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When I was invited to Reaper's Revenge Media Night, I knew I would be experiencing a dream come true. It was already on my bucket list and to be taken up by such a big team in the Haunt Industry as the inaugural show of my 2022 Haunt Tour was a huge vote of confidence.

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Fourteen years in the making, Reaper's Revenge is one of the leading Haunted Attractions in Pennsylvania at the very least and at the very top of the pile Nationally. They have a ridiculously huge property on top of a mountain to do anything they want with and certainly use a good amount of it for easily the best Haunted Hayride in the country.

Navigation and Customer Service:

   -  The streets of Blakely likely aren't prepared for the increasing traffic every

         year

    -  The parking lot is too small for the demand

    -  If I remember correctly, this property is 6 mi off the Interstate

    + The town has embraced this attraction and allows for a good sized overflow

        lot that is easy to find

    + The Owning Partners are exceedingly pleasant to talk to

    + Every one of the managers I met are great characters, too

Atmosphere and Lobby/Midway:
Key Lobby/Midway Amenities

  1. Concessions

    + Concession Manager Sandy and two other team members are PA ServSafe

    Certified by the Pennsylvania Health Department

    + Four different concession options with a total menu the length of a sit-down restaurant

    + Plating is even a high priority

  2. Merch

    + Good sized, well-developed Gift Shop in a dedicated shed

  3. Video

    + A 25 ft wide, 12 ft tall Projection Mapped screen in the back of the Midway

  4. Music

    + A good mix of different rock subgenres

  5. Seating

    + A ring of seats around a bonfire

  6. Bathrooms

    + Port-o-Potties spread throughout the attraction

  7. Games

  8. Stage

  9. Photo Ops

    + Photo Ops at multiple points in the journey

  10. Queue Line Actors

         + Big 'ole Brown "Catsquatch"
Bonus:

  1. Metaphysical

  2. Pyrotechnics

13. At least one HUGE set piece
          + Four HUGE set pieces in the Midway

Navigation and Customer Service

Haunted Hayride:

Facade Quality

  • No Facade, just queue lines

 

    + Funny Introduction Video

 

Use of Existing/Surrounding Environment

    + Looks like they barely disrupted the forest in picking the Hayride path

    + Due to lack of good, flat ground to use; they've taken to the air with their

        scenes

    + Wide trees are used to mostly conceal the sound system

 

Energy and Lines and Vocalizations

  • Not many actors(Samara, Dancing Zombies, Alice, March Hare, Mad Hatter, Buffalo Bill, Chainsaw Guys, Gator Bait et al.)

  • Nearly all characters have a signature sound

  • Even the animatronics have extensive lines

 

    + The Alice in Wonderland characters are so good at keeping up the spectacle

        of the scene

    + Actors could definitely feel their characters

 

Costuming

    + Super high quality transformations

 

Lighting

  • Lots of Projection Mapping

  • Vast Light Strings hung from trees

  • Many different types of lighting

 

     + Great videos played throughout, including The Ring

     + Floating Candles are surreal

     + Alice in Wonderland is mesmerising

     + Pumpkin Hill is threatening on a different level

 

Sound

  • Comprehensive Speaker System throughout the forest

 

    + Sound seems to follow you as the wagon moves forward

    + Super high fidelity

    + Crystal-clear Speech

 

Set Dressing

  • Some of the biggest scenes in the industry

  • Half of all set pieces are hanging from trees of secured to buildings above you

 

    + Drive through Fortress and Temple have a great mix of sound, animation

and fire

    + Cemetery and Gas Station look organically present

    + Chemical facility is well iterated

 

Fun

  • Two sections, ~ thirty-five minutes

  • Some great actors come onto the wagon

 

     - Might be physically unpleasant for 65+

 

     + Thriller and Stayin' Alive

     + Swamp Biscuit

Haunted Hayride

The Lost Carnival:

Facade Quality

  • The first time you get off the Wagon

  • You have to go through a “Guard Shack”

 

    + One of the more inventive walkthrough facades I've seen

    + Security Guard Patty gets in your face

 

Use of Existing/Surrounding Environment

    + This trail weaves back and forth down a natural gully

    + The Fun House, amusement rides and games seem like they've been there

        for a long time

 

Energy and Lines and Vocalizations

  • Not many actors either (Guard, Patty, Game Barker, Fun House Clowns)

  • A lot of action in the beginning

  • Your basic clown laughs later on

 

     - Not much depth to the characters on the Trail

 

    + Good performances at the Guard Shack

 

Costuming

    + Super high quality transformations

 

Lighting

  • Mostly just White Washes

  • Black Lights in the Fun House

 

     - Colored lighting is not as notable as in other elements

 

     + Lights on Carnival Rides are at just the right angles for shadow and

         imposition

 

Sound

  • Sounds of action in the distance

  • Creaking rides

  • Calliope tunes ocassionally

 

     + A wilderness escape in the middle of a huge attraction

 

Special Rooms

  • Mirror Hallway

  • Game Alley w/ shocking surprise

  • Spiral Spinning Tunnel

  • Checkerboard Hallway

 

