Shocktoberfest in Sinking Spring, PA was one of the best haunts we have ever been to.
The haunt consists of:
– Prison of the Dead
– Biohazard Hayride
– The Unknown (New for 2011)
They also have Club Shock: Ghouls Gone Wild – a dance club in the tent that covers the queue for the Hayride. The Monster Midway is an area with games, refreshments, and some scare actors. You could say this is actually 5 attractions. I say it’s 3, with 2 cool areas. (I classify an attraction as something you wait in line for and go through.)
Let’s break it down:
Prison of the Dead:
Prison of the Dead was INSANE. This is the first house I have been through in awhile where I was LEGITIMATELY AFRAID. You approach the haunt via a school bus that was painted to be a prison bus and leave via the same bus. These guys scared me more than Eastern State Penitentiary because they just got weird with it. They seemed to have designed the entire complex to just screw with your head. The actors can touch you and grab you. At one point someone grabbed me and prevented me from getting through the maze to where Harknell was, which freaked me the heck out.
The scariest part was the end where you had to bend down and run through the sewers while people on bungee cords jumped at you and could grab you and pull you down. Afterward you exit into a really creepy yard that was downright frightening. This attraction is the best attraction in Shocktoberfest. I recommend you do this one last.
Biohazard Hayride is hands down the best Hayride I have ever been on in my life. It made Bates Motel look like Chuck E. Cheese. The cart takes you through dark tunnels that close on either side. You get to watch a full scene play out. Actors will come over to you grab you, touch you, and activate high quality animatronics that really work. This is not a case of pre fab animtronics that are just there for the heck of it. These props WORK. At one point we almost got eaten by GIANT WORM POD THINGS OMG.
The Unknown is their newest and unfortunately the weakest attraction. The attraction’s concept and construction were great – the idea was that a steampunk professor and assistant were subjecting you to tests. The only reason that this attraction was tough to enjoy was the 3D glasses they used for it. The 3D glasses were so bad it was like being forced to go blindfolded through a great attraction. They used the crappy 1980s 3D with the red and blue lenses and not the modern 3D with 2 clear lenses that all the other attractions and movies are using. The result was that YOU COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING through most of the attraction.
This wasn’t a case where you couldn’t see things that they didn’t want you to see – we legitimately could not see things that we were supposed to see. We ended up just taking the glasses off after we got through some of it. The 3D was such a huge fail. It really prevented us from enjoying this one. I hope that they redo the 3D. This is easily a groundbreaking attraction – if only we could just see what is happening inside it!
Club Shock: Ghouls Gone Wild and The Monster Midway:
The club was well done. I liked that it was additive to the Hayride’s queue, which is the longest queue. Clubs like these in haunted attractions are never destinations in themselves. The best usage of them are as queue distractions. I feel that they did this well.
The Monster Midway had a large selection of food, homemade cookies, hot drinks, and game. The scare actors were fun, too. Again, not a destination, but a great addition to a complex of strong attractions.
I wholeheartedly recommend Shocktoberfest to you. I’m angry at myself that I didn’t try these guys out sooner, because they may very well be the best attraction in the Northeast. The only problem we had was with the implementation of the 3D inside The Unknown. I hope that they fix that for 2012.
Most of the cool stuff was actually on the attractions, which I didn’t have authorization to photograph. Here is what I could get for you:
Oni Hartstein is a Los Angeles-based CMO and entrepreneur that is obsessed with progressive rock / metal, marketing, and nightlife. Please direct all business inquiries or review requests to the "Contact" tab on the top nav bar.
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