Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Haunted Hollow in Valley, Alabama

Haunted Hollow

     On Friday, October 15, we took a road trip to Alabama to visit two haunts and review them.  The second haunt of the night was Haunted Hollow Funeral Home and Casket Company in Valley, Alabama.  We will admit that it was difficult to locate using our TomTom and factoring in road work that is being done in the area, but we had the same problem finding the first one we went to that night as well.  One of the reasons for having challenges in locating the event is that it is remote.  That's actually a good thing.  It is our experience that if a haunt can find a remote location for their site then they will be able to expand more easily, include scares that would not be permissible in a more highly populated area, and they can usually handle a higher volume of customers.
     We were told in advance that there would be a donation taken for parking by their local fire department, but they had already left for the night when we arrived.  The family that runs Haunted Hollow feels very passionately about being able to help out the firemen who helped them out several years ago when a fire devastated their family.  This is a wonderful way to give back to those types of heroes, so please remember your donation when you go.
    Haunted Hollow is a three part haunted attraction, consisting of three different mazes.  You won't find any hayrides or other events tossed in to distract you here.  Your full focus will be on the haunts.  Since we were allowed to go through the three mazes in any sequence we chose we started with The Village.  This particular haunt was what we considered to be the very best one there.  It's more than just the scares, it's the entire environment.  Let's just say you should dress for whatever the weather is and wear tennis shoes.  We won't give away info that might spoil it, but those two things are a must in our opinion.
     The next haunt for us was Spinal Tap.  Um, we got confused here.  Linking the name and website description with what we experienced was a challenge for us, but that happens all the time with haunts.  Factoring out the name of the maze we can focus on the experience itself and fully admit that they got us good a few times.  That's so rare that we have to state it clearly here and own up to it.  This winding trail takes you through a variety of scenes that leave you wondering what in the world you just went through.  That's probably a good thing.
    The final haunt there was the first one built, Finn's Funeral Home and Casket Company.  The introduction scene takes a bit longer than it needs to for you to get the background information, and that takes you out of the experience a little bit.  Once you are moving the theming of the event is remarkably well done and the actors know what they are doing.  Of course, they should know what they are doing as hard as "Spookyman" (the owner) has worked to train them.  Each actor is required to attend "scare school" and watch a lengthy video on haunt scares before they can begin work.  If they can't survive that then they can go somewhere else to haunt.  The owners maintain a high level of expectations for their staff, while creating a wonderful environment to work in.  Though many of the actors and staff are family members, that doesn't effect the level of work ethic that is required here. 
     In conclusion we have rated this entire experience with four severed heads out of five.  Fabulous theming, great acting, and a pleasant experience with the staff made up for the difficulties in locating the facility.  Check them out at their website, which we have linked above, or on Facebook.