|7TH STREET HAUNT:
The Chainsaw Rejects eagerly greet new arrivals at 7th Street
Haunt, where following a seasonal photo-op in the Fort Harmony Theater,
entrance to the attraction itself looms on the horizon. The journey
begins down darkened hallways into a butcher shop that's been commandeered
by a Nazi-like meat cutter frantically beating on his "German sausage"
while spitting on it for lubrication, and shouting at intruders in his
native foreign tongue! Departure past Hank's TV Repair is met by
an interactive deputy Sheriff that explains the house rules, then encourages
progression into the Fort Harmony General Hospital. "Firecrackers"
beckon the path past imprisoned captives, then into Ward 9 - a maniacal
wing of the aforementioned medical facility highlighted by body bags, an
altercation at the hands of one of the previously mentioned hostages, and
a number of lifeless corpses. A deranged physician seizes the opportunity
to attack with a syringe as the course progresses past an infantile incubation
chamber, and into a bloody autopsy room containing more slain cadavers.
A rubber room is next up that witnesses a straightjacketed loony thrashing
bouncing off the walls and going absolutely berserk! The Circus
of Horrors follows, where stuffed animals serve as décor, and
a circus barker rambles on evoking the wrath of freaks, monsters, and a
jack-in-the-box surprise! Spooky sounds of dripping water direct
the way towards an underground cavern where the blinding light from an
excavator's helmet temporarily impedes vision in the midst of a tragic
cave-in. Escape introduces a second butcher, then exposes OVH's 2013
Most Humorous Scare recipient, The Old Creeper who bursts on the
scene readily inviting folks to "stroke his pole" (which is actually a
broomstick), and join him sniffing some panties. A few suggestive
comments to a female group member, along with a few offers she found HARD
to refuse, returns events to a more serious nature with the sight of a
soon to be mother about to be incinerated in the deadly flames of a raging
furnace! "He wants my baby," she shouts as the scene gives way to
a mysterious encounter with a girl dressed in white én route to
a decrepit bathroom. Still to come are adventures with a real-life marionette
that just wants "to be loved," a crazed encounter with a distraught man
hollering, "sooey" in a room containing piglets, then a scarecrow infested
cornfield, and a sanctuary of skeletons that provokes a sudden fracas involving
a diabolical Witchdoctor
practicing some sort of voodoo while delivering
intimidating chants! With mojo on the side of the good guys, escape
is achieved through a spinning vortex that dumps into a frightening cemetery
that houses an ungodly church in its midst that's occupied by an unholy
clergyman preaching nothing but evil. Returning to the cemetery discovers
a curious woman perched high overhead desperately attempting to locate
her lost "baby boy" named Cecil. A wretched gas-masked fiend stalks
continuance that chaperones advancement into a spooky looking mansion,
where the dead rest on couches, and a disgusting dining room gives rise
to an unexpected startle. "The Devil's within," comes an ominous
warning from an unholy creature trapped in a Hell-like environment as the
route vacates through a dispersed laser hallway that serves as the finishing
send-off from The 7th Street Haunt.
LENGTH - 8½, 18 minutes.
ACTORS - 8, Costuming is appropriate, and cast tries
their best to deliver legitimate scares via their enthusiasm. Old
Creeper remains a favorite. Witchdoctor and straightjacketed
loony likewise stand out, although the latter's impact was more appreciated
a couple of seasons ago when he was witnessed committing an act of violence
(specifically hurling a gurney into the path). German butcher
is memorable, and rather irate with his delivery, but not really scary.
His comedy should be abandoned in order to take full advantage of his harsh
foreign language. Opening drill instructor dominated the beginning
in 2013, and his loss hasn't been properly compensated for. Headless
man is awol as well, which is unfortunate because he was one of the
attraction's more impressive scares. Total Characters = 37.
SCARINESS - 7, Traditional, somewhat expected frights
are the rule throughout. The primary weakness in this department
is that no real "jaw-dropping" scares exist, besides the captivating chants
Witchdoctor. New opener doesn't set an appropriate
mood in comparison to its predecessor, and doesn't tie into the Fort
Harmony name, which may as well be abandoned without some sort of connection.
Sheriff interrupts to go over house rules, and just when things finally
start to click through the medical section, the rug gets jerked out from
under you so to speak and, dumps you into clowns for no rhyme or reason.
Creeper works because he's different and actually funny, but attempts
at humor in haunted attractions generally fall flat on their faces.
While the German has a funny aspect to his segment as well, the
bottom line is we're here to get scared. Bathroom lacks any significant
contribution, as does
Carnival, which is a waste of an outstanding
DESIGN - 7, Course has been expanded once again with
an additional 4 minutes of endurance coming on the heels of a 3½
min. extension a season ago resulting in the overall length just about
doubling over the past 2 years! However, scenes remain completely
random in nature, bouncing around almost at will. Abrupt transformations
from a medical setting to clowns followed by a mine, 2nd butcher, Creeper,
furnace, and bathroom just don't flow at all, and make no sense.
Loss of powerful military opener leaves one questioning the Fort Harmony
name. Even though scenes of that nature aren't all that scary, it was certainly
elaborate, thus memorable, and its replacement is generic at best. Church
is significantly less effective without the nun/unholy ceremony.
Voodoo segment has the potential to be expanded upon, and become a highly
impressive scare, but it too needs to be somehow tied into a more central
theme. Things are just all over the place as they are now, and a
more powerful send-off is needed as well to carry the attraction to the
next level. This is their 3rd year of operation, thus they've had
time to begin to address many of these shortcomings instead of just making
it last longer with additional randomness. These comments aren't
intended to be perceived as negative, only to encourage them to make appropriate
changes that will improve their future performance.
PROPS - 7, Static décor heavily adorns the entire
attraction. Firecrackers are appreciated, but nothing else
impresses to the point that it stands out. Mine cart no longer moves
as it did a couple of years back, and even the cave-in is in doubt.
Vortex returns, but it's out of place serving as a connector between the
a cemetery. Mechanical surprises are few and far between, and need
to become more widespread in order to rate higher.
VALUE - 7, $18 is a lot to expect at the gate.
Try to take advantage of their Facebook coupon that offers a $5 discount,
or purchase your tickets online for $15. These money saving offers are
a must considering the attraction's close proximity to more established,
higher profile haunts located just minutes away. In addition, the
photo-op offered upon arrival comes with a $20 upcharge, which is more
expensive than the haunt itself! As such, it just can't be well received
among local customers that are accustomed to free pictures offered from
other area attractions via their social media outlets.
RATING: 7½, One of Lou-evilís newest
haunted attractions, the new kid on the block returns for its third season
bringing an old-school style into a hotly contested market. Over
13,000 square feet of scares await, and they still have plenty of room
to grow and expand in the coming years.
Note: Be sure to check out the Ohio Valley
Haunts poster proudly on display upon entering The Fort Harmony Theater
just prior to the photo-op!