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2016 Event Reviews


    Disclaimer: HauntedWisconsin.com does not endorse, support, represent, or guarantee the accuracy, quality, truthfulness, or reliability of these reviews. The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect the opinions of HauntedWisconsin.com. You need to make your own judgement concerning what you read. HauntedWisconsin.com is not responsible for statements made in these reviews.

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84 total reviews. Showing 14 of 15 on this page (1 filtered).

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Shockwave Haunts

by Dan8 after attending on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at about 7 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low

Review

When you first arrive, you wonder if you are in the right place, because there are so few cars. You go to pay for your tickets and other people say it wasn't that great. You pay for your tickets anyway. You go through all 4 haunts. Carney haunt is ok. The comedy one was not. The bloody Manor was ok. And the mystery haunt was too short. Not worth the drive to Whitewater.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Dead by Dawn Dead & Breakfast

by LyleisWeird (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at about 6 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Have you ever stayed at a “haunted” hotel? Some old, dusty place with a half remembered ghost story tacked on? Like any well reanimated shambler, I seek those places out. I’ve had some good times, but nothing anywhere near “haunted”—except some errant scratches and likely squirrel nests. Most so called “haunted” hotels are just so in name alone. Well, time to exorcise that noise and get down to Manitowoc for Dead by Dawn’s Dead & Breakfast.

It’s hard to describe this haunt without giving away the goods. The concept of a haunted house you can spend the night in is totally unique. Expect to get the best, worst night of sleep you’ve ever had. The experience is totally immersive, from the family that doesn’t break character—even while suggesting vegan-friendly restaurants in town—to the fully decorated rooms. They manage to balance the comfort and friendliness of a high-end B&B with the mind-wrenching fear of a professional haunt.

The entire building is decorated in a way that would make Morticia jealous. Some of the props are custom made by Dawn and they are mind blowing. There are three themed bedrooms you can spend the night in: Clown, Nightmare, and Pirate. Clown and Pirate are the larger of the two and have a more consistent theme while Nightmare is simultaneously cozy and a phobia-ridden joy ride. The props may be fantastic, but it’s the actors that steal the show.

The actors at the Dead & Breakfast are incredible. The cast is a handful of people playing about a dozen characters. It was like visiting with the Adams Family. Before your haunting begins, you can hang out with the (g)host family in a retro Tiki parlor and have a few drinks. (They have a mixed drink called “Smurf Blood.” Let’s just say Gargamel was right, Smurf’s are delicious.) We had some eerie conversations and some good laughs.

I won’t spoil anything about the actual haunting. There’s a cavalcade of nightmares portrayed by one, or two, actors with phenomenal talent. My wife and I were the only couple in that night and we got a full force haunting. The actors quickly picked up on what was working and what wasn’t and played to our fears. We’re excited to go back on a night where other couples have booked. Having three rooms full of scared guests is definitely the way to enjoy this haunt. This in’t just a haunted attraction, it’s an experience like none other.

If that doesn’t motivate you to get over to Dead by Dawn’s Dead & Breakfast. I’ll leave you with one of the notes I took during my stay:

“2:30 A.M. Don’t know where the sound of chains rattling is coming from… (giant pen scratch from being scared out of my mind as I was writing)”

A note on the cost:

At $299 a stay the price may seem a little steep, but after you break it down it’s actually pretty reasonable. A normal haunted attraction is about $15-25 for, maybe, 20 minutes of scare. Dead & Breakfast comes in as way more cost effective since you are essentially buying some scare in bulk. Also, as a B&B, Dawn and her family are just great. They accommodated, helped us find things in town we needed, and introduced us to people in town. They put Manitowoc on the map for my wife and I. Dead & Breakfast is well worth the price.

Summary

If you are the adventurous type of soul and want to try out a haunted attraction like nothing you've ever been scared in before, then I can't recommend this enough.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by kaseiberlich after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

It's no wonder this place is so popular. I nearly backed out of Morgan Manor so many times, but I'm glad I pushed through! Unstable was so, so cool. Very unique, has lots of "must-see" experiences!

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by Adubbya79 after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 9 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

The Wisconsin Fear Grounds has really stepped things up this year! An escape room while waiting in line, that is a brilliant idea! The staple of the Fear Grounds, Morgan Manor, is totally different from last year and has some new frights. Twisted is just Twisted, no need to say more. Unstable, again totally changed from last year, with some awesome new scenes awaiting your visit!

