Date attended 10/14/12
Scare Factor: 4/5
Wow. Trotterville Horror, for me, has done a complete 180 in almost all departments since last year. The scares are amped up both in number and intensity. It's mid-season, but this haunt owns my personal scare to date so far. I won't give it away but I did not see it coming....which takes a lot of work. Trotterville did an excellent job scaring in multiple ways. There was excellent use of sound and also distractions where the scares come from unexpected areas. They also do a good job of disorientation with a "mist room", a pitch black maze area, and well placed actors who had a much better sense of timing this year for completing the scare. I do think that the trail needs to end with a bang...it's kind of a letdown after the scare that I can't reveal. Just stick a chainsaw at the end so you can have patrons running and screaming into the parking lot!
The past two years this has been far and away the weakest part of the haunt. I actually took someone there tonight for "practice" in terms of not getting scared as in years past the actors have been out of character, give up easily, and don't time things well. Whoops. These folks brought their A game.....on a slow Thursday night. That takes discipline! The actors in the corn maze did a fantastic job....they could ad-lib, scare, but also direct you when you needed assistance getting the heck outta dodge. Most of the other actors on the trail didn't talk but did a good job of pursuing the scare but also really had their timing down pat. No breaking of character was also paramount- in years past we had folks literally using their cell phones pre/post pop-scare. You could tell a lot of work has gone into changing the culture- all for the best. I honestly couldn't be more shocked and pleased at how well these guys performed tonight especially based on past experiences at this haunt. It also needs to be pointed out that the numbers of actors seem to be perfect. There was an incredible amount of dead space in previous years. This year there was enough for you to recover but actors were spaced appropriately and the numbers were just right.
Trotterville is a old-school "spook trail" with the majority of the trail leading through the back-woods of Archdale, NC. Every little bit you come up to a shack that has a scene in it...and a scare. They make excellent use of the darkness and the woods. They do, however, use some great props...notably the scare I can't give away. Several of the sets are minimal but highly effective. There are junked cars littering the trail, a room full of busted televisions, a prolonged "closet", and various other scenes. The mist/smoke room looks amazing (and works so much better occupied!). There is a set using mirrors which was incredibly disorienting and hellacioulsy effective. The cemetery set-up with zombies rising from the earth was awesome. I wanted to stop and admire but I was being pushed and prodded further. Same with the "exploding sofa". I do miss what we dubbed the meth trailer- that set was just white-trash amazing in years past. Most of it was "low-tech" but it works and it works well. I don't need to nor want to see huge expensive props out in the woods. I want bloody cars, darkness, and screams. Score.
I was sweating at the end. It's a longggg trail and with the corn maze (short corn this year!) the time you spend in there can be significant. I didn't time it but I think we were in the attraction for about 40 minutes.
I am so glad I returned this year. Honestly last year was a let-down and I was coming this year for a minor diversion on a Sunday night and a low scare evening to re-coup after a big scare evening last night. Instead I got to see a trail very similar to the one we visited last night with improved scares, actors, sets, and lots of screaming. I just wanted to high-five people as I left. Maybe we just caught the perfect storm with a slow night so there was extra attention but I'm guessing that anyone who enjoys old school spook trails needs to visit this haunt. You can feel the heart put into it....and I can see the transformation they made from a loosey-goosey poorly staffed trail in the past to one who has made the commitment to scaring people. Bravo.
And I forgot.....a clown on stilts! How could I forget the clown on stilts?! On the trail, in the middle of the woods...a clown on stilts!
Trotterville Horror Haunted Attraction Season 5
Date visited: Saturday, October 13, 2012 about 11pm
Scare Factor 4/5 - I'm inspired by the complete overhaul from 2011, which was a top pick then! Now you've done it, blown open the lid and shown the world that you are one haunt to be reckoned with! At arrival we got the "greetment" from the super tall and super sinister clown on stilts and the red and black-faced clownette girl who stalked and shadowed me like crazy glue. Every time I turned around I jumped because one of them was taunting me and hovering in my space. Trotterville’s Horror Haunted Attraction forks over scene after scene of both interactive and spooky sets; delivering plenty of shock and jolt whammies. I experienced a series of “whoas!” screams, and jumps with all the unexpected surprises along the way. In the blackout maze and other interactive sets I felt some claustrophia, disorientation, and panic. In the corn hunt, I got the sense of being chased. In the wild closet and mirror maze I felt paranoid, trapped, and wonderfully confused. The completely new aftermath hallucination sets – this must be what happens when meth really fries the brain! Overall, I was thoroughly entertained, as was the entire group! When we weren’t screaming, we were laughing or holding our breath, just having a darn good time out there in dem dar woods.
