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This is the 2012 review crew. View the current year (2018) review crew here.

2012 Review Crew

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

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Another spooktacular haunt has made it's way into my love for all things Halloween this season! I can honestly say that this haunt really did an absolutely terrific job at creating a wonderfully spooky and sureal atmosphere. The actors did a fantastic job of not only being scary, but also adding a good dose of humor  here and there through out the haunt which I really loved. In the moments I felt it was safe to let my guard down, they would suprise me with another scare that I never saw coming, it really seemed like ghouls and goblins were coming out of nowhere at every turn! I truly think that this haunt is a must see for everyone and one that all ages can really enjoy!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very visible, with sings leading you to it after you get of the freeway.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Definitely the BEST waiting area I have seen, super awesome atmosphere to get you excited to go into the haunt and wonderful and creative entertainment!

Actors' Performance


Very good! As I said, though they knew just how to scare you they also knew how to get an honest laugh from you and I thought the balance of this made not only scary at times, but also fun and entertaining.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were very detailed and some very original. I loved the use of fog and low lighting to keep monsters from standing out and being obvious to the audiance, but rather it kept them hidden and able to jump out of the shadows and scare you because you felt alone in the hall or room and then they would literally appear right in front of you!

Length


35 min

Crowd Control


Pretty good, we did end up reaching another group, but the monsters did a wonderful job of making sure no man or women left there presence without a scream or scare.

Most Memorable Moment


The Barber Shop room... I wont give away the reason why, but the added scare definitely got a REAL scream out of me.

Summary

This is a wonderful haunted house and definatly worth going to! I think it is the kind of haunt that everyone can enjoy, those out for a thrill or some looking for fun, you can find both at this haunted house!

View all Terror on Rural Street reviews

Comments: (0)

Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 19, 2012 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Amazing attention to detail, outstanding actors and actresses, extremely creative direction and design, and very original concepts. I can't say enough good things about this haunt! I absolutely LOVED it and strongly encourage any haunted house enthusiast to go to this one, you honestly wont want to miss the chance at experiencing this haunt this Halloween season!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very visible, directly off the freeway. A large lit sign and spotlight make this easy to find.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is pretty good if you get the fast pass, which I would recommend since the wait was 3 hours when we went.

Actors' Performance


The actors did a FANTASTIC job at being in character and making sure they got you feeling frightened.  They don't hold back and will stop at nothing to get a scream out of you!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I was MOST impressed with the props and sets, the attention to detail was incredibly realistic and literally took you out of the moments thought of "It's okay, this is just a haunted house" to forgetting for a moment that it was and feeling genuinely scared to continue forward.

Length


45 minutes

Crowd Control


Very good, we never caught up to anyone and no one caught up to us.

Most Memorable Moment


Defiantly the maze... or rooms set up to look the same so you felt as though you were in a maze and got lost or back tracked somehow. It was very cleaver and disorienting.  I absolutely loved this technique!

Summary

As I said, if you LOVE haunted houses and want to be scared, then I really do strongly suggest this haunt! It would be a shame for you to miss it since ones of this caliber are rare and hard to find. I have been to some of the best in the US and I can honestly say that this new haunt has made it into my top 3 favorite haunts. Don't hesitate, just GO!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The Abandoned Haunted House Complex is an exciting new haunt in the area!  Abandoned  is easy to find with internet directions and once you get close you can't miss it, given the big spotlight in the sky. There was plenty of parking and was fairly controlled. Once you arrive, you see the big brightly lit sign and things are labeled very well. It is easy to spot ticketing and where to go to get in line. The waiting area was covered and enclosed. We arrived at about 7:39 p.m. When they let us in as a group, they talked to us about the rules. When we first entered, we were brought into a room with a television that played a disturbing message and then we went into the first haunt. We walked down really dark hallways that had audio of creepy children giggling and laughing. It was very dark and almost too dark in areas where it looked like there were lots of cool props, so we couldn’t see them very well, which is a shame. The actors did a pretty good job of jumping out at you when you weren’t expecting it. I liked the vortex, of course, but I also liked the laser lights that they had in one of the hallways.  Abandoned featured one of the best disorientating rooms I have ever walked through.  A very slow strobe plus a creepy clown is enough to put you over the edge!  This first haunt was pretty good, but unfortunately, was rather short. 

The second section was all about an infection spreading, with areas resembling that of an abandoned facility (imagine that!).  TV's looping a message of the outbreak really sets the scene as you walk through this dark and terrifying section.  A medical area with broken hospital props and pill bottles strewn about is a nice touch.  Abandoned attacks your senses in many ways, none more terrifying than the wet body parts hung from the ceiling... GROSS! The actors were very interactive and I liked the zombie girl that was crawling, she spooked me good!  And kudos to the zombie that was eating the corpse in the morgue. 

In all Abandoned was a winner.  The people who brought you Burial Chamber have come through with what hopes to be a yearly tradition for southeastern Wisconsin!  Here's to hoping the Abandoned Haunted House Complex continues to grow!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Easy to find, just follow the spotlight!  You can't miss this haunt, it is visible from the interstate, which for travelers is nice.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Very entertaining!  Tricycle riding mutants are always fun!

Actors' Performance


Great job!  I wouldn't have guessed this was the first year by how professional they were!  Keep up the good work.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Props were fantastic, although some scenes were way too dark, which may have made all that hard work moot.  You can tell they put a lot of time and effort, not to mention money into these props.

Length


It took roughly 30-40 minutes to make it through the complex.  The first haunt was a little short, but they made up for it with the length of the second haunt.

Crowd Control


Crowd was controlled, though inside control would be nice.  We caught up to the group in front of us rather quickly.  Perhaps some inside gatherings to slow crowds down might help.

Most Memorable Moment


Definitely the clown room with the extremely slow strobe!  This room was SO dark, and seemed to be huge!  As you walk, all you can see is a clown waiting for you on the other side!  Very creepy!

Summary

Abandoned is the best thing to happen to Southeastern Haunts in quite some time.  It is a legitimate haunt that we can look forward to from year to year.  I am excited to see how this thing grows in years to come!

View all Abandoned Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

New for 2012, Abandoned Haunted House Complex, just off of I-94 in Mount Pleasant, already put
themselves in a solid slot as one of best haunted houses in Wisconsin. Right now there are three words that sum up my experience at Abandoned. These three words are Wow, WOW, and WOW! These guys and gals know what they are doing and you will certainly be impressed with what this attraction has to offer. Abandoned was simply an amazing haunted attraction and one that I will go back to, whether as a reviewer or during my off time. Now, let's get into the review of this haunted house.

When you take I-94 north or south, to Mount Pleasant, you can't miss this attraction, even if you
are wearing your sunglasses at night. With a huge sign in red letters saying ABANDONED and a search light propped up on the building's roof, this has probably been one of the easiest attractions for me find. Arriving there, there are plenty of staff on scene to direct to a parking spot and towards the
beginning of the line.

Being a Sunday there was no wait to get in. Be forewarned, however, with this attraction and during the final week of October, unless you get there early, you should definitely anticipate
waiting in a long line. Thus, make sure you dress accordingly and be prepared for a wait.

Once my dad and I got our tickets we started heading around the building to the entrance of the
haunted house. Abandoned, even as you wait in line or are walking towards the entrance, works on getting you ramped up with heavy metal and heavy rock that is being blasted over large outdoor speakers. You will also find that Abandoned is not going to wait to scare you inside the house. You may just find yourself getting scared in line.

Once you are at the entrance you are let into their prepping room where a disembodied voice breaks down the rules of the haunted house and gives the necessary disclaimers about risks. An actor is also with you in the room to keep you company. Once the actor opens the door to the haunt the scares and atmosphere begin immediately.

The first room you enter you are presented with a few ambush scares and then are "forced" to watch a creepy and disturbing video with another disembodied voice asking why you came, all set to the background of more heavy rock. This alone is enough to get you ramped up and saying, "Alright, let’s do this thing."

After that room, the scares are non-stop. In this first review I am not going to detail too much of
what I saw as I want everyone who goes to be as surprised and impressed by this attraction as I was. What are important though are the actors. The actors for this attraction are some of the best that I have ever had the luxury of being scared by.

The costumes were very well done and all the props that the actors had available were very realistic. What I really enjoyed is the amount of variety that these actors presented. You had your actors that ambushed, that screamed, that talked, and those that just stayed quiet but crept you out by staring at you or following you for a length of time. That variety is exactly what I look for in a haunted house. Abandoned hit this nail right on the head and through the board.

Along with excellent actors, the scenes were eye-catching, unique, and very well done. There were
flawless transitions from scene to scene and some senses were so immense and impressive, there were times that I just got caught up studying the landscape. Along with the effects, some amazingly eye-catching environments are created. It was nothing short of walking through a horror movie. It was spectacular (and no I don't use that word a lot).

Everything about this attraction has depth. One of the big ways that Abandoned accomplishes this is by using smells and touch. You will be running into things that are wet, you will think that blood (or something) is dripping from the ceiling, and you will have things that move around you and under you. The best way to describe this is that Abandoned is a sensory overload. For example I remember one section where you can't grasp where you are because of a strobe light, then you get hit with something banging hard behind a wall, then you get hit with an air horn, and then you get scared by an actor waiting around the corner. This place is crazy.

Abandoned, has a series of tricks to keep you guessing on what is next. From distracting lights, to
moving walls, to tight mazes, you will always be "fighting" your way to end. Abandoned came out their first year wanting to have a great haunted house, and the owners and actors did this and more. So awesome was this attraction that I'm actually itching to go back this weekend with a few of my
friends. I don't want to stay away. You want a haunted house...Abandoned is the place to go.

