Hellscream Haunts 2011

Scare FactorActingSets/FXLengthOverall
Kris88898.25
Ryan888108.5
Steve9101099.5
Kathie7810108.75
Alex G8910109.25
Justeen1091089.25
Alex K1098109.25
Marlena89687.75
Overall8.58.758.759.258.81

Kris Kropelnicki

Viral Shock actually has 3 parts to it with the main body of the haunt being in semi trailers and busses. Initially I was a bit skeptical but that was quickly put to rest. There is some great creativity and acting here that really exceeded my expectations.

The haunt starts outside on the Trail of Terror, a winding, sloping trail that has some stairs to navigate as well. Watch your step through here, it’s very dark in places and the footing can be tricky. This is true for the majority of the entire experience. There are some who would disagree with me, but I find tricky footing in dark areas exciting and frightening. It keeps me off kilter enough to keep my adrenaline high and my nerves jangled. It also adds to the authenticity; if I were really exploring old, creepy places, there wouldn’t be smooth, even floors.

Along the trail I encountered all manner of creatures and lunatics and some came crashing their way onto the trail in front of me. There is also a coffin shaped tunnel of sorts that has to be navigated and it was quite creepy.

Once I navigated the trail I emerged into a hay maze of sorts known as the Field of Screams. I worked my way around and through while fending off more beasts of the night. One had such an intense, scary growl I had to slow down so I could hear him do it longer. There are plenty of growlers out there, but this one had it down to an art! I also liked that the hay was fairly thick on the ground; it had a slightly squishy feel to it that added to the effect for me.

Once I entered Viral Shock I was immediately transported into another world; one filled with death and insanity on a whole new level. The entire haunt had a commune feel about it because of the trailers. The way they are set up I had to exit one trailer down wooden stairs and then wind around sets between trailers and then back up stairs into another trailer. It gave me the feeling that one by one, over time, some of the world’s most deranged souls had gathered here and slowly created their own demented, interconnected city. This for me was a bonus as it really added to the authenticity for me and gave me a feeling of unease as I moved through.

While some areas were a little sparse and lacked actors, this somehow reinforced the commune feel for me. I felt as if I was walking through the Spahn’s Movie Ranch after Charles Manson and the family had taken up residence. This really was a bizarre, creepy experience.

Getting locked in a cage with my group by a man who clearly had some issues was a great treat and there were numerous scenes that really had a lot going for them. One trailer seems to just have sheets hanging but keep moving and you realize two things; it is getter darker and darker the farther you walk into the trailer, and you are not alone in there. In the last shadows before pitch black you get a glimpse of a figure running past in a blur and the entire trailer is shaking and thunderous with the pounding footsteps.

Scenes between the trailers were well done and I particularly loved the area where the firm ground gave way to what felt like a combination of very think mud and quicksand. It really slowed me down and I had to slow down and really check it out because it felt so insane!

Body bags and blood smears can be found as well as a chainsaw wielding maniac in a very confined space made for some great chills and eye candy. Make sure and look under the trailers as you pass by the outside; you never know what may be under them.

This is a fantastic haunt that has a lot of intensity, creativity and unique scares and scenes. If you are headed to the Springs, make sure and drop in, I’m sure they would love to have you hang around for a while.

Pros: Sets, scare tactics, actors
Cons: Some loss of haunt flow between field and haunt; needs more cohesive transition

Ryan Acker

Hellscream Haunts is 3 haunts in one location and advertising as hosting “40 minutes of freak!” They are not lying. Our group made it through in about 35 minutes and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. When you walk up to the location you don’t see much. 2 trailers, some wood, and a bus were planted up on a hill and I was beginning to have doubts. As soon as we began walking those thoughts quickly changed.

The first attraction in this complex is known as Trail of Terror. You are suddenly greeted by a heavily wooded area with uneven ground which increased scare factor and I loved it. A few actors here and there ran out of bushes providing startle scares. However, the true scare came from the lack of lighting. Strategically placed lights lined the path but yet you still had a sense of danger as you wandered through dark and unexplored places. Also, a unique set which resembled a mine/coffin was found making this a much more enjoyable experience than I imagined.

The second attraction is known as Field of Screams. As you end the Trail of Terror you are greeted by stacks of hay. When I say hay, I mean a ton of hay. Nothing really happened in this area besides an actor popping up from the corners and also a chainsaw guy near the end. Personally, this was the least scary attraction that I assume is just there to add a few minutes to the overall Hellscream experience.

The third, final, and main attraction is named Viral Shock. This is by far the best attraction at the Hellscream haunts filled with unique ideas and good scares. This haunt is built in sections of trailers which gave the feeling of being in a colony overrun by mental patients. We were introduced as being experiments as we entered the haunt and I loved this. Fresh Meat is so overused and this was a great replacement.

