As another haunt season rapidly approaches, Electroshock Entertainment once again would like to restate its commitment to the preservation of haunted attraction history which often is lost to the ages. No longer simply a blog, in 2018 we are dedicating extensive resources to such projects and we know you, our loyal visitors and haunt fans alike will love for what we have planned this season and beyond. While we will begin “revealing” our next step in our company’s evolution over the next two weeks, we sadly begin the 2018 “haunt season” with the news that Luzerne County-based Fear Hollow has closed. Fear Hollow’s demise is a sad but familiar tale in the haunt industry which in some cases is becoming dominated by the “super haunts” or scare parks that have endless resources yet lack the creativity or innovative spirit displayed by smaller “mom and pop” haunts.
Fear Hollow was custom built by a talented haunt owner, Mr. Karl Buzak constructed an attraction that created legitimate “fear” using a “traditional” fun-house style haunt layout as the foundation for a show that featured shockingly mature themes. A constant balance between family friendly and mature could easily be felt as we visited each season, and we found that those looking for a tamer experience could not handle some of the mature content featured in the show.
Other review sites seemed to chastise the haunt for its gritty presentation, but that design decision was one which we felt made the attraction stand out among the rest. So many haunted attractions are purchased at trade shows, have little thought placed into their construction and are built without any passion. Fear Hollow did not fall into this trap and one could simply “feel” the love for the season and the passion for the industry.
Fear Hollow often felt like a classic, amusement park haunted attraction, with gritty realism and environments that provide unique experiences for each guest. The scare actors found throughout the extensive two attractions once featured at Fear Hollow (“Deadwoods Haunted Trail” and “Mayhem on the Mountain” for the most part did a fantastic job at interacting with each guest. We will never forget our uncomfortable encounters with an infamous “Psychiatrist” and a creepy encounter with “Dr. Satan.” From a suicidal clown to a room best described as an indoor “cage” in which a helpless victim was tortured by a chainsaw, at times Fear Hollow would switch from “family friendly” to mature, which as haunt fans we thoroughly enjoyed.
Fear Hollow was designed to create feelings of isolation, desperation and disturbing feelings that were not possible at larger shows. We expressed our disappointment on this news to Mr. Buzak, who expressed that after last season it was time to take a step back and reassess the business. He does hope to resurrect the haunt in the future and ideally will have a stronger location, coupled with a refocused creative and development plan.As it stands though, Fear Hollow lived a brief “life” in the haunt industry, and statistics demonstrate that most attractions do not last past two years. We hope that the challenges faced by haunt owners, staff members and actors are not ignored by paying guests, and that you support your beloved local attractions before they succumb to an industry dominated by a few. For now, goodbye Fear Hollow, thank you for contributions to the haunt scene in Northeast PA, and thank you for displaying a true passion for building a memorable show that cannot be emulated.