Sunday, October 16, 2011

Small Town Awesomeness

Last night Ted and I spent the day visiting my family in smalltown Kentucky. We ended the evening with a date to the Wingfield Volunteer Fire Department's Hayride and Haunted House. We've been to a few of the haunted venues around here in Nashville, but this one has quite a reputation in my hometown, so we decided to give it a shot, and support the VFD in the process.

Well, let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Let me preface my review with the explanation that I won't call any haunted house attractions "scary," because to me there is a big difference between being scared and being startled and entertained. But having lots of good startles and entertainment is what makes a good haunted house, in my opinion.

There were not only lots of awesome startles in Wingfield VFD's haunted house, they were also beautifully executed! Their haunted house is considerably lower budget than the big Nashville attractions (it's small town, and a fundraiser, so yeah; they need to be frugal), but what they lacked in special effects and construction, they made up for in enthusiasm and strategy. For example, in one room there were several mannequin heads, made up to look like severed people-heads, but they were obviously plastic. So, no real scare there, right? Just a cheap setup. Until the one on the end, that TOTALLY LOOKED LIKE A MANNEQUIN HEAD, jumps out and screams at you. Dude, that was the coolest lull-you-into-a-false-comfort startle EVER. The live girl's makeup was flawless, and unless you were expecting her, you honestly would have overlooked her as another plastic head. It was a thing of beauty.

There were a lot of other great misdirection startles as well. You walk into a room, see an obvious person ready to jump out to scare you, and POW! Someone comes from a completely different area and startles the living bejesus out of you. I can't say enough about how strategic and well executed this haunted house is.

And even with the limited budget, the special effects were awesome. There was a spinning vortex room that was every bit as dizzying as the one at the high-budget Devil's Dungeon in Nashville. There were lots of loud power tools and sparkly things and unexpected booms; it really was a fun time!

And all this is on top of a fun and whimsical old-fashioned tractor pulled hayride to and from the site. The hayride itself isn't spooked; it's just an opportunity to chat with your fellow haunted house fans as you get to and from the attraction. I haven't been to anything like this in Nashville. It's truly a smalltown charm that is worth the 1 1/2 hour drive to experience.

The Wingfield VFD's Hayride and Haunted House is only $10 for adults, and $5 for kids 12 and under. There is food available for purchase at the firehouse, so get there early and have a chili dog with homemade chili and home-canned hot relish. You should also bring extra cash for tee shirts. I didn't, but I wish I had.

It's a good cause to support and a great attraction. Make the trip and see it. Just be sure to pee before you climb onto the hay. You don't want to pee yourself the first time a misdirection takes you by surprise.

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