Location: 1600 Church Road Mountain Top, PA 18707
Web Page: http://www.fearhollow.com
Fear Hollow is best described as an “old school” classical funhouse style haunted attraction that uses its custom-built design to generate moments of genuine fear. There is a certain sense of danger around every single corner and a true “reality” to the development of this attraction. As we made our way through the various passageways and trailers, the dark foreboding atmosphere created adds a level of “believability” to the haunt itself. Fear Hollow “feels” dangerous, and this is a powerful psychological tool that adds a sense of uneasiness around each corner.
At times, it is easy to forget that this is just a haunted house, adding a layer of authenticity not found in many commercialized haunts. Fear Hollow harkens back to a classical era of haunted attractions and is built to disorientate, confuse and generate fear in a variety of ways. Fear Hollow is not as large, or refined as mainstream attractions but makes up for its size with its gritty presentation, and custom built “funhouse” atmosphere.
The structural design of the attraction generates a classical amusement park feel effective at conveying a feeling of being lost within an abandoned facility of terror that is designed to transmit non-stop intensity. Some of the scenes and sets at Fear Hollow are far more mature than others, from a suicidal clown to being trapped in a cage at the mercy of a murderous psychopath, there are adult elements throughout each attraction. Fear Hollow aims to generate scares, using an effective mix of “startle” scares and modern special effects with an aggressive soundtrack.
Fear Hollow has reconfigured its design to eliminate the “Deadwoods Haunted Trail.” Certain scenes/sets from this former attraction are now built into the “Mayhem on the Mountain” core attraction, but this does cut down on the overall length of the time spent at Fear Hollow. Haunt fans will appreciate the unique set designs and interactive rooms not found at many mainstream haunted attractions. The theatrics portrayed by various scare actors creates an entertaining “show” aspect to the haunt which no longer relies on scare actors who would just scream and yell, and we hope management can lengthen the show next season. Fear Hollow’s team is passionate about Halloween, creating a carnival-like atmosphere that while not on the same “production” level as many larger haunts, is perhaps scarier due to its gritty presentation. Despite a few setbacks and logistical challenges, Fear Hollow continues to present an independent, one of a kind show that deserves your support and has immense potential for future seasons. With some minor design changes, this can be a genuinely terrifying experience.
Mayhem on the Mountain
Fear Hollow’s core attraction is “Mayhem on the Mountain” a mostly indoor haunted house that is best described as an interactive funhouse, featuring custom built scenes, mini-mazes and interactive scare actors who use a sense of being “alone” to augment fear. The attraction starts off with a visit to a fortune teller who conjures up a rather dark spirit, and the actress does an excellent job at setting up the initial trip through a slightly confusing maze. Extensive dark passageways lead to detailed set designs that feature classical jump scares such as moving floors, drop scares, etc. coupled with the impressive use of special effects and a heavy metal inspired soundtrack that creates a constant distraction.
“Mayhem on the Mountain” features two of the most intense, disturbing scenes that go beyond expectations at a smaller haunt. Along the journey, we encountered a demented suicidal clown, who told us a rather deadly “joke.” After we visited an outdoor pitch-black dark maze, we found ourselves locked in a chamber which is best described as an escape scene/situation. As lights were suddenly shut off, were locked in a cage, subjected to periods of darkness, slow blinding strobe lights, heard the screams of a helpless girl and then victimized by an insane psychopathic scare actor.
“Mayhem on the Mountain” is primarily the same show as it was last year, but has combined elements of the former “Deadwoods Haunted” trail into its show. This season brings the return of a disturbing “hospital” ward scene, featuring a talented scare-actor who plays the good “Doctor.” The “Doctor” is one of the more entertaining scare-actors of the season, engaging us in a violent game of “this little piggy” while waiting to “murder” his victim. The up close and personal display of insanity displayed by this actor makes one’s skin crawl. The visit to the hospital is the apex of Fear Hollow as the subsequent “clown” themed scenes fall flat. Fear Hollow tries to cash in on “Pennywise the Clown” but ended the attraction on a flat note. Many haunts feel as though they need to conform to what is “popular” regarding horror interests, and clowns usually pop up in every attraction. Fear Hollow is designed well enough that it does not need to conform to these tired haunt concepts. Despite the lackluster ending, “Mayhem on the Mountain” is fun at times scary, an all too brief haunt that is a work of passion and focused on creating an entertaining show each season.
The Final Word
Fear Hollow may appear unassuming, but it is full of surprises and entertainment. The design team has created scenes that are terrifying and memorable which is a testament to this attractions quality. After visiting so many haunts over the past four years it is almost impossible to remember most scenes/sets, yet Fear Hollow has created a lasting imprint on our minds. Fear Hollow has undergone some growing pains but continues to persist and focus on presenting a quality show. We recommend that you visit a haunt still in its embryonic stages, filled with potential and support their efforts to provide a one-of-a-kind haunted attraction.