Ready for a scare-your-pants-off kind of haunted attraction? We visited Madworld Haunted Attraction in Greenville, SC and had a terrifyingly fun time. Thanks to Madworld for inviting us to experience their terrifying attraction so we could scare our readers in this review.
Love haunted houses, insane asylums, terrifying clowns, and all things Halloween? Then you’ll want to visit one of the country’s scariest haunted attractions at Madworld Haunted Attraction right here in Greenville, SC.
We’ll tell you all about how this place started, the terrifying things you’ll encounter, how scary Madworld really is, and how to experience this best of the Halloween season at Madworld.
About Madworld Haunted Attraction
Madworld is owned and run by two brothers, Joe and Tim Thompson, and 2023 is their 13th season of the haunted attraction. They’ve always loved horror and all things scary so producing and creating Madworld was a natural fit for both of them.
The haunted attraction has won accolades nationwide and is ranked as one of the scariest attractions in South Carolina. This is a pretty serious haunted attraction which Joe and Tim have built with the guest experience in mind. There are about 200 actors on any given night looking to terrify guests with their very real-looking getups and acting skills that have been honed for this place and their goal to give guests a memorable – and nightmare-worthy – experience.
We got a peek at some of the behind-the-scenes magic and the amount of work that goes into the makeup and costumes of each character is stunning. There are silicon masks, rows of makeup chairs, prosthetics, weapons that look real. The team is serious about the appearance of each character and makes sure to make them look as real as possible. Actors have to go through rounds of auditions to work at Madworld.
But that’s not all. Madworld has a quality control manager whose job is basically go through the entire park several times a night and make sure every character is acting their part to a tee. If not, well, I don’t even want to know. The guy who does this is very serious about his job.
All the Details about the Haunted Trail
The biggest part of Madworld is their nearly half-mile haunted trail through a zombie factory and into a world of all kinds of things that scare us humans.
Joe and Tim told us that they wanted to hit on a variety of things and scenarios that scare people as to make sure they are able to hit all phobias. That is quite obvious once you start walking through the haunted trail, which seemingly never ends.
The zombie factory starts off your tour after your photo is snapped by the Madworld staff to remember you by. OK, well, not really. You can purchase it afterwards at the customer service desk. Each group is ushered in separately so there may be a bit of a wait (get the Fast Pass – you’ll save a lot of time). There are green glowing lights and you feel like you’re in a prison. Loud noises are all around you and the actors try to reach for you from their jail cell. It’s awesome.
Once you get instructions about not running through any of the attractions from the creepy host, you’ll enter into the official part of the haunted trail. There are 13 sets/haunted houses and once you leave one, you’ll walk outside and enter into the next one. There are characters everywhere that either will jump out at you or show up in the shadows or just act completely terrifying.
After the zombie factory, I can’t even remember what is next because there are so many. I’ll tell you the things that stood out to me in the various places.
First, this wasn’t even me but Bethany and her husband were behind me and passed a writhing girl on the floor, who they thought was me. You can imagine their terror. Thankfully, I was just ahead of them getting scared out of my mind by an exorcist-type girl on a moving bed who was crawling towards me.
The clown house obviously involved a lot of clowns. But it also involved a lot of flashing lights, strobes, and creepy laughs. This is one the warnings they give you when you buy your tickets.
The pirate house was my favorite because the characters were entirely convincing but also because they had a part where it seemed that you were going to fall into water where a giant gator was going to eat you. Towards the end of the pirate house, you have to walk through a room where you can’t see the floor – so cool.
The insane asylum was just that: insane. Lots of patients screaming to let them out plus a room full of old toilets that had me convinced this was a real insane asylum. It was intense.
One part that was outdoors had a crazed guy lighting up propane with actors with chainsaws hacking up people. One bloody person was dragged in front of me by a dude with a chainsaw and I’m still not sure if it was a real person or not.
A witch nearly scared me to death when she popped out of her shack. And I really didn’t want to walk through the house with the label of “bless this house” on the door. No, thanks. But I did and it was haunting.
From the time we entered the zombie factory to when we exited the haunted trail was about 25-30 minutes. It felt longer. There is a lot of blood, gore, and screaming at Madworld.
Ghost Mini Golf & Carnival Games
While Madworld is probably most well-known for their intensely scary haunted trail, they have a lot of other things to do while you’re there that won’t involve straining your vocal chords.
