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Fearfest 2008 Review

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Fearfest 2008
6512 Manchester Road
South Beloit, IL 61080

Visited: 10/16/08


Visibility/Location: A large illuminated arrow sign was posted on the main highway, telling you which way to turn.  Unfortunately half of the letters on the sign were red and since the sign was illuminated by a red floodlight, it was hard to read.  Had the letters been another color or another color of light been used, the sign would have been a lot easier to read.  There was an illuminated sign at the entrance and the bright lighting on the barn itself, as well as lighting on the silo, also got my attention. 
Wait Entertainment: On the night I arrived, there wasn't much for wait entertainment; however, there wasn't much of a line, so there really wasn't a need for any.   
Admission Price: Screamatorium: $10 
Haunted Barn: $8
Haunted Hayride: $8

Screamatorium: 12 Minutes *  
Haunted Barn: 11 Minutes *
Haunted Hayride: 15 Minutes
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.

Scare Factor: Screamatorium: Medium-High 
Haunted Barn: Medium-Low
Haunted Hayride: Low  
Crowd Control: Crowd control was good throughout the Screamatorium and the Haunted Barn.  I never ran into any other groups.      



The Screamatorium was the most intense of the three attractions at Fearfest 2008.  This haunted house was an eclectic collection of scenes, separated by dark hallways.  Most of the scenes had a moderate level of detail, while others were not as elaborate.  One of my favorites in this attraction was the medical area.  Upon entering the first scene, a mad doctor was working on a "patient", who was screaming for help.  To add to the atmosphere, there was a wheelchair, crutches, backlit x-rays on the walls, hospital gurneys and other assorted medical equipment.  I also liked the clown area with its fun house mirrors, creepy clowns and carnival music playing in the background.  There was another area that was nicely done, that reminded me of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

There were a couple of areas inside the haunted house where patrons had to walk up and down long ramps.  The attraction was actually built on a hill and the building itself followed the contour of the landscape.  I've never seen that done before.

Overall, it did feel like some of the areas inside the house were fairly plain or empty.  Having some additional detail and/or props in various scenes would have made for a more creepy atmosphere.  Any lack of detail, however, was made up for by the high-energy performances of the actors.  Some of them stalked you, while others attacked their own "victims" in the scene they were in.  Most of the scares were right on target.  

Haunted Barn:  

In the Haunted Barn, patrons had to weave their way through scenes with assorted themes.  The weathered wood of the interior of the barn really provided a creepy backdrop for this attraction.  The most detailed scene in the Haunted Barn had to be the graveyard.  In this area, there were multiple tombstones set up behind wrought iron fencing, which lined both sides of the walking path.  To add to the creepy feel of the scene, there were trees and cobwebs, as well as a casket with fog oozing out of it.  Passing through this area, patrons had to walk across a rickety bridge.  I also enjoyed the "Saw" scene, where they did a great job of replicating the famous bathroom scene from the movie.  In another area there was an open casket scene that was illuminated with red light, featuring a skeleton in a casket, which was adorned with black roses.  In the jungle area, there were low-hanging vines and animal sound effects playing in the background.  Other assorted scenes featured clowns, Frankenstein's monster, a bridge that rocked from side-to-side and more.  The energy level of this event was lower than what was experienced in the Screamatorium, but I really enjoyed the interesting and creative scenes, as well as the natural creepiness of the barn itself. 

Haunted Hayride:  

This haunted hayride consisted of a collection of simple scenes along a twisting path through the woods.  The path was marked at various points along the path with tiki torches.  In many of the scenes, strobe lights and fog were used to enhance the creepy atmosphere.  In one part of the hayride, the fog was so thick, you couldn't see two feet in front of you.  Along the twisting path, there were several areas where multiple actors would converge on the hay wagon. There were even a few actors who jumped up on the wagon, to scare the patrons.  This attraction was fun and since it wasn't overly intense, it would be appropriate for haunted attraction enthusiasts of all ages. 


This event provided patrons with an interesting mix of entertainment options.  With the varied intensity levels of the three different attractions at this location, they had something for everyone.  Overall, this event was very enjoyable and definitely worth checking out.  


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