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Sarah (majorXpsycho)

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2009 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

Trail Of Terror

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 24, 2009 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

Northeastern Wisconsin has a new "diamond in the rough". This is my first time at the "Trail of Terror" and I was not disappointed. It is difficult to find a good haunt so far North! It is only a 25 minute drive north of Green Bay and is definitely worth the travel. There is no use of animatronics and some very unique scares. Most of the props are "home made". I've been to a lot of haunts and tend to see similar scenes for every one, but at the "Trail of Terror" there is nothing familiar. You know you have stumbled upon a "good haunt" when the sign clearly states that the actors WILL touch you! Expect a lot of contact with ghouls and be prepared to get lost. They use real live (and dead) creatures ... sometimes the blood you see is REAL. Think smart when you go and consider the weather (it is an outdoor haunt). It can be muddy so wearing heels or "nice shoes" is just stupid! If you are a big PETA fan or are easily offended then stay home ... this haunt is for those who WANT to be scared.

Signage / Visibility / Location


Heading North on 41 there is a sign, but it was not lit up. Be careful if you are not paying attention you will miss the turn on to County rd J. It is two miles ahead on your left ... you have entered northern WI.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There are no concessions. There are "cow tags" with numbers to designate your group and every group gets a "tour guide". While waiting for your turn enjoy a warm bonfire and ghouls walking around with some of your worst nightmares.

Actors' Performance


The actors are mostly volunteers, there was a highschool group when we went. The acting and special effects are great, they really make it theatrical.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


All of the scenes were unique. This is NOT a high budget haunt, but the use of materials is well done.

Length


This Trail lasted 27 minutes.

Crowd Control


We never ran into another group. The only disappointing factor was being grouped with another "group". Fortunately they were a great crowd to be with, but if we had been grouped with one of those annoying non stop talking groups it could ruin the whole experience.

Most Memorable Moment


I found myself alone and trapped and even forced to the ground.

Summary

Not a high budget haunt, but VERY entertaing! I give it a 4+ for fear and a 4 for fun! Those of us in the North, this is a haunt that should NOT be missed!

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Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 17, 2009 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The House of Bathory is brilliant, twisted, and frightening! Every year Dead by Dawn finds a unique way to promote nightmares. The House of Bathory actually made me turn around in fear. The detail throughout the haunt is amazing. There no use of animatronics and there is NO "dead time". The House of Bathory makes you feel as if you are in a horror movie. They push the limits. The ONLY bad thing I have to say about this haunt is that I wish it could be longer! If I had to pick only one haunted house to go to, it would be The House of Bathory.

Signage / Visibility / Location


They are located downtown Manitowoc, right off of 8th street. Be careful there is some construction and 8th street is one way.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There is music for entertainment, but no concessions and make sure you use the bathroom before you come. You have to wait outside, but if it is raining there is a large awning to protect those waiting in line.

Actors' Performance


Actors are brilliant, they are of all different ages and they LOVE to scare. I believe the age range is 12 - 40.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were very detailed and very real it never felt "staged". This haunt will have you on your hands and knees AND on your back. They know which props scare and they use them very effectively!

Length


The haunt took us 21 minutes to go through.

Crowd Control


Crowd control was amazing, they don't force you to go with other obnoxious groups and you never have to worry about running into other groups once inside. It may mean a longer wait in line outside, but they make sure that every group that goes through gets the full experience. There are never any "unprepared" ghouls trying to run back to their hiding place before the next group comes, they are waiting for you!

Most Memorable Moment


I can't say without giving it away! They "got" me and my husband. Those of you who go through will know what I mean!

Summary

The House of Bathory IS fear! I wouldn't recommend this haunt to anyone under 13. 5+ for Fear, 4+ for fun (you don't come to this haunt for candied apples and hot cider, you come to be frightened).

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Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Mansion

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

The Haunted Mansion is a great local Haunt. There are four parts to this Haunt. The first is a walk through the haunted graveyard/woods. The walk was brief but plenty of actors from every angle. If you have to go to the bathroom I highly recommend holding it, don't trust the ghouls. The cornfield was more fun than scary. There was a great roadside kill cafe with "skunk burgers". We even found ourselves undecided as to which way to go. When we finally made our way through we jumped on the haunted bus. You are only allowed to sit one person per seat, this allows for easy victimization. Lopsided Lilly was clearly irritated by the group of teens at the back of the bus, and I don't blame her ... I was about to start screaming with her!