If you're looking for the ultimate haunted attraction experience in Wisconsin, look no further! This one will leave you begging for your mommy!

Summary

I see why it is the best around!

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Abandoned Haunted House Complex

by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 7, 2016 at about 10:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Here it is, my yearly review of the Abandoned Haunted House Complex! A favorite year in and year out, I've attended and reviewed every year since it's inception. I've been marking the calendar for a year now, waiting and anticipating this season because I knew that brand new for this year they are introducing a haunted corn maze called Stalker! The best haunt in the area is adding an awesome corn maze?!?! It doesn't get any better than that! Well, we arrived at Abandoned and obviously got tickets to all three attractions. Oh, did I forget to mention that Abandoned has THREE attractions in one location? Well it does, two indoor and the aforementioned outdoor corn haunt.

Stalker
We were advised that we’d better check out Stalker first, as that one closes before the indoor haunts. Great, that’s what I was looking forward to; let’s get it done with right away! Stalker was, well, unsatisfying. It pains me so to write that, but it is true. The whole maze is pathways leading to little indoor staging areas. You’d walk a bit through the corn, then you enter a scene inside a built up shack. The scenes were great, but the walk through the corn was just plain boring. I don’t know if it was an off day, but I can count on one hand the number of times something jumped out of the corn at us. This was just disappointing; I was really looking forward to being spooked in the fields, not shacks. I really hope my experience is not typical, there is so much potential and I’m looking forward to the future and what they can do with this area.

Hysteria & Ambush
The indoor haunts were once again second to none. Both haunts must be purchased together, as one house leads right into the next, there is no separate wait line to get into each haunt. Both Hysteria and Ambush are classic long maze style haunts with amazing detail and sensory overloading effects. Both haunts are dark, and feature some amazing actors jumping out at you at just the right time. There are a few sections where interactions happen with actors. Some of the sets and props in these haunts are jaw dropping. I found myself asking myself “How did they get this in here?” and “How did they make that?” Abandoned once again steals the show with their attention to detail!

Signage / Visibility / Location


You can't miss it! Spot lights illuminate the sky, and it's unmissable from I94, as it's right on the frontage road.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The wait area is outdoors, so the night sky adds to the experience. Ghouls roam the premises keeping you entertained along with their giant movie screen showing videos.

Actors' Performance


The best in the business! No character breaking at the haunt!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Again, this place is the creme dela creme! No expense was spared in putting this haunt together!

Length


Stalker: 20 minutes
Hysteria & Ambush: 30 minutes

Crowd Control


The lines are well maintained, no issues.

Most Memorable Moment


Still that moment when I see that they got that one thing in there, and I can't believe it! Such a great scene/prop! (You'll know what I'm talking about when you see it!)

Summary

Year in and year out Abandoned proves to be the best haunt in the area. I would bet it's one of the best in the country. It's obvious that this place is run by people that love what they do, it shows all over their product. If you're planning on going to one haunt this season, you should make sure this is the one!

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Dwelling Of Despair

by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 7, 2016 at about 8 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium

Review

Here we go, it’s that time of year again! It’s October, which can only mean it is haunt season! My first haunt of the season took me to Slinger, WI, that’s where Dwelling of Despair is located. Dwelling of Despair, which I will refer to as DoD from here on out, was a little off the beaten path which if you aren’t paying attention, is very easy to pass right up. When we arrived at DoD the first thing I noticed was the signage isn’t great by any stretch of the imagination. Fortunately for them the only people on the road they’re located on, are there for them. No need to be fancy if nobody is going to see it.

It was strangely dead for a Friday night, we were given our tickets and told go wait. But wait where? There were a few places that looked like they could be the waiting area, but wasn’t really told which was right. We walked past an empty room with refreshments; could this be our waiting spot? Probably not, it was, like I stated before, empty. Ah, there was a built up room with benches and a few “dudes” sitting, we’ve found our waiting room! After not gaining entrance because it was roped off at both ends, I finally decided to ask where we were supposed to go. I was brought back to the front of the room and a guy let us in. Kind of annoying when you get no direction right off of the bat. By the time we got into the waiting area the aforementioned “dudes” were gone, so it was just us there. The gentleman working in the waiting area was very friendly and asked if this was our first time at DoD. He also told us to sit, as it would be a little bit (we probably waited 80 seconds, I totally could have remained standing!) I was a bit confused about the lack of an attendance. The man explained where we would walk, and sent us on out way.

