Scariest? Best for kids? Here’s the scoop

Sentinel helper breaks it down

As I went through area haunted houses, I looked at four main things: scare factor, child factor, the deal factor and the walk factor.

Here is what I found. (Dakota Anderson is 17. These are his opinions and not reflective of Melinda Mawdsley’s, who was scared everywhere she went.)

SCARE FACTOR

In first place is Trail of Terror. The Express All Stars did such a good job with the decorations and effects, I found it hard not to be fooled into thinking I was really in a nightmare.

In second place is X-treme Torment Haunted House. Put together by a pair of freshly graduated students, my partner Melinda was screaming around every corner because of this haunted house’s concentration of scary creatures.

In third place is Hallow Screams Haunted House. Walking through a wall of air, this haunted house kicks you right out of reality and into a new more treacherous realm. This haunted house had my partner Melinda so scared she found herself on the ground begging for mercy.

In fourth place is Studt’s Dark Acres’ corn maze. This maze didn’t quite have the punch to scare me, but it still managed to get the middle school girls around me screaming.

And last is Moon Farm’s haunted straw maze. Taking place during the day, this family friendly straw maze isn’t designed to scare people like me, but…

CHILD FACTOR

Moon Farm’s child-oriented haunted straw maze comes in first in this category. Moon Farm spared no expense composing the perfect mixture of spooky and daylight. It’s great for any child 10 or younger looking for a fun and exciting activity.

In second place is Studt’s Dark Acres. Studt’s has more than a haunted corn maze. It has plenty of fun for the kids, including a Bump ‘n’ Jump like no other, slides and towers to climb, and campfires for the whole family.

All of the haunted houses are tied for third, considering they were geared more toward those seeking an adrenaline rush associated with the scariest of places.

DEAL FACTOR

When I go to a haunted house, I want the most bang for my buck. That’s why I choose Hallow Screams Haunted House as the winner for this category.

Hallow Screams costs $10 for adults and less for students, seniors, military personnel or children age 5 and younger, but I don’t recommended bringing children along to this haunted house.

In second place is Trail of Terror. Nowhere else will you get that much scare for $12.

The rest are tied for third.

WALK FACTOR

Isn’t twisting an ankle the worst? Well, Moon Farm thought ahead about just that. The straw maze is flat and graveled, which is why I chose Moon Farm as the winner for the walk factor.

Following closely in second place is Hallow Screams. With a moderately flat floor and open paths, this haunted house seemed to make me stumble the least.

In third place is X-Treme Torment. I stumbled on the occasional prop in the way, but it was manageable.

In fourth place, though, is Trail of Terror with bridges and steps seemingly everywhere. A guide with a flashlight leads you through to help navigate the steps up and down, but watch your feet anyway.

In last place is Studt’s Dark Acres. The berms commonplace in cut corn fields are everywhere. It’s definitely for the young and surefooted.

Everywhere Melinda and I went, we were greeted kindly, and I was reminded just why I love our community so much. And to all those horror seekers out there, I wish you a haunted Halloween.



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