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This is the 2010 review crew. View the current year (2018) review crew here.

2010 Review Crew

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

Katie (katie_kiesow13)
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Ryan (Dr Caligari)
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Pete (dubstyle_2k)
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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

I first must admit that I was super excited to go to a haunt that combined two of my absolute favorite things, Alice in Wonderland and haunted houses.  I loved the terrain changes and all the crawling, sliding, and squeezing that came along with these changes.  The vortex was wonderful and you were lead into it through a room that was decorated the same with people who blended into  the walls of both.  In my opinion, these actors worked wonderfully to entertain their guests.  There were many scenes that very interesting to visit, including a room where Alice seems to grow taller and shorter right in front of your eyes!  The combination of Wonderland characters and movie serial killers including Jason Voorhees seemed a bit odd but actually worked well.  They definitely got great screams out of our group.  Overall, this is a  haunt like one you have never seen before, part play, part haunt, and all extremely eerie fun.  I highly suggest taking the trip down the rabbit hole into the House of Bathory.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The directions to House of Bathory are easy to follow and the line outside indicates that you are in the right place.  There is one storefront window that is decorated and has the name is large print.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait, we were told was about an hour and a half  from where we were in line.  The line was not too long but don't let that deceive you.  The line is both to buy tickets and to enter so only a few people are let in every 15 to 20 minutes.  This is because the haunt is extremely interactive and the most people in a group that they want, from what I saw, was a group of eight.  There was not much for line entertainment and when I arrived I was a bit confused about where to go.  So we just went to the end of the line. 

Actors' Performance


This is truly the attraction of this haunt.  The actors each portrayed either a character from  Alice in Wonderland or a famous movie killer like Freddy Krueger.  Some of the interaction is extremely funny and some is seriously spooky.  I really enjoyed the Mad Hatter and March Hare and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb.  The twins dialog was spot on with the actual lines from the classic novel.  These actors seemed like a professional troupe which I do believe some are. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes were mostly direct out of the book with small changes to enhance the creepiness.  The costumes were excellent.  I want to give a loud shout-out for the March Hare outfit, which seemed to be fashioned in the Ralph Steadman style, i.e. the illustrator for Hunter S. Thompson.  The scenes were colorful and some were extremely detailed like the Tea Party room. I thought the terrain changes were excellent.  Also, the audio that loomed over you was both intriguing and chilling.  Make sure to pay attention to the Alice song they play.

Length


We arrived around 10:30 and were let in at 11:15 but this amount of time is not the norm.  From start to finish the haunt lasts about 25 minutes.However, it seems even longer because of the amount of interaction with the actors and the time spent in each scene.

Crowd Control


There was security there however I believe I only saw one.  He was outside of the haunt towards the beginning and would every once in a while come down the line to check for anything out of the ordinary.  There were no ropes or barricades to show where the line was suppose to be.  However, the line is just straight back from the entry of the haunt along the sidewalk.

Most Memorable Moment


For me, the most memorable moment was when I was leading the group crawling on our knees under a table and I felt something touching my head.  I disregarded it while crawling under assuming it was a table cloth.  Once my head cleared the table and I still felt something near my head.  I quickly turned my head to check out what it was and immediately screamed and jumped because Freddy Krueger was about an inch away from my face.  It was an epic fright!

Summary

Overall, this haunt is amusing, funny, creepy, and interactive.  If you enjoy great acting and love to be part of the haunt, this is the place for you.  The Alice in Wonderland theme is both wonderfully woven in and a contemporary chilling version of the original.   I loved it !  Make sure this haunt is on your list to visit.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


Dominion of Terror was excellent on every aspect. Fun and dedicated staff, terrific acting, and a lengthy haunt guarantees you won’t be disappointed with this one. There were sets in Dominion that were so realistic, I was actually questioning if this old building really had a diner or hospital in it! Actors performances were tops! The devil character was one actor that showed a dedication that is so rare. This is one haunt that will not disappoint!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Located of a pretty busy road, Dominion of Terror is easy to find, you won’t miss the sign, and the large group of people waiting to get
into the haunt.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Dominion of Terror had a very long line, however, it was well controlled, and was definitive and easy to find. For a few
extra bucks, you can purchase a speed pass that will get you to the front of the line. There were a few actors roaming the grounds, they were all
great. One actor, who was wearing some sort of cloth bag over his head, was very interactive, and even waited outside the port-o-potty while my friend
was inside, and spooked her as she exited, very amusing.

Actors' Performance


Actors here are some of the best. Their makeup was fairly realistic, especially the girl at the dentist set, her mouth appeared stretched and in serious trauma.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Sets, scenes, and props at Dominion of Terror are top notch! This attraction included some of the best sets I have ever
witnessed at a haunt. A good portion of the props are actual furniture that would be in a diner, hospital and dentist office.

Length


From start to finish, Dominion of Terror will take you about 30 minutes to get through.

Crowd Control


The workers at this haunt, along with the actors roaming the grounds, did an excellent job keeping things under control. All staff at Dominion are super friendly and will go above
and beyond to make sure you are having a great time.

Most Memorable Moment


It is hard for me to pick just one, so I am going to give you my three! First of all, the Vortex was excellent, but to top it all off, they have you exit the Vortex into a room with uneven floors and slanted walls, talk about disorientating! Next I really liked the bounce room. This room has creeps bouncing off the walls and floors, what a fun job! Finally The Diner scene was terrific! I have never seen a scene like this, authentic and fun!

Summary

Dominion of Terror might be my new favorite haunt! From terrain changing rooms to psychopathic ghouls lurking around every corner, this haunt is a blast from start to finish. I can't wait until my next trip to Dominion of Terror!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Schuster's Haunted Forest

by blazepi13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Schuster's Haunted Forest is one of the many fall activities at Schuster's Playtime Farm in Deerfield, WI.  I was really excited to go to an outdoor haunt at a farm and really didn't know what to expect - a quaint little farm with a few patrons and a petting zoo?  Sure, their playfully-decorated website talks a big talk (http://schustersfarm.com/haunted-forest/) but could this "playtime" farm really bring the big scares?  

My jaw dropped when Mr. K (the easily frightened), Mr. G (the curmudgeon), and I arrived at our destination.  There were TONS of cars parked in huge lot, a huge ticket line, and another line weaving between two buildings.  I DEFINITELY underestimated this place!  The wait was pretty long - about 30 minutes in a line to get tickets and about an hour and a half waiting to take the ride to the forest.  Another 30 minute wait awaited us at the forest entrance and there was about a 10-15 minute wait at the end of the haunt.  There were plenty of treats around to keep us occupied and 'Children of the Corn' was projected on the side of the building by the wait to get on the "wagon," so that was nice, but be prepared for a long wait!  
The ride out to the Haunted Forest was our favorite part - hold on to your seats!  The haunt itself had its strong points (the ghoul who kept scaring me in the line to get into the forest and a particular clown-laden section of the forest stand out to me) and its weaker points where some actors seemed a bit tired of doing the same thing over and over.  For the most part, however, the energy was high and the scares just kept coming!  
As always, Mr. K was holding on tight for most of the forest - this haunt is definitely not for the younger kids!  Mr. G didn't appreciate the long waits in what was a line of 99% 13-18-year olds (clearly the target audience).  Everyone at Schuster's Haunted Forest clearly seemed to be having a great time, however, and it was definitely quite the experience!  I can't finish this review without recommending that everyone buy some of the Kettle Corn being sold on the site.  I think we ate the entire bag in about 10 minutes!  Delicious!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Because Schuster's Haunted Forest is such a big attraction with a huge draw, I would recommend just following all the other cars in that area!  It's definitely easy to find!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait is LONG!  We estimated our total time waiting (from ticket purchase to arriving back to the farm after the haunt) was about 2h45m.  This could depend on your arrival time (we arrived around 8pm), but I would definitely recommend arriving early and preparing for the wait!  Bring warm clothes as all of the waiting is outdoors.

Actors' Performance


The actors' performances varied from fantastic to a little confused, but all-in-all they did a great job.  We kept being scared in various ways throughout.  

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The setting is great - what's better than a dark forest to set the creepy mood!  The "wagon" transportation to the forest is pretty amazing, as well - a gigantic tractor driven by the creepiest of old ladies hurls you left and right through a corn field.  Prior to leaving the main area while sitting in the wagon you are played a story that we think was giving us a little background on the Haunted Forest but we couldn't hear a single word.  The scenes throughout the forest were great, but my personal favorite (and one I ran straight through, eyes mostly covered) was the clown-filled carnival.

Length


The wait, as I said before, was tremendous, and the haunt itself lasted about 30 minutes.

Crowd Control


We only ran into another group once during the forest but only, I think, because Mr. K was pushing us through a bit!  We held up for a half a minute and then never ran into anyone else.

Most Memorable Moment


Standing in line waiting to get into the forest I kept laughing at the people who were getting scared by the "Death" character who kept pacing throughout the line.  At one point I turned around to talk to Mr. K, and started to say something when I realized I was staring at Death who had been standing there, patiently waiting for me to notice him.  I screamed so loud I had everyone around me giggling.  Well played, Death...well played.

Summary

I had a great time at Schuster's Haunted Forest, though I could have done without all of the waiting.  Not that I didn't enjoy the wait and the smells of the caramel apples wafting over me, but I wasn't expecting to spend over three hours at the farm that night!  So be prepared to wait and I think you'll have a fantastic time.  Not only was the Haunted Forest a treat, I definitely think I will go back to Schuster's during the day.  What a great place!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Schuster's Haunted Forest

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 22, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: High

Review


This was my first year attending Schuster's Haunted Forest and was really impressed with all the activities they offered for you to do, especially during the day.



At the beginning of the haunt they take you on a tractor trailer ride. To me this is the most creative transportation that I have yet to see at a haunt. You feel like you are being loaded up into a fenced in trailer that will lead you to your death.



The haunt itself I was a little disappointed with. It started off kind of slow with not a lot of actors involved to scare you. They do have different scenes set up throughout the woods but it just seemed like there was something missing. I love the haunts that interact with you and make you part of the scene, and this was missing that aspect so maybe that had something to do with it. It could also be the fact that it was 11pm by the time I actually got in and the actors were getting tired.



At the end, you are then loaded back up on the trailer and taken back to the parking area.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt was kind of hard to find. They do have a sign with lights out front but it is in the middle of no where so you don't really know where it will be on the hwy.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


I had to wait in 3 different lines at this haunt. The first one being the ticket line. While waiting in line I got a chance to peak at the map of their grounds to see what they had to offer and it was really cool all the things they had set up. The second line I waited in was to get onto their tractor right that leads you to the actual woods. They had a movie set up to play but for whatever reason they forgot to push play on the movie. The third and final line was in the woods waiting for your turn to go in. They had a man outside with a shotgun greeting you.

Actors' Performance


To me I felt that it needed a few more actors in place. The actors they did had did a good job at staying in character and were right on cue with their scripts.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets they had were pretty good. I will say I was very impressed with their grave yard scene. Just the atmosphere surrounding it made it perfect. Overall, just the fact of being the woods scares me so they did a good job.

Length


This was definitely a longer haunt. Be prepared for a wait though. I waited for about 2 hours to get in and then about 45 minutes to walk the entire haunt.

Crowd Control


For it being a busy night, I felt they did a good job with crowd control. At one point I did run into the group ahead of me but the actors did a good job at holding us back so it didn't happen again.

Summary

Overall, this was a pretty good haunt. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 13.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Low

Review

Elements of Fear is the perfect haunt to take kids ages 8-12 to. It isn't as gory or scary as the haunts that I am used to. However, they did a good job at putting it all together. Every actor kept in character and made the scenes really come to life.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is very easy to find. It is located right on 27th street in Milwaukee, you can't miss it

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was in a small room inside of their school. There was a movie playing but nothing else really going on.

Actors' Performance


The actors were much younger than I am used to in a haunt, but don't think that they didn't know what they were doing. They had the perfect amount of energy to keep you entertained throughout the entire thing.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes were pretty good. The seance room was extremely neat and different. They had the right amount of effects going on to make it seem real.

Length


The length was a little on the short side. I would say it took me about 10 minutes to walk through the entire thing.

Crowd Control


They had a lettering system for their groups. They spaced them out enough so you wouldn't run into another group.

Summary

Overall, they did a good job with this haunt. I'm used to the more scary in your face haunts but like I said this is perfect for smaller kids.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 22, 2010 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

By far my favorite haunt I've visited so far this year!!! It was put together incredibly well, I appreciated how long it lasted, and it was absolutely entertaining! When you get there, the wait is outside in lines and they do have a few clowns in the lines with you to keep you scared and entertained. Once inside, it is instantly creepy. The rooms are all redone from last year and a lot of them were really innovative and interesting - different from things I've seen at other haunts. The floors are uneven (especially in the room with the coffin!) and the walls are diagonal in places... it really messes with your senses. The restaurant/kitchen is absolutely revolting... but great! My favorite area was probably the hospital - every room in that area was fascinating. The make-up, the props, the fx, it was all so well done and so well put together... it was awesome. The actors throughout the haunt were phenomenal - they timed their scares perfectly and they were interactive and worked off of the group walking through the haunt. I highly recommend this haunt to everyone!

Signage / Visibility / Location


I used my GPS and I've been here before so it was pretty easy to find. A big sign in the front of the building designates that you're in the right place.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is outside, so dress appropriately for the weather. There are a few entertaining actors in clown suits walking around.

Actors' Performance


For the most part, the actors were really quite good in this haunt. They really worked off of the crowd and had a lot of interaction with us, which is always appreciated. And there were a lot of them, too. I think there was maybe only one or two rooms in the house that I didn't see any actors at all, most rooms had more than one. They were great!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The attention to detail this year was just incredible. They used the space in this building flawlessly. It felt like the haunt really flowed from one room to the next, which was nice. The scenes/sets were all decorated really well. The actors makeup was incredible - especially in the hospital scenes. I liked how different a lot of the areas were compared to other haunts. I've never seen a "white, padded room" or uneven flooring/walls to mess with your senses. It was incredible.

Length


The wait was about 40 minutes after we got in line and it took us probably 20-25 minutes to walk through the entire haunt. This was by far the longest walk-through I have experienced this year.

Crowd Control


It wasn't really necessary outside the haunt. Inside we never ran into the groups in front of us and no one caught up with us.

Most Memorable Moment


The rooms I remember the most clearly were the restaurant and the hospital scenes. They'll stay with me a long time....

Summary

Highly recommend this haunt to anyone in the area or willing to drive. It was spectacular!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 22, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


Well all I can say is WOW! This haunt is branded as the best in Milwaukee and now I have seen that not only is this true but why it deserves this title. I have to tell you now that I had to go through this haunt TWICE in order to take in all the work that this haunt has put into its house. I was amazed.



I was most impressed that this haunt really relies on its actors. I have seen too many haunts that have turned to relying on animatronics and not on actors that to see what the Mars actors were capable of was extremely refreshing. I spoke with the manager of the haunt who you could tell is proud of his actors, as he should be. These actors will absolutely blow your mind!



Next to the actors the haunt's scenes and sets were just as impressive. You really could not tell that you were in an old office building. The sets were so expansive and well made that it was hard to focus on anything else. I sometimes found myself just starring at the scenes and of course the actors used this time to their advantage.



A lot of hard work was put into this haunt. Everything looks as if it was done for a Hollywood horror movie...the makeup, the sets, the lighting...everything. Needless to say I really enjoyed this haunt.



The level of passion that those who work this haunt is really admirable. They really help to set the tone of the haunt. Depending on the person this passion is going to build up sweet anticipation or dread of what is to come. Either way it is quite a thrill.



Simply put these guys go all out and it provides for one heck of a ride!

Signage / Visibility / Location


You cannot miss the location of this haunt. No matter what direction you are coming from once you are on Historic Mitchell Street just look for the hearse, with smoke coming out of it, parked in front of a liquor store. Further you will definitely see the creeps and ghouls from the haunt waiting outside for you! If you miss it you probably need your vision checked :p

Note: Do not worry about parking. There are ample places to park including the street. You will see parking meters but those only run up to 6PM on any given night so no need to worry about spare change.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Although the line was not incredibly long when I arrived the haunt had a system set-up to control the line's movement. The haunt also had a few of its creeps and ghouls out and about taunting and teasing those awaiting entrance. For most it was entertaining and for others it was freaking them out...which was also enjoyable. Finally the haunt moved people through very quickly. I got in line and only ended up waiting about 4 minutes. Thus, this haunt is one of the few where the wait, itself, is also entertaining.

Actors' Performance


One word...AMAZING! The actors at Mars really put their all into their performance. They really got into character. Both my dad and I spoke with actors and they only replied as their character would let them. If their character could speak then they only replied with how their type of character could reply. It really was like watching a movie.

Further these men and women NEVER faltered or got tired. Even my second time through...30 minutes later...these guys were still going at it strong. These actors are dedicated! It was the actors that made the haunt. The sets and scenes only complimented their actions...which is how it should be.

As I already mentioned the best part with these actors is that you could interact with them which pulled you even further into the experience. If there was an Oscar Award Show for haunted houses I would give each of these actors an Oscar. It was just that amazing. You have to go and check these guys out. You will be impressed.

Finally these actors know how to scare. They know when to jump out and they know when hide in the shadows. These actors are good!

Also I have to give a shout out to two female actors that really stuck with their roles. The girl playing the statue and the girl playing the crawler. Excellent job!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again...excellent. The sets, scenes, props, and effects used in this haunt all appeared as if they were out of Hollywood. The haunt really knows how to immerse you into their world. Finally they know how use their sets to foster the best scare possible.

All I will leave you with is that there are PLENTY of places for actors to pop out of and hide in.

Length


The length was great. The whole thing took about 30 minutes. You really do get the bang for your buck with this haunt.

Crowd Control


No problems here. The haunt had a ropes cordoning off where to stand. Further a Milwaukee police officer was on hand to assure that everyone had a good time.

Most Memorable Moment


Easily the most memorable moment is my first interaction with an actor. I cannot say enough about how good the Mars actors are. You can really interact with them and the interaction will always be different. It really makes for quite an experience.

Summary

From beginning to end this haunt immerses you into their world. I promise you that even when the haunt is over you will likely find one last scare to be had. This haunt is definitely the best in Milwaukee. A 5 out 5 across the board. If you are out to go to a haunted house this Halloween you have to make Mars Haunted House one of your stops.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Schuster's Haunted Forest

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Schuster's is a great nighttime-on-a-spooky-working-farm haunt, with much to keep you occupied and setting a monstrously good mood that one only gets in the wonderfully isolated wilds of Wisconsin -- Shadowy Wisconsin Farms In the Middle of the Night, we salute thee!.  


Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find, follow Google, right off the main highway.  If you're coming from Madison and you get to Deerfield proper, you've gone too far.  Be warned, though, it's out there on it's own, you are really stranded in the middle of nowhere, nestled within spooky undulating cornfields and rolling hills....oh, and parking is on a huge grass lot, so be prepared if it's been raining, I could see this getting messy.  

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


These guys do a bang-up job, we waited literally about 1.5 hours, and it went by fast; there are two waits before you get to the haunt proper, but because it's all spaced out (and there's a hair-raising ride in a filthy cattle pen/cage thingy in the middle of one of them, more on that later), it seems like not a lot of time has passed. 

There are all kinds of things to do while waiting in the first line, there's a bakery barn where they sell pumpkin baked goods and cookies and fudge and some other kinds of stuff like pumpkin carving kits, and there's also a food stand where you can get stuff like burgers and popcorn, oh and they sell fresh kettle corn, which appears to excite many people.  There's also a corn maze (that I think you can wander around in after dark, too) and there appeared to be lots of things for kids to do, but they seemed to be closing by the time we got there, so be warned.  They also have the original Children of the Corn movie projected onto the side of one of the barns while you're waiting patiently, nicely adding to the mood; nothing like a 20 foot tall closeup of Malachi's screaming face to get you all revved up for some corn-fed horror!

Second wait is different, you're dropped off at the edge of a dark forest and have to find your way up a path to a leaning, fire-lit cabin, and there's nothing connected to the "real world" anymore, so take those potty breaks and fill those tummies before stepping foot in the cattle pen, people!  They rev up the terror at the final wait, with an awesome chainsaw guy at one point who literally split the line down the middle with his swingin' chainsaw.  Also, be warned, shots will be fired at one point, so pack your kevlar, although they appeared to be shooting into the air while we were there.  Maybe we got lucky.  

Actors' Performance


Consistently most excellent -- ghouls are obviously thinking about their roles here and some have clearly developed little patters or styles; love that sometimes they approach you and try to talk to you or warn you, other times they walk around and make unsettling noises, other times they just stand or lay there, other times they just want you to come up and see them.  Shout out to the hordes of clowns this haunt apparently employs, and to one of the best things in the whole haunt, the creepy creepy creepy little old lady with the hands of a man, who does announcements and drives the cattle-pen-pulling tractor, she is one awesome spook; nothing like watching an old lady in a headscarf hang off the side of a cattle pen turning her head awkwardly and silently up toward the stars, and then suddenly jumping over the cage wall and trying to grab the waiting patrons!  This guy deserves something for this performance, and damn, he's freaking funny, too.  That quivering voice, yeesh....

