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This is the 2008 review crew. View the current year (2018) review crew here.

2008 Review Crew

Our Review Crew members travel to haunted attractions throughout Wisconsin to give honest and unbiased reviews. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low

Review

A number of things lead to the success of this haunted corn field. First, the location is fantastic. It's in the middle of nowhere and the entire thing is set in a cornfield - setting the mood for a haunt doesn't get any better than that! Also, the length of the haunt is beneficial. It does cost more than most haunts, but it also lasts about three times as long, too. In that sense, it's worth the cost. On the other hand, how scary this haunt is depends heavily on your personal scare factor. I was not scared once through the whole haunt, but one of the girls I was with went in our second group and she came out crying because she was terrfied. So, I guess it all depends. This haunt depends heavily on animatronic and static props. Given its size, I guess that should not be unexpected. However, these types of props are not nearly as scary as a live actor in your face - which we saw very little of. A number of the actors we saw broke character, too, which makes them even less scary. In the middle of the haunt we were held up by security for a good ten minutes because everyone got caught up in the same area. So that was a total buzz-kill. Overall, I was unfortunately not all that impressed this year.

Signage / Visibility / Location


If you follow the directions on the website, you'll have no trouble finding the house. Keep an eye out for the sign, though, because it's not lit up and can be easy to miss if you're not sure where you're going.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There is a LOT to do while you're waiting. They have a gift shop and a bonfire and lots of animals to look at. Great things to do to pass the time... which can be long. I think it was around three hours when we went.

Actors' Performance


Nothing spectacular. In fact, not any memorable actors. A lot of jumping out and growling at everyone.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The UFO is my favorite, it's just so cool! There are a couple of rooms that you walk through in the middle of the field that play mind tricks with string and black lights... and clowns... that's kinda fun.

Length


From the time we entered to the time we exited, it was 35 minutes. However, we were walking very fast because of some scaredy cats in our group... but on the other hand, we were stopped by security for about 10 minutes. So I'd say one half-hour from start to finish is about average.

Crowd Control


Security walks through the haunt at all times, as I'm sure they have to in such a large area. They did a good job except when we had to stop for such a long time because everyone got stopped up at the same place.

View all Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by johnny (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 25, 2008 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Terror on Rural Street – worth the money and worth the trip! This is one of my very favorite haunts – every single year! My best goes out to the management of TORS because they make this haunt new and exciting every year!

You will notice new and exciting changes as soon as you arrive, in the form of a new façade at the entrance as well as in the staging area, which is now the entrance to Grandmother’s house. Also, there is a new tale that is told that sets you off on your adventure.

I do not want to spoil anything for you, but I will provide some details. Be sure to keep your eyes open for the organ room – as well as the singing skeleton – “Dead puppies aren’t any fun. . .” I found myself laughing OUTLOUD on that song!

Also, out is the octagon chamber, and in is the “scary-go-round” with the most psychotic, sadistic clowns that you will EVER meet!

Long story short – if you only visit one haunt this year, make sure it is Terror on Rural Street! Not only will you get a GREAT scare and have an AWESOME time, you will also be doing your philanthropical part because you are helping out a non-profit organization.

***NOTE*** this haunt is open on October 31st as well as November 1st! I spoke with management, and they advised me that these days are historically “slow” days in terms of attendance (hello?! That means you don’t wait in line very long!). So, if you want to take advantage of the last days of Halloween as well as avoid some lines, be sure to attend on these days!

Signage / Visibility / Location


I visited Terror on Rural Street on Friday evening, October 6th at around 7:30 PM. The haunt is located in Hartford – it took about 40 minutes to get there from West Allis. It was pretty easy to find using the directions from the website (and on www.hauntedwisconsin.com – shameless plug!) as well as some signage directing you to the haunt. Parking was a BREEZE. There is a recreation center next to the haunt and they also share the parking lot. This time, parking was abundant!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting/staging area is one of a kind! Of all of the haunts that I have visited, this wait area is my FAVORITE! Not only is this waiting area HEATED, it also provides you with a CONCESSION stand! The night we visited, it was in the 40’s, so going into a heated waiting area (with a couple of scare-actors entertaining the crowd, I might add!) The costuming was very good and VERY well done. I especially liked the undead creature on the stilts!

The process works like this: purchase your tickets (VERY important!), wait until your number is called, and then enjoy!

Actors' Performance


What can I say; the scare-actors have OUTDONE themselves this year! Every actor kept in character and made it their own! From the beginning to the end of the haunt, every scare-actor had performed amazingly!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


As with every year, management has tried to make every scene and every set as detailed and as memorable as possible. This year is no exception!
The new designs can be seen from the beginning of your tour, with a new façade as well as a new entrance. “Grandmother” will welcome you to her new house! (You’ll see what I mean!)

Length


It took our group approximately 20 to 25 minutes to go through the haunt.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was very well done. From the security personnel with the talkies, to the presence of the sheriff’s department, everything was more than under control.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment of this haunt was the behind the scene tour that the manager gave us. Most visitor will not receive this tour, however; I feel it necessary to mention this tour as being “most memorable”. I met with Dick (and colleague of his; I am embarrassed to say I forgot his name so please forgive me!) Dick mentioned that he has worked with haunted houses for the past 21 years, and has been with this haunt from the start. The haunt is run by a non-profit group and is staffed SOLEY by volunteers – approximately 70 on a good night – let me say again, volunteers, including Dick himself.

Workers start on this haunt in April and the passion for details shows.

We must give props to everyone involved, including the local businesses that donate food, materials, etc to the volunteers. All of the revenue generated goes right back to the very haunt that you are visiting, so be sure to visit and visit often!

Summary

For those of you that suffer from coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), I would rate this a 4-clown haunt, meaning there were 4 clowns present. Happy Hauntings! Johnny

View all Terror on Rural Street reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

This was my favorite of all haunts that I have attended so far.  This is definately a great attraction  and it is made by its actors.  They are wonderful.  The props and frights are way cool too.  From frightening to funny at the drop of a hat.  Good gore, Better props, and even better actors.  There was a  line probably about 45 min but they do offer a speedpass that lets you get right in quickly.  This haunt is extremely interactive so make sure you are ready to get involved with the actors.  Very unique stylizing and completely different than last year-which was great too.  

Signage / Visibility / Location


Easy to find with directions.  Once near the expo center you can find it right away.  There are lights and a huge sign saying that the haunt is located there.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Approximately 45 minutes when I went but it can get quite long so I would maybe suggest the $10 extra speedpass if it is chilly outside.

Actors' Performance


WONDERFUL!  I cannot say enough about the people at this haunt.  They are true actors and masters of their craft.  Not one misses a beat and they are all funny and scary.  

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Very cool-they had a very special new one that looked like a guy screaming to get out of a "Saw" like contraption and then his head was smooshed to smitherines, not for the weak stomach.

Length


Approximately 30 minutes for both attractions.

Crowd Control


Good crowd control-the lines are set up in a barn and there are cool scenes for you to look at  while you wait.

Most Memorable Moment


Definately the squished head machine-pretty realistic and awesome gore.  Also a shout out to the wonderful hillbilly that escorted me into the haunt-nicest backwoods creep I ever met!

Summary

You must go, go now, you know you want to.  Well worth it.  It is reasonably priced and you will be blown away by the actors.  Every year I have gone I have not been disappointed once.

View all A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

This is always one of the premier haunts in Wisconsin, and this year was no different.  Upon arriving I saw that only one half hour after opening the lines were full.  This complex consists of three seperate haunts and a special treat called the Last Ride-where you actually lay in a cofin and have the feeling of being burried alive.  The three full size haunts are all great and different.  There are two inside haunts called Insanity and Adrenaline, that are both great with good acting and excellent props.  The other full size haunt is an outdoor haunted woods which is very creepy and full of great actors making funny and scary noises.  My favorite part was when one actor kept making sheep noises at me from inside the woods.    It was great!  An overall one of a kind experience that everyone should check out.  

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find and  great directions provided or use any map system and you'll get right to it.  Once close you can see the huge spotlight and as soon as you turn the corner where the haunt is located-you can't miss it.  It is huge and has tons of lights, sounds, signs, and people helping you find parking and tickets.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


I came early and it was pretty busy.  My total waiting time was approximately 20-45 minutes depending on the haunt.  However, they have concessions, two huge screens that they show videos on and they are constantly playing music.  By the way I suggest the mini doughnuts cooked right in front of your eyes and served piping hot which is great in the cool weather.  Plus they taste delightful!

Actors' Performance


Great, good makeup, and did an excellent job staying in character.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Unique and well prepared.

Length


Well over an hour of entertainment and that does not include waiting.  I would definately plan at least a couple of hours for this haunt.  Believe me it is well worth it.

Crowd Control


Good crowd control, there are lines roped off and signs showing the different haunts as well as people everywhere you can ask for help.

Most Memorable Moment


I have to say that my all time favorite was definately the person in the woods baaing at me like a sheep.

Summary

Worth the time and money-don't miss this one.

View all Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 6 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Wisconsin Feargrounds was awesome once again! They have three haunted houses all on one property and all of them just blew me away. They have the space and they know how to use it. There is little to no dead time between the scenes. They just keep giving you scare after scare.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this is very easy to find, it is located right off of the highway.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was located inside of a heated tent which is extremely nice with these cold Wisconsin Octobers. There are also many actors walking around creeping up on people while they stood in line. It also looked like they had activities to do while you waited in line like a big jump house, but since I got there at 11pm they were already taking it down.

Actors' Performance


The actors' were absolutely incredible. They knew their parts very well and always stayed in character. They also were very unique with their scenes. The best one is probably the guy in the library!!!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets of this haunt were awesome. They were creepy and scary just by themselves. They used props that were very realistic. Also the sewing machine for skin was amazing!!

Length


The length of this haunt was probably about 20 minutes to go through each haunt. That's over an hour of entertainment, with just about no dead time between the scenes.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment was the scene with the air compressed tarps. As you are walking the ceiling gets lower giving you the clausterphobic feeling which leads to my favorite thing haunts are incorporating this year, but I'm not going to give it all away.

Summary

Overall, Wisconsin Feargrounds did an awesome job once again. I would recommend this to anyone 15 and over.

View all The Wisconsin Fear Grounds reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

The Dark Side Haunted Adventure

by dirkadirka (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

By day, the Glacier Rock Farm is an outdoor classroom for schoolchildren to learn and explore the beautiful Kettle Moraine scenery.  At night the scene morphs into a spooky monstrosity known as the Dark Side that sprawls across all 100 acres and includes a haunted mine, hayrack ride, haunted trail, and corn maze.  Are those cute Shetland ponies actually undead flesh-eating zombie horses controlled by the freaks and demons of the Dark Side? Probably.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Usually googlemaps is sufficient, but I got lost trying to find this haunt.  There is a sign at the end of the lane, but one in Ashippun would really help.  Street signs are small and dark in this rural area, but that just adds to the adventure.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Because this is a multi-attraction haunt there are several different wait areas as you progress deeper into the rotten heart of the Dark Side. If it is a chilly night $1 hot cocao and cider from the gift shop will make the initial wait more bearable. The last two wait areas both have toasty bonfires but no marshmallows. There were no actors to entertain those waiting but whatever; I would rather put those actors in the woods and fields anyways.

Actors' Performance


All of the creatures inhabiting the forests, cornfields, and mine did a great job.  Most of them successfully used the old-school scare tactics of surprise and loud noises, and having a chainsaw in your hands makes it easy to be terrifying.  Probably more actors than I have seen in any one haunt location so far this year and many of them manage to scare you more than once.  My favorite actor was a young guy who got stepped on by almost every group that went by.  He's got to be pretty dedicated and tough to be taking that kind of abuse.  There also seemed to be a lot of clowns although I don't remember a circus theme anywhere.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Of the four different attractions, the hayride was by far our favorite.  The creators designed great sets that reach down and touch your face while you're constantly on the lookout for the next monster.  Sharing the scares with the whole group is fun because you start laughing at someone else's screams, but then you get spooked and the laughter is returned.  The production value will not blow your mind but the craftsmanship and unique touches make the Dark Side different than anything else you will find this Halloween season. 

Length


Clear your nightly haunt schedule because this one took us an hour to get through, seriously.  Probably 20 minutes were spent in the four waiting areas but this is still the longest haunt I have been to.  The anticipation from being outside and hearing screams from both your group and those a half mile away keeps your blood pumping during the down times.

Most Memorable Moment


It took some convincing, but my parents accompanied me on the trip to the Dark Side.  The last time either of them joined me, my chauffer dad was sleeping in the van waiting for my 14 year old friends and I to finish our hauntings for the night so he could take us to Pizza Hut, a yearly tradition.  They both really enjoyed the experience, especially the hayrack ride. I enjoyed hearing my mom scream and swear every time she got scared.

Summary

The Dark Side is absolutely worth a drive out into the country and is a perfect haunted destination if you are part of a large group.  The operators are good people, the actors are dedicated, you get four completely different experiences in one place, and everything costs only ten dollars.  At a price that low I almost felt like making a donation or starting a tip jar because I definitely got my money's worth.  Be sure to bring a sweatshirt and old shoes because there is a lot of walking and some of it can be muddy and treacherous in the dark. 

View all The Dark Side Haunted Adventure reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

This haunt is definitely one of my favorites in the area! Year after year it produces excellent thrills for its guests. My favorite rooms at this house are the doll room, the room with the guillotine, and definitely the torture chamber. The rat was an excellent addition to the haunt since it scared the crap out of my whole group. The little girl in the dolls room, right in the end... she's fantastic!!! The hallway that's black and white really plays with your mind. The technical/special effects and also the attention to detail in this house are just phenomenal. Rooms are all hand painted and look awesome. The actors are all really into their characters and you can tell they really enjoy it. I don't think I saw one actor break character the whole time! While we were waiting to go into the house, there were a number of actors roaming around scaring patrons... and they were pretty creepy. Overall I had another great experience at Terror on Rural Street.

Signage / Visibility / Location


If you follow directions from the website you'll find the place really easily. It's attached to an activity center so there is ample parking available.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They have an enclosed area to wait and have some actors roaming about. They also have a concession stand available if you want any snacks while you're waiting.

Actors' Performance


Overall I was very impressed. They're all really into it and have a lot of fun scaring everyone that comes through. Special acknowledgements go to the girls in the doll room and the actors in the torture chamber - you all rocked.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Fantastic! Attention to detail is just unbelievable. Some of the props are clearly not real and therefore much less scary than others, but overall it was all really great.

Length


I would say from start to finish, it was roughly 20 minutes. They do an excellent job of keeping you in a room for a while so you can get the full effect, which I love.

Most Memorable Moment


The boys I was with were pretty terrified of the doll's room... watching boys get scared is always a highlight of mine.

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Terror on Rural Street was awesome once again. From the minute you walk through the doors to wait your turn to the last scene before you leave they have you screaming. This is one haunt that definitely has detailed scenes.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area for this haunt was in an indoor heated area. They have actors walking around scaring you, and also a giant monster outside when you walk in.

Actors' Performance


The actors' did a very good job on their performance, they stayed in character and were pretty much always on target with their scares. There were a very areas however, where the scares were predictable but otherwise very good job.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes in this house are very real looking. They really make you feel like in your in some horror house.

Length


It took about 20 minutes to walk through the entire place.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was handled very well.

Summary

I would recommend this haunt to anyone over the age of 14.

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Fright Factory

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 19, 2008 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

The name states this house perfectly. When you pull up you just see this old abandoned factory and you are unsure of whats inside just waiting for you to come in. As you are walking through the halls you never know whats around the next corner. The monsters are definitely not afraid to get in your face at this one.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is very easy to find. They have a huge sign on the building that you can easily see a block away.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


When I went there wasn't any wait but it is inside and heated!

Actors' Performance


I think they could have used a little bit more actors in their haunt, but the ones they do have stayed in character all the way through. They also weren't afraid to get in your face.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and props in this haunt were very well done. I especially loved the tarot card room, very cool!

Length


It took about 15 minutes to walk through the entire thing.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment would have to be the tarot card room. This was very unique and I loved the set up.

Summary

Overall, this is a very good put together haunt. I would recommend this to anyone 12 and over!

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 6:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

The Burial Chamber complex has been one of my favorite haunts over the last few years. Unfortunately this year they have slipped a little in my mind. In years past I have attended earlier in the season and earlier in the night, but on this occasion we were out late. Burial Chamber Consists of three sepaerate haunts in one location. Phobia haunted woods, Adrenaline, and Insanity, the last two house style haunts. The biggest problem I saw which could be because of the time of night was the group sizes/ my group consisted of just my Fiancee and I, but for Adrenaline we were put in a group with 10 other people. 12 people in one group! Thats way too many to go through a haunted trail, not to mention a haunted house. Our 5 minute walk through what they called a haunted woods also consisted of a large group that split itself up once past the ticket lady. Lastly, and worst of all we finished the night with 13 other people through Insanity. I understand the haunt is only open until 11:30, but if they want to be out by that time they need to stop selling tickets earlier. It really wrecked the night and they will end up losing credit if they keep that up. As a very satisfied past customer this was an extremely disapointing night for me.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The haunt is not hard to find at all, it's not too far off Hwy. 41 and it's only one turn from there. They have spot lights that shine up into the air that you can see from a pretty good distance. Once you turn off the highway and get to the road you turn on to you easily see the building right away. The big Burial Chamber painted on the side is a giveaway, if all the cars and people haven’t already made it obvious!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They have loud metal music playing and have music videos playing on the bigscreen. They have concessions and a tent to wait under. I’m not sure what the tent was for unless they call numbers at certain times. While we were there the only way to get in was to stand in line making the tent basically useless. I would suggest buying VIP if you can afford it or if you simply cannot stand the lines.

Actors' Performance


I would say they did good considering the circumstances. I can’t imagine what it’s like constantly staying in character while hundreds if not thousands of people come thorugh on a given night. On top of that with a larger group size they had to figure out when to jump out so everyone gets a chance to see the effect. They Didn’t break character and most of them seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Have to shout out to Stewart and the baby-both were pretty disturbing. Phobia was a little disapointing. The few actor’s out there didn’t seem to be completely in to it. I have to give them the benfit of a doubt though as our group split up and they probably did not know what was going on either because of it.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The set’s were good as always. Phobia doesn’t really have many sets or props, but they use the wooded scene as best as they can. Adrenaline was the same as years past. They always have great sets and some of the coolest props around but after a few years of the same it can get a little tiring. It wouldn’t hurt to spice it up a little bit. Insanity suffered this year from the opposite. Again they have great sets and a great theme as if a city has been taken over by freaks and wierdos, however they made changes to this one while I personally liked it the way it was. It had been repetitive but it was ok that way. Overall the sets and props were great, you can definitely tell they care how this place looks. The only other problem I saw was it appeared that it was a little understaffed and some rooms/scares went empty. Could be a product of group sizes again and that the scares were over by the time we got there but it was late too so who knows? Something just seemed to be missing.

Length


Phobia clocked in around 5 minutes while the other two took about 15. They were all shorter this year, but that can be attributed to many reasons. The time of night and trying to get so many people through. Also how fast your group walks through-if your scared or want to take your time to see everything.

Crowd Control


I honestly was not impressed with their crowd control. We never did run into another group, but being put into a group with 10-15 people is a bit ridiculous. I realize it was late and they were trying to get so many people through but I don’t know how that justifies the issue. It felt like they were taking advantage of the large crowd and then sacrificing the customer’s enjoyment. With people’s discretionary income spread thin, if they decide to spend it on a hauunt they should get their money’s worth. I would like to see it again earlier in the evening when the crowds aren’t so bad-I’m confident that it’s a totally different animal at that point.

Most Memorable Moment


While the large groups is the most memorable, I have to again comment on the big baby. Also, the one point I got to lead through Adrenaline I took a wrong tunr and opened a door to a storage area! It was nice and big, so it’s nice to know they still have room to expand if they would ever want to do so!

Summary

I know what this haunt can be like, and I'm really hoping my experiance is not what they are doing all year. I have always liked this haunt and expected much better from them. I know this can't be the way the haunt is really being run, it honestly kills me to say all this about it. I would really like to see how they run the haunt earlier in the evening. I would definitely recommend being out there early, it cannot be as bad as my experience. Pleas note, this is one person’s thoughts on his own experience. This by no means is a representation of every minute of the attractions operating hours. Everyone has different experiences and different thought on situations. This is my opinion, I hope everyone else has a better time in their situation than I did.

View all Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

A Theater of Lost Souls, or ATOLS, boasts being one of the scariest haunted houses in the state. While I did not see the scariest haunt, I definitely saw the quality that is appreciated throughout the haunt world. Split into two seperate haunts, ATOLS starts off with a twisted walk through a sanitarium. Multiple patients warn you that you do not belong there, you'll catch what they have. Each room brings you to another crazy experiment taking place. While the overall scare factor wasn't the highest there was enough gore to make the faint of heart a little squeamish. Keep an eye out for the room with the strobe lights-you'll know it when you see it.

In the second attraction, A theater of the Absurd, you meet some crazy clowns, all in a 3-d setting. You'll also meet some crazy aliens, who have a pretty cool effect in their hands that is definitely worth checking out. In my opinion this was the better of the two haunts.
Unfortunately the only way to partake in this haunt is to go through both of them.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There is a little bit of signage off the main roads that direct you back to the fairgrounds that the haunt is located on. They do not have lights on them, so they are a little hard to see. The location is pretty good, it's out on the edge of town at the fairgrounds, so it's rather dark which adds to the feel.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait is in a barn, which is nice in case of inclement weather. There was a screen playing some video clips.

Actors' Performance


The actors were good. They stayed in character and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. They did a good job of playing their scenes up. The actors in the strobe room were freaky, thats all I can say on that.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were great, they definitely put time into it. THe props and scenes were all along the lines of a sanitarium, and I would not want to be a patient at it. While a hospital type feel is not out of the ordinary they did a good job of taking an often used theme and making it their own.

Length


The length of the main attraction was about 10 minutes, Theater of the Absurd about 5 minutes. It was a lot shorter than i would have expected, and there were some spots where they stopped us for a while

Crowd Control


We did not catch up to another group and nobody caught up to us. They did a real good job of keeping us seperated, and they let us go ourselves as a group of two. through the first part.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable part of the night was probably the clown who yelled at everyone in the Theater of the Absurd.

Summary

Overall I would have to say this was a good haunt. They really pride themselves on their experience and it show through in most spots. WHile not as scary as I expected, and a little shorter than I had hoped it was a well run haunt.

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Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 18, 2008 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

A lot of fun, though suffers occasionally from an apparent issue some haunts are having, with multiple houses at one location leading to a dilution of scares.  These guys do get points for having one of the haunts be an outside walk through a haunted woods (inexplicably named "Phobia"), which was incredibly, pants-wettingly scary.  Man, if you're scared of zombies, you're basically toast here -- best damn zombies this reviewer has ever seen; my scalp is off to the actors out there in the cold dark woods, shuffling along behind or toward us, contorting their bodies, dragging their busted leg behind them....  Oy Vey.  And I like how they just let the dark woods be the dark woods, and then something would come lurching out from behind the trees...

So, three haunts to go through, and also a little burial simulator, where you get put in a coffin, and then you go through a whole Disney-Haunted-Mansion's-trashier-cousin thing where you're "lowered" into the grave and someone is talking about how you're going to an "Underworld of Doom" (are there other kinds of Underworlds?) where your soul will something something something...I will say, though, being put in a coffin has its own disturbing "is there enough oxygen in here" sense to it.

Ghouls in this haunt also seemed a bit more on point about performance; there's a disturbing "bikini wax" offered, a cool and confusing Autopsy Room, and a child's room where we're still not sure who was a mannequin and who wasn't.  Another really cool point -- the ghouls in these haunts don't just
menace you by growling or saying something threatening, they're also
making weird little noises, like clicking or sniffling or snorting or
whining or rattling something in their throat.  I liked that they
really seemed to be trying to unnerve you on multiple levels.  And boy,
that haunted woods.


And for all those Allie McBeal fans out there (anyone?), get ready for a Dancing Baby of a very different order....

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find; just off the main highway, it's a whole complex with a parking lot in front and very clearly marked (how could it not be, I suppose), with a blazing searchlight over the whole thing. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We got there right when they opened, so didn't wait in line very much, thank Satan, 'cause the lines when we left at 8:30 were wrapping around the buildings, so get there early.  There are huge video screens which were showing Rob Zombie videos (appropro), but then sometimes would show footage of stand-up comedians and SNL and dance videos.  I didn't really understand.  They also have a huge tent and a well-stocked concessions stand, including mini-donuts, which are kind of the (un)holy grail of concessions to this writer.  And, again, points for them; the guy cooking Brats on a grill also had bloody body parts on the grill, in case you were into something more exotic, I suppose. 

Actors' Performance


Im-freakin-pressive, there is a giant Dancing Baby who danced us out of his room (very cool idea, guys), the autopsy room doctors click and swing a mean scalpel, and there is a really really cool leaf monster in the Haunted Woods (I'm sorry, "Phobia") who came out of a pile of leaves and crawled along the ground and kept following us while making weird hard-to-pin-down noises.  I can't tell you how disturbing it is to have something emerging from the bank of a body of water and just make weird noises and crawl after you in the dark woods.  And, as above, awesome awesome zombies.  Oh, and we llked the vampire lady who does crowd control at the front of one of the haunts.  I wonder if they have a group of college theatre people helping out or something -- ghouls seemed like they gave it kind of an extra something. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Good stuff; really cool underground tunnel look at one point, some elaborate sets, spooky outhouses, but a little too much dark hallways.  Maybe the dark hallways are one way to space out groups; I don't know. 

Length


Very good -- each haunt took about 20 minutes to go through, and then you wait in line for the next one.  I bet this could get kind of ponderous if there are lots and lots of people, though, so get there early.  But I guess you could enjoy some delicious mini-donuts while you're waiting, so it's not all that bad. 

Crowd Control


As above, there's a huge tent and concessions.  You line up outside whichever haunt you want to go through and get to watch videos. 

Most Memorable Moment


Dancing Baby Dancing Baby Dancing Baby.  And pretty much all the ghouls and zombies in the Haunted Woods (You too, Leaf Monster!). 

Summary

A very enjoyable haunt experience, though I could see it being even better if there were less haunts to go through overall, and they correspondingly upped the quality of remaining scenes; really, one does get kind of numb after traipsing through three haunts in the course of 1.5 hours.  Impressive actors who seemed to really get into it, and I bet think up new ways to disturb people on a regular basis; whoever came up with the "clicking"/other weird noises idea should get a gold star (if ghouls do indeed value gold stars).  I got the impression the people doing this are enjoying themselves, and it showed.  Recommended. 

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The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Geez, I was just a little disappointed; I mean, obviously they've worked very hard on their haunt again this year, and maybe we were there on an off-night, but...having attended Morgan Manor two years ago and being impressed with the imagination, characterization, and overall creativity and execution of the place, I had high expectations for the three haunted houses of Wisconsin Feargrounds...and they were good, but just not mind-blowingly cool.  There are three houses in all, including a 3-D Funhouse where you have to wear 3-D glasses to get the full effect, which sounds really cool, is really cool at first, but by the end, just kind of cool.  It feels to me like they were trying to do too much this time, and stretched the contents of one Grade-A+ Haunted House into three Grade-B+ Haunts.  So, I guess, it takes more time to cover the whole thing, but the effect is eventually diluted, and, to be honest, I was kind of tired of it all by the end of the third haunt.  It also felt like stretching the haunts out over three locations led to less ghouls, as we noticed a number of the same ghouls having to cut through and be used in multiple rooms and scenes.  I dunno, It felt like there were some budget cuts or something, less ghouls ultimately doing more work; maybe they should unionize. 

