Frightmare Farms Haunted Scream Park (Fulton, NY) is a multi-attraction spectacular show that perhaps does not get enough attention from industry media. Featuring four unique attractions, each embracing unique “horror themes,” Frightmare Farms is a heavily detailed, “big-budget” style immersive experience, emphasizing sensory scares and creative concepts that transform a dark forest/farm into numerous scenes of horror that transcend one’s traditional expectations. Each attraction is custom-designed, boasting themes and ideas that you will NOT see at any other haunted attraction, as well as designs, artwork, and intense sound effects that are exclusive to Frightmare Farms. We arrived not expecting much due to limited online exposure, only to see a great crowd and a massive midway featuring numerous food options, games, and places for guests to relax. The evident popularity of this attraction indicated we were in for a quality show. By the end of the evening, we were highly impressed and shocked at the creativity and diversity embraced by this “scream park.”
Frightmare Farms is a top-rated, top-of-the-line “scare park” that has hit a new level of success in its relatively short history. Marketed and designed to the highest quality, from a “life cycle” standpoint, decisions need to be made to direct future growth, as there is exponential potential to reach even greater success as one of the premier scream parks in the country. Don’t get us wrong; this is a first-class Halloween event, an authentic “Halloween” town with diverse attractions featuring first-class designs and quality performances. Adding additional new experiences this year that is based on escape rooms and taking their branding and marketing to the next level has resulted in one of the most successful shows in the region. Now is the perfect time to step back and focus on how to grow to an even greater level of success.
From a design standpoint, the show is one of the best, it is hard to find any flaws, and there are numerous unique scenes/themes featured, such as a “haunted mine shaft” and an ever-growing hayride that features an unforgettable journey through a village, featuring scenes of sacrifice and all built to the highest quality, impressive in design each season. However, while practically the perfect way to enjoy the season and experience a world-class scare-park, the one area this attraction should focus on heavily is pacing and timing. For example, there is little to no reason to ever let a group of “twelve” into a walk-through attraction. For some odd reason, the hayride, which features incredible designs and scenes, is so fast it is near impossible for guests to see all the horror sights and appreciate this attraction’s quality.
Frightmare Farms Haunted Scream Park features four core attractions and a second-year hayride attraction along with a varietry of bonus activities including “Adrenaline Rooms”. Guests can enjoy various food vendors, photo opportunities, and a campfire and watch a movie to extend their stay. Frightmare Farms is a first-class “scream-park” that excels in unique attraction theme design, by and large-excellent “scare performances,” quality of the show, and professionalism by all staff. Careful attention to detail and a commitment to excellence can be quickly discerned from this attraction celebrating ten years of operation. Still early in its lifespan, Frightmare Farms already has the foundation in place for a world-class destination event that brings to life themes ranging from haunted coal mines to a “frozen” haunted house attacked by evil “crows” that are unlike those found elsewhere.
The Twisted Labyrinth
“The Twisted Labyrinth” is a fast-paced, “maze” like attraction in which a “mad doctor’s” experiments come to life. Monsters lurk behind each corner and throw barrels, act completely insane yet remain a safe distance from each guest. One of the shorter attractions featured focuses on getting the adrenaline pumping, and actors do a great job at “stalking” groups. Each scene is richly detailed and creates an almost dungeon-like attraction that embraces fast-paced chaos. Special effects include theatrical fog, scene lighting used to hide actors, and various grotesque monstrosities that tirelessly to trap helpless guests. An intense, fast-moving, and aggressive experience, “Twisted Labyrinth” is an excellent kick-off to one’s journey at Frightmare Farms!
Winter’s Harvest- The Professor’s Estate Haunted House
“Winter’s Harvest- The Professor’s Estate” is a unique twist on the classical “Victorian” haunted house/estate/mansion concept, plunging an abandoned estate into the depths of snow-covered, icy winter. The “frozen” desolate “abandoned” estate is one of the first “winter” inspired attractions we can think of in memory, and each room embraces the theme to the extreme. In a dormant chilling atmosphere, the “abandoned” house is covered in snow and ice, and the atmosphere created builds a sense of fear and isolation. Theatrical characters, monsters that hide INSIDE of walls, and demonic scarecrows lay claim to this frigid house of horror and engage in “creative” scare that caused us to jump more than once.
The atmosphere is key to generating immersion, and this is a detail-intensive attraction. A chilling breeze, followed by an ice-cold gust of wind, can be felt when one enters the estate; tight corridors lead to rooms that are so detailed one could spend hours just exploring this “realistic” custom-designed haunted house. Dusty antiques, a rotting “library,” bedrooms and other rooms one would expect are “chilled” by exposure to a “harsh winter, frozen and time and very disturbing. Approaching a morgue, “scare performers” were able to reach through walls, using elongated “fingernails” to scare, without coming in contact with each guest. Looking straightforward only reveals a fraction of the detail and the story being told by this cold harvest. Actors blend in with props and can descend from above, from behind, and within the walls of this terrifying, “haunted mansion” isolated and frozen in terror.
