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by BrittanyAnnBula (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at about 8 p.m.
Submitted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Terror Trail... that's exactly what you will get when you enter the unknown woods. As you make your way down dark wooden trails lit with only the moon light you never know what will be lurking in the darkness. Expect the unexpected. The trail will lead you to countless shacks spread through out the trail filled with mazes, tight spaces and you will have to find your way out of others! This isn't your typical haunted house, this is a haunted trail that you wouldn't want to miss! The actors put in the effort with each and every person in the group. They limit the group size to only 4 and they don't rush the groups in right after each other.
by wm (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
The Morgue has been around long enough now that it's become a staple haunt in Northeast Wisconsin. One would assume that an old school, homemade haunt could not compete against the large, corporate haunts that are always advertised as 'the best'. Well... that will teach you to assume!
I've been to the Morgue at least a dozen times. The first several years it was the best kept secret in the Green Bay area. Most experiences were great, and a few were mediocre. For a while it seemed as though this haunt was stuck in a rut. It's been several years since I've last visited. Would this trip renew my love affair with the Morgue?
I’m thrilled to say that the Morgue did not disappoint! It’s everything that it was in the past with some great additions. The staples of the Morgue are still there: The ominous walk in the woods, the great wait area with a huge bonfire, and the unique ending. So what's different? Since I've last attended, a lot!
This haunt always starts off with a nice walk through the woods. One change that I noticed as soon as I drove in was the structure that you have to walk into to start your journey. Music was blaring, and several ominous figures hung out above the entrance. I assumed they would be moving to the music like they do at other haunts. These two gents did nothing of the sort! They just hung over you. Looking down on you as you waited and ultimately walked under them. Sometimes pointing, but mostly just staring you down. Kinda creepy! Once in the woods you start your dark journey to the bonfire that awaits. The woods seemed a little under staffed, but the those ghouls were excellent. This haunt can lay claim to the darkest woods walk by far!
After waiting by their fire and having a treat from the snack bar, it was our turn to make our way up to the house. Once you’re near the entrance, there’s was about a 10 minute wait to get in the front door. This is subtle, but brilliant. It gives you time to look around at the great props that they have out. It also gives you time to think about what you’re about to encounter. Once in the front door, you’re greeted by the Morgue Witch. Another staple of the community! She plays a quick video regarding the haunt as her white eyes stare into those that dare look back. Then, it’s time to begin your journey as you enter the elevator.
I’m not sure if the elevator was going up or down, but it sure was a rocky ride! As we exited the elevator it was complete darkness. This haunt is not for the faint at heart. It’s part obstacle course, part haunted house! Much of it is DARK. Each room was different from the last. There’s plenty of opportunities for them to scare the pants off you, and that’s just what they did.
by hex_on_you (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Living in Green Bay and having heard of Gags nearly a year ago when he first made his appearance on the dark streets of the Green Bay area, I was thrilled when I heard that they would not only be releasing a film, but also having a haunt this season! I was very excited to see that their location was directly downtown Green Bay, was easy to find, and was in close proximity to a parking structure, making it a breeze to get to. Unfortunately, that's where most of the perks to this haunt ended for me, as myself and the group I was with left not scared, or having had a great time, but confused as to the direction they were trying to take with the Gags Nightmare haunt.
The actors were great--excellent makeup and very dedicated to their roles. Without giving too much away, this haunt is set up in more of an interactive way. In the beginning you are set up with a pen and notepad to take notes throughout the haunt and told that there is a test of sorts at the end. This excited our group, as we felt it would be more of an escape room/game show type experience as opposed to just a walk through haunt. The idea behind the attraction was great, but I feel it really lacked follow through. We were led through the haunt with a 'tour guide' of sorts. As we were doing each task, we weren't set up well as to what exactly we were to be looking for in each room, and at the end not a single one of us knew the answers to the test, or even felt like we got to take a trip through Gag's mind. We were set up in the beginning so wonderfully by a "drunken" carny stating we were to take a trip through Gag's mind and what made him the man he was today, and we felt as though the attraction didn't touch on this subject at all.
When we got to the end, there was a physical written test, which didn't include some of the tasks we did, and no one in our group of 5 knew most of the answers. There wasn't closure as to what the answers were either, as we weren't told what the correct answers were. Our group of 5 left confused as to what we had just completed, and didn't feel like we had been through a haunt or an escape room and didn't feel like we had "accomplished" or "failed" as we weren't properly set up to complete the tasks.
All in all, if you're looking to get a first hand look at the celebrity clown who has been haunting the streets of Green Bay, going to Gags Nightmare would give you the glimpse at him you're craving, however, for the price and length of the haunt, and with it not either being a traditional haunt or an escape room, I'll leave it up to you if you want to venture to this downtown Green Bay attraction.
This haunt is open multiple days during the week and weekend, so I recommend checking social media or their website for more information. They sell tickets until 11pm, which I wasn't able to find anywhere but was able to call and find. It was also on the main sign to the haunt.
The rest of the characters in the house had great makeup and were dedicated to their roles. I was singled out throughout the haunt, which started off as a fun and memorable addition to our experience, but it got old being picked on by every monster by the end of the haunt. I feel it detracted from the experience.
Watch out--you'll be followed by a certain "celebrity" throughout!
by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017
I love this haunt! Last year was my first time attending, but I fell immediately in love with the unique style of this haunt and the creativity of the staff who puts it together. This year was no exception, and in a brand new location at the Bavarian Bierhouse!