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Setting is terrific, and, as above, they do a wonderful job of setting the mood, with loud and unexpected sounds and a general atmosphere of isolated rural creepiness.  I mean, how can you not start to feel something when you're loaded into a rusting cattle pen dragged behind a speeding tractor driven by some crazy old lady who was just a few minutes ago trying to grab people?  And man, that lady has one hell of a lead foot!  

Within the haunt proper, you're basically wandering up and down this hillside in a dark forest and coming upon scenes, sometimes in little houses or structures, sometimes just outside under the moon.  There appears to be a little story playing out at times, I think you're told the basis for it by the Little Old Lady's Animatronic Sister, but we weren't able to hear it due to some annoying tweens talking about important issues that apparently concern them more than listening to the story they just paid $12 for!  I think the story has to do with a Family Stew or something, I would advise listening more closely to this, I think it puts some things in the haunt into a clearer context.

Schuster's also plays with your senses, smells and sounds and physicality (not to give it away, but claustrophobics  might want to pack a little extra valium for the hanging hemp rope scene (I think it might have been a mine, but am unsure).  There is also precious little animatronic stuff in this haunt, praise Satan, and more emphasis on the little scenes and ghoulwork; people come at you from all angles, and not always just to yell loudly in your ear, sometimes they just want to be of assistance...assisting you right into a trap! 

Oh, and for those of you who love a carnival, you'll be happy to know you've been taken into account here and the joy and wonder of a carnival is hereby corrupted quite nicely.  

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS:

At one point, apparently broken down en route to clown college (or more likely the clown penitentiary), you have to walk through an abandoned school bus....filled with delightful clowns who are not particularly helpful, let me tell you.  Awesome clownwork here, people!  Also love the military mannequin, and the troll around the bridge with the long long nose and the unsettling approach and retreat.  Oh, and try the Ghoul Aid, it's quite...surprising.  

Length


Took about a half hour to get through, just right.  Also felt that they do such a good job with the lead-up to the haunt while you're waiting that that's actually part of the fun.  Plenty of entertainment here.  

Crowd Control


Good job, never ran into another group, they space you out in groups and are willing to be flexible to accommodate people; we had a really large group and they offered to let us all go in together, but we decided to split it up, which worked nicely.  Too large of a group = too many people who don't get the full scare.  

Most Memorable Moment


--Little Old Lady with the Man Hands
--So many wonderful clowns

Summary

Most excellent haunt of the kind one only gets in Wisconsin, this is part of why I love living here.  I suspect Schuster's has been doing this for a long time, and it shows; they seem to have things down to a science and it's got a great home-grown feel to it.  No fancy flashing store/convention-bought horrors here, my children, just a bunch of imaginative people and a dark forest and an urge to scare the crap outta ya.  

One tip, though, we thought we were being all cool and went on the night of a full moon, and this both added to the fun, in that it's cool looking out over the hills or up past the trees in the creeping moonlight, and detracted from it, in that we could see things a little too clearly sometimes, and so some of the scares weren't as effective as they could have been.  I would advise attending on the darker evenings, if possible, if you want the full effect.  Whatever the case, though, it's a thoroughly enjoyable haunt that has a lot going for it -- you can make a whole night of this one if you want, and you'll definitely get your money's worth.  

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 22, 2010 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low

Review

I think that because we went on a such a busy night and had to be grouped with 3 other people we missed out on a lot of the good scares. Also, we felt kind of hurried because another group caught up to us. I did enjoy the unexpected scares from above us and some of the actors did attempt to scare us in the back which I appreciated.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Its a pretty easy find if you mapquest the directions, its only a few minutes from HWY 41. The building is well lit and pretty big so it's hard to miss.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was entertaining. There were a few actors messing around with people in line and a couple screens playing some music videos and funny youtube videos. There were snacks available and if you didn't want to wait that long you could get the VIP passes, which from what it looked like, was moving very quickly, maybe a 5 minute wait for them.

Actors' Performance


First I want to say that we went on a busy night, and we did get lumped into another group so unfortunately a lot of the time we missed the scares because we got stuck behind them. Some of the actors did try to still get a scream out of us which I appreciated, but a few of them just walked back to their hiding spots and let us keep walking which was kind of disappointing. Like I said though, it was pretty busy and getting late so I think they were sending in groups a little faster than normal.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were pretty dimly lit which was creepy, but I would have liked to see them a little more. Some rooms were empty which added to the suspense because you were not sure if or when someone would jump out.

Length


I think it took us around 18 min to get through Adrenalin. Maybe 15 minutes for Insanity and about 10 minutes to get through Phobia.

Crowd Control


Being a busy night I felt they did a decent job of keeping groups small, but we did feel a bit rushed to go through the house since another group ended up catching up to us.

Most Memorable Moment


I enjoyed the lab maze in Adrenalin and the actors that came from places I would least expect... like from above!

Summary

I have been to a lot of haunts this year and this one, though it was good, didn't amaze me. I am the kind of person however that enjoys BIG scares and lots of gore. I am not really scared of the dark, so dimly lit rooms did not really frighten me and unfortunately since we were in the back of the group as I said, I think we missed out on a lot of the good scares.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED)

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Monster Mayhem, as presented by Lister F/X, is a little bit different than your average haunt.  The same theme runs throughout and everything fits within the environment they have created.  My nephew and I thought that this allowed us to get more 'into' the haunt and it felt more believable (as far as haunts go) and I'll say that's a plus.


I personally liked the way they used actors to support the story, as they helped you through the designated mission, killing off the baddies as they came on.  I cannot say I've been to a haunt that had people 'helping' you get through quite like that.

I'll be honest here, when we saw the alien get released I thought it was just a prop.   When it got free and started chasing us it had this long-time haunter moving in quickstep.

This haunt has character and a sci-fi feel that I haven't seen elsewhere this season and it's really nice to have a change of pace instead of the 'same old, same old'.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Directa your feetza to Paulo's Pizza.  Right on the corner of W. Howard and 51st.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


You can wait and have a slice of pizza (might be the only haunt with that option).  Once in the queue/stairs we were entertained by the disembodied voice of the security camera operator, who was pretty funny.

Actors' Performance


Unique in that there were actors helping throughout to go along with the monsters/aliens.  The service men helping we pretty well done and you could tell they were comfortable with their parts.  This did a great job of immersing us into the overall haunt.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There was a continuity to this haunt unlike any other.  They maintained the military base them throughout and all of the scenes, props and special effects supported the theme very well.

Length


We were through the haunt in about 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


Employee's were present throughout and the crowds were kept small enough to be manageable.

Most Memorable Moment


There was a few times where the baddies were either shot or took a victim and the audience got a bit of the overflow, so to speak.  Didn't see it coming either time, great surprise!  Oh, and the alien about halfway through.

Summary

Monter Mayhem will take you in a different direction than your typical haunt and I for one like the change.  Something you can enjoy while you get a sci-fi scare.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low

Review

Elements of Fear sounds like it would be pretty scary, but it you are looking for something more to the mild side of haunting this might be your ticket.


I was reminded of the 'old school' haunts from my younger years as I walked through.  There was a story told at the onset, but I wasn't sure that I understood all of it.  I think one of the cops was related to the killer?  Hmmm.

After that opening sequence we were brought into a room for a quick sit-down seance.  Goes to show that you can have some entertainment at a haunt on a low budget.  Moving on we met up with the killer we were warned of and 'lost' one of our group.

Before we knew it the haunt was over and we were back outside.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Good location, but not the easiest to see until you are right upon it.  Slow down when you are close so you don't miss the old church.  Plenty of parking right next to the event.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was a Sunday school classroom, I think...  Refreshments available but not line entertainment other than a TV silently playing a movie.

Actors' Performance


The first haunt of the season that had actors 'acting'.  No one is going to win an Oscar but we got the point of the story.  The mistress leading the seance as pretty good.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Some sets & scenes were better than others.  I think the haunt started on a good note and might have lost it's direction as it went on.

Length


Maybe 10 minutes.

Crowd Control


There really wasn't a crowd.

Most Memorable Moment


When we realized that there were more 'actors' than expected.  It's really a DON'T TOUCH haunt.

Summary

Are you looking for a reminder of Halloween's past, before all the big-time money came in and made things crazy?  Want someplace to bring the younger kids?  Elements of Fear might be what you are looking for.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 22, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Low Fear Factor: Low

Review


I'll be upfront. This is not the type of haunt for those that really seek to be scared. It appears that the haunt was more focused on younger viewers or those that want an entertainment only haunt. To sum it up in one word, it was, simple. This is not an entirely bad thing, however. It provided a few effects that I actually have not seen in a long time. As a whole, though, the haunt left a lot to be desired.



When my father and I arrived at the haunt we were required to take a number and wait in a small room that left little in ways of entertainment. The idea of taking a number would not have been so bad if there actually appeared that there was a line.



When we were finally called we had another wait outside the doors to the haunt. One time I actually entered early as the actors were re-setting due to the lack of instruction. After we were finally admitted we were quickly whisked away to a room where they had a séance (I was able to really "take in the first scene".) The whole experience of the séance would have been a lot more enjoyable if I had not heard all the actors talking and coughing in the background.



This interference was so bad that the actor who was doing the séance was required to improvise with "what the spirits were saying." I will say, however, that I saw some neat effects in the room but they just could not make me forget about the interference.



From there we were moved out of the room by the unrested spirits and through the rest of the haunt. Again some pretty cool effects but a lot was left to be desired. Decorations, and scenes were minimal. Further as we walked along I caught several actors that were late in their scares or that were not ready.



All in all it was an interesting haunt and for a charitable purpose had a good cause and provided a, however short, form of Halloween entertainment.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The visibility was not an issue. The haunt has a large marquee sign with flashing lights that directs you into their parking lot. It took awhile to find the signs that directed us to the ticket booth but once we did it was easy to find out where to go. A word of caution...the sign comes up fast and you are driving on a thoroughfare so watch for that sign and gradually slow down.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Both wait areas...the one adjacent to the ticket booth and the one right outside the haunt's doors provided little in the form of entertainment. The one near the ticket booth only provided refreshments and snacks and a showing of the movie "The Sixth Sense". Outside the haunt doors all you have is a list of rules to read and nothing else. Again (so you do not make the same mistake I did) wait at the front doors of the old church until you are called. In the end the wait time was much longer than the actual haunt itself so be prepared for that.

Actors' Performance


For actors who are volunteering their time, the performance of the actors' was okay. I would have liked to hear less chatting from behind the scenes and more scares (by actors) that did not rely on screaming but with volunteers this is understandable. The actors' performance was still enjoyable though, especially those that were working in the "medical wing" of the haunt.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and scenes were definitely minimal. I saw little in the way of setting a scene. In most parts of the haunt I could still see the floor and walls of the recreational center we were in. This minor detail, however, was overshadowed by the simple yet cool effects the haunt used. The type of effects used, such as a rocking chair that rocks by itself, were old school but still so awesome. I have to say that I have missed those type of effects as haunted attractions have become more technologically advanced. Bravo to this haunt for using those effects and using them well. Go and check them out. You will probably enjoy them as well.

Length


Unfortunately the length was disappointing. About 5-8 minutes in length. Even if you wanted to slow down to take in the sets or get that extra actor to pop out at you, you would not have been able to as the actors prevented you from doing so. Even when I thought there was more I was disappointed to find out the door I had opened was an employee access path and the door next to it was the exit. I would have really liked to seen more.

Crowd Control


With the separate waiting areas, the number cards, and the walk to and from each area crowd control was good. I never saw a long line waiting or people pushing their way through.

Most Memorable Moment


Although I do not like giving scares away this time I got to. It appears that this haunt actually uses "plants". The first haunt I have EVER been to that does so. What I mean is that they put an actor or actors with your group who are subsequently, later, pulled away by the monsters and freaks. I thought this was awesome and I wish more haunts would do something like this. Definitely a big thumbs up to this haunt for doing this.

Summary

In the end, Elements of Fear, was a short form of Halloween entertainment. For a charitable haunt, I can tell they definitely tried their best. So if you are interested in a quick "haunt jaunt" and seeing some old school effects I would highly suggest checking this place out.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


Disturbing! Grotesque! Unsettling! These were a few of the words my tour group of 6 used to describe their journey through Oblivion. For a first year event I was VERY impressed with the attention to detail found in this haunt…a visual treat to say the least. The website for Oblivion advertises that it is a "professional Wisconsin haunted house". It certainly shows.



What impressed my tour group the most was:
* How elaborately dressed the actors were with a keen attention to gore.
* The massive front door to this venue complete with thumpin’ sound system and smoke…very, very effective at building your anticipation!
* The acting performance of the greeting room.
* The creeped out elevator ride…was it real or just an illusion?
* The determination of the Puppeteer…the acting performance was so unsettling that I can’t get him out of my head.
* The keen attention to detail with the grotesque filth on display in many of the rooms.
* Original set designs made for a very unique experience.
* sound system really set the tone of the haunt nicely…wish the volume weas a little louder inside though.
* length of tour. Really felt like I got my money’s worth!



If you’re easily scared Oblivion will definitely send chills through your body. For those who are a little more desensitized with reality and pride themselves on being a tough scare don’t relax too much the ghouls at Oblivion appear to be very talented at getting to you when you least expect it….they may have gotten me once…or twice.



You may have noticed that I didn’t give Oblivion a perfect score in the scare and fun factors. My rational for this was a follows:



* Fun Factor – to maximize my fun factor ideally I would have like to have encountered more rooms when you can interact with the ghouls. There were also a few rooms where I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to hang out for something to happen or to just continue the tour.
* Scare Factor – while many of the scenes set the stage for a great scare with a keen attention to detail and gore the room execution fell short of making me jump or encourage me to run for my life. The potential is definitely there…perhaps I just caught them on an off night?

Signage / Visibility / Location


Directions to this haunt were easy to follow and once we turned on the road leading up to the parking lot spotting Oblivion was really easy…just look for the “Oblivion” search beam. Convenient, plentiful, paved and well lit parking make this a great location.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


When we arrived there wasn’t a line but we definitely took the time to enjoy the concessions and line entertainment. Was very impressed with the attention to detail with the costumed puppeteer actor and his/her determination to creep us out.

Actors' Performance


Arguably the best acting performances we’ve seen at the 9 haunts we attended so far this year.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Very professionally done with an outstanding attention to detail. Not the most elaborate, sophisticated or numerous props we’ve seen this year but executed with precision.

Length


Our tour lasted nearly 20 minutes. Of the 9 haunts we’ve attended this year only 1 has lasted longer.

Crowd Control


Wish I could say more about the crowd control as there wasn’t a line when we arrived. A haunt of this caliber should have a line…very surprised there wasn’t.

Most Memorable Moment


The determination of the Puppeteer to creep us out. My nominee for ghoul of the year!

Summary

Disturbing! Grotesque! Unsettling! For a first year event I was VERY impressed with the attention to detail found in this haunt…a visual treat to say the least. The website for Oblivion advertises that it is a “professional Wisconsin haunted house”. It certainly shows.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Caution! All who enter this haunt may not leave!! Admittedly, adults may not find Elements of Fear to be the scariest haunted attraction they attend this year but there’s a good chance that younger haunt goers may feel differently. I had the opportunity to interview 3 boys ages 10-12 prior to entering Elements of Fear. All 3 were talked wildly about the fun time they had but none were willing to admit to being scared. (…interestingly though, there were 2 girls sitting close by….)



I was very pleasantly surprised to find that my tour group for Elements of Fear consisted of just 2 adults and 2 younger teens who were attending this haunt for the first time. While the sizing of the group may have been purely coincidental or perhaps due to the logistics of some of the rooms it definitely helped maximize my immersion into the Elements of Fear found at this haunt. Surprisingly, while talking with the 2 young boys in our group I was able to get them to admit to being a bit nervous prior to embarking on our journey. While I have my doubts that they’d ever admit to being scared I did catch them jumping on quite a few occasions during our adventure. Of course I had every intention of interviewing them following our tour but in an odd twist I completely lost track of them in the fast and furious action of the final room. Did the Elements of Fear send them racing home….or did they perhaps fall victim to the ghouls chasing us through the last room. Of course when it comes to haunts, the words I live by are “he who falls behind gets left behind!”



What I particularly enjoyed about this haunt was how some very simple household items (mirrors, cloth, curtains...etc.) were used to create some really creepy effects and scares.....it really captured my dreams of someday creating my own haunt. I also really enjoyed was the enthusiasm and energy the actors put into their roles. Many of the actors were youthful but there were also a few adults sprinkled into the mix to support some of the more interactive rooms.



This haunt was a challenging one for me to rate. My inner youth definitely would place this haunt at a 5 out of 5 for the fun and fear factors. The adult haunted connoisseur placed it at a 2 out of 5 for the following reasons: For the fun factor there were only a few rooms that allowed you to interact with the actors/scenes via a skit and in those instances there were quite a few distractions (screams, yells, loud bangs) from other parts of the haunt. For the scare factor while there are some parts that have the potential to make you jump most of the scares are geared more towards a younger crowd.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Located along a major street (27th St) with lights and monsters found hanging in front of the haunt. You really can't miss this location as long as you're looking on the west side of the street.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


When I attended there really wasn't a wait. There is a an indoor waiting room located in a separate building from the haunt. It's small (perhaps can hold 30-40) but I do not believe you’re required to wait inside. The volunteers were very social. A few concessions were available for purchase to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Actors' Performance


Most of the actors were young and had a great deal of energy and enthusiasm. Very fun to see and to interact with.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


One of the best vortex rooms I've been in this year. Some of the scenes were elementary in nature but were still very effective in achieving ghoulish results. This haunt probably did a good job with pulling off scares without the luxury of elaborate props. This isn't meant to imply that there weren't any elaborate props, just that the creative staff at Elements of Fear were very successful in getting the most out of what they had to work with.

Length


It took our group approximately 10 minutes to complete the terrorizing tour.

Crowd Control


The waiting room is rather small so crowd control may become challenging if you're waiting inside. As the haunt is actually in a different building I don’t believe you’re required to wait inside.

Most Memorable Moment


The Vortex room!

Summary

Adults may not find Elements of Fear to be the scariest haunted attraction they attend this year but there’s a good chance that younger haunt goers may feel differently.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Youth Go's Haunted House

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Bravo! Of the 3 haunts I toured in the Appleton area, Neenah’s Most Haunted did the best job of providing a ghoulishly fun time for haunt goers of all ages. While the scares here are definitely kid appropriate, adults will definitely enjoy the clever room layouts and polished performances of the ghouls.



This was the first time I’ve visited Neenah’s Most Haunted and from what I’ve read it’s been around for 25 years. While I’m guessing many of the actors are only half the age of this haunt I was pleasantly surprised with the superb job the young actors did portraying their roles. The years of experience are definitely evident in the creative room and hallway layouts, the elaborate detail found in many of the rooms and the articulately dressed and skillfully positioned ghouls.

Signage / Visibility / Location


While there may not have been much in the way of signage to lead you to this haunt the location and visibility of the venue from the street make it very easy to find.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Come dressed for the elements as the wait line is outside. A few costumed actors roam the parking lot and waiting line to help build your anticipation.

Actors' Performance


Nicely done! The actors may have been youthful but their enthusiasm and ghoulish roles made their performances very enjoyable.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Elaborate set designs and secret passage ways make for a very visually stimulating experience. While this haunt may not have the big FX effects and props as some of the other venues the attention to detail and execution of each rooms theme more than make up for it.

Length


Took our group 14 minutes to complete our adventure.

Crowd Control


The waiting line was clearly roped off….but there was no line when my group attended this haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


Quite a few rooms standout….the one that stood out the most for me was how perplexed I felt trying to find the exit for the ghost room. I’m still not quite sure how I exited the room…or how it was that I didn’t find the exit sooner.

Summary

Of the 3 haunts I toured in the Appleton, Neenah and Menasha area, Neenah’s Most Haunted did the best job of providing a ghoulishly fun time for haunt goers of all ages. While the scares here are definitely kid appropriate, adults will definitely enjoy the clever room layouts and polished performances of the ghouls.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

13th Nightmare Haunted House

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review


13th Nightmare, a fundraiser for Dare to Dream Children’s Theatre, is a brand new haunted house located in an old church in downtown Manitowoc. While the haunt is brand new, the people in charge of art direction are anything but. They have experience with other haunts and it shows through from the minute you descend into the catacombs. 

13th Nightmare has a double edged sword when it comes to their location. They are in a mostly residential neighborhood loud music and noise outside are pretty much out, as is the heavy drive by visibility some haunts get. What they do have is a kick ass building. What’s better than a haunted house being in an old building? When that building is an old church building (steeple and all!). Maybe it’s just me, but hearing someone freak out about the devil coming while you’re standing on the altar is almost mind blowing.

Fortunately for us (and unfortunately for them) there was no line when we got there. We chatted with the people running the ticket booth while the actor’s got reset and then we made our way in. The wait is outside, but they do have a small canopy for shelter from rain if needed.

The actor’s were really good. I’m not sure if any of them were a part of the theater itself or not, but they seemed like they have had training. I prefer psychological scares over the standard make you scream type scares that are typical, so this was one of my favorites on that regard. I’d rather have actors following me around or acting behind bars freaking me out than people jumping in my face and screaming. They had one of the best Asylum scenes I’ve seen, and with the high ceilings the church provides, the swamp actually felt and looked like you were outside. 

