On Halloween night a couple HRC members ventured to Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, PA. As always, this place does not disappoint. Altered Nightmares & the Hotel of Horror will keep you on edge from start to finish. The 3rd attraction, The Exhibition Macabre, is a museum of the strange and unusual; medical, dental, funeral, asylum, & penitentiary. They display actual antiques, photos, & artifacts from these many specialties. While the HRC didn't take in the museum this time, we do highly recommend it for anyone in any of these professions, or anyone interested in unusual history.
301 Devil's Playground located in Galena MD was a pleasant surprise for us this year. They are only in their 2nd year of operation and definitely in this to make a name for themselves. There are 3 attractions to attend. We went late in the season and got a Hell pass, which is their speed pass; definitely worth it on busy nights. This really helped us keep it moving. There was a few minute wait for the House of Hell but other than that the Hell pass was very quick.
Greetings readers! It is with great pleasure we tell you all about Twistback Manor. A brand new haunt located in Oxford PA. They are a one attraction with a big impact show. This is a fundraiser to maintain the manor and grounds. A huge act of passion and love for both the restoration of the place and terrifying patrons. This place was refreshing for us for so many reasons. There are so many different types of places we go to in a year. To see a haunt in its first season is always cool because it allows us the chance to watch it grow and change.
Fright Factory is an indoor haunted attraction in Philadelphia. It boasts over 25,000 square feet of space in a building that is over 100 years old, and this is one of the few places open rain or shine!
Sometimes when reviewing attractions, we need to keep location in mind. Indoor, major city haunted attractions are limited by space, among other things. They did make up for this in part by having some nicely costumed characters outside of the Haunt, interacting with patrons in full character. This is something we always appreciate!
Greetings friends! We just left Legends of the Fog and wanted to share our experience. LoTF was one of our first major haunts in MD,and they've really expanded over the last few years. This year they have 4 attractions. The first stop is the former Carsin's Manor, now called the Farewell Hotel. The greeter had great makeup, and did a nice job explaining the rules and setting the tone. The receptionist was first up and easily one of the best actors in the building. The theme itself comes together nicely in their new concept. This year the focus in each attraction seems to be scene details. The rooms have some new props and decor. The actors played their scenes well, but it was not as in your face scary as years past. They have a great setup, so it will be cool to see where this building and actor development goes. After the hotel we went through the corn maze. We really enjoyed it. The atmosphere alone is creepy. This area isn't full of actors, there are a few, but this maze messes with your senses. It's so dark, the corn is so tall and the trails get you thrown off quickly. Though it isn't full of actors, those who are in there do a good job of not being seen until that perfect moment. They also help misguide you through so getting out can be tricky. We end up next in line for the Haunted hayride.
On 10/1, a couple of the HRC members visited Panic at the Ballpark; a first year haunted attraction in York, PA housed in The York Revolution baseball stadium. We look at most debut attractions as novice and try not to compare them to more seasoned haunts. Our focus is more on the theme and what the future holds.
This was the first haunted attraction we’ve visited that made their theme congruent with their unique location; the theme was centered around a deranged baseball player. There was a well produced video that gave the details of the how the baseball player became deranged. We were then taken on a tour where we got to see cool parts of the stadium; many the public never gets to see. Along the tour we saw some interesting scenes and our tour guide gave more details about the story. There were a few dead spots which we are sure will be filled in next season. There was a section you walked through on your own…this had some CRAZY scenes filled with awesome actors!!!! We saw some impressive hand build props. J To the actor, you should be very proud of your hard work. Overall, this attraction was more fun, than scary…..but, it won’t take much to make this a hardcore creepy attraction in the years to come.