I mentioned the location because it was a particularly cool element of the haunt – visitors can truly have a full night out in one place (and located very conveniently for those of us who live in the Milwaukee area). After enjoying some food at the restaurant, Twisted Realms offers a bar in the waiting area for the haunt, complete with activities like bobbing for beers! TR also featured a dance party after Friday and Saturday haunts this year, with an awesome DJ and lights. I loved all these additional elements; it just makes the whole experience that much more exciting and fun. VIP tickets come with a free drink as well!
As for the haunt itself, my favorite part of Twisted Realms is the unique, interactive elements. Several of the rooms require “escaping” from, often times while being scared and screamed at by actors! The puzzle element is such a fun, different way to scare people – it can be really anxiety inducing trying to find your way out while also determinedly avoiding eye contact with some really scary people! TR also does an amazing job with their timing – we never encountered any other group, and never felt rushed. I loved the variety of scenes, including a red church and some very creepy bedrooms. The actors had a great mix of providing jump scares and being scary just in their presence; and they weren’t afraid to scream in your face!
All in all, Twisted Realms is one of my all time favorite haunts – the staff is clearly passionate and loves what they do, and that shows through their determination to provide an experience that is both scary and fun. I love the changes from last year, and I can’t wait to experience a blackout night there for Halloween!
by kariniepow (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 8 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 23, 2017
The first time we went, we had just paid for our tickets and the power went out. Thankfully, the staff took our name and let us come back a different night. When the power went out, they followed their protocol and handled everything likes pros. They kept the line actors in character to guide guests out of the waiting area and haunted barn. We were really happy to be back!
This haunt combines a haunted house with a haunted woods! Well done all around! You begin the haunt in a mine and end up in the woods, surrounded by freaks and creatures of the night! The haunt combines actors, props and animatronics in a unique way that leaves you uneasy and happy to get back in your car AND lock your doors. I've had the privilege to experience this haunt over the years and they topped themselves this year! It is a drive from the Milwaukee area but well worth it.
The haunt has fast pass, Zombie Paintball and Knocker Ball - you know, the big balls that fit around you? Yeah, they have that! It was a riot!
The zombie paintball was more fun than I had thought! You can shoot targets and knock them over or just blast one target. We did it after the haunt because there is no waiting system to get in the haunt. Knocker Ball was in a field and you got to run into people and knock them over! There was a group of younger guys that were really tearing it up! We were just busting a gut!
by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Everyone remembers there first. While this house wasn't my first haunt, for many out there this place was theirs. If you have that brave young soul in your crew that thinks they want to give a walk through a haunt a try and make it part of their Halloween tradition, I highly recommend a drive out to Waukesha. It had a very retro feel with how it was put together for me. Even though this wasn't where I did my first, it reminded me a lot of it, complete with some festive Halloween carnival games. There were many kids standing in line, and based on the reactions as they went through, they found it absolutely terrifying. Now I wouldn't recommend this for the hard core haunt veterans, but there was a great effort put into this haunt by CMH and for beginners it hit the mark. The best part for me was that they donate the proceeds to great charities. This year the charity is Operation Finally Home. There were some very creative ideas and design elements throughout the haunt, but the one thing I would have recommended was a little more ambient lighting in some areas where characters were staged.
by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook!!! Here I thought a fire destroyed this place in 2015 and it was never to return... Well, no, turns out they never missed a a season... See what rumors can do! Meadowbrook has always been one of my favorite attractions during the hunting season and I was psyched to go back, to say the least. Not much has changed since my last trip here in 2014. Once you buy your tickets you are told to wait by a bonfire until your number is called. In years past this has been a great feature, but apparently mid to late October nights in Wisconsin is now 68º season! The ambiance was still nice. Once our numbers were called we were herded into a line, like cattle to slaughter, ironically with a view of cattle that were freer than we were! Waiting in line was entertaining, not because of roaming ghouls and goblins, as there weren't any, but because of the farm animals were hanging out! We soon entered the corn, and our adventure began!
Now I mentioned earlier that Meadowbrook has always been one of my favorites, though that still remains the same, I do think my three year hiatus has given me time to reflect on this place and allowed me to come to some conclusions that maybe I had missed in years past. Meadowbrook continues to awe me with their presumable fortune of animatronics and lighting. Every time I go through that trail I walk away thinking 'That must have been expensive, and their electrical bill must be staggering!', but the lack of updating seems to be catching up to them, Those animatronic props were once my favorite part of the haunt, now just seem kind of boring. There was an over use of strobe lights, which don't get me wrong, can be a great effects, but we found ourselves saying, "Oh great, here comes more strobes." several times through it.
My favorite part of the haunt was the live actors, which there were WAY TOO FEW OF!!! To me, nothing is creepier than being shocked by actual voices in a corn field. If I were Meadowbrook, I would scale back on the animated props and get a significant amout of actors out there. While walking through the trail you will encounter several areas you have to enter, these are some of the more entertaining parts of the haunt. From pirates to backwoods creeps, these sections are what makes Meadowbrook shine! In all though, Meadowbrook is dark, disorientating, and lenghthy! It still remains one of my favorite haunts in the area!
by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Let me preface this review by saying I admire Phantoms: Matinee of Nightmares, it's a small operation, it's presumably put together by a small group, if not just one man, and it's proceeds benefit the Historic Downtown Theater in West Bend.
Not being familiar with West Bend, Apple Maps was my navigator, and I found the area no problem. Matinee of Nightmares is located in the downtown area, so don't expect much more than a sign on a storefront (a live actor was behind the glass as we left, which would have been helpful when we were looking for the spot!).
Upon entering the location you have to descend a flight of stairs to the ticket area, please be advised, this is a cash only operation, but I was informed that tickets can be purchased online at: https://phantomshauntedhouse.ticketleap.com/matinee-of-nightmares/dates, From there we were ushered into a room where the proprietor welcomed us and gave us a little backstory. I was very happy to hear that after a few years of moving around, Phantoms was back to where it started in West Bend. Hopefully they can remain in one location and can continue grow a great following!