Summary

Everything about this haunted attraction is more than worth it. The drive there - worth it. Putting up with any bad weather - worth it. The price - I would likely pay more for what I experienced. Around 40mins long, Abandoned makes every use of every minute. This attraction makes you want to rush to the next area, but at the same time "begs" for you to stay behind and look more...get scared more. Abandoned is a must see before the end of October. There is nothing you will find disappointing here.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Back once again for a night of fright on the historic Old Mitchell St., in Milwaukee, WI. This was my
second year back at the Mars Haunted House and I have yet to be disappointed. The attraction always brings out "all the stops" when it comes to entertaining their customers. This is one of those attractions where you just might want to pay for another ticket so that you can go back on through and enjoy it all over again.

From the very beginning Mars has actors out and about outside in the waiting line waiting to creep
people out, gross them out, and, every so often, scare them right out of line. Heavy music is playing as you wait and it really sets the mood. Once you get to the entrance you ascend an old, dark, and creepy staircase to their ticket booth. The staff there is always courteous and willing to help.

Once they are ready to go you enter their prepping room while a creepy actor just stares at you,
hisses, and continues to stare at you while you wait. Once you have the 'green light' off you go. This year the very first part of the attraction was slow. Being a Sunday Mars' staff was a little down. This isn't anything you have to worry about during the final week of October. If I know Mars, they are going to give a you a great ride.

Mars had a few new bits of technology this year that just added to the overall experience. As always the actors were on the top of their game and a big 2 thumbs up goes to you guys and gals. You definitely make me miss my haunted hayride acting days. I have always been impressed with the costuming and make-up effects of the actors at Mars. Even some of the actors' looks alone is enough to give you the heebie-jeebies.

Mars actors are well versed in how to scare. I've never really frightened easy (even less after over 4 years of working a haunt), but they know their locations well and can very easily get you to jump out of your shoes. Good actors added in with top notch distractions (such as strobe lights, air cannons, and smoke) make for a very entertaining night.

The attraction itself is just beautiful as well. A lot of time and effort has gone in to this haunt
to bring you into their world. The scenes appear as if they are right out of Hollywood and you will feel as if you are in a different world. Mars' scenes alone (with all the lighting and effects), without the actors, would be enough for me to pay admittance. Their scenes really bring you into their element.

Mars remains one of my favorites and has never disappointed me yet. I have always been pleased by the level of dedication by the actors and the immersive scenes that Mars has created. This is a haunted house that I would personally give me recommendations to go visit to those asking about good haunted houses in the area. Mars is a must-see during the month of October.

Summary

Although a shorter attraction (about 25 minutes)  from beginning to end, every dollar that you pay for this attraction is worth it. Dedicated to what they do, Mars will not leave you disappointed at the end of the night. Mars brings a lot to the table and you may just need to catch your breath during some portions of the haunt because once you step into this attraction it is non-stop scares and interaction until the end. Mars....a solid and professional attraction all the way around.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Fright Factory

by Dave to the Grind (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

This was my first time at the Fright Factory and I wasn't sure what to expect. Quiet roads lead us to a building that didn't even seem occupied. My wife felt it was creepy before we walked in. Just how a haunt should start.

The ticket booth and line was in a big room inside the building. It was the first time I saw how many people were there. It seemed empty from the outside but had an impressive turnout on a Sunday night.

We were sent in with a group of teenage girls, which added to the fun as we heard their terrified screams. We started out with a video explaining the rules. A nice touch that most haunts do not have. The video ended with an expected scary surprise, which continued into the haunt.

The Fear Factory had a lot of terrific sets and themes. Some of the best I've seen this year. What was really cool is they had a few moving sets. Such as moving floors, walls and other objects to create an effect. These effects took you to many different scenes like the morgue, a witches creepy garden and, my favorite, a pirate ship!

The actors did a convincing job playing their characters. Many startled you when you weren't expecting it. Every room we walked through brought out a scream from the group. My wife actually started to feel panicked at one point when were in the pitch black trying to navigate through a dark "sea."

The Fright Factory was a really cool haunt with a unique lay out. If you're out in the Janesville area I'd highly recommend checking it out. It was filled with plenty of screams, terrific acting and highly entertaining.

Signage / Visibility / Location


They could use a bigger sign out front since we almost didn't see it.  In fact, I didn't see it but my wife did. I wasn't totally sure it was the right place at first. Though it did add an effect that we were out on our own and lost. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


They have an indoor line waiting area. There wasn't any line entertainment the night I was there.

Actors' Performance


The actors were excellent, their characters were solid and believable. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and props were some of the most memorable I've been to this year. Not only were they realistic, they added an element of movement in several rooms that you don't see at haunts. It kept you on your toes.

Length


About 15 minutes

Crowd Control


We never ran into other groups. They had rooms and hallways that you would re-enter at another point and we didn't see anyone. In fact sometimes the actors would react to us again. The timing was excellent.

Most Memorable Moment


My favorite scene was a pirate ship we walked on. The floor moved back and forth with the sea. We had to crouch under the sails to move across the deck. It was a very cool and detailed set, all the way to the plank……

Summary

I really enjoyed to the Fright Factory and would love to go again next year. The sets, scenes and acting were fantastic. We were sent in all kinds of creative worlds with great care and detail. My ears were ringing from all the screaming in our group, a good sign of a great haunt.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by Dave to the Grind (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 19, 2012 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

What's the best thing to do when you're ready to go to a haunt? How about go to an actual haunted house. Which is what Mars Haunted House claims to be and has been confirmed by professionals.  If you believe it or not it adds an additional feeling of fright and discomfort as you walk in. Add in the scares, Mars has been a must hit for me during the Halloween season. The fun starts from the moment you get in line until you walk out onto the street.

Pulling up to Mars we could see the outdoor waiting line wrapping around the building. This can seem disheartening, but the line entertainment passes the time with scary/amusing tactics. This year a punk rock clown, who was proficient at sliding across the sidewalk on his knees, was there to creep you out. Along with a big scary guy who kept looking for his girl. A tiny woman in a white dress who was tethered with a line to her wrist. She didn't say a word, just stare on the ground and walk when lead. Though she'd get loose and walk off when she could. They kept everyone entertained and I never saw so many teenagers run up the side walk screaming. 

Once it's your time, your led into the building and up the creaking stairs. It's dark and erie. The thoughts of this being a REAL haunted building creeps into your mind. A feeling that doesn't leave you while on this haunt. Somehow, the little quiet girl from the waiting line was at the top of the stairs. She stood there, timid as usual while we heard the rules. Once we entered she let an awesome shrill kicking off our haunt.

The haunt itself is dimly lit, tight hallways with frights around every corner. Walking through cobwebs and heads hanging from the ceiling. Touching creepy and gross objects is one thing, but Mars also assaults other senses. Such as the lights that assault your eyes,  sounds that make the haunted rooms feel real. The haunt had a smell to it as well that we couldn't figure out. Old building? Maybe. Death? Perhaps.

The construction and props were very lifelike and the settings were awesome. The actors did a great job of playing their roles, jumping out when you weren't expecting it or just staring at you. The only negative we had was when we caught up to the group ahead of us. I thought they did a great job of separating groups by having you pay before you head in, which acts like as a good time buffer. The actors did all they could trying to get the other group to move on without breaking character.

Even with catching up to the group we entered into some great experiences with lights and dark. Such as a pitch black room with nothing but red glowing eyes of faces. You had the feeling that one, or some, maybe all of them were real people. I couldn't figure it out and was a great feeling!

This is my third year hitting Mars and I haven't been disappointed yet. The sets are realistic, acting is solid and the frights are aplenty. I'll be back next year.

Signage / Visibility / Location



Easy to find with a simple address. All the people outside made it a dead giveaway.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Outdoor waiting on the sidewalk so if it's cold out, dress appropriately. Bathrooms are available outside. The entertainment while waiting was my favorite of all the haunts this year. They'll startle and entertain, it made the wait fly by. 

Actors' Performance


The performance was solid. They did a great job of jumping out at you, or just starring as you went by. You could tell they were experienced.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The set construction was awesome and very realistic. They excelled at using lights and sound to make the haunt realistic. They also were great as distracting you from what was coming. 

Length


About 15-20 minutes

Crowd Control


We ran into the group ahead of us, which was disappointing. The actors tried their best to move them along and slow down other groups. 

Most Memorable Moment


When I walked down a dark long room and was blasted by bright red lights. At first we all commented how cool it was but then it messed with my senses. Walking into the next room I felt like I was completely at the mercy of the haunt.

Summary

Overall this was an excellent haunt and it never disappoints. Plenty of screams and jumps from the people walking through. It's a staple for experienced haunt goers and a terrific fright for novices.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 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 Sunday, October 21, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Low

Review

Monster Mayhem is by far one of the most unique and interesting haunts in this area, hands down! It was only my second year attending this haunt, though it has been in business for five seasons.

This haunt is more interactive than any other I've ever been to and they have you hunting the zombies and monsters as well as each other - you're on a laser tag team and you roam from room to room together or alone (your choice) to fight the creatures.

Unlike other haunts in the area, Monster Mayhem is both accessible for all people and appropriate for all ages. This year we saw parents with children (ages 8-58). Our group this year was significantly larger than last year's -- the three of us went through with about twelve others (15 total) -- which took away some of the effect since we were constantly running into other people and couldn't go four feet without another opposing team member hitting our vests.

The only other thing that I missed this year was more of a storyline. Last year's haunt felt more complete with a beginning, a middle and an end. This time around, I felt a little thrown into the middle without any plot or reasoning as to what we were doing.

Although this haunt may not win any awards for being the most terrifying in the area, it definitely wine for most entertaining and interactive - plus it's great for all ages which is definitely a plus for families with younger children.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It's still located in the same place as previous years but since the Pizza place has closed, you enter in the rear RED door and park in the side lot. Quite easy to find, especially when using GPS.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There isn't a great deal of space available in the waiting area, but there isn't often a long wait since they send in groups in such large sizes. We arrived around 7:30 pm on a Sunday and went right in. No actors or other entertainment.

