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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

2012 Reviews

Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at about 2 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

It normally takes a haunt a few years to come into it's own.  Find out what works, what doesn't work, and then build on it.  The Abandoned Haunted House Complex had some great word of mouth going for it, but I didn't want to get my expectations too high being this was new
haunt.  I was pleasantly surprised with Abandoned!



There are two separate parts to Abandoned: Hysteria and Ambush.  You get two nice paced haunts for the price of one!  They are housed in a long building that has some awesome curb appeal.  I appreciate the fact that they do not rush you in, but rather space out the groups so you're not bumping into anyone and ruining a good scare. 



Hysteria is just like it sounds.  INTENSE, with things coming at you from all sides.  They have great sound and lighting throughout, and their actors know just when to jump out at you!  I did notice that at many haunts that the first person in a group is normally the person who they jump
out at.  Not so in Hysteria!  It seemed to me they were targeting more the folks in the middle or the back.  Very smart indeed, as those who are more jumpy tend to hide in those places.  There's a good mix of lit areas were you could check out the details, and then the dark and spooky rooms where they jump out of no-where. 



Ambush places you right in the middle of a made for movie plot where there's a zombie apocalypse and the Army is trying to control it.  Zombies are everywhere, and even the 'good guys' are intimidating and in your face.  They make great use of air cannons as if they were gunshots... they get me every time!



We left Abandoned with our hearts pumping, wishing we could experience more!  If this is their first year, just how good are they going to be a few years into it?  I can't wait to find out!!!  

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to find.  You can see it from the highway, and the big spotlight definitely helps!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The line basically wraps around the back of the building.  There were a few actors the night we went that provided some entertainment while we waited.  There's also some concessions close by. 

Actors' Performance


INCREDIBLE!  There was not one lame actor in the bunch.  This group is serious about having fun and providing scares! 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Lots of great sets, and they use lights and effects very well.  I loved how in Ambush there were TV's playing a news cast about the zombies taking over, while the sound of helicopters are overhead!

Length


It took about 40 minutes to go through both haunts.  You definitely get your money's worth.

Crowd Control


The crowd control was excellent.  You can tell that they time out each group so that the groups are not bumping into each other inside the haunt. 

Most Memorable Moment


The rooms that uses a lot of smoke and strobes.  One second they are across the room, the next they are in your face! 

Summary

Whatever reservations I had from this being a first year haunt were scared out of me within the first minute.  Abandoned just set the bar and they dare you to step up to it!  If you are in the area, you HAVE to check them out!

View all Abandoned Haunted House Complex reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 14, 2012 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

The Mars Haunted House has a definite advantage over the others, that being their claim to be a haunt that is actually haunted.  Truth or hype?  We were about to find out... 

We attended on a rainy Sunday night, and were able to immediately enter the haunt.  As you walk into the first room an audio recording tells you that there was a disturbing incident that happened there...  but they never go into the details of what in fact that was.  It's not until after that I read on their website what that incident actually was.  So if you're curious like me, make sure you read all about it on their site.

The haunt is dimly lit with very narrow hallways.  The flooring is filled with ramps and steps that make you tread cautiously, which gives you the feeling that they were put there on purpose to slow you down.  Who put them there, and why?  This had me feeling a little paranoid, like I was stepping into a trap.

There's all sorts of things hanging in this haunt, many I didn't want to touch!  The props were VERY life-like, adding to the 'real haunt' vibe that they hang their hat on.  Those who have weak stomachs... you've been warned!

There's an odor throughout the haunt that I couldn't quite put my finger
on.  If fear has a smell, I guessing it would smell like that.  There's
many twist and turns that provide many opportunities to scare in a
short period of time.  Unfortunately it seemed as though some of those
opportunities were missed.  I'm guessing that they do not have as many
workers on Sunday as they would on a Friday or Saturday.  I'll
definitely attend this haunt again on one of those nights to get the
full experience of the Mars haunt! 

Overall, the Mars Haunted House had our adrenaline pumping and had us jumping.  If you're in the area, make sure you check out this historic haunt!

           

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to find, just look for the hearse parked out in front!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


It was cold and raining when we attended, and it was a Sunday night.  There was no wait, and only one actor out front.  We were only around him for a few seconds, but he was entertaining!

Actors' Performance


The haunt seemed very light on actors, but the ones that were there gave it their all!  Great timing by every actor.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


This is a dimly lit haunt, but the rooms that we could see provided us with lots of eye candy.

Length


It took about 15 minutes to walk through, and we were really taking our time to look at all the great details inside the haunt. 

Crowd Control


We didn't have to worry about crowd control on a rainy Sunday night.  Good thing...  as it was cold out.  Brr! 

Most Memorable Moment


Definitely the bathroom.  It was comical and disgusting all at the same time!

Summary

The Mars Haunted House appears to have lots of history and some great sets to work with.  It's a quick haunt, but done well and it was enjoyable for the most part.  I can't wait to attend again on a 'prime-time' night with better weather!

View all Mars Haunted House - CLOSED- reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Haunted High presents Dark Carnival

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 5 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Haunted High is one of the most unique experiences at a haunt that I've ever had!  Not only do they have a huge school as their playground, but they really play up the school theme throughout!