The only problem I had with this haunt was the length. Coming in at around 10 minutes it definitely could have been longer. With such great actors it would be easy to add some more stories/skits to the rooms to make it last longer. We had the opportunity to talk with the directors after the haunt and they mentioned they had more plans that they just ran out of time to do, which in a first year is understandable. They definitely need to work those ideas in for next year.

 Overall this haunt is definitely above average. In some aspects they don’t look even close to a first year haunt, but in others that is evident. You can tell the people in charge really care about this and want to succeed. They really seemed to take to heart our thoughts and ideas. They have a great start already, and I expect even bigger things from this crew next year. I can’t wait to see how they progress!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Youth Go's Haunted House

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

My third haunt of the year was Neenah’s Most Haunted; a haunted house fundraiser for a youth drop in center in Neenah called Youth Go. Celebrating 25 years of fear, this attraction has not lost a thing. I have attended this haunt in the past and was impressed by what they do with what they have.  While they do not use animatronics or holograms, their scenes and actors are more than capable of giving you a good time. Nonprofit haunts are refreshing in that they care more about the experience than the “cattle herding” you can experience at some of the more commercial haunts.

Getting to NMH is a little tricky, but if you have directions you should be fine. I came into town from a completely different area than I’m used to so that made a big difference. I did not notice any signs along the way, but once you are upon the haunt you know you’re in the right place. The building they use is an old city garage that looks like it was abandoned. It gives off a pretty good aura.

They do not have an indoor waiting area, so be sure to dress warm if the temps are cool. There are a few actors walking around and getting in your face. One of the best line actors I’ve seen this year was here. He never once broke character as he stared you down. We only had to wait about 7 minutes, and there was only one group ahead of us. They send groups in about 5 minutes apart, but we still ran into the group ahead of us at one point. That’s not necessarily on them; it could have been us going fast or the other group going slow.

The actor’s were very good, especially considering a vast majority of them are probably in their teens. They didn’t break character, and even if we were lost and needed help finding our way they helped get us straight while using it to enhance their characters.

As mentioned above they don’t go all out crazy on expensive pieces of equipment, but they still build a great haunt. They utilize favorites such as dark mazes and a vortex, but also use some original things such as multiple rooms with things hanging from the ceiling. (You’ll think its original when you see it!) This effect makes it easy to get lost at times.

It took us roughly 15 minutes to get through, which I would say is average. Overall with finding a parking spot, getting tickets and waiting in line we were there for around 45 minutes.

At $10 a ticket this a good valued haunted house. It’s fairly family friendly, and it’s wheelchair accessible (the only one I have ever been to that is) so it gives people who don’t necessarily have the chance to go to experience it. Add in the fact that it’s run for a good cause and you have a win-win.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


The Burial Chamber remains one of the most popular haunted attractions in Wisconsin. The lines of screaming fans waiting to enter the attraction is only a small indication of their popularity. This year they are back and better than ever! If you are a thrill seeking adrenaline junkie then The Burial Chamber is for you. They are also the largest haunted attraction in Wisconsin. With two very different haunted houses, a haunted woods, and a burial simulator you can plan on making an "evening" of fear.



The Burial Chambers popularity was evident the moment we arrived and noticed the line for tickets was at least 60 people deep. I was slightly discouraged by the long line and almost didn't attend the haunt. Instead of waiting in the regular line I opted for the VIP line hoping to cut wait time drastically. The wait for tickets in the VIP line was at least a half hour long! If the weather is bad you could probably experience a much shorter wait, but be aware that all of the waiting is outside and Phobia is entirely outside. The lines for each attraction were also very long and you should expect to spend a lot of time outside waiting. There were a few ghouls wandering the lines spooking guests which made the wait seem shorter.



The first house we visited was Adrenaline. As the name states Adrenaline is meant to make your heart palpitate, if you have a heart condition I highly recommend against attending this portion. From the moment you step foot in Adrenaline you are caught off guard by in your face actors and loud noises. Most of Adrenaline is very dark, but you can occasionally make out the faces of some of your worst nightmares. The floor sinks, the walls shrink, and if I hadn't been cowering I would swear I almost got hit by a car. The actors don't just say "boo", they shriek and come at you with a lot of loud props meant to startle you. There were no dead spots and every actor was right on target. The crowd control was perfect as we never once ran into another group. I bet my partner that he would scream in Adrenaline and I won within the first 5 minutes of being in the house. The total time we spent in the haunt was 22 minutes.



The next attraction we visited was Phobia. Phobia is not your typical walk in the woods. The dark path and the moon glistening on the trees created a perfect "horror movie" atmosphere. In the past Phobia has been my least favorite attraction at The Burial Chamber, but this year the actors were right on target. The only bad thing I have to say about Phobia is that I wish it would have lasted longer. The total time it took us to walk Phobia was 13 minutes.



The final attraction we attended was Insanity. To say that it was "insane" is an understatement. I would compare some of the actors in this haunt to circus freaks. They climb walls and do things that I didn't even know was humanly possible ... perhaps they were NOT human? There is a lot of interaction with the actors in insanity and the costumes were gory and very realistic. The rooms are set up so that an actor could be across the room at one moment and in your face in one second. Don't be surprised if you feel drips of blood trickling down your back or if you are sprayed by a corpse's guts. The total walk through time of Insanity was 19 minutes.



We bypassed the burial simulator this year, but from previous experience it is just one of those things you need to try once. The cameras weren't working so you couldn't watch your friend's faces as they are buried alive (the best part).



Although the lines were long there are plenty of treats and souvenirs to help pass the time. They have the most amazing warm doughnuts and everything from corn dogs to hot cider. The only thing that would turn The Burial Chamber from "amazing" to "out of this world outstanding" would be a better wait area. Perhaps an indoor seating area with entertainment (however it would have to be a large area to support that many people).

Summary

The Burial Chamber is a great haunted attraction for haunt enthusiasts. The lines are long, but well worth the wait. No matter where you live in WI this is one attraction I would not miss!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Elements of Fear

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Low Fear Factor: Low

Review


Elements of Fear is a good choice if you are younger, or not into gory in-your-face haunts. Before we entered the haunt, we had to wait in a small bingo hall, with no entertainment, it was kind of boring. We were directed to many different workers that would show us to the entrance. Finally a very young girl in a princess costume escorted my friend, two younger teens, and me to the haunt. Things seemed disorganized in the beginning; we had to wait outside for about 10 minutes before we were let in.



The first area was a séance, there was a few good effects in this room, but the walkie-talkie that kept going off distracted me and focused my attention elsewhere. The rest of the rooms were all different, but had minimal props and decorations. The actors were young, none seemed excited to be there, and relied heavily on screaming as their major form of spooking. The one exception was a creepy crawler, she really made me jump. The vortex was fast and amazing. The haunt took no more than 5 minutes for us to get through. I would have liked to have seen more. In all, Elements of Fear is a fast-paced jaunt through a charitable haunt.


Signage / Visibility / Location


Elements of Fear is very visible. There is a good size marquee and it is well lit. Elements is on a main street and is very easy to get to.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area was a small church bingo room. There wasn't much to see, and it was kind of boring. There were snacks and sodas on a table, I am not sure if they were selling them, no one was there to inform us if they were, or how much each item was. We were in this waiting area for about 10 minutes.

Actors' Performance


Elements of Fear is a non-profit haunt, most of the actors appeared to be teenagers and young adults. The actors seemed to rely on screaming as their major mode of frightening you. One actress was a crawler, which always gives me the creeps, she was great!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets at Elements of Fear were pretty minimal. However, Elements is a non-profit, so they did a good job working with what they had. The vortex is fantastic, perhaps one of the best I've seen, and it was very fast and disorientating. One of the last rooms features a bunch of hanging bodies that were rather realistic looking.

Length


This haunt was a quick one. We got through it very fast; this haunt will take you approximately 5-10 minutes to go through.

Crowd Control


On the night we went, there weren’t a whole lot of people there. When we got there we were directed to a basement waiting area, there we waited for our number to be called. Lines aren't evident, so when you park, head into the double glass doors and down the stairs.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment for me was the vortex tunnel, these are severely disorientating. You will feel like you are spinning, and it will leave your equilibrium off balance for a bit!

Summary

Elements of Fear is probably a good haunt for ages 8-16, or those who scare easily. I am basing these ages on the fact that I helped run a non-profit haunt years ago for a youth organization. If you are looking to have a fun time, with minimal gore, and lots of screams, Elements of Fear is for you.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Very High

Review


In 2009 I attended 8 haunts around the state and rated this one as the scariest. To date this year I have attended 8 different haunts and on the scare factor scale, Burial Chamber’s Adrenalin attraction is once again totally off the charts!! For those who haven’t been to Burial chamber it’s actually a mega complex of haunted / scary attractions. This year I checked out the two indoor haunts Adrenalin and Insanity as well as the outdoor attraction, Phobia. All are definitely worth the price of admission.



Adrenalin offers a unique experience unlike the other haunts I've been to this year. Rather than stop you on occasion to allow you to interact with actors, Adrenalin parades you through a complex maze of dimly lit hall ways and rooms, all with a fairly consistent theme. Acting was kept at minimum and was usually limited to a quick entrance from out of nowhere in an attempt to scare you and then a quick disappearance into the shadows....a very effective tactic to scare you regardless of where you might be positioned in your group.



Insanity offered a similar experience to Adrenalin but without as much consistency between rooms and also included a few rooms with actors who would attempt to interact with you. This tactic, however, was a bit disappointing as the mandatory group sizes of 8-10 made it impossible for everyone to fit in the room with the actor at the same time and prohibited everyone from enjoying the entire skit.



I found the experience with Phobia to be quite unique. Only a brightly lit moon illuminated this experience. In one instance the shadow of a creature rushing toward us at a very rapid pace actually made my entire group of 8 scatter to avoid what appeared to be an imminent collision.



IF you don't like standing in long lines while being exposed to the weather elements I would strongly recommend the VIP pass. The VIP admission allows you to skip everyone who hasn't purchased it. It does not, however, limit your group size or guarantee that you'll be able to enter immediately.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find as its just minutes from Hwy 41. The sheer size of this complex combined with several parking attendants flagging you into the parking lot make it nearly impossible to miss this place.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Come dressed for the elements as the wait lines for Adrenalin and Insanity are both outside. Two large screens along the waiting line along with a few costumed actors help to build your anticipation. There's also a snack wagon parked out back to help satisfy your cravings for munchies.

Actors' Performance


The actors were very skilled at providing quick and unexpected scares. Nothing noteworthy in terms of an academy award type performance...but in their defense these haunts weren't designed to provide an opportunity for a theatrical display. Occasionally the actors would flash a performance that may creep you out.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Brilliant use of shadows and dimly lit rooms to maximize scare and creep factor. Not the most elaborate set designs I've seen this year but very effective in immersing you into the theme of the haunt. Enjoyed some of the unique concepts and special effects...particularly the cleverly laid out lab maze in Adrenalin.

Length


Took our group 19 minutes to complete Adrenalin. Insanity took 14 minutes while Phobia took around 12 minutes.

Crowd Control


Waiting lines for both Adrenalin and Insanity were clearly marked off along with the separate VIP lines. With the VIP passes we didn't wait more than 10 minutes to enter the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


Several great scares....but I won't give any of them away here. Really enjoyed some of the acrobatic actors…watch your head!

Summary

If you're looking for a good scare you'll be hard pressed to find a haunt that does it better than Burial Chamber. Of all the haunts I've been to this year Burial Chamber’s Adrenalin is off the scare factor charts!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Walking up to the building from where we parked, I thought maybe we were at the wrong place.  It wasn't until we went to the back side of the building that we knew we were at our destination.  A long line of people, bass pounding dark music, boarded up windows with lights flashing to the music, and the sound of screams coming from inside the haunt.  Game on!

Once we entered the building, I froze.  It looked like an old abandoned building with clutter everywhere.  It felt like we were being watched even though I didn't see anybody at the time.  That changed in about 30 seconds, they came out of no-where!

Every room we went into was completely different from the last.  I had to laugh as we walked into a restaurant, as a lady sitting in a booth gurgled 'Don't eat here!' as she choked down some soup.  Walking through the restaurant and then through the kitchen was very entertaining.  Also highly entertaining was the good ol' red-neck boys that wanted to eat us!  It was really funny until it felt like they weren't going to let us through! 

They have a very good mix of skits and good old fashioned scares.  It must have taken months to design and setup this attraction.  I appreciate the time and effort they put into their work.  It does not go unnoticed!

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was easy to find with a GPS, but might be hard to find without one.  From the street, it looks like a normal building for the most part.  There is a sign out front that let's you know you're at the right place.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is similar to a waiting in line for a roller coaster.  There were several clowns lurking around scaring people.

Actors' Performance


Everybody in the haunt gave it their all.  I never saw one actor break character.  They were all very entertaining!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


My favorite this year for scenes and props!  Wow, they really went all out!  My favorites were the restaurant and the carnival.

Length


It took us about a half hour to make our way through the haunt.  We felt it was a good length of time.

Crowd Control


They do a very good job of crowd control.  We never once bumped into another group.

Most Memorable Moment


Definitely, it would be the padded room!  It was fun jumping around in there, and the actors in straight jackets were hilarious! 'Wanna spread poo on the walls with me?'

Summary

This is a very creative haunt, with incredible sets and props.  A quality haunt that you should check out if you're in the area!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED)

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


In you enjoy scary adventures that allow you to participate in your adventure rather than being limited to just being a spectator then you’ll love Monster Mayhem! Sure, you can limit your involvement in the Monster Mayhem experience to being just a mere spectator…but if you’re looking for an opportunity to maximize your thrills by totally emerging yourself into a horrific adventure you’ll definitely want to check out Monster Mayhem.



It’s not often you encounter a haunt that actually gives you a mission to complete. The unique aspects of this haunt don’t stop there. Custom made special effects and a very unique consistent themed story line for the entire venue give you the opportunity to play a role in this adventure. Probably the best way to explain the theme of this haunt is to liken it to a mix between Aliens and Resident Evil. What I particularly enjoyed about Monster Mayhem is that you don't just see and hear scary things....you actually get to FEEL them on a few occasions!



The superb acting, special effects and the detailed story line at Monster Mayhem made this a very enjoyable experience for me. While every scene didn’t motivate me to run for the hills there were a few rooms that made me jump or quicken my steps. As a result, I gave this attraction a 5 out of 5 on the fun scale and a 3.5 out of 5 on the scare factor. This is definitely a haunt for all ages and not just adults.



(note: one thing I’d like to point out…I attended this haunt on opening night and then again two weeks later. The experiences were totally different. One of the key elements of a participatory event is the interaction between the actors and the participant. As the actors were just getting acclimated to their roles on opening night I found the thrills to be a lot more intense on my recent journey through Monster Mayhem than on the original.)

Signage / Visibility / Location


Located in the basement of Paulo's Pizza / Pub. There are signs for the haunt but they're not nearly as obvious as the signs for Paulo's. Located right on the corner of 51st and Howard you can't miss Paulo's....but you may miss the signs for Monster Mayhem.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Doesn't get much better than this! While you wait....order a pizza, have dinner, play a few games in the arcade or listen to music in the pub.

Actors' Performance


These guys REALLY get into it…especially when you’re in the spirit of the adventure.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


If you have an keen eye special effects, the props/FX at Monster Mayhem are worth checking out!

Length


I must admit, the length of this haunt did feel short but the visual entertainment was definitely worth the price of admission.

Crowd Control


Both times I attended this haunt there wasn't much of a crowd to control. Given that the venue is at a Pizza Parlor / Pub the logistics of how the Haunt patrons mix with those from the Pizza Parlor Pub may be interesting....but as this is their third year of business I would suspect that they've worked out any potential bottlenecks with the flow of traffic through the establishment.

Most Memorable Moment


I really enjoyed the elevator rides…both realistic and disorientating.

Summary

Fun for the whole family. If you enjoy scary adventures that allow you to participate in your adventure rather than being limited to just being a spectator then you’ll love Monster Mayhem! Sure, you can limit your involvement in the Monster Mayhem experience to being just a mere spectator…but if you’re looking for an opportunity to maximize your thrills by totally emerging yourself into a horrific adventure you’ll definitely want to check out Monster Mayhem.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

The House Of Bathory is unlike any haunt I've ever been to.  Across the board, they stand out from all the others.  I was a little worried with the location being downtown Manitowoc.  I like my haunts in the middle of no-where, as it helps set the mood!  But what they lacked for in location, they made up for in creativity!

One of the big differences is the theme of the haunt.  It centers around Alice In Wonderland.  I never really thought of that story as spooky or even remotely scary.  That all changed after attending this haunt.  It's very interactive, making you a part of what's happening.

As we were about to enter the haunt, something happened where they said it would still be a few minutes.  As we waited, one of the employees entertained us with a baby monster puppet.  It was great!  I don't know how many times she had to put on a little show like that with the puppet, but she was great.  I was highly entertained! 

Once we were allowed inside the haunt, we were ushered into a room where we sat down at a large table.  The mad hatter was there, as well as the rabbit.  They made small talk and really took the time to set you up for a big scare that was about to happen.  This happened several times!  Tweedledee and Tweedledum also set us up for another scare.  I sure wasn't expecting it when it happened!   

One thing to note: At this attraction, they are allowed to touch you.  I can't recall the last haunt I've been to where that was allowed.  It startled me!

Another strength of this haunt is their use of sounds and music.  This was the only haunt that I attended this year that played some old school, scary music.  Loved it!  They also used several iconic monsters throughout, mixing the Alice In Wonderland story with more of the traditional monsters that we associate Halloween with.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was pretty easy to find.  We saw the long line of people waiting to get in as well as all the hearses parked in the front.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There is a line that forms down the sidewalk.  Again, nothing scary about it.  But they did a GREAT job of entertaining while you waited.  They had a show based of the Match Game TV show that was quite funny!

Actors' Performance


These people really knew how to act!  It was very entertaining throughout the haunt, each actor played his/her part very well.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Many of the scenes and props were hand-made, and it showed in some rooms.  But this event was actor driven, with the props only playing a small part.  I'm STILL trying to figure out how they made Alice grow!

Length


We were in and out of the haunt in about a half hour.  We wanted more, but it was a good length of time and it's well worth the money.

Crowd Control


Considering how this haunt really takes the time to set you up for a scare, crowd control is very important.  We never had an issue with bumping into another group either in front of us, or behind us.  Well done!

Most Memorable Moment


Michael Myers made an appearance at this haunt, I think he must be following me!  At the end of the haunt he was following us, and then just disappeared.  Like in the movie, you KNOW that he will spring out of no-where!  I was so pre-occupied with where he was going to jump out of, that I took my focus off of what was happening in front of me...  until it was too late!  For the record, I think that was the highest I ever jumped at a haunt.   

Summary

Amazing.  I've always preferred the old school, dark haunts that scare the heck out of you.  The House Of Bathory is nothing like that.  It's unique and entertaining!  There are less scares here than a traditional haunt, but the scares you do get are BIG!  You have to attend to really appreciate it for what it is.  I hope to attend next year!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering

by blazepi13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

I attended Oblivion Haunted House in Menasha, WI (http://www.oblivionhauntedhouse.com/) last weekend with Mr. K, the easily frightened, and Cousin K, the former haunted house actress.  Tickets for Oblivion are $12 at the door, though they can be purchased online through their website (or their iPhone/touch app!) for only $10 and discount coupons can be found at various locations around town.  For the amount of thought and detail that went behind the production of Oblivion, this haunt is incredibly reasonably priced.


Upon arriving at Oblivion, the first thing I noticed was the loud music blaring from the building.  We purchased our tickets and, while making our way towards the entrance, found a wood cutout photo-op (bring a camera!) and promptly stopped to take pictures.  Just as we were switching places, we were greeted with a gas mask-wearing ghoul straight out of 'My Bloody Valentine' who, after scaring us thoroughly, was nice enough to hold off on chasing us with his pickax to pose as the "skeleton" next to our "vampiress" and "Frankenstein."  We were chased past the concessions which sold, among other things, glow necklaces for $1, and headed towards huge doors and the source of the loud music.

After entering Obliviiion, we were greeted by two not-so-alive "hosts" - one who was quite taken with Cousin K's neck - and we were shown a video about the rules of the house.  This was a technologically advanced way to present this information to us, but with the minimal information included in the video, I'm not sure it was necessary.  We were then shuttled into an elevator operated by a fantastically gory ghoul and arrived at the haunt  - 15,000 square feet of an elaborately decorated warehouse.

The attention to detail and production value of Obliviion is extremely high.  There were animatronic characters that Cousin K swore were real people and there were real people in places we didn't think were possible!  There were several elements in the haunt that I hadn't seen in previous haunts and everything seemed just a little too real.  The scares in Oblivion came fast and often, so you really get your money's worth!  The loud music throughout the haunt kept us from being spoiled by earlier groups' screams.  We spent about 20 minutes in Oblivion, but we were hurried along by a panicked Mr. K who pushed us through many a room in his efforts to evade following ghouls.

Signage / Visibility / Location


We didn't have any problems finding Oblivion.  If you have an iPhone, you can use their app to put the directions right into your Maps!  Otherwise, using the directions on their website should get you there with no problems.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There wasn't any wait to get in to Oblivion, though there are plenty of opportunities for food, photos, and scares right outside of the entrance if you do find yourself in a line!

