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Newbie Review Crew Member

Brett (wm)

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I love Halloween and fall in general for several reasons. First off, I was born 15 minutes before Halloween. Missed it by that much! But it's not so bad… presents one day, candy the next! Good thing I was not born around Christmas, otherwise I'm sure I would get the birthday/Christmas combined gifts! I also love Halloween because it's the one time of year where it's ok to pretend to be someone or something you're not. Just an FYI: other times of the year you might get arrested for that. The colors, the crisp air, the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet… all reason I love the fall season.

When I attend a haunt, I want to be scared! It's a great adrenaline rush, much like a roller coaster ride. Some funny rooms or actors are ok if used in moderation. I love to see the creative details that some haunts put into their exhibits, some are works of art! But I also like the dark haunts, where you have to rely on your other senses to make it through. Strobes and black lights are ok, again if used in moderation.

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

2010 Reviews

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

Dominion of Terror

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at about 2:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Walking up to the building from where we parked, I thought maybe we were at the wrong place.  It wasn't until we went to the back side of the building that we knew we were at our destination.  A long line of people, bass pounding dark music, boarded up windows with lights flashing to the music, and the sound of screams coming from inside the haunt.  Game on!

Once we entered the building, I froze.  It looked like an old abandoned building with clutter everywhere.  It felt like we were being watched even though I didn't see anybody at the time.  That changed in about 30 seconds, they came out of no-where!

Every room we went into was completely different from the last.  I had to laugh as we walked into a restaurant, as a lady sitting in a booth gurgled 'Don't eat here!' as she choked down some soup.  Walking through the restaurant and then through the kitchen was very entertaining.  Also highly entertaining was the good ol' red-neck boys that wanted to eat us!  It was really funny until it felt like they weren't going to let us through! 

They have a very good mix of skits and good old fashioned scares.  It must have taken months to design and setup this attraction.  I appreciate the time and effort they put into their work.  It does not go unnoticed!

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was easy to find with a GPS, but might be hard to find without one.  From the street, it looks like a normal building for the most part.  There is a sign out front that let's you know you're at the right place.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is similar to a waiting in line for a roller coaster.  There were several clowns lurking around scaring people.

Actors' Performance


Everybody in the haunt gave it their all.  I never saw one actor break character.  They were all very entertaining!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


My favorite this year for scenes and props!  Wow, they really went all out!  My favorites were the restaurant and the carnival.

Length


It took us about a half hour to make our way through the haunt.  We felt it was a good length of time.

Crowd Control


They do a very good job of crowd control.  We never once bumped into another group.

Most Memorable Moment


Definitely, it would be the padded room!  It was fun jumping around in there, and the actors in straight jackets were hilarious! 'Wanna spread poo on the walls with me?'

Summary

This is a very creative haunt, with incredible sets and props.  A quality haunt that you should check out if you're in the area!

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

House of Bathory (CLOSED)

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

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

The House Of Bathory is unlike any haunt I've ever been to.  Across the board, they stand out from all the others.  I was a little worried with the location being downtown Manitowoc.  I like my haunts in the middle of no-where, as it helps set the mood!  But what they lacked for in location, they made up for in creativity!

One of the big differences is the theme of the haunt.  It centers around Alice In Wonderland.  I never really thought of that story as spooky or even remotely scary.  That all changed after attending this haunt.  It's very interactive, making you a part of what's happening.

As we were about to enter the haunt, something happened where they said it would still be a few minutes.  As we waited, one of the employees entertained us with a baby monster puppet.  It was great!  I don't know how many times she had to put on a little show like that with the puppet, but she was great.  I was highly entertained! 

Once we were allowed inside the haunt, we were ushered into a room where we sat down at a large table.  The mad hatter was there, as well as the rabbit.  They made small talk and really took the time to set you up for a big scare that was about to happen.  This happened several times!  Tweedledee and Tweedledum also set us up for another scare.  I sure wasn't expecting it when it happened!   

One thing to note: At this attraction, they are allowed to touch you.  I can't recall the last haunt I've been to where that was allowed.  It startled me!

Another strength of this haunt is their use of sounds and music.  This was the only haunt that I attended this year that played some old school, scary music.  Loved it!  They also used several iconic monsters throughout, mixing the Alice In Wonderland story with more of the traditional monsters that we associate Halloween with.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was pretty easy to find.  We saw the long line of people waiting to get in as well as all the hearses parked in the front.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There is a line that forms down the sidewalk.  Again, nothing scary about it.  But they did a GREAT job of entertaining while you waited.  They had a show based of the Match Game TV show that was quite funny!

Actors' Performance


These people really knew how to act!  It was very entertaining throughout the haunt, each actor played his/her part very well.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Many of the scenes and props were hand-made, and it showed in some rooms.  But this event was actor driven, with the props only playing a small part.  I'm STILL trying to figure out how they made Alice grow!

Length


We were in and out of the haunt in about a half hour.  We wanted more, but it was a good length of time and it's well worth the money.

Crowd Control


Considering how this haunt really takes the time to set you up for a scare, crowd control is very important.  We never had an issue with bumping into another group either in front of us, or behind us.  Well done!

Most Memorable Moment


Michael Myers made an appearance at this haunt, I think he must be following me!  At the end of the haunt he was following us, and then just disappeared.  Like in the movie, you KNOW that he will spring out of no-where!  I was so pre-occupied with where he was going to jump out of, that I took my focus off of what was happening in front of me...  until it was too late!  For the record, I think that was the highest I ever jumped at a haunt.   

Summary

Amazing.  I've always preferred the old school, dark haunts that scare the heck out of you.  The House Of Bathory is nothing like that.  It's unique and entertaining!  There are less scares here than a traditional haunt, but the scares you do get are BIG!  You have to attend to really appreciate it for what it is.  I hope to attend next year!

View all House of Bathory (CLOSED) reviews

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

13th Nightmare Haunted House

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

Fun Factor: Low Fear Factor: Low

Review


This is Dare To Dream's first year putting on a haunted house, and it's held in a old church. I’m not sure how I feel about a haunt being in a church. Granted, it does add to the creepy factor. But I can see how this might offend some people. I have to admit, I was creeped out before I even entered the haunt! Old churches can be creepy. Add some mood lighting and some spooky music, and I didn’t want to enter!



Our first few seconds in the house, we received a slight scare right off the bat. A wall with skulls caught us off guard as we walked by. As we walked into the next room, Michael Myers was waiting for us. Now, I have a soft spot for MM... and I’m not talking about any of my organs. The first Halloween movie was the inspiration for many of my early nightmares! So having Mikey following us throughout the haunt just seemed right to me. The actor had the mannerisms down pretty good, from the slow strides to the dog-like cock of the head. He was taller which helped too. One word of advice though: Dirty up the mask and suit. Both looked like they were just purchased. Mess up the hair. Get some wear and tear in the gray overalls. Make it look like Mr. Myers has been around the block a few times.



There was a great scene where we walked down a long hallway, and there were little girls (I would guess around age 10) screaming on either side of you ALL the way down the hall. It felt like we were in an insane asylum. They were behind doors, so I couldn’t make out what they were screaming. Not scary, but visually creepy as Michael was still following/chasing us!



It felt like there was a lot of dead space. More actors can easily fix that.



The final scene had some vampires in it. We walked by as they acted out a quick skit. Another word of advice: Get in our comfort zone. People are paying to get a good scare, so give them what they’re asking for



Not a bad first year effort, but there’s much that can be improved. I think the time spent in the haunt is the most important to improve on. Make people feel like they are getting their money’s worth. You can do this by blocking exits with actors, doing more skits in more rooms, etc... Personally, I would think that 20 to 30 minutes is a reasonable amount
of time to spend at a haunt.



An old church is a great fodder to build a story around and use to your benefit.



Some people will drive from other cities (like we did), so give them something to talk about on the way home.

Signage / Visibility / Location


There was no real signage for this haunt until you actually find the house. We had a GPS, so it was easy enough to find that way. The actual sign for the haunt is hard to read at night. It was a black sign where the letters were hard to make out until you're right next to it. In a residential neighborhood, and I was able to see the old church lit up when we were about a half a block away.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was no line, and no apparent entertainment if there would have been a line. Some of the actors/children were standing outside talking.

Actors' Performance


The actors really gave it their all. With some continued experience under their belt, they’ll end up giving many customers some good scares and maybe even a nightmare or two! They might want to avoid being outside the house when they are out of character, as this takes away from the spooky vibe the old church creates.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets and scenes were good. You can tell that they put a lot of time into their first year. A great building block to build on!

