Haunted Attraction Reviewed: ScreamDreams
Location of Attraction: Thomasville North Carolina
Date of Review: 10/8/2022
Total Number of Attractions Available: 1
Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 7/10
Entertainment & Food Rating: 5/10
Atmosphere Rating: 6/10
Overall Costume & Makeup Rating: 7/10
Overall Cast & Crew Rating: 7/10
Overall Set Design & Special Effects Rating: 8/10
Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 7/10
Overall Feedback: ScreamDreams, North Carolina’s newest haunted attraction, put forth a valiant effort in their freshman year of haunting! Prior to our visit we hadn’t heard much about their backstory or how the haunt came to fruition, so we weren’t certain what to expect. Nonetheless, we were very excited to visit & support this first year haunt.
ScreamDreams located in Thomasville, North Carolina is housed within a massive 3+ story building which was previously used as a furniture factory. The skies are the limit for this property and building, as there’s ample space to continue to grow. Charlie (owner) shared with us briefly his vision for “Castle Boo”, which he hopes will become a multifaceted operation that’ll have something for the entire family & can provide a full day's worth of entertainment.
Parking is located in a large lot adjacent to the building & it’s worth noting that it’s $5 for parking. Once parked you’ll be funneled towards security, make sure to leave any lighters, sharp objects, etc in your vehicle. Masks were required to enter the attraction & were strictly enforced throughout the attraction. We hadn’t seen any notice of this on the website, definitely something we’d suggest they promote so that folks arrive prepared. Once inside the gates you’re immersed into the ScreamDreams atmosphere. The local radio station, 1075 KLZ, was onsite & blaring pop hits. A local food truck was also on-hand serving up some scrumptious creations. There wasn’t much else in terms of midway entertainment here, something we’d love to see them expand upon in seasons to come (roaming spooks, games, live entertainment, etc). This may be odd, but ScreamDreams gets the award for the creepiest yet most comical bathrooms we’ve ever encountered at a haunt… and no they weren’t porta-potties! Just make sure to pop into the pleasantly clean bathrooms & listen to the odd overhead audio!
ScreamDreams is currently a single attraction experience that’ll provide a solid 25+ minutes of true in attraction experience. The haunt is generally open Fridays & Saturdays, with a few other select dates available. General admission tickets run for $35. For an additional $9 you can add-on their photo/video package, which includes 5 different photos & a unique video recording. VIP admission, no wait entry & photo/video package, runs for $65.
ScreamDreams upgraded our general admission tickets to include the photo/video package (thanks guys!), so our experience kicked off with 3 group pictures with different backgrounds. We partook in 2 other group picture opportunities that were sprinkled throughout the attraction, one of which was a fun “upside down” style. The video opportunity took place while a custom ScreamDreams audio soundtrack blared in the background. We then stood on a podium with the camera rotating around us, capturing our comical poses from all angles. The photo/video package was certainly a unique touch & fun way to commemorate your journey.
ScreamDreams is a lengthy single attraction haunt, entirely housed on the first floor of the massive “Castle Boo”. On your journey through the haunt you’ll snake through different themed areas/scenes. At different points you’ll exit one section & venture across or down a hallway to the next section. At certain times it was a bit confusing where to head, we’d love to see them increase signage and or simply add rope/chain to help tunnel folks to the next area. We were honestly pleasantly surprised by the overall length of the attraction, as it just seemingly kept on going & going with no end in sight!
Our venture through ScreamDreams featured a plethora of different theming & scenes. The journey commenced with a complete blackout maze. This area featured blacked out hallways, some overhead audio, & a few animatronics sprinkled throughout to provide a few quick startles. Things began to pick up a bit more as we proceeded forth. We ventured through the hunter’s den which was littered with taxidermized animals of all sorts, including a rabid raccoon that sprayed us and an interactive talking deer head that provided a rather unique & comical encounter. A Christmas themed scene possessed a demented Santa Clause that wasn’t so jolly along with a creepy Rudolph. A kitchen & dining room scene was highlighted by an older gal pulling a fried baby out of the oven & then proceeding to remove its “stuffing”, quite a bizarre moment. A laundry room possessed a child being jostled around on a spin cycle, making for a hilarious sighting. The doctors lab featured easily the two most memorable character encounters, as these gentlemen were creepily laughing as they planned out their next experiment. BeetleJuice provided a comical & engaging encounter & then sent us off through a disorienting maze of doors. Find the right door & you’ll proceed forth, but be forewarned that startling surprises lurk behind the false/trap doors. A truly deafening fog horn of sorts provided a spine-tingling startled, holy cow was it LOUD! At one point we thought we ventured outdoors, as we were immersed into a creepy forest-esque area & then proceeded into a murky swamp. We nearly lost our limbs in the swamp, as a man-eating creature surfaced in the waters & tried to devour us whole. An entire section of the haunt possessed slanted flooring which made for a disorienting path of travel. A massive monster swallowed us whole at one point & we ventured the whole way through his GI system. Dismembered body parts stuck out of the narrow passageways, truly simulating a venture through the monster's gut! The circus was certainly in town as a lengthy clown themed area featured a full haunt catalogs worth of pneumatic props & animatronics; although we felt the amount of animatronics was a bit overbearing & borderline tacky at times. Hopefully by this point you’ve come to realize just how many different scenes you’ll encounter on your journey, easily 50+, some of which we’ve never encountered anywhere else before!
Truly our main gripe at ScreamDreams was the lack of experienced scare actors. In general, we could tell they struggled with appropriately staffing the attraction, which has been a common theme throughout the haunt industry. The lack of scare actors left notable gaps of dead space. It was a shame to see some really neat scenes not able to be brought to life due to the lack of staffing. Sadly the majority of the scare actors encountered weren’t well seasoned & failed to possess any sort of skit line or notable attempt to engage with the audience. We had visited rather early on during their haunt season, so we’re sure these actors have gotten into a better groove & likely already improved notably since our visit. We have no doubt that with notably more scare actors & a more experienced cast the experience will be drastically improved & much more nerve-racking!
Overall we were pleasantly surprised by the experience that ScreamDreams offered. We certainly feel these folks have lots of potential and if executed properly they could become one of North Carolina’s premier haunted attractions. Despite limited staffing, we still had a spooky fun experience at ScreamDreams. Pay ScreamDreams a visit yourself & maybe they’ll become your new favorite haunt stop. Happy Hauntings!