When the bus ride finally came to a hault we were at the entrance of The Haunted Mansion. There was a nice warm bonfire and a woman walking around with plenty of hot cocoa. There was also a projection screen playing music videos and scenes from Scary movies. Actors were roaming the lines trying to steal screams. Once inside you will find many unique scenes. The Mansion was by far superior to the cornfield, bus ride, and woods. There were many points in the Haunt that would make you jump, and others that were just plain creepy! I found myself alone a lot in this haunt (which was the ghouls intentions) and I loved it! The Haunted Mansion had the most actors of any haunt I have been to. There is NO "dark/dead time". If you live in the area, this is a haunt I would not miss.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There is a sign off Hwy 57 and as you enter. It is located on a campground in Brussels, WI. Make sure you have directions, because if you are coming from out of town you may get lost.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was hot chocolate being sold for only a dollar while you waited in line. There was also a couple goodies at the concessions stand. Watch out for the ghouls while you wait and enjoy scenes from some of the best horror movies displayed on projector screens.

Actors' Performance


The actor's are all volunteers so naturally some were really good and some weren't the greatest. The ghouls on the bus were great, but were a bit distracted by the people they knew on the bus. I loved the shackled ghouls, the crippled ghouls, and the welcoming ghouls of the Haunted Mansion.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Some very unique Scenes in this haunt. You may find yourself trapped, lost, and stumbling (in a good way). The Haunted Mansion also incorporates some of the more popular new props.

Length


The woods, cornfield, and bus ride lasted 28 minutes. The Haunted Mansion was 17 minutes long.

Crowd Control


In the cornfield we ran into the group ahead of us, but it was no fault of the actors. The group just decided to be extremely obnoxious.

Most Memorable Moment


There is a moment of the haunt that scared the living daylights out of us. I won't ruin it, but it involves clowns distracting us.

Summary

Overall I would give a 4 for fun, and a 3+ for fear.

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Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 9, 2009 at about 4 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook is the only haunt I would drive 2 hours for! It is located on a large farm that during the day has hay rides, gift shop, petting zoo (with some cute and creepy critters), and did I mention PUMPKINS! This is a haunt that you would want to "make a night of". There is so much to do while you wait. You can sip on Hot apple cider, eat carmel apples, sit around a warm bon fire all while listening to a ghoul tell ghost stories. 102.1 out of Milwaukee was there handing out free ticket opportunites. If that isn't enough enterntainment than play some Halloween games and win prizes, or venture through the gift shop and get some great decorations for your very own haunt.



When it is your turn to go through the haunt a LED screen will show your number. The cornfield itself is spooky with sky rocketing corn stalks that make you feel very inferior. There is rarely a "dead" moment throughout the entire cornfield. Strobe lights guide you through rows of corn, but be careful to go the right way or you may find yourself lost! Don't fear, the ghouls may help you find your way or they may just guide you the wrong way. The animatronics were great, I am amazed at the props and scenes. Everything is HUGE this year ... above and beyond. There are several areas which you will have to enter through different themed "cabins" ... you could find yourself disorientated, crushed, or attacked by vicious creatures.



I would definitely drive 2 hours again to visit this Haunt. You can NOT beat the price, it is cheaper then most Haunts and far superior than any haunts that are the same price. The only bad thing is you have to watch the weather, this isn't a haunt you would want to attend on a rainy night! This haunt is a hidden "treasure" in WI, I live in Green Bay and would have never heard of The Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook if it weren't for HauntedWisconsin. I recommend this haunt to EVERYONE!

Signage / Visibility / Location


We used a GPS this year and had no problem finding it. However I know in previous years we had used Google maps and it was completely off. If you get lost the locals know EXACTLY where it is. Once you get there they have lit up signs at the entrance of the drive way.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area at The Haunted Cornfield is equally as entertaining as the Cornfield itself. There is a huge gift shop with tons of decorations and other Halloween goodies. This is a HUGE farm and there are lots of animals all over, they have a petting zoo during the day. The radio station 102.1 was there also. The best part is sipping some hot apple cider or eating a carmel apple and sitting around the bonfire listening to horror stories. The also have an area where you can play games and win prizes. Did I mention pumpkins? They have one of the largest selections I have seen!

Actors' Performance


A couple actors were great, others were ok. Timing is everything with this type of haunt and a couple actors were easily seen before they scare.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


It is set in a HUGE cornfield, "Children of the Corn" anyone. The Corn is abnormally large, I remember 2 years ago Rick explaining that he buys a special brand of corn just for such an event. It certainly does the trick, you feel very small and very lost. The Props were great, a lot more animatronics this year AND some very, very unique scenes. I have been to several haunts and often times you will see similar "props" or "scenes" ... you will not see this at Meadowbrook, everything is so unique! I would love to speak to the "designing" mind behind some of those scenes!