Actually, I hope all that doesn't sound too negative; we did have a really good time overall, and there are some scenes in here which are amazing -- one in particular, involving having to work your way through an increasingly narrowing rubbery space, with the walls and ceiling actually drooping down onto you more and more as you advance and it seems to be getting harder to breathe and which actually kind of panicked several members of our group, was an incredibly original scene; everyone in my group talked this up for the 45 minute ride home, so hats off to whoever thought that up -- we need more of you!  Oh, and there is a potted plant that isn't what it seems...and some of the 3-D illustrations in the Funhouse were super-cool.  I mean, a 3-D painting of a malevolent Winnie the Pooh holding a bloody butcher's knife aloft is in its own orbit of cool. 

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find, just follow directions on the website, right off 90/94, in the Waukesha Fairgrounds (hence the pun).  Tons of parking, including actual restrooms and not just porta-potties, which was a big hit with the ladies.  The Haunt is in several buildings on the grounds. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Very efficient, they line you up in various columns and let subsequent groups in individually.  There's a lot to do while waiting, they have various crowd-distractor games to watch or participate in like that Gladiator thing where two opponents stand on padded posts and try to knock each other off with padded Darth Maulish double-sided sticks.  And it looked like they had some kind of bouncy-boxing thing, too; I wasn't sure if these cost money to do or not (it got kind of confusing).  There were some nicely-made-up ghouls walking around menacing the people in line.  Oh, and the waiting area is in a heated tent, so it was quite comfortable. 

Actors' Performance


Performances were good, some scenes had some really great little storylines developing (shout out due to the Librarian Ghoul!), and there was one ragged-y guy wandering around who kept yelling that he "just wants to see (my) wife and children!" who was really great, 'cause that's a very different approach to unnerving the customers; someone should ask him what happened....  I also liked the clown who was looking for "Chuckie!" in the 3-D Funhouse; sometimes you would hear him calling this out from other rooms and it would rhythmically line up with the weird music in the Funhouse for a cool effect.  I also liked that the urinator on the toilet apologizes for peeing on you (!).  It doesn't cost anything to be polite. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Well, there's a lot of hanging stuff that you have to duck, and lots and lots of smelly hemp rope used.  Actually, there's a space where there are all these human heads (severed human heads!) hanging all over and blocking your way, and when you knock into one, it hits a bunch of the others, and then you've got yourself a hallway of swinging human heads on strings to get through, which is even more awkward than it sounds.  There is also lots of fog and strobes and lasers in various rooms, used to varying effect.  And, as above, the 3-D Funhouse is quite cool, but seemed a little lacking in ghouls and scares when we went through; can I just put in another call to stop over-monsterizing clowns?  A clown is creepy and scary all by itself, people, it doesn't need blood-red eyes and dripping fangs and a hook hand and bat wings and a stupid chainsaw.  Just make it a clown!

The giant 3-D illustrations on the walls of the 3-D Funhouse are pretty much a must-see, though they range from boring, overly-fangy horror movie stereotypes ( see above) to cool and creative perversions of childhood iconography. 

Length


Excellent, each house took about 15-20 minutes to go through, and we never ran into other groups, so pacing was really good. 

Crowd Control


As above, very well-done, you wait in columns and they let you in a column at a time.  They also sold concessions outside near the ticket space. 

Most Memorable Moment


I have to say, having a whole rubbery passage close in on you while also slowly dropping down on you was a bit like being swallowed; never experienced that before!

Summary

Overall, I had too-high expectations for this one; on its own merits, well-done, but not as creative or engaging as I had seen in the past.  Stretching over three haunts dilutes the overall effect, and I would suggest tightening this up in the future.  Was still a lot of fun, and you should probably see what a 3-D Funhouse looks like, anyway.  And beware the potted plant!

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House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Dead by Dawn is definitely no rookie to the haunted attraction industry. With haunts ranging from the Demon Sanitarium, to Windigo Manor at JFK Prep to this years haunt The House of Bathory she always seems to improve. This year is is no exception, they have put forth their best haunt ever. Dawn has a history of taking the fairy tales and stories we all loved as children and putting a dark twist on them, turning dreams to nightmares. Taking place in the store she runs and the apartment she lives in above she uses the space she has to the max. As you enter, be prepared to hear tales from the Mad Hatter as he prepares you for the journey through the House of Bathory. From there you encounter all the beloved stories, twisted beyond belief. This is not a new theme for her, but it is definitely the best one they have done.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There is no signage that I noticed, and very little on the building itself. I have been there before so I knew where I was going. It's located on the main road in downtown Manitowoc. As always, If you are unfamiliar be sure to get directions.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


This is an outside wait, but for part of it there are awnings over the business fronts. There was very little entertainment other than a stereo playing a mix of Halloween music.

Actors' Performance


The actor's were great. This was possibly the best acting I have seen in a haunted house ever. From the Ms. Bathory, to the Mad Hatter, to Charlie and beyond, you are led to believe these actor's are professionals. They never once broke character and they showed dedication beyond any I have ever scene.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were great. They really took the time to design their rooms and make the most out of what they had. there is very little down time where you wonder whats going on. It's purely demented chaos through the entire thing, and it could not have worked any better.

Length


Again, I failed to get an accurate time on it, but I looked at my watch at some point in the house and it took 12 minutes from there. i would estimate around 20 minutes to get through.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was great. The put us We never once caught up to the group ahead of us and we did not see a group behind us. I estimate they wait 5- 7 minutes between sending the groups in. It makes for a little wait but it makes the haunt that much better. It gives the actors time to reset and get back into character for the next group.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable part of this haunt is definitely the beginning with the Mad Hatter. With all that this haunt does right you should have forgotten about him by the end. It really shows how good he is and his scene was that you remember him even after all the surprises and horror you witness after him

Also have to shout out to the shocking portion of the night. I'm not sure if it was a static shock or if they have some sort of shocker in there that sent an actual jolt through me.

Summary

This haunt is great. I would not hesitate to go back tonight, and then get in line again after that. Dawn has done it again. It takes a lot to get me to jump at this point, but they managed completely. This review does not do it the justice it deserves. All the actors deserve credit-any one of them could be believable in whatever they do, they were that good. You really do need to check this one out. Don't just take my word for it, this one truly rocks. It is well worth the money!

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Dominion of Terror

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 17, 2008 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

The Sheboygan Jaycees boast over 30 years of experience in running haunted attractions and it shows. I attended this haunt last year and it sure felt like I had never been there before. I've been to many haunted attractions where things are only slightly different from the year before, but the Jaycees ensure that nothing is repeated. I don't think there was one scene or performance that occurred last year. On top of that, this haunt featured an eclectic mix of rooms with very little carryover in theme. It sounds like a mess but they pull it off with great transitions from room to room. The best part would have to have been the marketplace, which hosted the best actor; the butcher, and the best scenes, the movie theater.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The signage for this haunt is not the greatest, there are actually no signs at all until you get right down to it. I would strongly suggest getting directions if you are unfamiliar with Sheboygan. Once there it is pretty visible and the building is pretty cool. It's an old factory building in the middle of dowtown. The setting isn't the greatest, but the building is good.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The building forms a sort of u shape in which the line wraps itself in. It's not covered so on a rainy eve like we had you will get wet. There is a concession stand and a few actors wandering around the wait area.

Actors' Performance


Most of the actor's performances were great. Even the ones who weren't as dedicated were good and remained in character. I have to give credit to the butcher, by far the best actor in the whole place.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were all designed by different people, thus the lack of one standard theme. Once again, they did a great job in making the eclectic style work. They took a lot of time to make it look good, not skimping on areas to make others better.

Length


The length was great for any attraction. I didn't get a good look at my watch but I would guess it took probably took 20-25 minutes to get through. Well worth the cost of admission.

Crowd Control


We did run into a group in front of us, but when the actor's realized it happened they did a great job of splitting it back up. Overall crowd control was good. My fiancee and I were put in a group with three others who led the way. They went a little faster than I normally would have and i think that contributed to the issue.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable part was probably the butcher. I can't say too much but you'll know it when you see it.

Summary

Overall this was a great haunt. Picking out just little things to give examples is hard when everything is as good as it was. Everything about this haunt deserves recognition. As a charity event they do a haunt extremely well, even better than some for profit haunts. This one is well worth the time and money, you will not be disappointed.

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The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Overall, I really enjoyed this haunt. The property has a unique creepy feel that most commercial haunts do not have. I believe you can feel how much the people who work at this haunt and put it on really care about making you scared. I think that some people may not find it as flashy as they expected but I think that just enhances the feel of it. Just envision it, a Barn and a wooded walk in a secluded rural area- absolutely creepy. The props were not plentiful but I think that the ones they had
were extremely fun. The vortex is a favorite of many haunt goers. Also, the bus and the electrocution scene were great. The people were extremely welcoming and even though I showed up right as they were about to close because I got lost due to my lack of directions-they let me through without a problem and the haunt was just as good as if I would have been there right in the middle of their time open. I thought this haunt was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the kittens they have-super cute! This haunt is also age appropriate for older school age children. In conclusion, make sure you have good directions or stop at the gas station in town and enjoy the unique feel of this fun haunt. This is a diamond in the rough. Finally, be on the look out for eight-foot monsters or you will get scared!

