A doll sits inside The Creep, a haunted house located at the Madison County fairgrounds. Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Brielmaier / Rogues Hollow Productions

A doll sits inside The Creep, a haunted house located at the Madison County fairgrounds.
Credit: Courtesy of Christopher Brielmaier / Rogues Hollow Productions

I genuinely thought I wasn’t afraid of much, but The Creep showed me otherwise.

The experience was more than just three haunted houses, “The Residence,” “MadHouse” and “FR3AK’D,” set at the Madison County fairgrounds, it was a high quality haunted festival. As we drove the roughly 30 minutes from campus in the dark, the setting changed from a brightly lit city to eerie cornfields.
The fairgrounds are located on a street called Elm Street, which added even more to the creepy setting. I began to prepare myself for what might be my own “Nightmare on Elm Street.” My anticipation built as my friends and I each paid $24.99 for a wristband that got us into all three houses.

The scariest part of The Creep was one specific entertainer, known as Samhain. My first interaction with this mad man was in “FR3AK’D,” one of the haunted houses that resembled a fun house gone wrong. He stood in front of me with a plain white mask over his face and stared hauntingly at me. When I backed away and shakily tried to run around him, he removed the mask to reveal his bloody face and large sharp teeth. The only word I could let out was, “Nope,” then I took off into a nearby hallway that led to a maze.

I went through the rest of “FR3AK’D” rather quickly, passing the group that was let in before mine. The group in front of ours had paused to look around in one of the empty areas, so I ran past them and exited the attraction without the group I had entered the attraction with.

The haunted houses were well put on, the props inside were believable and the actors knew how and when to scare the patrons. I heard screams coming from the haunted houses as I waited in the line at each attraction.

Once I had been through the attractions, I enjoyed a caramel apple from one of the food trucks in “Creeper Commons.” The commons consisted of multiple attractions in the outdoor area between the haunted houses. It included food, a movie screening, live entertainment and multiple entertainment booths.
The open space was reminiscent of a small town festival, but with an eerie twist. I spent time looking at all the haunting the production had to offer in the fog-covered outdoors. While in the commons, I constantly was checking behind me for the characters roaming throughout.

My friends and I did some scaring of our own in the scare booths, which are video screens that show a specific area in one of the haunted houses and feature a button that controls an effect which can be activated when fellow patrons walk through the attraction.

After scaring a few groups of people, I walked over to a bench to sit down to watch the movie, “The Shining,” which was playing on a giant screen. My friend then advised me to not look behind me, which I automatically did, and there Samhain was again, with his bloody face, pointy teeth and those creepy eyes. I dropped my caramel apple in the trash can in front of me and stood frozen in fear.

As my fear subsided, my friends and I took photos with him and I asked him a couple of questions to which he only replied in grunts. Finally he took my phone and typed in his name to look up on Facebook. His page was filled with his appearances and creepy photos. The entertainer’s experience using fright was not only shown in his social media, it was also apparent in person. His swift movements and piercing stare were enough to make me double check my closet for monsters before bed that night. His calculated timing is what made him stand out amongst the other characters who were adorned in equally as terrifying makeup and costumes.

The rest of the time at The Creep, I watched the fire dancers. Two women dressed in all black spun fire on hula-hoops or chains while to a drumbeat played by a man in the background who was dressed in black as well, wearing a gold mask over his face. It was a very interesting show, though it was hard to focus on when I was making sure there wasn’t a character ready to make me jump.

The Madison County fairgrounds is located in London, Ohio at 205 Elm St.