The haunt itself is interesting. At first I was a little confused due to the lack of blaring crunchy industrial guitar that we've come to expect while walking through a haunt, but for the most part Matinee of Nightmares scrapped that idea and piped in little to no noise, which at times added to the creepiness of the whole thing. Walking down hallways hearing nothing but the shuffling of your own feet adds an element that we don't experience often enough in these haunts The live actors were few and far between, but the ones that were in there were pretty good at what they do.. The biggest jump came from a little girl actor, which I think is great. I was fortunate enough to meet that little girl after, and she was so polite and genuinely seemed to enjoy spooking patrons! Matinee of Nightmares will not blow you away with gore or extreme jumps, but it does fill a void for haunt fans that aren't looking to be uncomfortably terrorized. Matinee of Nightmares was a nice, easy haunt that you are safe to bring the whole family to!
by Captn_DeathSchlager (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
If you tour as many haunts as I have you’re likely to encounter one that’s a traditional favorite you absolutely adore that unexpectedly disappoints you. While this first sentence may sound like this is going to be a bad review for Dwelling of Despair, it’s not meant to be. My tour group of 6 adults (3 couples) really enjoyed this haunt and thought it was “Super Fun” (…to quote a haunt newbie from my group…) but we all had one concern that I uncharacteristically can’t resist the urge to mention. …but first, here’s what my group really enjoyed about the Dwelling of Despair…
The Dwelling of Despair Haunted House & accompanying Forest of Fear is a self-guided, interactive ghoulish attraction known for its awesome animatronic special effects, elaborate decor, skilled actors, unique monsters, unusual themes and chilling detail! Now in its 32nd season the Dwelling of Despair has prided itself in providing a creative and ghoulishly good time to all haunt goers along with a few (ahem, more like several!) frightful moments. 2017 marked my 25th visit to this haunted venue and similar to prior years I was once again amazed at how many of the sets/themes have changed. While you may notice a few similarities along your terrifying tour outside of this haunt what awaits inside will torment and twist your mind in new ways. Following the lead of last year’s version, the chills, thrills and scares are delivered more upfront and in your face than with the skits that traditionally tormented you in the Dwelling of Despair. Rest assured though, this haunt still offers opportunities to interact with the demon’s inhabiting the Dwelling of Despair and retains the same Halloween charm that has brought guests back for the past 32 years!
The 2017 edition of this haunt presents two horrifying sections to test your wits and your desire to survive. THE Forrest of Fear kicks off your terrifying tour on a dark and twisted path patrolled by evil spirits and several fiendish ghouls. If you're lucky enough to slip past these gorish guardians the entrance of the 3 story Dwelling of Despair awaits from the 3rd floor balcony. To escape the nightmares found within the unfriendly confines of the Dwelling of Despair you must successfully navigate a maze of uniquely themed rooms and hidden passages through the bowls of the entire house. Along the way you are sure to encounter each and every inhabitant of the house...some fun, some helpful but most of all they are all quite frightful!
If you’re touring this haunt as a couple….BEWARE!!! How would you feel if a stranger in your tour group tried to separate only your partner from the tour group? What if this stranger not just once but several times ONLY attempted to separate your partner from the group and didn’t once attempt to separate anyone else? What if this stranger wasn’t in costume or didn’t offer any indication that they were with event security? …and what if this stranger joined your group wearing a plain grey hoodie NOT from the watchful eyes of event security but while you were walking through the woods as you were approaching the entrance of the haunt? This situation resulted in a few tense moments during my tour of the Dwelling of Despair which unfortunately ruined the experience for both me and my date. As there were 3 couples in our group we are all scratching our heads at why there were repeated attempts to isolate only one person (versus two) from the group and why it was always the same person. In my opinion it is unacceptable for a haunt to not clearly identify the ghouls and event staff that are interacting with you as it creates an unsafe environment for haunt goers and event staff alike.
TOUR GROUP RATINGS: Here’s how my tour group rated Dwelling of Despair for both the Scare and Fun scale (1 to 5)
Haunt Newbie (first timer) #1: SCARE-4 / FUN-5
Haunt Newbie (first timer) #2: SCARE-3 / FUN-5
Haunt Newbie #3: SCARE-4 / FUN-5
Haunt Newbie #4: SCARE-3 / FUN-5
Haunt Novice: SCARE-4 / FUN-2
Haunt Veteran: SCARE-3 / FUN-2
by Captn_DeathSchlager (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 8 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
It was a dark and stormy night on the evening I visited Terror on Rural Street. It was clear that Mother Nature had chosen to begin the Halloween Season for this haunted venue in a more trick than treat spirit. Contrary to Mother Nature’s unpleasant tricks, Terror on Rural Street comes stocked with several creature feature treats to combat life’s unavoidable tricks.
Upon arriving this haunt greeted my tour group of 6 adults with a well-lit, paved and spacious parking lot along with a patrolling ghoul which little doubt that we were in the right place. (No trudging through muddy dim lit fields as you approach the ticket window here.) As an added bonus we were delighted to find that Terror on Rural Street has a heated indoor waiting area with a fully stocked concession stand complete with food, snacks, beverages, beer and Jello-shots. (A very welcome perk for my tour group companions who had just finished working out at a nearby fitness center!)
Another nice treat offered by this haunt is the numbering of tickets which allow you to wander about as you wait for your tour to begin…no need to stand in a dreadfully long line and count spiders on the wall as you wait here! If you love taking selfies with your brothers and sisters in crime you’ll certainly enjoy the photogenic ghouls wondering about the waiting area who are just dying to photo bomb your shot.