Set Dressing

  • A Carnival along a path through the woods

 

    + Genuinely looks abandoned from the outside

    + The entrance and exit to the funhouse is through the mouth of a diabolical

        clown

The Lost Carnival

Delirium:

Facade Quality

  • Walk through a Clown's Mouth into a Cotton Candy harlequin Bar where you're given your 3D Glasses

 

     + The front wall is built like a Wild West Town style boardwalk in a 1950's

         Vintage

 

Energy and Lines and Vocalizations

  • Again, not many actors (Squeako the Clown, assorted clowns inside)

  • Lots of clown laughs

 

    - Not much depth to the characters inside

 

    + Excellence at the entrance and exit as Squeako fully

       communicates with the squeaker in her mouth

 

Costuming

    + Super high quality transformations

 

Lighting

  • This is a 3D House powered by Black Lights

  • Facade has well-placed portable work lights that fit the Circus theme

 

Sound

  • Chaotic circus music

 

    + Sounds completely out of control

 

Special Rooms

  • Painted Floors

  • Wavy, Horizontal Banded Spinning Tunnel

 

    + Adds a level of warp effect that not many other 3D Houses have

 

Set Dressing

  • A great 3D House

 

    + Well painted animals

    + “The Bearded Fatt”

    + Some of the best faces I've seen on any walls anywhere

Delirium

Pitch Black:

Facade Quality

  • A two-story wall painted to look like some kind of rounded block

 

    - Austere and not very remarkable

 

Energy and Lines and Vocalizations

  • Only like, two actors

 

     + The very few actors who are there set up the suspense very well

     + Their delaying tactics get you spaced out well

 

Costuming

     + Super high quality transformations

 

Sound

  • Ridiculously loud

 

     + A perfect rippling bass that eliminates your inner monologue

 

Special Rooms

  • The whole thing is one big Special Room

 

    + Everything about this one is meant to deprive senses

 

Set Dressing

  • No visible dressing

  • There IS dressing, though

 

     + Many of the walls are covered with physical objects that get your

         imagination going

 

Fun

  • EXTREME Dark Maze

 

     +/- More Scary than fun

Pitch Black

Sector 13:

Facade Quality

  • A three story military-industrial research prison

 

    + There are armed guard actors on each of three tiers pointing flashlights

        around

 

Use of Existing/Surrounding Environment

  • Built into what looks like a crater on the side of the mountain

 

    + Perfect aesthetic location for a secret military-industrial facility

 

Energy and Lines and Vocalizations

  • So many actors (Soliders, doctors, mutants)

 

   +/- Stanford Prison Experiment, anyone

   +/- Optional Touch Pass

 

    + Everyone had become transformed into their Sector 13 role

 

Costuming

    + Super high quality transformations

 

Lighting

  • High-powered Lighting (Beacons, Search Lights)

  • Flashlights

  • Lasers

  • Fire

 

     + This place really does look like it's a Military-industrial facility under

         lockdown

     + Testing Room is a good gag

 

Sound

  • Sirens and Announcements

 

    + Really captures the breakdown of the facility

Special Rooms

  • Laser Swamp in the Mutant Room

  • Elevated Walkway with tilt

  • Testing Room

 

     + The Room-sized effects in this one are violent

 

Set Dressing

  • Mutants galore

  • Many types of distressing on the walls

 

     + The mutants are some of the best props from any of the walkthrough

          elements

     + Walls go from pristine to destroyed as you progress

Sector 13

Entertainment and Other Values:

Scares

(Overall)

  • The Hayride is more spectacle than fear

  • The chainsaws have wrapped bars

  • The actors that come onto the wagon are unnerving

 

    +/- The clowns may or may not get you

 

      + Sector 13 is the only element of the night in which I got jumpscared

          multiple times

      + Pitch Black is hardcore scary

 

Monetary Value

(Overall)

  • 5 Elements (The Hayride, The Lost Carnival, Delirium 3D, Pitch Black and Sector 13

  • $69 GA Saturday; $64 GA Online, $59 GA at Box Office with Coupon on Friday; $59 GA Online, $49 GA at Box Office with Coupon on Sunday

  • $99 VIP

  • ~ 1 hr 30 min walkthrough

 

    + Worth all prices

    + Friday and Sunday are a steal

 

Recommendations

  • A five hour drive on its own is the most I would advise

  • Paired with another (Hellstead Manor from the North, Gravestone Manor from the West and Massacre Mansion from the East) a six hour drive is possible

  • Reaper's has a Stay and Play Deal with Scranton Hilton for $270 One-night

Entertainment and Other Values

On top of a magnificent mountain at 460 Green Grove Rd in Blakely Pennsylvania lies a Haunted Attraction sure to grant you a night of thorough thrills. The team here has been transforming the peak into a Mecca of Horror for fourteen years now and they'll keep going strong for years to come. I feel safe in that assertion because the production level is so dramatic that it's worthy of travel from hours away. Four and a half from the North and up to six from the South.

