This haunted theme park combines five individual, full-sized haunts with a large courtyard complete with a bonfire, snack bar and the Club Zombie dance party. Club Zombie — the new teen-focused rave among the cornfields — is mostly a spectacle if you’re over 25 but looked to be great fun for the high school kids. One girl asked me how I liked the Temple of Terror, and I told her it was like being in an Indiana Jones movie. Her reply: “Who’s Indiana Jones?” Even if you’re old enough to be shocked at this question, you’ll still have a ball. The Temple includes a dramatic crescendo in which you can believe you might actually be killed. Another standout is Dr. Psycho’s Haunted Estate, which offers an expanded graveyard chase, a greenhouse with man eating plants and an intensely realistic mad scientist’s lab.
3-D Killer Klowns is back and is more freak than fright
. The new addition is The Voodoo Bayou Shanty — think Deliverance
mixed up with the Chainsaw Massacre
family. The Shanty’s actors have some of the best makeup at the park and are very confrontational. The wheelchair-bound grandma strapped with an oxygen mask was a hoot. The centerpiece of the show is the Middletown Haunted Trail, a mile-long hike that proceeds through hillbilly infested woods populated with outhouse goons, a confrontation with aliens and a headless horseman, a slaughterhouse chase and The Nest, a frightful, dreamlike vampire cave with a surprise finale.
THE WAIT: The line takes between 25 minutes and more than an hour. The tour is 25 minutes or so.
DETAILS: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 8-11:30 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 31. 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown, 513-423-9960, www.thelandofillusion.com
THE DAMAGE: General admission is $29.95 Fridays and Saturdays, $24.95 Sundays and $39.95 for the VIP Fast Pass. Discounts available online. Cash only at the gate.
CITYBEAT RATING: R