OctoberTime is the most awesome season of the year, and that means a trip (or several) to Tagsylvania in Big Flats, New York. We attended the Media Premier on Friday, September 29th with a bright moon and a chill in the air. Joining me on this adventure was Terry, a local businessman and fellow haunt enthusiast, and his thirteen year old son, Gavin. I have attended Tagsylvania several times each season for quite a few years now, so it was great to get the perspective of a younger person who has never experienced this before.
For those unfamiliar with Tagsylvania, it is an entire haunted ‘scream park’ with several attractions. They offer Lecter’s Lair – a two story haunted house, Psycho Swamp – a wooded haunted trail, and Jerkus Circus – a clown-themed maze. There is also a dark maze, escape room, and – new for 2017 (and what I am super excited about) – Motel 666: a haunted two story motel. I take into consideration that we were some of the first people to visit this year. This was comparable to a ‘soft opening’ as far as I am concerned.
Every Halloween season I have a lot of fun at Tagsylvania, and 2017 is no exception. The three main attractions were awesome as always, though very similar to what one would have experienced last year. I do not intend this as a negative criticism since the staff obviously had to put a lot of effort into their new attraction in a relatively short amount of time. I noticed several new and great additions to the actors’ roster, including real-life twins who did a great job. Waffles the Clown and Sunny the Psych Ward Patient roamed the grounds along with many others and kept the breaks in between haunts creepy and fun. The Jerkus Circus clown maze has always been a ‘3D’ perspective in previous years. There were no 3D glasses offered during this particular visit, though this may not be the case for the rest of the season. Making your way through the maze with 3D glasses certainly adds welcome disorientation. All in all, Tagsylvania nailed their “Big Three” attractions again this year and I would recommend them to anyone who enjoys a good haunt. Having visited many times before, my main interest was the new Motel 666 – and I was not disappointed.
The entrance to 2017’s Motel 666 is adjacent to Psycho Swamp and leads you along a torch-lit path to a two-story motel which looks the part in every detail. We saved the newest attraction for last and it was a great way to end the evening. You start the journey into motel madness by visiting the front office (of course) and are greeted by a really great character. I do not yet know the actress who plays the clerk yet, but I will, because she did an amazing job. Think over-the-top southern New Jersey roadside motel in the 1960’s. A trip up the stairs takes you into the corridors of themed motel rooms – the place is literally set up just like a real motel and it’s fantastic. Tagsylvania has positioned some of their veteran actors in the new haunt, which was a smart move because they brought their ‘A’ game. One of the rooms features a witch, in the Voodoo Preistess sense, and she did a stand-out performance as well. If you’re like me, a big part of visiting a haunt like this is checking out the work put into it. Motel 666 has detail out the you-know-what and I would bet they will only add more with each season. I felt like I was in a motel after the sirens went off in Silent Hill.
My review crew this year is all from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Terry hasn’t been to Tagsylvania in several years and this was Gavin’s first visit. Both enjoyed the entire evening of fun and fright and agree that Motel 666 was their favorite. It’s always a risk building such a large brand new attraction and the crew and actors really pulled it off. You probably won’t find an independent third-party observer that’s been to Tagsylvania more than I have, let alone one with as much haunt experience. I had a great time at Tagsylvania 2017 and I very much enjoyed the new Motel 666.
Check out Tagsylvania for the 2017 Halloween season, you won’t regret it. http://tagsylvania.com
Find out more about this attraction and my other Halloween 2017 adventures! Listen to my radio show on 101.5fm and 97.1fm in the Northern Tier, online at kellyplanet.com and octobertime.com, or follow me on social media @erickellyplanet