Length


Perfect length! It took us 38 minutes to get through the Haunted cornfield. I know 2 years ago it took about an hour to get through, but things were too spread out.

Crowd Control


We did manage to pass the group ahead of us and then fall behind again, I don't know how this would be prevented though. The group in front of us was going really slow because they were extremely scared.

Most Memorable Moment


I wish I could give away the "most memorable moment", but I don't want to ruin it for anyone and there is no way to describe it without giving it away. I guess everyone will just have to find out themselves.

Summary

I'm giving the Haunted Cornfield at 5+ for FUN, and a 5 for Fear. I will drive 2 hours again to see this Haunt!

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Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

Burial Chamber Haunted House Complex

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review


We were one of the first ones to arrive at the Burial Chamber. We were side tracked by the warm mini sugar doughnuts and had to indulge. Once our bellies were satisfied it was time for the "Fear". The Burial Chamber is known for being one of the best haunts in WI. That having been said, being "the best" means that there is no room for flaws. Overall The Burial Chamber has lived up to its expectations, with only a few minor flaws. The outdoor wait area is not pleasant, especially on a rainy night. Each line we waited in there was always a group of heavy chain smokers in front of us. There was also an extremely intoxicated young lady who felt the need to rub my friends bum. There were also line jumpers which is very obnoxious. I think if there was a way to "monitor" the lines, the wait wouldn't be a problem. Enough about the wait, lets discuss the fear.



The first part of the haunt we went into was Adrenaline "under attack". The actors were out of this world. It was frightening because "monkey boy" (I believe they said that was his name) was doing things beyond human. He was literally crawling up the wall, it was creepy. Syrina was very pleasant and witty, she was the "gate master" of Adrenaline. We got lost in Adrenaline and found ourselves in and out of the same room over and over again. Just when we thought we would never get out, somehow we did. My anxiety level definitely sky rocketed as we thought we could out smart this maze. There isn't much more I can say about this portion without giving too much. Adrenaline has A LOT of in the face, make your heart race scares (hence the name Adrenaline). Adrenaline was 25 minutes long.



After Adrenaline we headed to "Phobia", the haunted woods. It rained and things were pretty muddy, make sure to wear shoes that can get dirty. I did not like Phobia as much this year. It lacked actors and a good theme. The woods itself is a creepy environment, but it is only 6 minutes long (compared to a 25 minute wait). There are not many prop's. The best part was at the end when an actor imitated a creaking door as we were exiting the woods. A possible suggestion would be sending one person at a time through the woods ... everyone knows walking alone in the woods is frightening. That is just a thought. Then we headed back to the snack shop ... they have so many treats such as frankin figers corn dogs.



Insantity was the last portion of The Burial Chamber we explored. The outside prop of a large gory corpse chained to the wall. The sign also said "Gov't Quarantine Area". As soon as you get in the host sets the ground rules and you watch a creepy introductory video. Insanity was AMAZING. The actors were great and always in the right place at the right time. The props were so detailed you couldn't help but realize how much hard work and intellect had to go into them. I was sprayed with blood, got wet in the swamp, and had a not so great experience with an overflooded toilette. We all felt as if we were in another "world". The caves and board walk were amazing. The actor in the caves was incredible, he would appear in front of you making this creepy alien noise and then disappear again. I get chills just remembering the experience. Again I do not want to give away too much. Insanity lasted 19 minutes.



Finally, my friend and husband did the coffin ride (I chickened out). It was great because you could watch their face on a television screen as they fear their journey. It is my understanding that pictures of anyone who has ridden are available on their website. I think that area was still "under construction" ... and a bench to sit on would be nice. Overall The Burial Chamber is aware of the ever changing environment and constantly seeks out new innovative scares. They also employ the best actors I have seen ... PURE talent.


Signage / Visibility / Location


They have a large multi spotlight that is impossible to miss. They are not to far off US 41. You can't miss the signs or the Haunt as you drive.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The Wait area was great because they had every kind of treat imaginable. Their warm mini doughnuts are the best! There are a few ghouls wandering throughout the lines. They also have two large projection screens playing different video clips and creepy music. The wait area is outside with no seating so be prepared to stand the entire time.

Actors' Performance


On a scale of 1 - 10, I would give the actors an 11! Their energy and psychologically disturbing personalities are perfect. BEST actors around!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The props and scenes in Insanity were excellent! I would like to go through it again and again. You can tell that A LOT of hard work went into designing each set.

