Evidence of Evil
Pricing: $28 ($10-15 for no-fright night)
Full Contact Option: No
After going to 30+ haunted attractions, you tend to want something a little different. The Touch of Fear at 13th world helps add some visceral thrills, and the NPC guidance at DementedFX bolsters the immersion. So mix those two into a somewhat muted combo, and you and up with Evidence of Evil.
Located on an orchard, the long driveway gives you a sprawling vista of the property where the haunt springs up in the dead center. A ticket booth is all you see before heading in, but there are plenty of props and places to take photos before the cameras need to go away.
But that brings me to the topic of cameras and an explanation as to why there won’t be many in this article. Some places opt to take security measures for reasons that likely make sense. However some are a bit more militant about it. As the androgynous hambeast running the checkpoint had me take out the contents of my pockets as the patted down a real man for the first time in her life, I was also asked to hold anything metal, my phone, and also try to validate my digital QR ticket and do what amounted to the Macarena. In this process, my phone took a swan dive into the gravel and managed to hit a stone in just the right way to shatter not only my screen, but the digitizer, thus rendering it useless. Needless to say, I wasn’t really in the mood to enjoy the evening properly after this, but I tried. On another note, we went to Lake Compounce after and someone brought their phone on the Phobia which then made its way to the ground with a shattering smack that startled everyone on that half of the park. It wasn’t a good day for phones.
As I waited in line, I slowly tried to rationalize my dilemma. I knew my daughter liked my phone, so I figured I could get a new one, and then fix the screen later and transfer it. With spirits slightly lifted, we got to the entrance and entered the briefing room.
So unlike most haunts that are impersonal and mostly a straight walk to the exit, Evidence of Evil tries to get you to take part in the journey. Actors aren’t there to just shout ‘boo’, they will converse with you, ask you things, or get you to perform actions in order to progress. Certain paths are also non-linear, so your group might split up and rejoin later.
In one example, someone had to get into a coffin, while the others moved on. In another case, the exits was reached by two branching paths and the group wasn't reunited until it was over. It’s not escape room level, but it’s engaging and helps to really make the experience rise above the rest.
In one of the interactive moments, I had to find a key to get out of the current room. Somehow I looked around and spotted the one out of place prop and got the key in about five seconds.
Detail is adequate for an open air labyrith. Each mini-room of sorts is suitably themed for the task at hand, with odds and ends to look at. Since you have to do things while you travel, you actually get to look around instead of making an unbroken beeline for the exit.
The price is right in the middle, and the actors go above to ehance the experience rather than letting you walk but with nothing but a jump scare. With the additional time needed to performa actions and converse with the haunts, the time to complete the maze is lengthed a bit, which is nice.
Scares wouldn't be the best terminology, since the atmosphere is sort of fun. But I'll give it points for the thrill and engagement that rises above the traditionaly experience.