Actors 4.5/5 – Actor timing is impeccable. Actors aim to scare and scare they do. They seem to have a sense of team that was missing in 2011, and a sense of purpose. Except there’s one point where I don’t really get the actor purpose. The corn hunt actors rush at us with goalie hands, but I’m not sure if I’m supposed to go or stop or if we are playing a game. The corn hunt happens in real corn, which is unique, but it’s not tall enough to hide the corn gang standing around all dressed in black. It felt more like a fun game of cat and mouse than a scary corn hunt. What did get me was one actor who popped up at us from inside the corn which was different from what the others were doing. The good ol’ boy and his mean dog? I was splitting over sideways– it was over-the-top- awesome! The whole group was “had” in that one shot! But, that story part borders on too long because some of us have ADD, so even though it’s real fun, any longer there and I might be wandering off into the distance…
Set Design/Props/FX 5/5 - The way Trotterville and only Trotterville has that special “backwoods” theme; that artistic haunt design mindset for building in other people’s junk to create nifty sets, props and interactive experiences with metal stuff, old clothes, trailers, and junky furniture to produce unrepeatable scares is an enterprise unto itself. But, I wanted to knock off a whole point here because someone in my group told me that Trotterville used to have an underground tunnel that got taken out because people complained that they got all dirty. And, so far this year props have spit, sneezed and sprayed blood on me (with water sprays I hope); old city water pipes have almost let loose over my head; actors have literally burped right in my face; and I have crawled through pipes in haunts before and gotten my pants dirty! If you got it, bring it on.
Length 5/5 – Perfect length, no idea how long on the trail exactly, maybe 35 minutes. But, not only was it more than satisfying once I got in, the fun and creeps I got in the waiting area and fun afterwards buying a hoodie and talking to the staff made my night.
Value 5/5 – For $15-$20 depending on the night you go (look for the $5 off coupon) for what you get, you just can’t shake a stick at this. Free parking, too!
Other – Don’t expect any foo-foo waiting area. They do have some good rock music, but it’s no amusement park when you get here. NOTE: On November 2 and 3rd, Trotterville is having a “Lights Out Harvest Night”, which if I got this right, means no holds-barred. Actors touch you and you get it full-on. Check in with their web site for more details.
Overall 4.5/5 – So far, this is my #1 haunted trail for 2012. I’ve only been to 6 haunted trails in NC so far in 2012, so it’s not fair to give my end-of-season vote yet, and I’ve got a few more yet to visit. But for what it is and what it’s billed to be, Trotterville delivers the most realistic haunted trail experience, just like the backwoods should.
Trotterville Horror Haunted Attraction
Date attended 10/14/2012
Scare Factor- 5/5 This is absolutely the scariest haunted attraction I have lived through yet. I literally left crying. I was scared the entire time but the Gargoyle scene was almost more than I could take. It’s not that hard to scare me or even make me scream but it takes a lot to make me cry and Trotterville did it.
Actors- 5/5 The actors here did an amazing job. There are a lot of actors throughout the trail and even a few that showed up more than once I think. These monsters followed us around forever. They whispered in my ears, got in my face, and loved making loud banging noises that made my heart sink every time. At one point I decided I wanted to turn around and go back but when I turned around there were three monsters standing behind me. There was no turning back at this point. I have no idea how long those monsters followed behind us. The actors in the corn field would not let up. They sent us in all the wrong directions just so they would have more time to torture us. The actors know exactly when to pop out and scare you. Their timing was perfect. The monsters in the corn maze reminded me of the cannibals in the movie Wrong Turn. They even talked about eating people. It was just creepy.
Set Design/Props/FX- 5/5 The sets here are amazing. The fog room was great. You can’t see anything until you are right up on it. There are monsters hiding in the fog but you won’t realize it until they are right in front of your face. After this I will think twice before driving down a foggy road. I was so scared I can’t even remember a lot of the scenes. I had my face and ears covered most of the time. The best (or worst) part of the haunt was the gargoyle scene. I hope I never see it again. I will have nightmares about this for weeks maybe even years.
Length- 5/5 The length is perfect. There were enough actors and props to keep this trail exciting the entire time. We went on a Sunday which appeared to be a very light night and there was no waiting in line.
Value- 5/5 This is a great value. The night we went admission was $15 which was great. General admission for adults is $20 for peak nights and it’s worth every penny!
Overall Impression-5/5 If you can make it through this haunt without getting scared you are not normal. If you love getting scared this is the place for you. I was so scared I don’t know if I will ever go back. I was so shook up I could barely drive home. Good job Trotterville! You almost scared me to death!