Please note: this review is for the 2019 season rather than the current season.
by PaigeBerrier (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at about 7 p.m.
Submitted: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Tucked away between the fields and farmlands of Wisconsin is the infamous House on the Rock, a one-of-a-kind experience that combines one architect’s creativity for unusual spaces and a passion for collecting strange and unusual objects. It is a must see for Wisconsinites; half-museum, half a weird old antique store, and is one of the rare things that is even more unbelievable in real life than described. On a regular day, the House on the Rock is full of tons of strange and sometimes creepy objects, but every fall the weekends are dedicated to the Dark Side, a special route that focuses especially on the more haunted side of the attraction.
I am a huge fan of the House on the Rock for their normal season (my spouse and I even took our engagement photos there!), and for years now I have been curious about the Dark Side. I came with two others, and we were all very impressed with their dedication to decor and the overall length and size of the haunt. Red lights led you down into the starting area, inside the short museum portion, and then your path continues through portions of the second and third areas of the normal attractions, which is a very different route than one takes on the normal tour. Through these areas, several of the normal (creepy) elements are more heavily featured (namely scary dolls and dollhouses), and additional, more Halloween elements are added (like animatronics and props). All of this is accompanied by some amazing scary sounds that featured classical music and organs.
This haunted house is definitely untraditional, namely in the sense that it doesn’t feature very many actors, and some of the items are real antiques and collectibles. It’s very long, taking about an hour to go through, and certainly has a lot of attention to detail with a ton of decor, lights, and sound. However, I wouldn’t say it’s scary in the jump scare sense - it’s more psychological, and interesting from a historical standpoint. Our group felt they could have benefited from more actors and less props within the haunt, as well as a bit better crowd control, but overall it is a super interesting, fun place to go for the Halloween season. I would especially recommend it as an add-on to your normal day at House on the Rock - I’d love to see it during the daytime normal and then this version at night!