Here are some of my personal observations about Terror on Rural Street…
SPACIOUS ACCOMODATIONS: My tour group of 6 adults consisted of 4 haunt newbies (…2 of which who were attending their first haunt ever…), 1 haunt novice who visited Terror on Rural Street for the first time in 2016 and 1 seasoned veteran who has yet to miss a season of Terror on Rural Street. Despite having the option to tour this haunt as a smaller sized group the 6 of us decided to stick together….a decision that was not taken lightly by me as being placed into an oversized tour group and crammed into small rooms is a personal pet peeve mine. Put your mind at ease if you share this personal peeve as we found that the mystic maze of mind bending sets and corridors easily accommodated our group.
CINEMA QUALITY SETS: This haunt features several Cinema quality sets many of which are pimped out with a dedicated sound system and special effects you won't find any place else. Portions of this haunt are an interactive style haunt with rooms showcasing a unique theme and a skit performed by volunteer actors. While the actors may be volunteers the costumes and make-up were professionally done and very realistic. This was most evident in the final pre-tour staging where you receive final instructions before embarking on your tour. While it’s very easy to get distracted by the costumed actors be sure to take note of the keen attention to detail found with the facial make-up/costumes of the actors as well as the staging set as well. This same attention to details persists throughout this entire haunt.
DAZZLING SPECIAL EFFECTS: Admittedly not all of the acting performances knocked my socks off nor did every room send me off screaming to the next. But what Terror on Rural Street lacked with its actors and potential scare factor it more than made up for with its dazzling special effects and elaborate sets. Scares and surprises frequently came from unexpected flashes of brilliant light, dedicated room specific sound systems and a variety of lifelike techno effects
CREATIVE CONCEPTS: Terror on Rural Street continues its strong tradition of being a techno haunt goer’s dream come true! There has never been a year when I have been disappointed with the electrifying showcase of terrifying themes found at the Terror on Rural Street. This year was certainly no exception. If you’re leery of visiting a haunt more than once in a lifetime you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the number of new rooms/concepts found in this year’s edition. While a few of the techno-effects have been recycled for this year’s haunt most of them have been given a new creative twist. (I particularly enjoyed this year’s version of the observation deck!)
TOUR GROUP RATINGS: Here’s how my tour group rated Terror on Rural Street for both the Scare and Fun scale (1 to 5)
Haunt Newbie (first timer) #1: SCARE-4 / FUN-4
Haunt Newbie (first timer) #2: SCARE-3 / FUN-3
Haunt Newbie #3: SCARE-4 / FUN-4
Haunt Newbie #4: SCARE-3 / FUN-4
Haunt Novice: SCARE-4 / FUN-4
Haunt Veteran: SCARE-3 / FUN-4
This haunt can be found right off the main drag (Hwy 60) in downtown Hartford. Look for the flashing sign to point you to the parking lot. Great location. An abundance of well lit parking and a warm place to hang out while you wait. The court yard between the waiting area and the entrance really set the tone nicely.
by majorXpsycho (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The Haunted Mansion received Haunted Wisconsin’s “Visitors Choice” for 2016 and I had to personally verify this prestigious award! First of all, if you haven’t been to The Haunted Mansion in over 3 years, you have to go back, it is NOT the same haunt! Although it is not located in a heavily populated area, the Haunted Mansion rivals some of the largest commercial haunts in WI! The three things that really stand out to me regarding the Haunted Mansion are 1) The Length – much longer than most haunted attractions. 2) The innovative use of props and scenes – there are things you see at the Haunted Mansion that you will not get anywhere else. 3) The Fun – associating “fun” with “terror” seems like a contradicting mix, but I felt like a kid in a horror story.
We attended on a very rainy/wet opening night. I expected a lot of “hiccups”, but to my surprise it was as if they had been open for weeks! The rain was a bit of a bummer, but the best part was the line was very short. We started on the Haunted Trail, which seems to have doubled in length. The trail reminds me of those horror movies where the individuals are trying to hide from the nightmare waiting for them in a cornfield. You are busy trying to find your way, but there are ghouls and evil above and below. Definitely a lot of screams throughout the trail (and most from a 46 year old male)!! The trail has some major unexpected twists and you may find the ground carries its own surprises. We were on the trail for almost 20 minutes.
The next stop, on to the Zombus! It was great to get out of the rain and what seemed like a typical bus ride quickly revealed horrors inside. The bus drops you off at what I will refer to as the “entertainment” district. You receive a number … NO STANDING IN A LONG BORING LINE. You can walk around, try out the zombie shooting range, enjoy snacks, bonfires, music videos and burial simulator all while watching for your number to be called. Our group was escorted inside ALONE … no pesky groups to deal with while navigating the house. As seasoned attraction goers know, nothing KILLS the experience more than being crammed in with a bunch of annoying unfamiliar faces.
Once inside the first room, we knew we were in for a terrifying experience. You need to be strong and face your fears or you are not going to get out of this one! As someone who does not scare easy and attends more haunted attractions than I will ever admit, there is no way to prepare for the obstacles and horrors inside the Haunted Mansion. Think animatronics (animated huge props that come at you) are only for “big city” haunted attractions? Think again!! I usually dislike a lot of animatronics, but at the Haunted Mansion, they were used so dangerously (in a good way) that they only added to the tremendous amounts of horror inside.
