|THE HAUNTED RIVER BANKS:
A ghost story adventure through the isolated woods along the banks of the
Ohio River introduces local folklore legends of evil spirits, malicious
murders, and other downright devious acts. Tales include an area
civil war soldier who was beheaded by a confederate mercenary, and still
roams the woods in search of his missing skull; the captain of a doomed
ship screaming in search of the crew that abandoned him in his time of
need; a slave named Jeremiah who donned the clothes of a scarecrow hoping
to break away and make a run for freedom, only to be discovered and killed
by his disgruntled owner; a witch who cursed the property; a “Priest” who
actually turns out to be a messenger of death; The River Hag, Lady in White
(Ghost of River Road); and a few others en route to a surprise finish at
Haunted River Banks.
LENGTH – 9½, 25 minutes.
ACTORS – 3, The tour guide does a commendable job telling
the ghost stories, but others offer little more than a few sudden burst
out of the darkness surprises and an occasional “rah!”
SCARINESS – 3, The storytelling is the primary scare,
but not overwhelmingly frightening.
DESIGN – 2, A fairly long trail, but unadorned, and devoid
of any sort of soundtrack, or supporting substructures. So much more
could be done along the way to compliment the storytelling.
PROPS – 0, Less than a handful throughout the entire
duration of the path. Scenes reenacting the various recounted events
might be a nice touch.
VALUE – 1, $12 is ridiculously high. Hearing the
ghost stories provides the only value, and they may as well be told around
the comfort of a warm campfire, as the trail is undecorated, and provides
few other surprises and scares.
RATING: 2½, The attraction itself
is unique in the telling of mysterious, spooky ghost stories with a local
twist, but there’s nothing in the way of accompaniment that actually
warrants the trek through the woods. While the narrations are enjoyable,
the overall experience might rate higher on the scale of seasonal Halloween
entertainment, as opposed to an actual haunted attraction. The event
serves as a fundraiser for the Northern Kentucky Xtreme semi-pro football
team, and parking revenues benefit Mikaila Salensky and her family.