Actors' Performance


The actors in Oblivion were fantastic.  Everything seemed realistic and energetic.  We especially loved the host in the first room of the haunt who was both eerie and cheeky at the same time.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again, I can't say enough about the sets and effects.  It is obvious that the designers of Oblivion paid incredible attention to detail.  The make-up artistry was above and beyond and the gore was incredibly realistic.

Length


Oblivion lasted around 20 minutes.  This was a little short, especially compared to other haunts I have attended this year, but it was just as frightening!

Crowd Control


Loud music keeps you from getting spoiled from groups ahead of you.  We were the only three in our group so we didn't experience much of a crowd.

Most Memorable Moment


I really enjoyed the hall of curtains - I felt like I was heading into Narnia!  I also think the exit was phenomenal...and that's all I'll say!

Summary

Oblivion is a great haunt for those seeking attention to detail and a more high-tech experience.  It's a little short, but, for $10, it's a great price.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


In my opinion, the House of Bathory is a definite must see. I first attended this haunt three years ago and have gone back every year to the point where it is now my favorite. They incorporate a lot of the old school haunt. I will warn you they do touch you in there. They are also very interactive. In every scene, they make you feel as though you are apart of it. Just by having you crawl through tight spaces or answering questions that the monsters or demons have for you.



This year they went with the Alice in Wonderland theme. They did a really great job at keeping the theme throughout the entire house. However, I wouldn't exactly call it a Wonderland. You can't even begin to imagine what is waiting for you around the next corner.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this is very easy to find. It is located right on the corner, just look for the line standing outside.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area of this haunt is located outside so with Wisconsin weather you should dress accordingly.

The line entertainment just blew me away this year. I went on a night where they have all different hearses on display. They also had a hay wagon set up with people dressed up sitting on it playing the match game from the 70s. This was by far the most creative line entertainment I have ever seen at a haunt.

Actors' Performance


The actors in this haunt blew me away. They were always in character and always knew what to say to get your heart racing. Their scripts fit in perfectly with each scene and it really made you feel like you were in a very twisted Wonderland.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and scenes were amazing. Every scene was set up very creatively and perfect. Everywhere you looked there was something. The House of Bathory definitely uses every inch of their space wisely and efficiently.

Length


I would say it took about 30 minutes to walk through the entire haunt.

Crowd Control


They do a great job at crowd control. They limit the groups to no more than 8 people which is perfect. To me, going in with a large group takes so much away from the haunt. Not once did I run into another group during the haunt. They space them out so everyone enjoys themselves in it and you aren't rushed.

Summary

Overall, this is still by far my favorite haunt. Their choices of scenes and scares are by far the best I have ever seen. I would definitely recommend this to anyone over the age of 13.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Youth Go's Haunted House

by blazepi13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Now in its 25th year of operation, Neenah's Most Haunted is the longest running non-profit Haunted House in the Fox Valley and its experience shows.  This haunted house is a fundraiser for Youth Go, a non-profit youth drop in center in Neenah and is fully wheelchair accessible.  At only $10 a ticket, it is also a budget-friendly haunt!


Getting to and finding Neenah's Most Haunted is easy.  The directions on the Haunted Wisconsin website got straight to the haunt from far away and the lights, hearse, and lawn littered with patrons and actors (called "scharacters") let us know we were at the right place!  Mr. K, the easily scared, and I arrived around 8:00pm and there wasn't anyone in line so we pretty much had the house to ourselves!  From the moment we got in line to the moment we left we were constantly surrounded by "scharacters."  What was great about Neenah's Most Haunted was the amount of interaction we had with them - we spent quite a bit of time in the first room chatting with a couple of them and they kept scaring us over and over again, even when we were expecting it!

What really stood out to me at Neenah's Most Haunted was their use of false and hidden exits.  We were constantly searching for a way out and oftentimes came to a dead end.  Luckily the "scharacters" weren't too cruel and, after a while, would give us a little hint towards where we should go.

Upon exiting, Mr. K and I were both reflecting on what our favorite parts of the house were, when out of nowhere came a man with a chainsaw!  Mr. K ran to the car and jumped in, leaving me outside to be chased around the car!  The people at Neenah's Most Haunted are enthusiastic and full of energy from start to finish, and I think that's what makes it such a great haunt for a great cause.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It's easy to get to Neenah's Most Haunted and it's very easy to see from the street - just look for all of the scharacters running around!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We didn't experience any wait, but I imagine the wait is much longer if you are there later at night or later in the season.  The wait is outside so dress appropriately and be prepared to be scared while waiting in line!

Actors' Performance


The actors were fabulous.  They attend classes on how to scare and it shows!  We were really impressed with how even the youngest actors had no problem at all interacting with us and could have kept us there, creeping us out, for hours!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again, the sets/scenes/props were great (and designed by the same youth who run the house).  There are no animatronics and no holograms, which gives every room a very realistic feel.

Length


The whole haunt, from start to finish, lasted about 20 minutes.  We probably went through a little more quickly than usual because we were the only two in our group and Mr. K kept running away from the "scharacters!"

Crowd Control


We had no issues with crowd control as there were no other patrons present at the time we attended the haunt (though there were people lined up when we left).

Most Memorable Moment


I don't know what to call it but the hall of tubes.  It was really scary to be so crowded in and have no clue where I was going!  I also really enjoyed how personal everything felt.  Instead of just being screamed at we were actually able to interact with people.

Summary

Neenah's Most Haunted was a lot of fun for a good price.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by blazepi13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The Haunted Barn in Stoughton, WI (http://www.the-haunted-barn.com/) was, hands down, one of the best haunts I have been to...EVER.  I agree, that's a bold way to start a review - but hear me out...  


I attended The Haunted Barn with my two friends: the easily-frightened, Mr. K, and the curmudgeon ("I just want to warn you guys, I never enjoy these things..."), Mr. G.  Upon arriving at the barn, which was easy to find, we were greeted in the parking lot by a purring cat and the smells of seasonal sweets cooking in the snack stands.  We were happy to find out that parking is free.  Admission to The Haunted Barn is only $10, but bring cash - no credit cards accepted!

The line to get into the barn was short at our 8:30pm arrival (though it was much longer by the time we left!), but we still had time to meet some of the creepy characters lurking about - including a hilarious Beetlejuice who kept making appearances throughout the haunt.  Upon entering the barn, we were surprised to find very detailed, very creative, and very creepy scenes with fantastic characters.  Mr. K was scared by pretty much everything and Mr. G, against his prediction, seemed to be very much enjoying himself!  

After making it through the barn, we began our trek outdoors through an open area.  The air was crisp, the sky was full of stars, and the surroundings were beautiful.  I should note, at this point, that if you plan on going to The Haunted Barn, wear clothes appropriate for the weather and wear shoes that you would feel comfortable wearing while walking up and down hills.  After walking through the open area, we headed into the forest.  The darkness of the forest, the rustling of leaves, and the anticipation of what was to come made this, in my opinion, the best part of the experience.

After a long walk around the grounds, we were pretty thoroughly spooked, but we weren't done!  We were guided into a final building with even more rooms and corridors and some amazing lighting effects.  Upon exiting, Mr. K was breathing heavily and his eyes were wide, and Mr. G was in awe of the visual effects.  Without giving too much away, I, at one point, actually refused to go into a room and had to just close my eyes and run!  The three of us agreed that The Haunted Barn was our favorite haunt thus far.  Originating in 2004, The Haunted Barn has had 6 previous years to perfect its craft, and it shows.  I highly recommend this haunt and hope you all have a chance to enjoy it as we did!

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Haunted Barn is right off of Highway 51 in Stoughton and directions can be easily found on their website (http://www.the-haunted-barn.com/directions.html).  In the middle of the country, it's easy to find the haunt as it has lit up signs that draw your attention to the farm.  The location is ideal - what's creepier than an old farm at night?!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Though our wait to enter was short, we still experienced good entertainment and good smells coming from the snack stands while in line.  Bring some extra money because the scents are sure to build up your appetite!

Actors' Performance


The actors were fantastic.  One of the character's scream was so blood-curdling I thought it was a tape!  What I enjoyed was that not every actor was there just to jump out of nowhere and scare you - some just creeped you out enough by just sitting and staring.  They did a great job building up anticipation.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Fantastic!  The creators of The Haunted Barn take you in and out, up and down, and play with your perception of space.  The lighting effects were fantastic and the use of darkness was even better.  Even though parts of the barn are pitch black, the creators used a lot of tactile elements to prevent you from walking into a wall.

Length


We took a while going through everything to be thorough and to take in our surroundings, so the entire haunt took us around 45min - 1h.

Crowd Control


We had no issues running into anyone else until we got to the forest.  At this point we just paced ourselves and held back a little, enjoying the stars, until we were properly spaced. The pacing is controlled again before entering the last building so that nothing gets spoiled!

Most Memorable Moment


I really enjoyed being in the dark forest at night, rooms that played with your perception of size, and the pitch black ending of the haunt which I don't want to give away - you'll have to see it yourself!

Summary

Definitely worth going to.  Highly recommended!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: High

Review


Burial Chamber has always been a favorite haunt of mine to attend to. They have four different attractions that you can attend, Adrenaline, Phobia, Insanity, and the coffin ride.



Adrenaline was the first haunt that I went through while I was there. From the beginning you could tell you were about to walk into something that would make your heart start racing. There were monsters lurking everywhere and you just didn't know where the next one would be.



I then headed to Phobia. In the past I was never really impressed with the wooded portion of their haunt but they definitely added some very much needed changes. They included scenes along the trail that let you thinking you were walking through woods with cannibals living within it.



Insanity was the last portion that I attended. They start you off by watching a movie explaining what you might see inside the haunt. This part of the haunt I was a little disappointed with. I felt there were too many dark mazes and the scenes they did have set up didn't have actors as a part of it making the scene come to life.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is very easy to find. It is located right off the highway. You can't miss the spot lights and the crowds of people waiting to get in.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area of this haunt has different concession stands. They also have music and giant screens set up to entertain you while you wait. They also have monsters creeping around scaring you even before you go into the haunt.

Actors' Performance


I thought the actors needed to be a part of the scene a little bit more. I noticed more of them were about popping out of no where and scaring you. I like more of the interactive haunts.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes were amazing in this haunt. They had all the gore that was needed.

Length


The haunts were actually pretty long. It takes about 20 minutes to walk through each one.

Crowd Control


They send you in groups of 8-10, which to me I feel is too many. When you are in a big group of people its hard to actually get the mindset of what is really go on around you. However, with the masses of people that attend this haunt I understand why they do this.

They did a pretty good job at spacing the groups apart. However, in Phobia the group behind me did run into me. I don't think this is Burial Chambers fault though because it was a group of kids and they ran through the entire thing.

Summary

I would recommend this haunt to anyone 12 and over. Be sure to arrive early enough so the line won't be as long.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Hubertus House of Horror

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


The Hubertus House of Horror has quite a few unique characteristics that I haven't seen used in any other haunt this year - which I thoroughly enjoyed! When you arrive, you can purchase your tickets and wait in a heated area where they serve concessions and can even play arcade games. Although it's not scary (though there are some actors in costumes walking around), it's really nice to have something to do when the wait can be quite long -about an hour and fifteen minutes when we were there- and to be able to stay warm is well worth it.



Once you're on your way into the house... the bus is fantastic and something I've never seen before. The house (school) featured plenty of different rooms so it keeps you entertained. The other thing that's different in this house which I had never experienced before was 3D glasses! They hand them out and you wear them through I think 3 or 4 different rooms and the paint like... comes off of the walls... it's a crazy feeling! It was kind of difficult to keep the glasses on, and I felt a little dizzy... but I thought it was something different and new and I applaud this haunt for trying something outside the box! Overall, I enjoyed this haunt for it's innovation and new ideas, but I wasn't entirely scared through the majority of it. Definitely a good choice for a younger crowd, though!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Quite easy to find using a GPS or following directions from the website. Plenty of signage to get you there.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


A nice heated area to keep you busy and entertained. Food concessions are offered as well. A few actors walking around in costume, but nothing too creepy.

Actors' Performance


I thought that many of the actors did a good job. The first guy that we encountered (a man in all silver) was excellent. He held me back while all of my friends got on the bus and he was really great. Also I liked the girl in the Freddy room.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I thought the sets were really well done. These excellent volunteers here obviously put a lot of time and effort into this haunt and it shows!

Length


The wait was a little over an hour when we arrived and the walk through the house took maybe twenty minutes. I thought it was pretty good for the price.

Crowd Control


They use a ticket system like most other haunts, so you don't have to wait in line the whole time. Though little other crowd control was necessary.

Most Memorable Moment


Probably the bus ride.

Summary

I would recommend this haunt to those who are easily spooked and enjoy a new and innovative haunt with activities, rooms, and characters you haven't seen elsewhere.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

13th Nightmare Haunted House

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Low Fear Factor: Low

Review


This is Dare To Dream's first year putting on a haunted house, and it's held in a old church. I’m not sure how I feel about a haunt being in a church. Granted, it does add to the creepy factor. But I can see how this might offend some people. I have to admit, I was creeped out before I even entered the haunt! Old churches can be creepy. Add some mood lighting and some spooky music, and I didn’t want to enter!



Our first few seconds in the house, we received a slight scare right off the bat. A wall with skulls caught us off guard as we walked by. As we walked into the next room, Michael Myers was waiting for us. Now, I have a soft spot for MM... and I’m not talking about any of my organs. The first Halloween movie was the inspiration for many of my early nightmares! So having Mikey following us throughout the haunt just seemed right to me. The actor had the mannerisms down pretty good, from the slow strides to the dog-like cock of the head. He was taller which helped too. One word of advice though: Dirty up the mask and suit. Both looked like they were just purchased. Mess up the hair. Get some wear and tear in the gray overalls. Make it look like Mr. Myers has been around the block a few times.



There was a great scene where we walked down a long hallway, and there were little girls (I would guess around age 10) screaming on either side of you ALL the way down the hall. It felt like we were in an insane asylum. They were behind doors, so I couldn’t make out what they were screaming. Not scary, but visually creepy as Michael was still following/chasing us!



It felt like there was a lot of dead space. More actors can easily fix that.



The final scene had some vampires in it. We walked by as they acted out a quick skit. Another word of advice: Get in our comfort zone. People are paying to get a good scare, so give them what they’re asking for



Not a bad first year effort, but there’s much that can be improved. I think the time spent in the haunt is the most important to improve on. Make people feel like they are getting their money’s worth. You can do this by blocking exits with actors, doing more skits in more rooms, etc... Personally, I would think that 20 to 30 minutes is a reasonable amount
of time to spend at a haunt.



An old church is a great fodder to build a story around and use to your benefit.



Some people will drive from other cities (like we did), so give them something to talk about on the way home.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There was no real signage for this haunt until you actually find the house. We had a GPS, so it was easy enough to find that way. The actual sign for the haunt is hard to read at night. It was a black sign where the letters were hard to make out until you're right next to it. In a residential neighborhood, and I was able to see the old church lit up when we were about a half a block away.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was no line, and no apparent entertainment if there would have been a line. Some of the actors/children were standing outside talking.

Actors' Performance


The actors really gave it their all. With some continued experience under their belt, they’ll end up giving many customers some good scares and maybe even a nightmare or two! They might want to avoid being outside the house when they are out of character, as this takes away from the spooky vibe the old church creates.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and scenes were good. You can tell that they put a lot of time into their first year. A great building block to build on!

Length


We were in and out of the house in 10 minutes. We left scratching our heads, asking ‘Is that it?’ I believe that is the shortest haunt I’ve ever attended.

Crowd Control


Unfortunately, we were the only ones there. We were a bit on the early side, so I do hope that it picked up as the night went along.

Most Memorable Moment


We started up our car, ready to leave. As we started to drive away, I could see Michael Meyers standing in the exit at the front of the house. He was watching us! I nervously waved to him as we passed, and he slowly brought up his knife. Classic!

Summary

There is a lot of potential for this haunt to become something that will have people talking. Their website looks GREAT, it just needs more meat. It's their first year, so hopefully they can learn from this year and come back bigger and better!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Do you like to interact with lots of actors who just ooze (sometimes literally) Halloween?  If you like all of that in an intimate setting full of creepy scenes then make sure you visit Mar's Haunted House.


I feel it is important to note that you should not judge this haunt by it's 'cover', it may not be impressive at first glance but once you are inside prepare yourself for an experience you probably won't find elsewhere.  Mar's has quite a few mature actors that really work their areas, whether it be to scare, surprise and have you laughing (or all of them at the same time).

The passageways throughout are narrow, uneven and FILLED with everything imaginable and quite a few things I don't want to imagine again after seeing them.  I had props, scenery and actors constantly in my face or at my ankles.  Some of the scenes were better than others but the actors are really what make this haunt and they should be an example to other haunts.  Get good people, keep them year after year and let them grow into their parts and become GREAT haunters.

Everyone has ideal things that they look for in a haunt, and while I really like to be scared I also like to be entertained by people that are enjoying themselves just as much.  Mar's might not be the scariest haunt you'll visit but it may be the most fun you'll have getting scared.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was the only place where you could see long lines of people waiting by a hearse right in Milwaukee.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait was over 40+ minutes and curbside.  There isn't any seating, that I saw, but there are a number of creatures and characters walking through the area to keep you entertained.  There was also a movie showing if you were on that side of the building waiting.

Actors' Performance


I don't know that there wasn't an actor that didn't hit their marks, scare or surprise at least one person in our group AND provide some of the best one-lines and come backs in any Haunt I've been to.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The overall atmosphere was very intimate, creepy and kept me off balance.  They really make the best use of the space they have, as all of it was filled to the hilt with detailed scenes, a few static and animatronic props but more than anything it was filled with LOTS of actors.

Length


About 15 minutes will get you through the haunt, some of the best parts are when you are stopped, waiting for the next scene to empty and you are left with the actors in the area.

Crowd Control


The Mar's staff and police were present and in control.  The lines were well managed as well as incoming foot traffic walking to the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


There was a scene with a small room with a bed in the floor and a bearded man dressed as woman in full gown.  His dowdy gown was backless, displaying his hairy back while he kept us entertained with humorous & witty conversation (and maybe creeped out a little) while he 'managed' the traffic.  There were many other fantastic interactions throughout.

Summary

If you're in Milwaukee you really need to visit one of the oldest haunts in the area.  You'll have a great time and won't regret it.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Hauntfest - CLOSED -

by gregory_carlson (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

If you like your haunts loud and over the top, you better visit Hauntfest in West Allis.  Be prepared to be inundated with loud music, sound effects, bright lights and movies...  And that's all before you get into the haunt!


The entrance into the haunt itself is a 'moving' elevator that goes haywire, we were closed in with with a girl who played her part with manic intensity and perfect timing to what was going on in the scene.  It was the high point of the haunt, but don't take that to mean it was the only fun to be had.

This was my first experience with inflatable walls, luckily the other girls in my group had no qualms with pushing me and I easily discovered the way through.  There were numerous dark areas with surprise scares to keep you on your toes.  

Keep in mind, Hauntfest is a "Don't touch" Haunt but that doesn't mean that the others in your group won't push, pull hair, grab shirts or do other things with reckless abandon.  You might want to try and ensure you know everyone in our group so you aren't surprised like I was.  I simply wasn't prepared for 4 women I don't know to go on a crazy rampage the second we were in until the moment we were out.  You have been warned.

Hauntfest is as much an 'Event' as it is a Haunt, passing on the creepy atmosphere and going for the loud carnival.  There were LOTS of young kids & teens to which I think that suited them well.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Hauntfest is at State Fair park, who doesn't know where that is?  Find gate 4 and listen for the haunt sounds/music.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was a large wait area with some seating, movies played on a large inflatable screen and refreshments were available.  That's good, because the wait was very long at about 90 minutes.  Actors were present, most of the screams heard were for the guy with the chainsaw jumping up on people.

Actors' Performance


Let me first state that the actress in the elevator at the entrance was great, she gets groups for a captive performance was the best throughout.  There were a few others that did stand out but some rooms we entered had the haunters standing together talking until they saw a group come through and then darted about, which was a bit of a disappointment and not really gonna scare someone.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The balloon walls & ceiling were fun but the best was the shock wall.  Again, the elevator was great but otherwise nothing of note stood out.

Length


Going through the haunt took about 20 minutes.  We were delayed in some areas to keep the groups separate and we didn't see any other visitors while were were in.

Crowd Control


The crowd was large, but with Hauntfest security and police present there weren't any issues.

Most Memorable Moment


Some of the darker areas had 'shock walls' and the group we were with were pushing me into the walls but the most memorable was the elevator at the entrance.

