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Grand WaZoo
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841 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My dear Ghouls and Ghoulet’s,

Now that our wonderful holiday is over I would like to see a show of hands of how many of you went to haunted attraction, either near or far from your home? I love visiting such attractions because it always gets the maggots in my body crawling in excitement of the night to come and for future idea’s for my haunt. Yet, sadly I noticed there is no discussion category on this forum where users can post their reviews of the haunts they have visited. Why?

I think it would be a great service to the members of this forum and to the people who put on these charity and commercial haunts to have a place where members can post their reviews and operators of such haunts can receive unvarnished opinions. I’m sure allot of you here are like Mrs. Spookzilla and myself who make a point of visiting one or two if not more of haunted attractions around our area each year. Now I ask you wouldn’t you like to know if the attraction near you is worth your hard earned cash and time to visit? I know I’d surely like to have that information and even better maybe learn of some new attractions that are local to my area that others on this forum have visited and think are great.

If I was an operator of a haunted attraction I would also venture that I would like honest straight forward opinions of what people who visited my attractions liked or disliked. Their whole purpose, be it for profit or charity is to bring the paying customer in and the only way they will know they are serving their customer and what areas they need to improve is by honest feed back from their customers. To many commercial Halloween haunt websites can ‘cherry pick’ feedback that they post on their sites so when you surf over to their page and read their reviews you think this haunt has to be great and then sadly after you spent your hard earned cash getting there and on tickets you walk away feeling like a true sap and so disappointed.

So I guess what I’m asking Larry who graciously runs this forum and all the members is why don’t we have a discussion listing where we can post reviews on both charity and commercial haunts on this forum? I know I posted a few weeks ago a review and web listing to Hacker House which located relatively near me and I’d love to do a review on Kersey Valley Spookywoods which is one of the top 10 haunted attractions in the nation I visited. I also know a group of us here had the pleasure of visiting number one attraction in the nation Netherworld and I would love to read their reviews. There are large and small attractions thought out nation that our members could be posting their HONEST, not glossy, reviews of their local haunted attractions that would serve as benefit to not only the forum members but also to the people that run these haunts when it’s pointed out their attraction has review postings listed here.

Well that’s what my rotten mind thinks what about yours?
 

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Guess till we get a section, I'll share a review.

While in Houston during 1st week in Oct, I visited an attraction called Phobia. They have 6 different haunts in one location, and a 7th at another location. I was at the mulitple haunt location with my GF and her son. I paid $60 for all 3 of us to go through 2 of the haunts (our choice).

The first one we went through was the 3D clown haunt. It was typical set-up---you walk through a dark maze while actors dressed as scary clowns jump out and scream and bang things. You were given 3D glasses (which you had to return at the end) and the walls were painted with black light reactive paint. It really felt like a 3D movie as you walked through, which was a nice suprise.

The 2nd one we went through was man/machine themed. I forget the name, but basically there where body parts merged with machines. Same set-up---maze, actors behind corners, and some pneumatice props. It finished with an actor chasing you out with a chainsaw. It was ok, nothing special IMO.

It took about 40-45 minutes to go through both haunts. Not how I'd normally spend $60, but this was the first haunt I've been through in a few years.
 

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Went to Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights. All-in-all, it was a tad sparse (compared to Knott's Scary Farm), but some of the mazes were absolutely superb. My favorite was 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' The attention to detail was astounding!

The newest maze was Freddy Krueger's house. Some nice stuff in there, as well.

We went with some friends visiting from Australia and they had an amazing time!
 

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Master Crypt Keeper
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If there were enough reviews, it would warrant a section, however only a few reviews a year does not warrant an entire section. (too many sections=bad)
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Guess till we get a section, I'll share a review.

While in Houston during 1st week in Oct, I visited an attraction called Phobia. They have 6 different haunts in one location, and a 7th at another location. I was at the mulitple haunt location with my GF and her son. I paid $60 for all 3 of us to go through 2 of the haunts (our choice).

The first one we went through was the 3D clown haunt. It was typical set-up---you walk through a dark maze while actors dressed as scary clowns jump out and scream and bang things. You were given 3D glasses (which you had to return at the end) and the walls were painted with black light reactive paint. It really felt like a 3D movie as you walked through, which was a nice suprise.

The 2nd one we went through was man/machine themed. I forget the name, but basically there where body parts merged with machines. Same set-up---maze, actors behind corners, and some pneumatice props. It finished with an actor chasing you out with a chainsaw. It was ok, nothing special IMO.

It took about 40-45 minutes to go through both haunts. Not how I'd normally spend $60, but this was the first haunt I've been through in a few years.
That's the haunt near my house. It's rated #7 in the nation and #1 in the state of Texas.

I've done all 6 haunts at that location. It is considered the most "hardcore" scare haunt in the city. I do not recommend taking kids younger than 10 to any of these unless they are pretty immune to nightmares. ;)

Me personally, I love haunted houses, and I go first if at all possible. I do not scare easily, and when startled, tend to laugh or giggle. I think I confused quite a few of the actors. ;)

3D Clown Phobia:
One of the best in my opinion. Love the effects, well painted and quite amazing. Well lit, unlike a typical haunted house. Two stories, so expect to go up and down stairs. They scares are good as well, but the main attraction is all of the 3D effects. There are several nods to "Killer Klowns From Outter Space" in there, and the costumes the actors wear are fantastic. This is the only haunt that actually "got me" - where I was genuinely surprised by something. :)

Dawn of the Machines (the techno one):
This is a new haunt for 2008. They are still working the bugs out of this one, and it and one other one (Claustrophobia) are built using old shipping containers, so they are smaller than the other 4 haunts in this location. I was impressed with some of the props they built - a tube containing a cyborg like person that spit liquid and the bizarre looking human/machine hybrid that runs on a treadmill were funny/scary. I do agree that they need something more, but I think for the average haunt goer, this one is pretty scary.