The haunt itself is comprised of an outside and an inside. In the beginning you walk through some woods, which is always awesome in my mind! Something about that crisp autumn air and the anticipation of something jumping out at you always excites me. This area was pretty good, and was longer than I figured it would be. You’ll eventually end up at a door that you’ll need to knock on to gain entrance. I was pleasantly surprised by what greeted me, and unfortunately that would be one of the only highlights of the inside section.

The inside was pretty cookie cutter haunted house, they had all the decorations, and they used them well. The problem I had with this section was the underuse of actors and the overuse of animatronics. I’m a huge fan of animatronics; in fact I’d say I’m a sucker for them! I love a good technology based scare, but this place had too many, and they were unfortunately either old/over used or cheap.

At one point we walked into a room, a vampire looking fella lifted an unidentifiable box and something was there, just waiting to pop out. We waited for a good 15 seconds for something to happen, then it did… Super anticlimactic, as the vampire remained silent until it happened. It was equally sad and embarrassing. One room we entered had an actor dressed like a vampire as well. She asked if we wanted to meet Dracula, we of course said yes. She asked us for the password, and I, being the polite boy that I am, said “please.” She told me I was wrong, and said the password started with a “D” and rhymes with “acula” Duh, the password to see Dracula IS “Dracula”. We entered the room where we were to meet the great Count Dracula, and… and… No Dracula to be found. Wait, what? Why go through all that trouble of a password if there isn’t even a Dracula in the end.

The actors they did have in there were okay. My biggest issue, beyond the shortage of said actors, was the number of bad masks I saw on them. More than one actor jumped out at us, said something and all I could focus on was the mouth that never moved. I get wanting masks to avoid time consuming makeup sessions, but cheap masks are a terrible substitute.

A couple of the actors ruined the moment for me, the first of which I’m not going to blame completely. We entered one room and the actress in it was really great! Problem was there was a walky talky in that room and it kept going off. Someone wanted to know were someone was really bad, and we all found out that he was in the house working. The actress tried her best to play it off, doing the whole ‘she’s not crazy, we are the crazy ones for saying that we heard something’ routine, but after while she had to drop it and said someone left it in that room and she apologized.

The second moment ruiner happened after we exited the house. There’s a pretty fantastic maze you’ll hit right after the house, and it is SUPER foggy! I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be that foggy, but it was that night, and it was really hard to find your way. I liked this because you really had to feel around, it wasn’t easy. Well, it wasn’t easy until someone came up behind me and said “You gotta go that way” and hurried us out of the maze, which was the end of the haunt. Uggg, whatever redeeming qualities that maze gave to the haunt itself, that person took it all away. Let me figure it out! In all I’d say DoD is a less than great haunt with some chincy flaws that made it not one of my favorites. I think this place would be perfect for haunt novices that want to jump but aren’t into heart pounding tense attractions.

Signage / Visibility / Location


This haunt is tucked away, in a park area away from any main roads. There are no signs on the main road, the only sign I saw was the lit up sign on the building.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There wasn't anyone in the wait area when we went, and there was no entertainment. They do have a lot of benches in this area, so if it were busy there are plenty of spots to sit.

Actors' Performance


The actors here are good, unfortunately a lot of them were behind cheap masks, which, pardon the pun, masked their performance.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were great, the props were kind of cheep looking and overused.

Length


From start to finish we were probably in there 25 minutes.

Crowd Control


N/A. There was no crowd

Most Memorable Moment


The super foggy maze at the end!

Summary

Dwelling of Despair is a small haunt that seems like they are trying too hard to be more than it can be. It's lengthy and not boring, but not elite at all. Dwelling of Despair is a good started haunt, not the best, but definitely not the worst! If you're in the area, it's worth a check.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Misery Haunted House/YARD

by BrittanyAnnBula (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 7 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Two great haunted houses; 1 great price! Order online and received a discount on your tickets.

As you enter Escape your night mare you will have to guide yourself in the dark to the room of strobe lights and confusion! The beginning of this house is frustrating and working to find your way through to the next room and not knowing when the next monster will great you; the house keeps you in suspense with every turn you make! You walk in expecting something and get nothing, but boom something you didn’t expect. To floors moving, to the creatures coming out of the floor will leave you waiting for the next turn!

