Wicked World Scaregrounds near Lexington, KY features 3 attractions - an indoor haunted house, a laser shoot, and an indoor/outdoor haunted trail. These attractions are all unique, have totally unrelated stories and completely different vibes!
First up was Nightmare Haunted House, where we were escorted to the front row of a wonderfully dreadful little theater to watch a short movie. It was the story of Sarah Johnson, an abused girl who had the power to bring her dreams to life. Unfortunately, all of Sarah’s dreams were twisted nightmares and we were about to enter them! We love haunts with a backstory and this one was really good and presented in a SUPER DOPE way, but we felt it was a little anticlimactic and drawn out. We were waiting for an unexpected scare but then the movie just ended and the screen disappeared into the ceiling, revealing the entrance to the haunt… now that was pretty cool!
We then ventured into Sarah’s dreamworld turned reality and this poor girl is nuts! There were tons of super creepy monsters and a few of them we recognized from the film! The uneven floors throughout this nightmare kept us off balance and unsteady feeling as if we were walking through a dream.
The next haunt was The Hunted. If you like shooter video games or laser tag this is the haunt for you! It was a CRAZYYYYYY FUN, high intensity zombie laser shoot. The zombies, failed experiments of a mad scientist bent on creating the ultimate soldier, re-animated no matter where or how many times we shot them and were relentless! These psycho killers were coming at us from every angle! We didn’t even have time to really check out the sets because we were under constant attack and working our hardest to make it out alive. We think they were good…?
The actors in this attraction were DEDICATED AF - sacrificing the shit out of their bodies, running at full speed, throwing themselves against walls, and collapsing on floors. They really sold the story and we were truly scared!
The laser gun was set-up to automatically reload, which was a nice touch… less to think about when you are running and shooting for your lifeeee! We just wish the gun kept score of the number of kills and deaths… we’re a competitive bunch.
The 3rd and final attraction was the outdoor trail, Valley of the Dead, where we met Earl in his mechanic shop. He instructed us on how to make it through his forest to “get to the other side.” After meeting Earl we were then told that he was, in fact, dead (did the Dixie Chicks get him???) so getting to the other side took on a whole new meaning. The actors in this haunt had a much more theatrical approach than in The Nightmare. We spent more time in each scene interacting with the actors, becoming further and further engulfed in their underworld. Valley of the Dead had an almost ethereal feel, making our grasp of the real world more tenuous. There were a lot of transitions between areas without scares that in some ways felt like missed opportunities but in other ways felt like an unsettling build-up. A cemetery on the shores of an extremely realistic yet fake lake became a relaxing midnight stroll. This haunt featured less jump-type scares and had just a frighteningly unnatural vibe, more unsettling than full-on scary.
Overall, The Wicked World Scaregrounds was a well-rounded haunted experience ramping up with the mildly scary haunted house, to the high energy zombie shoot, to the eerily relaxing stroll through the underworld. The sets and costuming were decent but could be taken up a few notches. The Nightmare could use some more animatronics to help with theming and scares. The house and scenes were too big to rely so heavily on actors. But we did like Sarah Johnson. Girl, you crazy.
As they continue to grow and evolve we would love to see them incorporate more of a midway area. Concessions, games, fire pits, etc. to go along with the DJ they had out there… nice touch! If you’re looking for a wickedly fun time, be sure to check out Wicked World Scaregrounds!