CROOKED DESCENT

HERKIMER, NEW YORK

ARTICLE BY: BRIANNA HOWARD

Anyone who knows me knows that come October, I never miss Crooked Descent.  This is one of the most terrifying, mind-bending, gut-wrenching, panic-inducing haunts in the state, perhaps in the northeast.
The website, facebook page and haunt itself very clearly state that it is an extreme haunt, and can cause both physical and emotional distress, and that some people may not be able to handle it. They do advertise that anyone with certain physical and mental conditions should be advised not to enter, and doing so is at their own risk.
So obviously, with a warning like that…how can I NOT go in??  Physical and mental conditions be damned!  But before we get to the experience itself, it is important to mention everything that happens before going in.
Since I started going a few years ago, the owner and staff have been incredibly kind and welcoming. We were given a brief tour since it was early on the first night and no one else had really arrived yet.  This year, some great changes were made.  In addition to a cute merch booth that offered t-shirts and hoodies (very reasonably priced), there were also other types of goodies such as keychains, koozies, shot glasses, etc.  They also decided to do their own food this year which helped keep food prices down for patrons, and they offered the basics, like burgers, hot dogs, nachos, drinks, etc. One of my favorite new additions for this year, and probably the most innovative, is the “hydration station” that they set up between the two attractions, as it is split between two sides (this year is The Forbidden Family Chapter III and Plague Bringer: Curse of the Black Witch), so that people can get drinks in between the two attractions, which is often greatly needed after so much adrenaline rushing.
We started with the Plague Bringer: Curse of the Black Witch side, which is based on the Salem Witch Trials. This haunt is very loud and dark, and can be very disorienting, with a lot of jump scares, but it also features a lot of creepy scenes that fit the theme.  By the time we made it outside, we were panting and trying to catch our breath as we shuffled back around to hit the other attraction, the Forbidden Family.
The Forbidden Family is this haunt’s main attraction and it is absolutely terrifying in every way. It is loud and jarring, with constant screaming, banging, loud music, and people in your face, all while following the theme of family dysfunction.  By the time you make it outside, you feel like your head is going to explode, if you don’t go into a full panic attack first.  Some people would probably hate this, my mom does ( I don’t know if I can even get her go to with me again next year) but personally, I crave it.  Once the waves of nausea and feelings that you might really get injured or die subside, you actually feel really giddy.  
After we finished, I went back in to grab a t-shirt and thank them for putting on another amazing haunt. I really have nothing bad to say about this place, it’s amazing.  I do have to stress, however, that it is VERY intense, and may not be suitable for anyone with panic disorders, past trauma, heart conditions, asthma, or anything else that might send their fight-flight-freeze mode into overdrive because it is a constant assault on the senses with no reprieve until you get outside.  There are no quiet spots.  But if that’s the experience you’re looking for, then this place is perfect.  
As I mentioned, the staff is wonderful, and they are reachable on social media for questions. You can find the website at http://crookedhorror.com if you’d like more information.  
But I urge you, if you’re up to it, please visit this haunt. It is *solidly* amazing. 

brianna howard.jpg