13th World Fright Park (MA)
Full Contact Option: Yes ($5 fee, Rough Shoving, Hitting, Separation)
13th World is an attraction with two distinct locations. The one in RI is more familiar to me and has been a dependable repeat visit for several years now. It also has the Touch of Fear upgrade that enhances the experience without a dedicated extreme or blackout night. However, since there were two separate sites, I wrote off the one in MA for a while under the assumption that both were more or less identical.
In an attempt to visit haunts that had not been checked off, I decided to give the second location a try. It was a bit further away, but it was also closer to another attraction that I was planning on dropping by, so it made sense. According to the website, it listed a few themes that were different than the one in Rhode Island, and that clued me in that I was likely to get a different experience. It also had the Touch of Fear upgrade, so that was a no-brainer based on prior visits to the other.
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon driving in, since the RI location is nestled deep in the woods with eerie bells and billowing fog beckoning you into the forest. Here, there was a ticket cabin under an overpass, followed by a path outback to a walled off midway of sorts. The MA location bills itself as a Fright Park, where this midway plays more of a role in connecting the smaller attractions, rather than in RI when it is more of a capstone where photo ops and merchandise as the main offerings. Here the gift shop gets its own partition, next to an open air bar, the entrances to the three haunts, and of course photo opportunities.
The vibe outside the trails and walkthroughs is a bit more chill and fun. The host, who I will call Devil Elvis for lack of a better description, wanders around with a microphone hooked up to the PA system and talks to guests at random about their pre and post experience. In addition to keeping the place lively, he also acts as the general announcer for when the attractions will officially kick off.
Now despite advertising three haunts, it’s essentially just one main trail. But it doesn’t matter as much since it’s on part with the RI location. Aside from the main feature, Moonlight Mayhem, there is also Hellfire House, which is an actor-free fog machine maze, where you must feel your way through to the end. RI actually does have this as well, but it’s a freebie at the mini midway at the end. The final attraction is Alone, which is another actor-free maze that each person must walk through alone (as one might guess).
Before I get to the main haunt, I’ll mention that Alone was simply a plywood zigzag of animatronics, and I walked through without much hindrance. Hellfire House was unique, and is employed in other places like Nightmare Acres. Naturally actors wouldn’t be of much use in a walkthrough such as this, so it’s a low key activity that operates more on disorientation than scares.
I did mention that there was in essence a single main attraction, and I don’t really mean that in a negative way. Rhode Island has the single trail, but it is intricate and lengthy enough to stand on its own. It also has the bonus features rolled in, so the only real difference here is that fact that the website lists each separately. However the themes and content of the main trail differs slightly, while retaining some of the main horror tropes. Moonlight Mayhem does omit the Purge section, which I sort of wondered about the copyright status, but it keeps the unholy monastery and the killer trailer park.
When walking through trails with ever changing set pieces, it is rather difficult to remember all of it, but a few things stood out. As mentioned, I upgraded to the Touch of Fear, which gives you a glow necklace that indicates that you are fair game for actor interaction. In future seasons, I hope to dig deeper into the Extreme Haunt experiences, but as of this point, I’ve only been to the other 13th World and the Fright Kingdom blackout night. The latter was mainly light tugging, but RI’s 13th World included grabbing and relocation, so I had some level of expectation. Depending on your inclination for abuse, I’d give this location a better rating in this regard. Perhaps it was the actors on staff, the fact that I was alone in the process this time, or looking like I could take a little extra manhandling, but they ramped up the interaction a bit beyond what I had experienced elsewhere.
