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We left Lake Joy Trails of Terror covered in fake blood and glitter and it was… AMAZING!

We were super excited, remembering how much fun we had on our previous visits, as we drove down the long, winding dirt road that leads to Lake Joy Trails of Terror. It had been a while since we’d last checked out this haunt, and we were really looking forward to seeing their new additions. As the haunt grounds came into view a monster came running across the field at our car, only to be stopped by the low fence surrounding the property. We could also see a stage set-up, and there was a live band performing! Even at the late hour we arrived, they had a great turnout for opening weekend and what better way to keep the masses entertained than with a live band… nice touch!

We got out of the car and walked towards the ticket booth. We noticed among the offerings an option for an “extreme” experience, so of course, we had to go with that. They gave us some glowing wrist bands and handed us our souvenir t-shirts. “We would rather grab these on our way out,” we politely requested (so we wouldn’t have to walk through the haunt carrying t-shirts) but we were quickly informed that we needed to put them on… right now. Ohhh… kayyyy… ??? We obediently obliged and headed for the queue line that thoughtfully wound its way back and forth in front of the stage while the speakers pumped out the band’s metal version of songs like Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance.

The haunt started in true Lake Joy fashion, a winding path through dark woods with claustrophia-inducing tunnel structures and terrifying rooms built along the way. Lake Joy uses no animatronics or super fancy expensive props in their builds. Their sets are built using mostly everyday-type items in the most interestingly twisted ways – think plastic tarp, mattress toppers, and pool noodles. This team really “gets” scary, and we think they could deliver up the fear with just about anything. Scare MacGuyvers!

Lake Joy Trails of Terror doesn’t really follow a cohesive storyline throughout the entire experience (except for a few consistent characters) but instead gives you separate mini stories with transitioning tunnels between each. It’s incredible what they do, and these guys do it EVERY YEAR, completely re-designing their trails and theming for each haunt season. Impressive!

We went through the first few rooms with minimal interaction with the scare actors. They really weren’t touching or engaging us more than the usual well-placed jump scare and creepy bantering. For the haunt-goers who didn’t brave the extreme experience, they’re getting a great show, but we were starting to wonder what this whole “extreme” experience was all about…. When all of a sudden, we were both snatched up, our wrists duct taped together, and were led to every girl’s nightmare, the quintessential “rape van.” We were both thrown in the back and given a shower of fake blood while the van violently whipped us back and forth over the uneven terrain. Wowwwwwww… if that wasn’t enough to send a true haunt lover into a haunt-gasm we don’t know what is... but it didn’t stop there.

We faced several torture cages and restraining devices along the way where we basically got to become a part of the show while other guests walked by us, probably wondering what type of insane people enjoyed what was happening to us.

Costuming ranged from minimal make-up to one extremely detailed mummy, and the actors at Lake Joy are top-notch, dedicated scare pros!

Lake Joy is an extremely fun, scary, well-executed haunted trail that is a must-see! Whether you decide to endure their extreme experience or not, you’re going to leave this haunt feeling exhilarated from this terrifying trek through the woods.

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