The Graveyard of the Damned was a cemetery walk that was solid but slightly less interesting.
Last year, the team from Events INSIDER went on a 10-day Halloween blitz! In October 2013, I visited 28 attractions to bring you reviews and information on everything Halloween in New England. We went indoors and outdoors as far north as New Hampshire, as far south as Rhode Island, and as far west as Connecticut. Don’t forget to visit http://EventsINSIDER.com, where we list more creative October events than anyplace else!
Haunted Acres is nothing less than a must see destination that deserves more praise than 5 stars can convey. Even before you enter Haunted Acres, you can explore two sites that are under different management.
The Haunted Zipline (5 stars, not run by Haunted Acres) does not have actors or spooky music, but it’s a 1,000 foot zipline at night. Are you getting this? A 1,000-foot zipline at night! It dips down at an angle so you accelerate as you jet out over a lake and have to (with gloves on) brake yourself before coming to a landing strip at the end. I would love to have seen some spooky music, spooky spotlights, or maybe some ping pong balls shot at me as I approached the end, to heighten the Halloween experience, but to be frank just zipping down and hoping that I could brake myself was about all the freaking out I could take. It was a perfect experience, with helpful staff, a comfortable harness that did not leave me fearing that I would never have children, and I only wish that I could have done it twice, because the first time you’re like AAAAAAA!!! and I think the second time you would really get to admire the beauty of the night. It really is more thrilling than scary and even if you think you won’t be able to do it, it’s really less scary than a roller coaster ride. You must try it, come on!
Unfortunately, the Zombie Apocalypse (1.5 stars, not run by Haunted Acres) I must insist that you avoid. I like to support the arts and unlike some reviewers I take no pleasure or ego boost in cutting someone down to size. Even the worst performances are somebody’s baby, and I understand that Thursday being a school night that the Zombie Apocalypse was understaffed. That being said, it was bad.
It began promisingly. Actors dressed as military men take you out into the woods as “survivors” and lead you through the forest. Zombies appear and the men shoot them. Pretty great, eh? Unfortunately, I never saw a zombie get shot because the lighting was not good and I had to keep watching my step, so I was looking down, not around. The forest trail that they led us across was uneven, and even at a walking pace, it took all my attention in the low light to find my way. Then they asked us to run. To really run. With all the stones, this was flat out dangerous and I have to hope that no one falls and gets seriously injured. I myself stubbed my toe on a tree stump, hard enough to bleed. When later on the bus someone else mentioned a footpath obstacle to one of the actors, he laughed it off, apparently unaware that tripping hazards are a bad thing.
I wish I could say that this was the only negative to Zombie Apocalypse, but unfortunately the patter of the military men was repetitive and boring. It switched between comedy and horror, defusing both of them, and involved quite a bit of waiting. At one point, one of the actors asked each man in the group whether he would die for his woman, surely an awkward and inappropriate question. (And maybe a bit sexist.) I asked whether the delays were to allow the actors (on a night when they were understaffed) to get into position but apparently not. All I can say, and I am sorry to say this, is that it has fantastic potential but was as poorly executed as I have ever seen an attraction. I even suspect that the men were firing blanks, because my friend Nick, who was in the military, said that he felt a shell hit his chest. If that is true that they are firing blanks, well, blanks are too loud and dangerous to use in a crowd of running people and they are entirely unnecessary for this attraction. Someone at Haunted Acres assured me that this attraction will not return, but I don’t know how solid that assurance was.
As for the real Haunted Acres, we found everything that we had been hoping for. The main area is a courtyard with a bonfire and a “pumpkin smash”. You could even get a grilled dinner there. You can buy VIP tickets bringing you quickly to the front of the line. The 5 attractions were: