WOODS OF TERROR
After 2 years, I finally made my way back to Greensboro, North Carolina. The infamous Woods Of Terror has been on my brain since 2018. They are only 1 of 2 haunts since SF began that ever received a perfect score on a review. Upon my return, simply seeing the string lights piercing through the thick fog gave me goosebumps. Hearing the band warm up from the midway is like being outside the gates of a concert venue.
When you visit Woods Of Terror, you better come prepared to rock, laugh and scream!
This is not SF’s traditional review format, but we are going to break it up in portions.
Let’s begin with the midway experience.
Once the crowd packs into the massive midway. You know the show is about to begin with the engine of the casket car revving up. The gates open and the car drives out. Once it makes its way around the first turn towards the stage. A steady beat begins and vocals begin to echo throughout the property. Out comes the WOT Army marching shoulder to shoulder, some hand in hand like they are walking into battle. I looked around to see the reactions and some faces on nearby patrons, some had their jaws dropping, some were smiling from ear to ear, some were simply taking in the moment. Others, hiding their faces in fear, questioning their decision on purchasing a ticket.
As the full crew makes their way to the front of the stage, they stand and face the band waiting for their General to give the order to strike. Once that order of “Pick a victim” is said, the terror then becomes real as you hear hundreds of people scream in unison.
Right after, the crew falls back in line as the biggest, most intense clown that I’ve ever seen leads the actors into WOT’s own Haka dance.
Right after, the bass begins to play and the guitar hits that first note and you instantly know the National Anthem is coming.
If you have never witnessed this moment in person, you are missing out. Of ALL the videos out there showing this, it does not do it justice when it comes to seeing it in person.
Bone Daddy hits that first note of “O say can you see”. You get goosebumps from looking around and seeing the crowd with their hands over their hearts, hats in hand and singing along.
It’s truly something to witness in person. There is absolutely nothing like this anywhere in the industry.
I even overheard an older patron afterwards say “Man, that guy with the snake and mohawk is the songbird of our generation.”
Once the Anthem ends, the majority of the actors pour into the haunt to prepare themselves for your visit.
A lot stay behind and start patrolling the midway for the remainder of the night. And when I say patrolling, I mean they are everywhere and they do not stop. Constantly interacting, scaring and taking photos with guests. The band keeps playing and the midway party has begun.
WOT is also known for bringing in multiple special guest actors and on this particular trip was the group known as DCC (Dead City Collective). Full of talented actors who travel all over to haunts. They put on a show for patrons each night which includes, fire breathing, staple guns, mouse traps, bed of nails, smashing cinder blocks and broken glass stunts.
If you can steer clear from the monsters and happen to grow an appetite, WOT offers a cafe that offers multiple items to curb that hunger. Also, there is a spot that has some of the best donuts that I’ve ever had. There are multiple shops that offer you almost an endless browsing selection for merchandise. You have some side attractions such as axe throwing and something that looks like an electric chair. I wasn’t able to check that out more closely. The midway offers a “Scare free” zone where you can enter and the monsters will leave you alone. Great spot for the little ones who are not quite sure of their surroundings, I guess it’s a great spot for adults too. I saw a lot of grown men hanging out in that area by themselves.
The midway at Woods Of Terror is seriously an event all on it’s own and you could easily spend your entire night there without even going through the haunt itself.
Let’s get into the actual haunt walkthrough.
This experience lasted me roughly around 54 minutes, and that was at a decent pace. To make sure I was accurate with the time. I timed multiple people throughout the evening and those times were at 50, 57 and 48 minutes. So you can bank on your experience time to be around 50 minutes to an hour. That is simply incredible when it comes to bang for your buck at Woods Of Terror.
They offer so many different themes throughout and the way it flows into each is simply amazing. It is extremely smooth for the most part minus the one single area where you cross a path where ATV’s occasionally drive through.
Let’s do a brief summary of each attraction you encounter.
A dark twisting area where spiders are literally everywhere. Not only are their spiders, this is like a dark demented funhouse with uneven, vibrating floors and among other things. It's a nice beginning to the rest of the trail. It definitely sets the tone.
If you like or hate Jeepers Creepers… You’re either going to love or hate this section. You get to walk in front of the Rusted 41 Chevy also known as “BEATNGU”. This offers multiple great jump scares as you make your way through the school busses from the 2nd film.
This area to me was simply chaos in blacklight hell. It’s literally like the name implies, it’s a nightmare. Tons of barrels, loud noises, electricity sounds and effects. Then mix it in with a few actors and pop scares.