If you made it Hollowed Chambers you are now entering the 2nd haunt! You enter a nasty hotel and are greeted by the front desk to sign in. After you sign the guest book you are free to enter the hotel. The bug infested, dirty, and creepy hotel. I’m not sure if the decorations or the characters scared me more. They special effects that this house had were second to none! Walking in a hall of cockroaches to dirty laundry and the smell made this haunted house feel like you were living in the slums!

This haunt takes about 45 minutes to complete both houses and it is worth your time to do both! I thoroughly enjoyed the startling moments and the long dark hallways where you are just anticipating something and get nothing to your surprise! The characters are fantastic and make scaring you a top priority, even multiple times!

Signage / Visibility / Location


There are signs and flashing lights once you have arrived!

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The entertainment in the waiting lines were limited. We were there on a non busy night, so it could be different when it is busy.

Actors' Performance


They actors really put great effort in to scaring you and did a great job on all aspects.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Very good! Made you feel like you were at a real place and not some building made into a haunted house!

Length


45 minutes to complete both houses

View all Misery Haunted House/YARD reviews

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Terror Trail

by BrittanyAnnBula (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 9 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

As you start your journey on Terror Trail be ready for anything! Crawling, sliding and limited visibility on a winding trail through the woods! S you enter the Trail you go through a brief orientation that explains your will be needing to crawl at some point….hmmmm… not the typical expectation when you are at a haunted house or trail, but a great change of pace that’s for sure.

Once through the rules portion you are set free to get out of the woods alive! In the first portion you are required to crawl up and go through a passage to slide into the next room where you are greeted with several characters that come out from nowhere…literally! This set the pace for the rest of the Trail as many more obstacles will be in your way; preventing an easy escape.

The best part of the Terror Trail is the change in pace and scenery. You go through small rooms and then you are released out on the wooded trail and following the Jack-O-Lanterns until your next scare. You are always on your toes right from the beginning; you never know when the next monster will be larking in the trees or falling for you! You really must be ready for anything; from any direction.

The cast and crew really put in all efforts in this haunt and it shows in their attitudes and the amount they act so in character. The other thing the characters are allowed to do is to touch and grab you! So that adds to the creepy feeling that they are always so close to you.

This Terror Trail is definitely worth the $15 ticket and you won’t be disappointed when you leave! You definitely aren’t safe until you are in your car with the doors locked! Beware they are everywhere!!

Signage / Visibility / Location


There are flashing lights on site. No sign leading you there and we didn't see a sign while paying.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


There were several characters around the fire place and wondering around.

Actors' Performance


Amazing Job! A+++

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Very good job with scenes and making some acts seem so life like. Excellent job!

Length


Plan for about 30 to 45 minutes. We were in the trail for quite some time.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Dark Carnival

by spirit44 (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

When you hear that you are going to a haunted attraction called the Dark Carnival your mind begins to conjure one thing, and you get gripped by coulrophobia (fear of clowns). Well let me tell you, this attraction will not disappoint you there. You are in for a heavy dose of clowns, including one that may be the creepiest I have seen at any of the haunted houses I've ever been to. But a Carnival is so much more than clowns alone. The Dark Carnival really exploits the possibility of a carnival gone horribly, horribly wrong. They stay very true to the theme throughout, and give you many unique twists on the terrifying characters you could find in a normal traveling show.

While the design of the sets was kind of basic, it did contain elements of some rooms that really were able to grab your imagination. You would enter a room and were visually drawn to certain focal points and they would hold your attention long enough for the suspense to build, then in what kept feeling like your last breath you let out a scream as another creepy crawly jumped out of some unseen hiding place.

A couple of the things I would have said were well done with this attraction was first the appearance of the characters. The details in many of the costumes was outstanding and convincingly transformed the actors into the ghastly individuals they portrayed. The other thing that I felt was very well done was the execution of the jump scares. They were so well placed and timed, that even the ones you felt were obvious, still managed to give you a great adrenaline rush.

Signage / Visibility / Location


It was very easy to notice when you arrive at the Dark Carnival, there is plenty of signage and a big circus tent next to the building.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


The waiting area is a large circus tent, it really puts you into the mood as you enter to buy your tickets. There are plenty of actors walking around the lot outside of the tent and walking through the tent interacting with the guests as they wait in the queue. The staff was extremely friendly and really seemed to enjoy interacting with everyone.

