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Newbie Review Crew Member

Pete (dubstyle_2k)

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Previous Reviews: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

2013 Reviews

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

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

And the winner is...  Abandoned Haunted House Complex!  Yeah, that's right, who's got the best haunt in southeastern Wisconsin? They do!  When asked about Abandoned last year, I always said that it was cool, and had potential.  I knew this year would be special for them, but I didn't know how special!  I don't know if words will do it justice, Abandoned nailed it.  No sophomore jinx here, just pure awesomeness!  We arrived at Abandoned and were told the wait was almost two and a half hours!  Needless to say, we went with fast passes!  After a short wait, less than fifteen minutes, we were ushered into the haunt.


Abandoned Hits you hard from the very start with its first attraction, Ambush.  If you have been to their sister haunt Burial Chamber, you already know that Abandoned relies heavily on disorientation.  Darkness is key here, and they use it so well.  But it's not just darkness; a new fad in haunts is the blinding LED's and smoke.  Ambush is a theme heavy haunt, with a fantastic mixture of live actors and gruesome scenes that rival the very best in haunted houses.  Ambush is a nonstop barrage of startling effects and scares.  The actors here are some of the best you could hope for.  Every last actor in there is most definitely a fan of haunts and horror, if they weren't, this haunt wouldn't be the amazing attraction it is.  Ambush is about fifteen minutes of awesome, covered with awesome sauce, sprinkled with shredded awesome, and topped with a heaping helping of awesome.  To some it up, I think Ambush is a great haunt, could you tell‽


The next section was Hysteria.  On it's own Hysteria is worth the price of admission, and is a fantastic haunt, but when coupled with Ambush, Hysteria is just the icing on an already perfect cake.  Hysteria is slightly shorter than Ambush, but what it lacks in length, it makes up in, well, hysteria!  The haunt focuses less on themes, and more on pure fright.  Lights out, loud noises, which way is up, bright light, thick smoke, tight spaces, pure insanity! 


When I heard rumors that the people who ran Burial Chamber were opening up a haunt in southeastern Wisconsin, I was psyched.  Burial Chamber was always one of my favorites, and I couldn't wait to see if they could make it work down here.  Well, in my opinion, they made it work, and in just their second year, the Abandoned Haunted House Complex is the best haunt in southeastern Wisconsin.  I'll go ahead and say it, they are probably the best haunt in the entire state, at least of the haunts I have been too.  Do yourself a favor, get to Racine, get to the Abandoned Haunted House Complex, buy a ticket, preferably a fast pass, and experience what this reviewer is all fired up about.  You will not be disappointed!

Signage / Visibility / Location


You won't miss it!  It's on the interstate,  there are spotlights, it's unmistakable! 

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is huge, with lines that stretched as far as the eyes can see.  It was a sea of people waiting, that's why we fast passed it!  There were ghosts and ghouls roaming around keeping everyone entertained, as well as a GIANT screen with horror movie trailers, funny youtube clips, and music videos to occupy your time.  You'll need all that if you plan on waiting the two plus hours in line!

Actors' Performance


The best!  Like I mentioned above, these actors are amazing at what they do, and they take pride in their job.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again, The best in the business!  I live in the area, so I have driven past Abandoned quite often all year.  That place seemed like it was getting worked on from the beginning of November, all the way until opening night. 

Length


Minus the wait in line, we were in the haunt for a good 25 minutes. 

Crowd Control


There are plenty of staff and security roaming the grounds, making sure everything was safe and under control.

Most Memorable Moment


My new favorite moment in any haunt this year was the declining platform with inflatable walls.  Does that not make sense to you?  You'll just have to go to Abandoned and see it for yourself.  It felt like a claustrophobic decent into the unknown.  It may very well have been just a throw away for them, but it was something I've never seen, and I suggest they keep it for next year!

Summary

What else can I say about the Abandoned Haunted House Complex?  twenty plus years of enjoying haunts, and this one is the very best I've been too.  I review haunted houses, that's my thing.  I love Halloween, and love haunts.  To amuse me this much, and get me this jacked up means Abandoned is something special.  I would recommend this haunt to anyone who is looking to have the time of their lives!  Great job staff at Abandoned, you've renewed my love for haunts!

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.