Summary

The loud, over the top atmosphere wasn't exactly for me but if you are looking for a wild night to meet your friends and go through a haunt this is the place for you.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


Freakin' Exhaustin'! This is one haunt you want to set aside the whole night for, 'cause it's going to put you through the ringer and back again. Sweet satan, it's a 45 minute hike through a maze of the tallest corn this reviewer and companions have ever seen, they grow 'em big up there in West Bend, maybe it's something in the water, something like...Evil! You're literally wandering through corridors of corn here, it must have been 15 feet high, I kid you not, constant reader, twice the height of a normal person. There's a nice mix of animatronic and live actors sprinkled throughout the haunt, as well as various scenes and little buildings placed at spots in the maze to keep your interest up. You're literally trapped in some of the scenes, too, which is wonderfully unsettling, we ended up banging on walls at one place to try to find an exit, of which there turned out to be none -- these ghouls don't screw around!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Follow directions from Google, very easy to find, it's on a working farm that appears to have the farmer's house right smack in the middle of all the action, that must be very sweet as they lay their sleepy heads down upon their pillows and fall asleep to the screams of terror emanating over their rolling hills and pastures.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment



As I said, it's a working farm, and there are a bunch of things to do, like shop in the little store (lots of Halloween stuff and craft stuff in several rooms), and you can get stuff to eat at a little stand that gives its money to a German Shepherd rescue organization; it has things like hamburgers and brats and popcorn and candy bars and there are a bunch of picnic tables at the bonfire that you can go eat at. You buy your tickets at the store checkout counter, and then get a bracelet with a number on it. They have an LED sign system with several locations on the farm, so you can wander around a little and watch for your number to be called; they call numbers in groups of 50, and then you go line up and wait to get let into the haunt. There's also a "quickline" ticket that allows you to get directly in line without waiting.



There are also a bunch of living animals in various fenced-off areas that you can marvel at or bother while you wait, like a donkey (whose braying was pretty creepy), emus (yes, emus), ducks and geese, llamas, goats, and then there was Bunnytown, which has little bunnies all romping about, apparently impervious to the terror being visited on the humans only tens of feet away -- where is your sense of decency, little bunnies? There's also a bonfire you can go sit around; there appeared to be a large man in a black leather hat and coat with a cane tending the bonfire, and I got the impression he may tell spooky stories or something, but we didn't hear any while we were there, though we were there quite early. No ghouls wandering around that we saw, but that was okay, the freakin' haunt is 45 minutes long, and you don't really need any pre-show entertainment.

Actors' Performance


Now, there are a mix of animatronic and real actors in this haunt, sometimes its hard to tell who is who, but the actors we did definitively run into were topnotch and taking their terrorizing (and being terrified, sorry about abandoning you, oh Strung-Up-By-the-Giant-Spiders-Guy!) very seriously. Shout out to the gentleman running the Meat Treats stand and there's a scene where the walls move and you are literally locked in with a bunch of horrifying ghouls who really really really mean business. Also, excellent clownwork, these clowns really know how to work it..."Never trust anything a clown says!"

Sets Scenes / Props / FX



We were impressed. Scenes have clearly been thought out, and the ghouls haunting them are really good, but beware, it's a really long maze, and there will be some lag-time between the more coherent scenes and the things that just sometimes pop out of the corn on hydraulic lifts. This is actually okay, though, there's something really cool about just walking through a literal tunnel of 15-foot high corn and seeing the moon shining down on you as you wait to see what's around the next bend. They obviously really put a lot of time into this and it's clear someone here really really loves Halloween and scaring the peoples. Some of the animatronic stuff is really extremely convincing, there were actually a couple of times in which we were never sure if what was going on was animatronic or a live actor, which is a compliment to the animatronics and not a slam on the excellent actors!



Also ghouls are placed in odd locations, like above you and on the ground level, which makes things even more disorienting and unsettling.



Loved that there were also emergency exits thoughtfully placed throughout the haunt, helpfully marked "Chicken Gate," and just to add a little extra sumthin' sumthin', there appeared to be ghouls lurking just behind the "Chicken Gates!" Perhaps chicken is a favorite delicacy amongst the ghouls, and this ends up acting like a kind of feeding trough.
Oh, there are also lots of strobes and fog machines and stuff, so be ready for that; man, they don't kid around with the strobes, either -- bring your epileptic friends if you want to see a real show! Kidding!



HERE THERE BE SPOILERS:



Excellent excellent excellent op-art house with accompanying op-art clown, and a really cool decaying pirate ship. Very cool webbing area with a screaming web-cocooned man, and one house with the uplifting title of "Welcome to Hell," boasts not only a scene where you're locked in with a bunch of ghouls, but then the ceiling, which has huge spikes in it, starts to slowly lower, and, good lord, there's no door to get out of. There's also a giant octopus, yes, a giant octopus, now how cool is that?

Length


Wait for us was negligible, we were there early, and the haunt itself took 45 minutes or more to get through. It's an entire night's entertainment, you won't need to go to another haunt that night.

Crowd Control


They let you in groups of 4-6, and people are spaced out well, we could hear groups behind us sometimes, but I think the ghouls would try to delay people in order to let other groups get ahead.

Most Memorable Moment



Disorienting House with its Disorienting Accompanying Clown, and Welcome to Hell.



And just to say it again, two words -- Giant Octopus.


Summary

Corn-tastic! The Haunted Cornmaze at Meadowbrook Farms really puts you through your paces, and you get 45 minutes of exercise in, to boot. It's kind of Terror on Rural Street (Hartford)'s country cousin, which is high praise. We had a most excellent time and would recommend this highly.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


I have routinely attended the Dominion of Terror year after year for approximately the last 5-6 years.



My thoughts upon my first few moments into the house this year were, "my how you've grown up".



The Dominion has been at its current location for several years and has been entirely redone from last year's version.



I did not recognize one familiar scene from last season and that was very much appreciated after visiting some houses familiar to me and seeing recycled material and scenes.



For this year's version of Dominion, visitors will pass through a restaurant and kitchen with items you won't find on the Food Network.



There is also a carnival midway with a carousel, a margin of woods with a waterfall, an elaborate medical and dental clinic you will visit among numerous other scenes and can expected to be aggressively welcomed into all of those areas.



The sets in the Dominion are elaborate and detailed down to minute elements like a gruesome dental set that actually smelled of clove oil. Those little factors enhance the experience, nicely.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Dominion can be a bit tricky to find if you are not familiar with the area. GPS's will find it and the directions on the website are clear to follow.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area for Dominion is outdoors, so if there is rain or cold temperatures forecasted dress accordingly.

As we waited for our visit, we were seiged by aggressive clowns who startled inattentive guests and sniffed and growled at those who noticed them.

Dominion features a small concession stand and several portable toilets.

Actors' Performance


This was easily the best performance haunt I have attended this season. I was very impressed with the preparation of the actors and their investment in scaring the guests. Further, it was clear that the staff at Dominion take pride in their performances and enjoy their roles. We caught the attraction early in the evening and I'd marvel if the actors can keep up that effort all night, but what I saw was impressive and heavily invested.

Make up and costuming are solid.

Special acknowledgment goes out to the athletic performer in the padded cell who apparently had some digestive problems before we visited and the two rednecks in the leather shop who affected their characters nicely.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


As was mentioned, the Dominion's producers have taken great effort to make an elaborate and detailed haunt. This year's themes were well developed and covered a variety of contexts.

The Dominion's location provides a lot of natural ambiance for a good scare and its sets are well lit so that visitors can appreciate details of the props, make up and costuming.

Length


It took approximately 25 minutes to walk through the Dominion of Terror.

Crowd Control


Crowds entering the house are formed in lines outside and are admitted in small groups at about 5-10 minute intervals.

My pacing was fairly good, but it is difficult in a haunt of this size not to catch groups in front of you that may lag.

Most Memorable Moment


Among many memorable moments were seeing some very impressive make up effects in the kitchen and our reception by vampires as we left the haunt.

Summary

This year's Dominion of Terror comes highly recommended. Its scares can be intense, so it is probably not appropriate for small children. Kudos to the producers of the Dominion for their efforts to renew the experience for visitors. That work and attention to detail is much appreciated.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 15, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


Creative, innovative, intimate, imaginative and startling.



This year's House of Bathory is darkly themed around the recent Alice in Wonderland movie, and its characters and sets represent that story nicely.



This is the first and only haunt I've visited this season that holds one theme throughout, and that made the trip through it very different and enjoyable.



The journey through the house takes you through multiple rooms on different floors that will bring you into direct interactions with the principle characters of Alice in Wonderland, except with startling twists and turns. They aren't quite what you saw on screen anymore.



Your trip through the House of Bathory is at a leisurely pace and staff do a good job of creating distance between tour groups so that you may not run into one another.



Visitors should be aware that some crawling and climbing throughout your tour is required.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The House of Bathory is very easy to find on 8th Street in downtown Manitowoc. Keep an eye out for the lines, and there is your entrance.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Lines form outside of the entrance. Some of the wait area is covered by an awning. Other areas are uncovered, depending on how long the line is. If there is rain or cool weather forecasted, dress accordingly.

Concessions and restroom facilities are provided at an adjacent shop.

On my visit, we did not experience any in line entertainment, but I have read that it occurs.

Actors' Performance


All of the performers at the House of Bathory gave very invested presentations. Their scripting was clever and enhanced the haunt.

In particular, I have to make mention of the Alice character that cheerily greeted us when we entered the house who giggled and skipped as she led us through the haunt.

Also remarkable were the Tweedle Dee and Tweedly Dum performers who affected nice British accents and shared amusing rhymes as we walked through their area.

I don't ordinarily like a lot of dialogue from performers at houses as I don't feel they add a lot to the experience, but with this particular theme the remarks of the performers complimented the experience nicely.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The House of Bathory is richly and elaborately decorated and you should be sure to look around to appreciate them if you visit.

The creators of the house did a remarkable job of making a coherent portrayal of the Alice in Wonderland theme and did a nice job of developing the story as you pass through the haunt.

Make up and costuming were well done. Keep an eye out for the very impressive caterpillar.

Length


It took approximately 30 minutes to negotiate the haunt and we took a leisurely pace to appreciate all of the props and set decorations.

Crowd Control


The crowd assembles at the front of the building and staff route groups inside at approximately 5-10 minute intervals.

Most Memorable Moment


It's difficult to isolate one particular moment as being THE experience of the house as I really enjoyed the overall experience, in sum.

I appreciated the costuming and dialogue of the characters in various points of the trip and there are some surprise scares that follow those words.

There is a glowing sensory effect in the middle of the tour that is probably what I would consider most remarkable if limited to one pick.

Summary

As was mentioned, the House of Bathory is a very distinctive stop compared to its peers. It is part haunt and part theater. I really appreciated the thought that went into the theme, the effort to make a sensible path through the story and the clever dialogue of the performers. This will be a very novel theatrical experience for visitors and is highly recommended.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


As was mentioned in a previous review, the Haunted Barn is a novel experience as a rural take on a haunting.



What makes this place distinctive is the farm nature of the haunt beginning with your walk through a well appointed barn and then continuing on to a stroll through the woods before returning to the barn for some alternative sensory experiences.



There is heavy usage of props and decoration throughout the barn that make it visually appealing.



After initially exiting the barn on your tour, you will walk a lighted path that takes you through a graveyard and past a hearse. Stop along the way to appreciate the atmosphere.



Next, you will pass through a small cabin before concluding your trip back at the barn.



Along your way through the Haunted Barn and its surrounds, you will be confronted by various creatures of the night who do a nice job of creating startles for you, if you aren't paying attention.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Barn is easy to locate just South of Stoughton on Hwy 51.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Lines going into the house are well organized. The facility features ample rest facilities, a small gift shop and concessions. The wait area is outdoors, so if there is rain or cool weather forecasted, dress accordingly.

Actors' Performance


During our visit, the actors gave nice performances and seemed invested in trying to scare the guests. They also seemed to enjoy their roles and performed them well.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The Haunted Barn has ample props and a high visual appeal. It's natural setting amongst the rolling hills of Southern Wisconsin give it a charm all its own.

I caught the Haunted Barn on a clear, moonlit night and it made for a very nice evening's entertainment.

Length


It took approximately 35 minutes to negotiate the haunt, but that included a brief delay after exiting the forest as guests were only allowed into the vortex area 2 at a time. There was a slight crowd back up at that point in the tour.

Crowd Control


Guests are routed through the house in an efficient manner. There were occasional delays to allow gaps between the groups.

Most Memorable Moment


The Barn features some very intriguing lighting effects that were distinctive compared to other haunts.

The walk through the woods behind the barn was the most extensive outdoor path I've experienced this season.

Summary

The Haunted Barn makes for good family entertainment. It is an appropriate stop for families with younger children. It is not one of the more intense scares of the season, but it is a fun Halloween atmosphere, nonetheless.

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Hubertus House of Horror

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


Okay...I usually don't start my reviews by raving about one of the rooms but I'm finding it nearly impossible to contain my enthusiasm. Without a doubt, this year's edition of the Hubertus House features one of the coolest new special effects I've seen in years! For me it not only stimulated my visual senses but it also shocked my sense of touch/feel. You could say it blew my mind....but of course I won't give it away. If you're a freight fanatic who loves to be technically freaked out you'll want to check this one out.



If there were a Granddaddy of Haunted Houses this one would probably be it. The Hubertus House of Horror has been coming back year after year for as long as I can remember. (what is it, 15, 20 years now?) The venue has always remained the same...a creepy lone standing house in what feels like the middle of nowhere. But if you attended this haunt last year and are worried about finding the same experience, don't be. Many of the rooms have been redone since last year with a some new effects to go along with a few of the best sets from last year.



In addition to the special effect I alluded to above I also particularly enjoyed this year's 3D experience. While many of the rooms in this year's Hubertus House may not have been particularly scary the special effects and their ability to stimulate all your senses make for a very unique and enjoyable experience.



As you may have noticed I didn't give this haunt top marks in either the fun factor or scare factor. None of these were deal breakers for me and I still strongly recommended this haunt for everyone. My rational behind the imperfect scores are based on the following:



* Group size of 8. We weren't given a choice in this matter. While I understand why they group so many people together it definitely distracts from your fun when you're stuck in the back as the scare is often times spoiled by the time you enter a room. Also, in a few of the rooms it was challenging to see/feel/hear the action that was taking place. ...this isn't the only haunt that tries to push as many people through as possible with each group. I often wonder, though, if the time spent cramming a large group through each room could be saved with a smaller group that can move through rooms easier.



* There are definitely sets that appear geared to provide a few scares...but for some reason our group found them to be more entertaining than scary. Not sure why. Perhaps due to set execution or perhaps due to the actors expecting a younger group?

Signage / Visibility / Location


This may not be the easiest haunt to find but if you're on the right road you really can't miss it. Also, if you come across a mass of parked cars in what feels like the middle of nowhere you've probably found the right place.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


One of the best wait areas around! The Hubertus House leverages a school gymnasium to keep you warm, well fed and entertained while you wait. The concession stand was well stocked with sweets, popcorn, drinks and even burgers. Costumed actors also popped in occasionally to heighten your anticipation of what was to come.

Actors' Performance


A good mix of adult and young actors delivered solid performances. None of them totally freaked me out but they were still very entertaining. A few of them were good at adlibbing and allowed you to interact with them.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Of all the haunts I've been to so far this year (5) this one featured some of the best special effects....not to mention the best new effect I've seen in years! This haunt almost stimulates all your 5 senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and almost taste. If you enjoy Vortex rooms you'll want to check this one out. Quite a few haunts feature Vortex rooms...I'd rank the Hubertus House Vortex Room at the top of the list.

Length


Approximately 15-20 minutes. For the second straight year I was so disorientated after the Vortex I completely forgot to stop my watch until I had regained my balance in the parking lot.

Crowd Control


No problems with crowds this year. We purchased tickets earlier in the evening and then came back after checking out a few of the other haunts in the area. We were allowed to jump in line immediately as our ticket numbers had already been called.

Most Memorable Moment


Without a doubt the new mind blowing special effect...sorry, won't give it away though.

Summary

The granddaddy of haunted houses. Perhaps not the scariest haunted house around but a very solid performer year after year. Creative new sets and outstanding special effects make this an excellent haunt to attend.

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Terror on Rural Street

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Looking for the mecca of haunted houses? Look no further than the Hartford/Slinger/Hubertus area for 3 of the states scariest attractions! As they are just a few minute car ride apart, avid haunt fanatics are certain to be foaming at the mouth at the opportunity to frequent these three ghoulish gems.



Arguably the best venue of the 3 is Hartford's Terror on Rural Street. Located right off of Hwy 60 it's very easy to find. The parking lot is well lit and offers a plentiful supply of spots. The waiting area is heated and indoors and offers a wide selection of treats and beverages as well as an occasional spook or two to heighten your anticipation of the terror that's to come.



...and then there's the haunt.



I've attended this haunt with the same group of friends for a number of years now. Traditionally this haunt has been one of our favorites...and this year was no exception. A few of the scares were eerily similar to last year but there are also a few new scares to keep the avid fan of this venue sufficiently satisfied.



The fun and scare ratings indicated on this review reflect the collective feedback I received from everyone in my group.



Favorable Comments from the group included:


** I had a blast interacting with the actors.

** I think that corpse splattered real blood on me!

** played peek-a-boo with a hole in the wall...got the crap scared out of me in return!

** Great attention to detail with the costumes and set design.

** Just when I thought we reached the end there was another room!

** Liked the Vortex...loved the laser room!


Rather than to leave you wondering why Terror on Rural Street didn't receive a perfect score the following comments were made:



** a couple dark hallways had uneven floors...nearly tripped a few times and I'm sure the person behind me would have fell right on top of me.

** too many dark hallways for my taste...not really comfortable with a complete stranger bumping into me from behind.

** Caught up to the group in front of us.

** felt rushed as the group behind us entered the room before the actors in our room were finished.

** I was stuck in the back of my group of 6 the entire time and missed what was going on in a few of the rooms.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Right off the main drag (Hwy 60) in downtown Hartford. Looking for the flashing sign to point you to the parking lot. Great location. An abundance of well lit parking and a warm place to hang out while you wait. The court yard between the waiting area and the entrance really set the tone nicely!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


A couple 15ft tall ghouls provide entertainment for those choosing to wait outside. A heated waiting area with concessions is also a bonus.

Actors' Performance


We had a lot of fun interacting with the performers. Some may have been a bit young or inexperienced which may explain the pacing issues indicated in the comments above.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


A nice variety of sets and some pretty descent special effects. For those of you who traditionally checkout a few different haunts every year you'll appreciate a few of the rooms which showcase some creative concepts. Compared to other haunts, a few of the rooms here were relatively quite spacious....a nice perk for those who don't particularly enjoy being squeezed into a room when your grouped with complete strangers.

Length


Not the longest haunt I've toured but at 18 minutes I felt as if I got my money's worth.

Crowd Control


There wasn't much of a crowd when I attended but there were several law enforcement officers present so I'm sure nothing would get out of control if there was one.

Most Memorable Moment


The laser room/hallway. As I was stuck in the back of the group I'm not sure if there was anything in this room to scare you....but the special effect here was sensational.

Summary

As always, this haunt did a solid job of entertaining everyone in our group. A fantastic venue along with a nice variety of sets, creative ideas and solid special effects make this the best haunted venue of the area. It may not have all the bells and whistles to knock everyone's socks off but it will definitely satisfy your thirst for a ghoulishly good time.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Youth Go's Haunted House

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


Neenah's Most Haunted celebrated their 25th year of fear this year. Neenah's Most Haunted is a non-profit haunt and all the proceeds go to help youth in the area. There are no animatronics and all of the rooms are designed by the students themselves. I have often said that the imagination of the youth is much more creative than most adults and they contribute greatly to anything "haunted". The students of Neenah's Most Haunted attend a class in the summer that teaches them how to design and how to scare. The students or "scharacters" (as they are referred to) comprise of up to 70 different actors throughout the entire haunt. The night we attended there were about 40 "scharacters" acting because of homecoming that weekend, but you couldn't tell as every corner masked a ghoul or two.



Finding Neenah's Most Haunted isn't difficult as there is a very well lit sign and plenty of ghouls wandering about the grounds. As we walked to the enterance one of my friends reached for the door of a port-a-potty and a large masked man with a chainsaw came barreling at him. It was at that point that we knew we were in for a real treat! The tickets are only $10 at the door (the most inexpensive I have seen yet) and again they go towards a really good cause. I will admit that the admission price had me concerned that this haunt may not be very scary. Boy was I wrong! From the moment you leave your car until the moment you get back in (that is if you make it out) there are ghouls surrounding you. The wait is outside so be prepared if the weather does not cooperate. The wait to enter the house was brief, but for me it seemed long as a werewolf was intent on making me his next victim.



As we entered the Haunt we were grouped into a clan of 7 people. The introductory room contained two very well versed "scharacters" and they were disturbing in a very good "off-putting" way. They taunted and teased our group until everyone was ready to leave the room screaming. However, we could not find a way out! The theme of mysterious exits echoed throughout the entire house. Nothing was what it seemed and even a veteran would find themselves confused and trapped. Each room was very carefully designed and there was never a point that we felt we were in a "non-profit" haunt!



My biggest moment of fear was walking through a hallway and hearing someone in our group say "those are REAL spider webs". I'm still uncertain if they were or not, I just knew I had to get out of there! You will notice ramps throughout the house, but that is because this haunt is 100% wheel chair accessible. We played a good game of "Ring around the Rosie, but after that each member of our group slowly disappeared. We regrouped and finally found the exit, but to our friends dismay the masked man with a chainsaw found him once again. The entire haunt took us about 25 minutes without a second of downtime. The only bad thing I can say about this haunt is that I wish I would have been able to make it to "The Hallow's", their haunted walk through the woods. The Hallow's is usually put on the opening weekend and is set at Memorial Park. It is only $5 to enjoy the fear of The Hallow's and I look forward to enjoying it next year when Neenah's Most Haunted celebrates their 26th successful year.

