The Schoolhouse is one hell of a haunt. Josh, Bud and Chuck (owner operators/Board of Deaducation) have assembled a slick horror-movie-style production. Period antiques, authentic materials such as a lunch counter and overhead projector and fine attention to detail make the experience immersive. It’s a real schoolhouse, and it really feels like a trip to the Twilight Zone.
As the all-you-can-eat buffet of Halloween experiences, there are both advantages and drawbacks to the Halloween Haunt. In terms of overall value, especially for season pass holders (buy a 2011 season pass and you get one free admission to the Haunt), you can’t beat it. It has a dozen haunted attractions, free midget wrestling, and even a sexy vampire burlesque show.
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.
The Hall is my favorite charity haunt, combining old-school DIY haunted house design with an awesome volunteer cast. The actors have a lot of heart and inspire plenty of screams. Unique features include an extra-long backwards-spinning vortex tunnel and a turntable floor that almost knocks you off your feet.
When peering into the cold, starry sky from the Sandyland wagon, you really feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere or, more specifically, somewhere you shouldn’t be. Trespassers are treated to a slow-moving creepmobile trip through a haunted cornfield and woods. Not that you’d want to get off.
Many board the Captain’s boat, and few leave unchanged. The USS Nightmare stands out as the region’s most original and bizarre attraction. A godawful crew of scum fill this antique tub, and every one of them is out for your blood. This haunt is elaborate and authentic.
Kathleen Turner just completed a month of performances at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in Matthew Lombardo's drama 'High,' and she also made time to stump for Planned Parenthood's local branch. As chairwoman of the national Planned Parenthood Board of Advocates, Turner spoke to local residents about the importance of sex and contraceptive education. "What we stand for is to plan your parenthood, is to plan when you want to have a child. And make that part of your life decision rather than simply have it happen to you."
Coney Island's Fall-O-Ween is a delightful autumn festival for kids. With trick-or-treating, a petting zoo, live Halloween shows, a mild haunted house and a maze, there are hours of activities for the most precocious kid. A gaggle of carnival rides keep things interesting for adults, too. Spooky characters like the Headless Horseman prowl the park and are available for photos.
For reasons that are obvious, there are more homeless sleeping outdoors and outside of local shelters in the warmer months than during the winter. The Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless counted 77 people living outdoors around downtown last winter and estimates there are about 200 persons camping out at any given time. Take a look inside the lives of Baldy and Lee, who camp on a permanent basis.
The city's best overall value this Halloween is still Kings Island's Haunt. The Haunt features more than a dozen spooky walk-throughs that range from mild (CarnEVIL) to scary (Massacre Manor). Howl-O-Fest is the kid's Halloween event, which includes two mazes, trick-or-treat stations and a petting zoo. The park, including rides, is open 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays, noon-1 a.m. Saturdays and noon-8 p.m. Sundays through October.