Actors' Performance


There wasn't an excessive number of actors in the haunt, but most were pretty good. Special shout out to the "commander" who was pretty great and the doctors who were very entertaining.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Not incredibly elaborate, but very well done. Some of the costumes and props were pretty great. The commander's makeup is definitely notable, too.

Length


We were inside the haunt for about 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


Never experienced any crowd control problems.

Most Memorable Moment


Beware of the doctor's transformation!

Summary

A must-see haunt for those looking for a good time but don't like the super-scary alternatives.

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

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Hubertus House of Horror

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 19, 2012 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

This year was BY FAR the BEST Hubertus House I have ever been to. I was blown away! The haunt this year is completely and totally different from years past and you could tell. Every room was new, the layout, the actors, costumes, scenes... all brand new. There are a few re-used scares from just this past year but they're only the best and they've even been enhanced.



You no longer enter via school bus and through the basement, you start all the way up on the second floor and work your way through the house.



The actors were spot-on with their stories and characters and never broke character. The make-up (WOW!) and costumes were incredible and very well done. To add to the great performances were the well-placed and perfectly executed special effects throughout the haunt. Some scenes offered some truly disgusting effects while others focused more on scare factor. Take some time in each room (if you're not running for your life) to appreciate the elements - especially in the bathroom, there are some incredible props and FX in there. The sewer tunnel was absolutely incredible, too.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Using a GPS it brings you directly to the drive way for the haunt. There's great signage out front, too.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There's a heated interior waiting area in the school gym with concessions. The costumed actors were very entertaining and quite good, too!

Actors' Performance


Actors ranged in age from middle school students to adults and each one of them was really talented! They were interactive and entertaining - and actually quite good at improv whenever were talking to them.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


All brand new and incredible. Really put time and effort into making an entirely new haunt this year. Some of the best FX I've seen.

Length


Approximately 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


The actors and moderators did a good job of keeping groups away from each other, we never ran into any other groups in the house.

Most Memorable Moment


Anyone with a zipper on their face deserves credit. Wow.

Summary

Of the haunts that I've attended this year (or in years past...), this is the best one I've seen. Kudos to the organization that puts this on because you can tell the time, effort and hard work put into it to make it the best in the area and it doesn't go unnoticed. Great job guys!!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by katie_kiesow13 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 19, 2012 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Terror on Rural Street is always one of the best haunted houses that I visit every year. I'm always blown away by their creativity and dedication to putting on a good show.  Each time I visit this haunt everything is brand new, I hardly ever see recurring themes or rooms throughout the haunt. This year was no different. The make-up and special effects were great and the props and scenes were definitely something to look at! There were a few rooms that I absolutely loved the actors and their performances, too! Unfortunately, I cannot admit that I was impressed by all of the actors or rooms because some of them actually broke character which always ruins the experience, but some really deserve kudos for doing a great job - especially the barber and the witch with her potion (at the bottom of the stairs). It's also good to note that the makeup is incredible due to the massively talented staff of professional makeup artists that help these actors get into character every night. It really shows!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to see from the road - great signage and right off the main street. Used a GPS to get there and had no problems.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We arrived around 9:00 pm and faced approximately a 45 minute wait but there was plenty to do while we were waiting. They have a heated waiting area with concessions and beverages (alcoholic, too!) available. A few actors walked around scaring people, too.

Actors' Performance


The actors are quite interactive which is great and many of them have their own story. Some of them, however, relied heavily on jumping out to scare us which never does anything for me. As mentioned before, several of the actors really deserve to be noticed for stellar performances!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It's obvious that the operators of this haunt put their heart and soul into putting it together. The sets, scenes, props and FX are top notch. The rooms are spacious and all look incredible. If you're not too terrified, take a minute to look around in each room and you'll see the time and detail put into each different set.

Length


Our tour lasted approximately 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


They push a lot of people through the house pretty quickly, which is great for wait time. I've never had a problem before, but this year we ran into the group ahead of us a couple of times and the group behind us caught up to us once, too. Possibly because we were a small group who walked pretty fast? Or the maze that turned everyone around held us up? I'm not sure. But I was a little disappointed that we kept running into other people.

Most Memorable Moment


There's an incredibly interesting room with a beautifully talented and wonderful actress that I absolutely loved. Without giving away too much... just beware of moving walls.

Summary

A great haunt that isn't TOO scary but can definitely scare the pants off of some jumpy individuals. Great job!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

It normally takes a haunt a few years to come into it's own.  Find out what works, what doesn't work, and then build on it.  The Abandoned Haunted House Complex had some great word of mouth going for it, but I didn't want to get my expectations too high being this was new
haunt.  I was pleasantly surprised with Abandoned!



There are two separate parts to Abandoned: Hysteria and Ambush.  You get two nice paced haunts for the price of one!  They are housed in a long building that has some awesome curb appeal.  I appreciate the fact that they do not rush you in, but rather space out the groups so you're not bumping into anyone and ruining a good scare. 



Hysteria is just like it sounds.  INTENSE, with things coming at you from all sides.  They have great sound and lighting throughout, and their actors know just when to jump out at you!  I did notice that at many haunts that the first person in a group is normally the person who they jump
out at.  Not so in Hysteria!  It seemed to me they were targeting more the folks in the middle or the back.  Very smart indeed, as those who are more jumpy tend to hide in those places.  There's a good mix of lit areas were you could check out the details, and then the dark and spooky rooms where they jump out of no-where. 



Ambush places you right in the middle of a made for movie plot where there's a zombie apocalypse and the Army is trying to control it.  Zombies are everywhere, and even the 'good guys' are intimidating and in your face.  They make great use of air cannons as if they were gunshots... they get me every time!



We left Abandoned with our hearts pumping, wishing we could experience more!  If this is their first year, just how good are they going to be a few years into it?  I can't wait to find out!!!  

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to find.  You can see it from the highway, and the big spotlight definitely helps!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The line basically wraps around the back of the building.  There were a few actors the night we went that provided some entertainment while we waited.  There's also some concessions close by. 

Actors' Performance


INCREDIBLE!  There was not one lame actor in the bunch.  This group is serious about having fun and providing scares! 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Lots of great sets, and they use lights and effects very well.  I loved how in Ambush there were TV's playing a news cast about the zombies taking over, while the sound of helicopters are overhead!

Length


It took about 40 minutes to go through both haunts.  You definitely get your money's worth.

Crowd Control


The crowd control was excellent.  You can tell that they time out each group so that the groups are not bumping into each other inside the haunt. 

Most Memorable Moment


The rooms that uses a lot of smoke and strobes.  One second they are across the room, the next they are in your face! 

Summary

Whatever reservations I had from this being a first year haunt were scared out of me within the first minute.  Abandoned just set the bar and they dare you to step up to it!  If you are in the area, you HAVE to check them out!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by spookshow babe (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at about 4:30 a.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

This Haunted House is always guaranteed to leave you scared and excited for more! Every year Mars Haunted House does a great job at creating a spooky atmosphere and the ghouls and goblins of this attraction keep you on the edge with an exciting twist around every corner!  It has been a favorite of mine for many years  and every year I loo forward to the next time I can visit this haunt.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Easy to see, there is a hurst right in front of the haunt and its visibly lit as well.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There are always fun monsters outside entertaining guests with scares and humor.

Actors' Performance


As always they do a very nice job of keeping you on your toes and will come at you when you least expect it! Wonderful use of fog in some of the rooms where monsters linger and pop out of nowhere!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets are detailed and unnerving. I was just a little disappointed this year however that they didn't change the layout of the haunt much, it seemed very similar to last year, but I still enjoyed it.

Length


About 20 minutes.

Crowd Control


We never caught up to anyone while in the haunt and no one caught up to us so it was controlled very well.

Most Memorable Moment


I really enjoyed the rooms full of fog where monsters tormented you not only with jumping out from random places where you couldnt see them and then disappearing quick, but they also made good use of creepy noises to remind you that they could jump out again at any moment and get a scream out of you.

Summary

Overall, I enjoyed this haunt as I do every year. Its a classic haunt where they use every technique to scare you, so though some may be expected scares others are completely unexpected and I feel that the use of both techniques are what really keep you excited and scared to see what will happen next.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Fright Factory

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

This was my first year to the Fright Factory, a non-profit haunted house used to raise money for a
local club in Janesville, WI. Fright Factory just implies a very industrial setting. Even the attraction's website sets an industrial tone. Well the drive to the attraction did not disappoint. Driving through an old brick and mortar viaduct and driving up to the massive industrial building really set the tone
for an exciting adventure.

The lobby of the attraction was large and actors had free range to scare as they wished. Modern
rock was playing in the lobby area and the way the lines were diverted and the environment you were in almost made you feel like a lamb to slaughter. It was an eerie kind of feeling. The wait to begin the haunt was approximately 20mins. The haunt split people off in groups but I would highly suggest staying in a very small group as this will give you the best experience.

As you entered the attraction you were presented with an actor that was telling you the rules of
the haunt but doing it in such a way that just made it seem like he was telling you what to do to survive. Then all of a sudden the actor screams and a splash of blood is thrown onto the window. This was all down through a projection system which was a nice touch and a great way to open the attraction.

The labyrinth itself is expansive. There are plenty of things to look at as each room is a different
theme. There are also plenty of pitch black corridors and "traps" (such as a maze filled with hanging pipes) that bring each room together. Scares were not just accomplished by the actors. There were "old school" scare tactics such as things popping out of spaces, pictures changing form, and moving platforms and walls. These "old school" practices were also paired with new technology that really brought an exciting flavor to this attraction.

