Please note: this review is for the 2017 season rather than the current season.
Submitted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The Haunted Mansion received Haunted Wisconsin’s “Visitors Choice” for 2016 and I had to personally verify this prestigious award! First of all, if you haven’t been to The Haunted Mansion in over 3 years, you have to go back, it is NOT the same haunt! Although it is not located in a heavily populated area, the Haunted Mansion rivals some of the largest commercial haunts in WI! The three things that really stand out to me regarding the Haunted Mansion are 1) The Length – much longer than most haunted attractions. 2) The innovative use of props and scenes – there are things you see at the Haunted Mansion that you will not get anywhere else. 3) The Fun – associating “fun” with “terror” seems like a contradicting mix, but I felt like a kid in a horror story.
We attended on a very rainy/wet opening night. I expected a lot of “hiccups”, but to my surprise it was as if they had been open for weeks! The rain was a bit of a bummer, but the best part was the line was very short. We started on the Haunted Trail, which seems to have doubled in length. The trail reminds me of those horror movies where the individuals are trying to hide from the nightmare waiting for them in a cornfield. You are busy trying to find your way, but there are ghouls and evil above and below. Definitely a lot of screams throughout the trail (and most from a 46 year old male)!! The trail has some major unexpected twists and you may find the ground carries its own surprises. We were on the trail for almost 20 minutes.
The next stop, on to the Zombus! It was great to get out of the rain and what seemed like a typical bus ride quickly revealed horrors inside. The bus drops you off at what I will refer to as the “entertainment” district. You receive a number … NO STANDING IN A LONG BORING LINE. You can walk around, try out the zombie shooting range, enjoy snacks, bonfires, music videos and burial simulator all while watching for your number to be called. Our group was escorted inside ALONE … no pesky groups to deal with while navigating the house. As seasoned attraction goers know, nothing KILLS the experience more than being crammed in with a bunch of annoying unfamiliar faces.
Once inside the first room, we knew we were in for a terrifying experience. You need to be strong and face your fears or you are not going to get out of this one! As someone who does not scare easy and attends more haunted attractions than I will ever admit, there is no way to prepare for the obstacles and horrors inside the Haunted Mansion. Think animatronics (animated huge props that come at you) are only for “big city” haunted attractions? Think again!! I usually dislike a lot of animatronics, but at the Haunted Mansion, they were used so dangerously (in a good way) that they only added to the tremendous amounts of horror inside.
In summary, if you are looking for a haunted attraction that lasts more than an hour and pushes the boundaries of fear, then the Haunted Mansion should be on your list! I would have to agree with the “Visitors Choice” and list the Haunted Mansion as one as my favorite in Wisconsin!