Actors' Performance


The actors performance was a little intense. There were some that really captured the essence of their character, but there also were some that seemed a little over the top. Although, since the theme is a deranged carnival, maybe they were actually dialed in at the right level.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


The sets were fairly basic, however were pretty interesting in concept and design. There were a couple of rooms that really drew you in though. And for a few moments of your journey through the carnival, you wanted to pinch yourself to see if you could wake from this nightmare.

Length


The trip through the attraction took us 17 minutes.

Crowd Control


There was armed security on the premises. We felt safe and secure all evening, well that was until we entered the carnival, then we did not know if we would make it out.

Most Memorable Moment


There were a couple of characters through the haunt that I thought were just creepy and outstanding. But there was one room that we entered that really stood out to me. While the actors were becoming more and more menacing, the big scare of the room came from an unexpected source A mutilated body that looked like there was no way possible for it to do anything, sprung to life with a very cleverly placed actor.

Summary

This was a fun haunted attraction. We came to this one last year, and will probably return again. It has been a fun time, every time.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Scare USA 2019

by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: High

Review

I visited Scare USA in a group of 4 on a Saturday night at 9:30. They had very visible signs and a lot of open parking with someone directing traffic. This haunt is cash only, but is located right next to a bar with an ATM. This was also the first haunt where I was asked to remove my bag (a bag I use specially for haunts or festivals, as it hugs very close to the body). However, once I was inside, I immediately understood why, at this was one of the most narrow haunts I have been to!

Although it definitely added to feelings of anxiety (and therefore, it’s scariness) I would not advise Scare USA for anyone with extreme claustrophobia or those who are a bit heavier – I myself am a plus-sized woman and I was squeezing through some areas. For those who don’t mind, though, the tight corridors and corners will only add to the feeling of apprehension that Scare USA created. With great timing and a willingness to be close, their actors also gave it their all, and even those just standing in the way had to be edged around, sometimes covering or guiding us to hidden exits and doors. They definitely took advantage of all of their space, using the halls and lights to truly disorientate. They also covered all the senses with their scares – there were a lot of vivid, gross smells and elements that almost “fell” onto us.

It was also a fairly long haunt; about 30 minutes or so. We had almost no wait on a Saturday night and it was very reasonably priced. We also enjoyed visiting the bar/restaurant located next door to the haunt afterwards!

Signage / Visibility / Location


Very easy to find, with guided parking. Also located next to a friendly bar/restaurant.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Not a lot of entertainment but it was a very short wait, with not many people on a Saturday evening. They had a clean bathroom as well!

Actors' Performance


I appreciated that these actors really got in your face with their scary masks and makeup, and they had great timing on all the jump scares. They built a lot of anticipation up with darkness, coming in at the right moment to really startle you. I also appreciated edging around them in the tight space – it was really uncomfortable and you wondered if they would, at any moment, move.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


As I said before, the hallways were very narrow, taking advantage of a lot of space and adding to a feeling of claustrophobia. Some areas were open so we could glimpse actors we had seen, or would see. They also used elements like spraying water and very distinct smells to create a multi-sensory experience. This haunt didn’t need a lot of props with its maze-like structure and smart use of lighting.

Length


Fairly long, especially for the size of the building; 30 minutes or so

Crowd Control


No need, but they had staff waiting and directing people

Most Memorable Moment


Animal masks; strobe lights; extremely skinny hallways and turns so tight you could not go in straight!

Summary

A surprisingly long but very narrow haunt that uses tight spaces, smart lights, great acting and strange smells to scare and surprise the attendee.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Dominion of Terror

by PaigeBerrier (Junior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at about 7:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

I visited the Dominion of Terror around 7:30 on a Saturday night during their “throwback” (only $10!) weekend. We had no trouble finding it – they have lots of signs visible from the roads and the haunt itself has a very distinct, three-story façade. After parking in a lot next door, we bought our tickets (using a card) and only had to wait about 15 minutes or so before entering. During our very short wait we were entertained by monsters and were given an opportunity to buy some fun trinkets from their store, including glow-in-the-dark beads and flashing pendants. My boyfriend and I grouped up with some new friends in line and entered the haunt in a group of four.