Although the actors did accomplish their task of scaring customers I was disappointed in not having a little bit more "theatrically" from the actors. I have always liked the simple ambush scares but when an actor can pull you into a conversation and still scare you or use that conversation so that another actor can scare you, that is motivation and dedication. I just wish I would have had a little bit more of that rather than simple ambush tactics.

Pacing for this attraction also seemed to be a hang-up. I routinely ran into a group in front
of me and after awhile I just ended up staying with the group because I was not getting scared between the group in front of me and the group behind me.

This attraction, however, had solid scenery, had a mix of old and new technology, had good
actors, and had a solid presentation overall. I really enjoyed the rock/pop music that was being played over the mayhem. This was different, and it was a 'different' that I really enjoyed.

Summary

For a haunted attraction that is non-profit, I was amazed at the amount of technology and well constructed scenes that this haunt had available. Even if you never get scared this haunt is fun just to go to admire the scenery and technology that is in use. Thus, I found the Fright Factory to be an enjoyable experience but I came out of it really wanting more from the actors. There were so many good spots that a scare could have been made but was never used. Further the ambush tactics got old relatively quickly once you began to walk through the attraction. So although the Fright Factory may not be a contender in the scariest haunted house it certainly tops out as being one of the most fun.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 4:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

We want change! Well you got it! The Haunted Barn, located in Stoughton, WI, brought a fresh
experience to the table this year. With new themes, new technology, and a new
path, it was definitely a switch-up from 2011. As always the crew at The
Haunted Barn are welcoming and actors are always aplenty while you wait in
line. It is never boring waiting for this attraction.

I waited for approx. 20mins to begin the haunted barn. The barn itself is well put together with a
smooth transition from scene to scene along with your pitch black corridors,
mazes, and other "traps". This year, however, one of these mazes
caused a jam when one group could not figure out how to proceed through the
maze. Inevitably this caused more and more people to group up and thus completely
ruining any pacing that was there.

Although the pacing was poor I can't hold it against the haunt because one group is not cognizant
enough to navigate a simple maze. Nonetheless be prepared to run into other
groups and as such you can always attempt to distance yourself from a group in
front of you so that the actors can have enough time and you can enjoy the full
experience of this solid attraction.

Otherwise the indoor portion, the barn, had great new scares this year and new technology in use. It really changed up the atmosphere from last year and put this attraction in line
with "corporate" haunted attractions that have hundreds of thousands
to spend on haunted houses. Most of the actors this year, as always, did a great job
using opportune moments to scare their customers. The pacing problem ,that I
already mentioned, however, took a toll on this effectiveness during my trip.

Heading outside to go through the haunted woods portion, I was again presented with a different
set-up than last year which just added to the experience. Scares in the woods
were moderate to non-existent this year but I was informed, later, that the
attraction was hit hard during my visit as the actors normally assigned to the
woods were out sick. Nonetheless the woods, as always, are a nice incorporation
into a haunted barn.

After going through the woods and going back into the barn for one last indoor scare I was presented with a completely new world this year with one room/one scare that I have never
really seen before. I will not ruin the surprise for anyone but the Haunted
Barn pulled off a really great scare and I give them 2 thumbs up for the
creation and successful application of such a scare.

Most Memorable Moment


Again my most memorable moment is something that if I told you would ruin the surprise. It is something that you got to see and experience for yourself. Please go and check it out.

Summary

All in all the Haunted Barn remains one of my top favorites and it sucks that I came to review when the business was dealing with a lack of actors due to illness. When everything is said and done, though, Haunted Barn puts on a solid performance and it’s definitely worth checking out. Make sure you dress for the weather as this IS an indoor and outdoor attraction. Don't wear any shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Finally take the time to really appreciate the time and effort required to pull off such a strong attraction and enjoy the show.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Meadowbrook gets it right!  What sets a haunt apart from the rest?  Complete sensory overload.  Meadowbrook takes that sensory overload and amplifies that by 11!  Loud, bright, startling, disorienting, and lengthy, all done without a flaw.  But the thing that makes Meadowbrook better that any haunted corn maze you've ever been too is their awesome animatronics.  I can't imagine the amount of time and money that  is spent putting this haunt together.  The actors at Meadowbrook are nothing short of excellent.  The night we went was quite cold, which can be bad news for most actors, but not these pros, they don't miss a beat, and successfully spook you like no other.  Meadowbrook is one of the best haunts you are going to attend this season.  If you've been to Meadowbrook in years past, go again!  I have attended this haunt every year for the last I don't know how many years, and not once did it seem similar to years past.  Meadowbrook is truly innovative and masters of their craft!  Hands down, my favorite all around haunt!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Meadowbrook is down a very dark street, but you can't miss it once you get to it!  Well lit, parking help, and plenty of parking!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is nothing to write home about, its a line leading to a corn maze.  No roaming spooks, no real decorations, aside from the farm animals in the pens next to the line...  Oh and a giant rooster statue!  Yup, a giant rooster statue!

Actors' Performance


Top notch!  These guys and girts put their hears and souls into scaring you, and do it with ease!  The best actors around!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Only the best at Meadowbrook!  I can't even begin to guess how much is spent on props here.  These people are dedicated to the haunt and you can tell in their props.

Length


Easily 45 minutes.  You will definitely get your moneys worth at Meadowbrook.  I found myself thinking to myself on several occasions "it has to be over after this bend."  It just keeps going and going and going!  It's pretty awesome!

Crowd Control


The line wasn't super long on the night I went.  There really wasn't anyone controlling the crowd, but there wasn't any reason for control while I was there.

Most Memorable Moment


It's hard to narrow it down to one moment.  All the animatronics are the most memorable moments for me.  Yeah, I said moments!  Meadowbrook is too good to only have one!

Summary

If meadowbrook had a theme song, it would be that one Karate Kid (THE ORIGINAL!) used: You're the Best Around!  I go every year, and I will continue to go until they stop doing it!  If you can only go to one haunt this year, don't waste your time, just go to Meadowbrook, it's everything you want in a haunt!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Haunted High presents Dark Carnival

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Last year Haunted High took me by complete surprise, and quickly became one of my favorite haunts.  This year, they have solidified themselves as the best in the area.  Only problem is, it's their "Senior Year," which unfortunately means, Haunted High will be no more after this season.  These people got it right, let's take a school that is shut down, and make it into a frightful haunted house.  It's everything I have ever wanted in a haunt.  The setting is familiar to us all, the halls of a high school, classrooms, detention, the boiler room!  Splash in freaks and creeps around every corner and you have the ultimate haunt.  The actors are what really make Haunted High awesome.  If you are looking for actors who play the part like they were born to spook, look no further.  This haunt messes with all of your senses, and exploits their weaknesses.  Beginning to end, Haunted High is a winner.  Please, do yourself a favor, check it out before it's too late, because unfortunately, this is your last chance to see this phenomenal haunt.  I'm begging you Haunted High, ONE MORE YEAR!!!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Haunted High can be a little hard to find if you are not familiar with the area.  I probably would have driven right past it had I not been there before, and had a GPS.  With that being said, it is in an old school, so how hard can it really be to find!  The only signage I saw was a banner above the entrance of the school, so unless you stumbled upon this haunt by accident, it really doesn't help much.  

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Spacious and fun.  Haunted High has big screens, actors, and snacks, what else do you need.  Set in the gym of the school, the waiting area is big enough to hold a large group, but makes the wait entertaining.  The water damaged gym floor makes for a wacky wait, and the actors roam the room spooking you all along the way.  P.A. announcements in the style that of a principal addressing the student body will make you chuckle and cringe!

Actors' Performance


Top notch performers!  Haunted High seems to only employ pros!  These actors have mastered the art of creeping!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Professional!  Top notch from waiting area to the awesome show at the end!

Length


Approximately 30 minutes from beginning to end.

Crowd Control


The waiting area is roped and well maintained.  Staff is on hand to control the crowd.

Most Memorable Moment


 Definitely the prom scene at the end!

Summary

Once again, one of the best haunts in the area!  Haunted High spares no expense.  If only this wasn't the last year for the haunt.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by Dave to the Grind (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Another halloween season another new theme for the House of Bathory located in Manitowoc. Last year I found this haunt to be my most memorable and favorite stop last year. So I was excited to make another trip to the House of Bathory, especially when with this year's new Steven King theme. It proved to be worth the trip again with another masterpiece of fright.

New to this season along with the theme is indoor waiting. No more waiting out on the street corner. So if you're familiar with this haunt, don't mistake the lack of a crowd out front as a slow night or that it's not open. Just follow the sign and head around the corner. I was able to get in right away with no wait so I didn't see the waiting area.

When it's your time, you are brought in and given the rules. This haunt allows  touching, this is a cool feature that no other haunt we've been to has. You aren't grabbed or touched in any threatening or inappropriate way. Though an actor may yell and bump into your arm or someone will lightly touch your shoulder. It adds a realistic touch. Once you're given a lowdown. You head up the stairs, past the creepy portraits and into a world you will not forget.

Immediately you're taken into your first scene and enjoy the terrific acting the House of Bathory offers. The characters are unique from other haunts and have an excellent dialog that follows the situation you are put into. Remember, this year they have the Stephen King theme, so each room brings you into a novel of King's imagination. I left the haunt wishing I had read some of them prior to going. Though I did recognize some characters such as the crazy nurse from Misery and, of course, the creepy clown from IT.

Each scene offers a great setting with care to detail. Bringing the scene to life is the terrific characters and their dialog. What always strikes me with the House of Bathory is the terrific performance they get out of children actors. I was taken in by the teenage actors, as you will find out in the scene taken from Carrie.