Signage / Visibility / Location


This place was a little hard to find but there is a gas station near that was kind enough to give great directions. Once you are there out in front they have a sign at the end of the driveway. It looks like it lights up but wasn't when I got there. This could have been because I got there right before closing due to being a little lost.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was no wait! I got to go straight into the haunt-that was great. The waiting area is decorated nicely and there is a cool novelty shop to look through that is set up in what I think was an old trailer-VERY COOL.

Actors' Performance


The people here were great. I thought they stayed in character very well and did a great job with moving around to creep you out. My favorite was the guy with the huge monster costume. It was about eight feet tall and definitely made me jump.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


They do have some neat props/ effects. Some of my personal favorites were the vortex, the electrocution scene and the bus. Also the long, quiet, dark walk through the woods was really creepy!

Length


Altogether approximately 25 minutes but remember that was with no waiting.

Crowd Control


They have a line barriers to keep the crowd straight and things to look at while you wait.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment at this haunt was actor with the eight-foot monster costume-GREAT! I jumped and screamed. I was definitely freaked out.

Summary

This was a really good time. The actors and the props were good, and the people there were very hospitable. I arrived late when they were about to close and the haunt was just as good as I would expect it to be if I came during prime time. This is a diamond in the rough.

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House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by dirkadirka (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Wow. The House of Bathory and Dead by Dawn Productions is my new favorite haunted house in Wisconsin. Most haunts stick to a certain formula, and some have perfected this prototypical attraction better than others. The House of Bathory has a totally different feel to it. It seems as though you are walking through someone's house, and you pretty much are. The creators own both the costume shop downstairs and the apartment directly behind the building so the horrors of the house have been evolving since January 2008. These depraved individuals turn nonthreatening scenes (i.e. Wizard of Ox) into terrifying reality.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Use googlemaps or mapquest whenever you are planning a trip to a haunted attraction.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Other than the music playing in front of the entrance there is not much entertainment. I would recommend striking up a conversation with Dawn or one of the other operators. She will be glad to tell you the story of Elizabeth Bathory, the namesake of the house. The line moves very slow, but be patient because this haunt takes its' time and does things right before excreting your lifeless corpse from its' bowels.

Actors' Performance


There are a lot of people working in this haunt, and almost all of them have very sinister intentions, except Cheech and Chong of course. Some actors have ominous and freaky dialogue, some are loud and surprising, and some are creepy without saying a word. Even the disturbed kids working as slave labor are unsettling. The demons throughout will definitely mess with you and make you uncomfortable so be prepared to be touched and cornered.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Every scene that I can remember uses one-off pieces and sets that cannot be purchased at any store, although if there is something you really want you can convince Dawn to let you buy something in hers. Because there is so much detail in most rooms, the actors are able to wait and surprise you, leaving you terrified of which props are real or dead. Without giving more away, the House of Bathory has four essential haunt elements while most have only one: a slide, a claustrophobic room, a vortex tunnel, and glorious chainsaws.

Length


I completely forgot to look at my watch for this one, but I would guess twenty minutes to a half hour. I was honestly pretty dazed and disoriented with all the levels by the end and had trouble remembering all of the individual rooms. Some sort of terror-amnesia brain response maybe?

Crowd Control


The operators are really nice people, and can sternly handle security themselves. On our night groups were limited to four or less, but this will increase over the following weekends. Victims are let in at long intervals so that you do not run into the group in front of you and the actors have time to recover.

Most Memorable Moment


A munchkin latching on to my leg and being drug along as I tried to escape.

Summary

This haunt was a frightening rush from beginning to end. The best way to get scared is to let yourself go and get caught up in the madness created by these talented actors and designers.

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The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 10, 2008 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

In one phrase, this haunt is worth the time and money. The actors and props were quality. Somethings that made this haunt stand out were the area where you had to crouch down and walk through a pitch black hallway and then squeeze through a walkway that was very tight. This haunt consists of three seperate houses that you can pick and choose from. However, I recommend doing all three. My favorite part was torment, the second haunt. The actors were frightening and even screamed out your name. It made the haunt seem like it was catering directly to you. The scenes are extremely detailed and for the most part the actors stay in character very well. There was one thing that I felt could have been improved and that was the make-up/ costumes of their actors. Some were great but others needed improvement. The facial make-up was obviously peeling or just masks cut into two sections and put on. This took away from the creepiness of the actors even with their great preformances. The 3d house was very cool amd watcing people run screaming in terror while you are waiting to get in really sets the tone for a creepy time. If not for that aspect, this haunt probably would have gotten perfect scores for fun and scare factors.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find. There is large lit up signage indicating where to turn and signs showing you where to park.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Total waiting time for all three haunted houses approximately 25 minutes. This was a very reasonable wait. I was pleased with the wait. There were people walking around spooking waiting patrons and in the tent at the beginning they had extra things to do like inflatables that were reasonably priced.

Actors' Performance


Actors were pretty professional and stayed in character. Some were more frightening than others but all were working very hard. I especially liked a guy who described to us how to get me prepared to be eaten in extreme detail. Also, the girl who was crawling on the floor definately made me scream. I want to send a special thank you to the actors in Torment. They were so great and made me jump.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


This place is the place to be for well put together sets and a huge amount of props. The scenes are extremely detailed and covered from floor to ceiling. I especially liked the dinning room scene.

Length


For all three haunts plus the wait it took about one hour and ten minutes.

Crowd Control


Very good. There were defined lines that were roped off and lots of workers making sure everyone knew where to go and where to wait.

Most Memorable Moment


I would have to say that my favorite part was that they have an "I Quit" rule where if you get too scared you put your hands on your head and say I quit. The group right before us was a group of high school girls and one of them quit after only less than a minute. She came running out screaming in terror and ran into a fence because she was so terrified.

Summary

Overall, definately worth checking out. Short , well controlled lines for waiting. Three haunts in one and lots of props and detailed scenes to look at. Look out for the crawling girl and make sure to pay attention to the beauty of the 3d effects in the last haunt.

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Dominion of Terror

by dirkadirka (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Simply put, this year Dominion of Terror has some of the best sets I have ever seen in a Haunted House. I was even more blown away by the fact that almost everything is new for 2008 with virtually no scenes being repeated from previous years. On top of all that, this haunt supports the non-profit Jaycees charity group which means all actors and designers are volunteers. For the price and the quality, an hour drive from Green Bay or Milwaukee is well worth the trip.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


All the action takes place in and around an old condemned looking three story brick warehouse. Outside there is music, a hearse, and frequent scares from actors to keep patrons entertained while waiting in line. Inside there is a brief wait in a staging area before the scares begin.

Actors' Performance


Overall, most actors gave very engaging performances.  Many ghouls had unique dialogue and noises to get your attention. There were several loud and shocking surprises, but nothing that is overdone or will leave your eardrums ringing. For me the scare factor is always dependant on the group I go with, so on a different night it may have been higher.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It is safe to say the themes and rooms of the Dominion of Terror will not be found in any other haunt in Wisconsin. Work started in July, and if they chose, volunteers were able to let their imagination go crazy and design their own sets staffed by their own friends. This accentuates the uniqueness of each scene because they are built and overseen by different people. Although it may sound disjointed, this is an incredibly well tied-together haunted house. Rooms transition smoothly from one theme to another and many ideas carry over for two or three rooms like the sprawling city scene (props to the butcher). The vortex tunnel was so effective I had to close my eyes, great use of old-school dark tunnels to break up scenes, and my favorite room was the movie theater.

Length


It took 20-25 minutes to work our way through.  Great length, and it seemed even longer.

Crowd Control


The group size was limited to four victims, which is an ideal size for any haunt.  This will probably change towards Halloween when lines get longer.  Everything moved very smoothly through the haunt, and there were five or six security guards on hand outside. All of the actors take a break between 8:30 and 8:45 so be patient while waiting in line.

Most Memorable Moment


We were paired with a nine year old girl and her father. Initially, I was concerned that this may be too scary for someone of her age, but her father assured us that she watches plenty of movies and will take the haunt in stride. She went first throughout the entire haunt and was visibly calm and unafraid the entire time! I could not believe that we were more scared than she was. Seriously, how many 9 year olds do not find a chainsaw terrifying? I was pushing past her like George Costanza in Seinfeld at that point.

Summary

Great scenery, good actors, admirable charity, extended length and terrifying chainsaws.

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House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 10, 2008 at about 6:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Dead by Dawn has done another amazing haunted house! I have never been disappointed by their unique scares and commitment to stand out! This haunted house is a little difficult to find and the wait may not be as entertaining as other places, but it is most certainly worth getting in. The haunt is located above and around the store "Mad Hatter" ... the haunt is set up very well and utilizes more than one floor. For those of you who don't mind being "grabbed" ... this haunt is for you! Definitely a hands on haunt which makes it much more creepy. There is a few "dark areas" but they are set up perfectly to prepare you to be frightened! Expect to climb and fall so NO high heels! There are actors of all ages which adds to the scare factor, because who isn't afraid of a dead 9 yr old! This haunt is a must see for everyone looking for a good twisted place to be frightened!

Signage / Visibility / Location


There are no signs on the way and you have to be careful which way you go because 8th street is a one way! You will know its them when you hear the loud music and see a line of people out the door.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was loud music playing and a lot of "Dead by Dawn" crew outside talking to people in line. There are no bathrooms and no concessions. There is however a bar with bathrooms down the road if you are old enough.

