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The 2015 Scarycuse OSCARE Awards Announcements

10/29/15 -

Congratulations to Cayo Industrial Horror Realm! Our secret-shoppers ranked your attraction #1 among all Haunted Attractions in Central New York! Cayo proved it has it's very own lane, with a theme richly detailed in post-apocalyptic scenes and relentless scares, Cayo was described as INTENSE by multiple secret-shoppers in their own words. The scare-actors at Cayo had the highest number of "Love their Jobs" compliments as well. They showed their passion, whether they were scurrying across a filthy floor, or ravenously eating a fetus. The blood and gore at Cayo was aplenty, but never gratuitous, and genuine startles & scares lurked around every corner. The average "Appropriate for" age reported by secret-shoppers was 13+, with some even suggesting Cayo is only appropriate for an audience over 18. Congratulations from for earning the recognition BEAST OF CUSE for 2015.


Congratulations 13th Hour Rising! Our secret-shoppers named your attraction best Haunted Hayride in Central New York. Although this is just your 2nd year as 13th Hour Rising, what the CNY community may not know, is that your pedigree runs many decades deep, with past Haunted Attractions in both CNY and Seneca Falls. Your custom creations are noteworthy, but according to surveys, what likely put you over the edge in a very close match, was your ability to get guests to let their guard down with campy NON scary moments. These were often immediately followed by jump-scares and startles! Well played.


Congratulations Frightmare Farms! A sizeable number of attraction visitors report loving haunted trails the best, over indoor Haunted Houses and Hayrides. Hence the new category. Our secret-shoppers named Frightmare Farms' Condemned Mine Trail Experience unequivocally their favorite Haunted trail in Central New York. From the impeccable actor's greeting to the foreboding walk down a mine-shaft, The Condemned Mine Trail puts a new and original spin on the classic and loved Haunted Trail.


Congratulations Cayo Industrial Horror Realm! Our secret-shoppers ranked your attraction #1 for value. The Boo-for-your-buck category speaks volumes about an attraction, as it ONLY takes into consideration the surveys from secret-shoppers who paid their own way. Your high marks from guests who said they'd eagerly visit again, and would recommended the attraction to their friends put you head and shoulders above the rest for the category. This winning combination, among other factors, is a testament to the punch packed in the show you put on night after night.


Congratulations Raven Haven! Our secret-shoppers ranked your attraction #1 Home-Haunt in Central New York. We had several secret-shopper report being caught off guard repeatedly. If anyone suspected your award last year was charity due to the tragic fire that cut your season short, be it known, the folks at Raven Haven earned their back to back recognitions. Again, CNY haunters who do it for the love. Thanks for rising from the ashes to make everyones Halloween a little spookier!


Congratulations The Abandoned! Our secret-shoppers ranked your attraction #1 not-for-profit in Central New York. The staff of scare-actors was reported as sometimes few, but always enthusiastic. Your clown room as a favorite, and the personalized touch from ticket and concessions staff earned high marks across the board. Thanks for doing it all for the love.


New For 2015

This year we've expanded our awards to include recognition for the Best Haunted Trail.

About the Scarycuse OSCARE Awards

Yes, it's real. The OSCARE is a 10" tall ghoul statuette, encrusted in real rust, and weighing in at nearly 2 lbs. The Haunted Attraction determined to be the best overall, is awarded the title BEAST OF CUSE, and receives an actual OSCARE Statue.

The "OSCARE Awards" is our way of giving recognition to a few Central New York Haunted Attractions that stood out from the rest. It isn't a popularity contest, nor is it based on blind votes. Award recognitions are determined based on the summarized results of surveys completed by secret-shoppers.

As of Halloween Season 2015, there are 6 categories in which attractions are recognized: Best Home-Haunt, Best Boo-for-your-Buck, Best Non-Profit Haunted Attraction, Best Haunted Hayride, Best Haunted Trail, and finally The Best Overall Haunted Attraction in CNY is awarded the title BEAST OF CUSE. It is possible for an attraction to win in more than one category.

When it comes to determining award winners, Scarycuse is 100% unbiased. We appreciate every minute and every dime invested into the amazing attractions in CNY. Furthermore, the amazing scare-actors, employees and volunteers at every attraction, who spend hours in the dark making us all scream.

Secret Shoppers

Our secret-shoppers are people from all walks of life. Some are hard-core haunted attraction aficionados, others are soccer moms, teens on a date etc. Sometimes they are provided with complimentary tickets, sometimes we pay their way, but most often they pay their own way- ensuring their perception of an attraction's value is based on real cost to them.

The number of secret-shoppers varies by category, but we always try to ensure competing attractions have at least an equal number of secret-shopper visits- e.g. A Haunted Hayride may have 10 Secret-Shoppers, and a Home-Haunt may have 5, as they are not competing in the same category. It's not a scientific process in the least, but we do want it to be as fair and accurate as possible. Secret-shopper visits are done on any given night during Halloween season, and results are summarized.

The Survey

Our secret-shopper survey is over fifty questions long, and covers all kinds of details.

This includes cost, wait time, queue-line entertainment, scare-actors, detail, length and much more, the most important being scares! The results for several questions, lend themselves to specific award categories.

We worked hard to make sure our survey was as comprehensive as possible.

Sometimes we feel bad making people complete such an arduous and time consuming survey, but when it comes time to determine winners, the more details we have, the better.

Scarycuse staff also does one survey after attending any attraction, with our own results weighed with no more importance than any other secret-shopper.

Why are the OSCARE Awards so important?

Simply put, they are not. An award really says nothing about the creative vision and countless hours of work and direction that birthed a living, breathing, interactive work of art that elicits one of the most powerful human emotions... FEAR. That, in a nutshell, is what every Haunted Attraction owner and staff do. Year after year.

We hope Scarycuse awards don't cause any headaches for folks trying to nail down a recognition that doesn't really mean anything at all. Please don't care too much about winning an award. If you made people scream, and made enough money to do it again next year, you win. We all win. Thanks for making Central New York a great place to live for at least one awesome season!


Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!


-Kirk @

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