This is one of the most uneven haunts out there in terms of the ground. Moving slow and cautiously is a must here as you climb up and down stairs and across trailers. This was great because it added a different type of scare factor that you might actually be injured if you took a wrong step. For being built in trailers this haunt actually contained some good details and effects. Being trapped in cages and wandering through sheets where the hall got darker and darker as you proceeded are only some of the things you can expect to find.

Actors were pretty good. Most of them were young, which seems to be the trend this year, but they provided some pretty good scares. Some climbed above you in a little metal cage and other booked it and shook the entire trailer. This haunt also contained many chainsaws but one man in between the trailers was really getting in his part banging the chainsaw against walls and the trailers actually making me feel threatened. Overall, I enjoyed this haunt! It taught me to really never judge a book by its cover. You can go through the haunt then walk across the parking lot and go play at Mr. Biggs! So if you have some time to kill I would definitely check this haunt out.

Pros: Uneven ground, atmosphere, the actual good use of a chainsaw
Cons: The hay, the lack of dialogue, some bad transitions

Steven Acker

Hellscream Haunts is comprised of 3 different haunts, Trail of Terror, Field of Screams and Viral Shock. The first 2 don’t have a whole lot to talk about, the first is a trail that goes through some woods with a couple of good scares and the Field of Screams is basically a path through hay bales with a couple of more scares…I realize he’s just starting out but he let a lot of great possibilities go here. Plus there is a great area to expand to in future years if he has access to this property.

The scares on Trail of Terror were very good with great actors and costumes! Mr. Moss guy blended in so well with the surroundings that you never saw him coming. I think he was just sitting on a log in front of us until we arrived there but we’ll never know for sure. A little further down the path you come up on a unsuspecting shack only to have the door come bashing down towards us with a great red-neck ghoul yelling at us. He wasn’t so much of a surprise with the shack and all but the door being bashed down was! Then you came to a great, oh how to explain this, coffin, tunnel type thing only it was long, curved and very narrow…better than air bags that you see in a lot of other haunts. Having a dead "bride" hanging from a tree was a great spook factor also! Very nice touch. The trail was very dark and pretty uneven so watching your step and trying not to fall leaves you open for these guys down this path!

Then you blend into the Field of Screams and I wasn’t real impressed with this area…you have your basic chainsaw guy that chases you around a bit, almost a little too much, and then you wait for your instruction while waiting to go into the inside section, Viral Shock. As we were standing there waiting to enter I was just looking around at some of the ghouls milling around when I looked up on a roof and saw a critter/spook climbing and snooping around, not really caring about us down on the ground but that was a very nice touch. I might not have even seen him if it wasn’t for a very bright moon…it really made me wonder what else may have been crawling around up there.

When we enter the first room inside I feel myself being pushed from behind…I look back wondering who’s being so pushy and I don’t see anyone/anything there but a chain link fence door being closed in on us and all of a sudden the 4 of us are prisoners!! OH GREAT! About the time they were letting us go a spook jumps on the top of our well enclosed prison from out of nowhere and gave us a good jump. The gags in this haunt include everything from a sheet room, complete with a shrieking girl that appears and disappears almost instantly, a great bathroom scene with a guy and missing body parts in the tub and a baby in the toilet, and a doctors office with a great singing crazy lady and babies nailed to the walls. When you go through here you come to a room with a really great strobe light and a very demanding ghoul asking you to answer an impossible question. Then came the great bus scene with some very crazy and wild women. One even drops in on you through the roof for a great scare! Then when you eventually exit and cross in front of the bus you get a very loud horn in your ear…I’ll be going "eh"? out that ear for a long time!!

Very nice haunt for being a new one…don’t be fooled into thinking it looked kind of corny like I did when I saw the semi trailors and bus up on the hill before going in. They did a fantastic job with what they had and you will not be disappointed going through this scare house!

Pros: coffin tunnel, sheet room, bus ghouls
Cons: too much dead space on Trail and Field, short handed staff and best gag not working this night

Kathie Holt

Hellscream haunts presents; the Trail of Terror, Field of Screams and Viral Shock. That’s right you get to enjoy three haunts for the price of one. This haunt is will take approximately 35 to 40 minutes to get through and it is well worth it.

You will begin on the Trail of terror where the terrain is a bit uneven and it is pretty dark which really gives you a feel of walking in the woods late at night and this is all in an outdoor setting. The actors on this trail will surprise you and scurry past you several times there are some great little props and effects out here with appropriate little sounds of the woods like owls hooting and wolves howling. There is a beheaded corpse hanging from a tree and she has lost her head. Then you will have to make your way through a coffin tunnel that is a bit tight and you it is very dark in there with genuinely gives you the feeling of being confined.