The HRC hit OC Screams, 1 of 3 haunts in the region run by Steelhead events and productions. This is their freshman season in this location. Located right by the Atlantic Ocean in Ocean City MD. The theme runs perfectly for the location. Straight out of Ghost Ship. The creepy nautical props begin immediately. They have some gruesome scenes in this 2 floor haunt. The most shocking comes while you're distracted by maneuvering their ever changing floors. The layout is done well, some of the scenes have human props that appear very real. Several occasions...they were. HA. The actors and staff do a great job of not allowing the haunt to get overcrowded. They give each group a chance to enjoy and see it all. Something that is so appreciated. They do have a very well lit staircase which I heard a few people complain about, however it is absolutely necessary for safety reasons; so yes it stinks because it takes you out of the story for a sec, but all is forgiven once you're on the second floor. That brings you to some serious sharks, and other treachery. The haunt itself is short, but it appears they have room to expand. We have high hopes for what they will accomplish once in that building a few seasons. All in all, it is too short to recommend driving hours to do, however if you're not too far from it, or are in OC to enjoy the beach, and you love to be entertained and visit haunts, then this is a must do. Nice job OC Screams. Way to bring the terror to the beach!
On Sunday night, 10/16, HRC members visited The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride in Glen Mills, PA. For some haunted attractions Sundays are slow & slightly understaffed, but not here! Bates had an awesome crowd, making for a busy midway, including the merchandise shop, food vendors, and coffin rides.
On Friday, 10/14, a couple HRC members ventured to Asylum Run in Harrisburg, PA. This was the 4th year for this nonprofit haunt. Proceeds from admissions help 2 great local organizations; Hospice of Central PA's Camp Dragonfly and C.M.C (Cooper's Monster Creations). We love supporting haunts that give back to the community.
This year Asylum Run's theme was "Unfairy Tales: When Legends Become Nightmares."
The HRC had a pleasant surprise last weekend. We attended Laurel's House of Horror- Haunted House and Escape room, and it kicked butt! They have a great location in an old movie theater in Laurel MD. When we arrived we were a little unsure of what the night would bring. It is in the far corner of a shopping center, not far from a Chuck E. Cheese. Once in the area of the haunt we saw entertainment, haunt decor, and items for sale. They have well priced concessions in the theater's original snack bar area. The entire place is all done up with old fashion theater curtains, classic horror movie posters, and scary props on the walls.
On Saturday, October 1st, 2 members of the Haunt Review Crew visited The Nevermore Haunt in Old Town, Baltimore.
The Nevermore is a 10,000 square foot, indoor, "old school" haunted house. Created by a group of haunt enthusiasts with previous experience in a variety of positions at area haunts, it is entirely themed to 19th Century Baltimore and is completely handcrafted. There are no animatronics. Only people, ready to scare you with their terrifying shrieks as they lurk in the hidden corners of this creepy, dark haunt.
Our 2nd weekend reviewing and Haunt Review Crew is already feeling blown away by talent! Seems these haunts are really ready for guests! We attended Reapers Revenge in Scranton PA, and we are happy we did! The first thing you notice here is the instant energy. They set the tone from the moment you step out of your vehicle. (Don’t forget $3, you have to pay to park at this one) Once you arrive and purchase tickets you wait at the beginning to get on the Hayride. Once you’re on the Hayride you have a smooth 90 minutes as each attraction flows to the next. The good news is, once you've waited that initial time to get on the hay wagon the rest is little to no wait. That initial wait can get very long though, we recommend checking their calendar online and coming on a less crowded night, or purchasing a speed pass to jump to the front of their line!
Shocktoberfest 2016 is better than ever! HRC started with their attraction, "The Unknown 2.0" the name could not be better for it. They've taken The Unknown, and put it on steroids. The entire attraction is like walking into a movie. You're narrated all throughout as you go. The timing of the scares was awesome. We had more than several "gotcha" moments. The actors are perfectly placed and stay right in character along with the show. By the time we got out of it we were breathless from the non-stop scares and unexpected sounds. Our senses were way overloaded. We could go on forever about the changes made in there and the details put into each scene, but we want you to go see for yourselves.
2016 Haunt season is here! Field of Screams, the original and only one in PA continues to be the pioneers for opening early in September. It was about 90* out on September 10th when we visited for our review. With the actors being in costume and heavy make-up, or masks, they were definitely sweating their socks off. That being said, not once did they break character. Not even in the Den of Darkness or Asylum. Those are both their indoor attractions. We were sweating just walking through, so kudos to the actors for handling that better than most! Field of Screams never lets us down. This year there seems to have been a focus on improving the customer experience overall.