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Best area haunts outside Kings Island


jimlaheyscar
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24 minutes ago, jimlaheyscar said:

In town 2 nights. Doing KI Haunt one night. Any other recommendations in the area? Dent? Land of Illusion? Thanks. 

Dent is very good.
 

I kind of lean toward Land of Illusion, though, because it’s several haunted houses and you can make a night of it - while with Dent it’s a great haunted house but after the half hour or so, you have nothing to do for the night. 

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Depending on how far you are willing to go Lewisburg Haunted Cave, Dent and USS Nightmare are all good choices. Terror town is fun and sorta has roleplay events while you wait. Haunted Hoochie is awesome but north of Columbus.

For a more old school style the charity haunt The Mt. healthy Haunted Hall is about all that's left. I am personally involved so I think it's great of course but we are often told we are better than Kings Island!

Land of Illusion gets pricey for all the haunts and only the haunted trail is truly special. I tend to prefer the more focused haunts. To that end any of the side haunts at Dent or the Haunted Cave are completely forgettable.

The Renaissance Fair has a haunted hayride as well but the nature of it makes it less scary with safety distance from the moving cart. 

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My personal favorite haunts in Ohio are Factory of Terror (but it’s all of the way up in Canton), Dent, Land of Illusion, and Lewisburg Haunted Cave (all 3 of which are fairly close to KI, with the cave being the farthest of the 3.).

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Another vote for Dent Schoolhouse. It's probably one of the best produced houses you'll find outside of Halloween Horror Nights. The sets are ambitious and very complete (as in no blank walls) so you really feel like you're in each environment. But like others have said it is less of an evening since the experience (minus the wait) is about a half hour.

Land of Illusion is a good bet for an evening of Halloween fun, even if it isn't quite to the quality level of Dent. The Haunted Trail is indeed impressive in scope.

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Thanks for the responses.  I'm hoping I can make two of these events.  Land of Illusion and Dent appear to be good choices but the cave interests me.  Distance there is a problem.  I'm also interested in the Mt Healthy location.  I like the fact it's very home grown and they do canned food drives, etc.

Not sure I can really go wrong here it seems.  Thanks to anyone else that may share opinions here.

What about Brimstone?  Website looks good but I don't think anyone mentioned it. 

 

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If you have yet to do Land of Illusion, do Land of Illusion. Definitely hit up the haunted trail, however I would say coming back is always hit or miss for return visits. Dent School House really kicks it into gear. Amazing theming, an amazing team, it's well worth your ticket and some. (Friendly reminder they are open on Thursday nights too) Brimstone has been hit or miss from what I have heard however I am planning on coming this season as it has been on my hit list for a few years now. I will also add if you want something that is unique, check out Sandyland Acres. Their hayride, while not really scare heavy, is really just fun and somewhat comical. The haunted barn actually wasn't that bad and was pretty nice a few years ago. 

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2 hours ago, jimlaheyscar said:

Thanks for the responses.  I'm hoping I can make two of these events.  Land of Illusion and Dent appear to be good choices but the cave interests me.  Distance there is a problem.  I'm also interested in the Mt Healthy location.  I like the fact it's very home grown and they do canned food drives, etc.

Not sure I can really go wrong here it seems.  Thanks to anyone else that may share opinions here.

What about Brimstone?  Website looks good but I don't think anyone mentioned it. 

 

Brimstone is the one the RenFair puts on. I found it alright but being in the cart means actors can't scare you until it stops making it a bit repetitive and predictable. It had long stretches of nothing happening too. Haven't been in a few years though. Some of these haunts you can do in one night. Kings Island is about 30 min from Mt. Healthy and Dent is less than 20 min from Mt. Healthy. Lewisburg Haunted Cave is about an hour from Mt. Healthy but north and going away from Dent, also north is Land of Illusion at about 45 min. Both are some of the best haunts you will find anywhere. Depending on hours (Haunted Hall being all volunteer will probably have the fewest hours, 8 to 11 Fri and Sat, 7 to 9 Sun) you could chain a few parks together. If the math can work out going Dent -> Haunted Hall -> Land of Illusion or Lewisburg might work. Dent also has weekdays they are open.

 

Some descriptions that might help:

 

Dent: The most detailed and immersive scenes you will find anywhere, the sets are truly amazing and even a Kings Island Easter egg! The Phantom Theater stage is part of the haunt. Great actors and a decent length. They have a chain link maze that is ok but I would skip it for other haunts if I had limited time in the area. They have been voted best haunt in the nation and for good reason!

 

Lewisburg Haunted Cave: An actual cave and very long, the longest ever according to Guinness. The entrance area is my favorite of any haunt traveling over water in a dark cave with something lurking in the water! They have had to tone it down a bit due to fire codes but they have running cars and a fire wielding Satan. Tons of hand made animatronics and some clever gags make it unique compared to places like Kings Island that get those sort of things from companies. I've seen the same animatronics at a number of haunts before but Lewisburg keeps it unique. The actors here are very good as well, I've never left this haunt disappointed. 

 

Land of Illusion: Several haunts in one but kinda expensive. Expect to pay for parking too. Very animatronic heavy and lacking actors in some of their houses. They get kinda "haunt in the box" for my tastes. But they have a large area with fire pits, games, bull ride, food and more. Unless lines are short an all night affair. The Middletown Haunted Trail is the highlight here with some nice animatronics (headless horseman) and pretty long. They have some good detail in some of the houses but others are more bare bones. They also have a small carnival ride they count as one of their houses. You can buy a combo ticket or per house. Check their website for deals.

 

Mt. Healthy Haunted Hall: A charity haunt benefiting a Boy Scout Troop, Knights of Columbus Council and the Mt. Healthy Food Alliance. Every year it must be torn down to free up our building so it changes every year. This will be our 32nd year (skipping one for covid) with this years unique theme being The Voyage of Fear. We don't have fancy animatronics so most of our sets and props are hand made. We have a giant Vortex tunnel (much bigger than you see elsewhere), Hellevator, and a dark maze for a finale. Decent length (around 20 min depending on how long the maze takes you) with our building, several army tents and a backyard trail. You'll be surprised at how good many of our actors are since many of them have been haunted since they were 11, but we do still have some youngins that may not scare you as much. Despite that I'm blown away every year with what some of them come up with! We tend to be very interactive too, many of our actors will act along with you. Bring a canned good for $3 off or on Sundays bring two cans of soup for half off, $6. We also have a coupon for our fist Friday and Saturday on Sept 30th and Oct 1st.

 

Terror Town: A western themed haunt with a special "extreme" option. I was lined up in a firing squad, hauled away with a sack over may head, had my head dunked in water, was drug across the ground and had copious amounts of blood dumped on me. You can opt out of course! But events like live (as in buried alive) burials, the firing squad and a hanging give you something cool to see while waiting. You can also explore the town which has actors, food and shops. They notify you by text when ready so be sure someone has a phone that will get service out there, not all do! This haunt is really cool but beware the effect the special band can give. I was the only one in my group with one so I got mauled at every scene while the rest of the group was kinda ignored. They do have good actors that interact as well. Not many animatronics if that's your thing. 

 

Overall this area has a lot of Haunted Houses, real haunted places and some very good scares! If you couldn't tell I prefer the old school scares and clever scenes much more than high budgets and animatronics. But there is an excellent haunt within an hour for every taste. 

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