Once you get to the Field of Screams there is a little creature that growls at you and breathes right on your neck and he has a friend that is blocking your path so he can hack you up with his chainsaw. While attempting to maneuver your way through this maze of haystacks they will periodically change places and the growler will hold you up while the chainsaw man comes for your legs. There are a few miscellaneous actors hidden in the corners that will pop and give you a scare here and there as well. Once you have made your way through the field you will come to the door to enter Viral Shock.

This part of the haunt is most definitely intense and will keep you in total suspense. There is no sense of direction in here and one minute you are inside and the next minute you are back outside which was really awesome and they made great use of the outside spaces with coffins and dead bodies hanging from hooks and one section of ground that really makes you feel like you are walking in some seriously thick sloppy mud. There are some great rooms inside as well and you will be locked in a cage and you have to beg to get out. You will be climbing stairs while crouching down and all the while there is some loud thrasher metal playing with some intense strobe lights that will slow you down, but the guy in here wants you out. There is a room with black walls that bare little pictures with fleshy looking frames. The room of curtains was a favorite for me because they just keep coming and you almost feel like you are going downhill in here and then this little person will scream from somewhere inside the room and then run away really fast before you can spot her.

The doctor’s laboratory is filled with body parts and the books on the table are open to instructions on how to perform various surgeries, like the poor guy in the bathtub filled with ice to keep him alive after having his organs removed. This was a cool little urban legend scene. When you come up to the decontamination room there is a girl sitting in the corner singing at little song like ring around the demons, they will keep you screaming or something a bit creepy like that and then you run right straight into a little possessed girl sitting in the middle of the narrow hallway that you must pass through. She will eventually get up and start singing to you as well. Once you reach the contamination room, there is a half mutated soldier who will ask you a question that you must answer before you allowed to board the bus. Good luck getting it right. By the way the strobe lights in this room are timed perfectly to allow the actors to pop up right in front of you while you are being held here.

Once you reach the bus and make your way to the front you realize that you cannot get off and the girls on this bus will come at you from directions that you would never expect them to. When these crazy little infected freaks let you go, you will experience a few more startles before you reach the end. This haunt is definitely worth seeing.

Pros: Loads of entertainment for the money as I said it takes nearly 40 minutes to complete this haunt from beginning to end. There was not one spot where they wasn’t something going on. The actors here are great and play their respective parts very well.
Cons: I think there was supposed to be a doctor in the laboratory so hopefully if you go through the good doctor will be in. I liked the fact that you were frequently going from inside to outside but the first transition made me think that perhaps we had gone the wrong way because there was an exit sign which are generally located at emergency exits so be aware that is there an you are indeed on the right path. The Field of Screams was not filled with screams not did it really contain anything that would make me scream, however the rest of the haunt definitely makes up for that.

Alex Gallegos

I’ve never been to a haunted house in a trailer before and I’ll admit, I was skeptical about it when we first pulled up. But my fears were allayed… or more specifically my fears of a substandard haunt were replaced by genuine fears… and I was pleasantly surprised by everything assaulting my senses.

There are three attractions at Hellscream – the haunted path, the hay maze, and the big production itself, Viral Shock. The path in and of itself was pretty exciting – we had actors jumping out at us from every direction conceivable. One guy in a kind of yeti/wolf suit, circled our party several times and managed to thoroughly creep everyone out. The ground was uneven and the lighting was low, and that meant you had to watch where you were going at the expense of not being able to look out for actors, so it made their scares all the more intense.

From the path we were led to the hay bale maze, although I have to point out that with just one twisting path, it wasn’t a maze, just a way to go. Nonetheless, we had good scares in there too; a guy in a black suit had some of the best snarl/growl acting I have ever heard, and we also met a deranged doctor with a chainsaw. At one point without us really noticing or seeing how, the doctor and the growler switched, with one at the front of our line and another at the back. It was a really nice touch.

If there was one complaint about this section from me, it’s that the chainsaw actor was trying too hard. After this whole season, I’ve become pretty jaded about chainsaws and they don’t really get a reaction out of me so much anymore. Bless the good doctor, he kept trying, but it got old after a while. “Seriously dude, the chainsaw isn’t scaring me,” I thought. “I can’t hear anymore and you’ve been blowing hot unleaded fuel exhaust in my face for 5 minutes now. Give up, man.” Fortunately he did move on to other victims once we reached the trailer entrance.

There are actually three trailers and a bus parked in the field, and even though a trailer is pretty small the space is used so well that you’d think it was much larger. We ended up doubling back on our path several times and not really noticing because of the different floor levels all crammed in there. One of the trailers was filled with fog and lit a yellow-orange, almost making me think we were in a building on fire. It was terrifyingly real.