After waiting in the gym, you start out in the basement, which just so happens to be the locker room.  To me, this was a scariest part of the haunt, as it was dark and smelly.  They had us jumping left and right. 

The rest of the haunt was literally a tour through the school.  It was light on scares, but lots of eye candy throughout.  It was a trip to walk into the auditorium near the end and see a skeleton band putting on a concert!  I've never seen anything like that, it was incredible!

I loved the fact that and the end of the haunt you 'graduated', and they even gave you a diploma!  We left, thinking our high school experience was over....  but was it?  Come see for yourselves!

Signage / Visibility / Location


We found it ok with a GPS, but drove right by it as the school is not visible from the road until you're already driving by it.  The sign was rather small, but you can't miss the steady stream of cars coming and going from their parking lot.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There was a huge line for this haunt.  Lucky for us the waiting area is inside the school gym, so we were nice and dry while it rained outside.  It was organized very well, and there was some entertainment being projected onto a wall.  The wait for us was a good hour.  Make sure to go early to avoid a long wait, or upgrade to a fast pass.

Actors' Performance


All of the actors at Haunted High are volunteers, and some showed it by what I believe to be a lack of experience.  Some rooms they didn't jump out at us until we already saw them.  But for the most part, all the actors showed their school spirit and were really into their roles.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The only part of Haunted High that was truly dark and scary was the basement.  The other areas were bright enough where you could admire their work and the details they put into the haunt.  Each room had a school theme.  The mirror room seemed a little out of place, but was very cool! 

Length


The wait to get in depends on what time of the night you arrive.  It took us about 30 minutes to get through the school. 

Crowd Control


We had a few situations where we bumped into other groups going through the school.  This was towards the end of the night on a busy Saturday night, so I think they might have been making sure everybody got through before it closed.

Most Memorable Moment


We met up with the school principal, who berated us like the naughty school children we were.  I made the mistake of saying something, and he informed me that I had a 'bad attitude'.  I was having flashbacks! 

Summary

It's a shame this is the last year for Haunted High.  They get high points for creativity and standing out in a sea of cookie cutter haunted houses.  Make sure you check it out before they're gone!     

View all Haunted High presents Dark Carnival reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2012 season rather than the current season.

Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm

by wm (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

This is actually my first corn maze EVER.  If they're all like the Meadowbrook Haunted Cornfield, it won't be the last!

After getting your wrist=bands, you head over to the bonfire where you'll hear some spooky ghost stories.  What Meadowbrook does best is create suspense.  Combine that with the great scenery, and you are in for a treat!

We were there early so there wasn't a wait for us to enter the maze.  Even before we entered, we could HEAR it.  The screams, the howling, the witch cackling...  they really set the mood for what you're about to experience.  There are multiple themes through-out the maze such as a pirate ship, aliens, red=necks, spiders, clowns, etc...

Speaking of clowns, I have a confession:  I've never really found them to be scary.  More like annoying.  There, I said it.  Most haunts have them in a 3D type room, or a room full of bright colors.  Not scary... to me they were more of a distraction than anything.  Meadowbrook was not only my first corn maze, it was also the first and only haunt with clowns that scared the heck out of me!  They looked scary, and they jumped out at us more than once.  I take back every time I rolled my eyes at seeing clowns in a haunt. 

Just being outdoors in the middle of a corn field at night is creepy.  I can't tell you how many times we stopped because we heard something, but it was only the wind blowing through the corn stocks.  They use lighting and sounds effects to make an already scary walk through a corn field terrifying.

I won't give anything away in this review, as I want you to experience the corn maze in all it's glory without any big spoilers.  But my hats off to Meadowbrook Farm.  You had us jumping, screaming and laughing more in your maze than several haunted houses combined.   

Signage / Visibility / Location


It felt like it was in the middle of no=where, but you can definitely see it as you approach. They have the pumpkin patch lit up nicely, and you can see it a long ways off.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


We did not have to wait, I'm sure the weather was part of the reason along with the fact that we also arrived fairly early.  The bonfire will keep you warm and the stories they tell will keep you entertained if you do in fact have to wait.   

Actors' Performance


I can't say enough about how these actors went all out.  Their timing was spot on, and a few even kept following us.  It's hard to keep one eye in front of you and one eye in back.  This haunt was huge, and they did a great job of placing their actors throughout the maze along with triggered scares. 

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


I believe many of their props are self made, which makes them all the more impressive.  The first prop we saw was the pirate ship, and it was incredible!  You never knew what you were going to get from one scene to the next! 

Length


It took us about 45 minutes to get through the corn maze, and that's not counting the story time by the bonfire.  You definately get your money's worth! 

Crowd Control


There was only one time we saw another group in the maze, and it was because we were trapped in a cage and couldn't get out!  I honestly think they thought we were a part of the show!  EXCELLENT crowd control.   

Most Memorable Moment


They do such a good job at having mannequins throughout the maze in between your encounters with the actors.  Just when you think that you're looking at a prop, it comes to life and chases you! 

Summary

I wish I lived more close to Meadowbrook, I would attend every year!  This is a quality haunt that you need to check out if you haven't already.  If you have previous years but haven't this year...  what's stopping you?  Oh, that's right.  The clowns...

View all Haunted Cornfield at Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm reviews

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View my 2019 Reviews




October 13th, 2019 5:13 p.m. CDT 1.27