REAPER'S REVENGE

SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA

ARTICLE BY: MICHAEL CIRRINCIONE

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On top of a magnificent mountain at 460 Green Grove Rd in Blakely Pennsylvania lies a Haunted Attraction sure to grant you a night of thorough thrills. The team here has been transforming the peak into a Mecca of Horror for fourteen years now and they'll keep going strong for years to come. I feel safe in that assertion because the production level is so dramatic that it's worthy of travel from hours away. Four and a half from the North and up to six from the South.

 

On entry, you turn off a minor residential road into a decent sized parking lot. The access lane to the main hill is a long, straight corridor through the darkness with a beautifully lit pond to the one side. After traversing this length, you set upon the port-o-potties and the beginning of the Midway. I didn't have to go to the Ticket Booth because I was invited to Media Night but, that path is to the right, entry to the attraction is on the left and the route to the Concessions, Merch and Photo-op Area is straight.

 

In the main body of the Midway, there is a firepit surrounded by Seating with an about twenty-five by twelve feet Projection Screen on the back. There is a ring of Concessions shops on the outside and a number of big ole props scattered throughout. I am impressed that the Concessions team has separate food and confections sheds. They as well as the carnival trailer across the way have a menu as long as you would find at a sit-down restaurant all told. Manager Sandy makes it all run to the highest level.

 

When you make your way to the ninety minute attraction, the queue line is designed to shuffle in six wagons worth of guests at a time. While waiting for your ride to come, there is an entertaining video playing on two parallel screens that with a mention of the possibility of wetting yourself presents the social media hastag: Reapersdepends.

 

Upon loading the wagon, you sit in a kind of thick bed of straw laid on the deck. The driver takes you around a bend and you start ascending. From the Necromancer Scene under the Floating Candles to the Suicide Forest Scene, there are densely decorated and well acted scenes all the way to the top. Pumpkin Hill and Alice in Wonderland are my favorites from this section of the Hayride. Pumpkin Hill consists of a drive through arch way of many different sized Jack O'lantern Scarecrows and Alice genuinely dwells in a Wonderland at this attraction.

 

It is the very top of the hill where you get off and are ordered to line up along a guard shack by a burly security guard. He ushers you into the shack where you meet Patty who interrogates the whole group. I'll leave the end of this scene a secret. Voila, you're in the realm of The Lost Carnival.

 

The Lost Carnival is a mostly outdoor path on which you experience the darkness of a desicated carnival from long ago. The escapade takes you down a gully into the first domain of clowns on your journey at the Fun House and past old amusement rides. The woods are shadowy and atmospheric and aesthetically Autumnal. A major feature of the Trail is the Funhouse which has a number of cool gags.

 

The clowning around continues across the Hayride path with the house: Delirium 3D. You walk up through another Carnival area with the typical vertical stripes and a Big Top Tent design in front of you. Under the “tent” is a Bar where Squeako the Clown gives you your Glasses (which are UV Sanitized between all uses) while squeaking out very effective communications.

 

Inside, you'll find hanging fluorescent heads, intense wild animals, a horse parade and freaks everywhere. This is the only example of outsourcing in the whole show. They went to the contractor they decided did the absolute best Chromadepth and bought the house from them. I don't blame them for not trying to find a 3D muralist for the team because these elements are usually a one time thing and you can more easily hire an expert artist to come do repairs than have a full-time artist on the payroll for something that is only a major investment at the very start.

 

Leaving the house, you're shuffled back onto a wagon for the second half of the Hayride. This portion is great but, only about half of it is as grand as the first. The three most notable parts are the only chainsaws in the whole attraction and two drive-through houses. In the early portion of this half, you have an old timey dive bar and gas station that plays host two chainsaw maniacs with wrapped bars that may or may not hit you. The first of the houses is a barn with Hillbillies running amok. One woman named Gator Bait riding a drill named Swamp Biscuit pet my head. The prop flailing above you is a marionette pulled by a common Puppet Master. The finale to the Hayride, in it's last year features full wagon movement and attacking Reapers.

 

The Hayride concludes at a divergence point. In this small plaza are port-o-potties, the queue line for Pitch Black and a bypass lane for those who have been previously scarred by this element. Pitch Black is an EXTREME Dark Maze with sound, darkness and touch effects meant to deprive you of your senses. I personally defied the system by using my elbows held out to my sides to find the way so, I didn't hit the nasty patches with my hands. The warbling Bass they play at an obscene volume makes it hard to even have an internal monologue. For the only actors in the element's roles, they sure make for a good deal of suspense.

 

The final clearing out the back of Pitch Black has a distinct line where the safe, delicious and entertaining vibe of the Midway becomes a dreadful appeal to danger when you look over into a “crater” in the side of the mountain where a “Secret” Military-industrial Research Prison stands to make your day just a little scarier. This facility is the final element: Sector 13.

 

Sector 13 plays out as a chaotic and dangerous tryst with the idea of mutation. The entry has a unit of Elite military profiling and drilling the guest in a space where order and security are breaking down. The adventure proceeds through a testing room, an overlook of the house with a mechanical surprise and the quarters of a completely mutated faculty. There are some really cool full-room effects like the Laser Swamp in the Cryo-tank room.

 

I would have to say Reaper's Revenge cruised onto my Top 13. I was looking to possibly have a more contrarian view of this haunt than other Haunt Writers and Reviewers. The experience just so happens to be consistently impressive for all the ways they look their sets, actors and operations. Like all the others, I can totally recommend this show to many, many people over a staggering radius.  

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