Claustrophobia:
The other new haunt for 2008. This one has the floors of the haunt (again built from shipping containers) at uneven grades so it is disorientating to walk through - nice effect. I do think this one also needs work for a serious haunt goer to be really impressed with, tho. I think it has potential to be quite good eventually.

Simon Fowler's Woods:
The only outdoor haunt. It winds around the wooded area surrounding the front of the attraction. This one is the least impressive of all of them. I was expecting better, but the actors are pretty easy to spot well before you get to the area of the scares, and the props were not well lit enough to really pop. I wouldn't recommend this one unless you're with real lightweights. The only highlight of this one is the absolutely wonderful vortex tunnel. I'm hoping the visibility and actors on this one were hampered by the hurricane damage that may have wiped out some of the undergrowth and disabled the props that were outdoors, and that next year's Woods are improved, barring another hurricane. :(

Mind Control:
An insane asylum taken over by the patients. I love this one - it's a bit too dark sometimes (can't see the props/scares as well) but it's a good solid scare experience. Some nice scenes set up in there, with more actors than props, and a fantastic strobe tunnel with some very scary actors that know how to use it.

The Darke Institute:
The basic haunted house. It's probably my second/third favorite out of all of them out there. Body parts, blood, werewolves, it's all there. Again, the problems I've run into with this one is that the lighting isn't good enough in the areas where the big scares are - robbing them of some of their effect.

Overall, the actors are the best I've seen; ALWAYS in character, no matter what happens, and they are great at improvising and do their best to get the big scares.

The lighting overall needs work - dark is good for scares, but too dark and you loose the shock value of some of the really cool props (of which there are many).

Y ou will not see many "store bought" props. Not even the professional/commercial haunt props are very big here. They have a gifted (twisted) individual that puts together most of their animated props from scratch.

Getting there isn't hard - it's right off of the major freeway, and parking is ample. The lot, however is gravel (and not pea gravel, BIG gravel) so wearing comfy shoes is a good idea. Don't wear heels or nice leather shoes cause they will be ruined or you'll risk turning an ankle.

I go every year, and they do change up each house to make sure that returning haunt goers are continually surprised.

:)
 

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Great thread wish we had it earlier in the season so people can post good or bad news about the haunts. In the past several years I have tried to go to as many local haunts as I could get time to as well as afford to. We have at least 10 in a 30mile radius even in our small town. What I have found is most of them don't change each year and its the same haunt or very little change. For some reason the dark maze seems to be the end of most just to make the initial 10min walk through seem like a 20min haunt. Some haunts from year to year really vary on the quality some years they are good then others they are bad.

This year I only went to one new one that started up rotncasket and it was 15 per ticket lasted about 15min the entire thing was a maze of black plastic not sure how it passed fire inspection. The beginning was done well a few good things then it went downhill fast. Its a shame.

I went to Netherworld last year in Atlanta and that was a blast a really great haunt but in the top 10 list in the US. It kinda ruined me I think since the local ones don't even come close but they don't have that kind of cash either so its all relative. I have spoke to others on the forums and it seems like many home haunters don't go to commercial haunts and I am not really sure why but next year I think I am going to go to Disney in Orlando and check out their Horror Nights sounds like a blast.

Finally in my opinion many home haunts are as good and some better than most of the Pro Haunts but that's not always true in the larger city's that have more traffic and thus more $$$ but from the years I have done this and seen many haunts Home Haunts rock too bad its only for 1 night for most of them.
 

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Grand WaZoo
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841 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
if there were enough reviews, it would warrant a section, however only a few reviews a year does not warrant an entire section. (too many sections=bad)
Where have I heard the saying "build it and they will come", Larry? I know it must be a master pain in the you know what to make new topic areas and keep them all running smooth but I think just by the few post here you maybe see the need?

Just read Frankie's Girl excellent post and ruafraid words
Great thread wish we had it earlier in the season so people can post good or bad news about the haunts.
I'll bet you now that allot of people from Texas on this forum have read Frankies post and agreed, disagreed, or said I never knew, I'm going there next year!

Yes I wish I would of thought of posting this thread earlier but now really this is the time to build this thread and make it a stand alone topic while these haunts are fresh in forum members minds. There are tons of haunts out there in every state large and small you never hear about unless your lucky enough to come across them on your travels or have someone say hey ever been or heard of this haunt, it's awesome! Some really good haunts can be the small ones that don't have a big budget for advertising and rely on word of mouth.

Another reason I'd like to see this made a forum topic is to help the people that are thinking about or do put on haunts. So that you, the members of this forum, can give these haunt operators some honest and yes some times blunt feedback. I don't know about you but I'm more then tired of going to haunted attractions web pages and reading their feedback and seeing nothing but glowing reports when you and your friends just visited and said that haunt sucks! Wouldn't you like a place you can post a review for the owners of these haunts to read and you could give them constructive criticism and not all the sugar and spice, puke, they post on their sites? I know I do and specially after I just spent 20 to 30 bucks for each ticket for me and my family members to attend.

So let's keep this post going members and who knows maybe we can eventually wear down Larry's tired bones and have him make this a forum topic! :D
 

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Master Crypt Keeper
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Ironically, if you post it all into one thread, there will only be one thread of reviews. Which means that if we were to make a section, there would not be enough different threads to create it.

If you wish to review a haunt, please create a thread for each haunt.
 

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Grand WaZoo
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Discussion Starter #10
Larry,

My idea was to make it a section where reviews of haunted attractions throughout the USA, Canada, and Europe, (we are an international forum :) ) can be posted. Not a place were every haunt has to have their own separate individual specific thread. Be youz de boss!
 
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