Since it's from Stephen King there's plenty of fright. I wish I could go into detail of the scenes but I don't want to ruin the surprises. My wife has always been my gauge of how scary a haunt is. We were sent through a situation where we could not see and as we kept moving forward it became harder to get through without almost crawling.  The ending to this situation was so good that  she had tears in her eyes and was truly frightened. At the end of the haunt my wife, and the teenage girl we went through with, both ran flying past me into the street screaming. A tell tale sign of a good haunt.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The House of Bathory is located on a street in downtown Manitowoc which is easy to find with a big sign and setting in a storefront window.

Actors' Performance


Top notch and the best you'll find. The scripts are written by Dead by Dawn herself and performed perfectly by their hand selected actors.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and props were arranged well to create the surroundings of the scene they were taking you into. It felt like you were inside a real horror movie.

Length


You walk through an actual house, which encompasses three floors. It takes about 20 minutes to walk through.

Most Memorable Moment


We found ourselves talking about a few moments and experiences after we left. I think the most memorable was the opening scene when you're first brought in. You enter a shop where the actor has you take a seat, asking you how much you'd pay for a dream. It's based on the King novel Needful Things. They added a twist I didn't see coming and kicked off the haunt in spectacular fashion.

Summary

Last season this was my favorite haunt, this year again it's so far the best we've hit. The acting is the best you'll find and the creative worlds we were sent through were just amazing. The frights were very unique and it goes beyond  the usual actors jumping and yelling to startle you. The House of Bathory takes you into a world that will make your skin crawl.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

The Mars Haunted House has a definite advantage over the others, that being their claim to be a haunt that is actually haunted.  Truth or hype?  We were about to find out... 

We attended on a rainy Sunday night, and were able to immediately enter the haunt.  As you walk into the first room an audio recording tells you that there was a disturbing incident that happened there...  but they never go into the details of what in fact that was.  It's not until after that I read on their website what that incident actually was.  So if you're curious like me, make sure you read all about it on their site.

The haunt is dimly lit with very narrow hallways.  The flooring is filled with ramps and steps that make you tread cautiously, which gives you the feeling that they were put there on purpose to slow you down.  Who put them there, and why?  This had me feeling a little paranoid, like I was stepping into a trap.

There's all sorts of things hanging in this haunt, many I didn't want to touch!  The props were VERY life-like, adding to the 'real haunt' vibe that they hang their hat on.  Those who have weak stomachs... you've been warned!

There's an odor throughout the haunt that I couldn't quite put my finger
on.  If fear has a smell, I guessing it would smell like that.  There's
many twist and turns that provide many opportunities to scare in a
short period of time.  Unfortunately it seemed as though some of those
opportunities were missed.  I'm guessing that they do not have as many
workers on Sunday as they would on a Friday or Saturday.  I'll
definitely attend this haunt again on one of those nights to get the
full experience of the Mars haunt! 

Overall, the Mars Haunted House had our adrenaline pumping and had us jumping.  If you're in the area, make sure you check out this historic haunt!

           

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to find, just look for the hearse parked out in front!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


It was cold and raining when we attended, and it was a Sunday night.  There was no wait, and only one actor out front.  We were only around him for a few seconds, but he was entertaining!

Actors' Performance


The haunt seemed very light on actors, but the ones that were there gave it their all!  Great timing by every actor.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


This is a dimly lit haunt, but the rooms that we could see provided us with lots of eye candy.

Length


It took about 15 minutes to walk through, and we were really taking our time to look at all the great details inside the haunt. 

Crowd Control


We didn't have to worry about crowd control on a rainy Sunday night.  Good thing...  as it was cold out.  Brr! 

Most Memorable Moment


Definitely the bathroom.  It was comical and disgusting all at the same time!

Summary

The Mars Haunted House appears to have lots of history and some great sets to work with.  It's a quick haunt, but done well and it was enjoyable for the most part.  I can't wait to attend again on a 'prime-time' night with better weather!

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Haunted High presents Dark Carnival

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Haunted High is one of the most unique experiences at a haunt that I've ever had!  Not only do they have a huge school as their playground, but they really play up the school theme throughout!

After waiting in the gym, you start out in the basement, which just so happens to be the locker room.  To me, this was a scariest part of the haunt, as it was dark and smelly.  They had us jumping left and right. 

The rest of the haunt was literally a tour through the school.  It was light on scares, but lots of eye candy throughout.  It was a trip to walk into the auditorium near the end and see a skeleton band putting on a concert!  I've never seen anything like that, it was incredible!

I loved the fact that and the end of the haunt you 'graduated', and they even gave you a diploma!  We left, thinking our high school experience was over....  but was it?  Come see for yourselves!

Signage / Visibility / Location


We found it ok with a GPS, but drove right by it as the school is not visible from the road until you're already driving by it.  The sign was rather small, but you can't miss the steady stream of cars coming and going from their parking lot.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was a huge line for this haunt.  Lucky for us the waiting area is inside the school gym, so we were nice and dry while it rained outside.  It was organized very well, and there was some entertainment being projected onto a wall.  The wait for us was a good hour.  Make sure to go early to avoid a long wait, or upgrade to a fast pass.

Actors' Performance


All of the actors at Haunted High are volunteers, and some showed it by what I believe to be a lack of experience.  Some rooms they didn't jump out at us until we already saw them.  But for the most part, all the actors showed their school spirit and were really into their roles.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The only part of Haunted High that was truly dark and scary was the basement.  The other areas were bright enough where you could admire their work and the details they put into the haunt.  Each room had a school theme.  The mirror room seemed a little out of place, but was very cool! 

Length


The wait to get in depends on what time of the night you arrive.  It took us about 30 minutes to get through the school. 

Crowd Control


We had a few situations where we bumped into other groups going through the school.  This was towards the end of the night on a busy Saturday night, so I think they might have been making sure everybody got through before it closed.

Most Memorable Moment


We met up with the school principal, who berated us like the naughty school children we were.  I made the mistake of saying something, and he informed me that I had a 'bad attitude'.  I was having flashbacks! 

Summary

It's a shame this is the last year for Haunted High.  They get high points for creativity and standing out in a sea of cookie cutter haunted houses.  Make sure you check it out before they're gone!     

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Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

This is actually my first corn maze EVER.  If they're all like the Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield, it won't be the last!

After getting your wrist=bands, you head over to the bonfire where you'll hear some spooky ghost stories.  What Meadowbrook does best is create suspense.  Combine that with the great scenery, and you are in for a treat!

We were there early so there wasn't a wait for us to enter the maze.  Even before we entered, we could HEAR it.  The screams, the howling, the witch cackling...  they really set the mood for what you're about to experience.  There are multiple themes through-out the maze such as a pirate ship, aliens, red=necks, spiders, clowns, etc...

Speaking of clowns, I have a confession:  I've never really found them to be scary.  More like annoying.  There, I said it.  Most haunts have them in a 3D type room, or a room full of bright colors.  Not scary... to me they were more of a distraction than anything.  Meadowbrook was not only my first corn maze, it was also the first and only haunt with clowns that scared the heck out of me!  They looked scary, and they jumped out at us more than once.  I take back every time I rolled my eyes at seeing clowns in a haunt. 

Just being outdoors in the middle of a corn field at night is creepy.  I can't tell you how many times we stopped because we heard something, but it was only the wind blowing through the corn stocks.  They use lighting and sounds effects to make an already scary walk through a corn field terrifying.

I won't give anything away in this review, as I want you to experience the corn maze in all it's glory without any big spoilers.  But my hats off to Meadowbrook Farm.  You had us jumping, screaming and laughing more in your maze than several haunted houses combined.   

Signage / Visibility / Location


It felt like it was in the middle of no=where, but you can definitely see it as you approach. They have the pumpkin patch lit up nicely, and you can see it a long ways off.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We did not have to wait, I'm sure the weather was part of the reason along with the fact that we also arrived fairly early.  The bonfire will keep you warm and the stories they tell will keep you entertained if you do in fact have to wait.   

Actors' Performance


I can't say enough about how these actors went all out.  Their timing was spot on, and a few even kept following us.  It's hard to keep one eye in front of you and one eye in back.  This haunt was huge, and they did a great job of placing their actors throughout the maze along with triggered scares. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I believe many of their props are self made, which makes them all the more impressive.  The first prop we saw was the pirate ship, and it was incredible!  You never knew what you were going to get from one scene to the next! 

Length


It took us about 45 minutes to get through the corn maze, and that's not counting the story time by the bonfire.  You definately get your money's worth! 

Crowd Control


There was only one time we saw another group in the maze, and it was because we were trapped in a cage and couldn't get out!  I honestly think they thought we were a part of the show!  EXCELLENT crowd control.   

Most Memorable Moment


They do such a good job at having mannequins throughout the maze in between your encounters with the actors.  Just when you think that you're looking at a prop, it comes to life and chases you! 

Summary

I wish I lived more close to Meadowbrook, I would attend every year!  This is a quality haunt that you need to check out if you haven't already.  If you have previous years but haven't this year...  what's stopping you?  Oh, that's right.  The clowns...

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Hubertus House of Horror

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

“Off the chart!”, "Scare-tacular!”, Sensational!”, “Best Hubertus House Ever!”, “Unhinged!”, “I almost peed my pants!”, “Awesome!” These were the words my tour group used to describe this year’s Hubertus House of Horror.  Hands down everyone I have spoken to about this year’s edition of this haunt have agreed that this either was the best or tied for the best Hubertus House ever.

The House this year and your journey through it have received a complete facelift.  Gone were the school bus and the entrance through the basement.  Only a few of the best scares from last year remain and even those were creatively enhanced to provide a new twist to the scare.  Unlike prior years, this year’s journey began on the third floor of the house and sends you spiraling down through a whirlwind of creepy corridors, multiple mazes and countless rooms that each carry unique themes and actors performing ghoulish skits.

