Rich’s Fright Farm, Uniontown Pa
This year’s theme “Farmageddon”
2043 Springhill Furnace Road
Smithfield, PA 15478
COST PER PERSON $25.00
Attraction, includes hay ride, haunted mansion and maze. Three attractions for your evening of fun.
Here is my personal review of what I didn’t like, combined with what I did like. The review for this attraction is “positive” but I do have some concerns.
Upon arrival, I have to note the grounds are absolutely gorgeous. The landscape is perfect for a Haunted Attraction. The ambiance altogether, even in daylight was perfect.
I found myself continuously looking at the mansion, that was nothing short of eye candy, as it sat in the distance, invoking curiosity from this first time visitor.
Upon arrival, the parking was fantastic. Plenty of room to park. For a party of three, a $75.00 fee left me feeling like “this place better deliver” after driving an hour from home.
Fright Farm had music playing which was pleasing and we arrived there about 3 hours ahead of opening to ensure that we were one of the first groups to hit the Haunt. We took notice of the VIP section that featured a bonfire among other perks. Personally I wish the bonfire was available to all of us because it got cold out, real quick, but hey, that’s life, we knew what we were getting into, let’s face it Fayette County is in the outback of Pennsylvania. Beautiful yes but cold upon nightfall during the winter.
A minor initial disappointment was the fact that the food concession was not open at this time. It was in my opinion that some revenue could have been gained by at least offering snacks of some kind, being that we hadn’t eaten all day. When I thought of the reasoning it became conclusive that the reasoning behind this is that it deterred littering. It was evident that patrons threw garbage all over the place, limited but not including to beer cans and liquor bottles. In Rich’s Fright farm defense, this is something out of their control as this attraction is quite busy. I found it shameful that patrons would use the attraction grounds as a garbage can and break the rules, and as a haunt enthusiast, found it quite offensive. With that being said, no wonder they only open up the food and beverage area at a certain time.
I took notice to the Haunter that entertained the audience with a very well designed prop that in my honest opinion looked absolutely real. The prop was a young girl that was literally wrapped around him and he was able to manipulate it to his advantage. It was clearly evident that the younger crowd was very entertained by this. His presentation, acting skills and ability to impress the audience was excellent, especially with his “fire dance”, you’ll have to see it for yourself. Not ridiculous but entertaining and especially “safe” for the audience.
The Haunt opened upon darkness. Tickets were stamped and on we went to the tractor ride, the initial phase of the haunt. I took notice to the fact that this aspect of the Haunt was well orchestrated.
Now here comes a concern. The outboard patrons such as myself enjoyed the hay wagon for the simple reason that we could allow our legs to dangle and ride the tractor ride as it was intended. However, I felt that some safety concerns surfaced when I questioned whether or not the enclosed cab of the tractor allowed the driver to be notified in case some fell off the wagon, or an emergency existed. I have confidence that they had a “plant” on the ride the hay ride that had direct communication with the driver but I would have liked reassurance.
The other issue I had was the fact that I myself, had to keep telling patrons to “watch their feet” as I found my shoes being snagged by roughage along the way. The tractor pulled into small barns which was exciting and the show was great but I sadly watched patrons feet hit the structure. The nice part about it, is that the tractor operator was on his game and manipulated the machine and wagon with precision, but it’s that “what if” that bothered me. I’m absolutely certain that they have patron safety in mind but it might be something they should point out so that patrons like myself don’t worry.
The hay ride was a lot of fun. The ride through the woods was lengthy, worth the money all by itself and had this years theme in mind.
There was a little boy on the ride that got so scared that his father jumped off the wagon, grabbed his son and exited when the garage door was closing in one of the min barns. Although I compliment the fact that the tractor wound up outside while they closed the garage doors to protect us from diesel fumes was excellent, I question myself once again about the lack of contact between the patrons and the driver. It all worked out ok and the tractor operator took the time to ensure that he used extreme caution while passing the exiting patrons but seemed to take the time to talk to them, which was fantastic.
Upon reaching the Mansion, it became how clear how large the operation was. The mansion is set up very nicely, very large and allows the patron to experience a multi aspect Haunt. I enjoyed the indoor, outdoor setup. The ambiance was fantastic. Very decorated, lots of lighting, tons of scenes, it really let me experience Halloween as intended. Actors and actresses did a fantastic job. I have to admit, some of the startle scares and misdirection kind of caught me off guard and some of the Haunters within made me a little bit uncomfortable which is exactly what I wanted. The Haunters were very professional. I can recall watching some hecklers challenging the actors. The actors fed into it, but still had the skill to walk away from a hopeless cause. I think one female patron probably should have gotten the “bounce” by the way she acted. I give them an A plus when it comes to the actor’s ability to come out of character once in awhile and assist folks that needed it and even spark off some laughs along the way.. I tend to think and saw first hand that if you’re cool with them, they’ll be cool with you and that’s more than anyone could ask for. After all, they’re human right?…….or maybe not.
I do have a couple of other concerns and I’m going to point them out, not as a critic but as a safety conscious individual, after all I have nearly 20 years in public service and witnessed a couple unintentional no no’s. Firstly, the one scene in the attraction that featured a bunch of scrapped cars. It looked great, it was a fantastic part of the haunt, but there was no protection for the audience. I took two steps and was able to touch bare sharp metal. I had the thought of someone running, tripping or somehow coming in contact with the metal and being injured. Again, this isn’t negligence, it’s simply an oversight.
Secondly, I found that there were some trip hazards in the Mansion itself. We can expect stairs but we can’t expect that sudden step up or drop down floor wise. I stumbled a few times, so did others. These can be easily corrected. A little U.V. paint or a simple leveling mud could fix that easily.
Thirdly and lastly, over usage of multiple strobes. Although the one part of the haunt that featured the fencing and multiple strobes firing all over the place was awesome to say the least and the startle scares were excellent, I myself found it to be a little too much. There were a couple portions of this haunt that suffered from over strobing.
I do have to point out that the 3D section, with the issuance of 3D glasses was fantastic. I’d have to say that whoever did the painting did a fantastic, and I highlight fantastic job. I don’t think I’ve seen that much 3D in my face even with high definition television. Outstanding. The vortex tunnel, combined with the 3D really caused me to re-think whether I’d make it out of the tunnel. If you want an experience that really puts you in touch with your senses, they absolutely nailed it.
The third attraction “the maze” was well built and very entertaining and kept you occupied. I think that many of us “made friends” with each other just trying to help assist one another in hopes of finding the way out.
In closing, here is my general opinion, take it for what it’s worth. I’d rate this Haunt 3.5 out of 5 stars, not because it had a million dollars of animatronics, but because I paid $25.00, per person for a night out, a good show and a show that featured “duration”. This Haunt definitely did just that. It wasn’t the typical 8 minute, get them in and throw them back out experience. I’d have to say that we spent an hour in that attraction and walked away very satisfied.
It is a family oriented Haunt don’t forget. There is no doubt that they have the ability to shock patrons to the point to where they would leave on a stretcher but with Haunts, you have to be very careful these days. Too much might be good for someone like me, but not for the 10 year old patron.
One additional thing I take notice of is the reactions of other patrons. I’d have to say that everyone was pleased, got the show they paid for and said they would go back next year, such as I will. It was money well spent.