Summary

Neenah's Most Haunted may be inexpensive and not highly commercialized, but don't let that make you think that they can't scare you. They have been around for 25 years because they ARE that good! I recommend this haunt to those who want a great haunted attraction for a great price.

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Hauntfest - CLOSED -

by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 6 a.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


I had a lot of anticipation for going to this haunted house. This was my first time to what is becoming a classic. Hauntfest has been known for the attention to detail that they give there haunted house every year. It's got a great location that is accessible to those both in and outside of the city.



It is interesting to see the area usually given away to cream puffs, cows, and nature conservation booths filled with a large crowd gathered together blasting themselves with sounds of horror and enjoying the enjoying zombies and serial killers running pell mell all over the State Fair grounds.



The haunted house that they awaited held nothing back and was nothing short of amazing. The attention to detail in the scenes and the non-stop pace of screams and scares made what probably was a fairly short haunted house seem much, much longer.


Signage / Visibility / Location


Being that the location is State Fair Park, I don't think that most people would have any issue finding this. I did not notice much signage for the actual haunted house near the gate, which may make a person not familiar with the fairgrounds uncertain as to where to enter.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


For a waiting area, the people at Hauntfest can't have a much better one. The whole area is haunted and you can choose where to enjoy yourself while waiting for the haunted house.

You can enjoy music, a movie, or just people watching outside.

I will also say that everybody should try out "The Last Ride" while waiting to get to the haunted house. It is a few extra dollars, but it is worth getting a taste for what is going to happen to your mortal corpse after you have left this plane of existence.

That being said, I will note some issues. The night I was there, the wait was easily over an hour. If your not into dancing to hip hop or having yourself blasted with music outside (from the movie screen + from the music at the front of the house, which clashed most or all of the time), the experience may leave something to be desired. I think more people fall into this category than Hauntfest would want to think. Some people just looked miserable waiting to get in.

Actors' Performance


The amount of actors inside the haunt and the quality of their performance will leave an impression in me for a while. They maintained their character and their energy at a level that I would not have imagined they could have. The hard work they put into their characters showed.

I was especially impressed by one bloody fingered female zombie that worked the crowd the majority of the night. She stayed in character no matter what the crowd did, which is a testament to how good she was. Neither was she an exception, when looking at the other actors. It just helped lend to a truly great experience inside the haunted house.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It is hard to get special effects and scenes of this caliber outside of a major amusement park. Whether it is walking through an 'outdoor' scene with wood chips underneath or staggering through a disorienting cage maze, the little touches that are added throughout really help put you, mentally, into the scene which they create. They utilized animatronics, but only to flush out the environment of a scene, which is often better than making it a centerpiece, as I have seen done in a lot of haunts.

This place is character-driven and the effects take a back seat to them, but this tends to give a better experience for a live-action haunt.

Length


It seemed longer than it probably was. I thought the length was appropriate for the fast pace of the haunted house, which may have left one overwhelmed if it had been too long.

Crowd Control


I was given a ticket without any instruction. The individuals working with the haunt were not that helpful with communicating to people what was going on, which led to large quantities of people looking lost after getting in. It also led to a lot of people asking: "Where is the Haunted House?" In all honesty, the staff looked overwhelmed the night I was there. Luckily, the crowd was fairly well behaved and there seemed to be little issue other than confusion.

Most Memorable Moment


Besides "The Last Ride" (which I will remember for a long, long, time), there were many good scenes in the haunted house. It would be hard to pick my favorite.

It probably would have been trying wrestle my way through the great morgue scene that they put on. Body bags are creepy.

Summary

Stellar haunted attraction, though the somewhat unpleasant wait to get in tended to take away from the experience.

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The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by Dr Caligari (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


Ahh...The Country...Rolling Hills...The sweet smell of freshly cut silage...The red barns....The Zombies.....



...Zombies???



Yes, something sinister has arisen out in Stoughton and it has taken over the farm. The adventure here doesn't just leave you inside, but it takes you outside into the dark, mysterious woods behind the barn. You get to experience all the trappings of a rural haunting.



I arrived early at the farm, which I had little difficulty finding. I enjoyed the wait watching the different families wait to get into the haunt. I was actually surprised at the amount of families there, as most of the crowds at the haunts I have frequented as of late have tended to the high schooler/college-aged groups. I have, usually, seen more adults/kids inside the haunt, than waiting in line. It actually was a relief to me to see families in attendance. It is diversity of ages here and the atmosphere of the haunt reflected that.



The haunted barn actually was a barn, with all the trappings of a barn and scenes which seemed to depict a more rural way of haunted living. This does not mean that the haunts special effects were any less than the larger, more big budget haunted houses. The special effects here were great and more effectively used than in many other places.



It was also cool having an actual outdoor graveyard and outdoor haunted woods, rather than having to put up with a cheap, indoor imitation.



I enjoyed my experience and recommend this haunt to anybody in the area. It could be considered a long ride from the city, but I think you will enjoy it, as I did.


Signage / Visibility / Location


The atmosphere of the haunt borrows a lot from it's surroundings. I honestly can not think of a better place to have a haunted barn. The Haunted Barn is right off of Hwy 51 near Stoughton. There is a big, lit up sign nearby to direct your attention to the activities at the farm. I had no difficulties in finding it, even though I am all that familiar with the surroundings.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There wasn't much of a wait at the Haunted Barn. They had several different snack stands from noted area vendors. They also had a small gift shop where they were selling small Halloween items. A few spirited actors worked the crowd. It was a great experience, which got you in the mood to see what was setting people screaming inside.

Actors' Performance


Very good. Everybody knew their lines and you just really never know where these actors will pop out from.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Really good, realistic scenes for the setting that you're in. Like I say, a lot of their props and scenes borrow from the setting they are in, which is a nice touch in an age where haunted barns seem to want to be just haunted houses in a barn.

The people here who set this haunt up also take you up/down/around all over, which creates this really disorienting effect, which just adds to the experience.

Length


It was a very good length. Over 30 minutes total.

Crowd Control


There were no crowd issues outside the haunt. The pacing in the haunted house, due to the fact that the groups ahead of me seemed to be going really slow and the groups behind me were faster paced, had some issues. It was such that, by the time I got out, I think I had run into several different groups total.

Most Memorable Moment


Going down a dark hallway and suddenly noticing that zombies seemed to be surrounding me on every side...even above me...

Summary

Overall, a really enjoyable haunt. The trip to get there is worth every mile.

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Schuster's Haunted Forest

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Ah outdoor haunts...how they have always held a special place in my heart. It takes a special breed of actor to work in and work with the elements to achieve a scare. Schuster's Haunted Forest did not disappoint. First and foremost I have to say that this attraction used strobe lights and darkness amazingly well. If you are expecting to be able to attain your night vision on this outdoor attraction you can just forget about that now.



There has always been something about wandering through the woods, freely, and getting scared that most people enjoy. The Schuster's have set their haunt up for success. When you begin the haunt you really feel as if you have been dropped off in the woods and you are working your way back home. This aspect I really enjoyed.



The haunt had plenty of scare variety. Haunts can get boring if all they are is actors jumping out and screaming. This haunt had a good combination of role playing type scenes and flat out jumping out of the darkness. The one thing I was disappointed in, however, is that there are some spots that are dull due to the lack of scares or scenery.



This minor "hic-up", however, was few and far between. The haunt still did well with keeping the creep factor up. Being in the woods alone (mostly by yourself) is enough to put anyone on a bit of an edge, but the way the haunt moves you around and pinch points that it puts you through it definitely keeps you up on your guard.



Schuster's Haunted Forest is definitely a must for those that want that "Halloween feel". Nothing quite beats woods, creeps, and only moonlight to guide you home.

Signage / Visibility / Location


A bit of a problem. A huge sign but no lights to speak of. You are coming to the haunt off of a highway so if you miss that sign...forget about it. You will definitely have to turn around and come back. There is also a distinct round barn on the property that you might be able to see. Look for that. If you have GPS or you are looking at addresses and the location is getting closer, slow down, and you will be able to see the sign. From there pull in and enjoy!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


During the day Schuster's is an entertainment farm with plenty to offer. The night is just the same. There is a market where you can buy Halloween goodies and gifts. There are also several concession stands were you can purchase snacks, drinks, and my favorite, kettle corn. There was also a bonfire and other smaller activities that you could do.

Don't have the nerve to be scared but still want to be out on a fall night. The event also offers the ability for visitors to take a night time tour of their corn maze. All in all there is plenty to do before and after the haunted attraction.

Actors' Performance


The actors did a great job, especially those that were in the positions of role playing. I never saw any actors break character and all actors kept to their roles. Further each actor had a unique way of scaring. This is refreshing to see as screaming gets boring and, eventually, annoying. This troop of actors definitely deserves to know that they did a good job.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


All I can say is that there is nothing better than use nature as your set. This may sound easy but to really make this type of attraction work you got to know what you are doing. The scenes fit the set...a mine shaft, a shack, and an old time carnival are all things that fit ones idea of a haunted forest. This definitely helps you feel as if you are in a movie. Finally the props and FX were appropriate as well as simple which was fitting for the landscape. Everything worked together to really create a first class attraction.

Length


The length all together was about an hour. The problem was that half of that hour was spent waiting to board a wagon, waiting to enter the haunt, and then waiting to be taken back to the farm. Granted the farm had a busy night, as they should, but what this means is that the haunt should be longer or a better way to move patrons through should be found. Is the wait worth it...I would say so but just be prepared for such a wait.

Crowd Control


Again another haunt that utilizes our boys in blue to help with crowds, disorderly people, and other trouble makers. Two Dane County deputies were there to assure that everyone behaved. Not one minute did I feel that there was going to be a problem.

Traffic control, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired. The event had A LOT of vehicles tightly packed into one parking area with little room to back out and head home (without hitting another vehicle). When I left there was a line of cars jockeying to get into a spot. That is another time you need to factor in.

Most Memorable Moment


I would have to say that the most memorable moment, honestly, was the wagon ride to the beginning of the attraction and from the end. The ride really sets the mood and brings the creep factor up. With the design of the wagon and hard core music playing as you are hauled off it really does set the mood.

Summary

Although this haunt has its rough spots it does not hurt the haunt itself. It is still well worth it to come out and brave the woods. I would definitely recommend this for anyone who wants a true Halloween haunt.

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Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


The Burial Chamber Haunted Complex is a haunt that I attend every year, and for good reason, it's that good! Some might ask if it gets boring... NO! Burial Chamber is outstanding each year, changing with the times to remain fresh for return guests. With three haunts and a simulated casket ride, you get your moneys worth in this haunt!



Burial Chamber doesn't give you three small haunts either, all three are huge, and time consuming! All three haunts are put together with the goal of making the customer satisfied, and spooked! The two indoor haunts are theme based, I won't give anything away, but I will say that both are different, and both are worth the price of admission by themselves. The third haunt, an outdoor haunted forest, is great as well. Something about a dark forest, with ghouls jumping out, and back-woods freaks screaming at you makes me wish this time of year was here forever! All three haunts prey on fear, and the actors are worthy of awards. All of the actors risk their bodies and voices to make this haunt one you will remember! For my money, Burial Chamber is the best haunt in Wisconsin! Two thumbs us, four stars, A+++!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Burial Chamber has plenty of signage, as well as parking attendants ready to show you the way to the haunt

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Lines for Burial Chamber were long, but this is to be expected, as this is one of the areas hottest haunts. There is no shortage of ghouls and freaks to keep you spooked while in line. Burial Chamber also has giant screens that play various music videos, horror movie clips, and other short videos that keep you in the spirit while you wait in line.

Actors' Performance


Year after year Burial Chamber continues to impress me. The actors in and outside of the haunts are well trained, seem to genuinely love what they are doing, and go out of their way to make sure you leave satisfied and spooked! My hat goes off to all the actors, as none of them phoned it in. I have a soft spot in my heart for anyone who is willing to crawl around on the ground the whole time they are spooking, and there were a few of them! All the actors seem to have little regard for their voices, as everyone one of them shouted and made noises that made my throat hurt! A+++

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Burial Chamber does not skimp on their set. The complex is huge, and I remember at times wondering about how much it must cost to put this on. All three haunts are well decorated, and the effects they use are top notch. But it was the little things that get me excited. At times you will think you have been walking in circles, they have a lot of disorientating tricks they pull! In all, Burial Chamber is tops when it comes to sets and scenes.

Length


Give yourself some time, all three haunts were long! Several times I thought to myself, "This has got to be over soon", only to be pleasantly surprised that it wasn't! It is long, but not a drag or boring! Any haunt that doesn't rush you though is a plus, and Burial Chamber seems to be all about getting you your moneys worth!

Crowd Control


Lines were under control, staff members as well as actors roamed the premises, I didn't see anyone out of control, so all was well. There was plenty of stuff to see while in line, which helps control a crowd well!

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment for me is a hard thing to pin point. I have always loved this haunt, that's why I go back year after year. There are a lot of sensory things that help the experience, which is always awesome. I always love the darkness of much of the haunts. A spinning tunnel is usually the icing on the cake for me. Personally, the staff takes the crown though. Everyone was so polite, and spooky, and awesome! The lady at the ticket booth was engaging, and seemed like she was really happy to see the customers. Great job to all!

Summary

Burial Chamber produces every year. This is a scary haunt, that is put together well, and is acted out flawlessly. Sets and effects are tops! This is the haunt to attend, I highly recommend it!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED)

by louiscyphre (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 10, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

An enjoyable storyline-driven haunt in Milwaukee located underneath a fifties-themed working pizza parlor. This is one of those haunts where you're a legitimate part of the story, in that you interact with characters throughout and outcomes are dependent on your participation. It also has a couple of godd**ned scary points where companions and I thought we were going to have heart attacks, which would make for really good publicity for Monster Mayhem, I suppose. Oh, and read the website stuff before you go -- it has some background information on the storyline that will help you put things in context.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find, right off the interstate, Google maps very clearly lays it out, and there are big signs for Paulo's Pizzeria. Lots of parking, big parking lot shared by many businesses, all of whom are unlikely to have visitors at haunt time, I would think. I think there's a bowling alley across the street if you want something else to do post-haunting. There also looks like there's plenty of street parking.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


This is a sweet deal. There's a huge pizza parlor, retro-themed for the fifties, with things like vintage jukeboxes, vintage soda machines, booth-side mini-jukeboxes with fifties and sixties tunes on them, etc. We had dinner there before they opened (their pizza has that really good bubbly-but-crackery-crust pizza that this writer grew up on in Midwestern Illinois) and there are tons of tables and booths. They also appear to have an extensive appetizer menu and there's a whole other barroom and a separate vintage videogame/arcade room for the kiddies or the kids at heart (I have the heart of a small boy myself...in a jar on my desk! Bada Bing! I'll be here all week!), really all that one could ask for as one is waiting to fulfill one's mission to investigate the strange occurrences and disappearances in the basement formerly housing Blazzin' (sic) Lasers (actually, I think that Blazzin' (sic) Lasers is the off-season purpose of the haunt space).


You buy your tickets at the back of the restaurant and there is some kind of projector which may in the future (we were told by the ticket lady) show footage of people in the haunt, which seems like a very very clever idea. Due to the time pressures of having to work the next day, we got there when they opened and were the first guests for the night (I would not recommend this, you want to go later in the evening so the ghouls are all warmed up and hungry for blood, but if you don't want to wait, Sunday night at 7 is a good time), so there wasn't really any wait for us.

They give you wristbands once you've paid, and I think they said they call out numbers for people to get ready and then get in line. The waiting area to get in is a concrete block stairwell, lit with green lights and haunted by a zombie lady and an extra-special surprise we heard about but didn't get to see, as we were lame and went on a Sunday night instead of the more usual times of Friday and Saturday and apparently the extra-special surprise doesn't work on Sunday nights. Ghouls these days! Back in my day, ghouls would walk a mile uphill, with just bloodied stumps for legs and dragging themselves forward with skeletal flaking hands, just to work on a Sunday night. I tells ya, no respect.

Actors' Performance


This was great, even though we were there on a Sunday night (okay, now I will stop saying that), these guys were convincing and obviously really into their storyline, dead serious actors who are intent on drawing you into the unfolding plot. You play an important part at certain points, and they treat you like you have a role to play in the action yourself. Ghouls were good, and there's this cage filled with slavering ghouls in various stages of undress crawling all over each other that seemed just awfully...unsettling.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Fewer scenes than one might get in other haunts, but there's definitely more plot going on than the stereotyped haunted houses of Oh No It's Freddy Krueger, and around that corner, it's Jason! And there's Michael Myers! And a Clown with Big Fangs eating a Baby!


I think they're really trying to give you an adventure here, not just scare you with various disconnected things jumping out of the dark, so, what they lack in cliche, they make up for in interactional opportunities. I love that stuff! We were given a mission by the guy at the front and had to play it out over the course of the haunt, almost like those LARP thingies all the kids are playing these days.


Hot Tip -- they asked for some kind of number code at one point (I think it was four digits), that we hadn't gotten, and so they weren't able to deactivate the bomb and the guy at the end told us we failed our mission (Sorry guys!). So, keep your eyes peeled for a number code or listen more closely to information the characters give you and you might, just might, get to stop the bomb from going off, though I'm not sure why that means you complete your mission. If I had a hoard of zombies and ghouls running amok, I would probably make it my mission to explode a bomb down in there.

Length


Oh, about 15 minutes to get through the haunt, a little short, but that might be because we were there, yes, on a Sunday night. Again, we had no wait, but when we left, a line was already snaking up the stairs and into Paulo's Pizzeria.

Crowd Control


They sent us all in twos, and this was important in the plot, not sure if they do this on the busier nights. It was really fun, much more interaction that way, but also less fun, in that you don't get to go through the whole thing with your friends if you have more than one.

Most Memorable Moment


The cryogenic chamber and its Occupant...

Summary

Enjoyable haunt where you play a more active role in things and all the characters connect up into a grand plot that relies on you to do more than just be scared. In some ways, it kind of made it scarier, in that it seemed, I dunno, more real, and you had to take things a bit more seriously.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


I attended with two other people to get different perspectives on Terror on Rural this year.



Both of them raved about the actor's make up and the large and elaborate sets.



On the trip through Terror, you will pass through a prison lock up, witness an electrocution and observe an operation on a patient with very active arteries.



There is a crematorium to pass through as well as an area featuring hanging, wet meats.



There are some nice sensory effects this year with a tunnel filled with changing patterns of light and another hall with walls that will close in on you backed by strobe lighting.



Depending on how easy you scare, you may not find Terror particularly chilling, but at the very least there are some nice scenes to explore and staff that want to startle you.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Terror on Rural is just outside of the downtown area of Hartford with lit signage to locate the house.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The house has a covered waiting area with benches and a snack bar. There are ample portable toilet facilities.

Actors' Performance


Everyone working at Terror when we visited gave good performances and seemed to care about creating a startle. Special remark goes out to the nurse who showed us her Facebook page and shared a few other jokes before encouraging us all to get flu shots.

Also, the "prisoners" in the jail cells gave particularly enthusiastic performances.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


As was mentioned, the people in my group were very impressed with the make up on the actors at Terror on Rural, and I have to agree. The make up artists are to be complimented.

The sets were lit well enough to appreciate the detail.

On our visit, we found ourselves stopped in an area with a dropping floor effect for several minutes. Apparently, staff were trying to regulate traffic through the house, but the dropping effect got old after about 10 occurrences.

As per usual, the sets were impressive and detailed.

Length


It took approximately 20-25 minutes to walk through the house.

Crowd Control


Visitors are routed through the house in an efficient manner. Ticket numbers are called in groupings and once inside the waiting area of the house, staff will assemble you in lines and share a few jokes with you.

Most Memorable Moment


All in my party agreed the most memorable moment of our visit was the walk through a tunnel featuring changing patterns of green lighting on the wall with a few actors waiting along the display.

Summary

Terror on Rural is always worth a stop. The staff routinely give invested performances. None of us found the attraction particularly scary this year. There are a few startles, but we tended to notice where people were hiding and some of the scenes are kind of predictable. Despite those issues, Terror is still a recommended visit and the effort that staff put forward to produce the house is apparent.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: High

Review


This is Oblivion’s first year in action. You can purchase tickets online for only $10, but make sure that you purchase them 200 minutes before the house opens that night. When we went to purchase tickets online 2 hours prior to the opening of the attraction it gives a notification that states “tickets must be purchased 200 minutes in advance”.



Walking to the haunted house, the first thing you notice is the smell of treats. They had quite the selections of treats and toys, but chocolate covered bacon is what really caught my eye. I feared the heart attack I might encounter in the haunt, so I did pass on the bacon. As you approach the haunt you can hear loud music and the outside is well decorated with laser effects and props. There were two great areas for dancers, but since we were there right before they opened there were no ghouls in them. Before you reach the outside, you are given the option to purchase glowing necklaces/headbands for $1. As explained to us the glowing necklaces help you to determine who is a friend and who is a foe.



When you first enter the haunt, you are lined up (similar to an amusement park ride) and shown a video. The actress in the beginning was great at encouraging ghoulish talk. The most unique thing about this haunt is the elevator ride in the beginning. I grasped the elevator wall fearing that it would drop at any minute, but alas the ride was over and everyone was safely on their feet. The attraction is in a warehouse that is 15,000 square feet! I would have liked to attend later in the evening as it would have given the volunteer ghouls more time to find their "niche". However, there were a few natural born ghouls that left their mark.