This was a long (30 – 40 minute) haunt that encompassed 3 different floors, climbing up and down stairs as we went. We began our journey on the first floor funeral home, and ended up traveling through scares including an autopsy scene, several scary churches, creepy kids’ rooms, and a maze-like greenhouse. Without giving away too many specific areas, I can say they were several rooms that made me very uneasy, from both their setting and the amazing acting. In addition to climbing and descending stairs, we had to crawl several times and find our way out of rooms. The actors were fantastic and fully committed to their performances. They used their voices, their close proximity, and at times, their silence to really create anticipation and fear. Jump scares came often and were well-timed, and I felt like they varied who in the line they were scaring. There were so many amazing elements to this haunt – the intricate, varied rooms, the twisting path they set around each scene, the strange smells, and the use of a lot of different types of lighting (including strobe lights and sometimes none at all).

Additionally, I can honestly stay there was a moment in this haunt that frightened me more than any other I’ve been to! The ideas and concepts are very creative and also very scary, and the acting just set it over the edge. It was a great experience – very inexpensive (a steal, honestly), very long, and with a very short wait! Awesome haunt!

Signage / Visibility / Location


DOT had lots of signs leading up to the haunt (billboard-like) as well as very visible red sign. The building is also very distinct; it has three stories and incorporated flashing lights. There was no one to guide parking but it didn’t seem to be an issue –a large field full of parked cars sits right beside the haunt and we had no trouble.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


Their lines between general and fast pass were very clearly marked and monitored, with plenty of entertainment provided by the actors. We only waited about 15 minutes on a Saturday night. I also thought they were clever to have their store amidst the wait line, and I saw many people taking the opportunity to purchase inexpensive, fun accessories like glowing beads and flashing pendants. Although they were happy to take my card, cash might be advisable for a quick transaction. Our wait was also outdoors, but they seemed to have an area for an inside wait as well, but the night was clear and nice to be outside.

Actors' Performance


There were some amazing actors in this haunt. Not only was their timing impeccable for a ton of great jump scares; they used silence and restraint to add apprehension in their scenes. I also thought they did a particularly good job of varying who they “got” in the group; it was not always the first person. There were also a lot of variety of characters, including a lot of creepy kid scenes, and they were not afraid to get close to us to the point of it being uncomfortable, sometimes breathing or yelling in my face (love it!). Every actor was very professional and in character at all times.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


There were a ton of great scenes throughout the haunt. I loved that it spanned over 3 stories, and some areas involved crawling, or squeezing through. Some rooms as we got higher seemed to be also constructed differently, some with slatted wood ceilings. There was a lot of variety in the types of scenes, and we particularly enjoyed some in a church like setting, and a padded tunnel. There was also one scene in particular that scared me worse than any before! Some doors were hidden as well, which I always love. Another very interesting and cool feature were some strange and bad smells!

Length


Long; about 30 – 40 minutes with a very short wait. I never felt rushed and we never encountered another group.

Crowd Control


They were very organized and everything was clearly marked; also every single person we interacted with was very nice and helpful. All in all, it was a very professional setup.

Most Memorable Moment


My scary moment (don’t want to give it away!); several areas where you couldn’t tell who was real, who was fake, or who was about to move; and one scene that involved a “victim”, someone who seemed like they could have been “really taken”.

Summary

Very large, long haunt that encompasses several stories and involves finding a way out of rooms, crawling, scary smells and crazy lights. Very scary acting and creative, varied sets – one of the best haunts I’ve been to, super spooky, and a bargain of a price!

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

Dwelling Of Despair

by Captn_DeathSchlager (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 7, 2016 at about 7 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

The Dwelling of Despair Haunted House & accompanying Forest of Fear is a self-guided, interactive ghoulish attraction known for its awesome animatronic special effects, elaborate decor, skilled actors, unique monsters, unusual themes and chilling detail! Now in its 31st season the Dwelling of Despair has prided itself in providing a creative and ghoulishly good time to all haunt goers along with a few (ahem, more like several!) frightful moments. 2016 marked my 24th visit to this haunted venue and similar to prior years I was once again amazed at how many of the sets/themes have changed. While you may notice a few similarities along your terrifying tour outside of this haunt what awaits inside will torment and twist your mind in new ways. Highlighting the changes this year are more in your face chills, thrills and scares than the skits that traditionally tormented you in the Dwelling of Despair. Rest assured though, this haunt still offers opportunities to interact with the demon’s inhabiting the Dwelling of Despair and retains the same Halloween charm that has brought guests back for the past 31 years!

