Review of the
2015 Midwest Haunters Convention:
Haunt Tour: Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres
By Jennifer Drendel
Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres – May 29, 2015
As if attending Midwest Haunters Convention wasn’t exciting enough by itself, this year we added a trip to the infamous Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres to our MHC itinerary on Friday night. Considering it was advertised as a haunt tour and after party, we were looking forward to the following highlights (source www.midwesthauntersconvention.com):
- Transportation to and from the Convention Center to the Haunted Hoochie/After Party
- Entrance to the Haunted Hoochie
- 2 Drink Tickets to be used towards Draft Beer
- Dry Snacks
- Roasted Marshmallows
- Live DJ (Provided by the Zombie Army Bus)
- 2 Raffle Tickets for Door Prizes
- Cash Bar (All Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Central Ohio)
- Food Available for purchase
The buses to Dead Acres started leaving the convention center at 8:30 p.m. At about 10:00 p.m., we arrived at the pickup location and caught a school bus to Dead Acres. It was about a twenty minute bus ride to Patatskala. We turned off of the highway and into a large field, which appeared to be a large parking lot for the customers during haunt season. We were dropped off at the entrance, and we were directed to the ticket booth. We found ourselves on a farm setting; complete with a big barn, a shed and an unlit fire pit. The Zombie Army bus was near the fire pit, but it was not as animated as it usually is. Actually, the lights were off and there was no music coming from it. A beer cart was near the bus, where the two complimentary drink tickets could be redeemed. In lieu of tips, they were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald house, which was very commendable.
While waiting in line for the haunt, we watched a large screen on the barn which played music videos and, disturbingly enough, footage of September 11th. If getting under people’s skin with 9/11 footage was the intention, the goal was achieved. I personally thought showing victims jump off of the World Trade Center on a large screen for “entertainment purposes” was disrespectful and distasteful. Yes, Haunted Hoochie. It’s still too soon. In addition to the video, there was a cage dancer, a flame thrower, a dragon and tons of graffiti on the walls to keep guests distracted.
Once inside the barn, we were lined up to witness the first of many enactments of heinous violence and/or death. Being pushed (literally) through the haunt by the energetic and intense actors, we found a suicide, dismemberment, domestic abuse, and many other disturbing scenarios that Haunted Hoochie prides itself on. They advertise everywhere that they are not for the weak of heart, and they are not exaggerating. I was pushed, pulled, hit with a chainsaw, called names and called out. I loved it. I loved every second of it. The scenes were detailed, the lighting was spectacular, the effects were brilliant, the atmosphere was dangerous and the actors were dead on. After exiting the barn, we were given 3D glasses and directed to a nearby shed which housed the second haunt. This haunt was a 3D clown themed assault, which started off as a quiet walk through and gradually escalated into a loud, in your face attack. The artwork and detail were great and the scares were solid.
For the most part, our trip to Dead Acres was enjoyable. The haunts themselves were impressive and it was nice visiting with other haunters. However, we were disappointed with the “After Party”, or lack thereof, as advertised. There was no DJ or music near the Zombie Army bus, which was unfortunate because I would’ve loved to drown out the rap music coming from the barn periodically. The fire pit was not lit, so there was no bonfire and no roasted marshmallows. I didn’t see any snacks and I don’t recall getting raffle tickets. Normally, things like this don’t bother me, but the tickets to this event were $99.00 per person. Nearly $100.00 for a visit to a haunted attraction, a ride on a school bus and two beers was a bit of a rip-off. I’m glad I finally got the chance to witness the crazy called Haunted Hoochie, but I highly doubt we’ll be back after our overall experience.
(Click on any of the
pictures below to enlarge)