Parking is ample and the scares begin as soon as you park. ;} The ticket booth is located to the left of the building and then it's on to the nightmare.
Insanity and phobias reach out from every side and from your first encounter with "Choo Choo" the clown you spend the evening skirting their clutching grasp. Your journey through Folklore begins with the perfect combination of dominance and fear. The Mistress gently coerces compliance then demands obedience as she instructs guests in the etiquette of the world you are about to enter. As you begin the maze, if your eyes aren't squeezed shut, you'll notice the first set is well defined and the "residents" of Folklore are eager to make you a part of the scene. A guest never wonders, "Now what is the room supposed to be?" as each scene unfolds before them and is cleverly brought to life by a huge host of experienced haunt actors. A mad twitchy girl in the mental ward seems to want you to stay for just a little while and share her madness, a spider boy has an offer you really DO want to refuse and the snarling slathering swamp creature drives you further into the nightmare.
As mentioned, Folklore embodies phobia. It also has a turn of the century theme to many of the costumes and sets. Each and every room, whether through conscious will or happy coincidence represents a phobia of some sort but you are also walking through a story that seems set 100 years ago. If you have a fear, baby you'll find it here in glorious sepia tones!
Folklore's sets are beautiful and in many ways make the haunt feel like a character all it's own. Small details, that can often be lost by a panicked fleeing guest, are everywhere. As you stroll through the meandering cemetery you can almost smell the rot and grave dust of the old southern graveyard. Making your way into the swamp you encounter a heavy mist rolling across the terrain as the mad residents weave in and out of the fog and then suddenly pounce! Upon stumbling into the doctor's office you are greeted by the "helpful" staff and they seem to have been waiting Just For You. All the tools of their trade are on display and at their disposal. You enter with the uneasy feeling that this is one doctors visit that might be pricier than your copay. In the children's playroom, dressed like an antique nursery rhyme, sits a small doll-like creature with glassy knowing eyes.
When we took our trip through Folklore we trailed a group of 4. It's great to view the haunt through the eyes of others and we find ourselves weighing their unbiased reactions in our review. The creatures of Folklore are skilled professionals. These aren't just high school kids looking for a part time job, these are trained haunters using nearly every haunter's trick in the book to make you scream or pee in your panties...em, pantelettes. However, the one scare technique that we noticed wasn't being used to it's full advantage was the "Startle Scare ". Very rarely were we (or the guests in front of us) surprised by a hidden actor. For the most part we could see each character before we approached them. In many cases this works, but the startle is one of those things that make a haunt so exciting - the anticipation - "what's waiting around the next bend? " Is there something hiding in that dark corner?". We also felt that in some instances actors lingered too long after their scare allowing the guests to become accustomed to the creature and through that familiarity losing their fear. The suspension of disbelief is minimized if a guest starts to remember that the character is only an actor. We will note that it was a slow night and sometimes creatures are just hungry for interaction after sitting alone in the dark for so long. Along the same lines of scare techniques, the skill level of scene development and and interaction among the character actors was amazing. I would love to see a more evenly dispersed combination of those well acted dramatic scares with the quick, pinpoint attacks of startle scares. The juxtaposition helps keep victims on their toes.
I will drift for a moment towards costuming. Most of the costumes worn are of a vintage feel, well distressed but not monochromatic. Clothing in shades of blue, red, green and even yellow pop and make the characters stand out from the scenery. In the same vein, the makeup on the actors was wonderful. Because Folklore uses light and shadow to good advantage the techniques employed by the makeup artists were easily visible and highlighted to great effect. The costumes the characters wear along with the skillfully applied makeup help to create the illusion that these "Folklorians" have been waiting for you for a Very Long Time.
Folklore Haunted House also offers two additional attractions, The Last Ride and The Zombie Zone - for those that just haven't had enough fear for one night.
While Folklore doesn't rely too heavily on the current trend of gore, it does provide a solid dark attraction horror experience. There are a few animatronics, but not so many that they detract from the actors and the motion activated props are used as brief diversions rather than key elements. The sets are beautiful (If you find cobwebs, sharp pointy objects and unsavory vintage "elements" beautiful - we do) and the actors are consummate professionals.
We give Folklore Haunted House 4.25 Bats out of 5!