In summary, if you are looking for a haunted attraction that lasts more than an hour and pushes the boundaries of fear, then the Haunted Mansion should be on your list! I would have to agree with the “Visitors Choice” and list the Haunted Mansion as one as my favorite in Wisconsin!
by hex_on_you (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
If you're looking for a haunt to add to the top of your list this season--the Hill Has Eyes is it! With a great waiting area, multiple well thought out attractions, and numerous live actors paired with interactive special effects, this haunt will keep you guessing what could possibly come next!
The Hill Has Eyes is located in Franklin, WI at a once operational (and soon to be operational again!) ski hill. There is plenty of parking to accommodate large crowds, and there is an excellent waiting area (because you may be waiting a bit for this popular haunt!). The waiting area located in a large covered tent totes a DJ, a full bar, and an outdoor area with some lurking creatures and multiple fire barrels to keep you warm!
Our group of three opted for the "VIP" speed passes, where we could skip the line at each of the five attractions at the Hill Has Eyes. I would highly recommend spending the extra $10 to upgrade, as it jam packed our night with more scares and entertainment and less time waiting in line. Our group loved that we could stay together as a group of three, and went through most of the five attractions as just the three of us! It truly added to the experience and made the haunt one to remember!
The Hill Has Eyes requires a signed waiver, as they have a lot of interactive special effects, including a "hooded" portion of the event, a section of the woods which is "shocking", and a ride on their "scare" lift! I didn't research the haunt much before attending (which I wish I would have because the back story for each of the attractions is wonderful!), and I almost let the waiver scare me away! But don't let it! This haunt was excellent and our entire group had so much fun from beginning to end, and the interactive special effects made it a haunt to remember!
Add the Hill Has Eyes to your haunt adventures this season, you won't regret it!
Tickets are available online until 6pm the night of the haunt--I would definitely recommend planning your trip and purchasing tickets prior to arrival to save time. And to save more time opt for the VIP experience.
The scenery for each haunt was detailed and set the mood. I enjoyed the incline changes, the wooded paths, and the different effects -- from gory props, to stunning animatronics, and more, these haunts are sure to "SHOCK" you in more way than one! Keep your eye out for the bus in the woods--awesome actors were able to set mood and make it feel like we were in a scene of American Horror Story in Twisty's bus!
This haunt has waivers--and for good reason. Don't let this scare you away (like it nearly did to me!) The waiver details why you need to sign before entering the haunt--from wearing a black hood for part of a haunt, a little "shock" in the woods, multiple elevation changes, and even a ride on the "scare"-lift! Each of these effects set this haunt apart and made it a haunt to remember!
This haunt kept me guessing--I didn't know what to expect next, and after each new effect or scare, the next was able to top it! Our whole group enjoyed the "scare"-lift portion of the haunt! There is a sign at the entrance that details an "accident" that happened here -- it would be nice if it was better lit to read and set us up for the section of the haunt! They did an awesome job handing out "news articles" about the accident too! Great touch.
by kariniepow (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
Where to begin?! This haunt takes you through the carnival of the senses, disorients and terrifies its victims. From the start you feel uneasy as the wind blows the tent around. The skeleton allowing you access was not shy about picking at your fears and the rest of the haunt hit about every fear a person could have. Hold onto your group because the ghosts in the haunt hate odd numbers and did their bidding to dwindle our group from 5 to 4...
This haunt was the best way to kick off haunted house season and will be added to my list of must attends from here on out!
by KR385 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
The Dwelling of Despair was my fourth haunt of the season, but technically my first haunt in the month of October. For this haunt, this was their opening weekend. We arrived about thirty minutes before they had started selling tickets for the night and the crowd was very light. If you buy tickets online remember to print out the ticket, as their website says, "Dwelling of Despair will not accept digital versions of the receipt". We bought tickets in person and had no issue with this, but keep it in mind. The haunt also offers deals for veterans, which is very cool. Another amazing feature this haunt has, that very few do, is a covered area with concessions available. Do not confuse this concession area with the waiting area, though there are benches and I swear I saw a door that said, "enter". This was not the waiting area by any means, it was a small white tent located just outside of the concession room. Since there was not many patrons, we had a very short wait once we found the actual waiting area.
Before entering the indoor portion of the haunt, there was a short trail through the woods called the Forest of Fear. Very little happened in the woods, but it was a cool feature that adds to the spook factor. We headed up the stairs to the indoor haunt, which were extremely slippery due to the recent rain, where we had to knock on the door to gain entrance. Don't be afraid to knock very loud, because I don't think they heard us knock for the first minute. The interior of the haunt was composed of a vast amount of disconnected scenes. The props, decorations, and animatronics were not very high quality or new, but the scenes were decently put together. The house didn't have too many human actors that we had interacted which is very disappointing to me. Most of the actors we did see had lower quality masks that muffled their voices and broke the illusion of being in another world.
After exiting the indoor haunt there is an awesome looking outdoor maze where the walls appeared to be made out of pallets. Our group of three was disappointingly broken up before we entered the haunt though, where they had decided to separate the women from the men. I would have enjoyed the experience much better if we could have all experienced it together. Making our way through the maze was very entertaining due to the multiple dead ends they had placed in strategical positions. We had to turn to the guidance of an actor, who hilariously had led us to another dead end. The maze was actually my most memorable part of the experience.
All in all, after being at some of the top rated haunts already in the season, the Dwelling of Despair was not one of my favorites, but I do encourage you to go. The haunt is put on by the Hartford Jaycees, which does an awful amount of good for the community. Their prices are in line with the experience you will have and the amount of time that the haunt takes, you will be able to stop at a few other haunts in the same night. If you have never been to a haunt before, or you are going to take some younger individuals through with you, I would definitely recommend the Dwelling of Despair.
by hex_on_you (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
Add Splatterhaus to your list of haunts to visit this Halloween season! Their high tech animatronics mixed with live actors will keep you on your toes and keep even veteran thrill seekers coming back for more!
