One of the best haunts in Louisvillle or surrounding areas is about an hour away in Seymour, Indiana. Fear Fair is run by the local Jaycees, and it's no wonder that there was an hour and a half long wait outside the haunt. With a staff of about 75 actors, this house tops anything I've been to in Louisville. I can't believe they kept the ticket prices at just $15 compared to the charges for much shorter less impressive haunts in the area.
Fear Fair is in a WWII former US Army Barracks at Freeman Field Municipal Airport and is home to two different haunted attractions, although they are traveled as one long attraction so you get two for the price of one. The first of the attractions is a military Hangar that's got a mutant soldier problem, and the second haunt is a cinema where many iconic horror film scenes
have been recreated. This Thursday is the second of two special Thursday events called Nyctophobia where you can travel through the attractions without any lighting at all except for a glow stick.
The first thing you notice as you approach is the awesome facade built up around the barracks/hangar that looks like an old abandoned ghost town. Wooden signs and a ticket booth
point the way through the marked off line areas. As you approach the opening of the hangar, you enter an enclosed area where two television screens are broadcasting newscasts reporting on a problem with mutating soldiers. You are taken into the hangar in an official looking "briefing room" where you are asked to watch another video that fades in and out between static and a historical documentaion of what happened at Hangar 17. To the left of the television is a door with a window that shows mutated soldiers milling about. As the video is ending, a mutated soldier begins shooting out the glass of the window, causing it to crack.
One of Hangar 17's mutants:
That is the beginning of a very realistic war scene in which a couple of soldiers begin shouting at you to move with them, and pushing you through the scene as gun fire erupts around you. They get you safely onto a train that is rocking back and forth and you are on your own from there. ( I would not reccommend this haunt to anyone suffering PTSD). From there you move
through the army barracks, running into several scenes and characters.
I should mention one very important difference between this haunted house and most haunts in the area. At most haunts, the actors are not allowed to touch you. At this haunt: "Oh, hell
yes" as the FAQ's on their site state.
Occasionally, a character will grab at your arm or jump out and grab you. I would leave the loose and/or dangling clothes and jewelry at home. Another warning: Do not wear heels, ladies. The stairs are made of slats with openings in them. I had a hard time in arched boots. Sneakers are your best bet!
The second haunt begins as you enter a recreated theater complete with people sitting in the movie theater seats. You move through the theater and behind the screen to begin your journey
through the horror movie scenes. There is a large recreated Freddy Kreuger set up. One of the reasons this haunt was successful on startling me so much is because they keep you on your toes. When walking through a haunt, a cut out window in the wall generally means someone is going to appear there or jump through there to startle you by yelling. As I went through this
house, I came across one after another and finally thought "some of the actors must be missing". Promptly upon making this observation, I entered a room and screamed as Freddy
Kreuger came bursting through the wall. That's right: the wall. They have walls, with invisible doors. That's just playing dirty. Other movies included Halloween, Scream, Jason, and Saw. Jason grabbed me as we walked through camp, dragging me away from my group. He was probably waiting for me to freak out, but he held on so long I began to wonder if it was love.
It's kind of funny considering a childhood moment on the elementary school playground where a little boy that was pretending to be Jason said he would only save my boyfriend (Freddy Kreuger - we were twisted) if I would be his girlfriend. I spent all afternoon writing the boy love notes, taking him seriously. I gave them to him after school in the cafeteria while waiting for the bus. He promptly tore them up, spit on them, and kicked me in the knee. Stupid boy. I hope someone eventually told him his rat tail was ugly. Thanks for plugging into a personally traumatic childhood event. Well played, Jason.
Freddy jumped out and made me scream.
Scream was done as it should be - a disorienting maze of sorts with tons of scream mask set ups so you don't know which one is the actual person. I loved the guy in the wheelchair at the beginning of the Saw recreation. We walked in and he said "BOO" before laughing maniacally. I also loved that he followed us, balancing on a handrail, and was able to get a scream out of my son, even though my son knew he was there.
The most disturbing scene for me was near the end. My small group (including myself, a male friend, and my son) came upon a wall with two restroom doors marked for men and women. We were separated. Since our group was so small, I had to enter the restroom alone. The door locked after I walked through, and I found myself in a dingy bathroom with a tray and a toilet. I quickly found that the sliding wall/door at the other end was locked. I looked up to notice that part of the ceiling was missing, and I thought, "OH, F(&*, something is about to go down." I could see the guys in their room through a window, however they could not see me. The ceiling missing was really bothersome, because it added a third place that something could come at me (besides the two doors). To be honest, I had been so shaken by things attacking from all edges for long enough by the time I ended up in the bathroom that I even began to worry about whether or not something was going to come out of the small and disgusting toilet. After enough time alone to be disturbing, the bright and ugly fluorescent lamp above me flickered to life, alerting me to the fact that the "window" became a mirror when light hit it. I pretty much freaked out a little because I knew something was about to happen. The light began flickering with a buzz, and then ....the door slid open, and something happened. I don't want to ruin it, but it was pretty awful. I'm sure to most people it would have be pretty terrifying, but I have to say being locked in the bathroom was more disturbing to me. In line with Alfred Hitchcock's thinking, the things my imagination did while waiting were far worse. It gave me a sense of what it would be like to be kept somewhere and being able to see people you care about while they have no idea you are there in need of help. It was probably one of the most disturbing moments for me ever in a haunt. Well done, Fear Fair. Well done.
You also get a chance to be attacked by a chainsaw. Although, there are no chains on them, it is disconcerting to have one hit you in the gut or move down your leg.
This guy waved that horrifying thing in my face as he petted my "pretty face" and asked if I wanted to donate my brain to science. I don't like needles.
Overall, the fast pace and mobile actors keep you in a chaotic state of mind and really add to the excitement. It seemed that some of the actors move about and appear in different places, which makes you feel like you are really in the scenes. To make this haunt even more awesome, they are able to use some of the proceeds for great causes. A couple years ago, they were able to put a defibrillator in every county police officer's car, equipping them for emergencies. The quality of this haunt is top notch, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention the amazing and huge Tessla coil in the Frankenstein lab at the middle of the haunt. It is as tall as the room and zaps the huge welded cage as you walk by, causing you to jump. According to an interview on LouisvilleHalloween.com, it took the haunt four months to create that room alone. I would definitely return and definitely wait an hour and a half in line at the price of $15. I want to go back right now. I want to take more friends with me. You can also pay $5 to get in the fast track, but on a busy night, that line gets pretty long as well. I suggest arriving earlier than their 8 p.m. start time to get in line. Dress warm for the wait, but don't wait to go. This haunt is a must-see.
The video you are briefed with before entering Hangar 17:
About Jessica Lynn
Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications. More articles from Jessica Lynn