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  • Writer's pictureChandler Clouser

Shocktoberfest BLACKOUT Event - 2019 Review

Haunted Attraction Reviewed: Shocktoberfest BLACKOUT


Location of Attraction: Sinking Springs PA

Date of Review: Saturday November 9th 2019

Total Number of Attractions Available: Blackout Event (3)

Overall Haunted Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Entertainment and Food Rating: 8/10

Atmosphere Rating: 8/10

Overall Costume and Make Up Rating: 8/10

Overall Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Overall Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8.5/10

Overall Feedback: On what would end up being our final night of the 2019 season a small but mighty group ventured north to visit Shocktoberfest for their annual BLACKOUT event! For the first time in several years our squad did not visit Shocktoberfest during the regular season. We felt it was best to give them some time to freshen things up, therefore leaving the BLACKOUT event as a perfect opportunity to still get a small taste of Shocktoberfest this season.

Prior to visiting we did our typical research on the haunt and were impressed with the additions the Shocktoberfest team made to their midway area - The Torture Chamber (deep tissue massage that takes you somewhere between pleasure and pain), Maintenance Shed (5 minute escape room), ShocktoBARfest (pop-up beer garden) AND Midway Massacre Scare Zone. What was once an already lively and impressive midway just received another major boost to provide entertainment for the entire family!

Our squad arrived at Shocktoberfest on their final evening of operation shortly after 7pm. It was downright COLD with temps in the mid 20’s! As much as we had hoped to be in and out due to the cold temps, Shocktoberfest certainly isn’t the in and out type of haunt. Even with only three attractions open for the BLACKOUT event, our squad easily spent 90-120 minutes at the haunt. Tack on a few more attractions and or some side/add on attractions and you easily have a full nights worth of entertainment.

To kick off the evening our squad headed for the Zombie Safari Haunted Hayride. As we loaded up onto the wagon all patrons were handed a hood to place over their head. This is a unique touch that takes patrons sense of sight away, which in return heightens their other senses providing an even more thrilling experience. With our hoods comfortably placed over our heads the hay wagon set off. Let us tell you one thing, you don’t realize how much you utilize your sense of sight to protect yourself on a hayride until it is taken away. Our members had our heads on a swivel, constantly listening for where zombies would be coming from. It’s safe to say we received a nights worth of scares on the hayride alone! We won’t lie, we did take a few peaks to check out the set design and boy are we glad we did! The greenhouse scene received a complete revamp and now features some incredible blacklight work. Better yet, the scare actors possessed costuming that blended in perfectly with the set design. Kudos to the scare actors for being relentless and providing an intense, in your face experience! Overall, it was refreshing to see the Zombie Safari Haunted Hayride take a positive step forward and reclaim its fame as one of the better hayrides in Pennsylvania.

Next up we headed for our squads overall favorite indoor haunted attraction from our 2018 season; The Prison of the Dead! A 25 minute, heart pounding and thrilling experience. What could make this attraction any more intense then it already is? The addition of DARKNESS!! The same SPOOKTACULAR Prison of the Dead attraction was encountered but this time with the show lights OFF! Our squad was left in complete darkness in several areas leaving us hoping that we’d find our way out. We thoroughly enjoyed the brand new garage/auto shop scene which featured several unique scares! As usual, the scare actors encountered were energized and on point, providing the spooky fun experience that we’ve come to know and love in The Prison of the Dead! Lights ON or lights OFF, Prison of the Dead is still easily one of the best indoor haunted attractions in our coverage area (PA, MD, DE & NJ).

To round out our evening we headed for the Unknown 2.0. We knew it would be hard for the Unknown 2.0 team to follow up on the top notch performance that The Prison of the Dead provided. BUT, the Unknown 2.0 team stepped up and provided one of their best performances to date. The scare actors were lurking in the DARKNESS waiting for just the right moment to deliver a fright! They were amped up and delivered an engaging experience. The DARKNESS certainly disoriented our crew as four of our members got straight up LOST in the closet scene. The Unknown 2.0 plays off common phobias like snakes, darkness, claustrophobia, death, clowns and much more! We still love how the Unknown 2.0 has narration as guests venture through; this ties in the introductory video and helps the entire attraction make “sense” per say. In regards to the set design, we were bummed that we didn’t notice any changes or new additions to the scenes, but we took this lightly since the Shocktoberfest team made so many changes elsewhere on the property! Overall we were pleased with the experience the Unknown 2.0 provided. It’s a short but well executed attraction which certainly received a scare factor boost with the addition of DARKNESS!

Shocktoberfest certainly had a busy offseason and their hard work paid off! It was great to see some set design tweaks in The Prison of the Dead and Zombie Safari Haunted Hayride. We also appreciated the additions to the midway area, which will certainly enhance the patron experience for years to come. As much as we love Shocktoberfest, it was certainly nice to give their typical haunt experience a break so that they can refresh and revamp a bit. But boy are we glad we elected to visit for their BLACKOUT experience so we could see first hand some of the great additions they made for 2019. Job well down Shocktoberfest team on stepping up and once again delivering a SPOOKY FUN experience!

Individual Attraction Review:

Attraction Name: Zombie Safari Haunted Hayride

Overall Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

Attraction Name: Prison of the Dead

Overall Attraction Rating: 9/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 9/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 9/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 9/10

Attraction Name: Unknown 2.0

Overall Attraction Rating: 8.5/10

Cast and Crew Rating: 8.5/10

Props, Animatronics and Set Design Rating: 8.5/10

Attraction Scare/Thrill Factor Rating: 8/10

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