 

On entry, you turn off a minor residential road into a decent sized parking lot. The access lane to the main hill is a long, straight corridor through the darkness with a beautifully lit pond to the one side. After traversing this length, you set upon the port-o-potties and the beginning of the Midway. I didn't have to go to the Ticket Booth because I was invited to Media Night but, that path is to the right, entry to the attraction is on the left and the route to the Concessions, Merch and Photo-op Area is straight.

 

In the main body of the Midway, there is a firepit surrounded by Seating with an about twenty-five by twelve feet Projection Screen on the back. There is a ring of Concessions shops on the outside and a number of big ole props scattered throughout. I am impressed that the Concessions team has separate food and confections sheds. They as well as the carnival trailer across the way have a menu as long as you would find at a sit-down restaurant all told. Manager Sandy makes it all run to the highest level.

 

When you make your way to the ninety minute attraction, the queue line is designed to shuffle in six wagons worth of guests at a time. While waiting for your ride to come, there is an entertaining video playing on two parallel screens that with a mention of the possibility of wetting yourself presents the social media hastag: Reapersdepends.

 

Upon loading the wagon, you sit in a kind of thick bed of straw laid on the deck. The driver takes you around a bend and you start ascending. From the Necromancer Scene under the Floating Candles to the Suicide Forest Scene, there are densely decorated and well acted scenes all the way to the top. Pumpkin Hill and Alice in Wonderland are my favorites from this section of the Hayride. Pumpkin Hill consists of a drive through arch way of many different sized Jack O'lantern Scarecrows and Alice genuinely dwells in a Wonderland at this attraction.

 

It is the very top of the hill where you get off and are ordered to line up along a guard shack by a burly security guard. He ushers you into the shack where you meet Patty who interrogates the whole group. I'll leave the end of this scene a secret. Voila, you're in the realm of The Lost Carnival.

 

The Lost Carnival is a mostly outdoor path on which you experience the darkness of a desicated carnival from long ago. The escapade takes you down a gully into the first domain of clowns on your journey at the Fun House and past old amusement rides. The woods are shadowy and atmospheric and aesthetically Autumnal. A major feature of the Trail is the Funhouse which has a number of cool gags.

 

The clowning around continues across the Hayride path with the house: Delirium 3D. You walk up through another Carnival area with the typical vertical stripes and a Big Top Tent design in front of you. Under the “tent” is a Bar where Squeako the Clown gives you your Glasses (which are UV Sanitized between all uses) while squeaking out very effective communications.

 

Inside, you'll find hanging fluorescent heads, intense wild animals, a horse parade and freaks everywhere. This is the only example of outsourcing in the whole show. They went to the contractor they decided did the absolute best Chromadepth and bought the house from them. I don't blame them for not trying to find a 3D muralist for the team because these elements are usually a one time thing and you can more easily hire an expert artist to come do repairs than have a full-time artist on the payroll for something that is only a major investment at the very start.

 

Leaving the house, you're shuffled back onto a wagon for the second half of the Hayride. This portion is great but, only about half of it is as grand as the first. The three most notable parts are the only chainsaws in the whole attraction and two drive-through houses. In the early portion of this half, you have an old timey dive bar and gas station that plays host two chainsaw maniacs with wrapped bars that may or may not hit you. The first of the houses is a barn with Hillbillies running amok. One woman named Gator Bait riding a drill named Swamp Biscuit pet my head. The prop flailing above you is a marionette pulled by a common Puppet Master. The finale to the Hayride, in it's last year features full wagon movement and attacking Reapers.

 

The Hayride concludes at a divergence point. In this small plaza are port-o-potties, the queue line for Pitch Black and a bypass lane for those who have been previously scarred by this element. Pitch Black is an EXTREME Dark Maze with sound, darkness and touch effects meant to deprive you of your senses. I personally defied the system by using my elbows held out to my sides to find the way so, I didn't hit the nasty patches with my hands. The warbling Bass they play at an obscene volume makes it hard to even have an internal monologue. For the only actors in the element's roles, they sure make for a good deal of suspense.

 

The final clearing out the back of Pitch Black has a distinct line where the safe, delicious and entertaining vibe of the Midway becomes a dreadful appeal to danger when you look over into a “crater” in the side of the mountain where a “Secret” Military-industrial Research Prison stands to make your day just a little scarier. This facility is the final element: Sector 13.

 

Sector 13 plays out as a chaotic and dangerous tryst with the idea of mutation. The entry has a unit of Elite military profiling and drilling the guest in a space where order and security are breaking down. The adventure proceeds through a testing room, an overlook of the house with a mechanical surprise and the quarters of a completely mutated faculty. There are some really cool full-room effects like the Laser Swamp in the Cryo-tank room.

 

I would have to say Reaper's Revenge cruised onto my Top 13. I was looking to possibly have a more contrarian view of this haunt than other Haunt Writers and Reviewers. The experience just so happens to be consistenly impressive for all the ways they look their sets, actors and operations. Like all the others, I can totally recommend this show to many, many people over a stupendous radius.

Experience Essay

Experience Essay
Photos

Recommended One-way Trip Range - 5 Hours

Drive Time Recommendation Map
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