CLOSED -The Haunt: Haunted Barn & Haunted Hayride (CLOSED)

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

I must be honest, when I learned that I would be reviewing a brand new haunt, I was a little concerned.  It usually takes a few years for a haunt to hit its stride, so as you can guess, I went into The Haunt & Field of Terror with low expectations.  I must say, I was pleasantly surprised!  Right away we were greeted by some of the most pleasant staff members of any haunt.  We bought our tickets from the concessions area, which thankfully was selling some much-needed hot chocolate, and headed to to many fires that were there to warm you up.  We warmed our bones beside the fire and then we were off!  The Haunt & Field of Terror has two main attractions, a haunted house, and a haunted hayride.  We opted for the house first, because the hay wagon was full at the time. 


My biggest complaint with The Haunt & Field of Terror is the waiting.  We waited in a short line for way too long.  The time between groups was just too much.  It was a cold night, so the wait was worse than it should be, but this is Wisconsin, and I was prepared for that!  Once we got into the haunt I was surprised at how well it was put together.  The haunt was a good mix of live actors, above average animatronics and still scenes.  You can tell the Haunt did their homework, which I later learned was a good deal of on the fly suggestions, to make the house very entertaining.  The actors in the house portion were fantastic.  This is yet another area that can be lacking in first year haunts.  Without the experience of auditioning actors, you can almost guarantee lazy, non-committed actors, but these guys and girls played their parts well, and made me jump quite a few times!  My next issue with The Haunt & Field of Terror is the end was very anticlimactic.  I'll explain why, but am going to remain vague, as I don't want to ruin anything for anyone.  The big finish was played out for everyone in line to see, several times before you even enter the haunt.  I would suggest that the folks at The Haunt & Field of Terror stop that ending from reaching the outside waiting area.  We knew it was coming, and walked right past it, not surprised or startled at all.  It would have been good, if we weren't anticipating it.  In all, the house portion was better than average and I commend the people at The Haunt & Field of Terror for putting a good first year haunt on.


After the house, we walked over to the haunted hayride, and waited for the wagon to return.  We were on pretty quick, but were sitting there idle for a good 20 minutes.  I am not sure if the driver was on break, using one of the port-a-johns, or what, but we sat on the cold wagon, with exhaust blowing in our faces, and waited.  After all that, the ride was just okay.  Again, it was a colder than usual night, so it was less enjoyable than it could have been.  The ride takes you through cornfields with scenes every so often.  The scenes weren't much to speak of, but the actors out there were great fun.  Not much acting took place, just a lot of jumping onto the sides of the wagon, and growling, but considering the cold weather, these guys were top notch!  Hats off to them and their commitment to spooking!  The ride seemed redundant after a while, as each scene wasn't too much different from the last one, it was the zombies and ghouls that made this ride worth it.  They could have skipped the scenes all together and taken you on a dark ride through the fields and it would have possibly been more scary.  The ride took about 20 minutes to complete.


In all, I give The Haunt & Field of Terror a good rating.  Good upstart haunts are few and far between, The Haunt & Field of Terror showed me that they have all the potential in the world to grow and become one of southeastern Wisconsin's premier haunts.  I can't wait to see what they do next year!

Signage / Visibility / Location


The Haunt & Field of Terror is well lit and easy to find.  There is a very visible sign and plenty of parking.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Aside from the fires that were a very nice touch, the waiting areas for the haunts weren't entertaining at all.  The line going into the house area was treated to the finale of the haunt every three minutes or so, but like I said, that ruined it for the actual climax of the haunt.  Only one actor interacted with us in line, a very large headed clown with a knife.  He was fun, but that was all of the entertainment.  The hayride wait was uneventful and the wait on the wagon itself was unbearable, due to the fumes from the idle tractor.

Actors' Performance


The actors in both haunts were the best part of The Haunt & Field of Terror.  They made a decent haunted house very good and a cold dull hayride tolerable.  These actors deserve a lot of the recognition as they are what makes The Haunt & Field of Terror  worth it in the long run. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The designers of the sets and props at The Haunt & Field of Terror really seem to have taken their time and made a pretty good haunt.  You can tell that the ones who put on this haunt are fans of haunts and have studied what makes a good haunt.  The animatronics in The Haunt & Field of Terror were better than I would have expected and pretty cool!