Oblivion started construction in November of 2009 and the detail and props definitely showed the hours well spent. I do not scare very easily, but there were several areas that caught me off guard. Expect the unexpected at Oblivion and even if you are prepared to be scared ... they will get you! I had to stop at one point because I couldn't figure out how the ghoul managed to drop from the sky. One room contained the MOST disturbing scene I have seen thus far ... the blood, screaming and acting was too real!



The total time spent going through the haunt was 14 minutes, however it seemed much longer. Our group surpassed the glowing necklaces, but we were paired with another group that had them. The necklaces were great for seeing where you were going, but I would have preferred wandering in the dark. Our "big guy" was in the back of the group and he was followed by a ghoul the entire way. He explained that it was freaky because he was never "safe".

Summary

Oblivion is a great haunt for those seeking the high tech commercialized haunt at an extremely affordable price. It is short, but the time is well executed.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Hubertus House of Horror

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


The Hubertus House of Horror has been around a while and I attend it routinely.



Creation/re-creation of the house requires a good deal of effort throughout the year to change things up, and staff there are always attentive to trying to keep things as fresh as they can, which is appreciated.



The house features a nice swamp scene and a restaurant with a butcher that wants some acknowledgment, as well.



You will also have an early session with Santa that was an interesting twist.



There is an excellent animatronic effect that awaits you.



There is also a surprise after your instructions before entering the house.



I went with a group of three to get different reactions to the haunt and my guests felt there was too much glow make up at one point in the house and they felt the 3D aspect was not much of a novel experience.



Some of the scenes had rather poorly hidden actors lying in wait, so those scares were unremarkable.



I'm not sure if in week two of the season the actors aren't quite at peak performance, but some of the scenes were slow to develop and the timing was off. There were some awkward waits for the scare during my visit.



The house begins with a bus ride that has essentially zero scare factor and doesn't really provide much of an enhancement to the experience.


Signage / Visibility / Location


If you can find your way to Hubertus, you should be able to find your way to the House of Horror. Look carefully for a small sign on the left side of the road near a church off of Holy Hill Rd, if you are approaching from the highway. The exit will be on your left in front of the church.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


For our visit, a local radio station was doing a promotion with giveaways in the gym. Wii system games were available as were other arcade games for a fee.

Hubertus has a nice snack area available and ample toilet facilities.

Actors' Performance


The house's actors gave nice performances and seemed invested in trying to startle the guests.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The Hubertus house routinely adorns its rooms with lots of props. It featured one of the best scenes that I've seen thus far this season with a zombie that notices you watching him.

Length


The trip through the house takes about 25 minutes, depending on your pace and how quickly you are permitted to enter various rooms.

Staff at the house gatekeep entry into the different scenes and sometimes you will catch the group before you and hear what you are about to experience.

Crowd Control


The House has a system of lining up guests in 3 lines preparing them to enter the house. this works effectively for routing people into the attraction. Ticket numbers are announced and written on a chalkboard inside the gym so that you know what ticket numbers are able to enter the house.

Most Memorable Moment


The house features an animatronic that is outstanding and also includes a sensory effect. It's been the best scene I've experienced so far this season and in itself validated the price of admission.

Summary

I hate to be critical of an old classic in Hubertus, but I felt the scare and startle factors were a bit lower this year than usual. Perhaps scenes will tighten as the season progresses. For those in the Milwaukee area, I still recommend the attraction as its creators routinely put forth a good effort to diversify the haunt. Despite not being particularly scary per se, I feel this attraction is worth a look. The very fact that you are wandering the corridors of an old house will be chilling enough for some, but for those with higher expectations than just an old, creaking house this may not be a maximum experience.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


House of Bathory is back again and they continue to go above and beyond every year. The theme this year is, "Alice in Wonderland", but do not expect tea and cookies at this party. It's in your face, or rather I should say "beyond in your face". (Yes, this IS a touch haunted house. If that bothers you, then I recommend going elsewhere). What makes the House of Bathory such a success is the outstanding actors, fine detail, and unique creative designs. The actors are primarily high school age or younger. Think the younger ones can't scare? Think again! Every actor is there on a volunteer basis because they live to scare year round! They even open the Haunt in the summer and may open it in December as well. This isn't your typical 4 weekends and its over ... they live for this stuff.



The Mad Hatter invited us to dinner and he had us laughing and trembling. The details of the rooms do not consist of your typical electronic, technologically advanced props. Most of the rooms and hallways appeared to be something you would see in a classic horror movie. The "Alice in Wonderland" theme flowed flawlessly from start to finish with an added bonus "scene" at the very end! There are no concessions and the wait outside has some ghouls wandering around, but as "Dead by Dawn" explains on their website ... they are not there to serve warm doughnuts, they are there to "scare the S*%@" out of you. And that is exactly what they do best!



We were fortunate enough to go when the wait wasn't very long, but I know from previous years the wait can be long. However, the wait is well worth it as they specifically make sure that every room is properly prepared for each victim. You will never have to worry about being rushed or running into another group. The staging of the haunt is meant to play out like a movie rather than herding cattle through hallways and glancing at rooms. According to the website if you are 21 or older you can buy your tickets at the door and wait at a nearby bar until bartender summons you. PLEASE make sure to bring a designated driver if that is the route you choose. At only $15 a ticket you can't afford NOT to attend this haunt, no matter where you are coming from. I am uncertain the EXACT length of the haunt, but we estimated it at about 25-30 minutes! My group is already making plans for a second visit this year!

Summary

House of Bathory is THE place for fear seekers. I would NOT recommend this haunt to anyone who scares easily and is afraid to get on their hands and knees. If you think haunted houses aren't scary, then this IS the haunt to attend!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by CC2 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


One never knows what they will come across in a cornfield in Washington County, as it turns out.



On your visit to the Haunted Cornfield, you will traverse a glowing spider web and eventually meet its spitting creator.



There is a pirate ship with its captain and a surprise guest.



Throughout the field, you will encounter glowing red and white eyes staring at you from the dark amidst the sounds of the night.



There are witches brewing concoctions in cauldrons and aliens that have found earth to be a fertile area for colonization.



You will meet the Wolfman and will contemplate a solitary walk through a graveyard.



On your trip, you will pass through a house of confusion with tapestry the same pattern as the walls.



Prior to entering the maze, there are plenty of options for how to spend your time.



The Cornfield is a pumpkin farm and has an impressive array of pumpkins, squash and gourds to buy.



There is also a gift shop on site selling Halloween themed gifts and a snack area selling cider and caramel apples among other fall treats.



The staff maintain a raised fire pit and snacks are sold in that area.



I am told they tell scary stories around the fire. When I visited, people sat and enjoyed the warmth in silence awaiting their call into the field.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Cornfield is in a fairly rural location. The directions on the website are helpful and my GPS found it with no difficulty.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Once actually in line, there isn't much to do but wait once your ticket number grouping is called.

Prior to being called, there is plenty of browsing to do through the rows of pumpkins, in the gift shop and around the grounds.

As was mentioned, there is a very pleasant bonfire to sit by to pass the time while you are waiting for your group to be called.

There is a digital message board near the fire that lets you know what groups are currently able to wait in line.

Plenty of snacks, etc. are available.

This is really one of the more rich Halloween environments to pass time in.

Actors' Performance


I particularly appreciated the actor's portraying animals in an area where you eventually end up in a shrinking cage.

Overall, all of the live performers in the field had invested involvements with us and seemed to enjoy their roles. Costuming and make up were above average.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The creators of the cornfield did a remarkable job of setting up scenes in the field and having lots of audio and smaller scenes in-between the major stops.

There is plenty to pay attention to in your walk through the corn. Quiet moments are few and beware when it becomes too quiet.

Warning: there is a very heavy reliance on strobe lights in the field if you are sensitive to that.

Length


Depending on the pace of your walk, your journey through the field should take you about a half hour.

Crowd Control


For my visit, groups were being called 50 at a time. Groups were sent into the maze in about 5 minute intervals and they were allowing individual couples and small groups to enter on their own vs in pre-set groupings like 8 at a time, etc. This added to the wait, but improved the overall individual experience.

Most Memorable Moment


For my group, we particularly appreciated the scene with a pirate ship and also the area that eventually evolves into a caging. The actors in that area in particular gave very lively performances.

Summary

I really enjoyed this event. The walk through the field really makes you have to keep your wits about you and there is some kind of stimulation either audio or visual throughout the field. This was a very satisfying visit and is highly recommended.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


I have to say that this is the first time that I have visited this haunted house even though that I had great things about this haunt since I was 16. I am happy to say that those excited murmurings proved true.



The event started off slow. I had to wait for my number to be called and then have the rules of the house explained to me by a mad doctor but after that the fun began! The entrance was perfect. A creepy door, slowly opening and fog pouring out. This opening, in one word, was creepy.



The attention to detail and entertainment value only continued. The scares began only seconds after I set foot in the haunt. These guys know how to scare. They used extreme darkness and strobes well. When you expected a scare because of the set-up they didn't scare you. When you passed that point that is when they got you. I loved it. They really had the art of the haunted house down to a science.



I have to be honest, at the beginning I was nervous when I heard this haunt had inventive animatronics. I have often found when haunts start collecting animatronics they start relying WAY too much on the technology and not enough on living and breathing actors. Terror on Rural, however, knew what to do with this technology. They used it to help the actors do what they need to do. This was great to see.



I will touch more on this later but right now I have to say that you can tell that the men and women that run this haunt put their all into making it highly entertaining. The scenes and effects were amazing. They were some of the best that I have seen in a long time.



One of the most interesting aspects of this haunt is that it forced those within the 4 or 5 person group (even if they were strangers) to come together and hold on to each other to get to the next area. Why? This house had some VERY dark areas. We are talking you-cannot-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face dark. So get ready to get close to whoever. That may be the only way to get through without running into a wall.



Quite simply this place was great. Just entertainment value alone makes this event well worth visiting. Terror on Rural Street had no lack of scares, no lack of effects, and no lack of fun.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Easy navigation AND easy to find makes this haunt fast and easy to get to. The haunt did a great job in putting signs where they were visible.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


It appears that this haunt does a great job in moving people through the house. I arrived at 8:30PM, not long after the event had started, and I only had to wait about 6 minutes before my number was called and I was admitted into the house. The waiting area had a concession stand available and had stilt walkers in costume outside for entertainment. All in all a pleasant area while waiting to enter the house.

Actors' Performance


One word...Excellent. I have been in the haunted house industry for over 6 years and I have always stood by that actors are what make or break a haunt. The actors at Terror on Rural Street constantly stayed in character, even if you attempted to have a casual conversation with the spook. The actors were definitely on their toes. Exceptional work on their part.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and scenes were detailed and fitted the theme. Many sets were interactive where I was squirted with "blood" from an operating table to where I had to push my way through body parts hanging on a rotating and bloody wheel. This really made me feel part of the experience.



The props were also great. The haunt did a great job of making the room look like it is supposed to look. The "operating room" did not just have a table and medical instruments. This haunt's room had everything that you would expect to find in a mad doctor's lab. The effort to pull the person into the scene is obvious and I really enjoyed that effort.



Finally the FX. I won't ruin what you will find in the house but what I will say is that I saw some amazing FX that I have never seen before. The FX were definitely a new way of distorting your concentration and focus. Everything you need to make a good scare. So go and check it out. I think you will be impressed too!

Length


Not including the miniscule wait the whole house took about 35 minutes to get through (and I have to admit I was walking pretty quickly...to the dismay of the two girls behind me). I will add, however, that this haunt did such a good job at distorting your senses and messing with your mind that it felt as if you had been in the house much much longer.

Crowd Control


There was no crowd to control when I arrived but the event had this problem under control (I am sure) with two Washington County deputies being on site and monitoring those that were coming and going.

Most Memorable Moment


I really do not like this part because I do not like giving scares away to those that are heading to the event so this is all I will say...there is no crosswalk to speak of, so watch out for the car. :p

Summary

This haunt had something for everyone. If you do not jump at least once during this haunt there is something wrong with you. Great scenes, great actors, and great fun, this haunt is definitely a 5 out of 5.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Hauntfest - CLOSED -

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 6 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


I really enjoyed this haunt this year! We arrived pretty late on a Friday night (around 11 pm), so it was really busy and we had to wait quite a while to get into the house - we got in around midnight. However, there was plenty to keep us entertained while we waited - there is a concession stand, a DJ playing music, and scary movies playing on a giant screen. I actually feel like the wait made the haunt seem scarier because we kept seeing people coming out crying or screaming, so we were psyching ourselves out a bit.



Once inside the haunt, we were put in an elevator (creepy!!!) and moved on to a ton of really creepy and well designed rooms with some great actors. Some people may not agree, but I acually really love children actors since I think they're incredibly creepy, so I liked that in this haunt. And I got a lot of weary looks from actors, too - they relied more on a psychological thrill than jumping out and saying "boo" as often as possible, and I think that's great!



The haunt plays with the senses a bit too; it's difficult to explain how, but you'll understand when you go through. There's a few mazes in this haunt and WOW did we get turned around and confused, but it was pretty entertaining. I liked this haunt more this year than I did last year, so kudos for making it even better this time around!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find - it's located at State Fair Park.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They use a ticket system, so you don't have to wait in line the whole time. You get into line once your ticket number is called, so that gives you time to walk around and check out all the other things going on. There's a lot of actors walking around scaring people, which is always fun.

Actors' Performance


I really thought they did a good job. Like I said above, it was more psychological and less jumping out and hoping they scare you, and I really like that.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I like the scenes that messed with your head - the elevators, the mazes, the tunnel!

Length


We waited to get into the house for about an hour and then it took us maybe fifteen minutes to get through the whole thing.

Crowd Control


They did a good job of crowd control. I'm not sure if they served alcohol here or not, but there were certainly a lot of drunk people and I think I saw a few bottles of beer... but I'd rather they didn't allow it since I saw plenty of vomit. I just don't think haunted houses mix well with alcohol. But they did have plenty of police officers on hand for any problems. Otherwise, it was all pretty well done since they used the ticket system and you didn't have to wait in line for quite so long.

Most Memorable Moment


I think the mazes (both red and white and cage mazes) were really disorienting and a great addition to this haunt.

Summary

Nice job Hauntfest!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Lister F/X Presents Monster Mayhem Haunted Laser Tag (CLOSED)

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 8, 2010 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


Monster Mayhem is really a unique haunt in Milwaukee and I enjoyed it! I was a little disappointed that there is very little "scary" atmosphere when you arrive since it is located in the basement of a busy restaurant and you actually have to walk through part of the restaurant to get to it. We had a short wait and once inside, you completely forgot that you're in a restaurant basement.



The hallway (stairwell) we waited in was fun and scary since there were actors in there with us (and by the way, kudos to the actor in the stairwell - so creepy!!). Also, the guys on the intercom, though not at all scary, were incredibly entertaining and we liked them a lot! What I liked the most about this haunt was the unique theme employed throughout - I won't say much about it, but everything was connected and there was a story to follow, and I really liked that! Also, they used quite a few actors in makeup and costumes as opposed to animatronic scares, which was really nice. Lastly, although the trip through the haunt was pretty quick, my friends and I really enjoyed that there were scenes throughout that caused you to stop and listen to the actors rather than just running straight through without any interaction. Overall - well done!


Signage / Visibility / Location


I used my GPS and it was really easy to find. It's located in the basement of a restaurant, so there is plenty of parking. Once inside the building, just follow the signs to get to the entrance.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


You can sit in the restaurant while you're waiting, but we didn't have to wait very long, so we went right in to the hallway/stairwell entrance. While waiting to enter here, there was a little entertainment in the form of creepy actors and entertaining individuals on an intercom who kept talking to us.

Actors' Performance


I thought the actors did a great job - they really interacted with all of us which I always appreciate! It's an interesting concept to involve the audience in the whole storyline, but I really think it worked well for this haunt!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It was all pretty standard. Lots of darkness and some interesting and unique scenes that I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the elevators!

Length


It took us maybe about 10 minutes to get into the house and maybe another 10 minutes to make it through the whole thing.

Crowd Control


None was needed while we were there.

Most Memorable Moment


The doctor(?) we saw after decontamination... and the room with the "two buttons."

Summary

Nicely done. Although I wasn't scared very much, it was extrememly entertaining, which is just as good!!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Green Bay Fear Haunted Attractions

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


This was my first time visiting Green Bay Fear/Shawano Manor. Even though I'm from the area I've somehow never found myself out there. Boy was I missing out. Located at the Beja Shrine Center on Bond St. right next to Hwy 41 you get a sense of seclusion even in the middle of town. You purchase your tickets and head through the woods to the waiting area.



This weekend was their first weekend of the year, so the crowds were pretty small. When I first saw the facade of the haunt I could have sworn I was in the middle of the woods up north looking at a dilapidated house. These guys have been around for a while and you can tell; they really know what they are doing! Their use of 3d is what they are known for, and they pull it off well. About the time I was thinking that wearing the glasses wasn't worth it, sensory overload kicked in as they upped the ante with their 3d paint.



The haunt is easy enough to get to, however there are no signs until you are there. Its unique location in the city still makes it feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The whole location gives off a nice aura even in town.



When you first get there you go up to the ticket booth to purchase your ticket before walking through the woods to the waiting area. They have two options for tickets, one is your basic $13 admission and the other is $23 RIP admission. The RIP admission includes a waiting area with hot chocolate, a bonfire, a live band and a t shirt. The regular admission does not, however it's pretty close by so you can still see and hear the band. There was no wait when we were there so it's hard to say what kind of entertainment they might have when it's busy.



The actors were great from start to finish. The first person we encountered on the way to the house was the bride, and she played her character well. Our realtor greeted us at the door and welcomed us to Hell. He advised us we find a place to live seeing as we'll be there for a while. He explained the features and let us on our way. All the actors after this were just as good, from the butcher to Sparkles and her dad and everyone in between. The scenes were really good as well. The use of 3d was perfect, not so much that was overwhelming and not so little that you felt stupid wearing the glasses. The non 3d areas were done just as well, never more evident than in the theater.



It took us around 20 minutes to get through, and we didn't see or hear another group while we were in there. Their crowd control inside and outside was spot on.



With their take on classic scenes, and original scenes of their own they are not to be missed. If you want to spend your money on a haunt that has experience, quality sets and actors, and provides you with a fun time, Green Bay Fear by Shawano Manor is the place to go in Green Bay!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering

by pud27 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


Our first haunt of the year was Oblivion, a brand new haunt located next to the UW Fox Valley campus. Seeing as we were one of the first groups on their second day ever, I was a little concerned it might be too early to review them. Well, any fears on that were put to rest once the real fears started. From start to finish this haunt is done right. The actor's were spot on, the sets were excellent and the overall atmosphere was chilling. This is a very impressive haunt even without it being their second day. If they keep up what they started they will be haunting us for years to come!



Getting there is a breeze, as they really are located minutes off hwy 441 in Menasha as their profile and website say. I did not notice any signs on the freeway, but once you get close they had a sign pointing the way. Their haunt is located in a non-descript warehouse building that they project their name onto at night. As mentioned earlier Oblivion is located right next to the UW Fox Valley campus, which makes it very convenient. They have been using the campus parking lot for their needs while their lot is under development. According to their website they are expecting to have it completed soon.



We were one of the first groups through, so there was not a lot of waiting to do. The wait area didn't seem to have any sort of organization to it, but that could change later in the evening when a line starts to form. Their entrance is a small but detailed facade with the customary light and music show pounding out metal tunes. They have a concession stand and a few actors walking around while you wait. My favorite costume out here was the miner, there's something about a head lamp and breathing apparatus that's kind of freaky!



The actors were great from start to finish. So good in fact that to pick favorites wouldnt be fair. The new mother, the married couple, the factory worker, the insane and everyone else was done to perfection. All the actors fit their scenes perfectly, and vice versa. The sets were elaborate but not overbearing, with lots of blood and gore where it needed to be, and nice and quaint where that was the needed style. Walking through the house it was very hard to tell this was their first weekend ever.



Crowd control is the only sticky point I could see, and even that was minor. We were there too early to know what it's like in the waiting area once a crowd starts to form, but the inside control was a little lacking. We took an average pace throughout and we almost caught the people in front of us and were caught from behind. It's hard to judge too harshly on Oblivion's part as there are a lot of variables that can factor in but the actors could hold some faster groups in their room and torment them for a while if another group was just through. Other than the one time this happened it was great; and it took nearly 20 minutes to get through.



This is a very good haunt, and an excellent value! With times being tough for a lot of people it is still important to get out and have some fun. At $12 ($10 in advance!) you get a very high quality haunt that will leave you wanting more! They are now on my must see list for future years. If they are this good in year one, I can't wait until next year!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 1, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


This haunt has undergone nearly a complete transformation for 2010! The location has remained the same, a haunted hearse continues to be parked directly in front of the entrance and a few familiar fiends can be found roaming around outside and inside this haunt. Beyond that the horrific experience that lurks within this haunt has been completely redone.



Traditionally I have declared this attraction to be Milwaukee's Scariest haunt. This year's edition of the Mars Haunted House once again makes a really strong case to continue as the area's top attraction. If you've enjoyed Mars in the past you certainly won't be disappointed this year. If you haven't, the new sets and techno-scares that have been added this year are definitely worth checking out.



