/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 7.5/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9.5/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Overall Feedback: On Friday October 12th we paid a visit to Markoff’s Haunted Forest, home to some of the best outdoor outdoor attractions! We’ve been visiting Markoff’s for several years now and each year they continually rank well among our haunt standings. And that is for good reason! As soon as guests enter the front circle (midway area) you are immediately immersed into a true one-of-a-kind haunt atmosphere! Guests can’t help but be overcome with thrill and excitement while roaming about the front circle. Massive bonfires, ziplines, live entertainment, side attractions, games, food (pricey but delicious) and much more! But one thing that truly stands out is the live DJ who engages with haunt goers all night.

For those who have never visited Markoff's Haunted Forest they have three main attractions: The Town, Trail 1 and Trail 2. Ticketing can be a bit confusing for first time visitors, so don’t hesitate to reach out to the Markoff’s team with questions. Most folks typically experience The Town and a trail when visiting Markoff’s. Be warned, ticket prices are a bit steep, but are worth it in our opinion! Guests may enter the line for The Town at any time but guests must wait for their ticket number to be called before entering the line for the Trails. On busy operating nights significant wait times occur, but that's where the incredible front circle experience takes action. Markoff’s Haunted Forest is one of those haunts you can easily turn into an all night affair and is by no means a “in and out” haunt.

To kick off our evening we began with The Town. Guests will board a tram which shuttles you across the property to where The Town is located. The tram ride is dark and certainly helps guests feel as if they are headed to a dark and desolate town. The Town kicks off on a rather low key and a bit bland note. Guests will stroll through a small cornfield with multiple small structures and a few actors. Like last season, we felt the cornfield section was a bit dull primarily due to bland set design and low energy actors. But have no fear, things get kicked up a notch in a flash. As we began to approach The Town itself the energy kicked up and scares began coming from all directions. At least a dozen small structures each featured their own theme. Guest will snake in and out of these structures making you truly feel as if you’re venturing through a town. Set design throughout each of these scenes was truly phenomenal, very detailed and most importantly... realistic! Many of these structures were built with slanted flooring which helps to disorient the guests. We absolutely loved the mineshaft; the scene is set on a hill so you truly feel as if you’re descending into a decrepit mineshaft. Beware of the creature lurking in dark depths of the mineshaft. One of our favorite scare actors was the mortician, who sized all of our members for a coffin. Like last season we still felt the scare actors in The Town were bland and failed to engage much with our crew. This year there seemed to be a noticeable shortage in scare actors, as several areas of dead space were encountered. We were a bit bummed to see the Markoff’s team removed the large actor controlled saw, this was always a group favorite! The Town overall is a solid attraction but it falls short at providing the same thrilling and top notch experience that the trails provide.

After taking our tram ride back to the front circle we hopped right into line for the trails. Trail 1 and Trail 2 weave together throughout several parts of your journey and finish off with the same finale scene! With having completed both Trails we have no idea how anyone could ever pick between the two. Both Trails are equally amazing featuring top notch set design, passionate actors and are both aesthetically pleasing and thrilling! We can’t even put into words how immaculate and beautifully crafted each and every scene is throughout the trails. The amount of detail put into the props and overall set design clearly shows. Some of our favorite scenes were the pirate ship, viking/tribal, church/chapel, cave/cavern, swamp, land of pumpkins, doll house and believe us when we say our list goes on and on. Unfortunately like in The Town, we noticed a major shortage in actors which left areas of significant dead space. Most of the scare actors along the trails are high energy and ready to deliver a fright! Kudos to the girls acting in the dollhouse; you guys were downright creepy! Be prepared for a workout as you’ll be hiking up and down hilly terrain throughout your journey on the Trails. Each of the Trails took a solid 15-20 minutes to complete, giving you overwhelming amounts of joy and thrill. We can’t forget to mention the final scene of the Trails, the junkyard, which was very high energy and was a genius way to have your experience end. After completing both Trail 1 and 2 we definitely urge guests to experience BOTH Trails; it’s near impossible to choose just one!

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 a touch of 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. This place definitely doesn’t lack the passion and love for the Halloween season. The owners themselves are hardcore Halloween lovers and it really shows in their work of art known as Markoff’s Haunted Forest! Markoff’s Haunted Forest still has two full operating weekends yet this season so definitely find some time to pay them a visit. We have no doubts that you’ll have a spooky fun time when visiting! So get moving and go experience Markoff’s Haunted Forest for yourself!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: The Town

Overall Attraction Rating: 8/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 7/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 8.5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 7/10

Attraction Name: Trail 1 & 2

Overall Attraction Rating: 9/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 10/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8.5/10

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