DATE OF VISIT
October 18, 2015
WESTFORD, MASSACHUSETTS - Located at Nashoba Ski Resort, the four attraction haunt includes a haunted hayride, two outdoor houses, one indoor attraction, plus a midway of games and some carnival style rides! We have been to numerous locations featuring a midway of rides, games and food stands but for some reason there was something very creepy about this one. It was chilly out, the moon was bright with a light breeze… it was the perfect Fall night which completed the look and feel of this place. Making our way past the rides, the games and the three walk through attractions we came to the entrance of the Witch’s Woods Haunted Hayride.
While waiting for the wagon to fill up, we couldn’t help but notice the size of this attraction. From where we were sitting you could see lights and strobe lights off in the distance, it looked like it was going to be a very long hayride. After about ten minutes of waiting our wagon was ready to go with only eight people on board plus the narrator. Yes my friends your haunted journey through Witch’s Woods comes with a narrative. We don’t understand why haunt owners are still doing this. Ask me if we remember one detail about the storyline he was giving…? We don’t! Considering it is a moving wagon through the woods with animatronics and actors it is hard to focus on the annoying voice on the microphone. It’s just so cheesy to us and it takes away from what you’re experiencing in front of you.
Aside from the unneeded narrative the hayride was actually pretty decent. Usually hayrides can go either way and majority of them are just enjoyable rather than scary. However, this ride had a pretty good mixture of both. It was a dark, long and thought out attraction. What we were really happy to see was the attention to detail throughout the trail. Usually hayrides consist of a scene then dark woods leading up to the next one. The Witch’s Woods Haunted Hayride had detailed scenes scattered throughout with lighting, fog and sound effects that really worked. But the major sets needed to be closer to the edge of the trail, especially if you are going to have us face out towards the action. The actors we encountered were too far away from the wagon to have any effect on us. There weren’t that many and what ones we did see seemed tired. Maybe that was the reason why none of them hopped up on the back of the wagon and crawled around us. We have seen that everywhere and it is totally pointless. Overall it was a decent hayride, not the worst not the best but pretty high on the scale. There were some good scares and it was just creepy on its own. We would strongly recommend leaving this until the end of the night.
Making the long walk back to the main midway we just opted to hit up each walk through attraction in order regarding its proximity to us. So we continued our chilly night of screams with Morbid Castle. Unfortunately there isn’t much we can say about this outdoor haunted house. There were no actors inside, we just walked through elaborate castle themed hallways but nothing every happened. There was no fog, lots of dead zones, it was just a short quick walk. Nothing special about this attraction at all. After this experience we were hoping it was just the weakest out of the group and the remaining two we had left would be decent. So moving on…
We found ourselves in front of Nightmare Mansion which was an indoor haunted house. Now unlike Morbid Castle this lengthy attraction was the best of the night! It was dark, scary and had gorgeous detail inside. The actors were on point dishing out intense in your faces scares throughout. And by the way there were a lot more roaming the rooms and hallways compared to the castle. From the beginning to the end the actors knew our names which they used quite a bit and we really liked this touch. The only thing we would have like to see inside would be some disorientation, there was no fog. It definitely would have amped up the house a bit. Definitely save this house for the last of the night, you won’t be disappointed.
Finally our last attraction of the night was next, Keepers Krypt in 3D. Now again you know how we feel about 3D attractions… they are a dime a dozen in the haunt industry. To us, opening a typical 3D house is just to add another attraction to your line up. There are a few that have worked but that list is only a few compared to the growing list that hasn’t. Unfortunately Keepers Krypt will be added to the ever growing list of attractions that don’t work. First off, if you are going to have a 3D attraction at least have it enclosed so that the neon paint really jumps out. Because this attraction was outdoors the colors were faded and even though we were wearing glasses, none of them were really popping out at us. Now there were a decent amount of actors inside but majority of them used the “fake or real” scare and because of the open air you could tell they were real. It was really upsetting cause there were some nice dark corners or areas where they could have really delivered intense scares but instead relied on the whole 3D aspect to scare us. Which didn’t work. It was another walk through a maze of props, ineffective actors and wooden walls.
Overall Witch’s Woods needs some revamping. To us the venue should really be home to two attractions rather than four. The Haunted Hayride and Nightmare Mansion were strong attractions compared to Keepers Krypt and Morbid Castle. Without the two they could really stand on their own and Witch’s Woods would benefit from that. We see it all the time where a haunt will worry about how many attractions they have compared to others losing sight of quality over quantity. They expand too quickly never developing one attraction before moving onto the next. If these four attractions remain the amount of actors needs to be beefed up… for the amount we encountered there should only be two houses. When you read on their website, "Witch’s Woods is not recommended for anyone under the age of 6.” It is a huge red flag that their event isn’t as intense as other venues. Most haunted attractions recommend children be above the age of 13 years old. You want to be scared if your going to pay $34 for a ticket to a haunt right? How can you be thoroughly scared if the attractions aren’t suitable for 6 year olds? It’s sort of like the Saw movies with a rating of “G”. And we rest our case! Happy Haunting!