After several days pondering whether or not I wanted to embark on a tour of Cullman-area haunted houses and haunted trails, my crew and I set out an adventure we won’t soon forget. Little did I know the anticipation was only the precursor to a long and scream-filled night, but not from me.
A group of Times reporters and photographers set out to capture the things that go bump in the night. Unfortunately I found the something, and it bumped me right out of the building.
BARNS OF HORROR
Location: 91 Odice Branham Road in Hayden.
Open: All weekends in October, and Oct. 27-31. 7:30 to midnight.
Admission: $7 each, but coupons are available online at Barnsofhorror.com.
Barns of Horror, on 91 Odice Branham Road, was the first of three venues we dared enter last Friday night. As we were preparing to enter, a disturbingly familiar creature — Pigman — appeared, and from there I knew it was going to be a fright-filled night.
As we entered, a worker sets the stage, telling about Dr. Frankey and his experiments gone wrong. OK, I have to pause. When I heard Dr. Frankey I thought, “Oh, great. Another cheesy haunted house.” How wrong I would be proven once I made it to the end.
Along the maze-like corridors inside the cramped old home, everything from a chainsaw wielding madman to a pig boy made the event a true terror for me. Overall I give Barns of Horror a 10 — if not higher — for petrifying the child in me.
Location: Hwy. 160 & 79 intersection in Cleveland.
Open: Friday and Saturday nights through October at 7 p.m.
After changing pants, the crew headed just a few miles down the road to The Haunted Arena, located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 160 and U.S. Highway 79 in Cleveland.
As we drove up I could spot an ominous sign flickering in the distance. A strobe light. And everyone knows when you see a strobe light something bad is lurking inside.
This place was the creepiest yet. Before entering everyone must sign a release form. I speculated this was because they might throw dead animals of some sort on us. I am not going to conform or deny if it happened.
After making sure my life insurance policy was in force, we headed into the darkened arena.
The Haunted Arena was a sensory overload, but I mean that in a good way. Once inside we were met with all sorts of demonic looking clowns, half of which I think remember seeing at my fifth birthday party. But I digress. The best part for me was at the end. Not because it was over, but because of the nurse. Go check them out and you, too, might get a checkup. The Haunted Arena earned a 10.
Location: 621 County Rd. 536 in Hanceville.
Open: Sept. 30 - Oct. 31. Dark until 10 p.m. Thurs and Sunday; Dark until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Admission: Adults: $10; Under 8: $5
The following night the crew, minus two but plus a new victim, headed down U.S. Highway 31 to Mulberry Farms 6th Annual Fright Fest, located at 621 County Road 536 in Hanceville.
As we pulled into the darkened field, a barrel fire lit the way to the ticket booth. The great thing about haunted houses is the drive in followed by the cowering run out. I had high expectations for the haunted one-mile hike through the woods, and famous villains from horror films didn’t disappoint. If there was one complaint it was the walk. I am a lazy spectator, not an active kind of guy. But overall it was a good trail.
It is perfect for the timid-types. There is plenty of time to relax before being reminded of the not-so-friendly atmosphere you have stumbled into. For that reason alone it earns a rating of 8.