It’s no secret that Southwest Ohio is full of haunted house enthusiasts, and many haunted attractions have sprung up to cater to them. But what do you do if you’ve already been through King’s Island and Land of Illusion several times, and there are still two weeks until Oct. 31? See below for a quick list of haunted attractions that are either brand new or outside of your immediate area but worth the drive.
1. HIGHWAY 50 FRIGHT FIELD, CORNMAZE AND ZOMBIE PAINTBALL
Located west of Cincinnati, this attraction involves a haunted trail (which is expanded every year), a night-time corn maze (better hope for a full moon) and zombie paintball, where you sit in a bunker and shoot zombies (both live and robotic) with mounted guns.
Fun Fact #1: The Fright Field is situated on a farm built in 1830 (the original family lived there until 2000) on a Native American campground and burial site. The created legend behind the haunt is that the tribe was experiencing a drought, and were forced to use black magic to survive. The more blood that’s shed, the better the crops grow.
Fun Fact #2: Because the black magic attracts “all kinds of evil,” you can expect monsters from every myth and movie, from Leatherface to the “It” clown to “The Creeper” from “Jeepers Creepers.” There are also scenes that cater to phobias, including an outhouse scene where, according to co-owner Shannon Vinson, “there is literally (poop) everywhere.”
Fun Fact #3: The site also features a museum and shop called the Buckeye Trading Post. It contains movie props, shrunken heads, edible bug candies and other goodies.
How to Go
Where: 11294 U.S. 50, North Bend, OH
When: Oct. 20-21, Oct. 27-28, 8 p.m.-midnight
Cost: $8-$15 (adults), $10-$12 (kids)
More Info: 513-353-0284 or www.highway50frightfield.com
2. FEAR FACTORY HAUNTED HOUSE
Located just across the border in Batesville, Indiana, the Fear Factory Haunted House regularly gets visitors from Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The Fear Factory is run by Cierra’s Club, an organization that was formed after the tragic death of a local teen due to a drug overdose.
Fun Fact #1: The Fear Factory takes place inside a 30,000 square-foot building that was once a furniture factory and a coffin manufacturing facility. As such, the layout is what you would experience inside a company. There’s a showroom, HR room, day care, cafeteria, saw room, etc. You’ll see your share of factory zombies but also other random creatures, including the witch who sews the coffin interiors.
Fun Fact #2: The Fear Factory also features two separate “escape rooms,” where a party of 5-7 people has seven minutes to solve a puzzle if they want to escape. Last year, according to Cierra’s Club Board President Mary Ellen Rippe, only four groups survived, er, solved the puzzle. In other words, the escape rooms are recommended for those with excellent teamwork skills and whose common sense can prevail over their mounting terror.
Fun Fact #3: For Cierra’s Club, the Fear Factory serves a dual purpose. It raises money for substance abuse awareness and programs, and it shows kids that they can have plenty of fun without drugs and alcohol.
How to Go
Where: 7 South Eastern Ave., Batesville, IN
When: Oct. 20-21, Oct.27-28, 7-10 p.m.
Cost: $10 (haunted tour), $5 (escape rooms)
More Info: www.fearfactorybatesville.com
3. BRIMSTONE HAUNT
The Danishek family ran the Springboro Haunted Hayride on their Bull Run Farm for 14 years before deciding to retire from the haunted house biz. The Renaissance Festival and Celtic Fest Ohio eagerly purchased it, moving it to a nearby location in Wilmington.
Fun Fact #1: There is still a hayride, but it runs through flatter terrain. There are 20 “time travel” scenes, starting with the Renaissance era and moving through the present day.
Fun Fact #2: In 2004, the Danisheks added the Black Bog to the Springboro Hayride. That has been replaced by the Forgotten Forest. This one-mile walk-through will take you through 17 interactive scenes, ranging in theme from “voodoo” to “biohazard.”
Fun Fact #3: The new grounds came with two cemeteries of unmarked graves. One of the scenes during the hayride incorporates them.
How to Go
Where: 472 Brimstone Road, Wilmington
When: Oct. 20-21, Oct. 27-28, 7 p.m.-midnight
More Info: www.brimstonehaunt.com