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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

2013 Reviews

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

Youth Go's Haunted House (CLOSED IN 2020)

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Nicely Done! I’ll admit, after completing my tour of this haunt I had a lot of mixed thoughts in my head.  But after reflecting upon my experience and questioning what just happened I now have to tip my hat to the not so apparent but totally ingenious game plan of this haunt!  While I’m not going to give up any secrets here I must say this haunt provided me with a unique sense of fear! 

First and foremost, this is a very fun haunt…especially for younger haunt goers.  While the scares here are definitely kid appropriate, adults will definitely enjoy the clever room layouts and polished performances of the ghouls.  From what I’ve read Neenah’s Most Haunted has been around for 28 years. While I’m guessing many of the actors are less than 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.  Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of this haunt for adult haunt goers is the maze that awaits.  While dark and at times frustrating pay particular attention to any younger haunt goers that may accompany you…their reactions may actually provide the unhinged bone chilling experience other haunts dream of providing!

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 21 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....but by far my experience in the maze has left a lasting impression.

Summary

Of all the haunts I’ve toured 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 2013 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 11, 2013 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Sensationally Scary!!  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.   2013 was my actually my 4th visit to Burial Chamber in the past 5 seasons.  (I do believe this is Burial Chambers 6th season…) Over the past 5 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 Insanity this year was fast and furious as the ghouls were unrelenting in their quest to scare each and every visitor regardless of their position within a group.  The ghastly ghoul encounters in Insanity this year were noticeably higher than in prior years.  Compared to Adrenalin, Insanity leaves 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.  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.

The lighting of Adrenalin was 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, the seemingly endless tour of cleverly crafted corridors did an exceptional job of not only creeping me out but also included a few mind benders to totally screw with my head. 
While there may have been fewer creatures lurking in the shadows of Adrenalin than insanity there are still more than enough ghouls and techno-surprises to ensure that you get your scare on. 

While I did not tour Phobia last year I am told that this year’s edition contained 5-6 new structures.  Unlike Adrenalin and Insanity, Phobia resides completely outside and features a terrifying tour through the woods along with occasional petrifying passages through the eerie dwellings found along the way.  Rustling brush and sinister sounds in the distance heightened my anticipation of what was to come as I proceeded along the path.  Menacing, highly motivated and acrobatic ghouls did an exceptional job of appearing out of nowhere to scare the members of my tour group.  In fact, the scare at one point was so intense for a member of my tour group that I actually got stampeded!  Not surprisingly, this tour group member declared Phobia as Burial Chambers most terrifying experience. 

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. The actors that greet you outside of each haunt are very elaborately dressed and put on an amazing academy award type performance.  Inside the haunts the performances aren’t nearly as elaborate 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.

Length


Took our group 16 minutes to complete Adrenalin, 14 minutes for Insanity and 13 minutes for Phobia.

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....especially just about everyone one in Insanity.  In my opinion this was the best year ever for Insanity!

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.

View all Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex reviews

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

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: High

Review

Scare-tacular!  Once again, 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 over 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. 

Traditionally I have declared this attraction to be Milwaukee's Scariest haunt.  Even though Mars was the first haunt I toured this year I would definitely recommend this haunt to be on your must see list.

Keeping with tradition, this year’s Mars Haunted House features a full spectrum of scares.  Creepy corridors, mind boggling mazes, rancid rooms, frequent frightful encounters with elaborately dressed and fiendish ghouls…this haunt had a little bit of everything.  The lighting of Mars was dark and creepy but always just enough for you to enjoy the incredible attention to detail this haunt showcases.  Also noteworthy, many of the rooms and hallways featured robust sound systems to really heighten the haunted experience.  I’ve been told that this haunt actually is never disassembled so that improvements can be made year round…it definitely shows!

Intense!” was how one tour mate described this year’s Mars experience.  The frequent encounters with the ghouls that appeared out of nowhere and always appeared to be lurking in the shadows behind and in front of us definitely put a frightful charge into my tour mate.  Once inside the Mars Haunted House there’s certainly no place that’s safe from the scares that await at every turn. 

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: Past Mars Haunts included unique smells to heighten the experience.  Didn’t notice any this year.

* 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


There were a lot of great rooms and corridors but the experience of the opening room really drew the most post haunt clamor 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.

View all Mars Haunted House - CLOSED- reviews

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View my 2020 Reviews




October 26th, 2020 7:14 a.m. CDT 12.12