If you’ve been watching our site you’ll know that this year’s (and part of last year’s) October Cosplay Spotlight was shot at The Haunted Forest at Panic Point in Youngsville, NC. We love us some Halloween here at the Variant and October always gives our cosplayers a chance to not only get out of their element but for us to showcase more of them. When I met Panic Point co-owner Brian Garff back in 2012 it was through a random ad requesting junk for a “Haunted Attraction”. As you walk into the junkyard portion of Panic Point you’ll see my old barbecue grill sitting at the entrance. Flash forward to 2017 and I was trying to piece together more for our Halloween Spotlight. We already had a bunch of creepy stuff submitted but I wanted just one more piece. Morticia and Wednesday Addams needed a location so I called Brian out of the blue and he agreed. I called him again for this year’s October shenanigans and thankfully he agreed again.
When we got there to shoot this year it was early in September. The walk-through portion was riddled with actual spiders and we did most of the spider removal as we went with a large stick. After the season started I went back to go through the attraction to check it out live. I brought the most jaded person I could find, my 13 year old son, with me as a means to gauge just how scary or not scary it actually was.
So Panic Point is split into six horrifying sections: The Haunted Forest, The Howling Hayride, Dark Trail, Killers in the Corn, Menacing Maze and the Carny Crypt. For this review we’re gonna focus on The Haunted Forest. The Haunted Forest is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a walk through the woods with a bunch of monstrous little stops along the way. I may not get these all in the right order but you go through The Butcher’s Shop, The Doll House, the junkyard, The Voodoo Shack, a strobe light maze, the Sanatorium, the Panic Point Hotel, a graveyard complete with vampire crypt, a haunted church and a clown house.
Since 2012 when I first went they definitely have added a lot more sections to the park and more to the stops. Even when we were filming there in September they were doing construction on parts of the graveyard. I loved seeing new things added and while I had already seen the Haunted Forest twice in the daylight it was great walking through it at night. After being there in the day you’d think it might lose its glamour but this was not the case. The darkness changes everything. Add some creatures of the night, some lasers, light effects, creepy sounds and a few clowns and you’ve got yourselves a great haunt.
Again I brought my teenager with me. It was his first time in a haunted attraction. He’s at that Jason, Freddy, Michael age and he absolutely loved Panic Point. He said he wasn’t scared, but I caught him jumping a few times as there were jump scares throughout. He also made me go first which told me everything I needed to know. The actors were all great and from what I could see in the dark their makeup and costumes were on point and didn’t look thrown together and cheesy. I roughly counted about 3 or four actors per stop and the scares were in all the right places. The mood is perfect. The horror is real. We had girls in front of us that refused to budge when some of the actors popped out at them. We had people behind us that were in front of us at first but asked us to go ahead so they could get their scared friend into the first stop on the trail. I don’t want to spoil any of the horror that awaits you at Panic point, but I will say this: go there, be scared and have fun. Hope you survive!!
10 / 10 Scream Queens Slashed