7900 Crystal Ridge Road, Franklin (The Rock Sports Complex)
Fear factor: 4
Review: The haunt is so scary and intense that the owners keep a “pee meter” — last year, eight people had accidents, and this year they are going for more.
This haunt brings it all: It’s outside; it’s wooded; it has a great story; it has dozens of actors with face paint (and not the cheap masks that you find at some other haunts); and most of all, it has in-your-face actors.
Most people are warned in the beginning of haunts that the actors won’t touch you if you don’t touch them.
Well, on this haunt, I was bumped, touched and even experienced tiny shocks by some hanging wires after witnessing an execution — and I loved it. In addition to seeing an electrocution, you witness a beheading, cannibalism and zombies crawling toward you out of the dark woods and jumping down at you from above.
The flashing strobe lights are just enough of a distraction to keep you blinded so you can’t see what’s coming next.
First, you enter the haunted trails Failed Escape, where mutated hillbillies who are shunned by the public show they have attitude and don’t want you wandering into their turf.
The interaction is great, and their humor has sadistic intentions. These characters are so in-your-face that you can smell what they had for dinner. In Hunger Hollow, mutated inhabitants confined to a landfill have a hunger for flesh — especially yours.
In one scene, you follow a demonic child to a devilish figure who tries to raise the undead in a coffin. The flames indicate that he may be successful.
If you have a fear of heights, the Scare Lift will make you grab on tightly to the person next to you, particularly when you view the crash scene.
The 3D Zombie Maze tests your puzzle-solving skills as you try to find your way out while beastly clowns jump out from the walls.
This haunt has a beer tent at the bottom of the haunt and at the top of the hill; there’s also an umbrella bar that offers a great view.
Best scene: While you are on the Scare Lift, you look down and see the remains of the four missing victims who were killed in a chair-lift accident. At night with the moon shining, with the bodies below in the grass, it’s pretty impressive.
Best line: One of the many cannibal hillbillies told me he liked my dreadlocks: “Oh, I like that. It’s so pretty. I bet you use that beeswax.”
Novice rating: 4. “Man, this was pretty good. You see how I’m sweating. You didn’t know what to expect and when that guy dropped down out of nowhere…,” said Tyrone Wilson, 35, of Chicago.
Dates: Oct. 25-26, Oct. 31-Nov. 1
Hours: 7 p.m.-midnight
Admission: general pass, $25; VIP pass at the door, $35
Children’s matinee: No
For-profit or charity: For-profit