Psycho Path Opens the Storybook, Spins a Grimm Yarn

In 2014 The Psycho Path proved that small time haunting can produce big time results en route to the Horrorlust Dark Horse Award. It was a welcome, unexpected hit and I knew then that it had ensnared me with its quaint, yet creative charm. A little more than a year later, I returned on a Friday night with John and Steve in tow. Shortly, we boarded a wagon that rumbled across a field and toward the woods that The Psycho Path called home.

The wagon came to a stop in a torch-lit clearing, we disembarked and followed an earthen path to the entrance of this unique haunted attraction. A man in dapper dress addressed the crowd, he identified himself as Wilhelm Grimm. Wilhelm, as he told it, was the author of many famous fairy tales and fables. He encouraged guests to shout out their favorite stories and once a handful had complied, Mr. Grimm informed the crowd that the stories we knew and loved were sanitized versions of much more sinister narratives. But not to fret, Wilhelm had conjured his characters in their original form and unleashed them upon The Psycho Path. He implored us to approach the doors, we entered and were transported to a realm of twisted fairy tales.

With the doors sealed behind us, we surged forward on the only available path but immediately we found that it was occupied by a slim, human-sized rabbit. Like magic a second and a third rabbit appeared out of thin air, one behind the other as the duo peered at us from either side of the first. I had heard that rabbits had a penchant for procreation but this rate of multiplicity was otherworldly. The trio of hares silently circled our party, twitching their necks in unison, each with the same hungry stare.

The remainder of of trip through the rabbit hole known as The Psycho Path would be no less strange and surreal as we encountered Alice of lore engaged in a one-person tea party, a less than welcoming Mad Hatter and the three little pigs all grown up and decidedly overfed.

All throughout this storybook kingdom were dungeons and dank prison cells that held children and teenagers captive. We implored them to explain their crimes so that we could better understand their imprisonment but many of them were beyond our help, some incapable of speech. One cell held an astounding seven or more young people, all wailed to be set free.

A witch dressed from head-to-toe in white also dwelt in this realm and had her own personal prisoners chained to the wall. The hapless girls thrashed and screamed against their bonds; upon closer inspection it was revealed that the sorceress had plucked out their eye balls. Perhaps that was to be the fate of each of the captives?

It seemed as if the fabric of reality could not endure further stress and yet Wilhelm Grimm’s Petri dish of nursery rhymes and fairy tales possessed further oddities. In one memorable passage a group of animate dolls, in various states of disrepair and degradation, begged for our assistance. One twitched in robotic spasms while she meekly pleaded for help, another, scarcely more than a torso with a head, merely seemed confused by the state of her sad existence. Nearby, an agitated, ham-fisted doll maker lamented the failings of her creations.

Still, the weirdness persisted. In one corner of Mr. Grimm’s imagination we crossed paths with an alluring mermaid who spoke not a word but flashed us a welcoming smile and a come hither glance. But at this point we trusted no man, woman or mythical creature in the entire nightmarish narrative.

No sooner, we were waylaid by a monstrous saber-tooted rabbit! I couldn’t help but wonder if it were he who had sired the triplets that we had encountered at the beginning of our journey. However, inquiries into genetic testing had to wait as we dodged the horrible hare only to be accosted by an aggressive, single-minded girl who repeated posed the same question and demanded one answer.

Suddenly, we stumbled into a throne room and there sat the evil queen. Several captives attempted to make a break for it at the sight of us but the chains around their ankles held fast and jerked violently once they had reached their length. In response, the shrill queen bellowed for an executioner to be made present and he was heralded by the sound of a chainsaw.

The 2015 incarnation of The Psycho Path was a fun, fresh theme and employed a veritable army of actors cast in a multitude of roles. Although the acting could use some polish and a lesson or two in improvisation; the overall costuming and makeup is among the best we’ve witnessed at an all volunteer haunted attraction. It’s hard not to be in love with the location of The Psycho Path — it truly enjoys the best of both worlds and the haunt itself should provide fertile soil for many moons to come.

Rating: 3.5 stars

“Do you believe in fairies? Do you believe in fairies?! SAY YOU BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!!”

-A rather pushy girl near the final dungeon inside Wilhelm Grimm’s dark fantasy land

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