They have an entire mini golf course, several different carnival games, and my favorite – ax throwing. None of these things are terrifying so if your kids want to go someplace “scary” but you know they aren’t ready for the full experience, you can take them here to do ghost mini golf and throw some balls at clowns. Then they can tell their friends they went to Madworld.
Tasty Treats at Madworld + Gift Shop
Being scared works up an appetite. Good thing Madworld can help out with that.
There are some tasty food vendors at Madworld that sell mini donuts, cheeseburgers, funnel cakes, muffins, fries, and even coffee and frappes.
These are located inside the park. You can sit around the bonfire and eat and calm your heart rate after going through the haunted trail.
As for the gift shop, you’ll want to go here before heading home. They have some really cool stuff like skeleton wine goblets, terrifying hoodies, ghost soap dishes, and candles. They partnered with Travelers Rest-based artisan chocolate shop, Lumineux Chocolate, to create special Madworld chocolate bars. We tried these and oh my gosh, they are amazing.
Best Ages for Madworld
If you think I’m going to give you an age range for kids who will enjoy this, sorry to disappoint but it’s not happening. As an adult, I was scared. I know several adults who would also be terrified of Madworld but who want to go and scream their heads off. Other friends are scared just looking at my photos of Madworld.
I know my own kids, currently ages 12 and 9, and they would never sleep after going to Madworld. But other kids, including another 12-year-old and a teenager who came with us, absolutely loved this place and no doubt will want to go back. When we went, there was a little girl, probably around 7, who was first in line with her mom.
So what age is good for this haunted attraction? It totally depends on your kid.
Joe did tell us that when little kids come in, the actors don’t act as scary towards them. So, instead of quietly coming up behind them and waiting for them to turn around and be scared out of their mind, the characters will approach them from the front and give them a high five.
Tips on Enjoying Madworld
Here are a few things we found to be helpful when heading to Madworld Haunted Attraction.
- The actors are not allowed to intentionally touch guests. They are allowed to get very close though and sometimes I brushed up against their costumes.
- Wear sturdy and closed toed shoes. Sometimes you can’t see the floor in the haunted trail and there is part of it where the floor moves so you want sturdy shoes.
- Plan to spend some time there. There are a lot of things to enjoy at Madworld besides the haunted trail so plan to spend the evening hanging out, getting scared, and playing carnival games, eating, or chilling at the bonfire.
- Sign your waiver and have the proof you signed it on your phone at the entrance. That’s the only thing you need to enter Madworld and you’ll be checked for it.
- If you’re able, get the Fast Pass. It will save you time on the haunted trail since you jump to the head of the line.
- You can buy a no-scare medallion as part of your ticket package if you want to go but don’t want to be screaming all night. When kids wear these medallions, it repels monsters.
- Do not wear your Halloween costumes. No costumes are allowed.
- There are a lot of strobe and flashing lights and fog. If you have a condition where these things aggravate it, then it is not recommended you go. Pregnant women are also cautioned against doing the haunted trail.
Overall Review of Madworld
This type of attraction is typically not at the top of my Halloween excursions but readers, this is what I do for you. That said, Madworld was really, really fun. It’s obvious how much work went into creating a top-notch experience for guests who come looking to be scared and have a great night with their friends, family, or date (this would make a great date night).
The characters are very good at their work and everyone we saw throughout the haunted trail was on point for their particular scare tactic. We never saw any actor break character, which I imagine is very difficult to do for hours each night.
I’d certainly consider putting Madworld on my fall bucket list after this trip.
Operating Hours & Tickets
You can purchase your tickets online or at the gate. They have several different packages whether you want the full experience of the haunted trail and all the carnival games or just a couple things to do. You can also purchase a season pass if you’re that kind of crazy. General admission tickets are $40/adult and $35/kids 10 and under. Ticket packages go up from there.
They are open weekends starting September 8, 2023 through November 4, 2023. They are also open Halloween and a few other days before the last weekend of October. The times vary so check the schedule before you go.
Madworld will open in light rain but if it’s raining heavily, they will need to close. Follow Madworld on Facebook for the most up-to-date announcements.
Looking for more haunts?
See our Guide to Haunted Attractions in the Upstate!