Actors' Performance


We were the last group through at 12:30am and the actors were all still in character! I was blown away! They do an amazing job.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There are so many unique things about this haunted house, most of their sets are far different then something you would see in another haunt!

Length


Its average to long for a typical haunted house.

Crowd Control


perfect, never ran into another group!

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment was right in the very beginning, but I can't give details without giving it away!

Summary

I would reccomend this haunt to everyone, the wait was a bit long, but well worth it. The house of Bathory is very unique and gives you great scares all around.

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Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by johnny (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Mars Haunted House is one of my favorite haunts every year, and this year is no exception!

From the time you walk in, to the time you leave, you will notice many new sets as well as a few old favorites and a NOT so favorite (ahem, bearded lady, ahem!)

Be ready for a “horrific” time on Historic Mitchell Street! (I coined that phrase, thank you!)

Time well-spent, money definitely well-spent – be sure to read the details below!

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location is not hard to find – the directions located on www.hauntedwisconsin.com and the haunt’s website are good. Also, MapQuest is useful as well. It is located on the corner of 8th and Mitchell – look for the line of people who look very anxious and scared to enter this REALLY haunted house! (MWUH HA HA!)

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Dress appropriately for those chilly October evenings. The wait area is completely outside and is not covered. The evening of this review, the temperature was in the upper 40’s, low 50’s (which is PERFECT haunting weather!).

Mars provides some wicked scare-actors to entertain the people that are in line. Most notable was the wise-cracking clown and his, well; let’s just say “props”.

The managers as well as the security guards are also very friendly and entertaining. Do not be afraid to strike up a conversation with them – they are all very nice people!

Actors' Performance


The “scare-actors” were, in a word AWESOME! Each scare-actor takes his or her role very seriously and owns it! There are two scare-actors that I must mention - the first is the lady that is sitting at a table with a bowl full of eyes – YES EYES – and they were bloody! When she screams at you to “touch them!” um, well – you decide what you want to do (I touched them! EWE!)

The second and MOST memorable scare-actor that I have EVER seen in my many years of visiting haunted houses is BY far the bearded lady. Man, this guy gives me the WILLIES, even NOW as I type this! The worst part of this was when I walked in – he actually remembered me from the previous year!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets, scenes, and props are, as usual, top-notch, as they are every year. We took some time after our visit to this haunt to speak to the manager (who is a Funeral Director by day!) and he told us that just when they think that they are done with designing a room, they add “this or that” or that someone comes up with an even better idea. Mars is always perfection in progress!

Length


There are numerous rooms in Mars and it took our group about 20 minutes to complete.

Crowd Control


The staff was friendly, courteous, as well as professional and very organized. There are also off-duty police officers staffed, so don’t worry about anything other than having a BLAST!

Most Memorable Moment


Um, HELLO? Hands down, the bearded lady! I still can’t sleep. . .

Summary

For those of you that suffer from coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), I would rate this a 2+-clown haunt, meaning there were 2 clowns present, Happy Hauntings! Johnny

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Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 6 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Mars Haunted House is located in an actual haunted building. From the beginning they tell you the story behind the building, as your walking through you may even see shadows that really aren't supposed to be.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is very easy to find. You can see the line standing around the corner and the strobe lights flashing above the door.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area for this haunt is outside with a few actors outside working the line.

Actors' Performance


I would recommend putting a few more actors in this haunt. The actors they did have came out of character a few times during the haunt.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Most of the scenes in this haunt were set up very well to resemble the actual scenes.

Length


The length of this haunt was about 10 minutes.

Crowd Control


Mars Haunted House I feel needs to work on crowd control a little bit. I went very close to their closing time so it seemed like they sent everyone in at one time. My group ran into other groups 3 times during the haunt.

Summary

Overall, I would recommend this haunt to anyone over the age of 10.

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House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

This was my first time out to the House of Bathory and I will definitely be attending this one again!!! They have the most unique scares and props. They have scared from the moment you walk into the door and the moment you leave.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait for this haunt I would say is relatively short, it was about a 20 minute wait. They have props in the windows and music to listen to while you wait.

Actors' Performance


The actors' performance was excellent. They were always in character and always on target with their scares. They were very in your face and interacted with you to make you feel like you were actually a part of their scene.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes in this haunt were absolutely amazing. \They were set up and looked like the scenes they really were supposed to be.

Length


The length of this haunt was about 30 minutes with almost no dead time. You never knew what was waiting for you around the corner.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was handled very well! Not once during the entire haunt did we run into another group, everyone was spaced out well.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment was the slide. It came out of no where.

Summary

Overall, this haunt was one of the best I have ever been to. I would recommend this to anyone 16 and over!

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Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 10, 2008 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Meadowbrook is a very fun and scary cornfield. You can tell right away that they put their heart and soul into this.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is very easy to find, there are signs along the highway to help guide you along.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait for this haunt took about an hour or so. However, tthey have a very unique wait area. While you wait for your number to be called you can sit around a bonfire and listen to a man tell you ghost stories about the land that the cornfield sits on.

Actors' Performance


I would recommend a lot more actors in this haunt, but the ones they did have were great. They always stayed in character and were always on cue.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets in this haunt are very well put together. They have them all set in the right locations and are very scary!!

Length


This haunt is probably one of the longest ones I've ever been through. It took about 45 minutes to walk through.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was handled very well. They are very good at when to send groups through to make sure you don't run into another group.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment at this haunt would have to be the "orange" room without giving too much away it definitely makes you feel lost and confused.

Summary

Overall, this was a very well put together haunt. I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 12 at night, and perfect for the entire family during the day.

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Gilly's Haunted House

by dirkadirka (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 10, 2008 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Gilly's is the perennial underdog haunted attraction that always seems to deliver. Once again this year the haunt had virtually no wait on a Friday night while other haunted houses in the area were backed up for thirty
minutes to an hour. What those line zombies missed is a haunt with great acting performances and operators who strive to please you, not pick-pocket you. While the Haunted Circus is not ground breaking or fight-or-flight
terrifying, it continues to improve and deliver a solid experience every year.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Lights and carnival music let you know you're in the right place. It's pretty amazing that the operators are able to build this haunt while maintaining a winter business selling and renting tropical flowers out of
their greenhouse.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The ticket girl is very sweet and can convince even the most undecided guests to enter the big-top. Old newspaper clipping pinned up in the covered wait area tell the backstory of the circus and actors make frequent
appearances.

Actors' Performance


The organizers and operators take great pride in their actors. By holding auditions they ensure that only the most dedicated and talented ghouls populate the various scenes. While the surprise scares and fear factor are
not as intense as other places, I was just as entertained by the great dialogue, unique accents, and novel characters that are created.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Much of the setup was similar to past years. The vortex tunnel (take your hands off the railings if you can), foggy chain link fence maze, and freak show all are present again this year. The addition of a marionette room is a great idea. The actors were much more memorable than the scenery.

Length


10-15 minutes. Just a touch on the short side so take your time and interact with the actors.

Crowd Control


Crowd Control? Gilly watches over the haunt while double-fisting two hatchets, do you want to screw with him?

Summary

A solid spook-house that I go to, and enjoy, every year. While similar to past years, the outstanding actors made it worth the return visit in '08.

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The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by johnny (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

So far, this has been the BEST haunt that I have been to - well worth the trip and well worth the money! If you itemize the cost per haunted house (3), it comes out to a bit over $8/house - people, WHERE else can you get a price like that?

Unique, scary, funny - those are three words I am using to summarize my experience.

I really don't want to give very many details away - but each house is unique in its own right. Note - the little lost girl - I don't know how she did it, but that girl was EVERYWHERE! Really freaky, and really AWESOME!

No space was wasted - and no sense left untouched - let's just say that if you are not claustrophobic, you may be after the second house!

BUT - I will give some details on the final haunt - "Freaky's Funhouse". This haunt will attack your visuals, people - in 3D! Everything from the floor to the ceiling is in 3D (as long as you wear the 3D glasses, of course!)

Signage / Visibility / Location



The location is not hard to find – the directions located on www.hauntedwisconsin.com and the haunt’s website are good. Also, MapQuest is useful as well. It is located next to the Waukesha airport. There is a big sign for the Waukesha Expo center – that is the location of Wisconsin Feargrounds. Follow the little signs in the parking lot and look for the group of cars.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Dress appropriately for those chilly October evenings. The wait area is semi-outside; it is covered, but open. The evening of this review, the temperature was in the upper 40’s, low 50’s (which is PERFECT haunting weather!). There is also a fog machine running from behind an old hearse – WAY cool effect on an AWESOME October haunt evening.

Actors' Performance


The "scare-actors" were really into character and did not break character at all. You will definitely see some unique characters and not the usual cloaked creatures. Again, the performance was VERY good; my props to the half-dead lady that said I was her favorite, and she was in love with me – hey, don't hate the player; hate the game! Not much else can be said – I was impressed by ALL of the actors' performances. Worth mentioning was also the "Beatlejuice-esque" character, as well as the lost little girl, who seemed to be EVERYWHERE. A bit of advice; if she offers you her dolly, TAKE IT!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes and props are professional quality. You can tell that the owner has invested a lot of heart (and money!)

Length


Three haunted houses – took our group well over a half hour to complete.

Crowd Control


The crowd control was very well done. The staff was friendly, courteous, as well as professional and very organized.

