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First stop on our DMV haunt schedule was Shocktober in Leesburg, VA. It is located in an old "manor" in the middle of a picturesque school campus. This is another haunt where we had absolutely no idea what to expect because 1. It is a charity haunt and 2. The "...these are PG-13 scares..." sign posted at the ticket window. In our minds, these two factors together meant watered down for teens; so needless to say, we did not have very high expectations. Well...

When we have ever mentioned that a haunt was lacking a cohesive theme, that haunt should "relax and take notes" from Shocktober. Cohesive?... NAILED IT! From the sets, to the smells (oh the smells!), the sounds, the actors, everything felt "on purpose." No random or oddly placed scares here.

Detail, detail, detail... so much detail. Their characters and props were perfectly placed in these super elaborate sets. Everything just flowed so deliberately from one well-designed room to the next. We were amazed that they were able to utilize most, if not all, of the house, plus they added the basement as a carnival-themed second attraction this year.

The actors were phenomenal! They managed to be scary with actual words and dialogue. This season we have encountered a lot actors who simply scream, grunt, or moan at us. Ummm... sorry, not scary. Their make-up and costuming ranged from simple to over-the-top but always fit where they were placed.

There weren't a ton of surprise scares here; this was more of an immersive, psychological experience where all of our senses were fully engaged. We truly felt transported into this world they created. First, being cursed by a voodoo witch doctor all the way through our souls being lost in a clown-filled afterlife.

The proceeds from this haunt go to The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus, a nonprofit organization that helps children and adults with disabilities. What a great cause! We got there only 20 minutes after opening and the line was already wrapped around the manor. Spend that extra money for the speed pass! You'll save a ton of time, plus it's for charity. They also have a tent set up selling adult beverages, homemade baked goods, merchandise, and food. Visiting Shocktober will make you feel good and get scared! This is definitely not one to miss!

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