The haunt is located in Sheboygan and is easy to find, not far from highway 43. The waiting area, while it is all outside (which wasn't the best for a rainy night!) was well lit and had plenty of parking.
While this is the shortest haunt that I have been through this season, they made use of your time and jam packed it with scares and effects that are sure to haunt your dreams! Some of the effects are interactive and move in your path of travel--which is great and keeps you questioning what will come next! For the $10 price tag--it was well worth the trip and money to visit!
by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
I LOVE this haunt – last year was my first time going, and I ended up going three times! I was so excited to go on Saturday for my first time of the season – and I know it won’t be the last! DOT is truly an amazing haunt – fantastic location, great price, nice and long, but best of all, VERY SCARY! My partner and I went, alone, on Saturday night, during the opening weekend. We waited for about 20 – 30 minutes with general admission tickets, enjoyed a beverage in line as well as the little store they cleverly have set up in the area while you wait. Once inside, we were given the rules in a very creative movie format, and then we were off!
Dominion of Terror is a multi-level, winding haunt that will have you crouching, crawling, descending stairs down to a creepy basement, and walking through a movie set, scary kid’s rooms, a less-than-peaceful nursing home, and so many more scenes. We experienced a TON of well-timed jump scares, and we though the actors had amazing skills of “misdirection” – several times we were distracted by props/scenery, only to be scared moments later. The quality of the “sets”, the rooms themselves, was so detailed and intricate; each room truly had its own theme and they used lights, videos, mannequins, and all sorts of other props to scare.
My absolute favorite thing about DOT, however, is the fact that from last season (even in April of this past year), everything was completely different, both in the content of each individual room and the actual layout of the haunt. Every single room had changed! We were so impressed! Such a fantastic and creative haunt full of dedicated volunteers… I can’t wait to come back again before the season ends!
by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
I’m so excited to say that this is my fourth year attending this haunt, and every year I am more and more impressed with the creativity, professionalism, and of course spookiness of this haunt – and this year was no exception! From the moment patrons arrive, to their walk to their car, TORS is chock full of jump scares, cool animatronics, and amazing actors.
We arrived around 8:30 PM on Friday, their opening night, in a light and creepy rain. We had purchased our tickets online ahead of time, and we only had a few moments to wait before our group of 4 was allowed to enter, however, in that time we enjoyed interacting with quite a few actors, including a memorable woman with a shopping cart. TORS also offers snacks and drinks in their covered waited area. Once entering the haunt, we journeyed through the shops of Rural Street into the main part of the haunted house.
There were countless memorable scenes, including the “hellevator”, a mystical field of lasers, a scary kitchen, a creepy church, and a live execution. We also loved their animatronics, which were all of amazing quality, but our group did feel like the timing on a few of them was just slightly off (a little behind). All of the actors were fantastic – they were not afraid to get up close, and at times we had to edge away from their touch! Another thing they were fantastic with was communicating our names and using their throughout their scares – front of the line goers, make sure you whisper the name of the most scared person when you pass! Our group was also offered the opportunity to scare some of our fellow patrons toward the end, which is something we adored!
Overall, we had a fantastic time at Terror on Rural Street. I was so impressed with how much they changed from the year prior (and those before that)! It’s clear everyone there is extremely passionate about what they are doing, and we really enjoyed every element of the haunt! I only wish it were longer!
by wm (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 9, 2017
A damp, chilly Friday night drive to Two Rivers. A town I have not visited in at least 5 years. Two Rivers was once home to THE scariest haunt in all of Wisconsin. But that was then. And since then, I’ve heard for a few years that there’s a new haunt in town. Hello Scare USA, pleased to make your acquaintance!
We arrived about 20 minutes after their opening and were the first victims. There was really nothing going on at first. That is, until Francisco decided to show up and get some people jumping! It took some time for them to start things up, and then the rain started coming down. We entered the haunt a little before 8pm. I didn’t really know what exactly to expect. Walking in, it sure felt like the unrelated Haus of old. But in the first few minutes I realized that this was different. This was a mash-up of many different haunts I’ve seen over the years. A monster mash if you will. (Yeah, I just went there!)
Love narrow, twisting turns? Dark room where you can barely see or not see at all? Other rooms with strobes, loud lights? Air guns? Creatures above you, or below you? Some areas with very low lighting or fog? Some pretty bad smelling… ? I really don’t know what I was smelling, and I don’t think I want to know! If you said yes to any of those, then Scare USA has you covered. They’ve have certain elements from other haunts and crammed them all into one warehouse! There are also some very original props and sets! The ending was a little predictable, as they are showing a video during your wait in line that gives it away.
This haunt is also heavily promoting Don't Be A Monster. This campaign aims to stop bullying in schools with a creative approach. I fully support this cause and I love that haunts are embracing it! http://dontbeamonster.org
I'm not going to go into to much detail here. Reviews that give away all the surprises scare me. But I will say that this is an old school haunt with elements of modern ones. If you've read my reviews over the years, you'd know that I prefer the old-school haunted houses. Dark and spooky! This warehouse has that. They also have some loud music at times, strobes at other times, etc.. Considering how many different things they were including, they were able to make it flow very well! We left Scare USA knowing we would be back again someday!
by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 6, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.
Submitted: Saturday, October 7, 2017
It was a dark misty October night. Small pockets of fog laid heavy on the country roads. As our path meandered through corn fields we came upon our destination, a farm sat in the darkness with a beacon of light welcoming all who dared to enter, it simply read Shockwave Haunts. After parking we wandered through the grounds a bit and were drawn to a quaint little gift shop to buy our tickets. With the haunt only a short drive from the Metro Milwaukee area, it was well worth the trip. This haunt provided a great value and a setting that I just can't say enough about. You can pick one of the four houses for $10, or treat yourself to all four for only $20. The best part is to enter the houses you walk through the outbuildings of the farm and if you're lucky enough to get the right weather conditions for a perfectly spooky fall evening, it almost feels post apocalyptic.