Length


Adrenaline = 25 minutes
Phobia = 6 minutes
Insanity = 19 minutes

Crowd Control


Excellent crowd control ... even though we were lost in Adrenaline we NEVER ran into another group. This is the first time this has ever happened for me at a haunt, so BRAVO!

Most Memorable Moment


"Monkey Man" ... unbelievable, I thought certainly he was attached to a harness or something ... pure genius and talent.

Summary

I'm only giving 5's out this year to perfection. Adrenaline = 4, Phobia = 3, Insanity = 5!!

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Please note: this review is for the 2009 season rather than the current season.

A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by majorXpsycho (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at about 5:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


A Theater of Lost Souls has always been the black horse of the haunt industry. There is so much potential for A Theater of Lost Souls to be one of the best Haunt attractions in WI and perhaps in the Midwest. This year they have certainly expanded and tapped into some of that potential. The haunt began with a "guided" hay ride explaining the history of the fair grounds. What many people may not understand is that the story is actually true! In 1915 there was a Sanatorium for people who had tuberculosis. People who went to the Sanatorium either had money and could be treated or they had no money and had to suffer and die. While the Sanatorium is gone there are still a few remains. The energy of the spirits that still linger there can be felt while on the Hay Ride (you just have to ignore the giggling children seated next to you). The tour guide did an excellent job of explaining the what occurred in this area. I would have preferred more special effects on the hay ride and maybe a few more actors. Maybe a can of WD40 and the lighter? I know it is so difficult to keep things safe AND scary. They hay ride was a perfect bone chilling, thought provoking start to the Theater of Lost Souls.



We went late, but it appeared that they kept everyone waiting in cattle pens. The Theater of Lost Souls had the perfect combination of old school scares and new fears. The Animatronics were superb, you could not decipher it the body tortured body was human or not. The power of Christ that compells one even got me in the head (I took that message seriously). If you have a fear of spiders ... stay out! The Theater of the Absurd is the best 3d haunt I have been too (and I have been to them all over the US). The painting was so creatively done that you felt as if you should be submitted to an asylum. I even had to take my glasses off at one point in time because I was thought I had lost the ground beneath me. The young lady made us go round and round and half of the group disappeared. There is no better ending to a haunt than that loud roaring sound of a chainsaw ... call it cliche, but it works! I haven't been to many haunts so far this season, but I have a feeling that A Theater of Lost Souls may become a favorite. They have grown so much just in the 3 years that I have been attending. They listen and keep the good scares and get rid of the boring ones. They are very innovative and I can not wait to see NEXT YEAR. (oh and crazy country boy, good luck with your surgery)!



A SIDE NOTE
Want to see all the detail that goes into a haunt? Too afraid to go to a haunted house? Have young children? Want to support a good cause?
On OCT 10th A Theater or Lost Souls is having a "lights on" haunt from 2p - 4:30p. It is only $3, and the proceeds go to help the children's hospital. See their website for more information.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There is a Large Billboard when heading South on US 41. If you miss that, its exit 124 on Jackson st. heading West. About half a mile up you will see the entrance to the haunted house along with signs and lights.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We arrived late so we missed out on some of the in line action. It appears that they lock groups inside of cattle pens while waiting. There are plenty of ghouls wandering around. There is also plenty of snacks ranging from carmel apples to hot dogs. I recommend the warm pretzels and cheese. There is also a great photo opportunity with several creepy murals ... keep an eye on the threads if you want to see what our ghoulish picture looks like!

Actors' Performance


The actors were phenomenal. I was concerned because we arrived so late that the actors would be tired and bored, but just the opposite as if the evening brings out their madness. The tour guide did a phenomenal job, we loved the crazy clown, and of course our country boy buddy. I also enjoyed the crazy young lady going round and round! Not a single actor was out of character.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I can not say enough about the animatronics! They didn't seem fake like most haunted houses, it was grueling. Typically I don't like a lot of animatronics, but A Theater of Lost Souls literally "hit the nail on the head". It was a great balance of old traditional scares and new innovative ones.

Length


The Theater of Lost Souls and The Theater of the Absurd lasted about 28 minutes. The hay ride was about 20 minutes (give or take 5).

Crowd Control


There were a couple points in The Theater of Lost Souls which we started catching up to the group ahead of us, but we just slowed down or a ghoul would block us from exiting.

Most Memorable Moment


The most memorable moment is when our dear friend from Poland (who has never been to a haunted house before) experienced her first chainsaw scare! There is just something about the sound of a chainsaw coming at you that is priceless.

Summary

If I could I would give A Theater of Lost Souls a 4+ ... just because a 5 would be perfection!

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January 23rd, 2019 5:45 p.m. CST 1.5.2