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Newbie Review Crew Member

Justin (DarkWolf1088)

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October and Halloween are not just my favorite month and holiday because I was born during that time, but I have always enjoyed the happenings during this time of the year. From fall festivals that serve delicious apple cider to TV horror specials and to the haunted attractions across the state, I love everything that October has to offer. I loved this time of year, especially the ‘scary’ part, so much that beginning in high school I started working on an entertainment farm and also worked for their haunted hayride, as an actor, that they put on every October.

As such I have 3 years experience as an actor for a haunted attractions and 2 years experience as a supervising actor for the same haunt. Thus, when I go to haunted attractions there are two big categories I look for. These categories include Experience and Scares. When I talk about 'experience' I am talking about how well the haunted attraction immersed you into 'their world' and how well the haunt spaces groups. If I can tell that I am in a semi-trailer, there is a problem. In terms of the scares, I look for good ambush and sudden scares that have a powerful presentation behind them. It is not fun to come to haunt where all the actors do is go "boo" nor is it any more fun to go to one that is making their actors try too hard to convey a storyline. Thus if the experience is excellent and the scares are solid, that is a solid haunt in my book.

Previous Reviews: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

2013 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2013 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

My second time to the Abandoned Haunted House Complex and wouldn't you know it was even better than the first. Abandoned has continued to impress me. My first year there I was impressed with the amount of detail, professionalism of the actors, and amount of technology used by the attraction. This year certainly did not disappoint, with a new layout and new technology this year was just another awesome year.

Abandoned has the benefit of being very close (about a 30-40min drive) to Milwaukee AND Chicago. Even better it is not that difficult to
find. Abandoned is perfectly positioned just off of I-94, near Mount Pleasant, on the frontage road. You barely need instructions. Just drive towards Mount Pleasant and look for the big lit up letters that say Abandoned on the left or right of the freeway (depending on where you are coming from). There is plenty of parking and the ticket booth is easy to find. The attraction also offers “Abandoned” merchandise and concessions. It is definitely a nice stop.

Abandoned this year has grown. You will never be bored in the line as there is now an outdoor movie theater screen that shows music videos
and various other Halloween related media. Actors prowl the grounds and keep you entertained in line. They are not afraid to get in your face but they will also hold a conversation with you in character. My fiancée and I particularly enjoyed a friendly exchange between two reptile overlords and the property’s security guard. Again you will NOT be bored in line. Even as you get closer to the main entrance you will be able to talk with people around you as there are 5 lines that line up side-by-side. So even while waiting you will have a good time.

Due to this attraction’s popularity, even if you get there early, be prepared to wait. My fiancée and I got there near the tail end of the
night and we still had a 30min wait, but it is worth it. For those who are impatient the attraction offers a Fast Pass ticket that will take you to the
front of the line…for an additional fee of course. No matter how you get to the main entrance once you are inside be prepared for an adventure. Abandoned generally puts groups of 4 -6 people through at a time although you may be able to request to be by yourself. Don’t let the fact that you may be with a few more people deter you. It will still be loads of fun.

Like last year you start off in their “main room”. Here you get to watch a borderline disturbing video that will put you in the mood to
either take the house head on or cower behind someone. Either way, this room is going to get you excited. Now, this haunt being so expansive, I could break down the type of scenes you are going to see and things you are going to experience but that wouldn’t be right. So I am just going to focus on the main components that will give you a great experience. Those components are: the actors, the technology, and the scenery.

First let us start off with the actors. ALL the actors are highly dedicated and committed, professional actors. Each actor is “done-up”
(i.e. make-up and costumes) professionally. The actors bring an awesome “lifeforce” to this attraction. They will keep you going, keep you guessing, and keep you entertained from start to finish. Each actor is committed to their role and is tasked with different ways to scare you. It appears that the experience of these actors is so vast you will never feel like one actor just copied another. These guys and gals know what they are doing and they will give you a great experience. Major thumbs up to those actors.

