When I went through this haunt last year, I was in a group that had small children in it. I thought at the time that was why the scares weren’t there. We were about to be sent into the haunt again this year with small children, so I asked the worker taking our tickets if we could go alone in case the actors toned it down for the sake of the kids. He was gracious and agreed.
I would say the majority of Massacre Mansion is animatronics and props. There were very few live actors. Only one in particular stood out and gave us a scare. The layout of this haunt is almost exactly as it was last year, including the opening “rules” video.
Only new addition that I saw was having to walk through a school bus at the end. It has props on it, but no actors at all.
Trail of Terror:
There were 3 middle school aged girls at the beginning of the haunt that were supposed to give us our rules. Unfortunately, they could not remember all 3 until we supplied them with the last one.
Toward the beginning of the trail was one of my favorite features of it from last year, which is having to walk into a beam of light. It is impossible to see anyone until they are right in front of you.
There were a couple of good actors during the trail, but the one who stood out to me the most was a rather large man asking me to hold his baby. He was menacing. Coupled with the fact that his scene was in a tight space, it was the highlight for me.
Although we truly did try to go slow, we caught up with the group of teenage girls in front of us. Unfortunately, this meant having to either hold back and watch the actors scare them, or invade their group in order to try to experience the haunt rather than watch it.
These two haunts are missing a level of sophistication that I feel is necessary to have a truly “high” scare factor. For every adult actor, there are at least 5 young actors. The young actors are great when it comes to those creatures who come out of the ground or chase after you in the ground cover costumes. And while a few can scream—really scream—most just don’t have the confidence, discipline or timing to deliver the terror.
Zombie Paintball Experience:
I had a lot more fun this year than I did last. Notably, the zombies were closer this year. Moving the live targets closer was a smart move for making it more entertaining. I know for a fact I got a couple of those guys right in the eye. Hardest part of this attraction is containing yourself in between live actors and not shooting at stationary targets. You receive 100 paintballs to start. 50 more will cost $5 and 100 more will cost you $10. I appreciate that the wagon slows down during the live actor scenes so you can really let loose on these poor souls.
Spider Hill has great concessions, plenty of restrooms and heavy adult staff presence outside of the haunts including security personnel. There is face painting and items to look at inside the pavilion. This is a great haunt for those who are leery of haunted houses and are scared before they even get out of the car.
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