99 Stehman Road
Lancaster, PA 17603
I have been waiting for over 20 years to go to this haunt, ever since I worked at a horrible hayride called RichLynns Hayride in Kutztown I have been hearing about Jason's Woods. So in 2013, I finally got it together and got my buddy Psydde and drove out to Lancaster from Philly which is no short trip. Poor Psydee did not know what he was in for, especially since he has never been to a haunted hayride. After driving around back roads following the gps and small signs with arrows indicated Jason's Woods, we saw a field with lights and did not realize that was the place. So after 28 years they still have not fabricated a sign... I knew we were in trouble.
The first problem with the haunt is that there is a lot of confusion as to where to go. We finally were directed to the ticket area that had a mausoleum next to it that seemed like it was fabricated with cardboard or borrowed from a Spirit Halloween store. We made our way to the nice lady wearing the pink Cape May shirt (28 years and no uniforms/Jason's Woods t shirt?) to get our tickets. This haunt only takes cash so we used our coupons we got at Wawa so the price was fairly reasonable especially for a Friday night mid season.
The First thing we were directed towards was the Grand Jason's Woods Theatre which was a large prefab steel building with an inflatable front fabricated to look like a theater marquee. I felt like we were heading into a giant bounce castle. I can't figure out why they use the inflatable fronts in general unless they use the building for storage of corn or grain in the off season. So, anyhow, we continue down a hallway that has movie posters of classic horror films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, My Bloody Valentine, etc. and we enter a giant room with a small video projection in the center. We all huddle up to the screen and we see a figure that looks like Freddy Kruger heading towards the crowd but it only turns out to be a random zombie. We then hear the horrible shrill of a woman with a microphone screaming and instructing us various things, but the only thing I can think of is this woman's voice was making me glad I would never have to hear it telling me to take out the trash. After the various ramblings of this screaming girl they began to show us homemade trailers of their versions of various horror movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, only they have juvenile actors and actresses that can barely keep from laughing. It almost seemed like they were showing us a high school student's final video project that they might have got a c+ on. I kept zoning out on these videos and then they got our attention focused on the back of the theater where there sat a huge alien that began to pound on a human that was hanging from the alien's hand. This looked cool but was all pretty pointless and a total waste of a huge building, a huge animatronic, and our valuable time on this planet. They soon began to tell us to leave but nobody knew they were serious and then we all began to leave the building. I had to laugh but I really did remember all of this and as I am typing I am filled with glee to further describe how horrible this haunt was.
The next place we were ushered into was the Chamber of Horrors, which was another prefab building with an inflatable front. We enter and I noticed right away that the scenes had no ceilings and the maze is composed of particle board painted black. This is a sign of a terrible haunted house mainly because of the texture of the particle board and the various animatronic scenes that need enclosure to create the vision. For example, they had a staircase that led to nowhere and a door at the top, where a animatronic creature is coming at you down the stairs. This does not work if the stairs lead into the air. It's just really low budget, and they spent money on various animatronics but no real set designs or scenes, just basically animatronics in black rooms with minor details. There was a row of rooms in this building that made no sense at all. They had a guy being electrocuted which was the most realistic looking one I have ever seen, if I only didn't hate this stunt it would of been great. And then the next room was a giant robot in outer space and then onto a female mental patient locked in a cage. So we just went from an execution to space to an asylum. The continuity was terrible and it was almost as if they didn't care or just didn't know how to create a vision. My favorite section was at the end where they had a butcher/killer and body parts on a rotating chain carousel which for some reason I liked. I also liked that in the beginning they had this really fat disgusting guy who was bed ridden. That scene, even though disgusting, showed a little personality.
After we went through the haunted house, we loaded into a wagon and began our adventure into the hayride. This has been around since 1985 and I was excited to see this hayride that has been around for 28 years. The first scene we came upon was a person in a trailer and a flash of propane fire warmed us up for a moment. Then we came upon a campsite where hobos attacked the wagon. Next we came upon a hobo in a cage above the wagon, he said a few words, then informed us he did not feel well and spit water all over the wagon. This was pretty gross and my neck got a glob of that water. These beginning scenes were pretty lame but we passed a sign that said camp Crystal Lake and I thought this is it, finally the Jason scene, this is going to be great. Our wagon stopped in front of a cabin and from a distance we all saw a dark figure in a trench coat come out of a door and head to the wagon. He yelled and hit the wagon and walked away. I didn't realize at first that it was Jason, he was wearing the later version dark hockey mask and a trench coat. When did Jason ever wear a trench coat? This was such an anti-climatic and poorly done Jason scene for this to be called Jason's woods... I mean JASONS WOODS!! I want to see a 12 foot Jason or Jason jump from a barn into the wagon with strobe lights... or something. I mean if you are going to rip off one of the greatest slasher movies of all time, do it big time ... especially if you are called Jason's Woods! This was crazy bad, but anyhow, going on with the hayride.
We proceeded into the hillbilly moonshine scene where the hillbilly warns us to stay away and fires a cannon at us and lights up more propane fire blasts. We go through a couple barns with various scenes like aliens, but they are poorly acted and poorly done and the alien just looks like a guy with a mask, so the poor girl is never going to convince us he is really an alien. They don't really have many animatronics except for random dinosaurs that pop their heads out at you at various places. I kept asking myself, "Is this Jason's Woods or Jurassic Park?" They do have a lot of trailers and some old cars that honk at you when the wagon goes by. They must have just opened... maybe next year they can put some profits back into their hayride.
We then went into the Lost in Jason's Woods attraction where we basically walk the woods that runs along the hayride. So basically, we are walking back to the main area along where the wagons went. The most notable things besides walking in a dark woods were seeing Freddy Kruger, the Pumpking, a couple campsites with bad soundtracks, an inflatable bladder in a trashbag hobo house, and a guy hiding in a spider hole wearing a gillie suit and yelling to scare you when you walk by. That was mainly all I could remember. I did have fun joking around with the girls in front of us and was amazed they were scared, but I guess the dark will do it.
After that we were sent to the Pirates Revenge which had an entrance done up like the front of a pirate ship and it was not inflatable...wow that was different. This ride is in 3D and I guess every haunt needs to have the 3D stuff so this one was all about pirates. They had the old school carnival/funhouse style stunts behind chicken wire and 3D painted walls with various designs and nautical themes. This was more like a generic funhouse from the 80s with 3D and had about 2 actors because I saw the same skeleton pirate captain like 5 times. This ride was fun, but it just had the bare basics and was more suited for a carnival. This brings us to the Carnival of Fear which was housed in a giant carnival tent. We walked into a maze of chain link fence and dark mazes with no lights and maybe one or two stunts where actors scare you. They said that this ride was in darkness and they were not kidding. I would say that 75 percent was in darkness and the rest was in a chain link fence maze. The best part was they had a Cushman Mailster with Jason's Woods painted on the side. I asked the one girl clown if she knew what the vehicle was called, but she had no idea. I always liked Cushmans and those Mailsters you never see.
This concluded our trip to Jason's Woods. While we were walking out kids were dancing to a band doing country versions of popular songs. Don't get me wrong Jason's Woods, I love all haunted houses and I had fun, but the rest of industry has caught up and passed you guys. I would say Field of Screams is one of the best in the area and they are up in Lancaster also, so I would start revamping your haunt before you guys get left in a pool of your own blood.
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