Do you like clowns? No, yes? Regardless, this is where you will have to deal with them. In years past, I have experienced tons of 3D areas while in a haunt. I have encountered some unique ones while also having encountered ones that used the same ol’ recycled art style. Woods Of Terror still stands firm on offering the best 3D experience that I have seen.
While you are admiring the amazing artwork, there’s a house full of clowns who are so intense with their scares and interactions. I personally witnessed 2 people in the house crying due to how scared they were. I would never high five anyone that makes people cry, but in this situation, it’s deserved!
You will also find the fastest spinning vortex tunnel known to mankind. A carousel with a live DJ dropping beats to the rhythm of patrons screams!
~House of Blood~
The good ol’ house of vampires. As you approach this section, this is where the elaborate lifesize facades begin to come into play.
I absolutely love the look of this house as you approach it and it gets even better once you step inside. The attention to detail, the props truly keep you immersed. The actresses and actors inside played their roles extremely well as I noticed a few folks in my group trying to cover up their necks thinking no one would notice… I noticed.
To me, this was the most improved scene. The lighting, the fog, the added effects truly amped this area up tremendously. The actor's intensity was off the charts and it all started with the gatekeeper all the way to the very end. I’ve never been known to ever give zombie’s props in a haunted house, but this entire scene and crew deserve a standing ovation.
~Horror Movie Classics~
Typically when haunts add in horror Icons into their roster. A lot tend to be lazy with the costumes or the actors do not do them justice. Not at WOT! First, I just want to praise the facades in this section. From the movie theater, to the Elm Street and Myers house. Simply one of the coolest things to walk up on. I noticed the additions and improvements to Crystal Lake which definitely improves that section as well. I enjoyed Freddy’s portrayal when it comes to his costume and another thing was his voice. Freddy’s voice is iconic and not easy to recreate, the actor did a wonderful job with his voice. Also shout out to the actress out front setting up the scene with singing us the Freddy song. Definitely brought a creepy vibe to the scene.
Jason and Michael did a great job, I really enjoyed and appreciated Jason's costume with the whole mask removal to expose his classic face.
PIRATES! Scary Pirates!! I absolutely love this section, from the lighting, the sounds and the acting. It’s different and something you don’t see portrayed at many haunts. Not only that, they have a boat that rocks side to side and it will throw you off balance throughout. The actors and actresses did a fantastic job throughout this entire experience. Had a pirate aggressively slinging his sword around, an actress playing the violin who graciously played me a song. She really does play, by the way. Even a pirate in the water fishing out what looked like snakes. Great experience in this section.
This section to me is one of the creepiest areas at WOT. Reason being, it’s tight quarters, it’s dark and does give the immersive feeling that you are in fact underground. The way it is set up and designed truly gives the feel that you are in a mine shaft. The actors do a great job with the timing of their scares while also maintaining body control within the tight spaces and small areas so they don’t hit or hurt a patron. This scene absolutely delivers top quality startles and scares.
The one big change I noticed was the huge new sign that in fact lets you know that you’ve reached “The Texas House”. This section is pretty unsettling as you make your way through what seems like an endless junkyard. The Facade to this house is truly something that makes you want to hang around just to look at it for a bit longer. Inside, you get the nasty, gritty feel as what it would most likely be like inside the Sawyer house. Numerous actors inside here do a great job with balancing scares and mixing in some theatrical skills. I love the detail and set design and love the chainsaw sparks. Still to this very day, the stuffed animal scare is my favorite.
All that can really be said about this area is that it’s pure chaos. Crazy costumed actors, zig zagging in and out of vehicles and flaming toilet bowls…. If that doesn’t scream purge, I don’t know what does!
This is where your fear of the dark becomes reality. Pick a side and good luck getting out. Some of the scares in this section are pretty shocking!
Last but not least, let’s talk about the actors.
The actors this season at Woods Of Terror were intense, persistent and relentless. It seemed like at every turn and corner I was face to face with an actor. Woods Of Terror has what they call Icon Characters that they put out in the midway. No doubt they are talented and do a wonderful job. But, I do want to say that the actors on the inside are extremely talented as well. The midway actors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to top notch talented actors and actresses. I personally got to see every one perform that night and I must say, every actor and actress deserved, “Actor/Actress of the night”
Woods Of Terror is an experience that you won’t find anywhere else. It sets itself apart from what’s going on anywhere else in the industry. Being in the business for 30 years says something and proves that they know what they are doing. I can’t honestly say they are “THE” best in North Carolina because I haven’t had the privilege to visit many others in the state. But I have been to over 100 different haunts all across the Southeast and Midwest. I can however say without a doubt that they are one of if not the best that I’ve ever experienced in the both regions.
Do yourself a favor this October. Make the trip to Woods Of Terror