HAUNTED CHICKEN HOUSE
Located in Heflin Alabama, Haunted Chicken House is a 10 minute straight shot once you get off I-20. This rural country highway only has one gas station from I-20 to your destination. As you approach the haunt you will quickly notice lights beaming on a castle of stacked cars marking the entrance to the Haunted Chicken House! This iconic structure is also featured on this year's merchandise! There was ample parking available, which is free, as well as staff guiding you directly to your parking spot. Haunted chicken house has three unique attractions: Haunted Chicken House, Haunted Hayride, and Crazy Train. Unfortunately, Crazy Train was closed the weekend we went due to mud from heavy rains the days prior.
MIDWAY / QUE-LINE EXPERIENCE
The walk to the midway is a fairly short walk from parking. Local police provide security in the midway, providing a safe family-friendly atmosphere. The walk-up ticket booth and concessions are right next to each other as soon as you enter the midway. While the walk-up ticket booth line was a little long, the online ticket booth had no line. Ticket prices are $15 for one attraction, $30 for two, or $40 for all three attractions. VIP tickets are an additional $25, and you get to skip the line. Once you pay for your tickets, you get tokens that you turn in at the entrance of each attraction (each attraction has a corresponding color token.) Concessions had many food and drink options, with prices ranging from $1.00-$3.50. Plenty of tables made out of large wood spools were readily available.
To the right, multiple themed hearses as well as a chicken cage provide patrons with multiple photo ops to commemorate the night. The merchandise booth has a solid variety of clothing and accessories, all of which are very reasonably priced. Everything from bracelets for $2 to hoodies for $25. A booth is set up next to the merch table selling jarred goods ranging from $5-$8. Chicken Dan, the founder of Haunted Chicken House, as well as a few other actors, regularly roam the midway and interact with the patrons. Bonfires were set up, however it was too hot on the night we went for them to be necessary. A fire breather/dancer provides entertainment, however he seemed to be tucked away near the main attractions exit as opposed to near the entrance where most of the people congregated.
HAUNTED CHICKEN HOUSE:
It took us about 45 minutes to get through the entire line, however, people leaving the haunt as we got there stated they only waited about 15 minutes. The queue line is fully covered. There is a live band playing, and string lights running the entirety of the main portion of the line as well as a laser light above people's heads. This portion of the line is rather spacious, dark, and creepy, but could have been decked out more. Once you get closer to the entrance of the trail, the whole room is set up with black lights. Movie posters of all the great horror films lined the walls, cobwebs and spiders lurk above you, and you will notice live chickens at the haunted trail’s entrance. There is also a movie screen with a scary movie playing. In this room they told us the rules and had us prepare our tokens to turn in prior to entering the trail. BANG! BANG! BANG! The staff member running the entrance smacks the wall signifying the next group is being ushered in.
This queue line is very small. There is nothing special to note about the queue, but nothing negative, other than the fact that it's uncovered, but so is the hayride, so if it’s raining you’re getting wet regardless. We waited in line for about 25 minutes for this one, but they managed to pack a good bit of people into each truckload.
HAUNTED CHICKEN HOUSE:
The haunted chicken house does a great job of providing an all around experience. While you are in a haunted chicken house, the trail is not a one note show on evil chickens. Each room has a different theme, from a little girl’s room, to a boiler room where a well performed and dressed freddy Krueger awaits. The transition scenes between rooms primarily consist of dark mazes you have to guide yourself through. No actors are present to guide you in these portions of the trail, forcing the patrons to find their own way to the next room. While this is a fun and confusing feature, it can definitely split up and combine groups. We lost half of our group and the group behind us ended up combining with my group. The groups are only 6-8 people so even with half of our group combining with another, it still did not create a conga line. While the transitions can be long and confusing, it still provides a nice change of pace from the run of the mill haunt. The corridors are small, they incline, decline, and even shrink. Haunted Chicken house throws caution to the wind and does stuff that other haunts seem hesitant to attempt.
