Ohio Valley Haunts
Riverside Jaycees
click logo above to visit their website
Reviewed 10/9/08
1213 Harshman Rd.
Dayton, OH  45431
(937) 254-2576
$10 for House and Trail
$2 discount coupon on website
RIVERSIDE JAYCEES HAUNTED HOUSE:   Scary music welcomes you into the 2008 Jaycees adventure entitled The Haunted Castle of Carnage.  Taunting voices ring out of the darkness threatening death, and warning of imminent danger.  “Here we come!,” someone cautions from beyond the lightlessness.  Suddenly the room illuminates revealing the presence of straightjacketed goons, screaming at the tops of their lungs amid vicious pounding on walls and glass windows inside their loony bin confinement.  Next up, a deadly Executioner utilizes a murderous guillotine to carry out a merciless beheading, then advises witnesses to move onward in order to avoid being next!  The Riverside dentist is back for a return engagement practicing his demented form of health care on some poor, unfortunate, bloody-mouthed patient in advance of a new scene displaying the intimidating silhouette of Freddy Krueger’s knife hand seen glowing on a wall foreshadowing a surprise attack entrapment courtesy of Shriners' #1 burn patient!  Scenes previously hidden by darkness repeatedly come to life over and over again, exemplified by a convict frying to his demise in a diabolical electric chair!  Additional scares include a camouflage wearing ghoul taking aim and delivering a jungle surprise, then an unexpected encounter with a runaway truck lunging forward, again out of the darkness!   Upstairs, carnival music blares as wicked clowns burst balloons and hold you captive until a sudden escape route is revealed through a mysterious black hole that doubles as a spinning vortex!  More surprises are in store including a rather tight fit through a claustrophobic passage, a demented doctor devouring and sharing the intestines of one of his critically ill patients, and an innocent looking bed that conceals a most horrific startle of its own en route to a brief door and carpet maze. Exiting onto the trail portion of the experience brings about more scares from cemeteries, so called “empty” graves, werewolves, a few more new surprises, and an eventual chainsaw chase-out of the Riverside Jaycees Haunted House.

LENGTH - 7, around 10 minutes. 
ACTORS - 8½, Pleasantly more intense than would be expected.  Characters were well hidden throughout, and even the younger actors did a good job trying to frighten everyone.  Doctor, dentist and patients also were excellent!  Executioner is a stand out once again!
SCARINESS - 8½, Great background music and sounds, although at first a little on the quiet side in the upstairs portion of the attraction.  Surprises materialize seemingly out of nowhere, as many scenes are first covered by darkness, then illuminate at just the right time.  Actor placement is good both in the house and on the trail, resulting in effective scares. 
DESIGN - 8, House annually changes around quite a bit, and is good and scary while it lasts.  Maze is dark, intimidating and features a few minor dead ends.  The trail is dark, winding, and hilly, and hosts some startles, and of course, some customary chainsaws!  It parallels the railroad tracks just to the other side of the trees, and if a train happens to come roaring by (as was the case when we visited last season) it really adds a shocking effect!  Access to the outdoor section of the haunt makes it feel more like two separate, unconnected events, but serves to lengthen the attraction, although it’s not as strong as its indoor counterpart.  The house is so dark at times that finding the correct path from one scene to another could easily present somewhat of a challenge if not for the guide that follows you through. 
PROPS - 8, “Black hole” a.k.a. spinning vortex is cleverly concealed from view until it’s ready for use..  Surprising mechanical scares are on display as well.  Claustrophobia and one of a kind glow room are pleasant additions
VALUE - 8½, just $8 with their website coupon for a traditionally scary haunted house.  You’re just never ready for it to end! 
RATING:  8, This is a good, old fashioned haunted house - affordable, and enjoyable.  The attraction seems be improved upon every year with brand new surprises and the incorporation of new scenes and technologically advanced props. The Riverside Jaycees Haunted House celebrates its 22nd anniversary this season, the proceeds from which serve as the annual community fundraiser.  Join them on October 18th for a daylong celebration that includes a $2 children’s matinee ($1.00 with nonperishable food item), 5k race, beer garden, and of course The Haunted Castle of Carnage!