Bloody Manor was by far my favorite of the houses. in my opinion it did the best job at portraying the horror that the setting of this farm was capable of. As you walked among the outbuildings of the farm, I was put in the mindset of great films like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "House of 1000 corpses". The walk through Bloody Manor strongly reinforced that feeling with it's gruesome rooms and surprise scares throughout. I really would have liked to see them capture the natural environment of the old farm setting more and grow that theme through the other houses.
Dick's Funeral Home was a very unique haunt experience as it was set up to be a more light hearted and comedic haunted house. I found the high level of interaction between the characters and the guests to be a great change from the ordinary and while the other houses on the lot were your typical scare the pants off of them thrill we have all come to expect, in Dick's Funeral home rather than scare your pants off, they would like to make you wet them with laughter. It was a great change of pace house in the middle of all of the terror.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, you still even get a taste of the "flavor of the day" and get a popular clown scare. It seems that even a secluded farm isn't immune from what seems to be one of the most popular creepy crawlies out there today.
by hex_on_you (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, September 29, 2017 at about 7 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017
If you're looking for more than just a single walk through haunt, Green Bay Fear is the place to visit! With a "Freakshow" midway including a fire to wait around, live entertainment, and four different attractions, there was plenty to do to pass the time. The scenes were set up beautifully and there were plenty of live actors in each attraction. I'd recommend visiting later in the season, when actors have time to get into the roles in the main house and work on the timing of their scares.
by Captn_DeathSchlager (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, September 29, 2017 at about 8 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 2, 2017
OVERVIEW: While most haunts measure their size by square feet The Dark Side actually measures its size in acres. At 40 acres The Dark Side is larger than the Bradley Center (6 acres), the Pettit National Ice Center (9 acres) and Miller Park (25 acres) combined! If you compare The Dark Side to a popular Theme Park like Noah’s Arc you’ll find that the 40 acres and 6 attractions of the Dark Side compare to 70 acres and 8 attractions for Noah’s Arc. With this in mind perhaps The Dark Side should be considered more of a haunted theme park than a haunted house or attraction?
Haunt goers that appreciate the use of endowments over size will find that this haunt has an impressive arsenal of astonishing surprises. The base price of admission includes 6 distinct adrenalin filled adventures that feature a multi-story mine shaft, hay-ride, ginormous vortex (…perhaps Wisconsin’s largest?), wilderness village, tree top suspension bridge, two mind boggling and bizarre mazes, an exploding car, multiple bonfire locations and a train ride to boot. For an additional admission fee ($10-$15) haunt goers can join the fight to prevent the walking dead from invading The Dark Side’s base camp aboard a double decker hay wagon equipped with fully loaded paintball guns. (Yes, that’s right…on this ride you not only see zombies, you’re actually allowed to shoot them!)
PERSONAL THOUGHTS/REFLECTIONS: My immediate tour group consisted of one novice haunt goer, three 13yr old first time haunt recruits and myself…an avid scare seeker of 20+ years and over 100 haunts. (Yes, that's 5 or more a year!) For the duration of our 90+ minute tour through the haunted attractions of The Dark Side my immediate group was combined with approximately 15 others. If being stuck at the back of a VERY large tour group makes your blood boil like mine fret not. At the entrance of the Decent, Backwoods Revenge and Foxglove Nurseries attractions the large tour group is broken down into groups of 2-5. The large group reassembles for the hay wagon ride that tours “Twilightmare” and the grand finale attraction.
As most of the theme park tour is outside and requires a little downtime for the large group to reassemble definitely do come dressed for the weather. If you’re concerned (…as I was…) that a haunted theme park that’s been voted “Wisconsin’s Scariest Haunted House 4 years in a row” would be a bit much for younger first time haunt goes, don’t be. While the new haunt recruits of my group did scream on a few occasions these screams were always followed by laughter and never tears of terror…a noteworthy point since the three 13yr old first timers were allowed to tour the attractions by themselves when the large group was divided.
While personally I wouldn’t consider my experience at The Dark Side as the Scariest I would definitely classify it as THE most immersive haunted theme park adventure I’ve ever toured. The Descent, Twighlightmare, Backwoods revenge and train ride contain amazing effects that will satisfy even the most avid scare seeker’s thirst for thrills!
INSIGHT & SCARE/FUN RATINGS FOR EACH ATTRACTION: (averaged 1-5 rating from my group of 5)
The Descent – Multi-level tour of a haunted mine. Scare: 4 / Fun: 4
Twighlightmare – Enjoy a bonfire hosted by locals before taking a hayride through the forest that surrounds The Dark Side. Scare: 2 / Fun: 5
Backwoods Revenge – Warm yourself by the fire and listen to the stories of Grandma Townsend before taking a self guided tour of the pine forest dwellings. Scare: 4 / Fun: 5
Mephistopheles Lair – Enter if you dare and exit if you can find it. Scare: 1 / Fun: 3
Schizophrenia – Tour the corn maze but beware of what lurks in the shadows. Scare: 2 / Fun 3
Foxglove Nursery – Visit briefly with a bizarre botanist before taking a peak at what’s growing inside these greenhouses. Be careful, it is not what you’d expect to see! Scare: 3 / Fun 4
Train (with no name) Ride – Enjoy a ride through and around The Dark Side Theme Park while being entertained by the locals. Scare: 2 / Fun 5
note: I toured The Dark Side on it’s opening night which can be a blessing a curse when it comes to a fully operational haunt. As most haunts don’t advertise their technical issues it’s quite possible that I may not have experienced The Dark Side at an unintended scare level.
by BrittanyAnnBula (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at about 7 p.m.