The 2016 edition of this haunt presents two horrifying sections to test your wits and your desire to survive. The Forrest of Fear kicks off your terrifying tour on a dark and twisted path patrolled by evil spirits and several fiendish ghouls. Survivors from prior years will notice the addition of new frightful fiends as they approach the door steps of the Dwelling. If you're lucky enough to slip past these gorish guardians the entrance of the 3 story Dwelling of Despair awaits from the 3rd floor balcony. To escape the nightmares found within the unfriendly confines of the Dwelling of Despair you must successfully navigate a maze of uniquely themed rooms and hidden passages through the bowels of the entire house. Along the way you are sure to encounter each and every inhabitant of the house...some fun, some helpful but most of all they are all quite frightful!

Signage / Visibility / Location


This may not be the easiest haunt to find. If you’re on HWY 60 in Singer look for the lighted portable sign with a flashing arrow on the north side of the road. Fireman’s park is an immediate right turn after you make turn north off of HWY 60. The Haunted House is actually tucked away after a short winding drive into the park.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment


This haunt offers a heated wood shack with a concessions stand to comfort you while you anticipate the horror that awaits you. A tented staging area provides shelter from the elements as you undergo last minute preparations before your terrifying tour through the woods.

Actors' Performance


A great mix of adult and young actors delivered very entertaining performances. A few of them allowed you to playfully interact with them. Less veteran haunt goers looking to get freaked out will not be disappointed. All haunt goers will be certainly be entertained.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX


Some really unique sets and a several outstanding special effects

Crowd Control


Numbered tickets allow you to purchase your tickets and assemble wherever you’d like while you wait. No long lines to stand in at this haunt. VIP tickets allow you to avoid the wait and skip to the front of the pack.

Most Memorable Moment


Several to choose from…. I don’t want to trick anyone out of experiencing the sensational surprises but I particularly enjoyed the acting performance of The Butcher and mind bending maze patrolled by the jolly jesters.

Summary

The Dwelling of Despair provides an exceptional balance of scares, ghoulishly gratifying visual treats and interactive entertainment making this haunt a fun Halloween destination for both kids and adults alike. The indoor waiting area complete with concession stand make this a howling good time regardless of the weather. The Dwelling of Despair & Forest of Fear is the total package - an extremely high quality immersive event that merges SCARY, FUN and COOL into a safe environment. Highlighting this year’s haunt are new scares, characters, story lines and an extended terrifying tour.

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Please note: this review is for the 2016 season rather than the current season.

The Haunted Mansion

by LisabethLarson after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: High Fear Factor: Medium

Review

I have gone to the Haunted Mansion every year since they opened but one. This year was different than the others and I think it paid off :) The prices are perfect, I honestly wish i had paid the RIP admission because that would have even been worth it. Not because the lines are long or you don't like the wait but because it was that good. The only time you really have to sit around and wait is to get into the actual mansion, but they have a little zombie paintball shoot, coffin ride, concessions and fire pits to stand around. It is definitely a must see!

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The Wisconsin Fear Grounds

by Macnikky after attending on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: Very High

Review

Such a scary place! I keep going back, been here over 4 times this year! The actors change it up so it is never the same! Its no surprise this place is the best! They really pay attention to all details the sets are so amazing, full of tiny details. I am so impressed!

Summary

Worth every penny for every house!

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The Haunted Barn Stoughton - CLOSED

by izzilizzy after attending on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at about 7 p.m.

Fun Factor: Very High Fear Factor: High

Review

Okay, this is my favorite haunt in Wisconsin. I am a veteran haunter myself, so I don't go for the scares, I go for the artistry. That being said, this is a beautiful haunt. I have been a fan of Haunted Barn for several years now, and the primary reason is their attention to detail. This haunt has a personality to it that you don't see in any of the other ones. The staff is well placed and well trained to perform in ways that are creepy and not nearly as gimmicky as other houses. The props, staging, and sets are phenomenal! I like many, many aspects of this house. It's a good house for people who are looking for a scare, as well, because there are many unexpected scares that come out of it, but at the same time, I think that the staff seems to be aware of the sensitivity levels of its patrons, and can amp up or dial back as needed. Definitely make the drive out for this one!

Summary

Great haunt, great price, solid actors/props/sets - amazingly fun!

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July 21st, 2019 6:55 p.m. CDT 1.8.19