Not often do we visit haunted attractions so poor that it is necessary to highlight their outright disrespect to the industry and the customers who spend their hard-earned money to enjoy a “show.” Over the years we have enjoyed attractions of all sizes and have taken an approach towards “reviewing” that focuses on the positives of each show while adding in ways each attraction can improve. In a prior editorial piece, we found that several smaller haunted attractions that seemed to disrespect their customers by not paying attention to the quality of their show. Regardless of the haunted attraction is a first-year show, or for “charity” there is no excuse for lack of professionalism. This past weekend we had the displeasure of visiting one of the worst haunted attractions that are an abomination to the industry. On our way back from the Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride, we decided to visit the Whitehall Fire Department Haunted Parkway, as we enjoy supporting smaller local haunts, especially those that benefit worthy charities. Despite its overwhelming positive “review” score on Facebook, what we witnessed was over forty minutes of pure torture, an event at times so appalling that no one should ever visit this event that is an insult to haunting.
The Haunted Parkway is an over forty-five-minute journey through an endless forest that features absolutely some of the worst set designs and insulting performances you will ever encounter at a “family friendly” haunted attraction. Haunted Parkway does have potential as it does feature a creepy trail with what appears to be abandoned buildings and a dark atmosphere. The atmosphere of the attraction is perfect for “scaring’ but scenes and sets are not even on the level of those featured in one’s backyard. Most of the scenes are simply poor representations of horror scenes, but there are two memorable sets. A rather intense chaotic, chainsaw/strobe light sensory assault scene displayed promise (Demented Hills scene), as well as an introduction from the “Devil” which was all too far away from the wagon to appreciate. Other scenes are downright insulting, including cheap outdoor “video”, a strange “dance” routine, and a visit to an “asylum” in which only a scarecrow was present. We understand this is a charity haunt, but there is an immense potential to use the environment itself to create scares and some actors did try including one who had a chain around his neck and did not break character. Despite design flaws what hurt the experience was a total disregard and disrespect for the customer and rather insulting behavior displayed by several “actors” who decided to entertain their friends and insult paying guests during the show.
As soon as the hayride started, a group of teen “actors” ran from a bonfire and jumped on the wagon to join their friends. Further on, another scare actor ( a clown) that tried to get a scare decided it was best to insult a group of females on the ride, by rubbing their bare chest and then wrestling with a friend on the hay wagon. This shocking level of ignorance was topped off by the decision made by the “actor” to take off their mask and begin taunting those same girls and bragged how they had obtained a “seventeen-year-olds” “Snapchat,” and made several offensive comments. We are all for an “extreme” adult-themed attraction, but this was a display of vile, immature behavior that disrespected each customer on the hayride. One of the female customers blatantly told the “actor” that they had “paid money” to see the show does not have the actor take off their mask and this was met with laughter from the group of friends that had jumped on the wagon. Again, we have visited a variety of volunteer and charity based haunts and have NEVER witnessed this level of pathetic ignorance at any haunted attraction, and this type of “showmanship” insults those who truly love the season.
Later on in the year a few actors and we assume management messaged us complaining that they were not a “professional haunt” and volunteer based. We have visited countless volunteer haunts both new and old that have NEVER displayed such ignorance for paying customers. Perhaps if this is your local show and your family members are “actors” you may enjoy it. Yes we admire the show for its charitable cause but that is no excuse for a piss poor show….unless seeing a bunch of teens run from the woods to jump on a wagon after hanging out with there friends is a quality show for you….then by all means visit the parkway!