Abandoned offers top-of-the-line haunted house technology for your enjoyment. Tiny LED lights are placed strategically in some areas to
give the impression that you are underground. In other areas they are placed just so to mimic sunlight. And in still other areas they are placed to the give the illusion lightening. That is just part of it. There is so much technology in this complex you feel like you really are in a bad situation. You will see real sparks (that rain down on you), lighting that perfectly sets the stage, and animatronics and other moving parts that make you believe everything you are seeing and doing is real. With the aid of technology you will even experience a zombie attack (and that is all I will mention with that). All the technology is there to disorient you or make the experience as real as possible. Everything this house has to offer is a site to behold.

Finally you have the scenery. Abandoned held nothing back when they created this house. All the scenes are professional, Hollywood-grade
scenes. You will see real coffins, realistic animal corpses, and props that make you wonder if you really are still in a haunted house. This is a full
immersion haunted house. You will smell things, you will feel things that are wet or gummy, and you will see things that are straight out of major horror movie blockbusters. You can tell a lot of work was put into this haunt and you will appreciate the amount of detail that you will experience. It is this type of dedication that makes you want to go through a house again and again.

This haunted house is so expansive you will feel like you are in there for over an hour. The whole attraction, however, is a little more
than 30mins. Abandoned has pacing down to a science. You will likely never run into another group and if you do that group will be separated from you so you can continue on in your group. This further adds to the enjoyment. The pacing will give you enough time to soak in each environment and get treatment from each actor in a given area. There is a reason that this haunted house's popularity has grown. Come and see why first hand.

Summary

I cannot sum up this review any better than saying this "This haunt is most definitely worth your time, money, and gas to get there." If you want to feel like you were just dropped off in the middle of a horror movie…that you wanted that added realism, Abandoned Haunted House Complex fits the bill. I briefly spoke with the owner while I was down there and he advised me that Abandoned will continue to get bigger and better. This is one haunted house that you need to stop at before the end of the Halloween season.

View all Abandoned Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2013 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror (CLOSED IN 2020)

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 18, 2013 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

Oh man. Friday the 18th was my first visit to the Dominion of Terror and let me just say it was an awesome experience. The Dominion of Terror is based in an old factory. From the roadway you can’t miss this building. The attraction has effects (like flickering lights and a soundtrack) on the exterior of the building. Even the building, without all the effects, is imposing in nature. Just the look of the building and that creepy feeling that the special effects give you, make a perfect combo for putting anyone in the mood for some scares.

I was with my fiancée and as we got in line we were immediately welcomed by the freaks and ghouls of the haunted house. I almost did not get in because an escaped insane asylum inmate tried to steal my ticket. Then he made the mistake of attempting to go through my fiancée’s purse. Needless to say the actors are already very committed at what they do before you even get inside the house. Furthermore, nobody in the line will be left alone. Everyone, at some time before they get inside, will get to deal with a dedicated actor. It provides for some immediate fun and scares, and even some laughs.

The wait was nothing dreadful. I believe my fiancée and I were only in line for 10mins at most before we got inside. Unless you ask to be by yourself or just you another person, the staff will generally pair small groups up. So if you are a major scardy-cat this may benefit you. My fiancée and I went with another couple inside the house. Once we were inside we were met with a sweet old lady that told us a story. What is unique is the story was really the rules of the attraction but presented in a fairy tale format. This is no safe zone. All I will say is be weary of the mice!

Once you receive this story you proceed on to the rest of the house. I was pleasantly surprised with the first few areas which took a detour from normal haunted house layouts and instead provided a wide open area. Be forewarned this does not mean that it is less scary. As we went through the house I began to pick up on the theme of this attraction. If you ever wanted to know what it would be like if you ever dropped some of your favorite childhood fairy tales into the pits of Hell, well the Dominion of Terror will show what that would look like.

The scenery was solid. With every area you knew where you were. With this fact and solid acting by the performers you will never be asking yourself, “what kind of area am I in now?”  The actors were committed to their roles which only deepened the immersion that you will experience  at this haunt. The actors also knew every nuance of how to scare. From yelling, to ambush tactics, to creepy portrayals, the visitor to the Dominion of Terror will experience it all. I have to give major kudos to the actors that lied in wait right in the open and were still able to make scares because people thought they were just a prop. Excellent job.

Dominion of Terror, however, does not just rely on great actors and great scenes to get the job done. Like all modern haunted houses, Dominion brings some of the latest technology out to help scare those that venture inside the house. You will certainly not be disappointed with what this house has to offer. Even better is that, even though this attraction is roughly 30mins long, the pacing was so good that the time spent inside felt longer and the pacing allowed you to take in each room and everything that the actors had to offer.

