The Waldorf Estate of Fear
Web address: http://www.waldorfestateoffear.com/index.html
Location: Lehighton, PA (Carbon County)
A haunt for the true horror lover.
The Nuts and Bolts:
This is a smaller haunt located near Country Junction in Carbon County, PA. It has been most known for its Waldorf Hotel haunt and has expanded in recent years and continues to grow and upgrade over time. The price for all three attractions is $35 which is reasonable, although you do not have to partake in every attraction. The haunt is open every Friday and Saturday through October 31st from 7pm. – 11pm. Parking is free, signage leading up to the haunt is good, and the GPS directions on the website are accurate. There is a small midway offering fair-type food and drinks as well as a small area selling t-shirts. Generally speaking this is a pretty family friendly haunt (not over the top, i.e. language, gore). It’s appropriate for most ages from about 11 up. And for the faint of heart, the actors do not touch you.
I will preface this by saying that my party only took part in the Waldorf Hotel and Terror in the Corn. What I know about Infection is from the website and conversation with participants and staff.
Infection is described as an “interactive game of survival” in a zombie wasteland. While in an outdoor maze, the participant wears a belt with 3 flags which represent vital organs. Your goal is to make it to safety with your organs intact. My initial apprehension was my overall lack of cardiovascular fitness. However, upon speaking to people who went through the maze I was informed that it is more of a slower-paced battle of ingenuity. Also described as flag football amidst hiding, swarming zombies who want what you have. Noone appeared winded upon exiting and I witnessed people of all ages and levels of fitness coming out smiling, laughing, and showing off their moves. This attraction also didn’t seem to suffer from the lengthy, slow lines that are common at haunts. I’d say, even if you are not in shape, you could use your intellect to try and outsmart these zombies…if you dare.
Let me tell you what I loved about Terror in the Corn: Let’s first start with the general ambiance, I absolutely loved that this hayride goes through the cornfield. So many hayrides go through the woods, so the cornfield makes this one stand apart. The corn is tall and cut very close to the sides of the hayride and I really enjoyed this because it reduces your sense of safety. Unlike hayrides that use the woods, you are not granted that 360 degree view to seek out what lurks nearby. Your mind anticipates things jumping out at any time. The hayride is a good length and the company is always building upon its sets. There are visits from known horror characters and several creative creations littered throughout. Without giving too much away, I have to say I love horror that incorporates Christmas and I really enjoyed that there was a taste of that inside. Finally, I have to address the fact that this is the only haunt I have been to that incorporated the character of “the Final Girl.” Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but it needs to be appreciated that this haunt has one. The final girl character is quintessential to the horror genre and I greatly valued that she was included in Terror in the Corn. Thank you for that!
Last but certainly not least is the Waldorf Hotel. All I can say is that I absolutely LOVED this haunt!
The Waldorf Hotel doesn’t have to rely on fancy props, expensive makeup, FX tricks…it is what it is…an old, dank, creepy place filled with really great, committed actors. It uses natural scenes, and situations to keep you constantly scanning the room for the next source of terror. Waldorf uses the ordinary to create an extraordinary experience. Kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms are piled with mundane articles in a masterful way that keeps you guessing where the scare will come from. This is what I am going to tell you…don’t even try to guess what’s going to happen because they are going to get you anyway! In the spirit of true horror, The Waldorf Hotel aptly builds up tension and allows your mind to fill in the blanks with anticipatory bogey men. Three of us went into this haunt and two of us came out absolutely freaked out—and these guys are no wimps. My one friend typically accompanies me as a sort of “human shield”; she always goes first in the haunted houses to clear the way. And for the first time ever I watched her walk into a room…slowly back up against a wall and say “I just can’t go.” Shortly afterward, she took off and left me in her dust (so much for solidarity). Nonetheless, we left the Waldorf Hotel together and absolutely ecstatic that we got to indulge in its horror!
- If you have the cash, upgrade to VIP. I know that can get super expensive but it is especially beneficial for the Waldorf Hotel. The line for the haunted house can move very slowly, especially when there are a lot of VIPs. They took people inside in groups no larger than 6. Don’t let that get you down. I promise that you will forget about the wait to get into Waldorf Hotel once you experience it in your small, individualized group. Infection didn’t seem to have the same problem with lines, and obviously the hayride fits in many more people per turn.