So yeah. Reaper’s Revenge in Scranton, PA. Holy CRAP.
This haunted attraction is one of the best damn haunted attractions I have ever experienced in my entire career.
IN MY ENTIRE CAREER!
For some unknown reason it’s largely flying under the radar. Why, I don’t know. But you should drop everything and get your ass to this one immediately. OH BOY.
When I first arrived at Reaper’s Revenge I was a bit nervous. The main area is very understated and their website showed some themes that are commonly done by generic attractions. The attractions are also linear so you have to do the hayride first which leads you on a rigid path through each.
We’ve often not liked this at other places because many haunts use this to inflate how many attractions they have. Suddenly a 25ft hallway becomes a separate attraction so they can crow about numbers. When I see a linear path I immediately wonder if it’s worth trying at all because of how I have seen it abused in this industry.
They had invited us to come and check them out so I was mentally rehearsing in my head how to tactfully couch the awkward conversation I’d have to have with them on my way out. I’ve had that happen before – where an attraction invites me out and I just plain didn’t like it. I hate it when that happens, but I am very up front on my site that inviting me out doesn’t control or change what I think or write.
Honesty is so huge with me.
Well – none of this was a Thing. Reaper’s Revenge blew us away. Holy COW. What a sneak attack. I’ve had this happen before with Akron Ohio’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab.
The exterior looked harmless. But inside was pure insanity.
That is the case here. The attractions themselves are pure goddamn insanity. I’ve never seen a haunted attraction use these themes and a linear path and make something absolutely revolutionary.
But that’s what Reaper’s Revenge is – revolutionary.
Time to tell you why and get down with the boogity boogity!
The Haunted Hayride:
The Haunted Hayride was the best hayride I have ever been on, ever. Ever ever ever EVER! Each room was immaculately staged and they built up above eye level. I especially liked how they placed glowing pumpkins above and around us in one scene. It created a truly immersive experience. That logic and attention to detail transferred to every scene in all of the attractions. All hayrides I have been on until now have built only in a few directions and not felt like an immersive world. These guys outdid the big guys. They even put some creepy blinking eyes on the woods to create atmosphere. The CAN touch you in all of the attractions but will give you a glow necklace to wear if you don’t want to be touched. It was pretty funny because one guy they grabbed by his leg and dragged him across the cart.
I think a lot of the props must have been custom made because I haven’t seen most of them anywhere else. There was a particularly inspired zombie scene that I won’t spoil for you, but I whispered to Harknell “It would be perfect if they did… now.” And then 2 seconds later they did exactly that!
You’ll ride for a bit until you get dumped off in the woods and go through their clown/carnival attraction.
Much like the hayride, they managed to take a tired theme and make it something unique and special. I can’t even begin to tell you how well executed this attraction was. It felt like an old Silent Hill style amusement park. Each character engaged with you. There are house-like sections that you have to go through but also times when you may have to interact with the characters and play quick games that have hilarious outcomes. The old rides that they used in the attractions to create atmosphere made it something truly over the top. They scared the shit out of Harknell repeatedly in here, which is VERY hard to do.
After this you get back on the hayride for a second part that was just as amazing as the first part. Then you get dropped off at the next attraction, Pitch Black.
I am not sure I’ve ever liked a “lights out” style attraction. The reason why is that they are all an excuse for the attraction owners to go cheap on the visual look of their attraction. Usually it’s some asshole in a room banging pots and pans like a 2 year old while you go through an annoying maze that is boring as hell.
Well that wasn’t what happened here. This attraction did the unthinkable – they took this concept and actually made it work so well that it almost overwhelmed me to the eye watering point. I haven’t reached that since going through Dead Exposure at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 2008.
You will see almost nothing inside but you may hear and feel things as you find your way along. There are a few rooms that utilize a quick light and scare. It’s not boring, well planned, and executed flawlessly. This is the only lights out attraction that I have ever been in that feels like an added value and a perfectly staged piece of art. I had no idea this was even possible! At the end I was almost glad it was over because it was that intense. They did some fabulous work here!
The last attraction was just as amazing at the others. It felt a lot like my favorite movie, Escape from New York. :D
You start out watching a quick pre-show and then you are led into internment. You may be grabbed and put on a table, or locked in a cage or something in here. They have a pretty good rhythm down so it doesn’t slow anything down. You go through a hospital area, an alien area, and a ton of crazy rooms. At the end there’s a really screwed up flesh demon with a weird stalk head that was the most disturbing shit I’ve ever seen in my life. Congrats, guys. I’ll now have nightmares.
If you are into haunted attractions you should prioritize this one above the others – especially if you want to see haunted attractions that are truly immersively creative and not just a copy paste of what you’ll find on the floor of the haunted attraction trade shows and Halloween shops. I guarantee you that you will see thins that you have never been done before at this one.
To say that they impressed both of us is an understatement. I rarely see attractions that are staged this well with such innovative executions of their concepts and actors who are this skilled. We went to the gift shop and bought a ton of stuff – we only do that when we truly love something.
OMFG. DO THIS ONE!
Read more of my haunted attraction reviews here.
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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