Transitions between the trailers were good too… one with a chainsaw wielding maniac, and another filled with sinky ground that certainly looked real, but that threatened to make you fall to your knees and crawl if you made a misstep. The only odd trailer was the second one, the hospital, where for some reason heavy metal is absolutely pumping from somewhere. What kind of hospital, even an infected one, pumps loud music over the intercom such that you can’t hear yourself think?

The last trailer featured a doctor cutting up patients, then a deranged military officer waiting for us to all clump up, then sending us to be “evacuated” on a bus also full of crazies. The odds of living at that point were pretty low.
I really loved the ingenuity of this haunt and can’t wait to see what they do with it in the future.

Pros: Fit so much into so little space, use of environment to add to creep factor, sound echoed through the whole trailer really well
Cons: Heavy metal trailer took me out of the mood somewhat, chainsaw guys were not scary but annoyingly persistant.

Justeen Walters

Alex Kratz

Just a quick preface, the Hellscream Haunts are technically three seperate entities, but I will be reviewing them all at once.

The first two parts of the whole experience, Trail of Terrors and Field of Screams, were good outdoor settings, but really didn’t feel like two different things. Together, they were both kind of short, but still really fun especially since it’s completely open and outdoors. The shadows and trees are great for the natural tricks they play on the eyes. There are really only a couple of real set pieces to see while walking the trail, but they still work well. Seeing the small shed on the side, I knew that something was going to pop out of it but I didn’t expect the whole door to come slamming down. It was actually a good scare for me. The acting along the path was a bit sparse, but really good. The actors had a nice intensity to get you pumped up. While I think the whole outdoor walk and scare thing is a great idea, there is absolutely no way to tell when Trail of Terror ends and Field of Screams picks up. They both shuffle you smoothly to the real treat of the Hellscream Haunts, Viral Shock.

Viral Shock was an insanely killer haunted house. I had never seen semi-truck trailers used like that, but it worked so well. The sets and scenes were diverse, but they all felt like they belonged together. Nothing felt terribly out of place, though I was having trouble discerning a strong theme from it all. It didn’t really matter because the sets keep you on your toes so well. Having to climb up and down in the tight spaces was a wonderful addition to the usual walking around. The bit that I loved best is right in the beginning of Viral Shock, when the door closes behind you, there is no where to go! Just a wire cage that you are stuck in. It’s a surreal moment when you notice there is no obvious path to follow. It’s only until the surprise actor decides to let you go and lifts the cage up.

It’s the acting that truly sparkled in Viral Shock. It was just an overwhelming and intense experience they delivered. It was very well paced so there were scares to had around all the corners. While everyone there was great, special kudos have to given to the guy with the gun towards the end. His role was so good and he played it with such force. It was incredible.

The Hellscream Haunts are all really good. This is definitely one of the must see haunts of the year. While the Trail of Terrors and Field of Screams parts feel a bit short, they are still really cool to have right before getting to see Viral Shock.

Pros: scary, intense acting, good scares, long
Cons: outdoor trail next to a parking lot with car lights on

Marlena Baker

The Hellscream Haunts are technically three different haunts that all feed into one another. Trail of terror was the start, taking us straight into the woods. It was dark, and that worked so well. The trail was creepy and uneven, throwing us off as soon as we started. The actors along the trail were enthusiastic and their costumes were amazing. It ended with the best claustrophobia moment I’ve had this year.

Then it was into the Field of Screams. The maze was made of hay bales and that was fun, the hay kept us from hearing the actors creeping through the maze. There wasn’t much there, though. No props, sparse actors, and a lot of hay. We did get to interact with some of the Viral Shock props and actors from the maze, but that was it. It’s not really long enough to warrant it’s own name, really.

Viral Shock is the real show of this haunt. It’s much longer, with a lot more to see and experience. Don’t let the outside fool you. They used the trailers very well. They built up some very good scenes both inside and out. There wasn’t a huge reliance on props, but they did use sound well. They used a variety of materials to build the scenes, not just plywood or plastic props, and that gave it more atmosphere. They even used insulation. Therefore, it didn’t feel so fake. It felt like a living situation that these people had hobbled together.

The characters that lived there were great. I saw insanity at it’s best. Instead of simply relying on screaming, or on the same lines everyone used, they had interesting, if crazy, things to say. They sang, they sat in dark corners, concerned with whatever it was they saw. Their moods changed in a heart beat. Some of them tried to trap us, some of them tried to get rid of us. The variety of characters was wonderful. I never knew what I was going to see next, but they all seemed to fit.

The Hellscream haunts are a wild ride. From the woods to the hay, to the trailers there’s so much going on. I got some really good scares at this haunt, and it was lots of fun. This is one that ends on a high note. The end was probably the best part of the whole haunt, which says a lot.

Pros: length, acting, layout
Cons: sometimes sparse, too many chainsaws