The 7th Barn-The Condemned Mine Trail
“The 7th Barn- The Condemned Mine Trail” is ANOTHER one-of-a-kind concept/themed attraction featured at Frightmare Farms. A primarily outdoor trail, the story of a twisted farmer who constructs terrifying filled with slaughter as a tribute or revenge after a “child’s death” is coupled with a trip down what is an authentic representation of a “haunted” abandoned “coal mine.” This lengthy outdoor/indoor hybrid attraction is intense, gory, and filled with unique scenes and walkways, unlike any attraction we have ever visited.
Moments of pitch dark give way to hulking actors that throw large objects/barrels etc. in pure rage, and a trip through a coal mine is so realistic one can hear the sound of cracking beams, ghostly mine cars, and water droplets, creating a genuine experience. Again, Frightmare Farms does a fantastic job of creating an immersive experience as the action takes place in front of and behind each guest. We often found ourselves being stalked by the various “undead” coal miners and angry farm-folk that inhabit this attraction. The “finale” of the walk-through experience at Frightmare Farms, this trail is a sensory overload, plunging guests into moments of darkness, using fog to trick senses and effectively hide actors that again use creative ways to engage guests safely (one for example, even reached out at us with a “giant arm!”)
Frightmare Forest Haunted Hayride
The “Haunted Hayride” attraction at Frightmare Farms is brand new compared to the other core attractions, and for a third-year hayride, we were shocked at the quality of set designs and the size of such a new attraction. While many haunts across the country are eliminating “hayrides,” Frightmare Farms has built an attraction that is years ahead of one’s expectations and has several more extensive and more impressive scenes than other established hayride attractions. The roughly 20-minute journey begins with a trip through a hauntingly beautiful cemetery with various large-scale animatronics and a few actors that generate startle scares.
Once again, “quality” is evident in this attraction as each scene is lit correctly, and a dual soundtrack (on the wagon and scene-specific) brings to life each set. A variety of “horror-inspired” themes are featured, including a massive “sawmill,” hillbilly/violent farmer sheds, a disturbing human sacrifice scene, and an intense “chainsaw assault” scenes featuring “baby faced” actors leading to a brief finale. In its second season and is already well above most hayride attractions in terms of quality and performance. Featuring diverse scenes that range from cemetery’s sacrificial scenes to a diabolical village of disturbed killers and butchers, and each scene features fantastic special effects, for the most part, engaging actors and sound effects. Pacing at times is an issue as the tractor moves rather quickly, and Frightmare Farms can be best served by slowing down the pace of the show. Furthermore, the attraction features a narrator, which by and large ads a level of dark humor and twisted banter to a show and doesn’t distract from the overall experience. Building hayride attractions is challenging, and for a second-year show, the size and scope of Frightmare Farm’s attraction are impressive, to say the least.
The Hayride is quality enough to stand on its own, with no need for narration; it is above and beyond most competitors and on its way to being a major featured attraction at Frightmare Farms. Haunted Hayride has some of the best designs, characters, and even sound in the attraction, and the featured actors work hard to target the entire wagon. As it continues to grow larger every season, the pacing of the wagon itself should be slowed, allowing guests and actors to “play out” their respective scenes. Furthermore, while the narrator(s) are fantastic character actors, their banter and jokes with guests distract from the actual hayride itself. Frightmare Farms has quality performers and characters that are becoming recognized as brand specific. Perhaps those characters who serve as narrators that are now a part of the hayride are best served in interacting with guests throughout the mini-horror village created at this attraction
The Final Word
Frightmare Farms continues to move in a direction that emulates significant amusement parks and brings unique characters, theatrical scenes, and performers that build a more significant “brand” within the context of a significant Screampark event. This is one attraction that has undergone unprecedented growth and a boom in popularity in a short period, and we are excited to see how they chart and plan future growth. A whole night of Halloween scares, fun, and entertainment can be had at Frightmare Farms and those looking for a significant attraction with endless entertainment options.
Pacing is critical to a good show. While many attractions throw guests into their haunt, we feel that Frightmare Farms cares about its customer experience and is focused on continuing to grow into a premier destination Screampark. While the pacing and line management can be improved, there is so much to love about Frightmare Farms as it has quickly risen to a premier visitor destination. This action-packed event has diverse scares and entertainment for everyone.
World class set design; this is a MAJOR scare-park style attraction
Numerous bonus activities; a whole night of fun
Quality design, actors, scene/sets that are built to exceed expectations
New “Adrenaline” Rooms Escape Games Concept
Room for Improvement
Pacing-Hayride moves too quickly, sometimes way too many guests are let into each attraction at once
Rule Enforcement-Ensure that guests are not touching props, breaking rules etc.
Narrated Hayride- Perhaps remove narration and allow hayride to shine’ let the character actors roam and interact with guests