Scarowinds XIII

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Carowinds is located in Charlotte, and is an awesome amusement park located directly on the state border of North and South Carolina, but from mid September though every weekend in October, the park is revamped at night into a haunted attraction extravaganza. ‘Scarowinds‘ is currently in its 13th season and it gets bigger and better every year.

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There are eight haunted attractions to go though supported by four more walk throughs with monsters that also lurk throughout the park creating a creepy ambiance just to put you in the mood. The set dressing is light in some areas and very well done in others, but there are monsters everywhere.

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A favorite park stalker of mine was a plant…YES a plant. It looked like oddly placed Halloween topiary that I walked by. Robin saw it move and said as much, so I turned around to investigate and even took a close enough look to STILL think it was a plant and then it jump at me. Then it froze again for a moment, waited for some girls to pass, picked up its planter’s pot and followed them only to drop it and freeze when they turned around. well done sir…well done .

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I have to commend the creators of the attractions because there were no real overlaps in themes or characters. Pick a theme or a genre at random and they seem to have it covered.

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‘Camp KILLaUel’ is your standard 80’s summer camp slasher movie setup. Sets are simple and there are startle scare galore with one really unique scare that I don’t see used often at all. I’m not sayin’ what it is either.

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‘Defex’ is an industrial haunt with a lot of messed up half toy experiments wandering around. We hit this one later in the evening, yet the characters still maintained a decent level of energy. The flow was a bit cramped but I still enjoyed it and saw a few things that were really unique along the way.

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‘Last laugh’ is a clown haunt with the option to buy 3D glasses for 2 dollars. chroma-depth glasses are not new to haunts, but they still are few and far between. They work brilliantly with day-glow colors and they distort your vision enough to make it really fun, but not dangerous to walk around in. You don’t need to be a 3D artist to use this in your own haunt, but it can get cost prohibitive. I have never seen a ‘pay for’ business model for these glasses before, but I expect it to gain popularity to offset the cost of buying and replacing reusable chroma-depth glasses. *note: Not having the glasses does not ruin the haunt experience, but the glasses certainly enhance it.

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‘Fury’ was the last haunt we hit just before midnight and it seems to be a military experiment for super troopers gone wrong. . ‘Dead Inn’ is a haunted hotel with plenty of jump scares and detailed rooms, drop windows and hidden laces to jump out from.

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‘Cornstalkers’ was the longest haunt in my opinion and was lined entirely with corn stalks on all walls. Lots of people jumping out, some unique props and the obligatory chainsaw. Still a very good time.

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‘Silver scream SINema’ was based entirely on old horror movies and had the best set dressing, but only because the nature of the other haunts are supposed to be chaotic and distorted.

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‘The Asylum’ is..well.. an asylum. The theme is not surprising, but the actors are. two severed thumbs up!

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These haunts are designed for a high volume of patrons and was entertaining, even with a steady stream of people walking through. This was primarily actor driven as opposed to animatronics and there were A LOT of them. One monster could scare the people directly in front of you and another would come for you because you were distracted. . The lines are much shorter in early September but it was still about a 15 minute wait to get into each haunt. It took us 4.5 hours to go through them all, so plan accordingly or you won’t finish in time .

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By the end we were tired and sore and so was everyone else. Getting out of the parking lot was a nightmare in itself. If there was one thing I could request to make the night better would be to have a sufficient amount of staff helping the cars get out of the park. Two cops on bicycles and two guys with flashlights are not enough for 5,000 cars and one traffic light. By 2am, people had already had it and were driving over cones, grass medians, and through parking spaces just to cut the line.

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Just so you know, you can take pictures with the walk through monsters and park stalkers, however photography is prohibited inside the haunts themselves. This is just common sense and something I support. Its kinda douchey to give away the ending of a movie right? It also applies to giving away the scares in a dark attraction, even if it was only because you wanted to say it was the ‘best haunt ever!’

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Go to Scarowinds XII. you won’t regret it!

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