Archive for the Review Category

Review: Tayman Graveyard

Posted in Review on December 2, 2011 by diamondsnperils

Today I’d like to introduce you to the hidden treasure of Midlothian, Texas.

Haunt: Tayman Graveyard

Date: October 22, 2011

Length:  ~60 min

Coroner’s Report: Alive and Scaring. A “touching” experience. Definitely worth the drive.

Tayman Graveyard is a standout attraction. A forty-minute drive east of Dallas and several turns down woodsy, roughly paved roads will bring you to the ancestral land of a family with a twisted history. This year Tayman featured three different haunts- a mineshaft, a funeral home, and a very haunted hayride. The hayride was especially exciting because of its ability to stray from the usual walk-through format most DFW haunts employ. Even during the walk-through attractions, Tayman Graveyard set itself apart by allowing its actors to touch victims– a change made for the 2011 season. Physical contact between haunters and victims is generally banned in attractions due to safety concerns (Haunted House Association), but that first tap on the shoulder can make even the most seasoned haunt-goer jump.

One more surprise in our trip to Tayman Graveyard was the chance to meet and chat with the owner and operator of the frightening forest attraction, who was delightfully open about the good, bad, and ugly aspects of haunting, and was excited to hear our opinions. Some of the facts learned from our conversation included:

  • Tayman has been open for 7 years in its original location.
  • The special effects (including one shocking feature of the hayride) are designed and built by the Tayman Graveyard family and are therefore unique to the haunt.
  • Many of the cast of characters work on an almost volunteer basis and do so for the love of the haunt.

While Tayman Graveyard may not have the high-tech setup of inner-city attractions, the creativity and care put into the haunt is more than apparent.  If the setting doesn’t get you, the memorable characters will.

Resources:

Haunted House Association. (2009, October 9). Haunted House Association. Retrieved November 2, 2011, from http://hauntedhouseassociation.org/archives/2009_10_01_archive.html

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Review: Zombie Manor

Posted in Review on December 2, 2011 by diamondsnperils

Our visit to Zombie Manor was short, but sweet.

Haunt: Zombie Manor
Date: October 7, 2011
Length: ~15 min
Coroner’s Report: Impressive for a smaller haunt. Quality makeup and effects. Good venue for new victims to ease into scream seeking.

Located in an industrial warehouse area, Zombie Manor uses the setting to set up the sense of a post-zombpocalyptic wasteland. One gets the feeling that there has not been any kind of order here for some time. Upon turning off the highway, lights coming from abandoned trucks direct vehicles on. The area is dimly lit and signs denoting a zombie evacuation area immediately put the victim on edge.

After the excellent entrance, victims encounter the typical ticket booth and line with a short, sometimes moderate, wait time (Zombie Manor does offer a fast-pass ticket for $5 more). When the wait is over, victims enter the attraction in groups of no more than four, which can throw a wrench in odd-numbered parties (we had 5), but the point is to increase the scare factor, which is more difficult with large groups.

While the outdoor decoration may not strictly follow the manor’s theme and back-story, the inside is splendid. The sets and hallways were excellently designed, and this victim was especially impressed by one prop in particular (suffice to say, I was in the splash zone). The walk-through is shorter than some of the other DFW attractions, so if length is an important aspect in your haunt hunt, this may not be at the top of your list. I will say that despite the brief experience, Zombie Manor had several memorable moments and can safely be labeled a positive experience. This victim hopes the manor will get the opportunity to expand its outbreak outreach next season.