Of note: in the unholy monastery, one of the satanic nuns ordered me to kneel before the altar. My shoes had become untied at this point somehow, so I used this chance to retie them before moving on. While I was working the laces, I felt a slam on my back as she belted me with (hopefully) a prop bible. Before I left, I was doused with unholy water. There were a few moments, but I’ll recount them later in the sections below. There is a VIP pass which allows you to skip the line. We arrived just prior to opening, which gave us the benefit of not really having a line and also getting to hear more banter from Devil Elvis, so this VIP upgrade would likely only make sense on peak days and deeper into the night. As luck would have it, one couple did buy it, and they only got to go first, while we spent $15 less for the second slot. For all their rush to get in earlier, they walked SO SLOW afterwards, so it was a battle at times to let them get ahead. The Touch of Fear helped at times since I was held back throughout.
Once out, you return to the midway to go through the other two features at your leisure, grab something to drink, or take some photos. The exit channels you through the merch shop, ensuring that young ones will beg for a keepsake, and then we ended up behind the main building where a guy taking out the trash decided to be an impromptu actor and tried to scare us.
Overall, I feel the trail was a step above the other location, but it also charges $5 more than in RI. You theoretically get more attractions, but the fog maze exists in both locations, and Alone doesn’t do much for me (but keep in mind, I was on the distant other end of the thrill spectrum). The midway offers much more of a hangout experience rather than a drop off point where people take a few photos and leave. It will definitely be one I repeat in years to come, and in the end, that’s the ultimate test of success.
One steadfast rule in haunts is: Do not touch the actors, and they will not touch you. With the Touch of Fear upgrade, the latter part is waived, but you are still expected to keep your end of the bargain. In the end, they are actors, and there’s no need to be a ‘hero’ or fight in self defense because you’re never truly in danger. But at one point, I was faced with a young woman crawling around in the cannibal village begging for help. Mostly there are the scare actors, but every so often you encounter a helpless NPC who acts the part of a victim.
In this case, she reached out for help, and as part of the immersion, I accepted. I wasn’t sure where this was going, but as indicated by her allowance and subsequent following, we were able to play up a bit of the theatrics that is sorely missing from a touchless haunt experience. As we got to the edge of the room, I wondered how far they would allow this to go, but that soon was answered when the maniacs ran in and pulled her away, both helping end the interaction gracefully while staying in character.
There is a bit of a dichotomy at play. The scares on the trail are ramped up to a greater degree, but the ominous bells and Purge siren wails are replaced with a more relaxing midway. Both have their strengths and allow this to stand on its own. Decor and props are professional, and you do get lost in the experience without feeling like you’re in a manmade maze (in the proper trail anyway).
The price of admission is $5 over the RI location, which is already at the higher end of the midtier haunts, and encroaches on those with multiple attractions. While multiple features are advertised, the main trail is the one of interest and matches the other location. The midway helps with atmosphere, but also requires further purchases if you want to partake in it.
Rating ‘scares’ throughout these reviews have been hard. I fully understand that across the country, there are extreme haunts that would rate the most intense New England location as the lowest on their scale. However since we don’t really have anything like that around here, and these reviews are meant for general audiences, I have to take that into consideration. But I also have to allow for the possibility that something in the future will outdo this, and I don’t want to put two wildly different experiences on the same level. I’m probably going to go back and revise most of the prior reviews based on the experience here, but also account for the fact that I know Factory of Terror and Fear World are even more intense, so those will need an appropriate rating once I get to them.
To give one last experience: after being beaten by a nun (not the first time in my life) and attempting to help a victim, I got to the trailer park section. Two men with chainsaws came up to me and grabbed me, pushing into one of the trailer doors. I couldn’t quite get my footing, so I sort of got a little bruised while crashing into the threshold (no complaints, I knew what I was getting into). I tried to escape through another door, but the second maniac was entering at that time, trapping me between the two. I got pushed down onto a bloody mattress, while they pantomimed chopping me up by waving the chainsaw around my feet. Of course the act had to have limits, and I was thrilled to have something go beyond the usual jumpscare, but the real deal was when my son saw me get kidnapped. As I’m in the trailer, I see him screaming out for me, fully buying into what’s happening to me, as he gets ushered out into the next section. The two maniacs finally pushed me out into the opening, as I left with a thrill that hadn’t been matched since I was 12.