Length


We were in and out of the house in 10 minutes. We left scratching our heads, asking ‘Is that it?’ I believe that is the shortest haunt I’ve ever attended.

Crowd Control


Unfortunately, we were the only ones there. We were a bit on the early side, so I do hope that it picked up as the night went along.

Most Memorable Moment


We started up our car, ready to leave. As we started to drive away, I could see Michael Meyers standing in the exit at the front of the house. He was watching us! I nervously waved to him as we passed, and he slowly brought up his knife. Classic!

Summary

There is a lot of potential for this haunt to become something that will have people talking. Their website looks GREAT, it just needs more meat. It's their first year, so hopefully they can learn from this year and come back bigger and better!

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

Green Bay Fear Haunted Attractions

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review


I attended Fear several years ago when it was just know as the Shawano Manor. I must admit, it didn't do anything for me then. I'm just not a fan of 3D haunts. At the time, that was their claim to fame. This year, they advertise that they have gone back to more of a 'old school' style of haunts. Needless to say, I was very curious!



After you get your wristband, your journey starts out with a stroll along a wooded path. The tiki torches are a nice touch along the path! It creates a lot of shadows, and makes the dark seem that much more dark. There seemed to be only two actors working the woods when we went through. I'm sure this was because it was early in the night. I would hope that normally they would have several more, as there's a lot of opportunities to get some scares in there! Once you're out of the woods you wait in front of the house. If you upgraded to the RIP package, you get to sit by a nice warm fire with some hot chocolate. Not only that, but you receive a high quality T-shirt and there is a live band playing there. They looked a little cold while I was very content by the fire taking it all in. Despite looking cold, they sounded good!



The house itself looks great from the outside. It's very creepy looking as it hovers over you. Once you walk in, you're handed a pair of 3D glasses to put on. I was a little worried at this point. Again, not a fan of 3D. But my fears were scared away quickly enough! The first few actors were VERY impressive, a great little show that helped set the mood. There were many themed rooms, and I was impressed by how many actors they had in each one. Although there were 3D elements throughout the house, they helped enhance the rooms rather than take them over. We had many good scares, I loved it! I did not see one actor break character, they all did a great job!



I admit I was a little bummed out when we walked through a door and it brought us outside. I thought it was over, but to my surprise, there was more! As we started to walk back in another door, I turned around and saw many eyes staring back at me. Only a foot away and very quiet. Following us. Watching us. Now THAT creeped me out! I really do not want to give too much away, or is my memory blocking out the horrors we saw? None the less... we left the house smiling and laughing, thankful we made it out alive!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Fear is very easy to find, with easy access off of Hwy 41 in Green Bay. They have a large, lit sign in their parking lot that you can see as you approach it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There wasn't much of a wait as we went early. As I stated above, if you have the RIP package, you get to wait by a fire and listen to a live band. If you didn’t upgrade, waiting in front of the scary house is a cool experience also!

Actors' Performance


This is where Fear really shines this year. Most of the actors seemed to be of high school age, and their performances were INCREDIBLE. Some had a story to go along with their room, others were just there to scare the crap out of you. Kudos to all the actors involved, I was highly entertained!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I was impressed with the details such as the stone pillars before you enter the woods and the front of the house itself. In the rooms where it was light enough to see, I enjoyed looking around and seeing all the work they put into it.

Length


The length is about a half hour. We felt like it was a good length of time and there was plenty going on throughout it.

Crowd Control


When we attended this haunt, there were only a few people waiting to get into the attraction, as it was still early in the night. With that said, there were several times our group 'bumped' into another group. Bumping into another group can make you feel rushed, and can sometimes ruin some good scares if it happens to a group right in front of you. This is really my only concern for this haunt. It's a small issue that can be improved pretty easy.

Most Memorable Moment


Remember how I stated that I’m not much of a fan of the 3D effects? Well… hands down the most memorable moment for me was a room filled with long chains hanging from the ceiling. On these chains were Jason styled hockey masks that were magnified with the 3D effect. Doesn't sound very scary, does it? Trust me, I received a very good scare in this room! Check it out!!!

Summary

I'm so happy that I went to Fear this year, it was so much fun! Fear is not just a clever name. The amount of scares that we received will keep it high on our list to visit again!

View all Green Bay Fear Haunted Attractions reviews

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View my 2019 Reviews




October 13th, 2019 6:21 p.m. CDT 1.27