Length


The House was about 15 minutes long, and the ride was 20 minutes.

Crowd Control


The line to get into the house was roped off, so no issues there.  The hayride, however, was weird, as you are in line, then that line turns into a large area where you wait in a group.  No real order to it.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment for me was the actors on the hayride.  They were committed to their craft, and got me a few times when they leaped onto the side of the wagon right by me.  They did a great job.

Summary

The Haunt & Field of Terror did what I didn't think they could, they made a pretty good haunt on their first attempt.  The Haunt & Field of Terror was a lot of waiting, and slow moving lines, but the payoffs were great.  Go out and support The Haunt & Field of Terror so we can see what they are capable of doing in the future!

View all CLOSED -The Haunt: Haunted Barn & Haunted Hayride (CLOSED) reviews

Comments: (0)

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

Terror on Rural Street (CLOSED IN 2020)

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

All I can say is WOW!  Terror on Rural Street is one of those haunts that I have been to so many times, I wasn't sure how impressed I was going to be.  I'll admit it now, I was dead wrong!  We arrived at Terror on Rural Street to find a very busy parking lot.  Don't be deceived though, it is a shared lot, you won't have to wait two hours to enter the haunt!  After we got our tickets, we entered the waiting area where benches are ample, and concessions are a plenty.  It's a nice waiting area, where you can relax, and grab a snack, or a beverage (adult beverages are available! {none for me though, I had work to do!}).  This area would have been better if there was any entertainment.  No ghosts or ghouls roamed, instead, you just sit and wait.  Guests are called by the number on their ticket stub to enter the haunt, and away you go...  to another waiting area.  Truth be told, this one goes fast, it just lines you up and gets you into groups for the haunt.  And now you're ready to enter!


Terror on Rural Street is a wonderful tour of fantastic sets and scenes.  Since Terror on Rural Street has over a decade of experience, their ability to set a scene is far and away their strong suit.  In Terror on Rural Street, you'll travel through many rooms, all intricately decorated with different nightmarish themes, the most memorable for me was a maze of inflated walls (we got separated from our group in this maze!). 


The most fascinating part of Terror on Rural Street was how much fun we had!  When you've been to a haunt several times, they tend to get stale, but somehow Terror on Rural Street has remained new, and relevant.  In my case, I tend to look at haunts from an artistic standpoint, and don't expect to jump, or be frightened.  Terror on Rural Street did both of those things, I definitely jumped, and my heart got pumping!  All of that, plus a detail oriented haunt makes Terror on Rural Street my surprise haunt of the season.  Hats off to the staff at Terror on Rural Street for keeping it new and fresh every year.  Great job Terror on Rural Street!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Terror on Rural Street is located in next to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum, which is pretty big, and some other businesses. There are signs that point you in the right direction.  It is also well lit.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area was pretty boring, but the wait isn't long.  You don't have to wait in a line with a bunch of people, there are benches and snacks to occupy your time..,  But, unfortunately,  no ghouls.

Actors' Performance


The actors at Terror on Rural Street are very entertaining.  They no their craft well!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


A+++ on this one! Terror on Rural Street takes their decade plus of experience and puts it all out there with amazing sets and props.  With a huge warehouse of props, they have what it takes to change it up and make it fresh every year

Length


In all, we were in the for about 20 minutes.

Crowd Control


The waiting area was under control.  If it were real busy, I'm not sure how well they could keep it under control, there aren't any corrals, so it's a go wherever you please type of thing.

Most Memorable Moment


I will never forget the maze of inflatable walls.  You have to find your way though a maze, but you cannot see anything because it's pitch dark, and you are squeezing though a claustrophobic's nightmare!  tight and confusing!  Awesome!!!

Summary

Terror on Rural Street surprised me this year!  Over a decade of haunting, and they still have it!  Top notch props and actors make this old haunt a winner!  Terror on Rural Street made this jaded reviewer believe again!  I believe that if a haunt has passion, they can make me jump, and Terror on Rural Street did just that!  I can't wait to see what they come up with next year!