The entire trail takes about 25 minutes to walk through, depending on how long it takes you to get through the multiple maze-like transitions. Haunted Chicken House’s long trail time and $15 price point makes it a great bang for your buck.
The hayride is a nice unique change of pace to your standard secondary attraction at a haunt. You sit down on a long bench on either side of a huge trailer being pulled by a tractor. The trailer fits approx. 40 people, give or take. The ride lasts approx. 20 minutes and they are running 2 tractors. The staff member in the trailer with you recites the rules: stay seated, keep your hands and feet inside of the trailer, photos are allowed but if you drop your phone you’re responsible for any broken screens that may result. After everyone was seated and the rules were read, we were off. The tractor pulls you through the trail, stopping briefly at each scene. There's a few laughs, and a lot of scares. While this ride can seem redundant and not too scary for the older patrons, the younger kids really seem to like it. There is one scene that is extremely well done. There is a covered bridge you have to go through, and you really don’t want to miss this scene. The actors in this scene are full of energy and the effects are top notch.
HAUNTED CHICKEN HOUSE:
Chicken house does have some phenomenal visuals. There are not a ton of animatronics, but they manage to pull off a few tricks that really take you by surprise. They employ the haunt standard claustrophobia bags as well as a disorientating spinning tunnel. Things sticking out of the walls are inevitably going to touch you and one of them will surely catch you off guard. Haunted chicken house has my favorite single room I’ve ever experienced in a haunt.
*Spoiler* You walk into this room and all you can see is white lights and smoke. It’s so eerie and creates such a cool effect. Haunted chicken house is also the only haunt I’ve been to that has a slide in it.
It’s an outdoor hayride, so eye candy and visuals are a lot harder to pull off compared to your standard indoor trail, however the haunted hayride does deliver some great effects. Without giving away too much, the covered bridge has great sound, visual, and physical effects. Some of the scenes are elevated and clearly identifiable. Unfortunately some of the scenes on the ground level are hard to see depending on which side you are sitting on.
All of the actors do a great job of staying in character. The actors all have very believable and well constructed costumes as well as great masks and/or makeup. Special props have to go to the actor working near the slide - he had amazing energy, great timing, and was very very creepy. While most of the actors did a great job, a few of the actors appeared slightly lost after the original pop scare. A lot of the scenes are very large and only have one actor in them. If they had a second actor to bounce off of it could go a long way. Not many actors were vocal “storyteller” actors. Most were pop-scare and creep characters. Nothing is wrong with pop and creep tactics, but variety is always a huge plus to keep it from feeling stale, especially on such a long trail. All of the actors on the hayride are full of energy, however a lot of them tend to do the same or similar things (granted there is only so much you can do to scare an over 6ft high trailer full of people).
ORIGINALITY / CREATIVITY
Who would’ve thought a chicken house would make such an ideal location for a haunted house? The main trail is very immersive. The Haunted hayride is a fun unique second attraction that pairs well with the atmosphere. Unfortunately Crazy Train was down due to mud from the intense rainfall we had the week prior, but it is pitched as more of a thrill ride than a scary attraction, which sounds like a really cool change of pace for an additional attraction. Hopefully I'll be able to go back and see what it’s all about.
Haunted chicken house offers a variety of attractions in a great location. They have something for all ages and provide affordable concessions and merchandise. Best of all you can enjoy a very fall encompassed atmosphere while being on an eerie haunted chicken farm in the middle of the night! I can't wait to visit again.
REVIEWERS PERSONAL NOTES
What I love most about this haunt out in rural Heflin is that I can always look forward to something different or new each time I visit. The Haunted Chicken Farm improves every year and I'm excited about the creative direction they are going in! They have a huge property to display their haunt which allows them to have a longer main trail, two more attractions and more all while maintaining that “out in the middle of nowhere” vibe. The only critique I would give this haunt is that a story-line while aboard the Haunted Hayride could greatly improve the immersive experience. The haunted hayride could also benefit from adding more lighting effects in areas towards the middle of the ride to stay up to momentum with the amazing covered bridge scene.