The special effects this year totally rocked my world!  They were frequent, very creative and effective in not only entertaining you but keeping you immersed in the action.  Rooms with extraordinary effects that I enjoyed the most included the Zombie splatter, spider cinema, the wild elevator ride, the deep tunnel sewer surprise and the Vortex.  Of course there were a lot more rooms than these five (…sorry, I lost count…) and given the unique surprises and effects found in each room my list of favorites would most likely change after each tour.

The Hubertus House is an interactive style haunt with each room containing a unique theme and skit performed by costumed actors/actresses.  The ages of these actors appeared to cover the spectrum from elementary school kids to adult.  While this haunt does contain a little gore and some loud scares I’d say it’s definitely suitable for haunt goers of all ages.

My only negative comment about this haunt was with the group sizes.  From what I observed many of the tour groups (…including mine…) had 8 people.  This made for a very tight squeeze in many of the rooms and also spoiled a few of the rooms as the skits/surprises would begin prior to entering the room.  Luckily for me 3 people in my group got lost early in the tour so most of my journey was with a group size of 5.  Some of the other groups I spoke to also shared their displeasure with group size particularly during the elevator ride.  Nobody, however, said that the group size ruined their experience and that they wished they could have toured with a smaller group.  (Perhaps next year this haunt could offer a ‘VIP’ option that would allow you to tour with a smaller group size?)

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 entertaining 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


Some really unique sets and a few outstanding special effects. First times and annual Hubertus House haunt goers will be dazzled with this year’s thrills.

Length


Approximately 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


Get your tickets early!  This place fills up in a hurry.  Numbered tickets allow you to purchase your tickets now and come back later in the evening for immediate entry into the waiting line.

Most Memorable Moment


I can still see those glowing red eyes when I close mine!

Summary

Of the 8 haunts I’ve attended this year the Hubertus House of Horror has the best special effects.  In my opinion this year’s edition of the Hubertus House of Horror is the best ever!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Terror on Rural Street

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

Twelve years of creative, creepy and chilling concepts and counting for Terror on Rural Street.  Unlike some haunts that showcase the same themes year after year I have never been disappointed at the Terror on Rurual Street. The Barber Shop, the snake room, Clown Funeral, the Mad Scientist and all new maze were a few of my favorite new rooms.  Terror on Rural Street features 17 Cinema quality sets many of which are pimped out with a dedicated sound system and special effects you won't find any place else.

Terror on Rural Street is an interactive style haunt with each room showcasing a unique theme and a skit performed by volunteer actors. While the actors may be volunteers the costumes and make-up were professionally done and very realistic.  Memorable acting performances included the bizarre barber and his unfortunate patron, the sinister scientist and his shocking secrets and who could forget the wretched witch and her collection of trophies.

Admittedly not all of the acting performances knocked my socks off nor did every room send me off screaming to the next.  But what Terror on Rural Street lacked with its actors and potential scare factor it more than made up for with its dazzling special effects and elaborate sets.  Scares and surprises frequently came from unexpected flashes of brilliant light, dedicated room specific sound systems and a variety of lifelike techno effects.

Here are some interesting tidbits for those of you who are particularly interested in the quality of your haunted experience or may just be wondering "how did they do that?"

* Each room and hallway is under constant surveillance by staff members with a very keen attention to detail. These staff members remain in contact with the ghouls and monsters lurking in the shadows and rooms around the haunt to ensure they are always perfectly positioned and timed to scare the bajeezus out of you and your fellow haunt goers.

* A staff of Professional theatrical make-up artists with over 25 years of experience volunteer their time at Terror on Rural Street.

* Terror on Rural Street is a not for profit organization.  Proceeds from this event go to support Hartford Community Service Inc.  Scholarships, Community Projects, and area Non Profit Organizations

* Curious about how this haunt can churn out so many new sets each year?  A workshop full of additional sets and props found directly behind this haunt is used to construct new sets year around.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Don't let a full parking lot scare you away before this haunt does!  Terror on Rural Street shares it's parking lot with the Schauer Art Center and the Wisconsin Automotive Museum.  Not all the cars parked in the lots may necessarily be for Terror on Rural Street.

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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


A heated indoor waiting area with a concession stand that features beer and mixed drinks.  "Best Haunt ever!" exclaimed a fellow haunt goer when he glanced up at the menu and noticed beer on it.  By the way...all proceeds from the concession stand benefit the Schauer Arts Center which is located just next door.

Actors' Performance


We had a lot of fun interacting with the performers in many of the sets.  Most notable were the performers of the barber shop and the clown funeral.  Elaborate costumes and finely detailed make-up really enhanced appearance of all performances.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


A nice variety of sets and some superb special effects. For those of you who traditionally checkout a few different haunts every year you'll appreciate the creative concepts and elaborate sets that have the look feel of a genuine movie caliber set. Compared to other haunts, the rooms here were quite spacious....a nice perk for those who don't particularly enjoy being squeezed into a room when your grouped with complete strangers.

Length


My tour lasted 17 minutes which included getting lost in the maze.

Crowd Control


Waiting room with concession stand is fairly spacious. Plenty of room in the court yard to wait also. Patrons are free to roam about until the Reaper calls their number to be assembled for final preparations before entering the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


Several to choose from for me...I particularly enjoyed the visual effects and set layout of The Poltergiest room as well as exploring the multi-level set of the trophy room.

Summary

A fantastic venue along with a nice variety of sets, creative ideas and exceptional special effects make Terror on Rural Street a haunt definitely worth checking out!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Intense! Creepy! Morbid!  Those a few of the words my 2012 Mars Haunted House tour group used to describe their 2012 Mars experience.  If you're looking to get seriously scared this Halloween look no further than the Mars Haunted House!  This haunt has been in the business for 20 years and it shows.  Elaborately detailed sets and corridors tempt you to stroll slowly to enjoy the visual treats along the way while strategically placed ghouls and special effect scares lurk in the shadows to incite your natural instincts to flee.  Despite being prepared for the surprises that traditionally freak me out at Mars it always succeeds in making me jump.  Scares this year were encountered early and often…I actually jumped so many times I lost count. (But I'm sure it was more than once per minute!)

Traditionally I have declared this attraction to be Milwaukee's Scariest haunt. This year is no exception…in the 8-10 haunts I tour annually few (if any) make me jump as much as Mars did this year.

I particularly enjoyed the spectrum of scares found at this year's Mars Haunted House.  While most haunts will blind you by making your traverse a pitch dark hallway Mars not only pulls this off but also features two other corridors that blind you with both light and fog (…all of course, with their own unique scares along the way…) 

"Disgusting!" was how one tour mate described a room with bloodied body parts…without giving too much away, if gore really freaks you out some of the body parts associated with sensitive parts of the human anatomy may give you nightmares in this room!  This year's haunt definitely appeared to have more gore than in past years.  This noteworthy point may be due partially to this year's lighting.  The lighting of Mars was dark and creepy but always just enough for you to enjoy the incredible attention to detail this haunt showcases.  I've been told that this haunt actually is never disassembled so that improvements can be made year round…it definitely shows!

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: Ever wonder what death smells like?  …the smell wasn't as overwhelming as 2011 but some of the sets definitely had a unique aroma to it
* Touch:  Yes…Some of the scares are so intense you'll actually feel them!

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


Elaborately dressed ghouls interact with you and anything that moves in the area 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


The performance of the characters outside was exceptional!  Inside the haunt the actors' focused more on scaring the bejeezus out of you than entertaining you.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Definitely worth checking out! With the total immersion and interaction with the actors and sound it's very easy to miss some of the attention to detail found in each room.... there are plenty of solid effects that will either make you jump or turn your stomach inside out.

Length


About 10-12 minutes

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


The "Crapper" room was voted the best by my tour group…I won't give it away though.

Summary

Once again, an outstanding attraction for those who like to be scared.  If you've enjoyed Mars in the past or you just plain like to be scared you certainly won't be disappointed this year. 

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 6:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Ever wonder what it would feel like to be in the center a real horror movie? The House of Bathory, located downtown Manitowoc, will catch you off guard like no other Haunted Attraction in Wisconsin. There is no more waiting outside, as a new creepy indoor waiting room has been added. Also if you are 21 and up, you can enjoy some food and spirits while you wait at the Fat Seagull. The House of Bathory is unlike any other haunted attraction. Each room is theatrically set with the most precise detail. Customer involvement is mandatory, and there is no hiding behind your friends. The sign clearly states that this is a "Full Contact" Haunted House. Those of you who think you are brave, because they can't "hurt you" ... think again! The Actor's performance is very genuine, I am certain that when the lights go on they all go back to their grave yard or some twisted home for the living dead. The scenes are not filled with animatronics, and they are not covered with fake blood and bodies (those items are just used as "fillers" at other Haunted Attractions). Everything and everyone you see in each scene is real! You will be forced into tight quarters, thrown down a slide, and guided through a haunted basement. The crowd control is excellent, and they only allow one group through the entire Haunt at a time. The entire "act" (and I call it an "act" because it is not just a house you walk through) lasts about 23 minutes. You will not find another Haunted Attraction in Wisconsin that is similar to The House of Bathory. You will still see some classic "favorite scares", but most of the Haunt is "impromptu". The theme this year is predominantly "classic horror movies", so if you ever wondered what it would be like to experience a REAL life horror, visit The House of Bathory and discover if you or live ... or die.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Let's take a walk and explore one of Wisconsin's top rated Haunted attractions. The Burial Chamber is 4 Haunted attractions conveniently located right off of Hwy 41 in Neenah, WI. You cannot miss your exit as large spotlights illuminate the sky and draw you near. You know you have come to the right place, when all you can hear is the faint screams of victims between each loud thud of your heart beat. As you slowly draw near to the ticket line, you try to walk softly and unnoticed, but the creatures roaming the grounds smell the fear running through your veins. You try to blend in with the other humans waiting in line, but it is as if they have been waiting for your arrival. You stand still looking at the large lines of victims and wonder why so many people would willingly subject themselves to such horror. There is no time to wait and you have to decide, should I visit one of the attractions and pay $14, or can I make it through 2 of the attractions and pay $22? You think, perhaps I can do 3 attractions at $25, but if I survive all 3, why not visit the burial simulator for a total of $28? Just then you see the VIP or Fast Pass option and decide that for $34 dollars you can avoid the lengthy lines and maybe they will go "easy" on you. Then you hear a faint human voice in the distance state, "Thank goodness we bought our tickets online, as we can skip the wait for the ticket booth and head right to the house". Finally, you are on your way to wait your turn to enter inside one of the massive haunted attractions. Where should you go first?