If you're looking to totally immerse yourself into a nightmarishly good time, look no further. This year's Mars Haunted House offers an even more interactive experience than in the past. Sets and passage ways are elaborately decorated with a keen attention to detail to provide ample visual stimulation. Encounters with ghouls seeking not only to scare the bajeebus out of you but also to creep you out make for both a bloodcurdling and chilling experience.



If you're into evaluating haunts with your senses you might find this helpful:


* Sight: Elaborate sets with great attention to detail. Lighting and special effects were frequently used to surprise me even though I was expecting it.


*Sound: Superb! The sound experience allowed me to become totally immersed in many of the rooms….especially immediately upon entering this haunt!


* Smell: Believe it or not I think there were sets that intentionally smelled a little musty (like BO or perfume) to compliment the scene. Interesting thought...if Barn yard Bob is chasing you around with an ax why shouldn't he smell like one?


* Touch: Nothing special on this front...although there are haunts that venture into this realm.

Signage / Visibility / Location


If the hearse parked by the front door and the elaborately dressed ghouls meandering along the sidewalk don't catch your attention you may be dead already...but if you're not you probably wouldn't be the first person to drive past the site.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Be on the watch for Violator! Words won't do justice for this ghoul…but trust me, when you encounter Violator you'll know it! Also, if you happen to encounter Stitches try not to make him laugh…you won't be able to get the experience out of your head…

In summary, elaborately dressed ghouls interact with you to heighten your anticipation while you wait to enter. The waiting line is all outdoors...so dressing for the weather may be a good idea if you're attending during peak haunting hours.

Actors' Performance


Solid! Some hilariously funny, others ghastly scary. (I'd love to name a few of the characters that were portrayed but I find the element of surprise to be priceless...go and check it out for yourself!)

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Definitely worth checking out! With the total immersion and interaction with the actors and sound in each room it's very easy to miss some of the attention to detail found in each room....but there are plenty of outstanding effects to keep you visually entertained if the acting isn't grabbing 100% of your attention.

At the risk of giving away one of the best effects found at this haunt I will offer only two words…”Laser Vortex”. Check it out!

Length


12-15 minutes. I actually went through this haunt twice. Duration is dependent upon the amount of interaction you have with the ghouls and the time you spend admiring the attention to detail found on the sets and passage ways.

Crowd Control


Waiting line is clearly roped off and patrolled frequently by ghouls.

Most Memorable Moment


SPOILER ALERT! ...reading this section will definitely give away one of the surprises of this year’s haunt…

Challenging to pick just one “moment”…noteworthy is the opening passage way experience that really gets this haunt rocking.

Without a doubt though, what has left me a bit unhinged since the Mars experience was the totally twisted and disturbingly funny interaction with “Princess” (a.k.a. “bubbles” from 2009) For my first tour of Mars “Princess” was looking for someone to play Radio Repair Man…coming back through this room a second time in the same evening has definitely left me a bit warped.

Summary

An outstanding attraction! Completely redone this year. If you've enjoyed Mars in the past you certainly won't be disappointed this year. If you haven't, the new sets and techno-scares that have been added this year are definitely worth checking out. Traditionally Mars Haunted House has my vote for the best haunt in Milwaukee….and this year's edition has made a strong case to remain on top!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


I enjoyed this haunt a lot and would attend again. Once I got there, I walked right up to the ticket booth with no waiting and went into the heated waiting area, where I enjoyed a really hot and tasty apple cider. Once my number was called I was called to enter and then we were placed on lines and the workers went over the rules of the haunt. The interior of the haunt was very dark, let me tell you one more time, it was very dark, I must have walked into about ten dead ends or walls trying to find my way around. There were props but not tons. This haunt is all about the actors and trying to disorientate you. The haunt took a total of about 20 minutes. When it was over we were greeted by Michael Myers, who followed me out to my car.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The directions that they give are very easy to follow and once in town you will see signs.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They have a great system. You go to the ticket booth and get your tickets and then you can go into a nice heated building where you can enjoy several types of refreshments, I recommend the hot apple cider, and I want to emphasize the hot. There are also actors walking around to creep the guests and get them in the mood.

Actors' Performance


The actors at Terror on Rural Street are funny and terrifying. They stick to their parts and work the guests great.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There could have been a little bit more props but the stuff they had was good. There were lots of really disorientating lights and a room that spun around to make you real dizzy.

Length


This haunt is about 20 minutes long but it is an exciting 20 minutes.

Crowd Control


Very good, I really saw a lot of security and they were very helpful and offered assistance to anyone nearby.

Most Memorable Moment


I really like terrain changes, having to walk up or down a steep incline or having to duck under and walk down a hallway. At Terror on Rural Street I had plenty of opportunities to experience terrain changes and tactile areas.

Summary

Overall a fun and enjoyable haunt and I would recommend it for ages 13 and up.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by earthangel129 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


We arrived, the parking was ample. We got our wristbands and headed to the campfire, where a gentleman was telling ghost stories. Our wait was fairly quick about 10 minutes or so, however, I advise you; generally your wait will be longer especially the closer to Halloween it is. Once we got to the line we were let right in as our own two person group which is nice because you have the feeling that you are alone out there, and the only thing that brings you back to the reality of that others are in the haunt as well, are the many screams you hear all around you.



Once in the corn field, you are instantly brought into another world where fear is fun and screams are equivalent to happiness. The actors are good, the effects are better, and the animatronics are out of this world! I can't tell you the exact number of different scenes but they are abundant so you are never walking for two long without serious entertainment. It took my guest and me about an hour to finish the haunt and it was a fully packed hour with creepy feelings, jumps aplenty, and scares that would knock your socks off, if that was actually possible. This is a great haunt and recommend anyone over the age of 16 to go now.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The directions provided on the site are very good, I never have  trouble finding the gas station they refer to in their directions. Also there is one large sign on the road leading to the turn off by the gas station, and once you turn  the large sign in front and the visible bonfire and multitude of pumpkins says this is the place!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Once you buy your wristbands, you are instructed to join the rest of the waiting guests at the large bonfire. When at the bonfire you can warm up and listen to some ghost stories. They also have an LED sign that states the numbers they are allowing to go in. Also there are tons of pumpkins, a store, animals that are adorable, and refreshments including pizza.

Actors' Performance


The actors out in the field were excellently creepy. I especially liked the butcher in the butcher shop. Good frights are occurring nearly all the time and that is proved by all the screams you hear ahead of you and behind you.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


At Meadowbrook, when it comes to sets and props they truly one of the haunts people compare other haunts to because of their massive scale scenes and their one of a kind hand built pirate ship as well as the greatest animatronics I have seen.

Length


This is another one of the reasons Meadowbrook is in an elite class of haunts. Total time in the haunted corn field is about 45 to 60 minutes. Just when you think you are nearing the end, you realize you are only half way through. It is one of the longest, if not the longest, haunt I have ever been to.

Crowd Control


Crowd control is very good. Their wristband system works well and they also have roped off lines once your numbers are called. There a plenty of people to ask questions if needed, and security is present.

Most Memorable Moment


My favorite fright this year was an animatronic octopus that came to life and walked back and forward towards me. This thing was huge and it freaked me out.

Summary

Overall, I treasure my time at Meadowbrook every year and look forward to it every year. It is one of the longest and impressive haunts in Wisconsin. Get up and go now or if it is not open check out their website and then go when they open.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Green Bay Fear Haunted Attractions

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


I attended Shawano Manor for the first time two years ago with my brother and we purchased the RIP tickets. We had such a great time then, that I was excited to return this year. This year we also went RIP style. It was the 2nd night Shawano Manor was open and although there was a very small line, the RIP passes are still well worth the investment.



Shawano Manor is located on the far Northwest side of Green Bay. If you are not very familiar with Green Bay, you will want to take note of the directions as it may be difficult to find. If you are on HWY 41, you want to exit on Shawano or Dousman and then take an immediate left on to Taylor. Once on Taylor you will see the large sign a block away.



As we entered the wooded entrance, we ran into two teenage men that ran screaming in fear from what sounded like a loud chainsaw. The actors and props along the path did a phenomenal job prepping us for what was to come. The two men in front of us were so afraid, they tried to turn back several times. I'm not certain what ever happened to them because they were never seen again after their tickets led them to the house and ours led us to the RIP area.



At the RIP area, you are given an endless cup of hot cocoa and a very cool t-shirt souvenir. There was a large bonfire and a huge stage with a LIVE band playing. It is very rare to see a LIVE band at a haunt, especially such a good one and so early in the season. We remained in the RIP area listening to the band and sipping hot cocoa until we were ready to go into the house. We walked right up to where the main line meets the RIP line and were in the house within minutes.



3D glasses bring your nightmares to life with the help of brilliant fluorescent paints and "ultraviolent" black lights. Instead of walking down endless hallways of darkness, you will encounter floating doors, long shrinking hallways, mind twisting "sparkles", and walls that will attack you. The 3D was so effectively done that I actually thought I was rubbing up against a cold corpse. Every actor was right on target and their twisted passion for "bringing the fear" is very apparent. The usual "boo's" and "gargling" you hear in most haunts were rarely heard. The costumes were also very well done and very real in a grotesque way.



The entire house from start to finish lasted about 23 minutes. If you are on a budget you can purchase the tickets for the house for $13 a person. However, (for the total experience) I do recommend spending the extra $10 for the RIP tickets. As one person in my group pointed out, "going to the haunted house without RIP is like going to a Packer game and not tailgaiting".



One thing to be cautious of is the weather. If it is raining there is little to no protection until you are in the house.



Shawano Manor is great for those looking for an evening of fun and fear.

Summary

Shawano Manor's forte is their 3D effects. Instead of trying to put together multiple different facets, they focus on making what they have THE BEST! If you are local, Shawano Manor should be on the top of your list.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 1, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Low

Review


One of my favorite haunted corn mazes is The Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield, because other than the monsters waiting to frighten you in the maze, they offer such a great Halloween atmosphere as well. They offer many different fun and spooky things to do for both kids and adults, day and night.



I attended the farm in the evening, but during the day you can also take a walk through there haunted corn maze for those looking for a little less scares. At night, the corn maze becomes more frightening with more actors ready to jump out at you! During the day they have hay rides, an animal park/petting zoo, over 27 different varieties of pumpkins to chose from in the pumpkin patch, food and beverages while you wait to enter the maze and they do a very good job of creating a fun Halloween atmosphere with Halloween decorations set up around the farm.



The thing I enjoyed the most was the large bonfire they had for those waiting to enter the maze. One of the actors was telling ghost stories by the fire about how the land was really haunted and all the creepy things that had happened to him growing up on the farm. It was such a fun way to start the evening and stay warm while we waited.



Once we made our way into the maze, which was ¾ of a mile of trails through very tall and dense corn stalks, it was clear to me that it was going to be an exciting and creepy adventure. The props are some of the best ones I have seen in a haunt. They were original and did not look like the props you could easily buy from a Halloween store. They did a good job of using fog and strobe lights in some areas of the maze which could be a little disorienting at times and added to the fear of feeling lost in the maze. They used great animatronics in between actors to startle you and keep you on your toes, sometimes it was hard to tell if the shadow ahead was a person ready to chase you or a prop which kept the suspense high. I liked how there were areas throughout the maze with a theme, whether it was Pirates, Aliens, Ghosts or Werewolf's, it was fun to look at the detailed sets.



The wind blowing through the cornstalks kept me feeling as though someone was walking behind me and sometimes a monster was, which was always unexpected and frightening! The last room was probably my favorite because it was the scariest, I don't want to give anything away so I am not going to specify why, but trust me, just when you think you are in the clear, they throw in a little extra scare for you that you wont be ready for!

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location again is easy if you follow map quest directions. There will be a sign on the corner of the street you need to turn on to find it. The sign is not lit, so watch for it, there is a gas station on the other corner of the street.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait was not bad, they have plenty to do to keep you entertained while you wait. There was a large bonfire to keep us warm, with someone who grew up on the farm telling ghost stories about the property.

Actors' Performance


Over all they did a pretty good job, some more than others.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and props were my favorite thing about the maze.

Length


It took about 45 minutes to walk through, so dress warm!

Crowd Control


They did a good job of keeping groups together and keeping them spaced out so you did not run into them in the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


The bonfire and ghost stories were a lot of fun and really added to the spooky atmosphere. I also really loved when a monster was quick enough to sneak up behind me when I did not expect it... at the end of the maze there was a frightening surprise that I loved as well.. but I don't want to spoil it!

Summary

I really, really enjoyed Meadowbrook, it has so much to offer for kids and adults! They do a great job of bringing that Halloween atmosphere we all love this time of year! I will be back to see them again next Halloween season!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Green Bay Fear Haunted Attractions

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


I attended Fear several years ago when it was just know as the Shawano Manor. I must admit, it didn't do anything for me then. I'm just not a fan of 3D haunts. At the time, that was their claim to fame. This year, they advertise that they have gone back to more of a 'old school' style of haunts. Needless to say, I was very curious!



After you get your wristband, your journey starts out with a stroll along a wooded path. The tiki torches are a nice touch along the path! It creates a lot of shadows, and makes the dark seem that much more dark. There seemed to be only two actors working the woods when we went through. I'm sure this was because it was early in the night. I would hope that normally they would have several more, as there's a lot of opportunities to get some scares in there! Once you're out of the woods you wait in front of the house. If you upgraded to the RIP package, you get to sit by a nice warm fire with some hot chocolate. Not only that, but you receive a high quality T-shirt and there is a live band playing there. They looked a little cold while I was very content by the fire taking it all in. Despite looking cold, they sounded good!



The house itself looks great from the outside. It's very creepy looking as it hovers over you. Once you walk in, you're handed a pair of 3D glasses to put on. I was a little worried at this point. Again, not a fan of 3D. But my fears were scared away quickly enough! The first few actors were VERY impressive, a great little show that helped set the mood. There were many themed rooms, and I was impressed by how many actors they had in each one. Although there were 3D elements throughout the house, they helped enhance the rooms rather than take them over. We had many good scares, I loved it! I did not see one actor break character, they all did a great job!



I admit I was a little bummed out when we walked through a door and it brought us outside. I thought it was over, but to my surprise, there was more! As we started to walk back in another door, I turned around and saw many eyes staring back at me. Only a foot away and very quiet. Following us. Watching us. Now THAT creeped me out! I really do not want to give too much away, or is my memory blocking out the horrors we saw? None the less... we left the house smiling and laughing, thankful we made it out alive!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Fear is very easy to find, with easy access off of Hwy 41 in Green Bay. They have a large, lit sign in their parking lot that you can see as you approach it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There wasn't much of a wait as we went early. As I stated above, if you have the RIP package, you get to wait by a fire and listen to a live band. If you didn’t upgrade, waiting in front of the scary house is a cool experience also!

Actors' Performance


This is where Fear really shines this year. Most of the actors seemed to be of high school age, and their performances were INCREDIBLE. Some had a story to go along with their room, others were just there to scare the crap out of you. Kudos to all the actors involved, I was highly entertained!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I was impressed with the details such as the stone pillars before you enter the woods and the front of the house itself. In the rooms where it was light enough to see, I enjoyed looking around and seeing all the work they put into it.

Length


The length is about a half hour. We felt like it was a good length of time and there was plenty going on throughout it.

Crowd Control


When we attended this haunt, there were only a few people waiting to get into the attraction, as it was still early in the night. With that said, there were several times our group 'bumped' into another group. Bumping into another group can make you feel rushed, and can sometimes ruin some good scares if it happens to a group right in front of you. This is really my only concern for this haunt. It's a small issue that can be improved pretty easy.

Most Memorable Moment


Remember how I stated that I’m not much of a fan of the 3D effects? Well… hands down the most memorable moment for me was a room filled with long chains hanging from the ceiling. On these chains were Jason styled hockey masks that were magnified with the 3D effect. Doesn't sound very scary, does it? Trust me, I received a very good scare in this room! Check it out!!!

Summary

I'm so happy that I went to Fear this year, it was so much fun! Fear is not just a clever name. The amount of scares that we received will keep it high on our list to visit again!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


This will be my 8th year visiting the ghouls and goblins at The Mars Haunted House and what I can tell you is that every year I have been impressed with the set designs and the actors performances!



The atmosphere starts before you even enter the haunt, the actors in line are ready to tease and taunt you to get you ready for the scares inside. The haunt does a very good job at making you feel afraid once you make your way into the first room and they tell you the history of the building REALLY being haunted as floor boards rattle violently beneath your feet.



As you make your way through the creepy hallways you can hear monsters lurking in the dark and getting ready to scare you. The great thing about Mars Haunted House is they build up your anticipation before the scare happens, and most of the time it will come when you least expect it! I love that the actors will follow you into the dark hallways slamming on the walls and yelling at you to make sure you are afraid, this is always that "little something extra" that impresses me in haunted houses.



There are very well designed rooms throughout the haunt that make you feel like you are in another world and keep you distracted from the scare up ahead. The make up effects and masks are top notch, even when they get in your face, which they are not afraid to do, and you see all the blood and decay! One of the best things in this haunt is halfway through they add a bit of humor to lighten the mood a bit, it is a great way to calm you down just before the last few scares! I recommend this haunted house to anyone who enjoys a great creepy atmosphere and good actors that are ready to stop at nothing to scare even the bravest of souls!

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location is easy to find if you google map it. It is pretty much right off the highway. There was a sign on the building and a hearse right outside to help you find it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The line was short when I went, but they had an actor outside in a GREAT mask that did a good job in that short time to entertain me with his wits.

Actors' Performance


All the actors did an outstanding job of getting into character and using unique ways in the room to scare me! I love that they followed me down the dark hallways and were not afraid to get in my face!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were very detailed and well thought out and the props were placed appropriately to build suspense.

Length


It took me about 30 minutes to get through the haunt.

Crowd Control


They did a great job of making sure that the crowds were small and that they would not run into eachother inside the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


My favorite moment was halfway through the haunt when one of the actors worked with another actor to add some funny elements to the haunted house. It was unexpected and distracted me from the scares up ahead!

Summary

The atmosphere was great, the sets were really creepy, the make up fx were very well done and all the actors did a fantastic job! I highly recommend this haunt!

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Terror on Rural Street has always been one of my favorite haunts to go to. Right from the beginning they bring out the scares and the fun. As you are creeping around the completely dark hallways you just never know what to expect to be lurking around. From all around you, you hear whispers and someone breathing down your neck. They have different scenes set up bringing out everyones worst fears. Their scenes are also interactive making you a real part of the scene.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt is located right off the main highway. There are signs telling you directly where to turn. Very easy to locate.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is inside of a heated building which is always nice. Inside they have concessions set up with food and drinks that you can buy.

Actors' Performance


The actors did a very good job at this haunt. They stayed in character the entire time and were right on target with their scares.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The scenes in this one were very well put together. There was this one room that I just loved. It left you feeling like you were walking into another world. Loved the lights! The actors costumes were amazing. There was a lot of details involved that I would never think of including.

Length


It took about 25 minutes to walk through.

Crowd Control


Terror on Rural Street did a very good job with line control. They make sure to space everyone out so you don't end up running into another group as you are going through.

Most Memorable Moment


My most memorable moment would have to be walking out of the vortex. There was a small step that I somehow missed and scared me. All I could say to my friend that went with me was something about yellow tape. You kind of had to be there for that one haha.

Summary

Overall, I enjoyed this haunt. I would recommend it to anyone over the age of 13. It is very fun and very creepy.

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Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by x0char0x (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 1, 2010 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


The Haunted Barn is a haunt that I feel is a must see. This was my first time attending this haunt and I was left very impressed. The use of their space is simply amazing to me. They have you going in and out of building, through the woods, past graveyards, you just never know what to expect around the next turn. It truly makes you feel like you are inside of an eerie haunted farm.



The house portions of this haunt have very detailed and creative scenes. They had scenes set up that I haven't seen really anywhere else. There were monsters lurking in all the right places.



The wooded portion was one of my favorites. Although it did start off kind of slow it definitely picked up speed as you wondered further into it. As I walked further into it not only did I have the actors scaring me but the atmosphere did as well. There is just something about wondering in the woods not knowing where you will end up that has always creeped me out.



It isn't over yet when you walk out of the woods, you are then led back into the house for more nightmares that came to life.


Signage / Visibility / Location


The location of this haunt was perfect. It was set a very rural area giving the added feeling to the haunt. It was very easy to find, there is a flashing arrow right at the driveway with signs directing you where to park.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is set up with a concession stand and other various tents with food, drinks, and other misc. things. There are a few actors outside working the line for entertainment as well.

Actors' Performance


The actors were amazing. They were always in character and you never knew when to expect one to be hiding. My favorite would have to be who they called "Edna" watch out for her! Although, in the wooded parts they could have used a few more actors.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The Haunted Barn has very creative and detailed scenes. They added a lot of variety to it and you never know what to expect around the next corner.

Length


This was actually one of the longest haunts I've ever walked through. It took me about 45 minutes to get through the entire haunt.

Crowd Control


Being that it was so early in the haunt season there wasn't many other people there. But the people that were I never ran into while inside of the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


I went to this haunt with my boyfriend and there was one part of this haunt that really caught him offguard and scared him. It was hilarious to see a grown man scream like a little girl. Very well done!

Summary

Overall, I really enjoyed this haunt. It was a lot of fun and left you scared at the same time. I would recommend this is anyone over the age of 13.

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December 18th, 2018 6:43 a.m. CST 1.5.1