Bloodshed Farms Fearfest, located roughly forty minutes from Philadelphia, PA is a “scream park” featuring a multitude of different attractions along with a carnival-like atmosphere with a variety of vendors, and extra activities. The attractions are managed by haunt veterans who have prior experience as volunteer and charity haunts and is popular in the area. The attraction’s advertisements and promotional videos indicate that the haunt is on the level of larger scale attractions, that are established and boast high production values. Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is many of the attractions still need more development and refinement to reach their full potential. Talented scare actors and a development team are focused on creating a quality haunted attraction that caters to haunt fans of diverse backgrounds.We witnessed the potential for this haunt to be something greater than the norm, and with a few minor changes in direction Bloodshed Farms can use its unique creative concepts as a foundation for a stellar haunted attraction. The attraction is poised for growth and we look forward to seeing its future!
Bloodshed Farms Fearfest features a variety of entertainment and food options. Food trailers and stands are located on the premises along with music and photo opportunities. Additional vendor games are unique to this attraction as guests may “Bash a Bear” a twisted take on the famous “Build a Bear” concept and smash a pumpkin for $5.00. The extreme “Blood Shed” experience can be purchased for an additional fee that allows people to see their friends be subjected to torment. A variety of entertaining character actors including a “creepy” mad doctor roams the premises and provide additional value to the attraction.
We found the “Bash a Bear” vendor, to be an especially creative take on a traditional concept and a great use of a twisted “mascot” that can be a staple for photo-opportunities and promotional activities. Furthermore, the “Blood Shed Experience”, torment chair was extremely popular, and guests were lined up watching their friends experience a unique “extreme” haunt activity. The open nature of each attraction hurts the level of immersion created by each attraction and this can be addressed with lighting/fog techniques. We have visited many tent based attractions in fields, and even parking lots that use lighting effects to transform the haunts atmosphere to completely make guests feel as though they are locked within permanent structures. Future developments should focus on using this twisted creativity and mature concepts to revamp their core attractions, to differentiate the haunt from its local competitors. It is important to note that due to time constraints we were unable to visit the hayride attraction. We were told, however, that an expanded hayride on a larger portion of land is planned for future seasons.
“Clownphobia” is a funhouse themed attraction featuring some of the stronger scare acting at Bloodshed Farms. Traditional carnival themes are found throughout the attraction including the generic female clowns who always seem to ask “want to play with me”, rooms of misdirection and pop-up style animatronics. Despite a generic feel to most of the attraction, there are some effective, twisted scenes and talented scare actors which should be the focal point of the attraction. The larger clown actors are aggressive, physical scare actors who do a great job at using their “characters” to create tension.
Demented clowns will taunt, lead you in wrong directions, use mature/adult language and are an indication that if this attraction adopts this level of scare acting and maturity it can stand out among other haunts. Furthermore, there are some creative, unique set designs that stand out in the attraction. A hallway of “rubber chickens”, and a room filled with “bubbles” and a giant rubber ducky highlight the creative potential of this attraction. “Clownphobia” is the strongest attraction at Bloodshed Farms, highlighting the creative ability of the design team to create a fresh experience on a traditional haunt concept. The dark carnival created by this attraction is lengthy with the strongest scare acting and diversity in scene design featured at the haunt. With a focused direction that aims to build off the attractions creativity, “Clownphobia” can clearly establish itself as the focal point at Bloodshed Farms Fearfest.
Trail of Terror
“Trail of Terror” is an outdoor walk-through attraction through a cornfield. The attraction has a lot of open space, with not much action in between shacks/set pieces. While character actors are hidden effectively within the corn-stalks, there is too much downtime in between scenes. “Trail of Terror” suffers from the same issues faced by similar cornfield walk-throughs as it is not a maze, just an easy to follow the path. While there are creepy set designs and some creative scare acting, we always were expecting more to happen along the journey. “Trail of Terror” is the weakest attraction at Bloodshed Farms Fearfest but has the space to create newer structures and creative scares that breathe new life into the tired cornfield maze concept.
“Hellsgate Asylum” is a quality “asylum” based attraction in an ever crowded “asylum” themed haunt crowd which is a victim of being simply too late to the scene. Asylum theme haunts require extensive details, and talented scare acting to be effective and while there is excellent scare acting in this attraction, details are lacking. We loved our interactions with various scare actors but after visiting a multitude of “asylum” haunts featured by larger attractions such as Dorney Park’s Haunt, to real abandoned institutions such as Pennhurst Asylum, the concept is somewhat played out. The attraction’s actors create a rapid, aggressive pace that is more intense from a fear creation which makes the attraction enjoyable. Actors do a great job at portraying the insane, from throwing themselves into walls, to chasing after guests there is a great passion for creating scares. This is an enjoyable, well-built attraction just features similar scenes that appear in almost every “asylum” haunt such as a demented dentist, a hallway of crutches, and mirror maze. We were told that in previous seasons this attraction operated as a prison haunt, and feel as though it may be best to back in this direction.However, our perspective on this attraction is partially influenced by our time visiting “real” asylum attractions and events that were established for multiple years. The set designs featured in this attraction are solid, and character actors do a fantastic job of creating to “insane” atmosphere. These scare actors need to be commended for their aggressive approach in jumping from structure to structure, along with constantly creating uncomfortable situations with guests. They inject high energy into this attraction and create a panic infused atmosphere.
The Final Word
Bloodshed Farms Fearfest is an enjoyable experience that has some hiccups regarding the level of quality among its three walk-through attractions which hinder the effectiveness of the more creative aspects of this show. There is great potential to be unlocked as the design team has implemented several instances of bizarre creativity that indicate that this haunt can become a unique one of a kind experience. Talented scare actors roam the corridors of the “Hellsgate Asylum” and “Clownphobia” attractions and should be utilized to help strengthen or retool the “Trail of Terror” haunt. The management and staff of the attraction are dedicated to creating a quality show and we look forward to seeing them continue to use new resources to grow, expand and refine their show. With a refined show that focuses on pushing new ideas and concepts such as “The Blood Shed Experience”, and “Bash a Bear”, this attraction to be one of the stronger “scream-parks” in the Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey region.