As you begin to walk, you duck into the first line and can see the large words "Adrenaline" illuminating a death scene and smog. Since you chose to go VIP, you bypass several victims and before you can even register the fear that you are about to experience, you are at the door. A ghoul welcomes you, your watch illuminates the time ... 9:15pm. Just when you think this might not be so bad, the ghouls voice goes from sounding like a human to a deathly growl no person is capable of making. You have no time to reflect on the ghoul outside, as you soon find yourself inside Adrenaline. It is dark and you hear someone in front of you yell, "Please don't make me go first". You grab the person in front of you and proceed slowly through a dimly lit scene of death. There is no sign of human life and all you can hear are screams, horror music and loud bangs. The floor sinks, ghouls appear from every angle, and these are not actors. There is no way theatrical costumes and makeup could make a person look like that! Before your mind has time to register what just jumped out at you, there is another "in your face, unexpected scare". You try to be brave, but a yelp escapes every time. You move quickly to avoid what just made you jump, but they are everywhere and they don't stop. Your heart beats faster and you start to doubt if you can handle any more intense scares, but there is no way out. You see a door and you think you are on your way out, but then you find yourself going in circles through one bloody scene after the other. You are back in the same room, and this time, you try a different door, but you find yourself again in the same room. You think to yourself, "I am trapped, I want to get out". Finally, you have made some progress, but the scares don't stop. They drop from above you and almost land on your head, you find yourself amidst a deathly war zone and poisonous gas surrounds you. A dead soldier spots you, he is angry and wants revenge, shots are being fired right at you. When you manage to escape unharmed the lights go in and out and all you can see is some creature with long black hair hiding in the corner. The lights go out and come on again and you look to where she was and she is gone, where did she go? How do you get out? Suddenly, the lights come on and you see she is almost at your feet. You run for an opening, and as you run a fence drops above you and ghouls surround you. You keep running and finally you are out, you are alive and try to catch your breath. You look at your watch ... 9:32pm ... what seemed like it lasted many intense hours was 17 minutes. Perhaps your watch is broken, because it felt like an eternity. You wait for your heart to calm and your hands to stop shaking and then see what seems like a beautiful woods.

As you walk closer you see there is an entrance to the woods, it illuminates the words "Phobia". You remember not being as scared in the woods in the past, so perhaps this will give you time to get yourself together. You are back in the VIP line to Phobia and a tall monster decides to entertain you with jokes and kindness, but his face was so gross and his size unreal. It is 9:38pm and a ghoul guides you as a countdown is displayed on a computer screen. 3 ... 2... 1 and you are in! The woods is very dimly lit, so you walk cautiously. You can hear a real dog barking in the background, he doesn't sound happy. What does he see that you do not? Just then, you realize you are being followed. You look to your left and there is someone or something there, to your right there is another and don't look up it is there too. A bright light goes off and for a split second you see their faces, they are horrific even in the light. You are seeing spots from the bright flash and your vision attempts to adjust as you are still moving forward. Things seem to calm down and you have a moment to just walk in the pure dark woods. Just then, some creature is dragging itself on the ground and is coming for your feet, a HUGE Jackal is keeping you trapped, you move forward an finally are safe again. Another bright flash goes off and before you can get your bearings, you see a contortionist ghoul, it can't be human. No human can manipulate their body in such a way, it reminds you of the possessed humans you have only seen in the exorcist movies. Moving foward you encounter cousin Festis, he jumps out at you and pushes his gun to you, luckily for you it misfires, but he keeps trying and you move fast to get away. You think you see the end, and then you hear it ... "a loud chainsaw" in the distance, the smell of gas surrounds you and before anyone can say "watch out", he is in your face and you must run or be slaughtered. You catch your breath a realize that you ran fast enough, but where did the people behind you go? As you look down, you see the time ... 9:50pm. Again, it felt like you were walking the woods for miles, not 12 minutes. At this point, your stomach is grumbling, and you feel sick from the fear you have had to endure for the past 35 minutes.

Ahead you see several concession stands offering warm doughnuts, hot cocoa, calzones, pretzels, Halloween treats and much, much more. You try the warm doughnuts and after your stomach settles you decide you can handle one more haunted attraction. You walk past a long line of humans waiting for what you believe to be the next attraction. Out of curiosity you ask those near the front of the line "how long have you been waiting?" The nervous female responded about 40 minutes. The human's standing in line all displayed different actions of fear. Some were blankly staring, others nervously laughed, and some found comfort in their lovers embrace attempting to avoid the monsters that lurked the lines.

You look up and see another deathly scene that illuminated the word, "Insanity". You can't help but stare at the ghostly face of the thing taking your tickets. Every detail was perfect, not a single sign of human flesh was exposed. This clearly was not a human. At this point you realize that the name "insanity" is very fitting as you would have to be insane to put yourself through the torture of yet ANOTHER haunted attraction. You look at your watch ... 10:01. You enter and find yourself at the back of a dark, deep, filthy closet. You have to keep moving forward, but the walls and the ceiling begin to close in on you and those around you worry that you may not make it, perhaps you went the wrong way? You see an opening and you finally make it out. As you look at the scenes, something is touching your leg ... you try to move away and see what it is, but all you can see is the crazy scene of ghouls, bodies, guts and blood. Again, in the darkness, something below keeps touching you. You begin to think you are losing your mind because there is nothing there. You cannot grasp reality because the ghouls are making strange noises that are not that of a person. Their faces are so real and the scenes reek of death. You go from room to room, and each one is as detailed and just as gruesome and twisted as the last. Just then you panic as you realize a deathly ghost is really sawing into a human leg and the blood soaks you! You think to yourself, "this is not real, this can't really be happening". You can barely walk as the walls around you are moving, so you hold on tight and try to not to fall. When you think you have caught your bearings, you are trapped trying to push your way through a wall. You know that sounds crazy, "how does one push their way THROUGH a wall"?! Another creature lurks on the floor and appears behind you, the walls come to life and a huge man is eating the flesh of toddlers. You can not distinguish what is real, from what is not real. Just when you feel as though you have completely lost it, an insane clown makes certain to take all of your sanity. You exit the haunted attraction; look down at your watch ... 10:21pm. Slowly, you and your friends try to grasp reality and find your vehicle. Everyone is dumbfounded and there is silence as you attempt to reflect on what just happened over the past hour and a half. Just then, your alarm goes off and you wake up. Whew, it was all just a nightmare ... right?

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Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by Dave to the Grind (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 5, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

2 years in the making. Their first year. Opening night. We were excited and expectations were high even before we arrived. Luckily we weren't disappointed with one of Wisconsin's newest haunts. Spotlights and neon lights make the Complex easy to see from a distance, like a haunted house in Vegas. 

The Abandoned Haunted Complex is created from a large structure and is home to two haunts, Ambush and Hysteria.  The haunts are connected and you leave one and head straight into the other. So it feels like one long seamless haunt, with two different experiences.  The haunt as a whole moves at a good pace as you enter  different rooms, themes and frights.  Using amazing detail with the building of the sets, props, lights and sound. I found myself swiveling my head looking at the props and settings of every room we entered in awe. Leaving myself open for surprises.

The Hysteria  proved to be part of the haunt that focused more on playing with your senses. Which  pretty much tried to assault every sense except the sense of smell. Including touch as something as simple as  little ropes hanging from the ceiling that gave you a feeling of walking through cobwebs. They did a beautiful job of not only having detailed settings, but the use of lights and sounds. The room that affected me the most had walls covered with black and white squares with the lights flashing. Actors and dummies stood in the room and you couldn't tell which was a real person as even the dummies felt like they were moving. The lights caused such optical movement that I couldn't walk straight. It was an awesome affect.  The Hysteria was an excitingly different from your usual haunts, with new tricks.

The Ambush portion brought you into more creepy situations in excellent detail. This haunt enjoyed to startle you along the way. The props and the detail they put into creating the sets was amazing. It worked against you as you were busy checking out a tomb, a morgue or a butcher shop and actor was hiding somewhere to startle you. Hence the name Ambush. Even as you wandered into a battle field, a gun nailed you with a blast of air to keep you on your toes as if the battle sounds weren't enough. The most memorable part was the walking around a hospital. Where you walk around the outside before heading inside. It was just amazing to see a creepy building exterior while you are inside a complex.  I heard constant comments of "oh wow" from members of our group throughout this haunt. It was quite an experience.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find since you can see it from the freeway, just look for the spotlight. 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Waiting area had refreshments for sale and was outdoor. Line entertainment had two actors ready to interact and creep you out. The clown (who I've seen at the Mars haunt) made sure to talk to and disturb you. The other actor was great at disappearing, then popping out to make you jump.

Actors' Performance


The make up, professionalism and effort given was great. They all fit the setting they were in. The ones with speaking and interactive rolls did a solid job. If there was one area I felt needed work was more speaking or active rolls. Many were there to scare you from a hidden spot when you entered a room.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Not much to say but top notch. Best I've seen yet. No detail was spared, what ever setting you walked into, you felt like you were in that world.  Members of my group  were constantly pointing out stuff that impressed he or she as they walked into a new area.

