This was the first year the grounds of the GA Renaissance Festival were transformed into the outdoor haunted experience, The Village. This production was put on by 13 Stories Haunted House and when we heard that, we were a little concerned because our previous experiences at 13 Stories have been less than amazing. But, come on, the GA Renaissance grounds?! Just the space alone has massive potential, but unfortunately, as expected… it was a flop!
The theming was all over the place even though the grounds lent themselves to a number of themes that would have translated extremely well – Resident Evil’s The Village, the Black Death, or even just solid renaissance/Middle Ages theming, but instead we got what felt like 13 Stories in a different location – non-cohesive theming, basic and bland costuming… like actors with hospital gowns thrown over their street clothes aimlessly wandering around… IN THE MIDDLE AGES!
The acting was uninspiring, and the set-up didn’t do much to help in that department. The grounds of the festival are sprawling and very open making it difficult for actors to hide or sneak up on someone, so the tried-and-true jump scare was pretty much out of the question in most places.
There was one actor who gets MAJOR props from us! She was a one-person show out there! She kept popping up everywhere and did a great job of keeping us interested and engaged with spooky banter and creepy antics. Maybe she could hear our consistent complaints as we traversed the festival grounds and tried to single-handedly save the haunt. Either way… BRAVO!
The length of the trail was amazing, but unfortunately, it felt more monotonous than exciting. We found ourselves wondering how much longer it was going to be instead of eager to see what was coming up next.
Luckily, The Village has a lot more to offer than just a lackluster haunted attraction. There are mobile escape rooms, a zombie shoot, foam party, and tons of food concessions including the Renaissance Festival staple, turkey legs. There were also many of the fun games you are accustomed to seeing during the festival like archery and axe throwing. This area has an AMAZING VIBE and that alone makes a trip to The Village a very worthwhile fall experience.
We realize this review is much shorter than most of the reviews we write, but this was a tough one. There really was little worth mentioning so instead of just slandering the haunt, we’re rolling with “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
The Renaissance Festival deciding to turn their grounds into a haunted attraction during their “off-season” is an absolutely BRILLIANT idea, but not sure if 13 Stories was the right haunt to partner with to make it a success. Maybe they now understand the challenges of the space and will be ready to tackle and solve them in the years to come… Only time will tell…