Friday, October 21, 2011

Backyard Haunt...Gone Bad

We try to keep a positive outlook when visiting haunts, especially when it is their first year as a professional business haunted attraction.  Sometimes there is just nothing that a positive outlook can do to save the review of a haunt.  Sherwood Forest, a new putt-putt and game facility, has a haunted attraction this year called Haunted Forest.  The location is in Conyers, Georgia and is relatively easy to find (though that's probably where the happy/positive thoughts from me end).  We regret to say that we feel we wasted our money going there...and the group of teenagers that went through with us felt the same way.  Teenagers!  They were very serious about how they felt that it had gone and it wasn't a good thing for the haunt.  These teenagers were well-spoken young adults who stood and spoke with the site manager, Darrell, when we stop to drop off our business card after the haunt.  We allowed them to state their thoughts before we did, and it was amazing how similar our thoughts were!  The manager tried to tell them that they were, "catering to little kids" at this haunt.  That's unfortunate since their website says, "not recommended for patrons under the age of 13."  Huh?  Seriously?  Do they even know who their audience is?

Oh, there's more.  Let's start from the beginning and I'll try not to be cruel.  We waited in line for the haunt to open.  The line was outside of the curtain for the costuming and make-up area.  That meant we saw everything before we even went into the haunt.  Not smart.  The make-up we saw needed serious improvements, but once we were on the trail we figured out that they weren't too concerned since it was hard to see outside.  The trail winds through a putt-putt course that they have taken over for the haunt.  We had to hold a rope that was too short, so we could all barely shuffle our feet in order to walk without stepping on each other.  The leader had a flashlight, but it didn't do any good beyond the first person.  You know how putt-putt greens are lined with those little red edging bricks?  Well, since it was hard to see them it was easy to almost fall over them or step off of concrete onto uneven ground.  I had to reach out to balance the guy ahead of me more than one time.  That's a big no-no when it comes to safety. 

I actually spoke to one of the staff members during the tour and he was raving about Netherworld!  Why are you talking about another haunt when you should be in character and trying to do your job at the haunt you do work for?  There were several times where actors came out of character to say hello to a friend in the group.  It made things just that much worse.

The regular admission for the haunt is $18, however we spent only $10 and still felt ripped off.  It's sad when the best thing about the haunt was the pet guinea pig named Wally that belongs to the game facility.  We give Haunted Forest and Sherwood Forest only one half of a severed head, and that's only because they might be okay for trick-or-treaters to go through.  Our scale goes all of the way to five severed heads, so be wary that we wouldn't even give this location one full severed head.  If you have a better experience there than we did we would love to hear about it.  If you had a similar experience we would love to hear that it wasn't just us.  To us it felt like a backyard haunt that had somehow gone terribly wrong.