Length


It took us about 35-40 minutes to walk through the whole complex.

Crowd Control


 Very professional parking arrangement with people giving you direction, the exit was as separate drive so traffic could flow.  It wasn't crowded when we got there. Though they had ropes set up to help with lines to buy tickets and to wait to get in the haunt.

Most Memorable Moment


The man who kept trying to sell me a casket. Just when you thought you were getting away from him you somehow ended back in his sales room.  I still didn't want a casket!

Summary

This was an impressive haunt that lives up to the billing. A lot of effort went into the complex and it shows. Excellent props,  terrific settings, awesome effects and characters with scares around every corner. It's basically two haunted houses in one and I was able to get in for $18 a person with an online discount. Making it a great deal for the length. If you're looking for one haunt this year, or a haunt veteran looking for something different, give this haunt a shot. 

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Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 6, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Fantastically Frightful!!  If you've never been to the Burial Chamber complex prepare yourself!  The sheer size of this complex is quite impressive and what lurks inside will take your breath away.   2012 was my actually my 3rd visit to Burial Chamber in the past 4 seasons.  (I do believe this is Burial Chambers 5th season…) Over the past 4 years as a Review Crew Member I've been to many of the haunts in Wisconsin and I’ve yet to find one as massive as Burial Chamber.

Of course for all you Haunt Connoisseurs out there I don’t have to tell you that it's not always the size of the haunt that matters.  When it comes to Burial Chamber, not only is this complex well endowed, it employs an amazing arsenal of creeped out corridors, crazy creatures and good ole fashioned in your face scares to maximize your ghoulish gratification.

Burial Chamber features two indoor haunts (Adrenalin and Insanity) that reside side by side and one (Phobia) that's outside.  The layout of Adrenalin and Insanity are similar in that they are both comprised of a seemingly endless maze of cleverly crafted corridors consisting of a variety of themes.  The journey through both Adrenalin and Insanity progresses continuously without stoppages for elaborate skits.  Rooms here are more like themed corridors than rooms and your pace through these haunts is determined more by how quickly you walk than it is by the creatures lurking in the shadows. 

The pace of Adrenalin is fast and furious as the ghouls are unrelenting in their quest to scare each and every visitor regardless of their position within a group.  The lighting of Adrenalin is noticeably darker than Insanity but there was always just enough light for you to find your way without the worry of walking into a wall.  The maze of dimly lit hallways of Adrenalin did an exceptional job of building my anticipation of the scares that await but unfortunately made it challenging for the true haunt connoisseur in me to appreciate how elaborate the sets and creatures were.  Nonetheless, if you're looking for a good scare to get your heart dancing like Dracula's Discotheque Adrenalin will get the job done!

Insanity on the other hand left little to the imagination.  Sets were lit effectively…dim enough to encourage you to keep your scare guard up but light enough so that you could appreciate the amazing attention to detail with the sets and costumed actors.  There were fewer creatures lurking in the shadows of Insanity but enough to make you jump occasionally.  Gore and special effects were plentiful with several visual abominations that will torment your mind long after your exit.  Lazer lighting, black lit rooms, a vortex, strobe lights were just a few of the visual stimuli Insanity offered up.  For these reasons Insanity was my pick as top hell hound at Burial Chamber this year….. but when I offered this opinion to my group of haunt goers it was absolute pandemonium!  Which one was your favorite?

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find as it's just a couple 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, Insanity and Phobia are all outside. Two large screens outside of Adrenalin and Insanity 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 hallways/rooms to maximize scare and creep factor. Set designs were very effective in immersing you into the theme of the haunt. Not the most elaborate set designs I've seen but definitely better than the average haunt.  Enjoyed some of the unique concepts and special effects.  Trick floors, falling ceilings, vibrating walls, tripped out lazer lights….there’s a little bit of everything to keep you on your toes.  I particularly enjoyed the cleverly laid out lab maze in Adrenalin and the bloody pig pen found in Insanity.

Length


Took our group 15 minutes to complete Adrenalin. Insanity also took 15 minutes.

Crowd Control


Waiting lines for both Adrenalin and Insanity were clearly marked off along with the separate VIP lines.

Most Memorable Moment


Several great scares....the bloody pig pen in Insanity was totally insane!

Summary

If you're looking to get totally freaked out this Halloween look no further than Burial Chamber.  Minute for minute Burial Chamber's Adrenalin and Insanity haunts provide more scare opportunities per minute than any other haunt I've attended.  Adrenalin's scares come early and often while Insanity showcases more gore and visual effects but still provides plenty of scare opportunities.

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by Dave to the Grind (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

What feels like a night drive in the middle of nowhere, leads you to a farmhouse. Your drive past the house is crossed by cats that dare you to enter. Your journey ends at the Haunted Barn, a must hit
this Halloween season.

It feels like you're trespassing until you find the parking area. A friendly staff and the smell of food cooking greet you at the ticket booth. The haunt costs $13, which is well worth it for a haunt this long.

Beetlejuice keeps you entertained while you wait to enter, which wasn't long, the night I dared to
go. The wait area is outside and offers food and refreshments to purchase while you wait. It is a fun atmosphere outside the barn.

Once taken into the haunted barn you are given a low down on the rules and sent on your way. This haunt paid attention to the details. The decorations and props were excellent. This haunt has taken great care in creating the atmosphere fitting for a spooky haunt. There were many original and very creative situations, like the man who had an issue with his outhouse. I helped him find the issue, but you'll have to find out what was for yourself. You make it through more scares and a maze that
is very confusing. Once you make your way through, you are outside for the haunted woods.

A lighted path shows you the way up a small hill to a graveyard and a couple of creepy girls hold you up or an odd conversation. The rest of the woods will have you on your toes as you head back to the barn. The thrills in the barn the second around are more intense and was our favorite part of the haunt. The actors made sure your last steps were in your face.

Overall, I really enjoyed this haunt. It lasted 20-25 minutes, which is a deal for the price. The props and decorations were great and took you into the world of a haunted barn and some many odd situations. The outdoor portion could have used a few more scares but it worked as a break before being sent back in. The actors put on a star performance, I was impressed with the child actors in this haunt. All of the actors did an excellent job of interacting with us and slowing us down when we were getting close to the group ahead. The Haunted Barn was a just the start we needed to the
Halloween season.

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Haunted Barn is easy to find with MapQuest directions. A lighted sign lets you know you've found it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Wait area is outdoor with shelter available. Food and beverages are available for sale.

Actors' Performance


Fantastic from the adults down to the children. They seemed to have a lot of child actors and they all did a great job.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The props used were all of great quality and the scenes were excellently detailed. They did a great job of taking you into a haunted barn world.

Length


The length was 20-25 minutes.

Most Memorable Moment


One of my favorite parts of the haunt was a creepy child who quietly walked up to my wife
offering her a beat up stuffed animal. When she reached for it the actor let out the greatest/loudest shrill I've heard in a haunt. We could still hear her after we went into another room of the haunt.

Summary

The Haunted Barn was a great start to the Halloween season. The location and setting gave you the feeling of trespassing on an old farm. The haunt kept that feeling going as you were taking into a world of an actual haunted barn. The props were very detailed and created a spooky atmosphere. The actors all gave a great effort to scare you as well as keep you from running into another group. The outdoor portion sandwiched in the middle was terrific in giving you another creepy experience before being sent back into the barn for more frights. So it felt like 3 haunts in one, making it a great experience and value!

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 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, September 29, 2012 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Monster Mayhem has returned for its 5th season in 2012 and once again it promises to be definitely unlike any other Halloween attraction you'll find this year.  As was the case last year, Monster Mayhem is by far the most fun I've ever had at a haunt.

Taking participation to a whole new level Monster Mayhem not only allows you to roam freely through rooms and hallways it also allows you to hunt and be hunted by the creatures lurking around the maze of rooms. Be warned!  If you and your fellow teammates don't watch each other's backs the zombies at Mayhem will turn you into Zombie Chow!

Unlike other haunts this attraction offers fun for all ages...kids, parents and grandparents alike. Kids will most certainly enjoy hunting the creatures (…as well as their parents if they happen to be placed on opposite teams….) and adults will most certainly enjoy the creatures who have a habit of popping up and scaring you when you least expect them to!  Not to mention, if you appreciate special effects (…as I do…) Monster Mayhem has some of the best homemade effects I've ever seen.

While Monster Mayhem may not be the scariest haunt you visit this year it will make a strong case for being the most fun haunted attraction you attend this year!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Monster Mayhem has NOT moved…its still on the corner of 51st and Howard…but its location looks different from last year.  Paulo's Pizza / Pub has gone out of business so the building appeared to be dark when arrived.  The haunt is still located in the basement and the entrance can be found around the back of the building. (Parking along the south end of the building will make finding the haunt easier.)  There are signs for the haunt but they're not obvious.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Indoor waiting area with tables, chairs, refreshments and arcade games available…as well as live video of the Mayhem that awaits you.

Actors' Performance


There weren't a lot of actors involved when I attended (opening weekend) but the ones I interacted with did a superb job of getting me involved in the fun.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


These guys really have a keen eye for technology. If you're into techno props you'll enjoy the sets at Monster Mayhem.

Length


Beginning to end my adventure lasted about 15 minutes which included a little setup instructional time to get us operational.

Crowd Control


This the fifth year I've visited this haunt and I've never experienced any crowd control concerns.

Most Memorable Moment


Chasing monsters and then being chased by others...a very entertaining change of pace!

Summary

If you enjoy participating in your Halloween adventures you definitely need to checkout Monster Mayhem. I've seriously never had more fun at a haunt. Fun for all ages and for the who family!

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December 12th, 2018 3:22 a.m. CST 1.5.1