Halfway to Halloween at Fear Fair - Indiana's Scariest Haunted House
Halfway to Halloween at Fear Fair - Indiana's Scariest Haunted House | Facebook
800 A Ave. E
Seymour, IN 47274
Date of Visit: 5/13/22 Reviewer: Lindsay
In this day and age, haunted house fans are no longer content to just get their fix over the Fall season, and it's become very common for haunts all over to reopen for special events. Popular holidays are a given, but one industry trend that's really taken off recently has been "Halfway to Halloween", typically held between April and May when we are... well... halfway to Halloween! Every haunt has their own take on the event - some do slashers/movie monsters, especially when a Friday the 13th conveniently falls within this time frame (like it did this year). Others do references to the Halloween holiday, or host a festival at their haunt with spooky vendors.
And then we have Fear Fair, located in Seymour, Indiana.
In which Fear Fair's response is "to hell with that", and they simply open up their haunt for a weekend to focus on what they do best: giving all of their customers an evening full of fun and frights!
Previously hosting events that included Valentine's and Christmas, Halfway to Halloween has now become the sole off season celebration for this heavy hitter in the Indiana haunt scene. That's not to say they don't have a few tricks up their sleeve for the occasion - new pyro and lighting effects are often added to their preshow, and you may even see a new attraction or two added to their midway. But for the most part, their main show does not change. It's just Fear Fair being Fear Fair - a.k.a. one badass haunted house.
Tickets for Halfway to Halloween match the same price points as haunt season. General Admission is $25, or you can cut your wait time in half with a Slash Pass for $35. I can vouch that the latter is well worth the $10 splurge, because this haunt packs 'em in, and does it very quickly... I've seen the line of customers stretching back towards the house well before they open. You can find free parking all over the complex surrounding the place, but be mindful of where you park, as well as walking around. There are active trucking companies in this area and semis pass through frequently.
Ah... I did leave out one special stipulation for this event. After 2 years away (thanks COVID), the EXTRA FEAR upgrade has finally returned! Customers seeking a more intense experience can opt into this upgrade at no additional charge, and put on a glow necklace that permits the actors to touch them. This can range from light contact to stuff that's a bit crazier, so be prepared! Of course, you can always remove the necklace if it proves to be too much for you.
Fear Fair is very much a complete experience, kicking things off with a high energy preshow featuring popular music and pyrotechnics, and giving the crowd a rather harsh introduction to their cast of characters... by turning them all loose on the whole line! After a few minutes of mayhem, they're called back into the haunt, and the Halfway to Halloween party is officially in full swing. As they await their turn to enter, groups are welcome to hang out in the Monster Midway, the haunt's festival area that contains their merch and photo booth, games, rides, and an impressive rock climbing tower. Hungry or need a drink? Shaggy's Concessions is back, serving up a variety of food and beverages.
(Full disclosure: I arrived super late in the night, so I missed out on some aspects of the show this year: the opening ceremony, all roaming characters, and a few Midway attractions. But I did manage time for a quick bite at Shaggy's, and greetings with some Fear Fair friends before donning my ominous red glow necklace and heading inside.)
There are four large, themed areas within Fear Fair, all tied together seamlessly to complete the haunt: Ancient Evil, Laveau's Curse, Ramses' Wrath (a NEW Egyptian-themed portion added in 2021), and Rockford Riot. If you're interested in finding out more about them, you can read up on each by visiting the haunt's website or reading our review from last year (www.thehauntedhoneymooners.com). Most of the house felt more or less the same as it did when I was last there in October. However, the owner and his build team work hard on their attraction and will likely have more new content for the 2022 season.
For a show that relies on a volunteer cast, the house was well staffed when I came through, especially considering I was there within their last hour of operation. I didn't come across many quiet spots at all. There were several faces I did not recognize, but they were all still giving it their best shot. If I had to name some standout moments, I really enjoyed my interaction with the priestess in Ancient Evil, who insisted that I curtsy to the colossal, bellowing monster housed in those catacombs - love how she involved the animatronic in her act! The actor in Laveau's bayou shack came on *strong* and straight up charged at me on the walkway, much like the one I met in there the previous season. (Maybe it was the same actor?) I'd never seen the creepy creature admitting groups at the haunt's elevators before, but there was something unsettling about its not-quite-human face and the eerie clicking noises it made. The cast in Egypt deserve a little extra love for their aggression and synergy - they got me so many times! (And on a non-casting related note, that whole scene is beautiful under the nearly full moon.) The zombies prowling about in the graveyard area had great energy as well.
The one area where I felt the show fell a little short was with Extra Fear. My experience with it has varied; sometimes the actors go nuts, and sometimes the physical contact runs on the lighter side (usually, it's a mix). It felt like I made it through half of the house before anyone got bold enough to touch, and I chalk that up to hesitation from new and younger actors. Not a big deal considering it's free, and I did have a few memorable interactions. Another group came along and saved me from being stabbed to death by The Hangman in Rockford, where I was also shut in a prison cell by a tattooed inmate who was convinced I was talking sh*t about his mama. I had sand sprinkled on me more than once in Egypt, too. (If they're reading this, y'all got that all over my car seat, and somehow in my bed too. Thanks.)
Like I mentioned before, Halfway to Halloween was Fear Fair's only off season shindig for the year, so if you missed the chance to party with them for the occasion, you've got a few months to wait until you can come back. But I consider their haunt to be among the best in the state of Indiana, and if you're local or willing to make a road trip, they'd be a great choice to put on your list when they reopen in September or October for the full season.