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

Mars Haunted House - CLOSED-

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 12, 2012 at about 3 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High


Intense! Creepy! Morbid!  Those a few of the words my 2012 Mars Haunted House tour group used to describe their 2012 Mars experience.  If you're looking to get seriously scared this Halloween look no further than the Mars Haunted House!  This haunt has been in the business for 20 years and it shows.  Elaborately detailed sets and corridors tempt you to stroll slowly to enjoy the visual treats along the way while strategically placed ghouls and special effect scares lurk in the shadows to incite your natural instincts to flee.  Despite being prepared for the surprises that traditionally freak me out at Mars it always succeeds in making me jump.  Scares this year were encountered early and often…I actually jumped so many times I lost count. (But I'm sure it was more than once per minute!)

Traditionally I have declared this attraction to be Milwaukee's Scariest haunt. This year is no exception…in the 8-10 haunts I tour annually few (if any) make me jump as much as Mars did this year.

I particularly enjoyed the spectrum of scares found at this year's Mars Haunted House.  While most haunts will blind you by making your traverse a pitch dark hallway Mars not only pulls this off but also features two other corridors that blind you with both light and fog (…all of course, with their own unique scares along the way…) 

"Disgusting!" was how one tour mate described a room with bloodied body parts…without giving too much away, if gore really freaks you out some of the body parts associated with sensitive parts of the human anatomy may give you nightmares in this room!  This year's haunt definitely appeared to have more gore than in past years.  This noteworthy point may be due partially to this year's lighting.  The lighting of Mars was dark and creepy but always just enough for you to enjoy the incredible attention to detail this haunt showcases.  I've been told that this haunt actually is never disassembled so that improvements can be made year round…it definitely shows!

If you're into evaluating haunts with your senses you might find this helpful:
* Sight: Elaborate sets with great attention to detail. Lighting and special effects were frequently used to surprise me even though I was expecting it.
* Sound: Superb! The sound experience allowed me to become totally immersed in many of the rooms…especially immediately upon entering this haunt!
* Smell: Ever wonder what death smells like?  …the smell wasn't as overwhelming as 2011 but some of the sets definitely had a unique aroma to it
* Touch:  Yes…Some of the scares are so intense you'll actually feel them!

Signage / Visibility / Location

If the hearse parked by the front door and the elaborately dressed ghouls meandering along the sidewalk don't catch your attention you may be dead already...but if you're not you probably wouldn't be the first person to drive past the site.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment

Elaborately dressed ghouls interact with you and anything that moves in the area to heighten your anticipation while you wait to enter. The waiting line is all dressing for the weather may be a good idea if you're attending during peak haunting hours.

Actors' Performance

The performance of the characters outside was exceptional!  Inside the haunt the actors' focused more on scaring the bejeezus out of you than entertaining you.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX

Definitely worth checking out! With the total immersion and interaction with the actors and sound it's very easy to miss some of the attention to detail found in each room.... there are plenty of solid effects that will either make you jump or turn your stomach inside out.


About 10-12 minutes

Crowd Control

Waiting line is clearly roped off and patrolled frequently by ghouls.

Most Memorable Moment

The "Crapper" room was voted the best by my tour group…I won't give it away though.


Once again, an outstanding attraction for those who like to be scared.  If you've enjoyed Mars in the past or you just plain like to be scared you certainly won't be disappointed this year. 

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July 2nd, 2020 12:07 a.m. CDT 11.11d