Thursday, October 31, 2013

Locally Geek - Wicked World Scaregrounds

As we begin to wrap up the Halloween season, I thought I'd share some thoughts on a haunted attraction in Lexington in my second installment of Locally Geek. Locally Geek will be a way for me to showcase some awesome geeky places wherever I may be. I'm currently living in the Cincinnati metro, so it might be something up here, or it could be a place I happen to visit while visiting friends in Lexington, or it could be a location in a completely new city. There won't be a hard rule to the criteria other than it's something that contributes to the geek culture of a given place.

If you listened to Episode 3 of The Eclectic Geek Podcast, you'll know that Leila and I were trying to decide where we wanted to go for our haunted expedition when I was in town this weekend. We decided on Wicked World Scaregrounds, which took in Terror on Tates Creek and added the Nightmare Haunted House as a second component.

We began with Terror on Tates Creek, the haunted trail part of the attraction. We didn't have much of a wait and were put with a group of four, which wasn't a huge deal. I was actually first in line and tried to keep a decent pace through the attraction. Though honestly, I could have been going as slow as molasses and there still would have been the same affect. A woman from the other group quickly identified herself as the one to scare, so the timing worked out that things were jumping out after I made it past. I really missed the majority of the scares in Terror on Tates Creek.

I liked the idea of the carnival theme, but I've never really had a problem with clowns. I liked some of the props, including a couple of actual carnival rides, but I feel that they were mostly misused. There was a lot of dead space, pun intended, within this haunt and we just made our way through the windy trail more than we were actually getting scared. In fact, a friend likened it more to a health trail than to a haunted trail.

There was a nice effect with a room with a slanted floor and I'm never pro-Vortex, so those two elements were in the haunt's favor. I just didn't get much of the scare factor from the rest of Terror on Tate's Creek. The Nightmare Haunted House was a completely different story, however.

You begin seated in musty, old theater seats. If Mercy Hospital existed, this would be the auditorium where the physicians do their teaching. A video showed the back story of the hospital and explains that not only will the evil which lurks within destroy the place and everything inside, it'll destroy you as well. I liked this part, it gave a really nice set up. And even before you get in the formal queue you're already being scared, which was refreshing.

The interior of the hospital takes you around twists and turns, through various parts of the building. The mortuary, exam rooms, operating room, and kitchen are all spots for major scares. There was even a very carefully placed drop window which I'll be the first to admit got me as the prime target. We were paired up with a different group for this side and we ended up a bit more cozy with them as we made our way through Mercy Hospital. No joke, I should have asked for that guy's number as close as he was, or at least asked him to buy me dinner.

I liked the story of Nightmare House much more than Terror on Tate's Creek. I have an obsession with hospitals, medical equipment, and the macabre that surrounds all that so the story of Mercy Hospital was of much more interest to me. The pacing was good and there wasn't any down time at all within this haunt. There was adequate use of props/mannequins and actors. I also enjoyed the use of sound and lighting effects. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but there was a section when everything got super quiet, like almost in a vacuum quiet; it was quite eerie.

Pickles has my candy.
Overall, I'm very glad that we chose to check out Wicked World Scaregrounds this year. They'd have to make some considerable changes to Terror on Tate's Creek for me to return, but I'll definitely do the Nightmare Haunted House again. I still think that Terror was better than the entirety of the Dent Schoolhouse experience, however.

There are a couple of nights left for Wicked World Scaregrounds, so be sure to check it out. Parking is free and is plentiful on the grounds. Definitely do Terror first as its exit put you at the entrance for Nightmare Haunted House. If you'd prefer to save some money, opt for the Nightmare House alone, but if you're willing to shell out the $20 for both attractions, definitely give Terror on Tate's Creek a shot. Everyone's experiences are different, and you may find that you dig the carnival theme that Terror provides.

Wicked World Scare Grounds
5817 Tates Creek Road Lexington, KY 40515
General Admission:
$20.00 Thursday, October 31 - Saturday, November 2
Speed Pass: $30.00

**Images from Wicked World Scare Grounds, City Blood.**

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