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Newbie Review Crew Member

Ted (HocusPocus)

Photo of Ted

Why do I like Halloween? Here are a few reasons why my ghoulish tendencies come out for Halloween every year: (1) Imagination: What other holiday encourages kids to pretend they're adults and adults to pretend they're kids? (2) Creativity: Fueling our imagination while providing a chance to showcase our creativity so that our alter egos can shamelessly take center stage for a day! (3) Originality: No two Halloweens are ever the same! (4) …plus the candy is a pretty nice perk too. J

What do I look for in a haunt? These are elements that give me the heebee jeebies at a haunt: (1) Anticipation of the element of Surprise such as wondering through a dimly lit hallway (2) interactive haunts that include you in the action rather than relegate you to the mere role of spectator (3) techno-effects that excite your senses while challenging your mind to figure out how they did that.

Previous Reviews: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2010 Reviews

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

Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering

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

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


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



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



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



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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

View all Oblivion Haunted House; The Gathering reviews

Comments: (0)

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

Elements of Fear

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

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


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



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



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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


The Vortex room!

Summary

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

View all Elements of Fear reviews

Comments: (0)

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

Youth Go's Haunted House (CLOSED IN 2020)

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

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


Took our group 14 minutes to complete our adventure.

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

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

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

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

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

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Very High

Review


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



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



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



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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

View all Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex reviews

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

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

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

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


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



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



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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

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

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

Hubertus House of Horror

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

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


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



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



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



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



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



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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

View all Hubertus House of Horror reviews

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

Terror on Rural Street (CLOSED IN 2020)

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

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review


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



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



...and then there's the haunt.



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



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



Favorable Comments from the group included:


** I had a blast interacting with the actors.

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

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

Summary

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

View all Terror on Rural Street (CLOSED IN 2020) reviews

Comments: (0)

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

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

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

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review


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



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



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



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


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


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


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


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

Signage / Visibility / Location


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

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


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

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

Actors' Performance


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

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


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

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

Length


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

Crowd Control


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

Most Memorable Moment


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

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

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

Summary

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

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March 7th, 2021 5:16 a.m. CST 13.5