Valley of Terror
1215 Unionville Wawaset Road
West Chester, PA 19382
This was the last haunt I attended last season, and I literally caught the last military vehicle and wagon on the last night of the 2013 Halloween season. I went with a couple of friends on a cold night in November and when we arrived we were the only customers entering the haunt. We were instructed to go to the Zombie Safari first, so we headed to the military vehicle and sat down on the bench seat in front of a row of paint ball guns. We were excited because none of us had ever shot paint balls before and we knew one of the human zombie targets and wanted to begin to hunt him down. This set up was unique and I had never been on a ride like this before.
After we put on our safety glasses, the person acting as a drill sergeant began to give us instructions on shooting and various other points and tips. We proceeded to go through various scenes with human zombie targets with helmets that we shot at a number of times. There was a fake town, several trailers , concession booth, and such filled with human zombies we pelted numerous times. This ride was not so much scary, but sort of a fun unique experience.
We were then instructed to go to the Forsaken Forest which would lead us to the hayride. We walked to the white building where we were guided into a inflatable air bladder that led into a tiny strange area with maniac actors popping out from here and there and a spattering of basic stunts before we were led into the woods. We began down a hill where we came to a wooden shack that gave us the feeling we didn't want to enter, but of course we did and were confronted with crazed actors jumping out at us and singing "you are my sunshine" in a death metal Marilyn Manson tone while we walked through a dark maze. We proceeded to another shack where we were confronted by a lunatic photographer and a giant teddy bear that came to life. We then got into the back of a prison bus where it was filled with fog and you couldn't see anything. As we exited the bus we were led into an area that a couple chain-saw maniacs attacked the one girl I was with, and as we made our way past them my other friend had a look on her face like she was going to have an anxiety attack. Several actors and actresses followed us through out this area, notably the chain-saw manic with the white blood spattered mask and the girl in a straight jacket. This section of the haunt had a gritty feel that most of the bigger haunts don't have and the actors and actresses really go the extra mile to drive home the creepy and manic feelings.
We finally came to a faux stone archway where we began to enter the hay-ride. We climbed aboard the wagon with several other people and this one guy with a mask sat in-between me and my one friend where he then began to rub her foot and place it under his body. It was strange but thankfully he disappeared and the hay-ride began. I remember at an early scene in the hayride our wagon was attacked by several chainsaw maniacs, and most hay-rides have this type of scare but the actors began to pretend to cut apart all the people on the hayride and everyone was playing along. This went on for like 10 minutes and the exhaust from the chain-saws began to burn my eyes it got so bad. The beginning scenes that stuck out in my head were a skeleton peeing water, a giant animatronic speaking Satin in a dark creepy voice and an old saw mill scene. I remember a hanging scene where there was an actor telling the wagon he killed his wife. Then we went into a cemetery with a hearse that was poorly lit because I barely recognized it as a hearse, but the cemetery was well done with faux mausoleums and gravestones. Next, we went into a barn that was done up like a church. After that, we came on a burned or collapsed church that looked amazing. This set was built by Dead House Designs and was pretty impressive. They also had a giant animatronic grim reaper that was speaking at the end of the scene. Not too long after that, the hay ride came to an end.
I can say that what this haunt lacks in over the top stunts, it's making it up with quality scenes built by the best in the business and manic actors that give it their all. This haunt does not have the biggest flash and bang, but it does have some gritty moments and madcap scenes and a creepy scare factor. This is overall a solid haunt and in a couple years might be a major contender in the local haunt scene.
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