Most Memorable Moment


The sheer SIZE and QUALITY of these HAUNTS! Yes, people, I said HAUNTS as in plural! This is, IMHO, the best value for the money this Halloween season! For a mere $25, you get THREE high-quality haunted houses!

Summary

For those of you that suffer from coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), I would rate this a 10+-clown haunt, meaning there were well over 10 clowns present, especially in the final haunt (of the three) "Freaky’s Funhouse" – hello – FUNHOUSE =clowns, people! All in all, this was a very good haunted house, with very good actors and props. Purchase the three haunt pass and enjoy an evening of fun! Happy Hauntings! Johnny

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The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

An enjoyable, home-grown haunt, making full use of its farmy-setting to provide victims with several different stages of spookiness, including walking through a haunted barn, then outside up a spooky, moonlit hill, through a forest and graveyard at the top, then down past a cornfield, where you're eventually forced to creep through a schoolbus (perhaps having just unloaded Isaac and Malachi and the rest of the Children -- hey, that's a cool idea!) and back into the barn for a final go.  I really love these outside, nighttime haunts on clear evenings; there were some points where you could look down over the whole farm from the top of the hill and see all the different lights and action and get an idea of scenes to come...chilling and cool. 

This is not a haunt which is telling a story, and is more in the vein of wanting to scare you suddenly rather than break you down with a creeping sense of dread, so if you like your haunts jumpy and "Rargh!"-y, this is for you.  Not as sophisticated as some of the more expensive and professional haunts in the bigger areas, but definitely worth the money, took a nice amount of time to go through, and, as above, had great atmosphere.  A Wisconsin farm on a moonlit night, how can you go wrong?

And, the snackstand had kittens for sale!

Signage / Visibility / Location


It's pretty clear that it's the haunted farm from the highway; coming from the north, just take 51 south through Stoughton, and it's in the country right outside the city.  The farm is all lit up and such, and looks suitably atmospheric. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We had no wait, which was great; attractive little area outside the barn where they sell popcorn and soda, etc, including a little trailer giftshop with cool haunted house supplies and funky halloween black-light esoterica.  Staff was really friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves  And they had kittens for sale.  Vicious little kittens.

Actors' Performance


Performances were fine, but don't expect a lot of characterization; this isn't a haunted house where they're necessarily telling a story, and they seemed to be more intent on surprising and intimidating you.  We did get chased by a giant-headed grim reaper-type who did a fantastic job of looking inanimate until we had passed him...Oh, and I must give props to the three (two? I got confused, they seemed to multiply) little ghoul kids who out-screamed our little group of Grade-A screamers.  The lung capacity on this generation -- this is how we keep America competitive, people!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Scenes kind of basic, cemetery, cornfield, etc, but again, really cool atmosphere.  You know what I really liked?  There is some kind of great sound and lighting system all throughout the farm, or maybe just really excellent acoustics, 'cause you could hear all kinds of things, music and thunder and stuff, while walking around outside and then in and outside the barn, so it kind of all hung together and added to the spookiness.  They had the barn rigged for lightning to flash overhead inside every now and then, and a lot of the usual halloween props, like cut-up body parts, etc.  Lightning -- cool.  Cut-up body parts -- not so exciting anymore, but that might just be me being jaded from going to lots of haunted houses over the years.   Anyway, space in the barn is made good use of, and they have a cool vortex at the beginning, which kind of implies that you're going through a portal into another dimension -- of horror!

Really liked the deserted schoolbus, too; where did they get that?

And Freddy Krueger looked like he had real metal knife-fingers; where did they get those?

And they had kittens for sale.  I suppose those came from another cat. 

Length


Very nice length, maybe about 20 minutes, and we kind of moved through it rather quickly after being chased a couple of times. 

Crowd Control


No crowd when we were there, 9 PM on Saturday night (but probably very early in the season).  Looks like it would work fine, though, plenty of parking and wait area was sizeable and offered distractions, like the gift-trailer.  And the kittens. 

Most Memorable Moment


The view from the top of the hill, standing in the cemetery, looking down over the farm and seeing ghouls roaming about, other patrons being terrified and screaming, and knowing we were going to have to eventually start down the hill ourselves...

Summary

Again, a good atmospheric haunt with a genuinely spooky, outside-at-night, moon-shining-over-everything, sense to it; this is the kind of haunt you can only get in places like Wisconsin, with our wide-open farm country and rolling hills and readily-available chainsaws and deserted barns and home-grown, beloved cannibals. 


And did I mention there were kittens for sale?  Mmmmm....delicious kittens. 

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Gilly's Haunted House

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Low

Review

Going to Gilly's Haunted Circus was a great experience for me! I've never been there before and, actually, didn't even know it existed until just recently. I'm terrified of clowns, so it seemed like a good idea to go here... don't ask me why! Overall it was a positive experience for my group. It was really easy to find, though parking was somewhat difficult since it is located in a busy area. We were there pretty late and there was no line, so we did not have to wait very long. While we waited in line, there were two clown characters running about scaring people. Once we were inside, the first character you see (the clown with the flower) is pretty entertaining. On the whole, I found that many of the characters in the house were more funny than they were scary, but I still had a great time! There were a couple of rooms that had great ideas behind them, but I felt that they were not fully realized. Such as the room with the "maze" or sorts. It's made in an effort to mess with your mind, but it didn't work out quite as nicely as I think they had expected it would. One of the best parts about this house, though, is that they asked me for my name in one of the rooms, and of course, not thinking, I actually gave it to them... then in a number of rooms later, they continued to use my name. Very clever and really creepy. The room with the mirrors is really cool, and the actor in there was great. My favorite actor I think it the guy right at the end. It was a good experience all around, but I left feeling a little disappointed because I don't think I felt truly scared once throughout the whole house. And for being a haunted circus, there weren't a WHOLE lot of clowns... ??

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find. Directions from the website are perfect and the actual location has lots of lights. You can't miss it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Covered area while you wait in line with some actors.

Actors' Performance


Some of them did an excellent job, some were kind of lacking. As I mentioned, the clown with the flower was pretty good, the magician, the guy in the mirrored room,and the one right at the end. As I said before, they weren't necessarily "scary" or "frightening" in their roles, but they did act very well.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


To be honest, the majority of the house was extremely dark - which, of course, sets the mood - but it made it very difficult to see the sets, props, and make-up of the actors. As far as I could tell, they did to an excellent job with setting up rooms. It's possible that they left it incredibly dark to make the rooms look more finished, but I'm not entirely sure. There is a significant amount of fog throughout the entire haunt. I actually coughed a number of times because it was so overwhelming. Make-up on the actors looked good, too.

Length


From the minute we walked into the haunt until the time we left was roughly about 10 minutes - a pretty average length for this type of haunt. The wait was less than five minutes.

Crowd Control


No need for crowd control since there was no crowd.

Summary

If you're in the area, it's a good haunt to go to - especially if you're afraid of clowns. The rooms are well decorated and they make a great use of the space that they have available. It's easy to get turned around, so keep your hands out in front of you and try your best to follow the path they've set up for you.

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The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by dirkadirka (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Signage / Visibility / Location


The setting is one of this haunt's strongest assets. Located just off I-90 to draw people from around the region, close enough to Stoughton to receive local support, and yet still retaining the feel and darkness that only haunts in secluded rural areas can provide. By capitalizing on the farm
venue the TTT Ranch has created a unique haunted attraction that starts in a barn, transitions to an outdoor trail, and re-enters the barn via a creepy old school bus.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment



There is plenty of free parking and as soon as you leave the safety of your car you hear the foreboding music of the haunt and see the menacing hearse in front of the barn. We heard the themes from Beetlejuice, Psycho, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show on our trip. There is a covered wait area
that would not shelter more than one group and a lonely guy selling pizza.

Actors' Performance



Even though I was with a couple of newbies, this haunt was more fun than it was scary. We rolled up
on the first day of the season so many of the ghouls were still working on their scares. The only minor complaint I have with this haunt is the lack of actors, specifically outside. Talking to the owners, they assured me that there will be more monsters over the following weeks, especially on Saturdays. Our favorite performers were the young girls terrified of Freddy and the creepy lady with a baby. This haunt has great potential for 2008 and I found myself thinking about actor improvements that would put the TTT Ranch on a higher level.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX



The all new interior of the barn has been spruced up this year with the acquisition of a vortex tunnel and set pieces from a defunct haunted house in Wausau. There were no sparse rooms or hallways and
the creators did a great job of putting decorations everywhere and constructing the haunt by hand. Money was well spent on full-size monster props tucked into dead ends and a couple of animatronics
scattered throughout. All of the actors had good costumes/masks/makeup and the Freddy Krueger sequence stood out as a favorite. The addition of a trail leading through the prairie and woods into a 'cemetery' adds a whole new facet to this year's spooky attraction. To nitpick, the Haunted Barn would have benefitted from more than two themed rooms and the solar lights near the graveyard were inadequate (the operators planned on bringing in a generator for better lighting the next night)

Length


Good length. It took us about 25 minutes because we spent time enjoying the outside walk and the anticipation of the surroundings

Crowd Control


I don't think the Haunted Barn uses a ticket numbering system like others, so bring a sweatshirt and some friends you can stand. There are no mazes in the haunt so even on a busy night things should move smoothly. Hidden security cameras monitor the action

Most Memorable Moment



The one-of-a-kind bottomless pit

Summary

This haunt has a lot of things going for it. $8 is a fantastic value, the haunt competition in the greater Madison area is weak, and the owners are very nice people. We rolled up on the first night of the operation and it was obvious that they will improve throughout the season. Although the Haunted Ranch may not be on the same production level as major haunts in the Milwaukee area and elsewhere, we still had a blast and it is well worth a visit. Just remember to bring a sweatshirt because you will be waiting and walking around outside

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A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 4, 2008 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

A Theater of Lost Souls is definitely one of the better haunts in Wisconsin. They have you scared the moment you walk into the door, from the wait area to the transitions between the houses to the exit. They also added on a new addition this year, A Theater of the Absurb. Its all under blacklight and 3D.

