Please note: this review is for the 2010 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Sunday, October 10, 2010
House of Bathory is back again and they continue to go above and beyond every year. The theme this year is, "Alice in Wonderland", but do not expect tea and cookies at this party. It's in your face, or rather I should say "beyond in your face". (Yes, this IS a touch haunted house. If that bothers you, then I recommend going elsewhere). What makes the House of Bathory such a success is the outstanding actors, fine detail, and unique creative designs. The actors are primarily high school age or younger. Think the younger ones can't scare? Think again! Every actor is there on a volunteer basis because they live to scare year round! They even open the Haunt in the summer and may open it in December as well. This isn't your typical 4 weekends and its over ... they live for this stuff.
The Mad Hatter invited us to dinner and he had us laughing and trembling. The details of the rooms do not consist of your typical electronic, technologically advanced props. Most of the rooms and hallways appeared to be something you would see in a classic horror movie. The "Alice in Wonderland" theme flowed flawlessly from start to finish with an added bonus "scene" at the very end! There are no concessions and the wait outside has some ghouls wandering around, but as "Dead by Dawn" explains on their website ... they are not there to serve warm doughnuts, they are there to "scare the S*%@" out of you. And that is exactly what they do best!
We were fortunate enough to go when the wait wasn't very long, but I know from previous years the wait can be long. However, the wait is well worth it as they specifically make sure that every room is properly prepared for each victim. You will never have to worry about being rushed or running into another group. The staging of the haunt is meant to play out like a movie rather than herding cattle through hallways and glancing at rooms. According to the website if you are 21 or older you can buy your tickets at the door and wait at a nearby bar until bartender summons you. PLEASE make sure to bring a designated driver if that is the route you choose. At only $15 a ticket you can't afford NOT to attend this haunt, no matter where you are coming from. I am uncertain the EXACT length of the haunt, but we estimated it at about 25-30 minutes! My group is already making plans for a second visit this year!