Please note: this review is for the 2017 season rather than the current season.

Dwelling Of Despair (PERMANENTLY CLOSED)

by KR385 (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at about 7:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Low


The Dwelling of Despair was my fourth haunt of the season, but technically my first haunt in the month of October. For this haunt, this was their opening weekend. We arrived about thirty minutes before they had started selling tickets for the night and the crowd was very light. If you buy tickets online remember to print out the ticket, as their website says, "Dwelling of Despair will not accept digital versions of the receipt". We bought tickets in person and had no issue with this, but keep it in mind. The haunt also offers deals for veterans, which is very cool. Another amazing feature this haunt has, that very few do, is a covered area with concessions available. Do not confuse this concession area with the waiting area, though there are benches and I swear I saw a door that said, "enter". This was not the waiting area by any means, it was a small white tent located just outside of the concession room. Since there was not many patrons, we had a very short wait once we found the actual waiting area.

Before entering the indoor portion of the haunt, there was a short trail through the woods called the Forest of Fear. Very little happened in the woods, but it was a cool feature that adds to the spook factor. We headed up the stairs to the indoor haunt, which were extremely slippery due to the recent rain, where we had to knock on the door to gain entrance. Don't be afraid to knock very loud, because I don't think they heard us knock for the first minute. The interior of the haunt was composed of a vast amount of disconnected scenes. The props, decorations, and animatronics were not very high quality or new, but the scenes were decently put together. The house didn't have too many human actors that we had interacted which is very disappointing to me. Most of the actors we did see had lower quality masks that muffled their voices and broke the illusion of being in another world.

After exiting the indoor haunt there is an awesome looking outdoor maze where the walls appeared to be made out of pallets. Our group of three was disappointingly broken up before we entered the haunt though, where they had decided to separate the women from the men. I would have enjoyed the experience much better if we could have all experienced it together. Making our way through the maze was very entertaining due to the multiple dead ends they had placed in strategical positions. We had to turn to the guidance of an actor, who hilariously had led us to another dead end. The maze was actually my most memorable part of the experience.

All in all, after being at some of the top rated haunts already in the season, the Dwelling of Despair was not one of my favorites, but I do encourage you to go. The haunt is put on by the Hartford Jaycees, which does an awful amount of good for the community. Their prices are in line with the experience you will have and the amount of time that the haunt takes, you will be able to stop at a few other haunts in the same night. If you have never been to a haunt before, or you are going to take some younger individuals through with you, I would definitely recommend the Dwelling of Despair.

Signage / Visibility / Location

The Dwelling of Despair is located off of highway 60 in Slinger, WI. You will not be able to see this haunt from the main road, but the light up signs they had placed will help you find it.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment

The concession area they provide is excellent, but do not confuse it for the waiting area. The waiting area consisted of a tent with benches. There was no line entertainment that you see at many other haunts.

Actors' Performance

The actors were far and few, and remember that this was from my experience on the first weekend of running, your miles may vary. The actors that they did have had low quality masks and makeup and none of them stood out in my memory.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX

The sets were very well put together for the materials and props that they had. The use of low quality animatronics in place of actors breaks the sense of being in another dimension.


From buying our tickets and making our way through the haunt, we were there for about 30-35 minutes. The crowd was very light when we were there, the line may increase as you get closer to Halloween.

Crowd Control

The crowd was very light and we never ran into another group going through the house.

Most Memorable Moment

The outdoor maze at the end of the haunt was by far my favorite part of this haunt, and one of the best mazes that I have been to!


I would recommend attending the Dwelling of Despair to support the surrounding community. The haunt would be great for a younger crowd, or ones who cannot handle some of the more intense haunts. I would definitely recommend this haunt if you are planning on making a trip to some other haunts in the area. You will get lost in the maze!

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April 24th, 2024 7:37 a.m. CDT 24.05