It has been 10 years since I have been to Kersey Valley Spookywoods in Archdale, NC, but I remember it being fantastic. Now, here I am 10 years later it and it has just gotten better! The first thing I noticed from driving into Spookywoods was the amount of parking that had been added since I was last there and that they had scare actors walking through the parking lot interacting with patrons who were walking towards the ticket booth. In a sense, you are fully immersed in the experience of Kersey Valley Spookywoods from the second you get out of your car until you get back in it to leave for the night.
Owner Tony Wohlgemuth chatted with me for a bit about the background of the haunt. It was all started when he was a young child camping on the 60 acre farm that Kersey Valley Spookywoods sits on. Tony and his friends used to have sleepovers in one of the old abandoned tobacco barns on the property. They would be resourceful and use power from the old abandoned farmhouse by them. One night they lost power in the tobacco barn and dared each other over who would go into the old farmhouse to restore power. Their dares continued on to see who could scare the other the most about entering the old farmhouse and that sparked their idea of the haunted attraction.
While visiting Spookywoods there are eight different haunted attractions you will venture through. You will be walking through haunted houses, haunted trails, corn fields, and manor houses so make sure you bring comfortable shoes.
Since Kersey Valley Spookywoods is on a large amount of acreage, there is a tram ride to get you from the haunted house to the haunted trail. They don’t just drive you there, they put scary clowns on the ride to heckle you and watch out, there could be others hidden in the woods to scare you. The actors really get into their roles and the clowns were pretty terrifying with their makeup and costuming, which made it all the more fun and scary.
The haunted trail was one of the best parts of Spookywoods. The lighting and props really make this part very eerie and creepy. The scares were a mix of actors (some on bungee cords), props and animatronics. All throughout the trail the actors were there to distract you from the inevitable scare you were about to get so you were not just waiting for it. There was even a pretty terrifying cat. While walking through this area one of the people behind me got scared and yelled out. Everything was well hidden until it was supposed to be seen and I wish this part was longer because it was great!
Next up you have the haunted corn maze which I had been anticipating, as it was my favorite part of my original trip to Spookywoods all those years ago. The corn maze was a lot of fun; it has lots of turns and could easily go down the wrong path but they make it easy to get back on track. Actors were hidden to scare or just creep you out and there is a giant tower in the middle that would randomly spew fire, which added to the creepiness of the area.
Once you come out of the corn field you see a very foreboding looking house, which is Kersey Valley Manor. The sets in this part were what caught my eye before anything else; they looked really great and you could tell they were really well planned and thought out. The acting through the Manor was hit or miss. I hit a lot of the parts when the actors were either resetting or not there. The interactions and scares that I did catch scared or surprised me.
The manor house then transitions to the outdoor areas which are the Deadman Tell No Tells, Asylum and Mutant area. The transitions to each area in the entire attraction are great and you get immersed in the area and a good idea of each story behind them. The actors did their best to scare or distract you for the upcoming scare you were about to get. Some of my favorite actors/scares from the night were the plant person (yeah this one got me, dude really scared me), the weeping angel statue was creepy and the girl playing her did a fantastic job, and then all of the people in the pirate area. I really have to say that was one of the most memorable areas, everything was just on and fantastic there!
Kersey Valley Spookywoods employs a lot of its workers all year long, according art directors Amber and Joh, each year in November they start prepping for the next year. Whatever props they buy are altered and made completely original. They create original makeups, all costumes are made in house or are altered and weathered, and the sets are custom made on location. The music is created and mixed so what you hear while you walk through is original to that specific area and it is all top-notch and amazingly executed. The actors themselves were fantastic. Their characters are alive and real while you walk through the trail and they all stay in character. The actors do not touch you, but they will get in your face and interact with you. As I walked through the “Dead Men Tell No Tales Area” one of the ghost pirates drunkenly walked up to one of the people in front of me, looked at her and then burped in her face. This area was definitely creepy and there to disorient the people walking through and to help them calm down from the last scare they had before they walked into other areas where there were more intense scares.
Kersey Valley Spookywoods is located in Archdale, NC and is open through November 13th on the weekends. They do have Lights-Out events in November, where groups of 8-10 can venture in with just a tea-light. Tickets are $25, and they do offer discounts for groups. The attractions are recommended for ages 12 and up.
Read more 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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