Submitted: Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Ambush and Hysteria - Two indoor haunted attractions that run back to back. Characters all over! They put in the effort of making you really feel the moment. From the different scents, the energy from the performers and the effort is second to none! The long passages that twist and turn you around making you anticipate your next thrill! The fear of tight spaces, inclines and descends all on one area. Characters appear out of no where leaving you wondering how they actually got there! As you navigate you find yourself in many different dimensions that somehow flow so perfectly together. No matter if you are leading the group through the narrow hallways or you are the "chicken" of the group you will be scared and scared multiple times!
The special effects in this haunt are second to none: strobe lights, black lights, scents and moving floors you truly don't know what to expect or predict what is coming next! As you navigate through both houses your senses will go crazy and leave you anticipating what is coming next and wanting to see what all is possible!
Stalker - Corn Maze...Not so much! Haunted with characters surprisingly jumping out at you somewhat! In my mind a haunted corn maze would be weaving your way through corn; coming up to dead ends, and trying to find your way out. This is a haunted corn trail. We enjoyed it, but the name is deceiving! Go through the corn trail, come up to haunted rooms that are filled with characters, tight spaces, and detailed scenes.
Ambush and Hysteria about 40 minutes
by majorXpsycho (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, September 25, 2017
Terror on the Fox continues to be one of the most popular haunted attractions in Northeast Wisconsin. If you have not seen the terrifying promotional videos, then I am certain you do not have a pulse. But … does Terror on the Fox live up to its hype? In my opinion … yes! I attended on a sweltering opening weekend and Terror on the Fox delivered an outstanding performance. They are constantly seeking new ways to make their attraction better and consistently making changes that keep even the most seasoned attendees on their toes. There are three things that stand out to me when thinking of Terror on the Fox: 1) The fact that they are located at a National Railroad museum and include a double Decker haunted passenger train ride. 2) The amount of collected gruesome décor that makes this a haunt that would be frightening even with the lights on. 3) The dedication and passion for fear displayed by their “ghouls”.
There was a pretty significant line when we arrived, so I recommend purchasing your tickets online in advance and splurge for the VIP as it is worth it! We walked right up to the wait for the train ride (which is semi covered) and patiently waited for the skull ridden train to arrive. There is music and a large screen to help build the anticipation while you wait. Once aboard, a small strobe light and fog filled the cabin as you hear screams from those above or below you. The ghouls are not your typical white paint (looks like your mom did your makeup) ghouls … they are professionally created creatures that are never caught out of character.
Once off the train, you arrive at the Slaughter House and unlike some of its “counterparts”, you DO NOT have to pay separately for each attraction! Our small group of 4 were allowed in “alone” which is a major plus when wanting the full effect and attention of every horror that waits around the corner. The Slaughter House reminds me of the old civil war era Slaughter Pen Farm in Fredericksburg, VA. There are no dark corners or long blank hallways, they WANT you to see the horror they have created. The ghouls are not afraid to show themselves at the most unexpected times and this Slaughter house is full of them!
Our last destination was Blackthorne Manor, the staple haunted house at Terror on the Fox. Every year I think I know exactly what to expect when going through Blackthorne Manor, but every inch inside and out are so carefully mastered that it is impossible to see everything. Our time in Blackthorne Manor was shorter than expected, but I would rather have a shorter, high quality haunted house, than one that is extended simply by adding a bunch of long dark hallways. There is NO dead space and before you can even grasp what that was that tried to attack you in the previous room, you are in the grasp of another horrifying scene. I have to give a shout out to the ghouls, as it was a sweltering “fall” night and they never once came out of character and filled the house with horror.
by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at about 9 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, September 25, 2017
This was my first year going to this haunt! We went Saturday night, one day after opening, in a group of 4. It was a relatively short wait for the circumstances and considering all of us had General Admission tickets. I was really excited to go after hearing about the train and seeing all the pictures of the outward façade, and overall we had a great evening full of scary moments!
The haunt consists generally of 3 parts – a (genuine!) train ride, a more maze-like haunt (Slaughterhouse), and the Blackthorne Manor, the main haunt. In between each we had a short outdoor wait. I thought each section was unique, with a distinct theme and the acting/costumes/props reflected that – everything was very well done, professional and looked scary! The authentic, double-decker train is an amazing, unique section and the actors used the train to their advantage, nimbly crawling amongst the patrons. They used special effects and props to their advantage without being too much, particularly in the Blackthorne Manor. The middle section, the Slaughterhouse, was a little less intense, both in the decorations and the amount of actors, but the actors we encountered had great timing and gave us some nice jumps! The Manor was fantastic, nice and long with several really unique rooms, including creepy dolls, cockroaches, confusing mirrors, and disorienting lazers. Overall a really great haunt that I can see why people return to year after year!
by KR385 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at about 8 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, September 25, 2017
This haunted house complex seriously knows how to scare you! There are three very different attractions all at this one location that cater to different scare tactics. Each of the three main haunts is filled with creative ways to disorient and instill fear in its patrons. From floors that tilt to snow inside every corner you turn is a fully decorated scene designed to transport you to another dimension. You may have to stop covering your eyes in fear to take a good look at these movie quality sets! These sets really come to life with dedicated actors that fill each house. Each and every actor was dedicated to get a scream out of every guest. Every year I have been to this haunt was worth the trip, and this year was no exception.