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

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

Haunted High Presents: Terror @ 212

by dubstyle_2k (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

From the ashes, Haunted High returns!  This year, it takes the form of Terror @ 212.  New location, new haunted fun!  When I found out that last October was going to be the final Halloween season for Haunted High, I must admit, I was crushed.  Haunted High had everything going for them, great staff, awesome volunteers, and a dream location, a closed down high school.  But like all good things, it had to come to an end, and the land the school sat on was sold.  So going into this season, I was excited to hear that the folks who brought us Haunted High were back, with a new venue, and a new theme. 



Not being from the area, I naturally drove right past the place, even though it is plenty lit up, and there are two large signs letting you know that it was
here!  Once there, we entered the waiting area, which, fortunately for us because it was raining, was a giant heated tent.  A few concessions were
available, most noticeably a stand selling some of those delicious roasted, sugary nuts.  Once we bought our tickets, we were directed to the corrals,
where we waited to enter the haunt.  I must admit I was a little let down that the waiting area wasn't as entertaining as Haunted High was in the
past.  A few ghouls roamed around, and a very crowd friendly Jason came through with a chainsaw, but Haunted High had that really cool warped gym
floor, and would project horror movie trailers on the wall.  I did learn, however, that the projector would return, but because of the rainy weather,
they didn't want to risk it. 



The haunt itself was amazing.  Because the new location is roughly 1/10th the size of the school, they were forced to hit hard you from start to finish,
with little down time, something the school location couldn't offer because its enormous.  This theme heavy haunt relies heavily on throwing off your
equilibrium, and challenging your senses.  From pitch darkness, to blinding lights, to smoky haze, and from complete silence, to deafening sound,
you may not know which way is up.



Terror @ 212 is split up by themes.  Jungle, carnival, and industrial are just a few of the spooky areas you will visit at 212.  The detail that the
workers put into the sets and props are what sets 212 apart from the other haunts.  I naturally take my time and try to pay attention to details, and
boy am I glad I did.  Do yourself a favor, soak it all in, this place is professional!  Sets and detail are great, but they are nothing without
good actors, and 212 has some of the best.  One of the advantages to having a smaller space is the ability to be more selective when it comes to
hiring talent.  You can tell 212 hired the best of the best.  All of the actors I encountered were dedicated to making you jump! 



I think it's fitting to give Terror @ 212 a letter grade, since after all, it is put on by the folks who brought us Haunted High, and all of the proceeds go
to the Oconomowoc Public Education Foundation.  I give Terror @ 212 a solid A+!  Bravo Terror @ 212, you made the best of a crummy situation and hit it out of the park.  If you are looking for the best fright in the area, look no further than Terror @ 212! 

Signage / Visibility / Location


Aside from my inability to see a giant lit up sign that says "Terror @ 212," it's very visible.  Because I am not a native Oconomowocian (thanks for nothing on that one google, I just have to assume that's correct) I was mesmerized by the lights of downtown, just keep your eyes peeled and you'll find it no problem

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area was nothing to write home about.  Once they get that projector going, it will be a lot more entertaining.  A few more ghouls roaming the grounds would have been nice, but in all, not a bad wait.

Actors' Performance


Top notch!  Like I stated above, the actors are the best of the best.  Terror @ 212 is able to select actors that are dedicated and love doing this. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Detail detail detail!  The staff at Terror @ 212 and amazing, they seem to have this down to a science.  Stunning detail in the sets and props are what make 212 the best in the area

Length


In all, we were in and out, door to door, in about 17 minutes.  Now that may not seem like a long time, but believe me, it seemed like a lot longer.  This is because they pack a ton into that 17 minutes.  it's a nonstop barrage on your senses!

Crowd Control


The crowd was controlled the whole time.  There isn't much room for rowdy crowds because they have a great system for getting you in and out.

Most Memorable Moment


I'd have to say, the two clown girls at the end of the circus area were my favorite.  They really messed with us good!  Nice job!

Summary

Continuing the tradition of Haunted High should have been a tough task for the staff of Terror @ 212 to accomplish, but they did it!  From an amazing behind the scenes staff, to the frightening themes, and amazing actors, Terror @ 212 is, dollar for dollar, the best haunt in Southeastern Wisconsin.  Haunted High was, for the last few years, my favorite haunt, and now Terror @ 212 is in line to take the title this year!  If you're looking to go to one haunt this Halloween season, Look no further than Terror @ 212!

View all Haunted High Presents: Terror @ 212 reviews

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November 23rd, 2020 11:03 a.m. CST 13