Please note: this review is for the 2018 season rather than the current season.
by Captn_DeathSchlager (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at about 7 p.m.
Submitted: Monday, October 8, 2018
If you tour as many haunts as I have you’ve probably realized that while haunts come in all shapes and sizes and offer different creature features they all have one thing in common….they all want to scare the bejesus out of you. Similarly, you’re probably aware that while cars come in all shapes and sizes and offer different creature features they all have one thing in common…to get you from point A to B. Likening Haunts to Cars, I would classify the Dwelling of Despair Haunted House & accompanying Forest of Fear as the minivan of Haunts. While its initial appearance as you drive past will likely not give you reason to look back over your shoulder for a second look…when you get behind the wheel of this Haunt it performs as admirably as the Tesla in the quest to scare you senseless.
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 34th 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. 2018 marked my 26th 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 quite a few similarities along your terrifying tour outside of this haunt, what awaits inside will torment and twist your mind in new ways. Following the lead of last year’s version, the chills, thrills and scares are delivered more upfront and in your face than with 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 34 years!
The 2018 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. 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 bowls 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!
My tour group this year consisted of 2 teenagers attending this haunt for the first time and 3 adults who have visited in the past. All thoroughly enjoyed their experience this year noting how much they enjoyed meeting Wild Eyed Kid Rock, the giggling Gaggle of Clowns and the mind boggling maze.
TOUR GROUP RATINGS: Here’s how my tour group rated Dwelling of Despair for both the Scare and Fun scale (1 to 5)
Haunt Teenager (first timer) #1: SCARE-3 / FUN-4
Haunt Teenager (first timer) #2: SCARE-3 / FUN-4
Haunt Adult #1: SCARE-2 / FUN-3
Haunt Adult #2: SCARE-3 / FUN-4
Haunt Veteran: SCARE-3 / FUN-4