This was all around a fun and scary attraction. There was one point that an actor, knowing exactly what he was doing, almost got my fiancée to fall down onto her butt because he scared her just at the right moment. If you want the experience of escaping to different worlds than the Dominion of Terror is right up your alley.

Summary

In conclusion the Dominion of Terror is a full immersion haunted house. You will feel like you are someplace else and there are sights, textures, and smells which are all there to bring that feeling full circle. The actors are dedicated, committed, and good at what they do. They hold back no “punches” and they pick on everyone that walks through the house. Call me and tell me that I am wrong if you do not at some point get an actor in your face. Dominion of Terror was a great way to wrap up my Friday night, and it was a haunt that my fiancée and I were talking about all the way home.

View all Dominion of Terror (CLOSED IN 2020) reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2013 season rather than the current season.

Youth Go's Haunted House (CLOSED IN 2020)

by DarkWolf1088 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 18, 2013 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Neenah’s Most Haunted is a haunted attraction located in Neenah, WI that is a nonprofit and put on by a youth group called Youth Go.
Based in what appears to be an old warehouse building, I was thoroughly impressed pulling up to the location of the attraction. The building has a welcoming, or terrifying (however you see it), façade that really puts you in the Halloween mood. My fiancée and I got to the location early so the wait was minimal. I believe I waited only 5 to 10 mins before I was admitted into the building.

The wait certainly will not be boring, however. Youth Go actors are ready and willing to engage you in some Halloween scares right in
the line. I particularly enjoyed the young man that was playing the gatekeeper at the entrance. I had a full conversation with him and throughout he stayed in his character. He made the wait pleasurable and made my fiancée and I laugh several times. His interaction made me completely forget about the cold weather and the water that was dripping on my neck from the roof (P.S. If it is wet out stand close to the wall or far out from the edge of the roof).

When I finally got inside the house my fiancée and I were immediately welcomed by 2 actors that started off the mood with some pleas for
help, screaming, and sudden movements. The youth certainly make it clear what they are there to do. The scenery throughout the house is simplistic. If you are only interested in highly detailed, professional level scenes, you will not find such scenes at this attraction. Neenah’s Most Haunted is what I like to call “a classic” haunted house.

On Haunted Wisconsin’s website the proprietors of the attraction state that there are no animatronics, holograms [or other high-end
technology] but that what they do offer are "rooms full of over-energized youth that creep and crawl and howl for your shrieks." This is the attraction in a nut-shell. If you like highly motivated actors, that you can tell are enjoying what they do, Neenah's Most Haunted is the ticket. I was impressed with the actors and their determination to get a scare out of you, one way or another. I could also tell all of them were having fun. This really helps increase the excitement of going to this haunted attraction.

At this haunt you will be bombarded with actors. At times, however, this can become more overwhelming than scary. When this happens just let the youth have their fun and move onto the next room. Not all rooms have actors in them so you will get breaks. The attraction was 30mins long and very well paced. We only ran into another couple after that couple had had difficulties finding the next room.

Being a "classic" haunted house you will be forced to interact with the environment. In other words you will have to find the correct door (to gain access to the next area) and you will have to feel around in dark areas in order to navigate to the next location. I thoroughly enjoyed this and it
provided a level of entertainment that some more modern haunted houses have long forgotten. The only time I was not having fun was when my fiancée and I ran into a particularly long and totally dark maze.

The maze was way too long and way too dark to provide any sort of entertainment value. Eventually the maze just became frustrating. All I can say is do your best and eventually you will find your way. Do not count this against Neenah’s Most Haunted, however, I understood what they were trying to do, but it was just a bit too much.

Summary

All in all Neenah's Most Haunted was an enjoyable experience. If you want that "classic" haunted house experience, you know the time before technology and where a lot of manual labor was put into a haunted house, this is the haunted house for you. This house is well worth your time and your investment goes to helping others out. What could be better than that? I know that the youth of Youth Go will be ready and waiting to give you a fun experience. Check them out.

View all Youth Go's Haunted House (CLOSED IN 2020) reviews

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View my 2020 Reviews




November 23rd, 2020 10:23 a.m. CST 13