Signage / Visibility / Location


This haunt was kind of hard to find. There wasn't much signage until you actually turned onto hwy Y, but then it was right there.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was in a huge barn. There were a couple line entertainment actors, as well as, photo props to take memorable halloween pictures with. They also offer the burial simulator ride while you wait!!!

Actors' Performance


The Actor's Performance was very good!!! You would have really thought some of them were lost souls! Everyone was right on target with their scares. The only thing I would change is less direction from the actors as to where to go.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The Theater of the Absurb had excellent props and scenes. The walls of each room were awesome and very well done. The Theater of Lost Souls also had excellent props and sets. Right from the beginning your amazed with it.

Length


I would say it took about 30 minutes to walk through both houses!

Crowd Control


The crowd was very well controlled, and there wasn't much of a wait time.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment would be one of the first scenes. I haven't seen this prop at too many haunts and its definitely an added bonus. It is definitely not for people who are claustrophic!!!

Summary

I would recommend this haunt to anyone over the age of 15.

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Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The Burial Chamber Haunted Complex is considered the number one haunt for a reason. Our group was blown away by how well this haunt is organized. It begins as you are traveling and notice the large spotlights in the sky drawing you near. Even the smallest details were well put together (such as the cool wristbands and delicious treats). This year "Phobia" the outdoor woods haunt was my personal favorite. The natural setting is perfect. The moonlight is the only thing guiding you and the ghouls come from every angle. My friend was so frightened he actually pushed me to the ground and ran. One of my friends referred to "phobia" as a "Blair Witch" feeling (only with better actors). The actors clearly are professional and LOVE their job.

Adrenaline as always offers you those in your face scares that makes your heart race. There was rarely any "dead time".

Insanity has you misled and thinking you are seeing UFO's! The alien actor was my favorite of all the three haunts.

We even tried the burial simulators this year which I would definitely not recommend to anyone who is claustrophobic.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Excellent signage, you can't miss the large spotlights in the sky and it is located right off the interstate.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They have large projection screens playing creepy scenes. They also have plenty of goodies to snack on. If you do the combo the wait for the other haunts is minimal.

Actors' Performance


The actors are very professional, I wouldn't be suprised if some of them have real acting careers :) Again we loved the alien ... creepy!!

Length


We arrived around 9:30 and left around 11:30 so that was 2 hours of fear, with little to no wait time! There was no "dead time" either, you rarely find yourself just walking down a dark hallway.

Crowd Control


They do a great job of maintaining crowd control. We only ran into another group at one point because a couple of people in our group moved too fast.

Most Memorable Moment


There were a lot of memorable moment ... this is a great haunt to go to and make a night of it. The most memorable would have to be in the woods when my friend pushed me to the ground to run!

Summary

I highly reccomend this haunt to anyone over 16, it has something for everyone! I think I could go back 10 times and still wonder whats lurking around the corner.

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A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

A Theater of Lost Souls brought the fear again this year! This Haunt is known for its "in your face" scares. They used a Lot of my favorite classic scares such as the chainsaw, and added A LOT more new stuff. You will see some of the creepy "phobia" props this year. Everyone in my group agreed that "Theater of the Absurb" was an awesome addition. Its not quite like your typical blacklight haunt, there are many twists like a disturbing "scene" that seemed so real! You really have to be careful because you never know where the ghouls may come from! The only thing I could ask for is more, more, more ... there was never a dull moment from start to finish! The whole haunt was approximately 20min, which is a little longer than average for a haunt. On a final note, parents please be careful when brining childern under 16! Our group ran into two people ahead of us, because the little girl was so afraid.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Getting to the haunt was a little scary for us as we missed County Rd Y. There is not much for signs until you reach the fairgrounds. There is a hearse at the entrance with a strobe light waiting to welcome you.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait wasn't long, but we arrived early. Unlike previous years there were a lot of ghouls to entertain you ... even the woman at the concession stand was creeepy! The also have an awesome coffin ride that displays the victims face on a tv for everyone to see. Get you picture taken at one of their two photo ops, its only $3 and well worth the memories!

Actors' Performance


From start to finish the actors remained professional.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There are a lot of added scenes and props! Some phobia props, and the well set up man in a chair? I don't know how to explain it better with out giving it away. At one point we swore we felt drops of blood on our heads?! Not sure if that was our imagination or not!

Length


The total length was approximately 20 min. Not bad because there was rarely any "dead time".

Crowd Control


They do a good job of crowd control, with the exception of those factors out of their control. (the little girl who thought she was going to throw up).

Most Memorable Moment


Right in the very beginning watching 2 of my friends start panicking when they heard the chainsaw!!

Summary

In summary I would recommend this haunt to anyone ages 16 and up who like in your face scares ... I wouldn't reccomend this haunt to anyone on a first date.

View all A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, September 26, 2008 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

My friends and I took a trip to West Bend to take a tour through the corn. We got the directions off the internet and had no issues getting down to where Meadowbrook Farm is located.

The actual farmstead is really neat. They have a gift shop and petting zoo nearby. Everything where you wait is really decorated nicely. It looked like a really neat spot to bring kids during the day.

We sat down by the roaring fire that they had prepared. We were entertained momentarily by one of the many fine people that were running the event. Even though it was there first night and they were still working out many of the kinks that seem to commonly occur on the first night, the attendants were always kind and courteous and ready to answer any questions you might have.

The trip through the haunted corn field was one of the best I had ever been to of its kind. You could tell that they really worked hard to set up a specific atmosphere. This is a close, almost clostrophobic, adventure through narrow cut passages and through a large variety of different scenes. Everything from Aliens to pirates roamed out in the dark corners of the corn.

Though, as it was the first night, at the time it seemed like they might have been short-staffed. They were short on live actors at a lot of points and relied largely upon static and mechanical scares. It was really fun, though, and they work very hard to make the experiance an enjoyable one for the people that come through.

So, don't let the mist scare you away. Brave your fears and venture into. Who knows? Maybe you will join them...forever...

Summary

Something is strange in the corn. In West Bend, you can take a tour around the corn field of this old farmstead. Many exotic and wierd creatures await you when the fog rolls in...

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

This was my first time out to Historic Mitchell Street to go out to this haunted house. I was impressed with the sights and sounds of this trip through the second story of this old building. You could tell that the group that runs this is a set of veteran haunters.

The scenes and acting were great. I thought some of the rooms that were the best were the ones that played off what they had, a truly great location. The laboratories and the insane asylum-like sets were some of the best I had seen in a while. A lot played on that sort-of late 1800s set, though still with all the great set-ups you come to expect from a haunted house (killer clowns/freaky gothic characters/etc.).

Their actors were all very intense and were not at all afraid of being right up there in your face. From strange shadowy women wandering around the room with you to creepy rednecks and their grandmothers, all of the actors knew their lines well.

It was a fast paced, gritty haunted house with true character.

The only thing I would recommend, if you aren't familiar with the area, would be to give yourself a few minutes to find it. It being it's first weekend and with only a short line in front and also due to a lack of any major sign (at least that I saw). I found it a little hard to locate exactly where the haunted house was at first. Don't let this scare you away before they scare you away, it was a good time and I would recommend it to anyone who has not gone down to Mitchell Street yet to see it.

Summary

A strange experience awaits you on Historic Mitchell Street. The ghouls await you at this century-old building. This place is billed as being Milwaukee's "only truly haunted house". Who knows, maybe you might see an actual ghost?

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Please note: this review is for the 2008 season rather than the current season.

Gilly's Haunted House

by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 3, 2008 at about 4:45 a.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

What is more scary than a murderous clown? What about the full menagerie from the circus that the murderous clown comes from?

One of the things that this haunted house excels at is the quality of the actors that inhabit the it. Every actor from the fortune teller to the freaks in the freak show excel exceedingly in what they do. They give you a lot interaction and stay in character the entire time. It was my first visit and I was very impressed by the quality and energy of all their actors.

The theme of the haunted house was appealing, as so few haunted events can stick to a theme or a single storyline. The true horrors of the circus come alive in this carnival to the senses. The entire haunted house is a real disorienting trip to the horrors experienced within. Beware the fun house! Beware the freak show!

Finding the haunted house wasn't hard, but finding parking down near the haunted house was a challenge. The trip, though, is really worth it.

This had one of the single scariest scenes in any haunted attraction that I have been in for a long time, though I won't give it away. Be ready and beware!

You have to experience it for yourself. So, get out....join the show.... and laugh yourself to death....

Summary

Something strange has come to Milwaukee. Gilly's Haunted Circus has come. One of the few really themed haunted houses, this largely character-driven event will scare the pants off you.

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December 12th, 2018 3:11 a.m. CST 1.5.1