Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Season of the Shadows Haunted House at the North Georgia Corn Maze 2012

                Are you afraid of the dark?  Do you hate creepy crawly critters? Does not knowing where your next step will land make you question moving forward at all?  If these sounds like a night on the town to you then perhaps you should check out Season of the Shadows Haunted House at the North Georgia Corn Maze in Cleveland, Georgia.  This location has a corn maze, hayride, children's area with petting zoo, and the haunted house.  We took our chances on this event on Saturday, September 29, 2012.  We learned a few lessons on our trip, but we will get to that in a moment.

                The North Georgia Corn Maze is a part of a package deal which can be purchased at this attraction, and is definitely not something to overlook.  It had the most difficult terrain of any corn maze we have been to.  We were very grateful for the map, or we might still be wandering around in the tallest corn we have ever seen.  There are some pretty serious hillsides within this maze, so be prepared to really put some effort into it. The music that is piped through the speakers helps to make the time go by quicker, even if you do get lost for a while. If you find each of their hole punches within the haunt then you can go to their website and enter a contest to win $100 cash.

                The hayride is about ten or fifteen minutes long and takes you on a path through the cattle pasture.  We aren't exaggerating when we say that there are cows getting up close and personal with you.  There was even one that was blocking the road for our tractor for a moment.  Also at this event there is a petting zoo within the children's area.  It doesn't appear to cost any extra for the petting zoo, though we never did figure out where the little girl near us got her cup of pellets to feed the animals with.  The other events within the children's area did appear to have some extra cost associated with them, so be aware of that if you are taking children.  They even have two bonfires that are perfect for making some smores while watching the movie of the night that they project.

                The haunted house itself is a classic lesson for all: don't judge a book by its cover.  The outside of the haunt is very deceptive looking.  We saw it and expected it to be a cheaply done and unprofessional, but we were mistaken.  Though they are obviously working with a limited budget, they are doing it right.  This is the first haunt that we have seen in a while that knows how to do "dark" right...even in daylight hours.  They opened just moments after six o'clock, while the sun was still up.  This would usually never happen for a haunt that has any exposed spaces.  They managed to open almost exactly on time and provide areas within that were so dark you couldn't see where the nearest wall was, let alone where your next step might land you.

                The people who put together this haunted attraction really thought through what they were doing.  The first room is very detailed with its image.  Other rooms had just enough lighting to let you know that there were details for you to become more involved in the scene.  The textured floors, frightfully active elevator, and honestly incorporated creepy critters all combine to make this experience even more powerful.  This haunt may be short, but it certainly isn't sweet.  Rather you scream or cringe in terror you will find something to react to within this house. 

                Season of the Shadows is more like a "find your way in the dark with a guide" rather than a traditional maze haunted house.  The guide is essential, as there are actual dangers along the way due to the lack of lighting in spaces that require you to step up or down.  The unfortunate side effect of having a guide is that you may feel somewhat safer, and even more secure when you realize that you have to be in contact with others as you walk through like a human caterpillar.  Being first in line will certainly give you a different experience than being within the group. 

                Everyone has different opinions about haunts and we love to talk to people that are also attending.  On the ride from the haunt to the gate we spoke with a lady who had gone through with us about her opinions.  She did mention that she liked it better than Netherworld because it messed with her mind more.  This is a pretty high compliment in our opinion.  Our opinion led us to our rating of 2.88 severed heads, which had us asking what the heck happened to that head?  We averaged our two very different opinions and ended up with a bizarre rating.  We do feel that this whole experience is worth a trip to the mountains, while you're out to see the changing of the leaves.  Enjoy it after you wander through the corn.